With the wedding season on in Pakistan, wedding expenses, including catering and marriage halls' rent, have sky-rocketed.
According to rough estimates, as compared to last year, there is an overall jump of 20-30 per cent in wedding expenses this season, and they are likely to rise further in the coming months.
The average rate of one meal is Rs 400-500, which is nearly Rs 100 higher than before the wedding season began.
According to the Daily Times, wedding halls in Gulberg, Garden Town, Johar Town and Faisal Town have increased their rates and blamed the move on inflation.
"We paid Rs 270,000 for a 200-guest wedding in June, but the same wedding hall is now charging Rs 300,000 for 200 guests," said Farhan Zaighum, a computer engineer from WAPDA town.
He further said he had paid Rs 80,000 for about 200 guests for his elder brother's wedding in 2003.
"Things have changed considerably in three years," the paper quoted him as saying.
Similarly, Kabeer Iftikhar from Samanabad, said: "Wedding expenditures increase every year. But, the wedding halls have increased their rates by Rs 30-40 after the permission to serve one-dish meals, which is a considerable amount."
On the other hand, major wedding halls of the city said that the increase in rates was "slight", and they attributed it to the increase in prices of poultry, spices and catering services.
"It is not fair to blame it all on wedding halls. All related goods and services have become expensive," said Lahore Wedding Halls Association President Mian Ilyas.
The owner of a wedding hall on Main Boulevard said: "If the prices of meat, vegetables, spices, electricity and gas would decrease, so would the rates of wedding halls. We have to increase the rates to maintain quality."