Manager owner Shareef Mohamed (at window) photographed with his waiters Noor
19, Mohamed Moneer, 27 and Mohamed Agha at the Aryana Wedding hall.
The wedding business is very big and Afghans can pay huge sums $20 000 for a middle class wedding is normal. Bear in mind that a Moderate guest lists can top 600 people; the biggest exceeds 2,000. Included in the prices is the dowry or ‘bride price’. Even a poor laborers on 350 a year could be expected to pay $2000 and grooms are left with crushing debt. Tradition and societal pressure leave them with no alternative but to have expensive weddings in spite of their poverty. Marriage is arguably the most important rite of passage for a young Afghan man, and the luxuriousness of the ceremony reaffirms his family's status. Since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, the Afghan wedding industry has rebounded and is now bigger than ever. The growth is reflected in the proliferation of wedding halls, The number in Kabul alone has risen to more than 80 today from 4 in 2001.