The moolah behind the big fat Indian wedding

The moolah behind the big fat Indian wedding

Submitted by Kumuda on Wed, 2016-03-09 13:00 Bengaluru: The wonderful news has been announced. Thoughts of dresses, décor and dining options emerge. Then there is a crushing feeling as the fortunate families realise that a wedding costs a lot of money.Indian weddings are known to be big and elaborate. A wedding is considered a high-point in a person’s life; it is likely to be the most lavish and luxurious event that a person and their family will host. An estimated 10 million Indian weddings take place every year. An estimated 35,000 weddings took place on 7th December of this year in Delhi alone, given that the day was considered to be auspicious.It is difficult to place a realistic monetary value upon the elements of a wedding: weddings are customised events and the reliance upon the informal sector makes it difficult to establish a price guideline – or sometimes to stick to a budget. However, 14�f parents would ideally prioritize their spending on marriage (behind education at 33�  Moreover, the price of a service depends not only upon materials and skill, but also upon on reputation and recommendations. Premiums are paid for reputable professionals.A no-expenses-spared wedding can cost in the region of INR 10 crore – INR 20 crore. Around 2000 high-end weddings take place every year in India. There is also a small market of uber-luxurious weddings: for example, the Sahara Wedding of Subrata Roy’s sons, Sushantoo with Richa and Seemanto with Chandni in 2004 cost around INR 552 crores. As many as 11,000 guests attended and food was served to around 150,000 beggars. In contrast, the upper middle class tend to spend around INR 3 crore – 6 crore and the middle class spends on average INR 19.01 lakh.In total, wedding planners, photographers, caterers, florists, cosmetologists and other events specialists have access to a $40bn industry in India. Moreover, the industry is growing by 25-30�nnually.In particular, the industry for wedding planners is prospering as young people have less time to plan and more disposable income.Weddings are big business for the gold and diamond jewellery market too, making around INR 60,000 crore annually. This is set to rise as incomes increase in the next few decades. Hotels and similar venues take in around INR 5,000 crore whereas the market for venue decorations and pandals receives around INR 10,000 crore. Even small costs add up, such as dance lessons for the bride and groom which may come in at INR 1,500 – 3,000 per hour.An online industry is also emerging. Everything can be found on the internet - from match making abroad to finding a photographer in your local city. Websites seek to provide wedding planning solutions which mirror the expectations of the market today by providing fast suggestions and inspiration. The online industry is spearheaded by websites including Shaadi.com, BharatMatrimony, ShaadiSaga, Marrily, WedMeGood and PlanningWale. Shaadi.com and BharatMatrimony are the longest running, having started in 1997 when less than 0.1�f India’s population used the internet. Websites with such prominence can take in revenues of INR 200 - 250 crore annually.Spending does not conclude with the wedding ceremony. Top honeymoon destinations within India are Goa, Jaipur and Udaipur. Big-budget destinations include Greece, Seychelles and Fiji, in which spending can top INR 2.6 lakhs per couple. Bali, Vietnam and Sri Lanka are more suited for a conservative budget (INR 1 lakh per couple).