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Future Of The Unorganised Wedding Sector

With an increasing number of couples opting for organized wedding services, the organized industry is slated to grow higher than the rest of the industry which is growing at 20-25% year-on-year.

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If there’s one thing that India is known for, all over the world, it is for the “big fat Indian wedding”. Stemming from the portrayal of traditional Indian weddings on the big screen, and the way that grand celebrity weddings are covered by the media, one thing is for sure; Indian weddings are much more than just a celebration of the love between two people. In India, weddings are a very serious business.

Weddings are not just about one evening with close family. Multiple functions over multiple days with hundreds of guests involving multiple wedding vendors like photographers, caterers, makeup artists etc. While we are seeing shrinkage of guest list, we are seeing a rise in the number of functions per wedding and higher spend per guest. Furthermore, by 2020, India is estimated to become the youngest country in the world, with a median age of 29, accelerating the growth of the wedding industry. Weddings in India, are thus, a booming business today, and with good reason.

It is no surprise that the industry has been touted as a ‘recession-proof’ business and predicted to be one to never see a dull moment. The Indian wedding industry is currently estimated to be valued at about $40-50 billion. One of the major contributing factors to this is the cost of the venue alone. Venue spend contributes 50-60% of the overall spend. Depending on the location and the nature of the venue, as well as the package inclusions, property prices vary. In most metros, a standard venue inclusive of catering is priced at Rs 1500 upwards, per person. At premium properties, it can vary between Rs 2000-3000 per person, and at iconic five star hotels, upwards of Rs 3500 per person.

Keeping in mind the large number of guests invited to an average Indian wedding (with multiple functions), the occasion is a very expensive affair, and becomes a huge financial burden on the middle class couple. There are no venue chains or branded services available. Each city has thousands of venues and thousands of artists catering to this industry. On top of this there is no standardization of services and pricing.

In the absence of a formal structure among wedding vendors, occasionally, couples are not fully gratified by their spending due to unmet delivery on promises. The reason behind this is usually the lack of a system ensuring legally binding contracts, when booking a venue, making it all a frivolous affair.

As the wedding industry grows bigger, and India’s reputation for destination weddings increases, there is a heightened need for the formalisation of the sector. Much can be done to bring in clarity regarding rates, deliverables, and expectations, from both parties. Through a standardised marketplace, with 100 per cent transparency, the wedding sector can benefit from an increased growth in the long run.

By adopting technology in the sector, through the use of aggregator platforms, couples can enjoy the convenience of getting all the information they need in one place, without having to deal with the hassle of multiple touchpoints, phone calls and meetings. Couples can also benefit from the ease of access to multiple vendors, at once, compare rates and offerings, and be assured of delivery commitments. There is also the added benefit of professional assistance, as well as attractive discounts, which eases the pressure on the couple, making it mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

As a result, an increasing number of Indian couples are opting to organise their weddings through such platforms, because of the convenience they offer. With an increasing number of couples opting for organized wedding services, the organized industry is slated to grow higher than the rest of the industry which is growing at 20-25% year-on-year.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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wedding season

Sandeep Lodha

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