The recession-proof wedding industry of India

With so many different weddings which have taken over Instagram in India, not only has the wedding business taken over the nation, but it has also shown that weddings are recession-proof.

Developmental economics states that, the fertility in a period increases if the economy is undergoing a boom. However, research would like to disagree. Research shows that there is a general reduction in the number of people who want to get married in the US. With the average cost of marriage being $35000 in the US, which very few millennials can afford, the youth simply isn’t giving into the idea of marriage. Hence, a booming economy in the US is not going to increase the number of marriages. However, the scenario is very different in India because of societal pressures on the youth for marriage.

Weddings are synonymous with status for Indians. The budget for Ambani’s wedding for INR 780 crore and Beyonce had flown in to sing at their Sangeet. Extravagance at its best.

Reports show that the Indian population living in the UK spend much more on weddings than other citizens in the UK. A leading designer from the UK called Aashni Shah states that an Indian bride spends around INR 12,00,000 to INR 18,00,000 only on wedding outfits. The Jewellery expenditure is also very high in Indian weddings and the most amount of money is spent on Jewellery in the wedding. Because of Indian weddings only, India’s gold consumption is 400-600 tonnes annually. Reports also show that 30-40 grams of gold is bought by each family during a marriage.

Zankyou is a popular website outside India. The concept is that the couple getting married choose the gifts that they want and make a registry and the guests pay for these weddings gifts chosen by the couple online. Their culture is still very new in India but it is still budding. The firm launched its sales in India first out of all other Asian countries because of the rising youth population. Panasonic also launched a projector which is specifically designed for Indian weddings to tap into the wedding market. Indians typically spend 30% of their life’s savings on weddings. Both Zankyou and Panasonic are targeting weddings which have a budget of over INR 6 crore.

There are also various weddings organizers like Neeta Raheja who only organize weddings which have a budget of INR 6 crore. There are other organizers like KWAN. This brand is synonymous with star weddings and is a luxury brand for organizing weddings. There is also Ferns and Petals and this brand has now turned into a nationwide wedding organizer. It is interesting to see that there are luxury brands cropping up in the field of wedding organization as well.

Sabyasachi, a famous clothing designer from Kolkata saw an increase in his Instagram following by many millions only because Bollywood stars started posting their marriage images in Lehengas designed by Sabyasachi. Star weddings are followed widely on social media and there is a new tradition of Instagram marriages where people shoot their entire wedding videos on Instagram and promote the jewellery and outfit brands on their Instagram pages. The brands, in turn, offer the products to these couples at a discount because their products are getting marketed.

Various countries have legalized homosexuality and same-sex marriages and this has led to a boom in the wedding industry. However, in India, same-sex marriage is still not legalized, hence there is not going to be a boom in the Indian wedding industry because of that yet. Research shows that legalizing same-sex marriage in countries raises the number of marriages by 20%.

            India is set to be the youngest country by 2020 with a median age of 29. This will be a huge boon to the wedding industry. There is also a rising trend where foreigners are flying to India to get married in destinations like Udaipur, Jaipur, Goa among various others. Priyanka Chopra got married in Umaid Bhawan Palace by Taj in Jodhpur. There are various Indians flying to get married abroad too. Deepika and Ranveer got married in Italy. Even if we leave the star marriages aside, there are many people opting for destination weddings.

            We know that even if there is another demonetization in the country, the wedding business will continue to flourish because ofthe traditional and the cultural value that marriage holds in our country.

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Vidhi is an Economics and Finance major and is in her third year at Ashoka. She is interested in Macro-economics and believes that good economic policies can change the face of the nation and improve the quality of life of millions. She is also a trekking enthusiast and absolutely loves to travel. Mountains are the love of her life. Simplicity in people baffles her.

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