Since time immemorial, the matrimonial institution in India has been, at its essence, a festive commemoration, as elucidated in the epic narratives of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Despite the gravitas attached to marriage, Indians embrace it with a festive spirit, recognizing the ephemeral nature of life. From the intricacies of the bride's lehenga to the meticulous wedding decor, Indians strive for perfection, transforming their affinity for fairytale weddings into a thriving million-dollar industry. This industry encompasses a spectrum of contributors, from small wedding card designers to garland makers and high-end designer labels.
As per a survey conducted by the Confederation of All India Traders (Cait), India is poised for its grandest wedding season between November 23 and December 15 this year. The survey estimates a staggering 3.5 million weddings during this period, projecting a substantial economic surge in the wedding industry. The anticipated flow of approximately Rs 4.25 trillion in wedding-related purchases and services reflects the monumental scale of these celebrations. In Delhi alone, over 350,000 weddings are expected, constituting 10% of the total within India during these dates and potentially generating Rs 1 trillion for the sector. Last year, 3.2 million weddings took place during the same period, with expenses totaling around Rs 3.75 trillion.
Cait's national president, B.C. Bhartia, and secretary general, Praveen Khandelwal, categorize wedding expenditures into five segments, ranging from Rs 3 lakh to over Rs 1 crore per wedding. The Indian wedding industry, currently valued at $100 billion, is anticipated to double by 2030. This growth is fueled by factors such as a burgeoning middle class, increased disposable incomes, and a rising preference for destination weddings.
India's demographic profile, with 34% of the population aged 20-39 and close to 10% aged 15-19, sets the stage for sustained industry growth. The marriage of multiple industries within the Indian wedding sector, including apparel, events, and hospitality, underscores its colossal influence. Unlike celebrations in many cultures lasting one to two days, Indian weddings extend over three to seven days, involving key sectors such as hotels, catering, decoration, and entertainment.
Key components of the Indian wedding industry include matrimony services, venues, catering, decor, apparel, jewelry, and entertainment. Arranged marriages, constituting 93% of unions, drive a diverse matchmaking business, ranging from traditional matchmakers to online platforms like Matrimony.com, valued at over INR 1300 crores.
Wedding venues, ranging from traditional palaces to modern hotels, form a critical aspect, as does catering, renowned for its lavish feasts featuring diverse cuisines. Elaborate decor, personalized outfits, and traditional jewelry contribute to the opulence of Indian weddings. The cultural shift towards conscious consumption is evident in increasing expenditures on outfits not only for couples but also for close family members and friends, driven by the desire for aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-worthy weddings.
Renowned designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee emphasizes that wedding collections are no longer limited to brides. The Indian wedding and celebration wear apparel market is projected to grow at a 15% to 17% CAGR, reaching INR 1,325 billion to 1,375 billion by FY2025. The growth is not only fueled by couples but also by demand from their close circles.
Jewelry holds a significant place in Indian weddings, with brides adorning necklaces, earrings, bangles, and anklets. Entertainment, featuring live music, dance performances, and various forms of entertainment, is integral to Indian weddings.
Hotels play a crucial role in elevating the grandeur of weddings. Although the hotel industry faced challenges during the pandemic, the lifting of restrictions has resulted in a noticeable uptick in revenue from events and weddings.
India hosts 25% of the world's weddings, with couples taking a more active role, especially accelerated by digital platforms and Medtech during the pandemic. Wedding budgets in India this year range from Rs 1 crore to Rs 19 crore, depending on factors like scale, destination, and guest count, as noted by industry experts Tina Tharwani and Nitya Bagri.
The evolving trends in the Indian wedding industry include destination weddings, themed ceremonies, personalized touches, and a growing emphasis on sustainability. The desire for unique experiences and personalization is evident across various sectors, including travel, food and beverages, and gifting.
Trends in the Indian Wedding Industry
The landscape of the Indian wedding industry is in constant flux, shaped by emerging trends that redefine the sector's dynamics:
A rising trend sees couples opting for exotic locales such as beach resorts, hill stations, and palaces for their nuptials.
Another prevalent trend involves couples choosing specific themes for their weddings, ranging from Bollywood and fairy tales to vintage motifs.
Couples are increasingly seeking ways to infuse their weddings with personal touches, extending from unique attire choices to crafting their wedding cakes.
There's a growing inclination towards sustainable weddings in India, with couples making eco-friendly choices for venues, catering, and decorations.
Customization, with a focus on enhancing guest experiences, lies at the core of meticulously curated high-end weddings. Shivan Gupta emphasizes the importance of details, ensuring that even scaled-down weddings maintain an elevated experience for guests.
Couples are exploring innovative decor for wedding ceremonies to create immersive sensory experiences. Ambika Gupta, founder, and creative director of The A-Cube Project shares an example where a wedding at Umaid Bhawan Palace aimed to recreate the vibrant atmosphere of a flower market.
Personalization is a crucial aspect of creating a distinct and lavish wedding. An example is a ceremony inspired by a proposal in the Maldives, with custom embroidered outfits featuring dolphins and marine life.
Wedding gifts are a significant investment, influenced by social media and a growing interest in conscious gifting. Sustainable brands like Sarjaa, a women's handbag brand, have witnessed a surge in orders for wedding gifts.
In the post-pandemic era, couples are favoring craft brands over mainstream ones for alcohol at weddings. There's a notable shift towards premium choices like aged tequilas, as observed by Kunal Patel and Hemang Chandat of Monika Alcobev.
A notable trend is the rising interest in sustainable luxury, with couples incorporating eco-friendly elements and waste management plans into their weddings. A growing number of couples are prioritizing sustainability, with nearly 25% of inquiries received by Shaadi Squad post-pandemic expressing a desire for eco-friendly elements. This marks a significant increase from the pre-pandemic era.
Measures such as waste management plans to minimize environmental impact are becoming integral to wedding planning. The A-Cube Project collaborates with NGOs and local artisans for eco-friendly decor elements, reflecting a conscious effort to reduce carbon footprints.
Unlike in the past, weddings are no longer confined to specific seasons. The concept of seasonal weddings is evolving, with millennials embracing destination weddings throughout the year. This shift aligns with the preference for intimate weddings, favored by around 80% of Indian families.
The New Way Forward
The Indian wedding industry, currently estimated at Rs 3.78 lakh crore, is projected to experience annual growth rates of 20 to 25 percent, as stated by Praveen Chander Kumar of IHCL. This evolution is marked by couples adopting a more enterprising, conscious, and selective approach to weddings, aiming to showcase their unique identities.
The trend of young couples striving to create distinctive wedding experiences appears to be a lasting phenomenon, signifying a departure from traditional norms.
Indian Wedding Startups
Here are a few wedding startups in India:
|Venue booking, Vendor discovery, Wedding planning tools, Wedding blog
WedMeGood is a leading wedding planning platform in India that offers a wide range of services to help couples plan their perfect wedding. From venue booking and vendor discovery to wedding planning tools and a popular wedding blog, WedMeGood has everything you need to make your wedding day a success.
Founded in 2014, WedMeGood is one of the most popular wedding planning platforms in India, with over 1 million users and a presence in over 100 cities. The platform offers a wide range of services, including:
- Venue Booking: WedMeGood has a comprehensive directory of wedding venues in India, from palaces and banquet halls to beach resorts and hill stations.
- Vendor Discovery: WedMeGood has a wide range of vendors in its directory, including photographers, videographers, caterers, makeup artists, and décor specialists.
- Wedding Planning Tools: WedMeGood offers a suite of wedding planning tools to help couples with everything from creating a budget to managing their guest list.
- Wedding Blog: WedMeGood has a popular wedding blog that features expert advice, inspiration, and real wedding stories.
|Venue booking, Vendor discovery, Wedding planning tools, Personalized Wedding Planning
ShaadiSaga now WeddingBazaar is another popular wedding planning platform in India that offers a similar range of services to WedMeGood. They are known for their focus on providing personalized wedding planning experiences.
Founded in 2015, ShaadiSaga has a team of experienced wedding planners who work closely with couples to create their dream weddings. The platform offers a wide range of services, including:
- Venue Booking: ShaadiSaga has a comprehensive directory of wedding venues in India, from palaces and banquet halls to beach resorts and hill stations.
- Vendor Discovery: ShaadiSaga has a wide range of vendors in its directory, including photographers, videographers, caterers, makeup artists, and décor specialists.
- Wedding Planning Tools: ShaadiSaga offers a suite of wedding planning tools to help couples with everything from creating a budget to managing their guest list.
- Personalized Wedding Planning: ShaadiSaga offers a personalized wedding planning experience that is tailored to the needs and preferences of each couple.
|Wedding vendor information
Weddingplz is a Delhi-based wedding planning platform that offers a comprehensive directory of wedding vendors in India. They also have a strong presence in the North Indian wedding market.
Founded in 2013, Weddingplz is a leading provider of wedding vendor information in India. The platform has a comprehensive directory of wedding vendors, including photographers, videographers, caterers, makeup artists, and décor specialists.
The Wedding Brigade
|Venue booking, Vendor discovery, Travel arrangements
The Wedding Brigade is a Mumbai-based wedding planning platform that specializes in destination weddings. They offer a range of services, including venue booking, vendor discovery, and travel arrangements. Wedding Brigade is a Mumbai-based wedding planning platform that specializes in destination weddings. They offer a range of services, including venue booking, vendor discovery, and travel arrangements.
Founded in 2015, Wedding Brigade is a one-stop shop for couples planning a destination wedding. The platform offers a wide range of services, including:
Venue booking: Wedding Brigade has a comprehensive directory of destination wedding venues, from beach resorts to hill stations to palaces.
Vendor discovery: Wedding Brigade has a wide range of destination wedding vendors in its directory, including photographers, videographers, caterers, makeup artists, and décor specialists.
Travel arrangements: Wedding Brigade can help couples with all of their travel arrangements, including flights, hotels, and transportation.
|Wedding products and services
Shaadimagic.com is a Delhi-based wedding planning platform that offers an online solution for wedding shopping. They have a wide range of wedding products and services available on their website.
Founded in 2014, Shaadimagic.com is a leading online wedding store in India. The platform offers a wide range of wedding products and services, including clothing, jewelry, décor, and invitations.
How many weddings are expected during the wedding season between November 23 and December 15 this year?
A survey from Cait estimates a staggering 3.5 million weddings during this period, projecting a substantial economic surge in the wedding industry.
Which are the top wedding startups in India?
What are the trends in the Indian wedding industry?
The trends in the Indian wedding industry include destination weddings, Theme weddings, Personalized weddings, and Sustainable weddings.