The Indian Wedding Industry Trends That Will Dominate in 2019
The market is predicted to grow at 20 to 25 per cent annually for the next few years and hence offering a plethora of opportunities
An Indian wedding isn't often prefixed with the term "grand" for no reason. It is a stewpot of colours and hope and tradition, attended by a few hundred, sometimes even thousands, and represents a cultural identity that subsumes millions. Market-wise, the industry is valued at an estimated $50 billion, which is second only to the United States according to The Hindu Business Online.
The Indian wedding industry, often considered recession-proof, continues to cater to more than 10 wedding millions every year according to a Business Insider report. And with India's median age set to be as low as 29 years by the year 2020, it makes for a huge market with a tremendous readymade scope to expand.
The market is predicted to grow at 20 to 25 per cent annually for the next few years. While it is a self-perpetuating industry so deeply ingrained in our way of life that it is set to be around forever, the sudden surge in its growth can be traced to the revised hopes and constraints of the modern age, which is driving a massive shift in outlook towards Indian weddings.
The budget is not a question here. According to a Matrimony.com survey completed in 2018, 20.6per cent of the participating females were going to spend INR. 10 to 20 lakh on their wedding, whereas the figure stood at 11.2per cent of males. Research also suggests that some people tend to spend as much as one-third of their life's savings on one wedding, and they will continue to do so, but the motivation behind it all is starting to change. People are now cautious about how they spend their money, choosing the experience of the wedding over the number of attendees, choosing quality over quantity. Smaller, grander, more beautiful weddings are starting to define the modern trend.
Destination: Take me Somewhere Else
With the wedding budget intact but with motivations no longer the same, destination weddings are the new hit. How do you spend the money on your own people? You take them out of the banquet hall, and into the wild. You give the traditions a spin.
Living in cities, as convenient as it is, is a hassle. There are traffic and pollution in addition to swathes of people, and given all, we do every day is brave through it, on and off from work and to our way to the grocery store, it is unfortunate if weddings subscribe to the same. That is one of the reasons that is pushing Indian weddings to the city suburbs. And to the mountains and beaches and lakes, depending on the budget you have. The idea has evolved from serving the best food to your guests to serving them the best experience, so it matters where they stay and how they are taken care of. Quite pleasantly, it is starting to become less and less about how to deal with the mass and the mess.
Invitations: Show Some Creativity, Please
Given the ecosystem of Indian weddings is changing, it is only fair that the invitations are changing too. Gone are the days when paper invites were a thing. Nobody has the time to go to a post office and endure the hassles of actually posting the invites off. And we aren't even talking about postage stamps and courier charges. So e-invites, posted with just a "send" button from the comforts of your home, is how it is done later. The people who matter will turn up anyway. They are a phone call away.
But as convenient as e-invites are, they can also come off as somewhat cold. Your guests deserve an invite that is warmer and less generic, something that tells your story better than that picture lying dormant in someone's phone gallery. GIF invites are chic and form the new trend. You can even have them custom-made online. They aren't very costly, look cool and modern and trendy, and actually, end up saving your money and the environment at the same time.
Everything Bespoke: It's About You
The customization doesn't limit itself to the invites. Couples are increasingly making sure that the wedding is more about them than about the couple that last hired their wedding planner. It's the age of wedding themes which are carefully synced with the location of your destination wedding. The decoration, the colour of the flowers, and the paper napkins are all taken care of. Even the food tells your story. Isn't that kind of the point?
Rites and Rituals: Many Into One
Indian weddings are no longer contained within the boundaries of caste and religion. You see more and more people choosing someone who is right for them, and not necessary "socially correct". And that needed weddings to take a huge leap of faith. Merging of cultures is an endearing sight, grinding what we have into something more beautiful. And there are many permutations and combinations that exist. India is so, so lucky to be so diverse. It allows you to be creative in so many more ways.
Indian weddings are quickly embracing moving out of their comfort zone, be it in terms of venue, invites or the overall experience. They are a brilliant mix of traditional and convenience now, and it serves everyone right. The scope has only grown over the years, the budget more so, but the theme now centres around you and the people who matter. So when it is your turn, being bold is the best thing you can do. Traditional yet bold can be a thing after all.