The Great Indian Wedding Factory!
Marriages are made in heaven True But surely the fun and the frolic is all made on earth Gone are the days when the family would be working day and...
Marriages are made in heaven! True. But surely the fun and the frolic is all made on earth. Gone are the days when the family would be working day and night to get together a wedding and look exhausted, to say the least on the D-day. For some time now, people of all classes have been engaging in customised marriage services as per their budget and requirement that makes the arrangements a cake walk, to say the least.
With so much ease at hand, it has only become that much easier to conceptualise a dream wedding. Size is no big deal; the bigger the better. You can aim at the sky and you may end up getting it with sun and the stars too. All you need is money and imagination. And of course, the right people to work with.
Bigger venues, larger buffets, designer clothes, well-choreographed sangeets have all been done and dusted. What else can you do to make weddings different, unique? This question is probably the reason Indian weddings have been steadily becoming bigger and elaborate gaining the name world over as the ‘The Great Indian Weddings’.
Destination weddings for one have surely made inroads. From the casas and villas of Italy to the resorts in Mauritius, and closer home destinations like Pondicherry and all-time favourites like Jaipur and Goa, with the guests flown in, put in hotel rooms and attended to in the most diligent of manners. Vardhaman Jain of Hyderabad-based Shooting Starz says that it all begins with the invitations. Ambanis’ boxed wedding invite filled with goodies and jewellery is an example of how the extravagance begins with the invite.
“Logistics has become one of the prime areas we as event managers focus on. From sending invitations to arranging for tickets, receiving the guests and at times assigning a personal coordinator to each family who takes care of all their requirements, arranging transport to the venue, checking them into the room, presenting them with a hamper and the itinerary for the wedding event is all taken care of by the planners,” he shares.
A wedding that was being conducted for three days has now extended to almost a week. A typical North Indian wedding event post the engagement involves Haldi, Mehendi, Sangeet, the actual wedding ritual at the mandap and vidai followed by the reception. These are spread over 5 to 6 days and the guests are kept busy with elaborate lunches, fun-filled dinners, entertainment and events, sometimes at different venues, and at times at the same venue.
“For each event, be it lunch or dinner, a different theme, location, menu and décor is planned. For Haldi the entire family prefers to be dressed in yellow and décor is planned accordingly, Mehendis are planned according to various themes. For example, if its South Indian, the guests are all dressed in sarees and men in traditional South Indian clothes, sourcing of which is again an event planners’ responsibility.
Then there are pool parties that follow Hawaiian themes, casinos are created, carnivals are set up, games are conducted. Entertainers and artists are sourced from across the world. Even food gets international touch not just in terms of the cuisine but in bringing over popular food joints from across the world. Once we brought in the Turkish ice cream guy from Bangkok,” shared Lokender, partner, Shooting Starz, who organised several big and medium weddings in Hyderabad.
While there are decorators coming up with some of the exquisite décor ideas to outlandish ones, from floral decorations with flowers sourced from far and wide and executed by local decorators to Tarun Tahilianis of the world to themes and exorbitant sets that would put a Bollywood movie to shame have become the order of the day. South Indians continue to prefer traditional temple and palace themes. North Indian marriages have taken it way beyond the normal. “Today Mandap decorations are much simpler when compared to the entry passage which is probably the first thing that a guest observes on entering the venue.
Lakhs of rupees are spent just on getting this part right. Then comes Varmala where people are generously spending and coming up with unique themes that involve sets, music, lights, choreographers, performers, art directors and a whole lot of men that put in their labour to create a mindboggling experience. The cost can go on to any extent based on the theme and people involved,” share the young entrepreneurs, who are in a field that is never affected by the recession; the Indian wedding industry.
You add the wedding couture for the bride and groom sourced from the best of the designers plus the marriage party, make-up done by trained experts, gold and diamond jewellery, customised gifts for the guests and such other knicks and knacks, all carrying the mark of exclusivity, it does add up to quite a bit of budget. Wedding videography and photography is a separate art. The professionals charge a bomb but deliver beautiful frames, candid moments and amazing videos that would be on par with any mainstream movie.
From creating a 50 ft Eiffel Tower and taking up the couple to an elevation with the help of hydraulics and they exchange garlands almost in the air amidst fanfare and lights to recreating ‘Baahubali’ sets and theme complete with the army and weaponry and showering rose petals, one never exhausts of ideas. “It is mostly the clients that come up with their requirement, they only have to engage the right people with the necessary wherewithal and expertise and the job will be done,” relates Lokender.
Not to be left behind the affluent amongst South Indians too are engaging in long drawn wedding celebrations replete with Mehendi and Sangeet ceremonies and everything else that amounts to fun and entertainment.
“The extravagant weddings are becoming possible to execute because we are finally starting to see all the wedding fraternities, including some of the biggest names, are coming together to create the weddings on a scale never seen before.
Be it planners, bridal designers or decorators, the wedding landscape hasn’t seen collaboration on this level. And this goes on to prove the old saying that two hands are better than one, and when people work together, impossible is just a word,” shares Dakshna N Naidu Wedding Vows, Founder & CEO.
Conservative estimates done a couple of years ago place the wedding industry in India as being worth US$40 billion a year and growing at about 20 per cent annually (The National) and weddings cost up to 200 m rupees and above on the top end.
And one can only imagine the hundreds of people earning their money from the industry at every level, from manual labourers to experts, curators and creative team to management professionals. And bringing them all together are the wedding planners. India’s wedding planning market alone is set to reach 1.6 trillion rupees by 2020, according to research (2016) by Ken Research, an industry intelligence firm based in Gurgaon.
In fact, did you know that there is a tour package offered exclusively for foreign tourists to be a part of an Indian wedding? Yes. There is; and come to think of it, if this trend catches up the Great Indian Wedding Factory too will become bigger and will then become a profitable preposition for not just the event managers and service providers but also the clients who spend crores of rupee only to create an experience and memories that last forever and stories for people to speak of until the next big one.