‘Love’ Economy

India-the country to more than 808 million youth- sees 30,000 marriages a day! And in this country, weddings are celebrated as once-in-a-lifetime grandeur showing exuberance, respect, social status and an alliance of not only the bride and groom but amongst two families. The Indian wedding has always been chubbier than what it is in the western part and the big fat Indian Wedding Industry in its current form is estimated to be a staggering US$ 25.5 billion which translates to INR 142596 crore, generating revenues to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore annually. Big cities like Mumbai and Delhi contribute nearly Rs 7,000 crore each per annum. The rest being creeping across cities like Pune, Bangalore, Ahemadabad, Indore and so on.

In today’s market, The average budget for an Indian wedding ceremony in the middle class is estimated to be around Rs.19.01 lakh, while the upper-middle and rich classes are estimated to spend upward of Rs.5.59 crore- excluding cash and valuables given as part of a dowry. This obese market rides on a growth rate of 20-25% a year and internet is gradually gaining more significance as the platform where the business entities are making most of the thriving market.

Let’s explore some of the emerging trends which bolster the big fat Indian wedding industry-

The estimated average age of India as of 2011 is 26 years, which implies that a large proportion of population is in the marriage age group. With around 240 families in India, if we consider one marriage per family every 20 years, on average India has around 10 million marriages per year.

By 2015-16, population belonging to the middle-class category is expected to increase to 267 million. With more women entering the workforce the proportion of disposal income is on the rise and it will encourage population to spend generous for the specials occasion.

Companies like GE Money India and many other banks and financial institution have started lending marriage loans to make wedding hassle free experience. The couples or their families are even opting to buy marriage insurance that takes care of contingencies during marriage such as cancellation or postponement due to fire or natural disaster, accident of bride/groom or burglary.

Wedding ceremonies in India are occasion for the families to put their opulence on display as the lavishness of the events becomes the parameter for measuring social status. Moreover, the middle class people save portion of their earning throughout their life to spend extravagantly for the grand celebration of the marriage of their children. Because of these savings ear-marked for wedding, the spend-out on celebration is hardly affected by economic downturns, making the wedding industry recession – proof.

The fast paced and competitive professional life makes it difficult for the families to invest quality time in planning and organizing each aspect of the grand occasion and this makes space for the growing business of the wedding planners. Getting it organized by the professionals also relieves the bride’s parents of minute arrangement and allows them to enjoy the occasion.

In the ancient India, emperor Shahjahan built the iconic Taj Mahal in the name of love, and all over India today, love continues to drive spending, fuel growth and create jobs, often surpassing Shahjahan’s spree in a single week.

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