Saturday, July 20, 2024

Decoding the economics behind Indian weddings

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After two years of close celebrations due to the pandemic, we have once again welcomed the wedding season with the same zeal as before. In order to understand the nature of Indian weddings, The Pioneer speaks to fashion designers, photographers, and psychologists, about the same.

Tanisha Saxena

Weddings are one of the most celebrated Indian experiences! It is one of the most important occasions in a person’s life. After two years of hiatus, we are looking at the wedding season with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we had before the pandemic.

Our perception has changed a lot as we understood the fragility of life. However, what continues is the discussion on Indian weddings as a personal affair vs planned extravaganza.

The Pioneer interacted with the corresponding industry including fashion designers, photographers, and in fact psychologists too, to try and understand the nature of Indian weddings at large.

Sunny Kapoor, an Indian fashion entrepreneur and CEO at Meenakshi Creations, a leading wedding wear business in the heart of Chandni Chowk, Delhi, explained, “The definition of love hasn’t changed post the pandemic, but spending priorities have definitely changed.

People from all walks of life dream of having the perfect wedding attire, and our job is to make sure they cherish that moment and keep the stress of affordability aside. Having said that, I admit not all brides can splurge on their wedding.

There should be affordable wedding fashion for every girl’s big day. Every woman should be able to celebrate her wedding in whatever budget she sets for her wedding lehenga. Whatever a bride’s budget may be, there’s always a great outfit waiting for her to be worn. Yes, brides do take references and inspiration from Bollywood films, which is only human to do, and why not!? At the end of the day, I encourage women to choose what suits them and their personality, which may or may not be similar to what a Bollywood bride wore at her wedding. Every wedding lehenga or saree has a story, and we believe it should be worth telling! A wedding outfit is not just a piece of garment, it is a memory of a lifetime, a symbol of new and happy beginnings, and ultimately it is an expression of love.”

Sunny has also closely observed that post the pandemic, people have cut down on the number of ceremonies they have during their weddings and the events are more intimate. So, brides and their families are buying lesser change of options and dresses than they would usually do.

Earlier in December, Sunny got married to independent filmmaker Guneet Monga.“Guneet is my wife. So designing anything for her was more than just custom-making and outfitting. She’s got a great sense of what suits her, so we both were very clear about marrying fashion, tradition, and comfort. I believe every bride should be able to waltz and dance her heart out in her wedding costumes, I wanted the same for Guneet. For her Mehndi, we went with a quintessential green outfit and an ivory creation for our Haldi. She’s super comfortable in her skin and I have to say (without any bias), that she looked stunning!” asserts Sharma.

Echoing the same Fashion designer Karan Torani says, “These days bride and groom and their families ask for the value of money. They have realised that life is very uncertain and they wish to celebrate the D-Day as a grand event but at the same time, the second thought is that they don’t want to buy something that becomes trash tomorrow. So, the couples getting married look for value in each product that they buy. They want something that can eventually turn into an heirloom piece.”

According to statistics, 83% of millennials choose to take wedding loans from third-party platforms like banks to finance their wedding. The Indian wedding market was estimated at Rs 3.68 trillion in 2016 and this year till December 14 an estimate of 32 lakh weddings with a trade of Rs 3.75 lakh crores took place. Numbers might be confusing but the tides are shifting. Now, people especially millennials are opting for a mid-scale wedding.

During the pandemic zoom weddings really changed the scenario and while the traditional flavour of Indian weddings stay intact, people are gradually understanding what’s important for themselves rather than running here and there to satisfy others. All this has brought a shift in the way people looked at weddings but it doesn’t mean that the businesses are getting affected.

Priyal Biyani from Utsav cards ( a wedding cards company from Hyderabad) says, “Now since after the pandemic, the guest list has come down so they have become a little liberal with the cost of the card and the design, theme, and much better quality of printing is required by both bride and groom. Customised cards are much in demand.”

Most Couples nowadays have enough knowledge of what they need and what they expect from people around them like designers or photographers. Ashok Bhupathiraju, 24MM Best Photography, Hyderabad, explain, “They compare all professional’s work and share pictures they like and suggest us to cater something new which is genuinely a challenging task and also motivates us to think beyond our creative minds.

There are no limits to creative thinking, We Studios come up with different concepts and storyboards prior to shooting in making couples understand our thought process and we too make sure couples are equally aware of what we are going to shoot.These days social media has really changed the game. The level is so high and couples are willing to spend money on shoots as obviously, this is the biggest day of their life and what’s going to stay are videos and pictures to look back at.”

Dr. Sujatha Rajamani, Consultant Psychiatrist at KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad shares, “When the dreams don’t work out it does affect the psyche of a person but the larger picture that one should focus on is the fact that they are going to spend the rest of their life with the person who they want to be with. This should be the prime factor of happiness rather than focusing on things that cannot be done. Since time immemorial in Indian culture we have been giving wedding day supreme importance and the advent of social media just furthered this. I believe that the whole idea of a wedding day should be reconstructed to enjoy the day. The pandemic has really brought this out for couples.

I think there are two types of wedding guest lists, the ones who come out of love and the other list is for social acceptance.”

In psychology the definition of perfection you see we compare it to the horizon, which is the land meeting the horizon…but as you walk towards the direction it keeps getting far. You actually never touch perfection and that’s how we compare the whole idea of perfection and horizon. Dr. Sujatha goes on, “Wedding is a private affair and if a couple enjoys the moment and just think about their priorities, then definitely the experience as a whole will hold more depth and value to the complete method of marriage itself.”

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