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Financing the grand Indian wedding

15 Dec 2023

Goal based investing
Virat and Anushka’s smiling at their wedding in Tuscany

Let’s look at the financial dynamics of the Indian wedding industry, touching on its economic significance, its meaning in society and evolving trends. We dissect the financial intricacies that define this opulent sector, offering insight into this growing industry where Bollywood and real-life intersect.

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    Here comes December, and also the big Indian wedding season! Weddings, as we know, are a grand affair in our country - typically celebrated with great pomp and splendor. They are not just ceremonies; they are a manifestation of culture, tradition, and social status. The wedding industry in India is a booming business, with families sparing no expense to make this special day a memorable one.

    A multi billion dollar growing economy

    The wedding industry is estimated to be worth around Rs 3.75 lakh crores, and is expected to grow by 20-25% annually. It has a profound impact on the GDP, and creates millions of jobs directly and indirectly. Services like catering and venue, gifting, decoration, event planning, logistics, photography/videography, HMU, and invitation printers all thrive during this time. About 60,000 crore worth of jewelry is bought every year for weddings, 5,000 crore worth of hotel rooms, and 10,000 crore worth of clothing is bought for weddings every year. (source: TOI)

    Here are some insane stats on why it is one of the top economies in India:

    1. 20% of life income — is typically spent on Indian wedding
    2. 20% of all loans — taken in India are for weddings
    3. 80% of Indians — take a loan to meet wedding expenses (Private or Public)
    4. 70% of weddings — have average spending of 6 lakhs to 1 Crore in India.

    Season and regions

    Weddings are typically not a year-round affair. They are clustered during specific seasons, primarily in the winter months and auspicious dates according to the Hindu calendar. The demand for wedding-related services varies across regions as well, with North India traditionally hosting more extravagant weddings compared to South India. These variations in timing and location have a significant impact on the industry's financial dynamics.

    In the name of culture and tradition

    One of the reasons why expenses are so high is also because often weddings are multi event affairs. Each community and region has its unique customs and rituals. Some old and dated, and often insignificant to modern life. However, the desire to honor these age old traditions often leads to substantial expenses. For example, traditional ceremonies like Mehendi, Sangeet, and Baraat have become elaborate affairs with their own set of expenses.

    A reflection of social status and prestige

    Weddings in India, unlike many other countries, are not just personal celebrations; they are a reflection of social status. Families often go to great lengths to host opulent weddings to showcase their affluence and social standing. This can result in extravagant spending on venues, décor, and entertainment. People also want to invite as many people as they can - it’s common to invite extended family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

    The influence of Bollywood and celebrities

    Bollywood movies often showcase extravagant and stylish wedding attire, jewelry, and makeup. These film sets and style inspire brides, grooms and their families, to emulate the fashion choices of their favorite Bollywood stars and films. It allows people to put forth a larger-than-life experience for that one special day.

    From Deepika Padukone’s lehenga in Ram Leela to Aishwarya Rai’s jewelry in Jodha Akbar and more recently, the light beige and pink lehengas worn by Alia Bhatt, Athiya Shetty and Parineeti Chopra at their own weddings inspire fashion designers and brides alike.

    Wedding loans on the rise

    “Marry Now, Pay Later” has become a trending term in the personal loan sector. “As lakhs of weddings unfold across the nation, credit emerges as a pivotal ally, empowering families to weave their dream celebrations into reality. A wedding loan, with its instantaneous approval and flexible repayment terms, empowers one to orchestrate a wedding without grappling with financial gaps. It facilitates quick loan approvals within seconds to minutes, requiring minimal documentation," said Yashoraj Tyagi, CEO of CASHe.

    But is it wise to take loans for weddings? The answer is something which is individual to each one of us. For a savvy investor, a loan is a way to not touch their growing investments. For a concerned parent, a loan could be a way to ensure that they can finance the wedding without any hiccups. Each individual needs their own tailored solution.

    If you are a bride/groom/parent, ask yourself these 3 questions:

    1. How much do we really want to spend on this wedding?
    2. How much can we afford to spend?
    3. How much should we really spend so that the family is happy and reasonable expectations on both sides are met?

    In conclusion, weddings and their finances are influenced by cultural traditions, social status, and personal preferences, needs and bias. While lavish spending on weddings is common, recent trends also indicate that there is a shift toward more intimate, sustainable, and personalized celebrations.

    As the wedding industry continues to evolve, couples and their families will be navigating the delicate balance between preserving tradition, acknowledging modern ways and managing costs. Ultimately, a successful wedding is not measured solely by its extravagance but by the joy and love it brings to those involved.


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