The big fat Indian wedding

Updated: Nov 13 2005, 05:30am hrs
Indian weddings are getting bigger and better. Its that time of the year when everyone gets into the mood to splurge. The expanding wedding market in India is pegged at Rs 50,000 crore by industry sources and is growing annually by 25-30%.

While the traditional tent wallah still rules the roost, creative wedding planners, fashion designers, florists, confectionery makers and event managers are cashing in on the flourishing wedding market.

From CTC Plaza, RCKC, Nallis, Satya Paul to the Diwan Sahibs, Mohan Lals and global giants Gucci (who have even opened their first store in Delhi to make the most of the season), Aigner, Rose-Handwerk, Bovet and Arcancil, Sohertos lifestyle products business has never been better.

Bregeut, the worlds most expensive luxury watch brand priced at Rs 8-15 lakh was launched in India, keeping the wedding market in mind.

Star Cruises even launched a cruise to Lakshwadeep primarily targeting honeymooners. New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and South Africa tourism departments specially design honeymoon packages at this time of the year. MBD Radisson offers a special Bride & Groom package, while everyone from Kaaya Skin Clinic to VLCC has quick fix beauty tips for radiant grooms and brides.

Consumer durables, furniture, clothing and jewellery sales go up by 25-30% in this season. Weddings are the perfect excuse to show off your wealth and status. There are outlets and designers for garments, jewellery and bridal make up, pandals, flowers, etc., who sell through catalogues and photographs. All of these are being driven by the upper and upper middle class income groups.

Inspired by Laxmi Mittal and Raveena Tandons imaginative theme weddings, exotic destinations like palaces in Rajasthan are the flavour of the season. Says wedding planner and decor stylist Mehr Sarid of Wedding Art, Even the middle class wants to have lavish weddings. And mind you no one wants to be flashy, so understated elegance is the order of the day. Temples of India, palace lookalikes and Sheesh Mahals are much in demand as decor. Im designing a wedding which has a Las Vegas lounge theme. The cuisine could be anything from Lebanese to Italian in case you want something different. And the estimated cost of a wedding with no-expenses spared could be between Rs 5 lakh- 5 crore.

For top jewellery houses like Tanishq, Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri, Nemichand Bamalwa, P C Chandra and DDamas, wedding jewellery forms the chunk of their business. It is estimated that 60% of the Rs 45,000-crore jewellery market is targeted at wedding purchases. Says V Govindraj, general manager (sales and marketing)

Tanishq: Every third quarter of the year you have the wedding season in India. But the third quarter is the best for us and we see a rise of about 30-35% in sales. While demand for mens jewellery is picking up the womens segment rules.

Designers too depend a lot on the wedding season for a thriving business. From adventurous Suneet Varma who is blending conventional wedding hues (pink, red and maroon) with unconventional accessories,

Raghavendra Rathores classic cut achkans teamed with Jodhpur pants to Mandira Wirks bold choli-lehenga and trousseau bigwigs Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani and JJ Valaya, everyone can celebrate. Lehngas priced at Rs 15,000-50,000 and complete trousseau at Rs 50,000 are very popular.

For those who need more than wedding planners, you also have dedicated shows, Brides & Grooms, Bridal Asia, wedding magazines and even a wedding mall in Patiala where everyone who is associated with the wedding business is there to help you along.

Yet another sector which thrives is consumer durables and home appliances. The market is pegged at Rs 5,000 crore. With the increasing trend of nuclear families, there is a tendency to buying household appliances/consumer electronics during this time. Reason enough for Danish entertainment giants Bang & Olufsen to launch their new range in style now.

In the season where the mantra seems, have money will spend, business can only get bigger. So there is reason to rejoice. And there are enough people to help make this once-in-a-lifetime affair memorable too.