It is estimated that over 15 million weddings take place in India every year. In 2007, the size of the wedding industry was approximated at Rs 1,25,000 crore, with a growth potential of 25 per cent annually. The growth of the industry has led to the spawning of specialised professionals. Some semblance of structure is evident, with event firms hiring wedding planners.
The ‘profession’ began, as it did in the west, with individuals who planned weddings within their own family, offering their expertise outside their immediate family. Kshitij Arora, a wedding planner based in Andheri says, “At present, much of the wedding industry still means family run businesses.”
Yet, there is potential and with the entry of professionals, even MBA graduates, the industry is geared towards becoming more organised. Tension no more Till a decade ago, most families would just get relatives and friends to pitch in and tap the relevant contacts to ensure that the wedding day goes well.
Today, several upper scale families opt for wedding planners to manage the ceremony as well as the celebrations preceding and following it. Kavita Verma, who hired a wedding planner for her son’s wedding ceremony last year, says, “We saw how harassed families looked at weddings.
We wanted to enjoy the happy occasion to the fullest.. and we did.” Services provided include finalising the venue for the wedding and reception, organising the food and beverages, décor, transport, marriage arrangements (registration), invitation and give-away presents among others.
Client servicing An important requisite for a planner is that one has to have a sound background on the different religions.“Organisation, timing and an aesthetic sense too are highly important,” says Kimline D’Souza a wedding planner at Kandivili. Parul Menezes, 27, an event manager, remarks, “A wedding is a very personal affair and needs to be organised according to the client’s requirements — be it showy or simple.”
Money matters For a court marriage without any celebrations, the tab is within Rs 3,000. Otherwise, the sky is the limit. Exclusivity can be a stipulation as well with some planners charging as much as Rs 60 lakh or more to keep details of the event and the services absolutely hush-hush.
This year though, because of the financial crunch, cost consciousness has crept in. Kshama A, a wedding planner in Ghatkopar, has noticed a 10-15 per cent drop in client spending but hopes that the going will get better soon.