There will be no such thing as a big, fat Indian wedding if the proposed Lok Sabha bill to limit wedding expenditure to Rs 5 lakh gets accepted. The idea is to limit the number of guests and dishes to avoid wastage of food, and also put a cap on extravagant weddings. If passed, the bill is sure to leave a dent on the flourishing wedding industry, and eat into the moolah that wedding planners make. And they’re already panicking.
“I’m in shock,” says Kaveri Vij from Designer Events Inc. She agrees that it will make people more socially conscious but will impact the wedding industry to a great extent. “Just the food, which is the main part of a wedding costs Rs 3 to 4 lakh when the wedding is organised at a five star hotel. If this bill is passed, the photographers and others associated with weddings will suffer too.”
Sumathy Bachchan of Wedding Sutra adds: “The basic idea is that people shouldn’t spend too much. But it’s only because Indians can spend that they are spending. What about the big fat Indian wedding?” She says people were anyway spending less since demonetisation. “Cash is the basic requirement for wedding. If there’s a limit to it then of course the wedding planning industry will suffer huge losses.”
There are some who only take lavish projects. “I organise destination weddings which start from Rs 1 crore,” says Uday Marwah of Premier Lifestyle. He informs that when it comes to destination weddings, the cost of booking one room in a luxury hotel is somewhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 a day. “Add to this the 35% service charge that the Government has levied, and the cost comes to far more than the proposed budget for a wedding with a sizeable guest list. If passed, this bill will finish the business of banquets and hotels, especially in the Delhi Aerocity area, which thrives on big weddings. The entire hospitality industry will suffer.”