There is now an Indian "wedding industry" and not only is it alive and kicking but it is growing in leaps and bounds every season. Value of this industry- Rs 50,000 crores growing at 25% annually. In a country where more than 25% of its citizens are living under the poverty line still, the major newsmakers in the last few years have been weddings to die for- Liz Hurley to the PIO Nayar, Ms Mittal, and of course the dandy Master Chatwal to the oh-so-ethereal Priya Sachdev.
Look at the diamond advertisements on TV recently. Just 2 months back they targeted the upwardly mobile woman with "a mind of her own". Start November and they have all veered towards the wedding market, the bride-to-be, or her family. Even solitaires have their takers- to make your love shine brighter just buy a diamond for her.
The designers are cashing in. Its known that all designers in the world worth her/his needle will have a wedding range. Now they are going public about it, and how. Tie-ups between designers and jewelery houses are common. Bags, shoes, even watches have wedding collections. The tourism business is publicizing honeymoon packages in Malaysia, the Carribbean, or even in hippie heaven Goa. Furniture "wedding packages" are going at heavy discounts.
Magazines specialising in wedding and everything associated with it sell like hot cakes. No wonder every magazine carries a wedding special at this time. The latest buzz in India is the appointment of Wedding Planner. Supposedly everyone wants an "English Garden", or a "Beach" or a "Pink" wedding. Its providing for a lot of people- the flower arranger, the card maker, the cake maker, even the specialised gift packager.
And now, for the last few years enter the specialised marriage fairs, where you get everything but the groom. Its such a huge hit that they are traveling offshore to places like Dubai or inland to a Lucknow or an Ahmedabad.
Wedding in India is big business. Now only if I had an idea how to cash in on it...