After two tumultuous years of the pandemic related restrictions and subsided celebrations, the wedding business is poised to make a grander and richer comeback, says Rajeev Jain, Founder & MD, Rashi Entertainment.
Propelled by the ‘revenge buying’ trend, the weddings business is expected to set new benchmarks of growth and revenue generation this year, believes Rajeev Jain, Founder & MD, Rashi Entertainment. The deep desire for bigger and grander wedding celebrations has only been pronounced by the pandemic. “Post pandemic, the pent-up demand for wedding celebrations has pushed the “revenge buying’ trend. People are eager to celebrate their weddings like they used to but, with bigger budgets and stronger fervour,” says Jain.
A rising & shining industry
Speaking on the sidelines of the Wedding Travel Show 2022 in Dehradun, Jain stressed upon the need to make ‘Wedding Tourism’ – the way forward for the industry. While delivering a presentation on top wedding trends, he said, “The global wedding market size was valued at $160.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach 414.2 billion by 2030.” The Indian Wedding Industry is pegged at $50 Billion (approx. `5 lakh crores), which is the second best in the United States. “We will soon take the Number 1 spot,” he declared, as people are determined to make up for the lost time during the pandemic.
“Even in 2021, only 4 per cent of people chose small functions over large wedding celebrations. Furthermore, 42 per cent people preferred to go with 200 plus guests for their wedding functions while 32 per cent picked intimate weddings with a 100 plus guest list,” he added. As weddings are ingrained in Indian tradition and culture, the pandemic failed to shrink people’s enthusiasm for wedding celebration, which now returns with a vengeance translating into big budgets.
Wedding cost goes up
Driven by pent-up demand, the wedding cost is also rising. Jain shared, “In 2021, more than 50 per cent vendors charged higher for wedding services such as venues, photography, decoration, makeup, etc.” Even hotels have increased their prices by 30-40 per cent in 2022. “Buy-outs are not happening at anything below 75 lakhs or so. Having said this, the hotels also need to be more flexible with the wedding planners and treat wedding business as an equal partnership,” he emphasized.
Explaining the ‘revenge buying’ trend, which is pushing the cost of weddings, he said, “People have understood that there is no point keeping their money in their lockers. And Indians love to spend their money on celebrations.” There has been no cutback on celebration. As a matter of fact, the revenue share of social events beyond weddings has also increased. “46 per cent people are overspending on weddings,” he confirms.
India – Wedding tourism hub
Making a strong call for an ‘all year-round industry’, Jain said that as a progressive industry, “we should encourage people to get over the obsession for ‘saaya dates’, which are only 40 in a year.” Along with Industry stakeholders, Jain designed and started a campaign called “Har Din Shubh Hai” last year, in order to shift the business from a 40-days chock-a-block affair to a 200-days strong module. “A lot of hotels also came forward to support this campaign, which we ran on a huge scale during covid period,” he informs.
Wedding tourism generates huge revenue for international destinations as well. However, Jain makes a strong call for developing and projecting India as a top wedding tourism destination, attracting wedding revelers from around the globe. “We must approach the government bodies so that Wedding Tourism can see the light of the day. We need to take part in global shows and exhibitions to showcase our culture and heritage,” he advised.