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Wedding industry clocks Rs 4.74 trn in earnings in 2023, up 26.4%: Report

Shared financial responsibilities, renting jewellery, and cars over horses among growing trends defining millennial and gen-z weddings, according to WedMeGood's annual report

weddings, marriage

Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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The wedding industry has become the fourth largest in India, propelled by increasing urbanisation, rising disposable income, rise of wed-tech, and social media influence. 2023 saw Rs 4.74 trillion in earnings, marking a 26.4 per cent increase compared to 2022, according to the annual report released by WedMeGood.

WedMeGood, an Indian wedding planning website and app, has released key findings from its comprehensive annual survey, shedding light on the evolving trends and dynamics within the Indian wedding industry. With over 2400 brides and grooms polled, along with insights from 500 wedding vendors, the survey offers a glimpse into the upcoming wedding season and shifting preferences between September 2023 to April 2024.

Post-pandemic recovery: Increase in wedding guests

In the wake of challenges posed by the pandemic, the Indian wedding industry has undergone a significant transformation in the past three years. WedMeGoods' survey indicates a 14.8 per cent increase in the average wedding guest size from 2022, now standing at an average 310 guests, up from 270. However, around 12 per cent of couples did opt for more intimate gatherings.

28 - The average age for marriage

The average age of marriage for couples in both love and arranged marriages was 28. Around 15.6 per cent of millennials revealed that they met their match via dating apps, and 32 per cent met through match-makers and relatives.

Who pays for Indian weddings?

On the financial front, 59 per cent of people stated that financial costs were shared equally between the bride and groom's family, showing a changing dynamic in financial contributions. However, 32 per cent of weddings still had the bride's side of the family bearing the financial burden and nine per cent said that the groom's side of the family paid for the wedding costs.

Financial independence among brides and grooms is also gaining popularity, with only 30 per cent of weddings being fully funded by parents.

A resounding 70 per cent of brides and grooms stated that they contributed to their weddings in 2023, and 21.1 per cent of couples covered half of the overall wedding costs. This trend is expected to persist in 2024.

Among costs covered by brides and grooms, around 16 said they paid for their engagement rings, while 15 per cent said they paid for their wedding outfits, honeymoon and hair & makeup.

Around 36 per cent of brides opted for artificial jewellery and 16 per cent chose to rent their jewellery, reflecting a focus on pocket-friendly decisions.

Sustainability in Indian weddings: E-cards, organic materials & no plastic

Sustainable celebrations are gaining prominence, with 52 per cent of people adopting eco-friendly measures in weddings. This included measures such as choosing cars over horses (14.2 per cent), limiting plastic use (11.4 per cent), using reusable artificial flowers (11.2 per cent), and donating excess food (10.4 per cent). Around 46 per cent also chose to send out e-invitations over cards.

Vendors also took up eco-friendly measures such as using organic or locally sourced materials, opting for environmentally-friendly packaging and carbon offset, among others.

Destination weddings: West Asia surpasses Thailand

Destination weddings are on the rise, constituting 21 per cent in 2024 compared to 18 per cent in 2022. The survey also found that West Asia surpassed Thailand as a favourite for wedding destinations. Nearly 30 per cent of vendors claimed that Dubai, Bahrain, and Oman were preferred wedding destinations, followed by Thailand and Italy. Bali and Turkey were also emerging international destinations for Indian weddings.

Domestically, Rishikesh is emerging as a sought-after destination, poised to become a hotspot for memorable celebrations due to its growing number of hotels, according to WedMeGood. 

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First Published: Jan 16 2024 | 3:17 PM IST

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