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The ISBF Blog

The Big Fat Indian Wedding-The ISBF Gazette_Issue IX

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Simar Kohli  | Blog | Media

Indian weddings are considered a special occasion, celebrated with zest and enthusiasm. After all marriages have always been an important element of the Indian Tradition. But, I feel the wedding knot tied between two people is always accompanied with huge costs and hefty spending. Marriages which once comprised lucid rituals have now become an epitome of status symbol and showing off. India's burgeoning middle class – now 300 million strong – are turning weddings into showcases of their growing disposable incomes and new found appetites for the goodies of the global marketplace. The average budget for an Indian wedding ceremony is $34,000 (Rs 17,00,000) while the upper-middle and rich classes are known to spend upward of $2 million.(Rs 10,00,00,000) and the average American wedding costs $26,327. The latest fad is to stage the whole shebang on pontoons, putting family and friends on a veritable flotilla of flaunted wealth. Now to much of a surprise, this figure doesn't include cash and valuables given as part of a dowry. If you consider the fact that India's middle class are those considered to be earning “$4,545 to $23,000 a year”, weddings are priced comparably to an Ivy League education in the US. And after researching further into this matter, what I get to know is that excess is in order in all departments of the Indian wedding industry, estimated to be a staggering US$ 25.5 billion (Rs.1,42,596 crore) – certainly the economy of a small country and growing at an explosive rate of 20 to 25 per cent every year. Indian wedding market is a USD 30 billion industry. If we account for all the capital expenditure (investment in cars, jewelry etc.) that surrounds it, this amount is USD 120 billion. And yes, now we are talking big numbers. The Fact that people have surplus money to spend certainly is associated with the extravagant spending. Weddings are (hopefully) a once-in-alifetime event, and matrimony is a big event, but as we all know, happy memories are certainly not created by extravagant spending.

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