More than a decade ago, the wedding sector underwent a revolution. The idea of ‘designing’ custom weddings became all the rage. Suddenly, there were destination weddings, themed weddings, grand outdoor weddings, royal weddings and beach weddings everywhere, each of them designed to give couples their spotlight day.
The digital age has helped this wedding industry grow in leaps and bounds. In India, the land where the concept of big fat weddings originated, there are approximately 1,00,00,000 marriages in a year!! Consequently, the business of shaadis and its allied services is booming.
The Birth of the Indian Wedding Fraternity
The paradigm shift in weddings gave a free pass to couples to run their imaginations wild. Couples dreamt of their fairytale wedding stories. As the craze for bespoke weddings caught on, brides and grooms became the centre of a fraternity that soon evolved to include professional service providers like candid wedding photographers, wedding film-makers, event planners, wedding designers, wedding makeover and mehendi artists, wedding consultants, agriculturists and florists, artists and entrepreneurs.
Indeed, the wedding fraternity blossomed around the brides and grooms, like a garland. It has been on a continuous upward growth ever since as evidenced by this year’s (2016-17) growth of approximately 25%.
Every couple gets their dream wedding
Indian couples were determined to make their wedding day memorable and unique. Especially South Indian families who set their expectations sky high. They demanded more than skill and talent from their vendors. They demanded creativity and innovative solutions at competitive pricing from all their vendors. Artists, professionals, florists, designers, technicians, marketers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, bloggers, handcrafts experts and other visionaries hopped on to the wedding bandwagon to give brides and grooms their unique dream wedding.
It has been ten years since weddings stepped into the new age. Today, every wedding is a custom wedding. Every bride has her haute couture lehenga. Every couple have their own “cinematic” wedding film.
The sky’s the limit
An average South Indian wedding can cost anywhere between INR 2 lakhs and INR 10 crores, out of which roughly 30-40% is spent on wedding decor. Weddings with resplendent decor are not always lavish affairs. We have created some beautiful, traditional and intricately designed weddings in pocket-friendly budgets that are equally creative and enthralling. From our observations we can tell that the couples who prefer minimal and intimate weddings are a minority.
The majority of the South Indians are heading towards weddings that are larger-than-life. They want to focus on details and use this as an opportunity to display their personality. Whether it’s installing their favourite elephant statues or drawing inspiration from rainforests and nature couples are getting downright personal in wedding decor. It’s not surprising that the market for wedding decorations like stage decor, mandap decor, floral arrangements, lighting decorations, pandhal and venue decoration runs in crores.
No wedding decor is complete without the flowers. The garlands for the bride and groom, flower arrangements on the stage and the reception area, flower petals used for showering and welcoming the groom during Baraat, flowers for the wedding guests and bouquets are crucial for Indian weddings. Nowadays, in addition to traditional flowers like jasmine, rose, rajniganda (tuberose) and sammangi, exotic flowers like orchids, carnations, anthuriums, hydrangea etc. are used widely in wedding decorations. Florists and agriculturists have also largely benefited from this rise in the wedding economy. As per this article published in The Hindu (2014), flower decorations can cost INR 20,000 for a simple wedding and it can go upto INR 5 lakhs for an elaborate flower arrangement in a five-star hotel wedding.
The bitter truth
Even though we’ve told you such positive and progressive things about the wedding scenes in India there is one infamous thing that has always been a sour point – the social justice warriors who sit in the comfort of their homes claiming that weddings are “a waste of money”. ‘Spend this money for charity’; ‘The money is wasted on one day’s exuberance’; ‘The decorations are useless after the wedding day’ – we read these comments almost on a daily basis.
Would the same SJW’s protest over big-budget bollywood movies or other historical art pieces? To many people sitting behind their screens, it might seem like the money spent on weddings are lavish and even unnecessary. Instead of seeing things from the periphery, if they could see the gazillion hours of workmanship and handiwork that happen behind-the-scenes, they would change their minds.
We don’t have to repeat statistics. The industry is huge. The businesses and artists that depend on weddings are aplenty. They rely purely on their artistic capabilities to support their livelihood. So, in reality do weddings waste money or provide a means of livelihood to hundreds of artists and their families?
Weddings are nothing but art
In India, we don’t just have weddings. We celebrate them and how! Style, elegance and traditions are the essence of our big fat Indian weddings. In a time and age where everything is customized and artistically done, weddings are no exception.
Today’s brides and grooms have their own wedding vision. Nearly seven years ago, we started Vivahhika with the vision of creating dream weddings for couples who loved to think larger-than-life. Our goal is to give every bride and groom a wonderfully personalized and meaningful wedding. Everyday we wish that we could add our bit of art and beauty to this world.
Our temple sculptures are art,
Our Kanjivaram silks are intricate art,
Constructing a wedding mandap is an art,
Decorating elephants and horses for the procession is an art,
Making flower garlands is an art form,
Capturing the magic of emotions in a photo is an art to treasure,
Mehendi and makeup are beautiful and delicate art work,
The banana-leaf meal is an art form which remains unparalleled to this day!
Weddings are art.
Weddings are beautiful spaces for art to flourish. We are the wedding fraternity; we are designers by skill but artists at heart. If we ceased to celebrate weddings the way they are celebrated now, then the only thing that would be wasted is a wealth of artistic talent and expression.
Vivahhika is a leading bespoke wedding decorations company that has been creating dream weddings since 2011. We are based in Coimbatore and Chennai and our clients are from all over South India. If you have a wedding coming up and would like us to partner with you, then click here. Let’s talk.