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In India, a wedding is considered to be a bond not just between two individuals but in fact two families. Covid-19 which has had a toll on almost every industry around the globe has treated the Indian Wedding Industry no differently which has an estimated size of around $50 billion. In the past, one-year things have kind of come to a halt and the future still looks obscure. Nevertheless, like every cloud has a silver lining, things are expected to return to normal as soon as the surging virus spread loses its hold upon the country.
The Indian Wedding market is ever-growing and has increased many folds in the last few years. Though due to the ongoing pandemic it might have faced recession things will change soon and be back to normal. Marriages have always been considered to be the most auspicious events in India and people leave no stone unturned to turn them into the biggest events of their life. However, the ongoing conditions have led to a change in mindsets and people are getting more mindful and conscious in the planning of their wedding functions.
The emphasis is shifting from looking for grandeur in weddings to being precautionary. This will cause people to choose either very spacious banquet halls to maintain proper social distancing during the function or very small spaces just enough to accommodate their intimate family members. Priority would also be given to open-air and outdoor spaces which limit the spread of the virus. But their people who too are willing to wait for the pandemic to end but they want their wedding to be as opulent as it had been planned.
Though, there would be restrictions and guidelines to be kept in mind during the execution in terms of design and seating arrangements adhering to the norms for the event to go smoothly and safely. As per the ongoing conditions, proper hygiene is the need of the hour. So a well-planned and organized wedding with a hygienic venue is what people need before anything else and providing just that should be the priority of any wedding planner.
Well planned out seating arrangements with a bit bigger counters will fit in to compliment the social distancing norms. What this simply means is that the Big Fat Weddings are going to stay. As Anushka Sharma rightfully said in the movie ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’: “Recession ho ya inflation, Shaadiyan to honi hain”. The wedding industry includes vast markets comprising innumerable businesses from caterers to florists and from jewellery vendors to costume sellers. And when it comes to summarizing the impact of the pandemic on the industry, it immediately becomes clear that the effect is not limited to a particular section of the market.
Every business across the industry has been affected to different extents though. The loss is shared by everyone and each one of us can relate to the story. Although, certain sections of the market have on the contrary addressed a spike in their growth curve. The e-commerce businesses that offer costumes, jewellery, and gifts for example are thriving amidst the impact of the coronavirus on other markets. The simple reason for this is that people are home and are shopping more online. For a similar reason, people are taking an online route more than ever when it comes to the booking of services for the wedding that a still happening.
But what cannot be denied is that there has been an unprecedented impact of the virus spread on marriages in India. Since the beginning of the year, countless marriages have been postponed and many canceled. The rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases led many to change their minds about their weddings including Deepika Ghosh (the RCB girl) who had planned her wedding with her boyfriend in March on the beaches of Thailand but as corona gathered speed, it led her to change her mind.
Deepika ultimately opted for a very humble wedding at her grandmother’s house with only 11 guests (intimate family) to attend the ceremony. The coronavirus pandemic has badly hit many wedding planners across the country including startups like Shaadi Squad, a Mumbai-based wedding startup that planned cricketer Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s wedding. The startup used to plan from 10 to 12 weddings during the wedding season but the coronavirus outbreak curbed many wedding plans in the last year.
Uncertainty rules the times and people are not very keen on starting to plan their weddings at such times. The wedding planners are at an immense loss as the marriages in the first place are being postponed or canceled. On the other hand, even for the ones that are being booked, nobody wants to make initial payments unless there is clarity regarding future events. Further, destination weddings which were just beginning to set a trend in India with Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma and Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s weddings in Italy, are too facing a sudden decline which looks normal when it comes to the prevailing conditions.
All that said, the silver lining to hold on to is that marriages in India might take a different form in the times to come but things would never come to a halt, as Anushka Sharma rightfully said in the movie ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’: “Recession ho ya inflation, Shaadiyan to honi hain”.
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