Big, fat weddings bounce back as Covid-19 bane recedes

HYDERABAD: The city is in the midst of a busy season of marriages, and the wedding industry is reviving now that the Covid-19 pandemic has passed after disrupting several businesses and people’s lives.

A report claims that up to 32 lakh weddings are expected to be held nationwide between November and December after restrictions on gatherings were lifted after over two years of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Thousands of weddings are expected in Hyderabad alone during this period, with people willing to spend big bucks, according to wedding planners.

Grand weddings spike during this period for many reasons, including the weather, the holiday season, and the auspiciousness of the period. Covid cases have been consistently low for several months, which means that wedding celebrations no longer have to be cancelled, say wedding planners.

According to Arun Kumar, CEO of the wedding planning firm Vajra Events, these two months always see a high number of weddings because those who want outdoor weddings wait until the monsoon has passed before planning them. Another reason is that many NRIs can take long leaves during this time.

Since November 27, the firm has received bookings for two weddings nearly every day, and bookings are expected to remain high until February.

People’s spending habits have changed, so have their savings habits. According to Kumar, people are cutting back on food and decor while spending more on photography and make-up. An average wedding costs Rs 25 lakh – Rs 30 lakh, with photography alone costing Rs 4 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. Arun says that people rather spend their money on themselves than on guests.

Another reason this is the most popular time for weddings, according to Farha Kudari, founder of Pink Pagdi, a wedding planning firm, is that the period following Diwali until December 15 is considered auspicious. She said that many weddings that were postponed due to Covid are being planned during this auspicious time.

“People are tired of sitting at home and want a reason to celebrate,” she continued, “and destination weddings have skyrocketed in the last two years”.

Average expenditure

Venue: Rs 5 lakh

Decor: Rs 5 lakh

Food: Rs 10 lakh (about Rs 1,000 per plate)

Photography: Rs 4-8 lakh

Total: Rs 25 lakh – Rs 30 lakh

500-800: Average number of guests (can go up to 4,000 guests for big weddings)

(Figures provided by Vajra Events)

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