Wedding industry witnesses 20-25% slump owing to economic slowdown

The Indian wedding industry is estimated to be US$40-50 billion market.


The Indian wedding industry is the second-largest in the world, just behind the U.S. market. Indians are known to spend a significant part of their wealth on wedding ceremonies. In a country where the guest lists are long and hospitality is important, a huge amount is spent on wedding preparations. The celebrations can last a week and involve several functions, a dazzling variety of cuisines, music and dance performances, and lots of gifts.

But the ongoing economic slowdown has cast its shadow on the wedding industry too, which is estimated to be US$40-50 billion a year, according to research firm KPMG.

As per the recent government data, consumer spending in India fell in 2017-18 for the first time in more than four decades. Fancy shopping malls and other local markets, a symbol of India’s prosperity, recorded a massive dip in sales too.

But these days, except for the super-rich, extravagance is out and frugality is in as families prioritise saving. 

According to Gunjan Bansal, CEO & Founder, L’amore Weddings, there is perceptible impact of the slowdown on wedding this season. According to her, clients are looking for cheaper venues, reduction in guest numbers and negotiating for cost cuts is also a common story this season.

“I would say the wedding industry is witnessing 20-25 per-cent dip in revenue this season compared to what it was last year. Clients prefer low cost venues compared to big ticket venues, I would say the impact of economic slowdown has not spared any industry and wedding industry is no exception.”

In 2016 too, the Indian wedding industry was hit by the government's withdrawal of vast amounts of banknotes from circulation in a bid to crack down on undeclared earnings. But it was well on its way to recovery before the current economic slowdown kicked it.

As per some reports, the slowdown is also evident in the drop in the cost of food plate. The average cost at a decent venue or hall in Gurugram ranged from Rs 2,200 to Rs 7,000 per plate but now it lies between Rs 1,500 and Rs 4,000.

Though the impact of the slowdown is real, but there are some wedding planners who believe that the impact is momentary and the industry will recover soon.

“I have been doing three to four weddings at the same time, I have not felt the impact of the slowdown as far as my clients are concerned. The spends and extravagance is consistent to what we have seen over the years, “ adds Rituraj Khanna of Q Events.

The slump in the wedding industry according to some experts is symptomatic of a sharp slowdown in the world's fifth-largest economy, with Indians spending less on everything from daily essentials to once-in-a-lifetime occasions.

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