Engaging Wedding Guests: Lipstick Booths & Perfumery Make A Splash In Indian Celebrations

The traditional scene of band, baaja, baraat in India is undergoing a transformation, with wedding parties increasingly seeking interactive experiences for their guests. Industry insiders shed light on this burgeoning trend


As per a media report, attending a lavish Indian wedding has traditionally meant indulging in delectable cuisine and engaging in spirited discussions about how the wedding organisers could have done things differently. Impressions are hard to come by with the discerning rishtedaars, who always seem to find room for criticism, perhaps due to the ample free time they have during the celebrations.

However, times are changing in the desi wedding scene, with couples and wedding parties now seeking more engaging experiences for their guests. This shift goes beyond mundane photo booths, as weddings increasingly feature interactive elements such as 'make your own' lipstick stalls and DIY perfume stands. The focus is now on providing guests with unique and personalized wedding favours, transforming the wedding landscape into a more dynamic and memorable affair.

The significant move towards personalised favours

"Today's weddings are not just weddings; these have become a festival," Mohsin Khan, Founder of Vivah Luxury Weddings – a wedding planning service, mentioned to India Today, in a report.

Sachin Singhal, the creator of the wedding planning service Bandbaajaa.com, emphasises that personalised wedding favours and interactive gifts hold greater significance than conventional ones. The appeal lies in the active participation of individuals in these activities, often leaving them pleasantly surprised by the remarkable level of customization displayed in these gifts.

Reflecting on his expertise, Singhal recounts orchestrating glitter tattoo bars and live engraving sessions to enhance the experiences of his clients.

He goes on, "I think this kind of trend is catching up because people have seen a lot of potlis and stuff, which are already there as giveaways. Now they want to have something new."

Jasmin Shah, co-founder of Karibo Cosmetics, recognized for their customiable lipsticks, believes that the current era places higher importance on personalized gifts. The customisation of wedding favours adds a special touch, making guests feel uniquely cherished.

A short-lived trend?

Khan notes a growing trend of pop-up DIY stands in India, emphasizing that hosts increasingly anticipate a diverse array of stalls at weddings. While hosts view it as a significant celebration, guests perceive it as an entertainment package. Participation in such interactive elements is crucial, as without it, the wedding experience is likened to a curry without salt.

Jinal Patel and Neha Wadhawan, founders of The Doli Diary (destination wedding planner and designer), add that wedding favors remain an integral and enduring aspect of weddings, continually sought after by couples and guests alike.

Yet, their shape and characteristics may evolve, introducing an element of fun to the concept of wedding giveaways.

Providing a glimpse into the market, Shah says, "We are into personalised lipsticks, and we ourselves have been seeing a growth of 100 per cent every year since 2020. DIY pop-up stalls at weddings act as an activity to engage in the wedding as well as personalised gifts make guests feel special."

What's trending?

From Rajasthan's bangle-making, block printing, and parrot-reading pop-up stalls to coconut and rice engraving booths in Goa, wedding celebrations are undergoing diverse experiments.

Patel and Wadhawan point out, "The request for these favours differs from couple to couple and tends to be theme-supportive for various ceremonies. To give you an example, for an Italian brunch that we hosted for a couple, we added a 'make your own olive oil' counter. It adds a unique touch to the ceremony for guests to indulge in."

Singhal notes a growing demand for unique experiences, such as audiobooks allowing guests to record messages for the couple.

Additionally, wedding parties are embracing the concept of 'make your own hamper' stalls, enabling guests to curate personalized hampers by selecting items of their choice. Singhal also highlights the rising popularity of interactive musical pheras in wedding ceremonies.

What do the guests think?

Insiders in the industry reveal that the positive reception from guests towards these interactive sessions is evident, as people yearn for novel experiences.

Shah proceeds to narrate a personal encounter, "While I was blending lipsticks at a wedding, I saw an 80-year-old man come to me and ask if he could do this for his wife and granddaughter. This itself says that people enjoy interactive stalls at weddings, from children to old people."

Making weddings more inclusive

Singhal brings out, "Such interactive sessions make the wedding more inclusive because people feel like a part of the wedding. They feel more connected with the host. The guests feel that there's something which has been specially organised for them, so it makes the wedding more inclusive and more participating."

The costs involved

Khan reveals that hosts allocate five to eight percent of the wedding budget for these interactive sessions, with the overall budget ranging from Rs 50,00,000 and above.

Meanwhile, Shah mentions that the cost of interactive pop-up stalls varies between Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,00,000, depending on the host's preferences.

She emphasises that even those not looking to spend extravagantly can incorporate such stalls, given the unorganised market where vendors are flexible with budgets.

Patel and Wadhawan agree, noting the uniqueness and intrigue available across various price ranges.“Personally, witnessing a DIY lipstick stall at a wedding recently, I was highly impressed by the idea. Not only was it interactive and personalised, but the lipstick that I made for myself at the wedding would keep reminding me of the couple and the experience. With such innovative pop-up stalls, you can surely give your guests a memorable keepsake.”

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