Weddings are really important in Indian culture with over 10 million weddings taking place every year. Weddings symbolise the passage from the period of growing and learning from youngsters to adults, more specifically to the period of maturity where the focus remains on building a house and a family.
An Indian marriage is based on respect, harmony, love and values that must accompany the new couple’s journey for the rest of their lives.
In India the concept of wedding is not just the union of the bride and the groom alone, but it involves the alliance of two families. Thus an Indian wedding is not just centred around the couple itself, but on all the relatives which contribute in many ways to the good resolution of the union between them.
An Indian wedding lasts generally five days and has many different ceremonies. For the ones that are not accustomed to these lavish events, here is a little summary-
Haldi: a ceremony where a turmeric yellow paste is applied to some parts of the bride’s body as an auspicious symbol for the couple.
Mehendi: where the bride’s hands and foots are covered with henna designs, considered a form of art.
Sangeet: a big party, taken some days before the wedding, where family and friends stay together, enjoying dinner and dancing all night long.
Wedding: finally the marriage that comprehends many rituals taking place during the day. It starts with the bride’s family welcoming the groom and his family and ends with the performance of the marriage ceremony.
Reception: it is organised by the groom’s family to celebrate and welcome the bride in their family. Thus dancing, food and drinking are the main characteristics of this ritual.
What this article wants to analyse is the opportunity represented by Indian bridal wear for Indian designers: is this market big enough to satisfy their earning goals?
Every ceremony needs a different dress for the bride and obviously also for the groom and the guests. Basically there are three types of Indian bridal wear-lehengas, sarees and gowns. Although these are just three tyes of Indian bridal wear, the variations of them are infinite. Indeed what most of Indian fashion designers say is that their incomes are constituted for 50-60% by the bridal collections. But why should they be satisfied with just one piece of the cake, if they can have more? Indian wedding apparel accounts for Rs. 10,000 crore of the Rs. 1,00,000 crore spent on average for the wedding.
At the same time Indian wedding, the industry is estimated to be at 25.5$ billion (Rs. 142596 crore) and despite these high expenses, it continues to grow at 20%- 25% every year. The spending for a wedding can vary according to the incomes of the families obviously, but more or less it is estimated to be $34,000 (around Rs.19.01 lakh) for the middle class and up to US$ 1 million (Rs.5.59 crore) for the upper-middle and rich class.
The reason behind this trend is that Indian weddings are becoming more and more lavish every year and Indian people don’t care about expenses. The purpose is to surprise and amuse guests and relatives. So above Indian bridal wear and more in general all the wedding clothes for the groom, family and friends, Indian Designers are focusing their attention also on other aspects of the wedding.
Dresses are the main protagonists of the events and of course the bridal dresses must be absolutely perfect in each ceremony- Indian bridal wear is a true and proper trousseau. Above this accessories and jewellery (rigorously gold) cover great, if not fundamental, importance, this is reason many Indian Designers have started to create jewellery collections and at the same time some of them also offer the possibility to organise the full wedding, leaving the bride free of every concern. In other cases they offer some additional services, such as printing and sending the invitations.
This industry has became so huge that even International famous designers recently tried to enter in the Indian bridal wear market collaborating with Indian brands that already exist.
Moreover China is planning to invest and make a partnership with Indian travel agencies (specialised in weddings) to promote some Chinese cities like, Lijiang and Dali, and make them become holiday and honeymoon destinations for new Indian couples. However a trading partnership already exists between the two countries and amounts now to $70 billion, it is still increasing over time.
Bridal fashion and in general Indian weddings reflect the social and economic changes of Indian society, symbolising at the same time the culture and the traditions of India, so managing and organising them has become a big deal nowadays. Thus, fortunately for bridal designers, there exists a great possibility for them to extend their business.
Sources: Threading&henna, Hollywod-trendy