By Alim Morani, Division Head, Dome Occasions
September1 2019: The Indian wedding industry is one of the largest wedding industries in the world with over 10 million weddings take place in India every year. Currently, the industry is valued at $ 50 billion, making it an integral part of the Indian economy. Like every other industry, the wedding industry is also at the brink of technological innovation and has opened up multiple avenues for growth and provides unique experiences.
The first notable introduction of technology in the wedding industry happened through the popularity of matrimonial websites that played a pivotal role in the matchmaking segment in the India. A segment that was highly unorganised before, these online portals created the first disruption in the industry in almost a decade. Since then, the industry has witnessed a technological makeover and introduced multiple new avenues that cater to the smallest of wedding needs to create successful business opportunities.
The next revolution happened in the core of wedding planning – finding vendors. A variety of vendors in the wedding industry traditionally operated through their word of mouth popularity. However, in the current internet revolution, vendors now also need to have online presence to grow their business. Couples today source almost all their vendor information through various online blogs and websites. This phenomenon has also resulted in the launch of a variety of vendor aggregators that focus on providing couples a common platform to source vendors for a variety of functions.
Now, it is important to note that technology has permeated into the wedding not only at the planning stage but also the actual events and traditions at every wedding. This transformation can even be witnessed in something as simple as wedding invitations. Conventionally sent through postal services in exquisite lettering on expensive paper, today, the invites have become paperless and are usually sent over the internet. The invite itself have become more and more elaborate online. Couples today may even send video invitations to their guests that depict a special story about the couple. Online invitations are also often embedded with links that allow guests to RSVP for the events. Such features aid couples in having a proper count of their guests and therefore, ascertain costs more efficiently.
Another popular technological trend that has made its place in the wedding industry is the popularity of mobile applications, especially social media. From collating guests lists to sharing wedding pictures, mobile applications are increasingly prevalent in the industry today. With the need to show every aspect of one’s life on social media an important part of the millennial lifestyle, the growth of social media has led to millennial couples of today investing substantial amounts of their budget into hiring the best photographers and videographers for the event. Additionally, features like Geofilters on Snapchat and unique hashtags on Instagram provide a way for couples to incorporate an added quirky but personalised element to their special day.
Couples today also often create unique apps especially for their weddings, which is a common trend in the events industry today. Instead of sharing wedding albums and videos post the big day, these apps allow guests and wedding photographers to capture moments and share them live with all the other guests. People can now upload and download pictures from the day to post on their own social media throughout the day without having to wait for an elaborate photo album. With multi-cultural weddings becoming a big trend today, these apps also help guests navigate through the various customs and traditions in the wedding.
This obsession with clicking and publicly sharing pictures has forced photographers and videographers to find new methods of getting perfect pictures that define the wedding. The actual process of taking them has become vastly elaborate. Many weddings today utilise drone technology to take videos and photos of the big day. Drones allow for a non-intrusive way to take pictures at weddings and also provide a larger coverage making it easier for even a small-team of photographers to get quality footage at large events. They’re also an excellent way to take candid shots from various parts of the wedding.
Technology has truly changed the landscape of the wedding industry and created new avenues for businesses to flourish and cater to their customers. With new experiences emerging with the help of innovation and technology, couples look for more unique and eclectic experiences on their special days.