A 'marriage' between weddings and technology is inevitable
By Sandeep Lodha, CEO, Weddingz.in
December 26 2019: The Indian wedding planning industry is one of the largest wedding markets in the world, owing to the country’s propensity for grand, lavish matrimonial celebrations.
In fact, with more than 10 million weddings taking place in the country, the industry is valued at $ 40 billion, up from $40 billion in 2017, according to a KPMG report. The colossal size of this market has presented a unique opportunity for many organisations to leverage technology solutions and transform the sector. Also, the Indian wedding industry is seeing an average annual growth rate of 25-30%. However, being a highly disorganised sector, several challenges still need to be addressed, at every stage of the industry. This is where technology is helping many wedding planning organisations to cater to the diverse requirements of a typical Indian wedding, mostly through automation of processes to enhance convenience.
Creating a one-stop-shop, powered by technology
A typical Indian wedding involves many factors like hiring a decorator, designer, caterer, photographer, booking a suitable venue, making arrangements to entertain, and a lot more. Given the huge investment and effort that goes into a ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’, the disorganised nature of the sector makes planning weddings a huge challenge. Most couples spend months trailing along venues to find the perfect spaces, which are further shortlisted, depending upon two major factors - the ambience and cost. As for the remaining requirements, personal references and local listings serve as a means of discovery and booking. In light of this, wedding planners are today offering a range of systematic and convenience-focussed solutions, backed by the power of technology.
Indians weddings can be a stressful affair. However, by easing the process significantly and giving it structure, couples can reduce the hassle and enjoy their celebratory moments. With an array of bespoke products and services, ranging right from the destination, venue, color schemes, décor and budget limitations, wedding planners are enabling couples to completely personalise their D-Day. In today's digitally advanced world, one can find everything at the click of a button. Through a quick online search, one can find the availability of venues as well as outsource other arrangements by a single aggregator. Owing to the convenience offered by these platforms, a growing number of Indian couples are opting for organised wedding planning services.|
Disruptive tech trends redefine the wedding industry
Taking it a notch higher, the emergence of AI and the massive popularity of 3D design software has increased convenience and reduced time taken to design reception layouts and venue designs. Couples are no longer restricted to vague verbal descriptions of what their weddings will look like. Today, leading wedding planners allow customers to easily take a 360-degree 3D tour of the venues, replete with the chosen décor, lighting, color schemes and more. Additionally, easy-to-navigate websites and dedicated apps allow customers to discover and stay updated on venue prices, menus alongside many more services.
Interestingly, customers are also notified about updates regarding venue availability through automated emails and SMSs along with reminders to confirm or close bookings, in case of expected surges in demand. As a result, the sector is fast becoming an organised, innovation-led industry with massive potential to attract investments. It is also discovering a dearth of new-age offerings designed to enhance convenience, to enable the bride and groom to solely focus on their special day.
Technology is also leading to the overhaul of age-old practices while giving the couple full control over their wedding. It is allowing couples to not just manage the preparations end to end but is also helping them to be detail-oriented.|
Another trend that is witnessing immense popularity are wedding websites, which allow couples to effectively communicate with huge guest lists and keep a track of attendants through RSVPs. Websites also make the whole planning process enjoyable while enhancing engagement with guests and invoking a sense of inclusion. Today, one of the most innovative and beneficial features of wedding websites that are gaining immense popularity is a wedding gift registry, wherein a couple can list down their wishlist and guests can contribute towards purchasing it.
The way forward: a marriage between tradition and technology
Going forward, the sector will experience a massive upheaval as a result of technological disruption. With standardisation and automation becoming the norm, the focus will be on innovative ways to deliver on promises of the aspirational modern Indian couple. The infusion of technology will create a significantly stable industry, rooted in rich tradition and powered by convenience.
Weddingz ( part of Oyo since 2018) is India’s largest banquet management company with a presence in over 30 cities with over 750 venues.