The world is reeling from the impact of pandemic Coronavirus that has affected more than 200 countries and has halted industrial activity of core and ancillary industries. With countries in total or partial lock-down there has been significant loss of lives and livelihood.
The Indian wedding industry is no exception either.
The destination wedding industry in India is estimated at INR 45,000 crore. The Big Fat Indian Wedding as they are usually referred to consists of social gatherings and celebrations. With social distancing in force the industry has taken a hit from all sides.
The wedding industry is largely labor intensive. Which means it is a combination of many other small retail businesses that make up its universe. Like wedding planner, designer, photographer, caterers, hotels, travel agents, florist vendors form the main gamut of the entire industry.
A total lockdown has put a complete halt to the supply chain of these small businesses.
A report by the Economic Times indicates that up-to 80 percent of marriage ceremonies have either been cancelled or postponed.
A professional wedding event planner while speaking to Sathimilan revealed the shocking experience that he and his company are facing during these tough times.
Due to the imposition of countrywide lockdown there are no fresh orders hence no cash flow. Events for which advances were collected earlier are now being cancelled and the clients have called for a refund of the same.
Needless to mention about the employees he had to sack during this time.
People have taken recourse to traditional methods such as court marriages or tying the knot at a temple with few family members and friends around.
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on traditional spring weddings, leaving the couples disappointed as celebrations are postponed or cancelled. There have been multiple reports of couples who made advance payment for their wedding and are now unable to get refunds. Some have spent most of their early savings.
Now talking about the silver lining, there are gainers in this business and they are the matrimonial sites. Because of the enforced idleness of the lockdown, eligible men and women are flocking onto these websites to find a partner to talk to, or be romantically involved with. The engagement level of customers has increased and profile acquisition is growing in huge numbers.
Also, many couples who were planning their wedding in the coming year now have plenty of time to plan their dream wedding during the time of isolation. They can also take advantage of advance travel or honeymoon booking since most hotels are offering heavy discounts for future booking.
Most of those involved in the wedding business expect a recovery from and definitely by Diwali. While none of us can change what is happening right now, hopefully we will breathe fresher air, give due importance to our physical and mental health, and never take for granted the freedom that we have, because of which we can move, go wherever we want, without any restrictions whatsoever.