BENGALURU: NRI businessman Ravi Pillai has made headlines for the lavish Rs 5-crore wedding he arranged for his daughter in Kerala on Thursday.
Ravi Bhati and Suman Gor got married, with dancing ghodis and camels tapping to the music, Cinderella Baggi for the bride and heart shaped rotating stage on November 23. Family, friends and a few VIPs were invited.
“The band had 150 members. The 16 photographers made sure our special moments were captured in the best way possible,” says Suman. They drove off in a limousine.
As November turns to December and January, bringing auspicious mahurats, lakhs of couples are expected to tie knot, many of them going in for luxury weddings.
Indians are known for their big, fat weddings, with a budget range of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore, each vying for more attention than the next. City Express speaks to a few industry professionals on the work that goes into them.
Made-up, but natural
Make-up artists are paid up to Rs 1 lakh, according to city-based Ridhi Malhotra. She specialises in bridal make-up.
“The cost depends on the number of times customers use our services. On an average, people spend Rs 60,000.”
It begins with a trial. “Once convinced, they come again after the wedding outfit is ready. During the wedding -- haldi, puja, welcoming the groom, sangeet and the ceremony -- our services are required once more.”
Most brides want to look natural not only during wedding, but also in the pictures, she says. Most of the Ridhi’s clientele consists of engineers, lawyers and doctors. Others are from the Telugu-speaking communities.
Driving in style
Big fat weddings are incomplete without luxury cars. Aditya Loomba, Director (Marketing), ECO Rent A Car, receives about 60 to 65 requests a day from all over the country. He says the trend has caught on in last five years.
“Limousines are mostly used for the bride and bridegroom. Recently, a client also had bachelor’s party in limousine. The cars have good video display, and are great for parties.”
Sometimes the bride is driven to the parlour or venue in the cars. He says luxury cars are hired for vidaai 60 per cent of the time and for baarat, 40 per cent.
Mercedes are most popular for ferrying guests in. “In January, we are booked for 278 cars only for guests,” While the cost for the limousine goes up to Rs 15,000 for two hours, the mercedes costs Rs 10,000 for four hours and vintage cars cost Rs 40, 000 for the same duration. “The average budget for cars usually ranges between Rs 65, 000 and Rs 1 lakh.”
Bharath Prakash, business head of wedding planning agency Infinite Concepts, says, “People are willing to spend as much required to make their weddings memorable.
“The cost for decoration starts from Rs 4 lakh and increases depending on the the number and variety of flowers. Food costs start at Rs 3 lakh,” says his busiess partner Akash P Rao.
Themed weddings are also a trend. “Apart from colours, people opt for themes like peacock -- which tried recently -- or something traditional. The cost for themed-wedding goes up to Rs 35 lakh,” says Bharat.
Lalita Raghav, Vice-President of Ferns and Petals Weddings agrees. “We have recreated the vrindavan with all the ghats and temples. We also had another titled ‘Garden of Chandeliers’. These are spread across 50,000 to 1 lakh a sqft,” she says.