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The Saga of Indian Weddings and Loans
Shiv Nanda
Sep 01 • 5 mins read

The Saga of Indian Weddings and Loans

5 mins read

The big fat Indian wedding is LEGEN ‘the second largest in the world‘ DARY.

Indian weddings have evolved from regular three-day events to long-lasting celebrations that include Bollywood performances and international acts. But the minimalistic approach has also hit Indian weddings. The event might last a day but is celebrated with great pomp and splendour.

According to a report by KPMG, “It’s estimated that the cost of an Indian wedding ranges between ₹500,000 to ₹50 Million. An Indian will likely spend one-fifth of his lifetime wealth on a wedding.”

This seasonal industry is dictated by a strict astrological calendar of auspicious and inauspicious days. The wedding industry is estimated to involve more than $11 billion in spending, concentrated from October to February. Some days are so auspicious that almost 17,000 weddings will be held in New Delhi alone. [Source: 2]

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India released statistics on the wedding market in India in 2018.

Let’s take a look:

 Indian wedding market costs

Total Indian Marriages in a year ~ 1 Crore
Gold and Diamond jewellery ₹90,000 Crore
Apparel ₹50,000 Crore
Durable goods  ₹30,000 Crore
Hotel  ₹7,000 Crore
Pandal and venue decoration ₹10,000 Crore
Wedding invitation card ₹10,000 crore
Bridal Mehendi  ₹5,000 crore
Entertainment/Music groups ₹1,000 crore
Photography/Videos ₹1,500 crore
Other items like fireworks, pooja, maids, and etc. ₹5000 crore
Total Indian Wedding  ₹2,09,500 crore


Item-wise average expenses on Indian weddings

itemwise average expenses in indian marriage

  • Dinner cost (average) : Rs 700 to 2000 per person
  • Pandal decoration cost : Rs 10,000 to 25,000
  • Bridal designer saree/ lehenga cost : Rs 5,000 to 50,000
  • Designer Sherwani cost : Rs 15,000 to 40,000
  • Wedding invite cost : Rs 100 to 1500 per card
  • Bridal make up cost : Rs 5000 to Rs 50,000
  • Bridal Mehendi cost : Rs 1500 to Rs 5000
  • Donation/fee to priest, to advocate for marriage registration is separate.

Liquor licence fee, cost of liquor and related services and cost of petrol/diesel are separate and not included.

Security guards, wallet car parking, Marriage resorts, exotic beach marriages, live telecast of marriage, drone camera, hiring choppers, limousines etc., are new features to the Indian marriage functions.

Are Indian weddings recession-proof?

The KPMG report states that the Indian wedding industry is growing rapidly at 25 to 30 per cent annually.

But during the pandemic, the Indian wedding industry was the first to confront the economic meltdown due to its innate nature. Factors like spending habits, gathering limitations and wedding arrangements were responsible for this change.

As they say, nothing lasts forever. According to a new report by WeddingWire India, the wedding season has rapidly adopted the new normal. Compared to 2020, 2021 has seen a surge of 57 per cent. Cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jaipur and Delhi NCR witnessed a huge demand for wedding planners and venues.

Hotels and banquet halls have become the most requested service by the users, and there is a drastic decrease in the number of people interested in having a home or virtual weddings. This trend has seen a growth trajectory starting in July 2021. Destination weddings are also witnessing a huge uptick, with every 10 out of 100 guests enquiring about destination weddings, with Jaipur, Udaipur, Mussoorie, and Lonavala being the top choices.

Traditional tentwallas and wedding planners are raking in lakhs by making the required arrangements for an Indian wedding.

Matchmaking websites and the business

Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder & CEO of Matrimony.com, said, “In my estimate, the wedding industry is around USD 80-100 billion in India. A wedding is one of the most expensive individual events in any Indian’s life. Every year the average spending on Indian weddings has been increasing, and it has to do with increasing disposable income. So all these factors contribute to the increase in the spending on weddings. From around $100 billion, this industry can probably become $0.5 trillion in the next 10 years.

Matrimony or online matchmaking websites have been around in India for over 2 decades. Online portals like Shaadi.com and Bharat Matrimony are somewhat responsible for removing the middleman in arranged marriages. They have enjoyed tremendous success and have raked in crores of revenue.

Online portals like Shaadi.com, Bharat matrimonial etc. and others earn revenues of Rs. 300-350 crore from matchmaking annually, and they are of the view that it will grow.

Destination wedding

But weddings in India are no longer confined to mandaps. Today, weddings are moving from local to international destinations, too.

An average cost of a destination wedding can vary from 10 to 50 lakh rupees, but the expenses depend on the number of guests and other factors. The total expense of a destination wedding can be boundless and cost any amount.

Hence, we recommend you make your budget and plan accordingly.

Destination Wedding Cost:

  • Goa wedding cost: between Rs 1 crore to 1.5 crore
  • Jaipur wedding cost: between Rs 1 Crore to 2.0 crore
  • Wedding cost in metropolitan cities: Between Rs 20 lakh to 70 lakh
  • Favourite honeymoon destinations are Goa, Jaipur, Udaipur, Himachal and South India

Are millennials spending more on their weddings?

In India, people spend a substantial amount of their life savings on weddings. In most cases, the parents bear the cost of the wedding.

According to a new study, millennials who saved more money during the pandemic spend more on wedding celebrations and borrow money to fulfil their needs.

Demand for wedding loans was the highest among all categories during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (At 33% compared with 22% during the first wave). The survey also found that 10% of applications for weddings and business purposes were received from women borrowers (The average ticket size of loans for weddings was ₹4.13 lakh). There are new emerging expenses such as pre-wedding shoots, drone photography and social media scheduler which add up more cost compared to traditional wedding cost.

But should you take a marriage loan?

People are willing to splurge more on their weddings thanks to social media and the growing economy. The colours, celebrations, outfits, delicacies, music, dance, grand venues and ceremonies have been a part of most Indians throughout their life.

As marriage is a once-in-a-lifetime event, you want to be in a strong financial position and take command of the wedding expenses. However, millennials are more independent and choose to take marriage loans from reliable lending platforms like MoneyTap.

Advantages of taking a marriage loan

Swiping your credit card might look convenient to tackle marriage expenses, but it’s not advisable. Clearing the credit card bill in one shot might not be easy. Therefore, applying for a marriage loan is a smart move to manage your wedding expenses better.

You can use funds whenever you need them. Unlike a credit card, a personal loan is affordable to meet your needs without burning a hole in your pocket.

Did COVID-19 change the Indian wedding industry?

Yes, lockdowns did impact the wedding industry. People opted for shorter guest lists
but the industry has pushed themselves to figure out newer ways to celebrate and generate income.

But smaller weddings are still a new, and likely temporary phenomenon, according to Mehak Sagar, co-founder of WedMeGood. “When COVID first hit, everyone said virtual weddings are here to stay. Those are a total no-show now,” he said.

According to a survey by WedMeGood, a majority of Indian couples still spent as much as they had planned to on their weddings.

Industry experts say weddings will likely go back to the pre-pandemic scale and size, especially given the backlog and pent-up demand. For instance, between Nov. 14 and Dec. 13, 2021, alone, 2.5 million weddings are said to have generated a revenue of 3 lakh crore rupees (approximately $40 billion), according to the Confederation of All India Traders.

Some quick numbers

  1. How much does a middle-class Indian wedding cost?
    The middle-class Indian wedding usually costs from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh
  2. How much does a court marriage cost in India?
    The court marriage costs can be around Rs. 250 to Rs. 25,000. The usual costs are due to affidavits and documentation, which might need the help of an advocate. Different states have different costs.


  1. Tax Bulletin, December, 2018 volume – 30 – The Institute of Cost Accountants of India. Last accessed on 25th August, 2022 – https://icmai.in/taxationportal/upload/idt/article_gst/84.pdf
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/fashion/25iht-rbridal.html
  3. https://bwhotelier.businessworld.in/article/WeddingWire-India-releases-statistics-on-comeback-of-weddings/25-11-2021-412895/
  4. https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/wedding-loans-among-youth-see-11-rise-during-the-second-wave-report-11628682457494.html
  5. https://qz.com/india/2129616/how-the-indian-wedding-industry-has-responded-to-the-pandemic/
  6. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/over-25-lakh-weddings-expected-to-generate-rs-3-lakh-cr-in-just-one-month-cait-11636543171402.html
  7. https://invested.in/how-much-average-indian-wedding-cost/
  8. https://boutiqueeventsgroup.com.au/how-much-does-a-middle-class-indian-wedding-cost/
  9. https://loantap.in/blog/what-does-an-indian-wedding-cost-budget-breakdown

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