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Indians swear by arranged marriages: survey

People in the south prefer lavish weddings, people prefer five-seven star hotels for ceremonies such as bachelor and cocktail parties
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First Published: Sat, Mar 02 2013. 09 45 PM IST
Photo: Divya Babu
Photo: Divya Babu
Updated: Tue, Mar 05 2013. 07 01 PM IST
Mumbai: People in south prefer lavish weddings by inviting more guests, having more cuisines, etc., according to a survey—The Taj Wedding Barometer—unveiled by Taj Group of Hotels, run by Indian Hotels Co. Ltd.
South Indians prefer their weddings with traditional functions such as ring ceremony, sangeet, religious functions, said the survey that was released on Saturday, adding that people largely prefer five to seven star hotels for ceremonies such as bachelor and cocktail parties.
“Further, as one expects a lot of pomp and fanfare in an Indian wedding, the survey dittos on it but in form of preference for extravagant locations and venues for every ceremony and function,” it said.
Deepa Misra Harris, senior vice-president (sales and marketing) at the Indian Hotels Co. said the value of organized Indian wedding is estimated at Rs.100,000 crore and it is growing 20% year on year.
“As a company, we are looking at various avenues of growth and weddings is the recession proof. We never looked into this as a product, but now we are focusing on this opportunity and structuring it as a product,” Harris said.
Gurleen Puri, a renowned wedding planner, who handled marriage of Godrej’s, Singhanias, Hindujas, Poddars and the Mittals, said the Indian weddings market is larger the bollywood, the Hindi film industry.
The spokeswoman of the ITC Hotels, owned by India’s biggest cigarette maker, said her company has comprehensive services for marriages that is offering everything including decorations to catering.
Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd chairman Vivek Nair did not reply to calls seeking his comments on plans by his hotel group.
Hemant Oberoi, corporate chef (luxury) at Taj Group of Hotels said palaces are beginning to be the favourite destination of Indian weddings.
He recollected that diamond merchant Bharat Shah had his wedding at the Wankhede Stadium with 25,000 guests.
Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar had a luxurious wedding and a long one too, since they actually travelled from England to India. In fact, the wedding reception lasted an entire week.
Oberoi said all pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals such as rokka, engagement, mehendi, sangeet, tilak and baraat are done in five to seven star hotels.
According to www.bollywoodshadi.com, the destination wedding is preferred at locales, such as cool beaches, royal palaces and exquisite venues such as Goa, Udaipur, Taj Umaid Bhavan (Jodhpur), Taj Rambagh Palace and Jai Mahal Palaces (Madhuban), Sainik Farms (New Delhi) and Alappuzha (Kerala).
According to the Taj Group’s Saturday survey results, Indians are still conservative in their attitude towards finding right match with 3/4th still keen on arranged marriages.
Of these, 82% are women who prefers parents and family deciding their future husband, according to the survey, based on interviews with more than 1,000 people across 10 cities.
“Arranged marriages rule in the north with 82% respondents preferring an arranged marriage compared with the national average of 74%. Irrespective of gender, social standing or region, close to three-quarter respondents trust their extended family to manage the entire wedding,” the survey said.
Sujata Sriram, associate professor and chairperson at Centre for Human Ecology of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said that at present, grooming is increasingly catching up on in India, as men are becoming increasingly metrosexual. “There is a higher willingness to spend on looking good and this is evident with the rise of male aesthetics in India, which can be also seen across film, literature and entertainment.”
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First Published: Sat, Mar 02 2013. 09 45 PM IST