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Indian Weddings Boast Helicopters, $250 Invitations

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
June 9, 2011

Earlier this year, Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey was one of the most watched and glamorous events of the year. But India has even more extravagant weddings all the time.

Ashish Abrol is very much in tune with India’s wedding industry. He founded BigIndianWedding.com, which he considers the country’s most visited wedding planning portal.

He says India’s wedding market is worth $11 billion, and thus constitutes the second or third largest market in the world. People no longer spend big bucks on the food they serve or the number of guests they invite, but also on ‘thank you’ gifts for guests. Abrol says attendees may leave with goodie bags containing gold coins and gold figurines. He also reveals that people spend up to $250 per invitation.

Abrol says there is a social premium attached to creating an extravaganza. In other words, locals want to stand out, to display their social status. He notes that this creates pressure to keep up with the glamour, especially media has been very visible and people literate. Indians are exposed to wedding buzz through all the newspapers and television they consume.

In the face of possible financial havoc, Abrol explains that the government has stepped in when it comes to how many guests people can invite, and what kind of food they may serve. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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