By Anam Zubair
In India, weddings are an extensive affair wrapped in cultural divinity. The wedding industry in the country is valued to be over USD 50 billion wherein families spend about 20 per cent of their wealth on a single marriage ceremony.
In the past year or so, weddings in India have witnessed a technological revolution. From e-invites, and vendor bookings to overall planning, technology has transformed every aspect of it.
Just like everywhere else, technology is making wedding planning simpler as well. The hassle of running from one vendor to another, hunting and scrutinising every possible wedding venue in the city to travelling all across for distributing invites can be put to an end, thanks to digitisation. Here are some of the prominent aspects of wedding planning that have been revolutionised in the new normal:
Present-day vendor planning
The big fat Indian wedding requires an enormous amount of planning. Finalising the decorator, caterer, photographer, and the mighty venue used to be a demanding task back then. However, with modern-day vendor planning, all these tasks have become effortless. All vendors from caterers, decorators, and hair & make-up artists to photographers can be booked with a click of a button.
The new-age digital wedding planning platforms are a one-stop-shop for couples. They can run a search on the apps or websites, apply filters and shortlist their ideal vendors. Additionally, this search is backed by reviews from other couples & families as well as images and videos shared by the vendors of their previous projects. This element adds to the credibility of the vendor and simplifies the decision-making process for couples. It can be concluded that with technological advancements, wedding decisions are no longer just influenced by family and friends rather are backed by new-age tech.
With the advent of VR technology, users can take a virtual tour of the wedding venue. Without actually visiting the physical premises, they can immerse themselves in the look and feel of the real-like environment. This has especially simplified the process of venue selection which is otherwise one of the most time-consuming tasks. Now the users do not have to physically visit each and every wedding venue before picking ‘the one’, saving them a huge amount of time and energy.
Optimising resources: E-invites and customised wedding websites
Traditional paper invites are a thing of the past. Now, paperless invites or e-invites are a buzz trend in the wedding industry for various reasons. Some, environmentally friendly users opt for it intending to optimise usage of resources, reduce wastage, and promote a sustainable option. On the other hand, some opt for it because it saves them time and effort of distribution and a significant amount of money.
The facts and statistics also support it well. On our platform itself, we have witnessed a 62 per cent decrease in the demand for traditional wedding invitations in the first half of 2021. Leveraging technology to a whole new level, customised wedding websites are the latest uptrend. Users get websites designed for their ‘D-day’. Herein they share all the details about the functions like dates, venue, and timings, get RSVPs on guest lists, and much more.
Guest list became virtual
The couples and families that were tired of postponing their weddings opted for hybrid weddings. Hybrid weddings combine in-person and virtual wedding elements. They’ve witnessed a huge uptick in demand, especially after the second wave. Technology plays a huge role in making hybrid weddings a success. With more and more technological innovations, hybrid weddings can be even customised further and elements such as virtual photo booths can be added.
The pandemic was the driving force behind the mushrooming demand for hybrid weddings. Owing to their global reach and hassle-free approach, they are likely to become a norm in the coming years.
Managing RSVPs using Guest Management Tool
Advanced technology has demystified the most tedious task of wedding planning. Now, guest lists can be created on smartphone applications. There are numerous wedding planning platforms that offer this tool and WeddingWire India is one of the most prominent players amongst them. This dedicated tool is designed to mitigate the challenge of organising the guests invited to the wedding. Using the tool, couples can create and manage their guest lists and get RSVPs. Further, it helps them ensure the arrangements are done smoothly.
Capturing moments in their real sense
Weddings are intimate affairs filled with emotions. Capturing the once-in-a-lifetime moments in their real sense is a huge responsibility. As technology has paved the way in the industry, this responsibility has become more manageable. Today, we have technologies like drones that record candid moments like no other and high-definition cameras that capture every detail in high quality.
The pandemic has not fully evaded our lives yet and thus, these exclusive wedding events are carried out with limited guests. However, for those in far-off cities or countries, technology is once again trying to bring them close. Couples can live stream their wedding functions and events.
Acknowledging the new normal, these advancements are a welcome change. They offer opportunities for different vertices of the industry to grow beyond the traditional aspects while prioritising user convenience.
The author is the Associate Director of Marketing at WeddingWire India, a part of The Knot Worldwide.
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