Of New Normal Weddings & Unspent Cash
Outlook Money|July 2021
Newlyweds save more than half of their budget for the Covid restrictions. Some of them plan investments, some draw up travel plans, while some couples stand by those in need
Ankita Mukhopadhyay

VIDUSHI SINGH

Bangalore

“The first thing we did was to take a share out of the wedding savings and put it in a joint account”

The holy wedlock came to a knot when the pandemic began its reign in India last year. A year on, the second onslaught of the deadly virus made marriages a truly private affair, with the authorities slapping a ban on gathering of more than 20 people at the do. The restriction shuddered the $50-billion wedding industry thriving in India and sent a shocker to couples going for a nuptial bond.

The great Indian big-fat weddings thinned into history in the age of new normal with the events being shifted from grand venues like banquets and five-star hotels to homes. In the process, the newlyweds are left with more than half of their wedding budgets unspent.

“An intimate wedding gives couples time to innovate and save money on a lot of items like clothes and jewellery. They saved money on fixed costs like venue and catering,” says Chandni Kumar, Assistant Editor of ShaadiSaga, a popular platform for marriage planning.

The long lockdowns barred the bridegrooms from their ubiquitous shopping binge. Most brides chose legacy and opted for the dresses and jewelleries of their mothers. This added to their savings. “We had a private wedding in presence of only a few close relatives,” says Faridabad-based Meha Saluja, who got married in March at a Gurudwara, when the second wave of the pandemic had just broken out. “I had thought of buying 20-25 dresses for my marriage but I settled for seven-eight.”

Saluja saved around 60-65 per cent of her wedding budget. She had planned to use the unspent money on her trip to the US where her husband works but, eventually, she gave it all to the treatment of her ailing father-in-law.

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