Indian Weddings – a million dollar industry
Did you know that there are more than 10 million weddings held in India annually? A BBC News Asia article ‘How technology is changing Indian weddings’ sheds light on the Indian wedding business industry that is worth over USD 25 million and is growing at a rate of 30% every year.
Ideally, we shouldn’t be surprised as we may not realise that something that is so personal and emotional such as a wedding actually has such a vast economic impact in our country.
It also goes to show the amount families are willing to spend to make this day extra special. With budgets going up to crores, there’s a massive potential in the Indian wedding segment that allows budding entrepreneurs to carve their niche in this segment. Gradually with the technology boom, this unorganised segment has given rise to niche services such as Wedding Photographers, Wedding Planners, Matrimonial Sites and Wedding Gift Registries.
The Wedding Wishlist dream team – (L-R) – Tanvi, Kanika & Sathish
Have you heard about India’s first Wedding Gift Registry?
What makes weddings so memorable? Apart from being a special day for the newlyweds and their families, it is also the love and blessings they receive in the form of gifts and presents. And God forbid, the young couple is the recipient of some really tacky and obnoxious gifts that they have no use of whatsoever, it will stay in the minds of the couple for years to come.
This is where, an all-encompassing platform such as The Wedding Wishlist has come to the rescue of couples to be married, helping them to clearly state what is it that they want and how their families and guests can reciprocate without hurting anyone’s sentiments.
The Lifestyle Portal in conversation with Kanika Subbiah, the Founder of The Wedding Wishlist about her vision, dreams and aspirations to provide an online/ offline platform for couples getting married. With a seed fund capital, her dream project was launched almost two years ago, along with her co-founders Sathish Subramanian and Tanvi Saraf.
When did it all begin?
While she watched her friend sighing sadly at the list of unwanted gifts instead of rejoicing the feeling of being a newlywed, Kanika realised that there was a considerable gap in the sentiments in a couple’s most special day.
When her friend had to send 200 thank you notes for the gifts to all her guests, while actually she could only use four gifts, and landed up shopping for items for their new home, Kanika decided it was time to bridge this gap with something that’s sensible, smart and seamlessly fits in for both the newlyweds and their guests too.
This was how the idea of a wedding registry was born, that allowed couples to sign up with an online platform that communicates with their guests what is it exactly they want as a gift, so that there’s no wastage of time, effort, money and most importantly, no love lost between the giver and the receiver.
The Indian wedding gifting tradition – make it wise
“Every couple we speak to loves the idea of a gift registry and wants to do one. Our greatest barrier however, is social, as despite a strong desire to create a registry couples worry about the social acceptance of the concept. When it comes to India, we have a mind-block against asking for anything – we feel it might offend our guests. We don’t realize that a gift registry is as helpful to the couple as it is to a guest,” explains Kanika.
In fact, Kanika mentions that The Wedding Wishlist is overcoming this challenge with sustained marketing efforts highlighting the millennial mindset where couples today don’t want to hoard things they won’t use, want to minimise waste on their wedding and want gifts they will actually use.
USP of The Wedding Wishlist
What makes The Wedding Wishlist unique is that they’re not only trying to bring a much-needed gifting idea to India but also introducing technology to Indian weddings, which has primarily been an unorganised and offline industry.
“With our apps, tools and services (most of which are free), we’re helping couples ease the planning process and get it on their fingertips. Regarding competition, no other company is doing a wedding registry or invested in developing wedding technology on any notable scale. So I don’t think in India there is another platform such as ours, which we consider competition. However, brands like The Knot and Zola internationally are the kind of services we offer,” adds Kanika.
Make smarter decisions & planning with The Wedding Wishlist
Services and products offered at The Wedding Wishlist
Free/ complimentary service
There is a blend of paid and free services that young couples could sign up for at The Wedding Wishlist. For instance, in their free service, their Gift Registry lets you list the things you want for your new home; and the best part being, it could be from anywhere and will be delivered to your doorstep at your convenient time.
The second free service offered by The Wedding Wishlist, is the Wedding Website – that lets you share your story of how you met, with an elegant customised webpage that allows you to incorporate your gift registry in it.
Not to forget, The Wedding Wishlist also ensures that your wedding planning is as stress-free as possible with their customisable wedding Checklist that lets you set reminders, write notes and get recommendations too!
They also ensure that you don’t go overboard with your wedding expenses. Sign up for their budget planning tool that helps you manage, track and allocate expenses.
Now here’s a novel concept introduced by The Wedding Wishlist, called the Vowed Wedding App. With this app you can share the details of your wedding, manage guest lists and RSVPs, upload wedding photos, chat with guests, and make announcements. For just ₹2,000, this app most certainly makes your life a lot simpler.
From ₹200 and above The Wedding Wishlist will help you in creating a video, e-invites to even printed invitation cards. If you’re choosing to go digital on your wedding, you can also opt for e-invitation cards with some exclusive designs.
Don’t let the logistics of hosting your friends and relatives bog you down. The Guested App by The Wedding Wishlist gives you immense support by tracking RSVPs, transport and accommodation, itinerary and welcome messages and even send notifications and more – for just ₹5,000 for the app.
The Guested App makes it unbelievably easy to manage the complex logistics of guest hospitality. It helps you track RSVPs, assign transport and rooms to outstation guests, and send an itinerary and welcome message to those attending. You can even send notifications or print address labels with just a click.
Set up your new home with choices available at The Wedding Wishlist
Collaborations with brands/ service providers
The list of gifts available or that can be added by the couple can range from home and kitchen appliances, gift cards, brands, travel and experiences and even charitable causes that a couple may be a part of. This is one of the most practical and thoughtful initiatives that every newlywed should explore and maximise on.
“The Wedding Wishlist works with brands and vendors across the country to list their products on our registry and we deduct a commission from the brand on every purchase a guest makes. The cost is borne by the brand and not the couple or the guest,” explains Kanika.
Their clients are young millennial couples from tier 1 cities, who are educated and well-spoken professionals. Most of them hail from top cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. These young couples are progressive in their mind-sets who want to fund their own wedding, not waste money and have enough exposure to the concept to be able to adopt it.
Kanika further adds, “On an average, a couple engages with us for about 6-8 weeks before their wedding, and share their registry with their guests 3-4 weeks before the wedding. We have a team of wedding experts who are in touch with registry couples on phone, email and WhatsApp to help them with the registry. Chennai-based couples can come into our office anytime for a meeting.”
Indian Weddings made smarter & sensible
Future plans for The Wedding Wishlist
Kanika signs off by saying, “We hope to make wedding gift registries a norm in India, where couples think of it as a logical part of their wedding planning. We’re working to add new technologies to our portfolio to give couples a seamless user experience. In fact, we’re also looking to branch out to other registry formats like a baby registry, housewarming etc.”
You can get in touch with the team here.
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