As Diwali burns brightly away …Get ready for the blushing brides

It is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody does a wedding better or bigger than the proud parents of an Indian bride: and when it comes to bigger, the 2018 nuptials of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal certainly took some beating, with the entire event reportedly coming in at an eye watering USD 100 Million. It was the most opulent event of its kind ever held anywhere on the planet, and I’m including here Kim Kardashian (and that Kanye fellow), Princess Grace of Monaco and her Princely namesake, and Charles and Diana back in 1981, all of whose weddings pale into insignificance in comparison.

Isha and Anand tied the knot in considerable style, with entertainment provided (amongst other show stoppers) by a private(ish) Beyonce concert, and they would have struggled to exchange more than a cursory pleasantry with any but a select few of the 5,100 of their closest friends invited to the celebrations. But, there again, who could seriously expect less when it came to the son of Ajay Piramal and the daughter of Mukesh Ambani (the subcontinent’s richest man and, according to Forbes, the sixth richest man on earth): the entire event lasted several days and criss crossed multiple locations before the last of those thousands of guests finally ran out of steam and went home. Of course, you don’t need to be the daughter of a billionaire to steal the show as the next blushing bride, and to help parents planning their own big event, we now have a new set of auspicious dates to choose from next year: you can look them up on Google, but for those seeking to get in early, that’ll be 19th, 25th to 28th, and 30th to 31st January…and 9th March should be fine too, for those prepared to wait a little longer.

However big or small, though, it’s a striking fact that, when you put them all together, weddings on the Subcontinent over the coming season are expected to generate more than USD 120 billion in service revenues, which makes it (by far) India’s fourth largest commercial sector: coming in ahead of automobiles, steel and technology (and that’s certainly saying something). Finally freed from the restrictions of COVID lockdowns, India’s brides (and bridegrooms) are obviously doing their bit to sustain the subcontinent’s position as the fastest growing large economy on earth.

Sustainable wedding

Venues And when it comes to choosing a venue for the big day, it’s becoming increasingly clear too that sustainability and community engagement are ranking higher than ever before, especially among young couples. As Kunal Shanker, General Manager of the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram resort says (with obvious justification), “What used to be an eco-conscious option among a small group is now becoming a lifestyle norm with GenZ and the millennial couples-to-be. The last seven years have marked a consistent uptake on ‘eco-sustainable celebrations’ where young couples are seeking ways to reduce plastic impact, increase waste segregation and composting, emphasise repurposed decor, reduce fresh-exotic flower decorations and opt for zero carbon menus”. 

That’s a message that’s been at the heart of Eco Hotel’s business model too, ever since it was founded more than a decade ago. We’ve always been on the side of the planet, people, and local communities, because we’re convinced that’s a better way to build a brighter future for the next generation (and their own children too).

And that’s something everyone looking to marry over the coming season will be in favour of: I send each and every one of them my best wishes.