New Delhi: With over four decades of expertise in the wedding industry, The Knot Worldwide, the largest wedding technology company in the world has released its ‘Global COVID-19 Weddings Report’ which also has India-specific findings. To help couples, venues and service partners across the world navigate wedding planning during the pandemic, the company undertook a large-scale global consumer survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on weddings scheduled from October 2020 through February 2021. Surprisingly, three-fourths of the couples (76%) are confident that they will go ahead with the wedding ceremony on the scheduled date, and not wait for a big fat Indian wedding celebration. Most couples will reduce the size of their guest lists (68%) and hire fewer vendors (60%) to ensure that COVID-19 norms are followed and complete measures are taken in accordance with the Central and State Governments’ event guidelines to ensure the safety for couples and their guests would be implemented.
The grand Indian multi-function wedding celebration underwent an update this year to offer a leaner and more sustainable format, as echoed by the consumer survey findings below:
- 23% of the couples are not going ahead with a wedding reception itself while 48% are planning one but with all health and safety measures to ensure everyone’s well-being. The number of wedding receptions being canceled is the highest in India globally.
- Abiding by local rules and regulations, a vast majority of to-be-weds (80%) will encourage social distancing – between people and tables.
- Taking into cognizance the restriction on the number of guests at the ceremony, 90% of the couples will be inviting only immediate family and close friends. A few would also invite extended family (30%) who reside in the same city for a private get together while more than half the couples (52%) want friends and family from outside their city of residence to be present to share their magical moment.
- A quarter (25%) would want their guests to take a COVID-19 test ahead of the event as a precautionary measure.
- At the ceremony, 75% of Indian couples will be conducting temperature checks for attendees and a follow-up check with them, a week after the event to check for symptoms (47%). Guests will be provided with hand sanitizers (91%), face masks (79%), and members of the staff and vendors such as photographers, makeup artists, etc., will be required to wear masks or PPE kits (84%).
- Only 40% of couples anticipate that their budget will be 25% or lesser than what they had originally planned.
- 33% of the couples are seeking different venue options that can accommodate smaller groups of guests.
- The traditional concept of an Indian wedding, one that spans through days, has also changed with 27% of the couples opting for several small events on one day with limited people rather than several large one-day events.
“We are glad to see that couples in India are staying positive and are keen to celebrate their special day, despite the pandemic, by making necessary arrangements and precautions,” says Ankur Sarawagi, India Country Head, The Knot Worldwide. “TKWW always urges couples and vendor partners to host celebrations in a responsible manner by complying with local guidelines and regulations in the interest of their, and their loved ones’ safety. In addition to the health and safety measures, couples and vendors have also come up with smarter ways to make weddings work for them, making this an innovative period for the wedding industry of increased digitization. Couples have found newer ways to commemorate their love for one another and for sharing it with others through live streaming through video calls. Others are hosting socially distant gatherings of friends and family or intimate mini-ceremonies with immediate family on their original wedding date, followed by a larger event when the pandemic subsides. While it’s key to remain optimistic, we want to assure couples that love is not canceled. They can still celebrate it in its glory.”
The Knot Worldwide, present in 15 countries across apps, website, an online marketplace of venues and wedding professionals, foresees a rise in the use of wedding technology for wedding solutions in the coming years. With digital platforms becoming more and more relevant and consumers seeking solutions for all their requirements online, The Knot WorldWide sees this as a huge huge potential for the Indian wedding market. The company which is already present in India with WeddingWire, plans on bringing its other leading brands to the country in the near future, to cater to this potential demand. As we continually adapt to changing circumstances, The Knot WorldWide anticipates weddings being celebrated with enthusiasm but in completely different ways as one thing remains unchanged – the desire for human connection and the celebration of love with loved ones.
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