Big Fat Wedding VS Intimate Virtual Wedding

Big wedding plans are converting into intimate celebrations. The trends in the wedding industry just flipped from scenic destinations to your homes
lifestyle . 7 min read
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A wedding is the most important life event for individuals. Most couples invest months to plan their perfect 'I do' moment which includes choosing a destination, selecting a theme, preparing a guest list, finalizing food & drinks menu and so much more.

Wedding is a major business in the world especially in India and the US. The wedding industry has a lot of money, $3 billion in the US and $72 billion globally and is expected to reach $87.5 billion by 2025. Various industries have faced a slowdown in the difficult times due to economic crisis and complete shutdown, but the wedding industry has seen an upward growth.

Over 10 million couples get married in India every year and the amount spent on these weddings grows each year. Average life savings spent by families on weddings range between 2 million ($30,000) to 20 million ($3,00,000).

White wedding
Photo by Sara Lobla Photography

The upward trend of expensive weddings

Weddings are a celebration where the couple's friends and family get involved and enjoy the beginning of their new life. These moments require the best arrangements and a lot of planning. The solution to this problem led to the rise in the wedding planning business.

According to the research by Wedding Wire, 85% of couples start discussing their wedding preferences like guest count and type of venue - before getting engaged. While some couples say, one of their biggest challenges during planning is 'knowing where to start' in addition to planning within budget.

Despite all the hurdles, couples who are tech-savvy are using the internet and online services to plan their wedding smoothly and hassle-free. 

On the other hand, as per The Knot Study, 27% of the couples getting married hire some type of professional wedding/event planner for their wedding day. The number isn't surprising as it takes a village to plan a wedding along with the number of hours that go into it. 

The demand for wedding planners increased due to the growing demand for couples and their families to have an extravagant wedding. Be it an intimate destination wedding or larger than life local wedding with a huge guest list, wedding planners are known to be on their feet to arrange the most memorable weddings for their clients. This also led to the trend of 'social-media' weddings where the millennial couples started broadcasting their wedding details and events on social media platforms like Instagram Live, etc.

The trend of virtual wedding picked-up in the year 2017, when the famous fashion blogger and influencer Masoom Minalwala Mehta took over our Instagram feed with the trending #MissSFVirtualWedding. Little did we know that virtual weddings would be a reality in 2020. 

The rise of virtual wedding

A few months into 2020 and you are found sitting on your couch wishing the newlyweds heartiest congratulations on their wedding. Deep inside you are upset that you couldn't be a part of their wedding rituals and celebrations due to the worldwide lock-down in the wake of the Novel Corona Virus pandemic. To-be married couples accepted the new normal quite early.

Most of them did not delay their wedding because of the scary and difficult situations. Instead, they lived in the moment and embraced the beauty of intimate weddings at home with family members only. 

Virtual Wedding
Photo via Pinterest / Online wedding video casting

Soon after the governor of New York declared that virtual wedding is legal, couples headed their way to take their vows of 'in sickness and in health'. Virtual weddings are like a breath of fresh air where guests attend the ceremony through video calls from different parts of the world.

People are finding innovative ways to perform their wedding rituals in the new normal. From arranging small ceremonies on the terrace of the building to streaming them through video conferencing apps, people are inviting guests to join the celebrations from all over the world through the internet. 

Every new system comes with its pros and cons. This new way of getting married is the same. The virtual wedding concept may have reduced expenses and various other costs but it has also pulled us away from the real fun of holding traditional rituals with the extended family and friends around. Many couples have canceled or postponed their wedding to enjoy the big fat celebrations with all the guests present while some of them are having fun by holding the same rituals over a video call. 

Will the big fat wedding fade away?

While a virtual wedding sounds easy and quick, the big fat wedding has a different vibe. Let's take India as an example - weddings in India is a serious business. Families consider this event of life as the most precious and memorable one. With months of planning which includes a long list of shopping and inviting guests, an Indian wedding is organized on a very large scale. It is no less than a festival.

For Indians, to adapt to the new normal of having an intimate affair seems difficult. The wedding planners are trying their best to fulfill the demands of the clients to arrange an equally fantastic intimate wedding with a limited number of guests, but some families still prefer spending a large sum of their savings to make the event grand. 

Indian Wedding

As the economic crisis has hit the businesses of many families, they are considering a small ritual in their houses with the first family members and sending gifts as a token of celebration to their extended family. But will this trend stay or traditional wedding ceremonies will come back? The Indian culture loves involving their families and connections to celebrate happy moments and hence the idea of the big fat wedding will return. It may be a slow process with precautions but it will be back in style and glamour. 

On the other hand, there will be new millennial and gen z couples who will plan to get away to an intimate destination with their families to get married. In this way, they can fulfill their wishes of a destination wedding and also embrace an intimate wedding with the blessing of close members. 

As we predict the future of a rise in intimate wedding celebrations, the family and friends should take of certain things to bless the couple. Here are a few tips for the families of the couple who will bless them through a video call: 

For the hosts:

Indian wedding
Photo by AMISH THAKKAR on Unsplash

For the guests:

Make the most of the moment to the couple feel special on their wedding day, whether it’s a big fat celebration or a virtual wedding.

It's surreal to think that the concept of the big fat wedding has suddenly changed to a fixed number of guests. Where weddings served as a chance to meet our extended family and bless the new couple, it was also a time to dress up extra without judgments. The extravagant affair may seem a waste of money for some but the money for spent on happiness. 

On one side I hope the concept of weddings to be intimate and limited to close members but on the other side, I will miss getting invited to a long lost family member's wedding for the delicious buffet and dressing up.

The sudden restrictions and limitations have taught me to value gatherings and meeting with families even more. Such gatherings were the best way to bond with the extended family. I hope for the world to get normal soon, while I wait for a new wedding invitation.

lifestyle . 7 min read
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A writer who loves watching movie-marathons. Otherwise, you'll find her walking around the city, cafe-hopping & trying the best food around.

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