Big fat weddings go costlier in Delhi


The Election Commission spent Rs 1,300 crore for conducting the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But marriage bills would go up much more than the figure, as there are only 24 suitable dates this season between November and February. While more than 21,000 weddings are expected during the period, nearly 10,000 marriages are to solemnised on November 22 and 28 — the most auspicious days to tie the knot, according to astrologers.
“It is known that men are from Mars and women from Venus. So when these two planets along with Jupiter, which signifies marital bliss, are in their own houses, it is considered auspicious,” says  astrologer J K Sethi.

“As the planets are going to change their position, weakening their impact after November 28, there is a big rush for weddings during this period,” Sethi said.
According to wedding planner Manik Chopra, the rush is enormous and people are not shying to spend extra bucks for making their marriages events of a lifetime. “While a normal wedding can cost anything between Rs 1 and 1.5 lakh, the expenditure can grow manifold depending on the client’s budget,” says Chopra of Mansha Wedding.
“As 10,000 couples are going to be married on November 22 and 28, the expected expenditure will touch the Rs 1,000 crore,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the winter rush has triggered a heavy demand for wedding venues, banquet halls, decorators, caterers, marriage planners and organisers — pushing up the rates at least by 15 per cent.

Aslam Khan, banquet manager at Vatika Banquets, says the current per head rates for vegetarians and non- vegetarians are Rs 750 and Rs 850 respectively.
According to Uma, a senior executive at Hyatt Regency in south Delhi, there is a fixed price of Rs 2,400 per head for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Last season, it used to cost about Rs 300 less, she says. While hotel Taj Man Singh charges Rs 2,200 per head, it varies between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,200 in Le Meridian and almost the same in Shangri La.

Ramada and Sheraton have also hiked their prices by 10 to 20 per cent. Similarly, farm houses have also up their tariffs this time.
Ashok Kumar of Tivoli Garden Resort says while the standard packages per head starts from Rs 1,200 (vegetarian) and Rs 1300 (non-veg), it goes up with additional items.
According to Punkaj Bindal, head Showmaker Weddings, the marriage industry is growing at an average rate of 25 per cent per annum. He puts the estimated worth of the industry in Delhi and NCR at over Rs 50,000 crore.

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