Sunday, April 8, 2012

Instant Marriage Solutions

“From Kolam to Kattu Sadam; from the traditional Rangoli out side the wedding hall to the packed meals given to departing groom`s party, we will take care of everything” scream advertisements in many family magazines.

“You have the bride and groom ready? – come to us, we will take care of all wedding arrangements- you just sign the cheque!” says another advertisement.

“Your NRI son is coming and he has just three weeks to find a bride and take her back to USA? Don’t worry; we have a package deal under which we will take care of all your requirements”

Managing weddings is big business and many chief cooks turned marriage contractors have found this truth and are laughing all the way to their banks. The concept of labour contracts for weddings has become almost non existent. Fortunately when I conducted the mega wedding of my eldest daughter, eighteen years ago, I could find a good cook who agreed to such an arrangement and I saved a couple of lakhs in terms of expenses. I had, of course, a whole battery of relatives, friends and office staff to help me manage the event!

Times have changed. In this stressful world people who claim that they have no time for anything are constantly looking for instant solutions to their problems. A family wedding is one such situation; leading to proliferation of wedding specialists catering to a variety of pockets.

Like in any service business, there are well known contractors who don’t accept contracts which do not fulfill their minimum billing requirements. Most of the contractors charge the wedding parties based on the number of meals to be served to guests and extra support required. The rate for a typical vegetarian South Indian meal in Chennai varies from Rs 200 per plate to Rs 500 per plate depending on the menu and the reputation of the contractor!

Apart from chief cooks turned marriage contractors today there are a whole host of Event Managers who also specialize in managing big weddings on a turn key basis. From helping in designing fancy invitation cards, to providing theme based hall decorations. planning a 70 course multi-cuisine meal, managing the travel and stay arrangements of outstation guests, providing wholesome entertainment including special appearance of some Bollywood or Kollywood star(for a fee of course) and generally looking after every guest including a nice parting gift, the event manager takes care of everything. Depending on the depth of a client`s pockets, the event manager can help blow up the not-so-hard earned black money to massage people`s ever bloating egos!

Investing in Wedding Halls is a good business to be in- because boys and girls are forever getting married looking for a place to tie the knot in front of friends and relatives!

Good marriage halls are booked years in advance. In fact it is not unusual for a bride`s father to book a famous hall first and then looking for the bride-groom. I know of a friend who tried this approach only to find that his daughter had already found her life partner from another community, had a registered marriage and then announced the news to her family. Though my friend felt let down, the positive side of the story is that he saved on the huge amount he would have otherwise spent on a grand wedding!

Marriages are made in Heaven- is an old saying. Today most of the marriages are made in cyberspace! Brides and Grooms try to find their life partners through the Internet, try to understand each other through chats on the net , mobiles or through web cameras and Skypes before saying `Yes`. It is not unusual for the bride and groom to meet each other just a couple of days before the wedding! It is another matter that many such instant marriages fall apart within a couple of months because of physical incompatibility, something, a couple can find out only when they live together under the same roof!

Like everything instant – instant coffee, instant foods, instant medicare- providing Instant Marriage Solutions has come to stay as a huge business opportunity for the multi talented marriage contractors and the event managers. Cheers to them!

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