The Rising Costs of Weddings, and How to Fund Them
A wedding is a cause for celebrations the world over. Weddings are becoming more and more lavish, and people are finding newer ways to spend even more at their weddings. A look at the wedding trends in the US and India show that young people (and their parents!) need to start saving early for wedding expenses. One way in which to save for a wedding is to take a variety of a life insurance policy known as an endowment policy; upon the regular payment of premiums for a set period of time, the policyholder gets a sum assured plus bonuses on the maturity of the policy.
Trends in the Global Wedding Industry
According to an article on grreporter.info, the global wedding industry is worth more than USD 300 billion in terms of annual operations. A substantial part of this is due to destination weddings, which account for almost one fourth of the total number of weddings happening across the world over the period of a year.
The Wedding Industry in the US
An article on ir.xogroupinc.com states that as per The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Survey of 18,000 brides and grooms married in the US in 2015, the average cost of a wedding in the US has jumped to USD 32,641 in 2015, from USD 31,213 in 2014. The most expensive place to get married in the US is in Manhattan, in New York city, where the average wedding cost is USD 82,299. The average wedding has 139 guests, with five bridesmaids and five groomsmen. The most popular month for a wedding is October, followed by September; on the other hand, the most popular month for the engagement is December. The percentage of destination weddings in the US is 21%, down from 24% in 2014.
The Indian Wedding Industry
According to an article on businessinsider.in, the wedding industry in India is worth over Rs 100,000 crore, with an annual growth rate of 25-30%. The cost of a wedding with no expenses spared could be anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 5 crore, depending on the economic status of those organizing the wedding and the wedding location. The booming wedding industry has a lot of ancillary benefits; the jewelry market, the apparel market, the market for wedding decorations, and the makeup market all benefit from growth in the wedding industry. The wedding planning industry has also got a boost; as of January 2015, the wedding planning industry was pegged at USD 40 billion.
The Future of the Indian Wedding Industry Looks Bright
As per an article on linkedin.com, the wedding industry in India is set to glow brightly for years to come. The current population of India is around 1.25 billion; considering an average family size of five members, there are 250 million families in India. With one marriage per family every 20 years, there are roughly 10 million weddings in the country every year. Also, half of India’s population is under 29 years of age. There is thus a huge market out there, and a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking an entry into the wedding business. As incomes increase, spending on weddings and on gold (traditionally given as a gift on weddings, especially by the girl’s family) will increase substantially. The wedding industry is thus expected to triple to Rs 300,000 crore in a few years.
Ways to Save for Future Wedding Expenses
Wedding expenses are set to keep increasing year after year, given the young population of India and inflation. Thus, it is a good idea to start building savings for marriage expenses from an early age. Fixed deposits are an option; however, the interest earned is subject to taxes. One could invest in mutual funds; however, one can’t guarantee the returns earned, and these will also be subject to taxes. As an article on insurance.birlasunlife.com states, an endowment policy can help to plan for the future by guaranteeing a certain sum of money on the maturity of the policy; the premiums paid are tax-deductible, and the maturity amount received is also tax-free!.