Delhi’s Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, not very long ago compared preparing for the games as preparing for a great Indian wedding. Replying to a question about projects running late, she stated that it is like weddings in India where everything in the beginning is chaotic and unorganized but later everything ends well; the baraatis go satisfied and happy with all the arrangements. Is that really the way Big or Small Weddings typically happen in India? WeddingSutra spoke to UK and India based Wedding Planner Anita Patel on how Wedding Planning in India is different from Wedding Planning in the West.
Huge Creative Talent, but different Efficiency Levels
Having worked in the international circuit in weddings for some time there is a vast difference in the styles of the East and the West. There is an enormous amount of creative talent in India; however the on-ground vendors lack the organisational and efficiency levels of the West. The actual working processes are harder in India due to the internet not being as fully utilised as much as in the UK. In India if I send an email to a vendor, I have to telephone and tell them check their email, defeating the purpose of email. The exact opposite is in UK- in most instances vendors respond within an hour.
The Written Word
There are many key differences in the planning process between two countries. Brides in UK want to see everything in writing. Contracts are prevalent for all venues and vendors, and clients like to see what is included and what is not, so it is easier for them to identify what else they need to get organised in addition to what the venue will provide.
Both in India and abroad, venues have a much friendlier approach with a wedding client as it is not like a corporate client where there is no emotional tie to the occasion.
Unfortunately, even the most professional Hotels in India, lack personal attention to enquiries—so typically proposals for weddings are all standard ‘templates’. This is not the case in UK, where more time is spent in the proposal preparation stage, and this ensures a higher success rate of conversions.
WeddingSutra Editor’s view
Anita Patel’s view on the high creative levels and lower efficiency of Indian vendors makes for an insightful comment. But we believe wedding venues and vendors in India are forced to behave differently— because Indian clients are very different too; they often call up twenty different venues or vendors to get the best possible deal. Sometimes they spend a lot of time and get loads of information from one party, and in case they aren’t hiring their services, they don’t even bother to inform them about their final decision.
‘Idea shopping’– Many clients spend a lot of time with vendors, knowing well that they can’t afford their services. This forces vendors to look at clients with ‘suspicion’ and not part with the best samples of their work.
‘We can do it better’: Clients typically prefer to outsource creative work only—like decor and design, but don’t want to pay too much money for organising or communication kinda work—like RSVP ing, Vendor Checklists, Travel and Transport Coordination and Help Desks. People in the West will be surprised to learn that the logistics/ coordination aspects in the Weddings hosted by big business or corporate head honchos are not managed by Wedding Planners but by the hosts office staff; for a fortnight or upto a few months, the staff ignore important business work and concentrate all their time and energies on the Big Boss’ wards wedding.
All ‘Last-minute’: As most clients are busy getting quotes from other vendors, the chosen one is informed in the last-minute, when there is little time for detailed proposals or written documentation.
As Delhi’s Chief Minister so rightly described it, “all is well’ in the last minute at Weddings. We pray the same is the case with the Commonwealth Games too!