Crash of a Season

Even if social distancing restrictions ease up in the coming
months, gatherings like wedding functions will be limited by
head count and may face other exacting requirements.

By Khawaja Amer | August 2020

Weddings are being canceled left and right due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but what’s been missing from the headlines is the crash of the $300 billion wedding industry worldwide.

Pakistan is no exception. According to a report recently published in the Daily Times, “The rapid spread of COVID-19 — and the travel bans and warnings about social distancing that have come with it — is wreaking havoc on the $78 billion wedding industry.” According to a seminar ‘Wedding industry, its growth, potential and recognition’ held at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) about a decade back --- the Pakistan wedding industry was worth Rs900 billion per annum, of which Karachi alone contributed Rs168 billion and yet the industry’s optimum potential had not been fully utilized. No statistics on wedding industry were released by the KCCI or FPCCI after this seminar. By the way, India’s wedding industry is worth Rs119 billion.

Presenting a breakdown of the wedding expenditures, the seminar was informed, “Beauty parlours get 2 per cent of the total expenditure, and decorators get 4 per cent, while caterers get 16 per cent. The venue costs 6 per cent of the total expenditures to the bride and groom while furniture, boutique and jewellers take 7 per cent, 13 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively whereas, other small expenditures mount to 35 per cent of the total expenses. In short, the average wedding expenditure for a family comes to around Rs1.3million.”

A presentation on this seminar further added that as the per capita income of an individual has increased manifolds, as such people are more willing to spend on luxurious weddings. Pre-Covid, an estimated 125,000 wedding ceremonies took place in Karachi alone, of which, on an average, the overall wedding expenditure on the bride’s side was estimated to be Rs832,500 while the groom spent about Rs513,500.

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