JAIPUR: Rajasthan, famous globally for its destination weddings, has been badly affected by demonetisation.
The desert state, immensely popular even among NRIs for solemnising marriages, recorded a huge dip.
Majority of the big fat weddings have been postponed and new dates are yet to be decided.
Wedding planners claim that the winter of 2016 has brought them heavy losses. Usually November and December are auspicious for weddings and the archaeological and scenic beauty of Rajasthan beckons people from all over the world to choose from a plethora of beautiful venues.
Mohit Sand, a wedding planner and president of Rajasthan Event Management, told DH: “Demonetisation has severely affected wedding-related businesses in Rajasthan this season. Around 80% of the domestic weddings got cancelled while the NRI weddings have been equally affected. For the NRIs, December is the perfect time for a destination wedding in India owing to Christmas break in the US and other western countries.”
The cancellations have had a cascading effect on hotel business as well.
“We had booked different hotels and forts in Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur but all events have been postponed and there is no confirmation from the clients about the new dates,” Sand added.
Most of the lavish weddings were cut short to one-day affairs, that too without the customary band, elephants and camels.
Rahul Gaur of Rajasthan, known for organising weddings all over India, told DH, “Most of the weddings got postponed whereas some of them that took place were downsized. The rituals were minus mehndi, sangeet and haldi ceremony.”
Apart from planners and hoteliers, other occupations associated with wedding ceremonies equally affected are caterers, light decorators, DJs, florists, elephant and horse owners etc.
“The daily wagers such as florists and those associated with bands were badly hit since there was no cash flow in the market and their wages were stuck,” Gaur added.
Most of the weddings usually see a gathering of 1,000-1,500 people but in times of demonetisation, only 300-350 guests were invited.
And the impact may carry forward as the wedding planners are worried about bookings for next year too.
Sand said, “Usually, by now we used to have a fair idea about next year’s weddings in June and July but this year there are no pre-bookings and not even a single query has come from the clients.”
Rajasthan, known as the exotic wedding destination, hosted actor Elizabeth Hurley and NRI tycoon Arun Nayar’s wedding in 2007.
Similarly, singer Katy Perry and comedian Russell Brand chose Ranthambore to solemnise their wedding while another regal wedding of New York hotelier Vikram Chatwal and Priya Sachdev took place in Zenana Mahal of City Palace in Udaipur.