Confessions of a wedding industry professional

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“Weight issues aside, people don’t even want a girl with an uneven skin tone or bad hair. They want Barbie lookalikes”

The wedding industry is doing very well, but there is still very little money for people working in it. That’s because every mother thinks she can do a better job than the expert. The latter are never paid enough as most families downplay their talent and try and cut corners. They even say things like, “Oh, this guy is out to cheat you. I can get it done for half the money.” The only good thing is that there is little cut-throat competition, since many of these elitist women plan weddings only as a hobby. But in terms of make-up artists, hairstylists, trousseau designers, it’s pretty competitive, and things can get quite nasty.

The focus is much more on looks than ever before. Leave weight issues aside, people don’t even want a girl who has uneven skin tone or bad hair. Everything has to be perfect. It’s ridiculous. They want Ken and Barbie lookalikes. It’s scary, as that means that many people will find it hard to get married. Careers are important—it’s all about marrying a rich guy or girl. The poor guy gets the girl only in a movie. In the wedding market, if you don’t have a few crore to your name, you never get anywhere.

Also, the focus is too much on the wedding itself, rather than the fact that people are getting married to each other. It’s more about which designer cards you will have, what designer lehenga you will wear, who will do your make-up, and who will perform at your wedding. It’s hardly ever about celebrating the fact that you will be marrying the love of your life.

It’s fun to be backstage, because you see the elite in their real avatars. They look all elegant and classy, but are crass and downmarket. I have seen a bride shouting at the assistant of a famous make-up artist and she only stopped when the make-up artist himself put her in her place. Relatives fight like cats and dogs, tempers are high—it’s a mad house. Everyone shows their true colours where money is concerned.

(This person has been in the industry for over a decade)

As told to Aastha Atray Banan