Many people lump all Indian weddings together. But the fact is, not all Indian weddings are massive, full week affairs with 500 guests. In 2018 we received a record breaking number of inquiries for smaller Indian weddings 250 and even 100 guests.
Additionally, for the first time we saw requests from a segment of the market that we’d never been in touch with before – people who emigrated to the United States from India, South Asia.
You might be saying to yourself….isn’t that the entire Indian market? Yes and no. Until now, venue catering teams mostly worked with first generation Indian-Americans. Young couples whose parents emigrated from India and other parts of South Asia. Increasingly young people who emigrated from India and South Asia are choosing to have their nuptials here, where previously most of them flew back home to India.
So what does this mean for venues and catering teams? GROWTH. A whole new segment of the market to serve. It also means that venues that typically shied away from Indian weddings, thinking their venue was too small, can now open their doors to this profitable business. Why? Because this segment of the market has smaller weddings. It makes sense, as their relatives and primary networks are back in India. They’re having 75-200 person weddings which previously was unheard of.
Other good news for venues? These weddings tend to have shorter booking windows. This year we booked 3 weddings with booking windows ranging from 1-4 months! That’s unheard of in the Indian market which typically book 10-12 months in advance.
Other impacts on Catering Sales Teams. Indian weddings in India are very different than Indian weddings in the United States. Over there, wedding ceremonies could be in the middle of the night (based on the auspicious time given by the officiant). Cocktail hour is just not a thing in India and for many, neither is a wedding reception. The sangeet the night before doubles as a reception. Also, Indian weddings in India tend to be much less formal in terms of schedules, seating arrangements, and programs.
Different Venues. They also take place in a variety of venues. In India most people do not get married at a hotel or resort. Most weddings take place at very elegant farmhouses, banquet halls, or parks that are completely transformed with elaborate decor and lighting. And more modest weddings at temples and people’s homes.
Tactically, what does all of this mean for catering sales executives? It means catering sales managers are going to have to educate these prospects more. Help them understand how Indian weddings flow, here – timing, schedules, policies such as fire, minimums, beverage packages and more.
The newest South Asians who have emigrated to the United States represent an entirely new market segment — great news for venues! Even better it’s a growing segment, that is actively looking for venues to host their weddings. The economy is strong couples and their families have more discretionary income. Other good news – their booking windows tend to be shorter than most weddings.
Catering Manager should expect to invest more time to educate these prospects, as Indian weddings in India are very different than Indian weddings in the United States. But the investment of time is well worth it!
Have you read our article on How Consumers Compare/Contrast Venues for an Indian Wedding?
These articles are part of ShaadiShop’s series:
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“We’re so glad we joined ShaadiShop to market this hotel to the South Asian community in the Orange County area. Every wedding we close from their leads returns more than 3x our investment. Moreover, they pre-qualify leads and educate consumers creating a much better sales cycle for our catering team. Venues looking to reach this market, join ShaadiShop!”
Catering Sales Manager
Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove
“We just booked a full Indian wedding through ShaadiShop at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. In addition to the business, we appreciate the exposure ShaadiShop creates about our venue, as the couple didn’t know about our resort until ShaadiShop told them about us. Additionally, we appreciate the pre-qualification work that ShaadiShop does to match couples and venues that are a good fit for each other. We had all the info needed to conduct the initial meeting. What a great service for venues to market to the South Asian community!”
Catering Sales Manager
Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!”
Anjli Shah, Bride
“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. And best of all, it was free!!”
Hinna Shaikh, Bride