Indian millennials are borrowing more to fund their weddings, instead of relying on parents

An expensive affair.
An expensive affair.
Image: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki
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Weddings are, for the most part, a gala affair in India. And Indian millennials no longer want to blow up their parents’ savings for this.

A growing number of young men and women in India are applying for loans to fund their own weddings. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, there was a 30% increase in the number of personal loans Indians took out for these expenses, according to a report by IndiaLends, a loan and credit card provider platform.

The Indian wedding industry is pegged at $50 billion, second only to the $72-billion industry in the US. Indian families spend significant sums of money on the venue, decor, outfits, jewellery, and gifts for their relatives. With growing awareness of Instagrammable trends, these costs go up when celebrity makeup artistes and wedding photographers are added to the mix.

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But millennials seem to want it all with their own money. They overtook older generations of Indians in the number of these personal loan applications, which ranged between Rs2 lakh and Rs30 lakh. “This self-made and self-aware generation believes in managing their own finances and don’t want to burden their family or friends to fulfil their dreams and desires,” said Gaurav Chopra, CEO and founder, IndiaLends.

This generation of Indians also seems to be striving for some sense of gender parity in footing the enormous wedding bills.

Weddings are for everyone

Compared to 2018, metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, saw a 46% increase in personal loans for weddings in 2019.

There was an 18% increase year-on-year in India’s smaller towns.