A Creative Start-Up Gives Tourists An Indian Wedding Experience
By Sharelle Burt
Depending on where your wedding is, you may have an unexpected guest or two crash it for laughs.
Over in India, couples are cashing in on this trend by inviting strangers, often tourists, to witness their nuptials. Sounds like a great thing to add to your list of things to see while visiting the country. Indian weddings are known for being quite exquisite, with their vibrant colors and eccentric ceremonies. Some even last for more than one day and resulting in numerous wardrobe changes for the bride and groom.
A Delhi-based fund manager, Surabhi Chauhan, got married last November with roughly 400 guests. Australian travel bloggers, Carly Stevens, and Tim Gower were on that list, however, Chauhan never met them. The couple spent $200 for a two-day invitation to attend Chauhan’s wedding through a start-up called Join My Wedding. “The concept was pretty new,” Chauhan told CNBC. Chauhan said that she found the start-up while booking her wedding venue. “We were also getting to know people from other countries. We were very much excited and open about it, given the fact that it was new.”
Couples who use Join My Wedding give details about their wedding, and international travelers can buy tickets. While most of the fee paid for the ticket is pocketed by the bride and groom, a portion goes to the website itself. “If you think about it, there’s nothing more cultural than a wedding because you have every cultural element present: The local people, local food, customs, the outfit, the music, basically every cultural element is right there,” Join My Wedding co-founder Orsi Parkanyi told CNBC. Parkanyi chose to focus on weddings in India because they’re so unique and many people don’t have a chance to attend one unless they have a personal connection.
A personal connection was definitely made at Chauhan’s wedding. Since her wedding, she blushing bride has kept in touch with her wedding crasher friends. “We enjoyed it. I didn’t feel like we had invited someone who is a complete stranger because both of them, they were taking initiative,” Chauhan said.
To date, travelers have attended close to 100 Indian weddings. Becoming a popular trend, sites like Indian Holiday and Atithi Voyages are joining in.