You know a wedding’s big when it doesn’t just break the bank — it sways global markets.
There are up to 20 million weddings a year in India, and while no two relationships are the same, all will have one thing in common.
Gold — and lots of it. So much of the precious metal in fact, that it can influence the price of gold around the world.
«No wedding in India is complete without gold,» explains Vithika Agarwal, co-founder of Divya Vithika Wedding Planners, in Bangalore.
«It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are — you will still own gold according to your status. And because this is a day when you’re showing off your prosperity, wealth, and material goods, the amount of gold you’re wearing really matters.»
Indian brides take jewelery to an extravagant new level, dripping in spectacular hair accessories, nose rings, earrings, necklaces and amulets — «sometimes to the point where you’ll see more gold than their face,» says Somasundaram PR, managing director of the World Gold Council in India.
And this tradition is driving the country’s huge appetite for gold — which now accounts for a quarter of global demand.
India’s love affair with gold
India is the second-biggest consumer of gold in the world (slightly behind China), buying anywhere between 800 and 1,000 tons of the luminous metal every year, according to the World Gold Council.
«India has a huge impact on the global gold price,» says PR.
«The country’s demand is largely in the form of jewelery — of that, between 50% and 60% is bridal.»
Written in the stars?
Whether or not you believe love is written in the stars, they still have a huge impact on the number of weddings in India.
And with the Hindu calendar showing a drop in the number of auspicious dates for weddings this year, there could be consequences for gold markets around the world.