The days of leaving dogs at home with a pet sitter or skipping weddings are long gone. It's crucial to recognise the significance of pets in Indian weddings which are lavish affairs and cherished occasions to celebrate family and love. Our animal buddies, who are equally important family members, have been included in the concept of family in recent years.
It's time to start using the word "paw-parents" instead of "pet owners." More and more Indian couples are choosing pet-friendly weddings these days, making their children or furry pets an important part of their special day. In fact, when couples narrow down their ideal wedding site, the question "Is your wedding venue pet-friendly" has grown in importance. Pet-friendly weddings are not simply a fad; they are an emotional phenomenon. As a result, many wedding venues and suppliers are fast making the necessary change.
Rumela Sen, Editorial Lead, of WeddingWire India shares her views on pet-friendly weddings in India with IANSlife.
Why are pet-friendly weddings gaining popularity?
Rumela: Hold onto your hats, animal lovers! Furry and feathered friends or four-pawed kids are not just cute accessories in wedding photos; they're bona fide members of the couple's family and the wedding party! And it's no surprise, given that pets are increasingly being viewed as beloved family members. This familial bond can be backed by data such as how nearly 47% of pet parents in tier 2 and 3 cities spend between INR 1500-3000 per month on their pets (survey by Supertails.com). As per the India International Pet Trade Fair, the Indian pet market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% between 2021 and 2026, reaching Rs 1.3 billion by 2026. The number of pet owners in India is also on the rise, with the Indian Pet Market report indicating that there are over 19 million pet dogs in the country alone.
How is the wedding industry catering to the trend?
Rumela: To cater to the growing demand for pet-friendly weddings, wedding planners and venues are now offering a range of services to accommodate pets. Many wedding venues have started offering pet-friendly accommodations, pet-friendly catering options, and even pet care services on-site. Wedding planners are also offering services such as pet grooming and pet transportation to ensure that pets are well taken care of on the big day in tier 1 cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, etc. One must also keep in mind that bringing their furry kids to the wedding might also mean compromising on a few common wedding elements or rituals in India or planning their pet's entry to the event accordingly. Most dogs for example are sensitive to dhol beats, loud music, and bursting crackers or pyros during various wedding ceremonies – wedding planners are more thoughtful about the elements that need to be added to pet-friendly weddings now. Replacing crackers with flower showers or planning "time-slots" for dhol walas are some easy ways to make the wedding event comfortable for your furry kids.
Who are the furry friends at weddings?
Rumela: The trend of pet-friendly weddings is not limited to just dogs. Cats, rabbits, and even parrots have also made appearances at pet-friendly weddings in India.
How is the trend beneficial for pets?
Rumela: As family members, your four-pawed kids or friends are much needed in your biggest celebration. Weddings are long events for families and can go on for 3-4 or more days with multiple guests at home and travel plans. For many pets, being separated from their owners can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Including them in the wedding can help alleviate these feelings and make them feel more comfortable and of course, this is the best occasion to shower them with the love and attention they truly deserve.
More and more couples are opting to include their furry friends in their big day and venues are willing to accommodate to support their sentiment. With the pet industry expected to continue to grow in India, it's safe to say that pet-friendly weddings are here to stay.