Okay, so Indian weddings are fun. They’re also a whole lot of work. And that’s the reason why the wedding industry in India has experienced a slick makeover with an entire baraat of homegrown wedding planners sprouting up over the past decade. Destination weddings, glamorous decor, haute wedding favours and bridal registries have by now become par for the course.
Seeing the $40 billion marriagescape in India, international planners too are eyeing a piece of the nuptials pie. One of whom is Zank You, the world’s most popular online wedding portal and app (with a presence in over 23 countries). Its aim is to meet the needs of the well-travelled, upmarket millenial bride and groom looking at organising their own wedding hoopla.
Says Mrinalini Singh, country head for Zank You in India, “Our bride is between 21-35 years. Someone who is trend savvy, searches online for five recommendations for her mega wedding in say, Jaisalmer, and needs to know the latest palette in lehengas instantly. That is where Zank You comes in.” As a premier wedding registry and reference platform, the entity functions as an online facilitator.
“Within days of our launch on January 31, we have got 5,000 Indian brides registered with us already and over 14.5 lakh page views,” she shares. Clearly, the service isn’t really competing with any wedding planner in the evergreen Indian wedding mart as it comes complete with its own premium, exhaustive database of curated wedding services and vendors granting you instant access to the best skills worldwide to make your big day extra special.
An online wedding planner that effectively zaps aside the rather time-sapping wedding planning into an independent online format. Just what your little heart desired. Interestingly, Zank You was launched in 2007 in Europe by its co-founders Guillermo Fernandez Riba and Javier Calleja when they faced great challenges in arranging their own nuptials.
So what happens when you sign up with them? “You get a free website, complete with an RSVP service, Save the Date frill, a personalised theme for your wedding—you can even get your online wedding invitation here, complete with music,” says Singh. “Of course, the content is completely local. From the online magazine spanning trends of interest to the millennial couple across India and overseas, to information and direct access to venues, photographers, mehendiwallis and bridal registry lists.”
The company is headquartered in Madrid but seizes the pulse of the local culture. “In Germany, weddings are more like birthday parties. In Brazil, marriages are a roaring community affair. In India, they are an all-important celebration, involving the older generation in the family tree as well. We understand and realise this aspect and therefore our core team is Indian,” she says. That brings in the important collaborations with Vandana Mohan of The Wedding Design Company and leading make-up artiste Namrata Soni in Mumbai on their panel of experts.
It is a cool, hip menu, with the “e-shagun” option featuring prominently on the website. “When people travel for destination weddings, they would want to avoid the stress of carrying the cash they wish to gift the bridal couple—it is a tradition in India to gift money. Through the e-shagun option, people can transfer money to the account of the couple beforehand. This works beautifully as these days the couples prefer their own choice in the purchase of furniture and electronic gadgets in setting up their new home,” explains Singh.
With over 50 million visitors clocking into the website, Zank You gradually plans to expand its footprint into satellite cities such as Pune, Jaipur, Agra, and Lucknow over the next five years. Bring on the celebrations.