US Gets a Taste of Indian Wedding Spectaculars

July 1, 2008

Author: Brajesh Upadhyay

Source: Hinduism Today/BBC News


Minnie, the elephant, is used to being the star. Traffic comes to a halt and heads turn when she walks down the street. And inviting her to your event can cost anything upwards of $8,500. She and other four-legged beauties are part of a booming wedding industry that caters to the ever-growing demands of rich Indians in the US.

Manan Shah had a childhood dream of taking centre stage in his marriage procession - or baraat - on an elephant. A relative's wedding in India where he saw an elephant carry the groom to the bride added to the fascination. "I knew it was almost a lifetime wish for him and so I decided to go for it despite the huge cost,'' says his father Suresh Shah, who has lived in the US for more than 30 years.

Indian wedding planners have mushroomed all over the US. And so have supporting professionals like videographers, hair and make-up specialists, henna artists and so on.