The big fat Indian wedding just got bigger!

Band baaja baraat and tourists Now you can sell foreigners tickets to your weddingPallavi (top left), Orsi (bottom left) and Marti
Features Wedding tourism Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 15:21

So we’ve already covered most of the major grounds for tourism in India. From medical tourism to religious tourism to poverty tourism, we’ve seen it all. So what’s left except turning back to that mainstay of “Indian culture”, the big fat Indian wedding?

If small, intimate weddings aren’t your style, and you subscribe to the “more the merrier” philosophy, Budapest-based Marti Matecsa believes her new venture, “Join My Wedding” is perfect for you. This platform lets couples open their wedding to tourists from around the world. Marti co-founded the venture in April with Sydney-based Orsi Parkanyi and Pallavi Savant, after her own experience at a batchmate’s traditional Tamil wedding in 2012.

“I was quite taken with the rich culture, colours and smells of the traditional Tamil wedding,” recalls Marti, “I thought it was so sad that so many people would not be able to experience what I did because they didn’t know someone who could invite them,” says Marti.

“A wedding is the finest sacral, social, culinary event, complete with beautiful costumes and joyful traditions,” she says. “The best day in many people's life - what else can one share if not a wedding?” she exclaims.

While they are open to couples from across the world, including same-sex couples, the team is currently focusing on Indian weddings. “We don’t need to introduce the Indian wedding,” she explains. So far, they have nine Indian weddings registered on their website.

Couples who register themselves with the venture, can choose to make the invitation public where anyone in the world can see and buy the tickets, or keep it private, and send invites to specific groups of people they would like to invite.

“For instance, Julia and Anton from Russia are having a Lord of the Rings themed wedding. If they wanted, they could have made the invitation private and sent it to only LOTR fan groups,” explains Marti.

Join My Wedding works on the standard share-economy principle, allowing couples to earn money. “They can fix a price for their wedding tickets. Then we ascertain the value according to the services they include – such as accommodation, food and so on,” she says. But many couples choose to register just to share their culture and meet people from around the world, Marti adds.

Marti and her co-founders plan to rope in travel partners in India and expand into travel and tourism, of which the big fat Indian wedding would the high point. When these plans are rolled out, the tour option will first be offered in Australia and Europe, as they tend to be ardent travellers.

Currently, Marti and Sydney-based Orsi and Pallavi operate and coordinate over the web. But they are open to setting up an office if they get investments. The big test is the wedding season in October, and how well they do.

Marti adds excitedly that they are all at the same age – 33-34 years old. “The sum total of our ages is a perfect 100. It’s nothing really, but I think it means it’s the right time to start a business,” she laughs. 

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