Weddings are generally considered personal events reserved for family and friends, but some couples in India are more than happy to have total strangers from all over the world attend their traditional weddings, for a fee.
Paying hundreds of dollars to attend the wedding of two total strangers in a foreign country may seem strange to some, but according to JoinMyWedding, a company specializing in wedding tourism, it’s “the ultimate cultural immersion” for tourists looking to experience as many elements of Indian culture in the shortest time possible. Clients get to put on traditional Indian clothing, taste exotic food, witness and take part in beautiful wedding customs, and soak up the unique atmosphere. As for the couples getting married, they get to share the happiest day of their lives not just with family and friends, “but with the world” and make some extra money in the process.
Tourists interested in attending a traditional Indian wedding through JMW have to pay a fee of $150 for one day’s attendance, or $250 for two days, which covers the entrance to the wedding plus food and drinks, as well as a dedicated person to welcome them and explain all the traditional customs. Transportation to the wedding, accommodation and traditional costume rentals are extra.
While the idea of attending the wedding of strangers takes some getting used, wedding tourism in India is a growing business, and Parkanyi says that demand among tourists all over the world is high.
So, would you be interested in selling tickets to your wedding to tourists?