In Bangladesh, due to the influx of various foreign cultures in the last decade, various family functions like weddings, birthdays, and marriage anniversaries are being held in a grand manner, while even a decade ago they were held at home. This has resulted in separate venue businesses developing across the country, which has gradually evolved and become the wedding industry of Bangladesh. Many sub-sectors contribute to this industry, such as event or wedding management firms, convention centers, catering services, makeovers, clothing, jewelry, etc.
In Bangladesh, wedding ceremonies are traditionally conducted in the backyard, open field, or on the roof of the house by setting up pandals. In most cases, the family children were the hosts and were responsible for all the formalities starting with decoration. Back then, elders used to go to the local market to buy the necessary food items, and the local cook used to prepare pulao, meat, and sweet curd for the invited guests. Moreover, families also used to hire a cameraman to record the entire event of the wedding and reception. However, In the 2000s, satellite channels became more prevalent in Bangladesh, Hindi movies and serials became more popular, and Indian culture became increasingly popular among Bangladeshi people. Hence, the upper class to the middle class in Bangladesh started to organize various kinds of wedding events. Therefore, the number of rituals and functions of wedding ceremonies also increased gradually. For example, previously the “Gaye Holud” programs of the bride and groom were done on the same day. However, due to the adoption of Indian culture, the wedding programs took the form of separate functions, and new programs were added like bachelors party, bridal showers, mehendi, holud, weeding, and reception.
Due to this reason, there is a gradual trend of organizing these events in local government or privately owned community centers. Many people also started holding weddings at restaurants instead of community centers. On the other hand, people from the elite classes started organizing various wedding ceremonies in five-star hotels. In case of organizing events in community centers, the responsibility for catering and decorating the center also rests with the community center authority. Meanwhile, due to the size of the restaurants, it would not be possible to organize meals for too many people at the same time. Because of this, venues such as large-scale community centers in deprived areas and convention halls in posh areas of the city began to flourish. In some community centers and convention halls, hundreds of people can be accommodated simultaneously due to their spacious operating areas. This makes it easier to hold large-scale wedding ceremonies under one roof. Besides, along with the evolution of various wedding ceremonies, food preferences have also evolved. In view of that, the practice of hiring professional catering service providers for wedding ceremonies has gradually started. Again, as the number of events is increasing, it is not possible to properly supervise the entire event as a family. So, various wedding planners or event management companies are also emerging so that all events can be executed beautifully. These wedding planners or event management firms handle everything from planning an event to the final execution by themselves.
Rise of The Wedding Industry
Organizing a wedding requires a variety of things, like lighting, sweets, clothes, jewelry, and flowers, but the venue, event management, and catering are the three most significant aspects. Although earlier, open fields or backyards were used to host weddings, community gatherings, and corporate events. But this has started to change since the beginning of the 21st century. Currently, all over the country, there are several venues for organizing such events. As the capital city, multiple community centers and convention centers have been built along with Chinese restaurants in almost every area of Dhaka. Venue sizes and types of service also vary based on the area. For example, the big and famous convention halls of Dhaka include ICCB, BICC, Falcon Hall, Gulshan Shooting Club Convention Hall, etc. Dhaka also has more than a few thousand community halls and convention centers for weddings and various corporate or social events. One of them is the Paragon Convention Hall located in Dhanmondi, Dhaka, which started operations in November 2018. This convention hall has the capacity to handle more than 1,200 guests simultaneously in three halls of a total of 11,500 square feet. And so far this convention center has organized more than six hundred and fifty events. Dhanmondi’s another convention center Fortune Square Convention started its journey in February 2019. This convention hall is basically a multi-story building with a total area of 12,000 square feet on the top three floors, which has the capacity to handle more than 1,500 guests at the same time. So far this convention center has been able to organize more than three hundred and fifty events. Both convention halls offer their own catering services to maintain the quality of food for the events being held.
Catering service plays an imperative role in meeting the demand for quality and delicious food at various wedding ceremonies, corporate events, or social gatherings organized at different venues. However, in most cases, venues or community centers have their own catering services. Most venues offer customers multiple catering service options from which they can choose the catering service of their choice. In many cases, if the venue does not have its own catering service, customers hire catering service providers from outside as per their choice. At present, a large number of catering service providers are working across the country to provide services for any type of event. Paragon Catering is one of them. According to the company, since its inception in 2019, it has already served more than 2,000 weddings and more than 500 corporate events. Paragon Catering is essentially a 360-degree catering solution offering continental food, Chinese, Italian, Thai, and Mediterranean fusion cuisine in addition to domestic food items. According to the company, they have the capacity to host meals for 10,000 people simultaneously. Apart from such dedicated catering service providers, nowadays various restaurants and big hotel chains also provide catering services for weddings or corporate events.
Following the catering service, the decoration of the community center and convention hall comes next. Typically, decorations in community cents or convention halls tend to stick to certain traditional designs. So, the demand for wedding and event planners for decoration began to emerge. Since 2010, the number of wedding and event planners has gradually begun to increase. In order to survive in the competition, community centers and venues started covering various corporate events besides weddings. Apart from this, these organizations started targeting weddings and offering different types of services like themed wedding decorations, food items, music arrangements, etc. Currently, there are thousands of wedding planners and event management firms in Bangladesh like Sygmaz, Shahjahan, and Sygnature Weddings. Besides, the wedding planner and event management firm – Ajwah Events, which started in 2018, has organized more than 1,000 events so far. According to this event management firm, the firm offers various services to clients such as venue decoration, catering, bridal and groom shopping, and photography in the form of packages. In addition, the firm provides various services as per the clients requirements. Moreover, Ajwah events also provide venue selection and booking services and also organizes weddings for clients.
Organizing a wedding ceremony involves everything from makeover artists to wedding card printing, groom and bridal dressings, bridal jewelry, flowers, sweets and more. Ultimately, the wedding culture of Bangladesh has become more diversified as a result of different cultural adaptations nowadays.