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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 August 2007, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Asian weddings pass 30,000 mark
Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan
Bollywood couple Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan married in April
The average amount of money being spent by Asian families on weddings in the UK has increased to more than 30,000.

Research carried out by Asian bridal magazine Viya found wedding budgets had increased dramatically over the past five years.

The rise has been linked to the glamour of Bollywood, British celebrity culture and increased spending power.

Latest figures for the cost of the average white Western wedding range from 17,000 to 20,000.

Asian weddings are big business in Britain, with the market worth 300m a year and rising.

Bollywood influence

More and more companies which specifically cater for these events are springing up all over the country.

Wedding dress designer Mani Kohli said the amount of money spent on dresses had risen sharply.

She said: "Girls used to spend 1,000 - 1,500 up to two to three years ago. Last year saw them escalating to 2,000 - 2,500.

"This year, I have seen a lot of difference. I have seen girls not even blinking when I say this is 3,000 - 4,000 or more."

The trend has been put down to the influence of Bollywood, British celebrity culture and the media - which all give brides something to aspire to and make them aware of what is available for their big day, says the BBC's communities reporter Niki Cardwell.

It was like a dream wedding, it was massive, it lasted for over six weeks
Fari Hussein

Another factor is spending power.

Most of today's brides and grooms are third generation British Asians and their parents, by now well-established and successful, are keen to show off their wealth at these weddings which are hugely important in their communities, our reporter says.

Fari Hussein was the last of five daughters in her family to get married - and said her family had been saving for years.

She told the BBC: ""It was like a dream wedding, it was massive, it lasted for over six weeks and I've actually been preparing for my wedding since December."

He father, Fazar, said: "We didn't have very lavish holidays, you know. We never smoke, never drink. We just live within our own means... and save the money."

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