Google’s Marriage Move

No, Google is not playing Cupid, but it wants to be there in the lead up to tying the knot. The search giant is getting romantically inclined, pushing its products – Google DocsPiknikPicasa and Google Sites as an all in one solution to the trials and tribulations before the big day. It’s free, while wedding planners are expensive. So, that could be one draw. The other is that it ties up several activities that have to move in parallel, including tracking guest lists, caterers, follow-ups, dress fittings, travel plans, hotel bookings and thank you notes, post the wedding. But Google is most likely doing this because customised wedding templates on Google Docs were not being adopted with the fervour anticipated.

I can’t see this taking off in India. We have a person between the driver and the toll booth attendant, for God’s sake, merely to hand over the money and return the printed toll ticket. So weddings, where everything from the exchange of horoscopes to the girl and boy meeting each other for the first time under strict family supervision is deeply personal, involved and debated affairs cannot be models of efficiency. Every member of the family, from the elder patriarch to the distant cousin has an opinion and there can be lifelong strife if they are not consulted. Weddings are the best opportunity to show off spending power and establish the social pecking order, apart from the sidelight of the actual bride and groom exchanging vows.

If we were to track the trajectory of an Indian wedding through the Google Planner, I suspect there would be a trail of revisions and versions akin to the launch of the next Microsoft OS. Girl meets boy is never the equation. It’s always family meets family and I think no software on earth can realistically program all the resultant parameters. So, as long as you have a registered wedding with limited guests who are prepared to scrimp and scrounge, you have the solution. But the full-blooded Indian marriage with all its trappings requires resources of a much higher order.