Glamorous Beachside Sangeet | PartySlate
photographer: Castaldo Studios | planner: Eventrics Weddings | design & décor: Occasions by Shangri-la | venue: Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
The Best of | Weddings

How to Plan a Sangeet, From Two Top Wedding Planners

Glamorous Beachside Sangeet | PartySlate

For many South Asian couples, the Sangeet is one of the most memorable parts of a long wedding weekend. This pre-wedding function sets the tone for the celebrations that follow. Family and friends gather to celebrate the future couple with choreographed dances, delicious food, and beautiful décor. 

PartySlate asked two leading South Asian wedding planners for insight into this beloved wedding tradition. Elizabeth Priya Kumar of Premini Events and Brittany Ellis of Eventrics Weddings share how to plan a Sangeet from A to Z. 

Discover everything from what to wear to which vendors to hire. You’ll also gain insight into essentials such as when to schedule your Sangeet and whom to invite. It’s time to kick off your wedding weekend in style.

Meet the Contributors

Elizabeth Priya Kumar, Founder + CEO of Premini Events | PartySlate

Elizabeth Priya Kumar, Founder + CEO of Premini Events

Premini Events combines strategic planning with imaginative thinking to curate luxe celebrations with global flair — be it at home or abroad. We especially love how this full-service event planning team creates bespoke weddings and social events that visually wow guests from the moment they enter the celebration.

Brittany Ellis, Owner + Event Director of Eventrics Weddings | PartySlate

Brittany Ellis, Owner + Event Director of Eventrics Weddings

We love how this Florida-based wedding planning company values personal relationships and a custom-planning process to create a personalized experience for their clients. Eventrics Weddings creates wow-worthy South Asian and Indian weddings through meticulous planning, minute attention to detail, and limitless creativity.

1. What is a Sangeet?

Three men perform a choreographed dance at rainbow sangeet | PartySlate
photographer: This Is Feeling | design & floral: Yanni Design Studio | venue: Belvedere Events & Banquets

The Sangeet is a pre-wedding event. The word “Sangeet” comes from Sanskrit and translates as “sung together” or “music.” According to Brittany Ellis, Owner and Event Director of Eventrics Weddings, “The Sangeet is a celebration filled with music and dance in celebration of the merging of two families.”

Elizabeth Priya Kumar, Founder and CEO of Premini Events, tells us, “It’s a fun opportunity for the couple to kick off their wedding weekend with music, food, and choreographed dances by the guests and family.” 

While all Sangeets will feature music and food, their look and style may differ. Kumar continues, “Traditionally, Sangeets are super colorful or ‘Mela or Festival Styled,’ but in modern times, couples are getting more creative with unique themes and décor. The sky’s the limit!”

2. Who has a Sangeet?

South Asian couple in blue traditional attire embrace | PartySlate
photographer: Alain Martinez Photo & Cinema | planner: Premini Events | décor: Elegant Affairs | venue: Waldorf Astoria New York

Ellis of Eventrics Weddings informs us, “The tradition of having a Sangeet as a pre-wedding event was begun by Northern regions in India, but it is now common for South Indian cultures to celebrate with a Sangeet as well!” 

Kumar of Premini Events confirms, “Usually, our couples that want to tie in traditions of South Asian weddings will host a Sangeet for their guests.” However, many couples now consider a less traditional approach to their pre-wedding events. As couples learned to shift expectations and think outside of the box due to COVID-19 mandates and health concerns, new South Asian wedding trends emerged.

In addition to lower guest counts and an increase in destination weddings, some couples are “opting for simple welcome dinners” according to Kumar. “We encourage our couples to do whatever makes them happy and comfortable! It’s 2022; there’s no wrong way to celebrate love.”

3. Who is invited to the Sangeet?

Bride and groom pose with parents at Sangeet celebration | PartySlate
photographer: Pandya Photography | planner: Karma Events | venue: The Addison Park

This is another area where traditions continue to evolve. Ellis of Eventrics Weddings says, “Traditionally, the Sangeet was meant as a celebration between the females in both families. However, in modern times, all members of both sides of the family are welcome to celebrate and join in on the fun!”

Kumar of Premini Events confirms, “More and more of Premini’s couples are hosting destination weddings, so all the guests are invited to the Sangeet! The more, the merrier!” 

See how this destination wedding, planned by JC Castillo Weddings, made new traditions with a co-ed Haldi ceremony as well as an intimate Sangeet ceremony with a stunning jewel-toned jhula.

4. When does the Sangeet take place?

Indian wedding sangeet with gold and blush tenting set against mountainous backdrop | PartySlate
photographer: James // Schulze | planner: Mountain Productions | design: HMR Designs | rentals: Raj Tents

Kumar and Ellis agree that the Sangeet usually takes place the evening before the wedding ceremony. Kumar likens the Sangeet to a “Western rehearsal dinner.” Much like a rehearsal dinner, the Sangeet is a time to relax and enjoy the festivities before the pressures of the wedding day commence.

According to Ellis, it is also a time to “help familiarize families with one another before the big day.” However, unlike a Western rehearsal dinner, the Sangeet often features a similar-sized guest list to the wedding itself. 

Many families choose to combine the Sangeet and Mehndi ceremony into the same event. We recommend hiring a professional Mehndi artist so you and your guests can fully participate in the celebration.

5. What do the couple and guests wear to a Sangeet?

Couple in green traditional attire at sangeet with boxwood backdrop and neon signage | PartySlate
photographer: This Is Feeling | design & floral: Yanni Design Studio | venue: Belvedere Events & Banquets

Kumar of Premini Events tells us, “Fashion is EVERYTHING in Indian weddings! Our couples usually have a coordinating outfit that fits their theme for the Sangeet. And you can catch the Aunties in their most colorful, fun lenghas cutting it up on the dance floor!”

Ellis of Eventrics Weddings confirms, “The more color the better! This is the time that everyone, couple included, will be wearing bright colors. For women, this means a lehenga, anakarli suit, trouser suit, or a colorful gown. For men, they may wear a kurta set, an Indo Western set, or slacks and a colorful button up shirt.”

6. What elements are included in a Sangeet celebration?

Colorful sangeet at Ruby Hills Country Club | PartySlate
photographer: Lin & Jirsa Photography | planner: Amazae Events | floral: Nicole Ha Floral Design | tenting: Raj Tents

Ellis of Eventrics Weddings tells us, “The Sangeet is more of a ‘mix & mingle’ type of event.” Instead of sit-down dinners, you’ll find “live action food stations or stations from the couple’s favorite cuisines around the world.” Appetizers or hors d’oeuvres are popular, as well.

When it comes to traditional décor, Ellis recommends to keep it colorful with “umbrellas, glitter, and market lights.” However, many couples today are also choosing to host a more modern Sangeet with fun themes. Ellis tells us, these couples want to “create a unique and one-of-a-kind experience for their guests while still nodding to the traditional elements with song and dance.” For example, Eventrics Events planned a Sangeet for a couple in Miami. “It was all-white with more natural elements like wicker and greenery,” Ellis tells us. 

Of course, a Sangeet wouldn’t be a Sangeet without music and dance. “The couple also will need a special seat or set of chairs to watch the performances from,” Ellis shares. “Make sure you have a live singer or a fantastic DJ though, because the night will soon turn into a party full of dancing.” Kumar of Premini Events also reminds hosts to use “a mix of traditional and modern tunes for a totally-packed dance floor.” 

7. What vendors should a couple and their family hire for a Sangeet?

Sunset sangeet with blue ceiling décor and colorful photo ops | PartySlate
photographer: Trenholm Photography | planner: Eventrics Weddings | designer: Suhaag Garden | venue: Naples Grande Resort

Kumar of Premini Events informs us, “Families will typically have all the same vendors as the wedding reception present for the Sangeet, except some couples will also include a Mehndi artist component if they’re not hosting a separate Mehndi event.”

Ellis of Eventrics Weddings elaborates on the importance of a full vendor team:

  1. Hire a production company that balances highlighting cultural traditions with your own personal style
  2. Select a photographer and videographer team to capture the most meaningful moments
  3. Choose a caterer to recreate cultural dishes or fusion cuisine
  4. Include a Mehndi artists for cultural and interactive entertainment
  5. Hire entertainment acts if the family is not big into performing
  6. Select a talented DJ to get guests on the dance floor

Use PartySlate’s curated vendor directory to find your event planner and vendor team. Narrow your search by location, vendor type, services, and more. You can even search for South Asian-owned event companies to ensure your vendor team is familiar with planning Sangeets.

See Some of Our Favorite Sangeets on PartySlate

See how the following Sangeets feature their own style, theme, and color palette. Make sure to click “See More Photos” to see these celebrations from start to finish — as well as discover the talented vendor teams behind each look.

Romantic Red Rose Sangeet | PartySlate
photographer: Divine Method Photography | planner: Premini Events | décor: HMR Designs | dj: 3D Sounds

Romantic Red Rose Sangeet

Kansas City, MO

This elegant and romantic Sangeet featured luxe gold details and breathtaking rose arrangements. We love how manicured florals contrast with more organic floral displays. Click to see how the wedding weekend continued with a unique reception that replicated an underwater wonderland.

Glamorous Beachside Sangeet | PartySlate
photographer: Castaldo Studios | planner: Eventrics Weddings | design & décor: Occasions by Shangri-la | venue: Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach

Glamorous Beachside Vibes

Daytona Beach, FL

We love how this Sangeet boasts a glamorous tropical vibe. The outdoor, seaside celebration features a covered dance floor and stage with suspended umbrella décor and a glittery backdrop. An arch of pale pink blooms crowns the jhula swing made from ornately-carved wood. Make sure to see how the epic dance party unfolded for an unforgettable night of song and dance.

Modern Sangeet dinner with pastel Origami décor | PartySlate
photographer: Charmaine Mallari Photography | design & floral: French Accent Design | venue: Punjab Cultural Center

A Modern Sangeet

Winnipeg, Manitoba

This modern Sangeet wows with suspended glass bulbs, origami designs, and colorful woven backdrops. Pinks, oranges, and yellows pop against black wallpaper for a unique and modern look. Instead of a jhula swing, a chic black lounge area provides the bride with opportunities to relax and mingle with her guests. Click to see more.

People Also Ask …

Is a Sangeet and Mehndi the Same Event?

The Sangeet and Mehndi are two distinct pre-wedding functions, although they share some similarities. The bride’s family traditionally hosts both the Sangeet and Mehndi. However, in contemporary times, both sides of the family frequently attend these celebrations. Additionally, these events are often combined into one event. That said, the Sangeet features a song and dance party while the Mehndi ceremony involves applying henna on the bride and her family’s hands and feet. Tradition states that the darker the henna design, the more the groom and his family will love the bride.

Where can I find a venue for my Sangeet?

Use PartySlate’s curated venue directory to find an available venue near you. Use the filters to narrow your search by location, guest count, amenities, and more. Make sure to click into a venue’s PartySlate profile to see how the space can be configured for different types and styles of events.

Where can I find more inspiration for my Sangeet?

PartySlate is your go-to resource for wedding and event planning. Click on the following to discover the best in South Asian wedding inspiration: