As the year draws to a close, PartySlate has an eye on the future. This month, we’ve been dreaming about which South Asian wedding trends will take over 2023. While the South Asian community is incredibly diverse, with varying cultural traditions, they share many common wedding elements and rituals.
We reached out to five top South Asian wedding planners and event designers for an insider look into what’s ahead:
- Chandani Chandekar, Founder & Chief Event Planner of Events by C
- Amrit Dhillon-Bains, CEO & Lead Planner of Anaïs Event Planning & Design
- Rehana Bhaiji, Owner & Creative Director of Siblana Events
- Brittany Ellis, Owner of Eventrics Indian Weddings
- Samiya Brasfield, Owner & Lead Planner of SB Events Co.
While some trends started in 2022 and are still going strong, others are new and unexpected. Keep reading to see how South Asian weddings will be as beautiful as ever this year. From unique Sangeet décor to roaming photo booths, these trends are destined to impress.
*Click on the following or keep scrolling to find your favorite South Asian wedding trends of 2023.
- Themed Weddings
- Larger Guest Counts & Three-Day Celebrations
- Lighter Timelines & More Flexible Traditions
- Destination Weddings (Are Still Trending)
- Unique Venue Locations
- Jewel-Toned Sangeet & Mehndi Décor
- Open-Style Wedding Mandaps
- Green & Gold Wedding Decorations
- Experiential Cuisine & Cocktails
- Sumptuous Dessert Stations
- Roaming Photo Booths
- Cocktail Receptions With Live Entertainment
- Fusion Tunes
- Unique Entertainment Acts (Continue to Wow)
1. Themed Weddings
While party themes were once confined to birthday parties or corporate functions, they are becoming increasingly popular at Sangeets and South Asian wedding celebrations across the country.
Chandekar of Events by C tells us, “We are seeing couples have very specific themes for their events. We recently planned a wedding where the couple had three distinct themes: the past, present, and future. The Sangeet represented the past with “root” décor elements to highlight where the couple came from. Their wedding ceremony represented the present with earth and land elements incorporated into their décor. The grand finale was the reception. We used futuristic elements and created the feeling of being in space.”
Dhillon-Bains of Anaïs Event Planning & Design tells us to expect themes to take over South Asian wedding showers, as well. You can find some of our favorite shower theme ideas here: The Best Wedding Shower Themes, Period.
To sum it up, Brasfield of SB Events Co. shares, “Couples are starting to incorporate their own style, themes, and stories to make their décor unique —” be it at Sangeets, showers, or receptions.
See some of our favorite South Asian wedding and shower theme ideas below:
2. Larger Guest Counts & Three-Day Celebrations
While COVID-19 forced many South Asian couples to shorten their wedding celebrations to a single-day event, epic celebrations are back in session.
Ellis of Eventrics Indian Weddings tells us, “South Asian events are stronger than ever, and guest counts are back to their usual large and grand numbers.”
With that, comes weekend-long celebrations. “Overall, I would say that a lot of clients are spreading their events over three days versus the traditional two,” Ellis says. “For example, Friday is the Sangeet, Saturday is the ceremony, and Sunday is the reception. This allows the couple to rest in-between events and really engage with their guests over the course of the weekend.”
See how this multi-day wedding celebration in Los Cabos, Mexico wowed from start to finish:
3. Lighter Timelines & More Flexible Traditions
Weddings are often highly-coordinated affairs — with every moment planned down to the smallest details. But many South Asian couples are looking for a different experience this year.
Brasfield of SB Events Co. shares, “We are seeing couples want to have more intimate moments with their guests. They might choose to join their own cocktail hours or keep their day-of timelines lighter on the speeches and performances to allow for more time spent with loved ones on the dance floor.”
However, it’s not just the timelines that are up for a reboot. “The ‘no wedding party’ trend is taking off, with an increasing number of couples choosing not to have to choose between friends,” Dhillon-Bains of Anaïs Event Planning & Design tells us. Instead, “Couples are finding new and unique ways to perform cultural rituals and honor loved ones in the family.”
4. Destination Weddings (Are Still Trending)
Last year, we predicted that more couples would opt for destination weddings. Many South Asian wedding planners suspect this trend will continue into the new year.
“Our couples want to plan their weddings at a destination that allows them a beautiful backdrop of beaches, mountains, or even cities with unique structural features,” Brasfield of SB Events Co. tells us.
“They are open to different states and countries, so they can create a memorable experience at their favorite destinations. This also gives guests an opportunity to have a getaway that will be one to remember. At these destinations, it’s common to have one main event per day to allow guests to enjoy the destination they are in while allowing for more relaxed event-day schedules.”
5. Unique Venues & Locations
A unique celebration deserves a unique wedding venue. Chandekar of Events by C says, “Couples are wanting to host their events at unique venues, such as wineries, rather than large ballrooms.”
Brasfield of SB Events Co. adds, “Couples are also eager to get creative with the spaces they choose,” opting to “host different events at places that have built-in experiential décor or features.”
See some of our favorite South Asian weddings at unique venue spaces below:
6. Jewel-Toned Sangeet & Mehndi Décor
Bhaiji of Siblana Events tells us to expect to see Sangeet and Mehndi décor in jewel tones versus more traditional primary color designs. “We are seeing more couples interested in décor that breaks with the norm in terms of color and overall style.
“Previously, couples have stuck with traditional bright colors and décor styling that includes umbrellas and tassels. Now, more couples are asking for décor that exudes more of an elegance and sophistication with a bit of a palace vibe.
“We are doing graphic printed backdrops and dance floor wraps that really bring forth this theme — along with color choices in deeper jewel tones. We are also seeing more floral and metallic accessories in handicrafts from Indian traditions: including urli bowls, marigold and jasmine floral strings, and lotus florals.
“It’s been really exciting to work with these couples that are eager to create an event that is truly unexpected, yet very much honors the traditions of dancing, joy, and excitement for the impending wedding.”
Make sure to see even more beautiful photos from Siblana Events’s jeweled-toned Sangeet.
7. Open-Style Wedding Mandaps
For Hindu and Jain couples, wedding mandaps are both the wedding altar and main décor element of the wedding ceremony. Chandekar of Events by C tells us, “A mandap is defined as a four-pillar structure. As long as the four pillars are present, the design can vary a bit.
“While planning décor, we have more and more couples who want to go with an open-style mandap instead of a square shape. The open design allows guests to have a better view of the ceremony.”
See some of our favorite open-style mandaps on PartySlate below:
8. Green & Gold Wedding Decorations
While “Tropical Luxe” has been a big vibe for the summer, Ellis of Eventrics Indian Weddings sees a new trend on the horizon. “Moving into the winter months we are seeing a lot of greenery, gold, and more simplistic elegance — versus over the top designs.”
See some of our favorite elegant South Asian weddings on PartySlate below:
9. Experiential Cuisine & Cocktails
Nothing brings people together like a shared meal — and wedding celebrations, of course. According to Brasfield of SB Events Co., “Catering was always the number one priority for families.” However, she’s beginning to see couples also prioritize catering.
“Buffets are very popular within South Asian weddings, but now we are seeing food as an experience. Live stations, family-style, and plated dinners are becoming more intriguing to our guests. They want to incorporate beautiful décor where the food is served. Presentation is key,” she tells us.
Chandekar of Events by C adds, “We are blown away by the level of creativity we are seeing from vendors who provide live/interactive elements. We planned a wedding a couple of months ago with a smoked drink station. There was a signature cocktail which the vendor smoked, but guests could also get their whisky and tequila smoked. They also had a photo booth station where guests could get their photos printed on their drinks.”
See some picture-perfect catering ideas below:
10. Sumptuous Dessert Stations
Even dessert is up for reinterpretation. “A lot of couples are forgoing a wedding cake and doing a dessert station instead,” Ellis of Eventrics Indian Weddings tells us. She recommends “something fun and interactive to break up the standard ‘stationed’ items.”
Of course, there are plenty of unique ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. “Couples are also asking for champagne towers instead of wedding cakes, and we’re here for it,” Dhillon-Bainsof Anaïs Event Planning & Design shares.
See one of our favorite unique dessert ideas below:
11. Roaming Photo Booths
It turns out that there’s something even better than the perfect photo op: a photo booth that comes to you and your guests. Roaming photo booths create an unobtrusive way to capture memories as they naturally unfold.
“A lot of our clients are really loving the roaming photo booth idea, versus a stationary booth, to capture great candids throughout the weekend,” Ellis of Eventrics Indian Weddings tells us.
12. Cocktail Receptions With Live Entertainment
South Asian weddings are often known for DJ entertainment that gets all the guests on the dance floor. However, Ellis of Eventrics Indian Weddings tells us, “Live entertainment for the cocktail reception has been more on-trend.”
Brasfield of SB Events Co. agrees. “Wedding entertainment has been top-of-mind for our couples — starting from the ceremony, cocktail hour, and throughout the reception. As guests arrive at the event, their senses are touched with the sound and setting.”
Lastly, Dhillon-Bains of Anaïs Event Planning & Design adds, “Bands are making a resurgence, with an onsite DJ to close the festivities.”
13. Fusion Tunes
Whether it’s a multicultural wedding or a South Asian celebration that gives a nod to American culture, fusion music is remaking South Asian wedding entertainment.
Brasfield of SB Events Co. tells us, “We are seeing jazz bands or string quartets playing Bollywood, classic Shenai instruments playing top 40 hits, mariachi bands, etc.”
Events by C recently planned an Indian-Irish wedding. “As a part of the Sangeet entertainment, we had a performance with Indian dhol (drums) and Irish bagpipes,” Chandekar shares. “Each played on their own, but they also played together to represent the union of the couple’s cultures.”
14. Unique Entertainment Acts (Continue to Wow)
Last year, many experienced South Asian wedding planners and event professionals predicted that unique entertainment acts would take over South Asian weddings in 2022. Now, it looks like that trend will continue throughout the next year.
“Entertainment is so much more than having a DJ,” Chandekar of Events by C says. Couples are thinking about unique entertainment for each part of their day: live music such as an electric violinist during the cocktail hour to acrobat performances during dinner.”
See some of our favorite unique entertainment ideas below:
People Also Ask…
Where can I find South Asian-owned wedding companies?
Head to PartySlate’s curated vendor directory to find the best South Asian-owned event companies near you. From there, use the filters to search by location, vendor category, and more. Make sure to click into a preferred vendor’s PartySlate profile to see real examples of their work and learn more about their business.
Where can I find more South Asian wedding inspiration?
PartySlate is your go-to resource for planning a dream wedding — as well as any other type of celebration. We’ve done the work for you to find the latest trends and lasting inspiration. Click on the following to discover even more South Asian wedding ideas: