Preeti Moberg of The Big Fat Indian Wedding site shares tips on Indian and desi wedding design and catering trends for 2015
Indian weddings are often multi-day affairs encompassing dozens of rituals, gatherings and events. With the ability to have a wedding several days long, the couple is not pegged down to one theme, color palette or style. You may come across one themed around vintage and chic with creams and soft colors that accompanies a mehndi [henna] ceremony that is light-hearted and colorful.
Over the past five years in the United States and elsewhere, we’ve seen fusion and customization become the top trends for event professionals to be mindful of when planning their client's wedding day. But 2014 has been a year of change as this notion has evolved even further, with the following trends leading the pack into 2015 for Indian weddings:
1. HEAVY CUSTOMIZATION
From the cocktail napkins to parasols, Indian couples are opting to have everything customized for their wedding. The package options traditionally offered by venues, photographers and planners are no longer adequate, as couples and their families want bespoke options to plan the wedding exactly the way they want.
Event professionals can continue to stay competitive in this market by offering customized packages to their prospective clients, as well as spending time with them to understand their goals.
2. MULTIPLE THEMES
There is no longer “one theme/one color palette” to encompass these multi-day events. Couples might want to have a modern theme and smoky color palette for the reception, while having a classical warm color theme for the wedding. Or they may opt for a Gatsby-inspired sangeet [dance party] paired with a Bohemian reception.
With Indian couples, event professionals now have the opportunity to pull together all their favorites, rather than being limited to select just one. Creative proposals that understand this concept will be more likely to win the bid.
3. WESTERN COLORS + EASTERN TRADITIONS
Traditionally, Western wedding colors are more subtle and soft--peaches, creams, pastels, with accents of bright colors--while Indians tend to incorporate bright and bold hues. We’re seeing a significant shift, however, as today’s Western wedding embrace a bolder color palette.
Likewise, Indian weddings will still adhere to bright tones for their outfits, but now more than ever, they are using cream pinks, dusky oranges and luxury creams in their mandap [canopy] and aisle decoration, programs and chair draping. One will find that the contrast between a bride’s deep-red lengha trimmed in gold and the pastel shades of the wedding mandap is both sublime and rich.
With that in mind, it will be essential for event professionals to find the balance between tradition and modern, as Indian brides often hope to achieve both within their wedding.
4. FROM BUFFET TO TABLE
Indian weddings, like many family gatherings, serve food buffet-style. It is more informal and therefore easy to display a large spread of rices, breads, meats, curries, vegetables and sweets for guests. Indians love food, and limiting them to the Western “fish or chicken” concept would be unjust to the complexity of Indian cuisine.
Since buffets are informal compared to sit-down dinners, Indians have found the sweet spot: serving several dishes at each table along with a select variety of chutneys and breads. Dessert service would be buffet-style, but dinner would be at the table.
Food trends are also mixing East and West ideas: cocktails with chaat spices, amuse bouches of tandoor and paneer, and exotic macarons and ice creams. It is the responsibility of the event professionals to maintain the elegant atmosphere without excluding the delectable chutneys, sweets and food served at the wedding.
2015 will no doubt be an exciting year for Indian couples planning their Big Day. While “fusion” forms the core of trends, it is incorporated in subtle ways not seen before.
Wedding professionals interested in this niche should be able to execute these visions in the diaspora markets, as well as have the confidence to create bespoke weddings like no other. With the above in mind, they’re well on their way to doing just that.
Preeti Moberg runs the South Asian wedding inspiration resource The Big Fat Indian Wedding, designed to put everything that the modern South Asian bride needs to plan a wedding at her fingertips.