From personalized decor to picking off-season nuptial dates, industry’s top wedding planners share hottest trends for 2023.
Food has always been the centerpiece of the big fat Indian wedding. It is often used as a benchmark for a memorable wedding and it continues to remain so but with an interesting twist. Explained Rajiv Jain, MD & Founder, Raashi Entertainment, “It is no more about a quick grab and go lunch or dinner at wedding. It is now a well-thought curated experience for the guests and family.” According to him, sit-down dinners are finding more favour among clients. “A whole restaurant set-up is now being created at weddings as people are willing to spend up to five hours at the lunch or dinner table celebrating their big day. They go with a minimum five-seven course meal where food has to be unique and unforgettable,” he stated. This food fetish is not just limited to weddings! The anniversary celebrations are also thinking big when it comes to food. “At my own wedding anniversary celebration recently, we had curated an exquisite avocado station for our guests among many other cuisines,” he shared.
Big is back
Small and intimate is out, big fat is in! With COVID mostly behind us now, we are seeing a surge in larger gathering sizes and demand for more elaborate wedding celebrations. This includes requests for more luxury wedding venues, elaborate food and beverage requirements, wedding decor and more meticulously detailed weddings,” said Nanki Chawla, Wedding Planner, Nanki Chawla Events. Echoing similar sentiments, Jain said, “The whole experience needs to be mega-magnificent nowadays. From budgets to expectations, big rules the checklist for a grand wedding celebration.”
The imprint of bride and groom on every aspect of their wedding celebration is the key focus nowadays and this is achieved with the help of personalisation. “A big trend here is couple personalised theme-based stationery, which includes entire story-based invites. An element which ties the couple together, their common interest or something they both relate to. Even hangover kits are personalised,” revealed Minnat Lalpuria, Founder & MD, 7Vachan. Besides stationary, the décor has to be personalised. “Couples prefe personalisation of various elements at functions such as event furniture, table scapes, bar designs, among others,” agreed Chawla.
Activity based events
Indian weddings are known to celebrate the togetherness of bonds with family and friends. So as per the demand, wedding planners are also curating activities that couples and guests can enjoy together. “Like white party is no more just décor, it will have an opa act. We did for the first-time last year and you will see it trending in most weddings this year. Tomatina festival for haldi instead of just haldi and flowers. Another activity that can be enjoyed together is dance for every entry at each event. Even brides are not shying away with solo dance-based entries. Flash mobs are also used for the same,” explained Lalpuria.
“Off-season weddings or non saaya weddings are catching up with the new generation. One of the key advantages of picking an off-season wedding date is attractive discounts at desired venues (resorts/hotels). The costs are more competitive on non saaya dates. Availability of hotels, photographers, planners, decorators, among others is less of a challenge and therefore allows you the flexibility of going with who you want instead of having to settle for someone or someplace due to non-availability,” stated Arpita Gandhi, Director & Co-founder, Weddingline. Off-season offers a better scope of negotiation, agreed Lalpuria, “We are in a demand supply game when it comes to pricing. So, the off season is beneficial, even for flight tickets. The only thing you are probably compromising is on the weather, which you can compensate for by choosing a different destination,” said Lalpuria. Moreover, a discounted rate at hotels makes it an attractive option. “City hotels tend to charge a 15 to 20 per cent premium during the wedding season. The lower spend at the hotel, gives the couple the additional monetary benefit which could be used towards their honeymoon travel or setting up their new home. 2023 has a high number of auspicious wedding dates (over 70) most of which are spread over May and June where hotels would see increased wedding revenues,” stated Nihal Kurian, Director, Sales and Marketing, Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel.
For those looking for a domestic destination, the chances of getting the desired wedding venue go up with the off season. “Within India, weddings have become an all year-round trend, having said that due to low volume of business for certain destinations, clients are able to get more value for money as hotels are still hungry to maximise their revenues,” explained Chawla. However, she quickly pointed out that the same is not the case with international destinations.