I love Indian weddings. What’s not to like – food, drinks, dancing, Aunties and catching up with family and friends.
After you plan your own wedding, you start noticing things you never noticed before when you attend other weddings. Plus, you get ideas for other brides!
Recently, I was at my cousin’s wedding in Chicago and it was a great time (I heart Chicago)! As a guest, I noticed some fresh Indian wedding ideas that made the wedding really stand out. Here’s the breakdown:
1) Welcome box
I love the concept of a welcome box or welcome bag. You’re checking into the hotel for the wedding weekend and BAM, you get a gift at check in. You mean, I, the guest, gets a gift for attending? Nice! Here’s a well-made box: water bottles, some snacks, a recovery kit, not to mention personalized labels and packaging to perfection.
2) Unique performances
The sangeet or pre-wedding event is the place for fun choreographed performances. As Indians, we all love Bollywood and Bhangra dancing. Although it’s so fun to watch these dances, it’s nice to see something different in the program other than just dancing. At this sangeet night, a young guy and girl (presumably in their 20’s) sang a really nice song together. You don’t have to be the next Lata Mangeshkar (aka the Indian Aretha Franklin) or the next Bruno Mars to perform. If you have the desire to do it, do it!
3) A Choreographed Bride and Groom Dance at the Sangeet
Indians love dancing and music. At this sangeet night, what stood out was the bride and groom doing a choreographed dance together. Not everyone has innate dancing abilities, but it doesn’t hurt to try. The performance was so fun to watch, especially because it was the bride and groom. So cute!
4) Spotlight on the Walls during the ceremony
During the ceremony, a modern Ganesh design spotlighted on two walls. The vibe of the ceremony venue felt that much more intimate with mellow lighting, including spotlights. The idea is simple and unique and can even be used at any reception – just switch out the image to your liking (think: wedding monogram)
5) Chandelier in Mandap
It’s 2016 and mandaps are evolving. This mandap had chandeliers inside the mandap. How awesome is that? Add that to draped fabric to make a modern mandap and you’re good to go. #LOVE
6) Hashtag in program
Speaking of hashtags, this wedding had a wedding hashtag that guests could use across social media. Hashtags let guests document the wedding and then the couple can see all the photos afterwards.
Check out the Resources toolbox for how to create your own hashtag.
7) Use posters for the seating arrangement
Posters not only save paper but also take up less room in the cocktail hour area. I used posters at our wedding reception and I loved how easy it was to customize the posters. Create the posters in a PDF format, and take it to your local print shop to print out to the size of your liking. Choose large frames or smaller frames – it depends on what you like (and how many guests you’ll have).
8) Unique Music
Most weddings have good music, but this wedding had a saxophone player that accompanied the Dhol players at the Baraat (Groom’s entrance) throughout the wedding, at the Vidaai (post-wedding ceremony) and at the cocktail hour/reception. Talk about unique! Plus, a piano player played familiar [American] tunes at the cocktail hour, which added an extra touch of class.
9) Multiple places to get food and drinks at the cocktail hour
When you have a few hundred people invited to your reception, it’s key to have more than one area for your guests to get food and drinks. This wedding’s cocktail hour was split between Indian food and other tables for cheeses, fruits, etc. Nobody had to wait in line, and all guests could happily eat and drink.
10) Feeding your guests
Indian weddings require guests to have full bellies ALL THE TIME. That’s Indian wedding 101, duh! They did an excellent job of keeping guests full and providing extra snacks in between events and in the welcome box.
If you’re planning to attend a wedding between now and your wedding, pay close attention!
You can get great Indian wedding ideas (to make your own) and you’ll notice details you didn’t know you had to plan for. And brides, tell your grooms to pay attention! Most guys don’t pay attention to the detail at all, so give him a little side nudge during the ceremony so he can take note of the mandap style!
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