How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution

Indian weddings today are a long practiced tradition that’s been around for hundreds of years and passed down generation to generation. Fast forward to the 21st century and these traditions have evolved…quite a bit!  

New generations (like us) and even Gen X’ers are all getting married, and everyone follows their own trends. This makes for some hodge-podge Indian wedding trends. Today, it’s all about the experience with Indian weddings, so blending in the right trends is that much more important!

Use Trends or Move On?
Most weddings look amazing, but the one you quickly notice is the one that stands out from the crowd. But how does it stand out?

You probably have great ideas for your wedding, and so does your BFF Pinterest. But sometimes brides have no idea where and how to execute these amazing ideas.  

No matter the time and effort you put into it, if you want to stand out, you have to do something out of the ordinary (aka different).

And yes, the thought of being tacky probably scares you away from what people are calling “trends” today. But no fear, I have a plan… like always. 🙂

Read on to learn how you can take Indian wedding trends from inspiration to execution, making you stand out from the crowd. 

Non-Traditional Pre-Wedding Event
Present day Indian weddings are not as long as they used to be (in terms of days) but that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome guests in style. Hosting a non-traditional pre-wedding event before your main events is a fun way to mix it up.


Barn event – I know the idea of an event in a barn plus an Indian party doesn’t exactly sound much like a party, but you’d be surprised!  Search for “barn wedding venues” on Google to find some, but don’t stop there. Also consider wineries that have event space they’re willing to rent out.

Beach party – A beach party is easier for a destination wedding, but if you’re somewhere on the coast or in California, it’s a great place to start your festivities. Find rentable public areas or try an AirBnB.

Themed party – Host a themed party at your wedding venue or look for a more affordable venue in the same area.

How do you make it happen?  

You’ll need food, places to sit, and music. That’s probably it!

  • Music:  Get a cousin or friend to DJ the event with Spotify or Pandora
  • Fun food: Get something that’s different from what you’ll have at your wedding –Think food truck or heavy apps, or a cuisine out of the ordinary (don’t forget those vegetarians!). Read my menu post for ideas on where to start.
  • Rentals: Tents, Chairs, and Table rentals and can be delivered and set up by vendors.
  • Fun details: Include whatever details you want. This is a good place to outsource ideas and execution to a trusted friend or bridesmaid. Check out my inspiration and trends page for ideas.
  • Extras: If you want to provide transportation, set up a shuttle between the venue and the hotel your guests will be staying.

TIP:  Tell your guests to dress casually or opt for making suggestions [for example, if you’re having an event in the south, encourage guests to wear their cowboy boots].

“Localize” a Part of the Wedding
Adding an extra touch goes a long way. If your wedding is in a location that doesn’t necessarily represent you, consider incorporating where you’re from or where you’ve lived.


Chicago: Chicago style popcorn (cheddar and caramel for those who haven’t had it), Cubs, Chicago style hot dogs or “hotdogs” (aka soy or other non-meat), Greek-town food.

London: Double decker bus, phone booth, custard, English-style tea party (my favorites)

California: Anything related to the beach, sunglasses; if you’re in San Fran – food!

Destination Wedding – Mexico: Mexican themed designs, Mexican food, beach, sunglasses           

How do you make it happen?

Think about what you love about this place.  The food, the sports, a certain event, what the city or place is known for?How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution

  • Instead of using numbers for tables, write out names of places, restaurants or a particular category of things in the city that you love. You’ll need enough for the number of tables you have at your reception. You can also use photos of you and your fiancée around your place, and then add a number on it.
  • Map of your place on a wall within the venue
  • Your place-themed Cocktail Hour – if you want to go beyond just Signature Cocktail you can dedicate your entire hour to your place.
  • Food:  Take your favorite dish or signature dish of your place and add it to one of your menus or incorporate the food into your place-themed cocktail hour

TIP: Unless you want to make your entire wedding weekend themed, stick with one event or a few location-based accents to keep it classy.

Non-Traditional Mandaps
Traditional boxy gold mandaps (altars) are becoming a thing of the past. Not only that, no one will be able to see anything when the mandap is so tiny and boxed. That’s my biggest pet peeve of past Indian weddings. Now let’s move on to the future…


Open Mandap:

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-open_mandap_indian_wedding

Modern but Traditional:

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-Modern_Traditional_Indian_Wedding_Mandap


How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-Altar_like_fusion_wedding_mandap

 Floral, Light and Airy:

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-Airy_Floral_Indian_Wedding_Mandap

How do you make it happen?

In a situation where you’re making use of a [good] Indian decorator, chances are they already have ways to make a modern mandap/altar. If they don’t, they’ll usually have access to fabrics they’ve used for other decor and can incorporate it into a more traditional looking mandap. The possibilities are endless!

If your decorator doesn’t have what you’re looking for, ask your venue manager.  You’d be surprised that venues could offer something unique for a non-Indian wedding (a traditional altar) that could work for an Indian wedding – or can be made to work for an Indian wedding.

TIP: Don’t forget about flowers!  Adding flowers on important parts of the mandap adds an elegant touch. If you have a staged mandap, it has to round out the stage so it’s not so bare.



For DIYing 101 or What to DIY and What NOT to DIY check out the details in this post.

How do you make it happen?

Tips from the post:

  1. Find your ideas and decide what to DIY
  2. If you don’t have time or don’t want to spend the time to make the DIY item, consider buying it on any DIY on sites like Etsy.
  3. Be creative but think within the context of your wedding
  4. Just because someone has a photo of it on Pinterest, doesn’t mean it’s easy to DIY

Funky Reception Layouts
Gone are the days where all tables at a reception are all circular, spread around the venue. Today, the challenge with reception layouts is what to choose from what’s out there.


My post on How to Plan your Indian Wedding Reception with Intention outlines a number of ways to set up your reception. Whether it’s X’s and O’s, T tables, or tables of any other letter of the alphabet, the layout can really pimp your reception. This is one Indian wedding trend that’s easy to make on your own!

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-Indian wedding reception layout

How do you make it happen?

Figure out your guest list and numbers before choosing a reception layout.  The options are endless but work closely with your venue manager to turn your vision into a reality.

Fun Photo Opportunities

You can’t have an Indian wedding with people looking like serious statues (like the era of our grandparents). That was the trend then, but it’s all about fun photo opportunities now.


Take fun photos at all of your pre-wedding events like your Bridal Shower. You don’t actually need to hire a professional photographer – including some fun poses can make up nice memories.

Couples pre-wedding or post-wedding photo session outside of the wedding venue:  Find a nice beach, woods, or another unique picturesque area to take your photos. Colorful Indian clothes will always stand out in the photos, and the photos will look amazing!

Family Portraits:  Weddings venues can sometimes be limited, but ask your photographer to find areas that’ll work for more elegant (non-statue like) portraits.

Don’t forget about your guests!  The fun photo opportunities continue with your guests.

How do you make it happen?

  • For your couples photo sessions, plan out ideas with your photographer ahead of time. In addition to location, talk about poses and how he or she will be shooting you two.
  • Make it fun – everything about photos should be fun and not staged (portraits might feel staged but people shouldn’t look like statues)
  • Rent a photo booth or a video booth
  • Give guests disposable cameras at each table, or keep the cameras at cocktail tables

Dessert Extravaganza
Food is a big part of Indian weddings.  That’s the beauty of Indian weddings. With Indian sweets being such a big part of the Indian wedding tradition, it’s no surprise that more western style / modern desserts are becoming more popular. Kids and adults alike love dessert, so why not add your own twist when including desserts at your events.


  • Mehndi-design cookies
  • Cupcake tower in lieu of a wedding cake
  • A chocolate fondue fountain with fixings including fruit, shortbread, fruit, marshmallows, etc
  • Little handheld desserts: bite-size versions of apple pie, pecan pie, cheesecakes and more
  • Indian desserts served fancy – Gulab Jaman – the round fried balls in syrup made into a smaller size and served in a shot glass.

How to Take Indian Wedding Trends from Inspiration to Execution-gulab_jaman_shot_glass_indian_wedding_trend

How do you make it happen?

  • Before venturing out on your own, check with your venue manager to know if he/she can put up any of your ideas. You’d be surprised what they can make or find for your events.
  • You don’t need to have every dessert under the sun. Pick and choose desserts based on what your guests would like and do not let it be based on personal preferences.
  • Don’t forget about Indian desserts. As much as we’ve modernized weddings, it’s always nice to have a few Indian desserts to complement the rest of the selection.
  • Have a dessert table. The opportunities are endless here – it’s all about what you want to do to add a fun twist to the occasion. Add a candy table for kids nearby or simply showcase the desserts in ways that would make it fun.

It’s not that easy to have a unique Indian wedding. Indian wedding trends are such that you have to use them carefully and when you do, you can turn out with something that isn’t tacky and stands out of the crowd!

For more trends, ideas and inspiration check out my Pinterest page.

Related Post:  How to create a timeless wedding

What trends are you incorporating into your wedding?  Tell us in the comments below!

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