2016 Indian Wedding Trend Report by Chef Ranjan Dey

Recently our friend and key personality in the SF Indian weddings world, Chef-Owner Ranjan Dey of New Delhi Restaurant + Catering:  hosted our February SF NACE meeting and presented on Indian Wedding Trends.

We wanted to share his list with you, in case you missed the meeting or didn't catch all his fantastic insight: 

1 Bold Bohemian -It’s not about Bollywood retro either – the trend is slowly moving towards more couture and artisanal. Marigolds are replaced by baby breaths and quirky prints with bold hues, chai glasses with old-school kettles, postered walls with stained glass separators and embellished heels with sneakers. The hipster bride is here to stay and she’s looking her best in aviators and a big smile. A kind of classier bohemian world is being created – so chic!

2. Soft Pastels-Pastels got softer with Pantone’s new shade card for 2016 – happy blue and nice baby pink lead the way this coming year. And elegance and romance is once again treated with a bit of chic so it looks dreamy and fairy-tale-like. Use unusual hues like mint or pale yellow into the mix too and stay minimalistic.

3 DIY & Eco-friendly-DIY weddings are the trend du jour, this year. But in the next few years, you will see that rustic DIY has given way to a more classier and elegant DIY idea list. From making your own party favors to investing in eco-friendly and reusable stuff.

4 Modern & Minimalistic-Modern weddings are all about simplicity and minimalism – it’s all about balancing opulence with elegance and creating a new look altogether. So if you like lilleys, just use them. If it’s just a sofa and fairy lights – don’t add a chandelier into the mix. Remember, less is more!

5 The New Vintage-We have seen vintage weddings done over and over again and trust us, we’ve seen those bird cages before. But the new trend in vintage is to go all Marie Antoinette with a twist – so use Indian desserts in a french way or add floral on bird cages in a smarter way. Keep romance on a more even keel with floral walls and mirrored additions.

6 Modern Mughals-Indian wedding ideas went away from all the bold hues this year and lo, we have a softer, more subtle side to royalty and tradition. Mughal influences are very prominent – marble as a hue is exploited to the fullest. The color palette is not colorful but vibrant – and old ideas come up with more modern takes. Tents are shaped like durbars, palanquins get a vintage makeover and benarasi with all it’s subtle nuances becomes the new fabric to look out for.

7 Rustic Chic- Rustic isn’t so rustic and green anymore this coming year. It got a chic makeover and it’s modern and contemporary as hell. Plants on tables decorated with lamp shades or cakes with real fruits not flowers – these are just the tip of the trend. The idea is to go the “glamming” route – turn a rustic outdoorsy activity into a glam one with the addition of modern amenities.

8 Dramatic Drapes- Framing a special table in a traditional red color creates an eye-catching display. Plush red curtains are a perfect fit! This VIP seating area can be reserved for the bride, groom, and wedding party.

9 Henna-Inspired Patterns- Traditional henna designs inspired the tablecloth and napkins for this table setting. Tablecloth is actually a tapestry that are repurposed for an affordable table-covering. You can see the same swirling patterns in other décor elements, too.

DIY Tip: Recruit creative friends and family to decorate special napkins for each place setting. Using a gold pen, draw henna-like designs on each black napkin. You can use paper napkins and paint pens or cloth napkins and fabric pens. 

10 Elephant Details- Elephants have long played a prominent part in Indian culture, and we are excited to see more and more modern takes on this special Indian icon in weddings. This symbol of luck and prosperity can be incorporated in many ways, from the invitations and programs to favors and décor. Swap out the tea light in gold elephant candle holders and make space for a sweet treat. These elephants make an adorable favor for guests to take home! Showing guests to their seats with a gold elephant card holder is another special little detail that will make a big impact. Finally, tuck elephants into the décor for a whimsical surprise at the foot of the table.

11 Fusion - World is becoming global village and giving rise to beautiful upswing to mix marriages. There is a rise in mix marriages amongst Indian between different states and regions and amongst Indians and non-Indians from all over the world. It is a beautiful unstoppable trend celebrating human love.

12 Narrative Menus - The above trends is allowing caterers to create narrative menu to celebrate the diversity of the different backgrounds, heritage, cultures and cuisine coming together in a celebration.


"I have scoured the internet and spoken to numerous Indian wedding planners, catering directors, wedding vendors, catering directors, designers, wedding magazine publishers in USA and India to compose this trend summary"

See you at our next meeting!