The Future of Weddings

Face mask designs

The Corona epidemic has shaken the conscience of the world in a way no one could have imagined. Lives have changed drastically around the globe and its only obvious that weddings would transform too as and when they make a comeback. Today we are going to focus on Fab Weddings’ take on the future of Indian weddings in the next 18-20 months. We are happy to stick neck out as we have utilized the lockdown to deeply engage with hundreds of brides and hundreds of vendor partners across the country. These views are a thoughtful gist of our discussion with these critical stakeholders.

Indian weddings have been the benchmark of celebratory grandeur in the new millennia but the last few years have been hinting towards a more subtle evolution. The change has been visible in key celebrity weddings as well, like #virushka or’#DeepVeerwale. Millennial couples want the fragrance of exclusivity, focus on ceremonial rituals and desire to share these special moments only with those who matter to the couple.

Intimate is “in”

The classiest couples we have met or saw in the last two years made it a point to differentiate the profoundly personal moments; rituals/ceremonies with the social or party aspect of their weddings. The focus is on creating memories of a lifetime, not only for the couple but also for their loved ones. The brief has not been about making the wedding a rock concert to dazzle the world, but to make it a serene experience that touches the guests profoundly and personally; leaving an enduring imprint on their hearts.

An intimate wedding at a home in new Delhi shot by Fab Weddings Photographer Omega Productions
A home wedding in new Delhi

We expect this trend to find accelerated adaption as couples & families focus on intimate weddings. We foresee couples tying the knot in locations that are meaningful for them & their families; like ancestral houses or destination locations that offer historical & hospitality value. Come to think of it; a destination wedding away from the city is a great way to reduce the guest list too gracefully. Families will prefer locations accessible by road rather than far away ones or international locations. We don’t rule out grand receptions in the city to cater to the broader social & business contacts of the families, but things will be far more subtle & personal given the Corona overhang.

Rational spending

Fab Weddings is currently undertaking COVID Impact survey with brides who were supposed to get married in March-June 2020 but had to postpone their weddings. Most brides are indicating no or minor reduction in their planned budget but communicate a resounding focus on being rational. We got a sense that the epidemic has accentuated economic sensitivity in most of us, and this is a direct, happy change as far as our thought process is concerned. As a company, we have never advocated going overboard with wedding budgets and focused on minimising the wastage of any kind, especially money. We are confident that the majority of the couples getting married in 2020-2021 will expect the wedding professionals to attune to this new reality of reasonable, measured spending.

Personalise and prosper

With intimate settings and rational spending; the reliance on elevating the personal experience through merchandise & services will be more than ever before. We foresee the budgets for attire, makeup & jewellery increasing considerably in 2020 & 2021. Stimulated partly by lower spending on other aspects but more so by the raging trend of enhancing experiential value for the couples and their loved ones. Each element of the wedding, the look of the bride & the groom, will be crafted with more exceptional care and finesse.

Personalised Accessories including facial mask for the bride

Professionals with established credentials and celebrated creative brands will extend their dominance over the other not so well-known shops. We foresee personalization of attire, jewellery & makeup being at the centre of planning modern weddings in 2020 & 2021.

Creative Storytelling; digital first

With the splendour of international destinations and grandeur of a huge wedding reception out of the window, creative wedding storytelling will take centre stage in the next 18-24 months. With gatherings going small, couples and families would express the joy of sharing their special moments with the world on digital channels. This prediction is not a gut feeling; we have experienced this from close quarters. The Fab Weddings Instagram handle would have featured over 1000+ couple and their wedding stories in the last one year, but we would have disappointed at least ten times the couples who wanted to get featured but couldn’t. It says something.

Bride & Groom in the act of cinematography

Millennial brides want their wedding stories to be digital, shareable and with a potential of going viral. And for that to work out well, we need a lot of creativity, planning and eye for detail. So, in 2020-2021 the couples are likely to shortlist professionals in areas like photography, attire, catering and décor’ with a keen eye on their creative credentials. How does each element contribute to the look & feel of the wedding? Is it something that audiences online will relish? How do we capture it? All these questions will be the connecting tenets of purchase decisions undertaken by the couple. We foresee creative photographers becoming the first professionals a couple would hire so that they can help them craft a compelling story that captures the entire journey of the courtship, wedding prep, shopping and the D-day off course. Think of weddings becoming feature films with an expected beginning and climax, yet the execution so gripping that it’s a tale to relish for the digital buffs.

Hygiene First

Hygiene is going to be the mainstay of the wedding planning journey from now on. Venues & catering especially will have to showcase impeccable hygiene from a premised, food & workforce standpoint. We have advised our venue partners to share their disinfecting and workforce screening SOP before recommending them to any of our clients. Fab Weddings is itself investing in crucial equipment like fumigators, temperature screening devices and personal hygiene kits for its staff to ensure the safety of all concerned. Brace for restaurant-style catering & serving with contactless menu options to minimise human exposure in contrast to the traditional buffets.

A significant impact would also engulf the makeup artist and photography professionals as the delivery of their service is contingent on sharing the same private space with the client. Top class hygiene of the entire crew, equipment and consumables will be paramount. We feel makeup artists need to create cosmetics & brush baskets that can be bought individually for each bride by the bride herself or by the artist. We don’t think repeat usage of brushes & cosmetics, especially eye and lip products, are making a comeback anytime soon. Photographers, on the other hand, need to ensure that they discuss the creative plans with clients in advance to execute the desired poses with ease and without needing on the spot guidance nearby. Creating mood boards that are visible from a distance might help in a big way as well.

Scheduling Mayhem

Rescheduling of most weddings in Q2 of 2020, inevitable shifting of international destination weddings back to India and virtually no dates in Q3 will create massive pressure on the available dates between Nov 2020 to March 2021. Clients who have postponed nuptials from April-June 2020 will face at least 20-30% increase in venue pricing as November & December are anyways expensive vis-à-vis the summer months. Most weddings are going to see a pruned guest list, and hence the large halls booked earlier are no longer the first choice. Clients might have to retain those bookings and pay higher than required rentals for those halls irrespective of the smaller guest list. Venues are already starting to prepare for more seating space as social distancing & dining hygiene would anyways need more space.

We are recommending our clients to finalize the revised dates quickly so that we don’t miss out on the desired venues & vendors. We don’t agree with our peers on the issues of getting married on any day as we believe strongly in the cultural affiliations of Hindu weddings. We would not advise our clients to change their age-old family traditions and get married as per the best shubh Muhurat dates.

As a part of this series, we will be interview opinion leaders from the industry and sharing those videos very soon.


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