2021 Wedding Trends: South Asian Edition

by Raj Desai | 1/9/21

Red mismatched lounge furniture in backyard wedding
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Like everyone else on the planet, when I wrote about 2020 wedding trends a year ago I had NO idea how much things would change.

 

Adding an eighth phera and showcasing mehndi on the soles of feet were the last things on couples’ minds (duh). Instead, everyone was left scrambling to reschedule weddings, adapt to smaller affairs at home, and find lehnga-matching face masks.

 

We FINALLY see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, and it’s perfect timing to immerse ourselves into 2021’s wedding trends.

 

As much as we’re all hoping for a return to pre-pandemic life, 2021 is all about embracing the sacrifices in favor of making scaled-down, backyard weddings as beautiful as possible.

 

From increased attention to detail (thanks, small guest list!) to the inventive use of space and décor, here are 8 trends to incorporate into your wedding.

Guest-centered details

Guests lists are a *huge* point of contention. So much so that fights between couples and their parents over essential invitees is basically a wedding planning rite of passage. But no more! Pandemic life means smaller guest lists. And inviting less people means that you now get to divert dollars to thoughtful and delightful guest-centered details.

 

Personalized face masks, mix n’ match china and flatware, potted herb centerpieces, edible flowers on everything. It’s all about achieving that Disney-esque flourish to wow your closest friends and family.

Bohemian eclectic outdoor wedding decor mix and match
Rani Pink Love

Event décor

I can’t imagine how difficult it was for couples who had to adapt their wedding plans to COVID on the fly. But something beautiful came out of it—the enchanting, intimate, and budget-friendly backyard wedding.

 

Break out the twinkly lights, hang up cane and wicker baskets, and go for vibrant, textured floral arrangements. Don’t worry about matching everything together, we’re all about mixing and matching this year. The more playful, the better!

Luxe floral decor on small backyard table
Bloom Babes

Tech

Wedding live streams have been popular in Indian weddings for some time now, even before COVID. And since event gatherings aren’t expected to change throughout much of this year, using tech for loved ones near and far will be a mainstay well into the fall.

Color palettes

What pops into your head when you think about natural colors? Earthy tones. Shades of green. Maybe even blue. But don’t forget about colorful flowers. Or the cotton candy swirled sky at sunset.

 

Have fun with your wedding colors, and when you’re creating a palette look to your favorite snapshots of nature to come up with them.

Flowers

Sustainability, texture, vibrant colors, and immersive installations are the hallmarks of 2021 wedding flowers.

 

Accentuate your existing backyard landscaping with potted plants, naturally dried and preserved flowers, and local blooms. Or transform it with hanging bursts of baby’s breath, cascading garlands, or floral sculptures.

Woman posing with foam free floral garland
Kim Branagan photography

Groomswear

Time has been good to South Asian grooms wear. Now more than ever, guys have a variety of color, pattern, and cut to choose from. So while bridal wear is trending toward the simpler, grooms wear is doing just the opposite.

 

For the men sticking to suits, add drama and excitement with a colorful boutonniere pinned to your lapel.

Green and pink floral boutonniere lapel
Roots Floral Design

Bridal wear

Thank you 2020 for popularizing a fashion style that all brides can get behind—a comfy one. I’m talkin’ shararas (the lehnga’s loungey cousin), stacked necklaces for a casual and boho look, and lightweight, pattern-printed lehngas.

 

Don’t forget to add a touch of drama because, well, you’re the bride after all! Bell sleeves for your full-length blouse. A Priyanka Chopra-style veil. And wearable baby’s breath for your haath phool or hair.

Indian bride with baby's breath and pink carnation haath phool
Occasions Florist Oldham

Raj Desai

Wedding writer and researcher who’s been in the game for 5 years. Addicted to Netflix, dirty martinis, and naps. 

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