Planning a fairytale destination wedding? We searched for some of the latest fads in the Indian and international destination wedding market. Bold cakes, over-the-top attire, exotic cuisine, gifting lounges and more … Read on for our list!

Indian trends:

1. Small intimate affair: The big fat Indian wedding is a thing of the past. Brides and grooms these days are opting for personal and intimate celebrations with close friends and family in scenic outdoors over brunch. Short guest lists are in vogue, as the couple spends less time and money as compared to an at-home wedding. While the to-beweds typically spend an average of seven nights in their destination, the guests stay approximately four nights to extend their experience beyond the special day itself.

2. Increased use of technology: Of late, destination weddings are becoming more technologically advanced than ever—with professional websites, digital/ interactive video invites and planning apps like Pinterest and WeddingWire. Image mapping is a projection technology that allows you to transform a space with lighting and moving pictures. Couples love screening a slideshow with pictures of their childhood and how they met. Those who can’t make it can always tune into the festivities virtually—with the help of live streaming on Skype, FaceTime and photo sharing apps. Many wedding photographers also publicize their travel schedules on Instagram and Facebook. Further, short films that capture the top snippets of the wedding are another big hit. Companies take great pains to create Bollywood-style wedding videos and team it with a great soundtrack. Of course, there is the added excitement of sharing one’s wedding teaser on social media later!

3. Candid photography: Fun and natural wedding photos are the order of the day as they provide a more authentic feel than the traditional forced portrait shots. Local excursions and gimmicks like underwater bridal shoots help cap- ture the landscape of the unique destinations. Such activities make sure that the big day remains etched in the minds of family and friends for years to come. Pre-wedding shoots set in dreamy settings and exotic backdrops are another rage, in which couples don fancy outfits. Some photographers even recommend a day-after shoot in natural surroundings away from all the wedding hullaballoo and rush. Drone photography is another recent trend, as more and more couples opt for cinematic aerial shots.

4. Family friendly: Destination weddings are all about catering to multigenerational celebrations as they give guests a chance to double their experience as a family vacation. For this reason, all-inclusive luxury resorts that cater to children and young adults are a popular choice.

5. Keeping it informal: The formal sit-down dinner is being replaced with more innovative options, like set-up stations, self-serve bars, food installations and trucks. Games are another new trend at weddings these days. Lawn games like croquet are a great way for guests to break the ice. Further, fun accessories like identity cards reading “Team Groom” and “Team Bride” are yet another fashion style statement.

International trends:

1. Personalization: A lot of effort is going into adding a personal touch to the guest experience, so that the wedding is an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime one. Customization is the key— whether it’s focusing on local food, culture, customs and cuisines. Intimate events, such as “destination elopements” and rooftop weddings are becoming more and more popular. Elopement packages usually include the whole setup, including photography, videography, catering and cake.

2. Outside-the-box locations: Lately, adventure is a huge draw for couples wanting to tie the knot in style—looking for experiences and getaways that match their interests, whether it’s snorkeling in Costa Rica, hiking in the mountains of Italy or boating on the coast of Australia. Even though tropical islands and beach weddings still top the list, people are now increasingly looking for unconventional locations that may surprise their guests and are not very commercialized. A cruise wedding, for instance, is the perfect idea for all those who love the ocean atop an extravagantly embellished private ship. Iceland, Ireland, Canada and South Africa are emerging as other recent favourites.

3. Going local: Many couples choose to bring along their own local vendors who they are familiar with, to a destination. Regional flavours of entertainment at weddings—whether it’s local musicians, traditional dishes or dance performances go a long way in creating some magical memories for guests. Locally sourced ingredients, suspended floral centerpieces and dangling décor are other popular practices that also keep costs down.

4. Portrait studios: These are the new-age photo booths. Once the photographer clicks your picture, you get a classic portrait instead of a regular photograph. Some couples also get an artist to sketch a vintage image of their guests. This works as a great momento of the occasion—one that will certainly be for keeps.

5. Destination bachelorettes: Gone are the days when only grooms would head out for the infamous bachelor party. It’s now the bride who plans a fun trip to a gorgeous destination with her girlfriends before the big day.

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TnH Global
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