The ever evolving wedding industry has just cancelled the classic greet, eat and bid adieu wedding parties. While the size of the guest lists got shorter, a new trend emerged of keeping the audience actively engaged during the events.
Weddings have recently been less about attending an event out of courtesy, and more about immersing all into a celebratory experience. Couples are dabbling in fun recreational activities in their parties and setting over-the-top themes so that their guests make memories along with them. To understand the rise of the “experiential weddings” better, we had a chat with Tina Tharwani, co-founder of ShaadiSquad and Angad Singh, partner, Innovative Eventz.
Tina says she has a few tips on extracting the greatest potential out of wedding events. “Having interactive stations really helps! A perfumery stall, pot making activity, a wedding BTS showreel on a screen for people to watch, live painting… anything that’s simplified yet fun for people to engage with. You may also place small wedding booklets that explain the significance of the ceremony on the seat of every guest. And if you’d like to add a twist to this, you may keep puzzles with questions related to the couple for the guests to answer or a story book of the couple for people to read whilst the rituals are going on for them to engage. A thank you note, personalized welcome letters, capturing the couple’s storyline in the decor, giving sneak peek into the couple’s story by way of curating fun facts for people to read, having signature drinks / bride or groom’s favorite drinks on the bar menus…are all personal touches that also make for great memories.”
She mentions the importance of Destination Weddings for providing a great experience to the guests. “Destination weddings definitely have a higher experience value. You are taking a group of people to a new, sometimes unfamiliar land; they are bound to discover new experiences - whether it's the local food or by means of incorporating local art & craft into the wedding functions.”
She says they planned a wedding in Shimla for a group of 180 to 200 people.
They started off the festivities with a picnic themed brunch, some old school games curated for the guests, and later bonfires, and music & dance. Next day was the Nikah set against the mountains. Post the Valima dinner, there was a surprise screening of a short video clip of moments captured from the wedding functions.
As for Innovate Eventz, Angad says: “There are many unique activities which engage the guests during the wedding. Like DJs, Dhols, Live Band (Sufi & Bollywood fusion), wedding games, dance performances, unique entry with flower showers, colour pops, cold- anars, walking moon, gifts on arrival, entry & room refreshments, help desk, customised itinerary, welcome tags & unique thank cards, and so on.”
Bringing the couple's dream wedding themes alive is always a priority. “Every couple is nowadays exposed to social media and clients are aware of the wedding decor theme they want. We customize their thoughts in our own unique and planned manner. We meet them ample times till they are satisfied with all. Some themes that are popular and likely to engage guests are themes like Mughal, Ghalib night, Rajasthani fort weddings, rainbow colour pops shower, Peacock theme, Sufi night, Morocco theme, Indigo & Yellow floral theme, Bollywood cocktail nighst, etc,” he adds.