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The Global Wedding Fusion: Where South Asian Meets British Trends

Anshika Arora Updated:
24th of January 2024

In the UK, US & EU, South Asian couples are often inspired by their traditional roots, and their local environment where they had their upbringing. I, for one, am constantly seeking inspiration from all of my friends at their multicultural weddings, and secretly taking my favourite elements of all of them for my wedding! The best of all worlds.

We have been reflecting on the 2023 wedding season, and upcoming 2024 & 2025 weddings. This time of year, one of our favourite things to do is look at the various South Asian wedding trends that we will definitely be seeing a lot more of. Often when we curate those, we look at what our couples are searching, Pinterest trends, and the global landscape.

In this article, I wanted to explore some of the particular trends that have been inspired by the typically-British weddings in the UK.

White Wedding Dresses

South asian white wedding dress worn by Alanna Panday

Whilst South Asian weddings are traditionally known for their bright colours in the lead up, and traditional red or green lehengas worn on the wedding day; we've noticed quite a shift into white wedding lehengas. This one definitely has many layers, as the South Asian white wedding dress trend is popular due to a hike in Bollywood celebs, such as Alanna Panday, opting for white; as well as, an increase in fusion weddings.

Starting with Bollywood, for decades we have seen couples take inspiration from celebrities, ie. the OG influencers. Increasingly, with the rise of social media, South Asian designers can safely say that word spreads about their pieces way faster when worn on a celeb, rather than any runway show. Alanna Panday, being a content creator herself, influenced many brides on white wedding lehengas at receptions in 2023.

In addition to this, when it comes to fusion weddings and emulating the ‘best of both worlds' into your wedding attire, a white wedding outfit is the perfect fit. YouTube sensation, Michelle Khare, documented her wedding process and the decision behind choosing her wedding outfit, wherein she tried on a few white wedding lehengas for that exact reason.

Whilst she eventually opted for a traditional red bridal lehenga, the thought-process she initially had was definitely one that most fusion brides can relate to.

Civil Wedding Ceremonies

South asian wedding ceremony

With a surge in civil wedding ceremonies being their own separate event, as opposed to part of the traditional religious ceremony, we are basically embedding a typically-British wedding as an event in our grand wedding affairs.

With its own budget for venue, outfits, entertainment, drinks, catering etc. - it's definitely one of the more expensive things we've adopted - but go big or go home, right?! That being said, the added event does host a much smaller and intimate guest list, on average.

Due to this, we have also seen a spike in non-South Asian wedding suppliers being booked, which has meant a lot more shared business between the industries. This is definitely a trend that is only due to increase over the next few years, especially as the number of destination weddings are on the rise for traditional ceremonies and the legal requirement to register your marriage in the UK is a good excuse for another event.

Personalised Vows

South asian wedding breakfast with bride giving speech

Traditionally, South Asian wedding ceremonies have their own vows in traditional scriptures, which are read out by the couple or signed during the wedding ceremony. Increasingly, we are seeing couples opt for their own personalised vows that are read within the ceremony.

Personalised vows allow the couple to express their love, commitment, and promises to each other in their own words. This can add a deeply emotional and heartfelt dimension to the ceremony. As our culture is home to a multitude of languages, it is beautiful to see couples choosing to express their vows in the language that is most meaningful to them (or their partner's language!).

Over at Eternity we closely work with Provenance, who help couples, officiants & guests write personalised and meaningful wedding ceremony scripts, vows, and speeches.

Bridal Parties & Groomsmen

South asian bridal party photo
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I might be biased, but this is my absolute favourite typically-British adopted wedding trend! Bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and page-boys are traditionally part of South Asian weddings: but are becoming increasingly more common. A wedding is all about a celebration, and sometimes, the stress, budgets, and vast number of events can lose the essence of celebrating a couple. However, assigning these roles to your most special friends & family, is one of the many ways that South Asian weddings are increasingly redirecting more attention over to the couple.

Of course, this comes with the traditional bridesmaid proposals and groomsmen proposals, which are another fun way to make everyone feel special.

Some couples are even opting for these individuals to walk them down the aisle, wear matching outfits, and overall play more of a role on the wedding day and in the ceremony. For example, traditionally, a bride is led down the aisle by her brothers in most South Asian cultures; but things are slowly changing with more father-led or bridesmaids & groomsmen-led entrances.

Minimal Wedding Cakes

South Asian weddings have started to take a 180-degree shift from the super grand 10-tier wedding cakes, to a more minimal (& practical?) approach. Couples nowadays are either opting for unconventional wedding cake ideas, such as donut or macaron towers, or super minimal cakes.

This is, of course, met with an array of desserts - which we definitely aren't cutting back on!

The shift to minimal cakes partially comes from South Asian couples being slightly more waste-conscious and aware of the impact they have, specifically with food & flowers.

What Does This Mean For 2024 & 2025 Couples

Overall, the wedding-world is your oyster! These changes are super exciting and allowing for greater variation within the wedding industry. It means that suppliers and couples can get more creative, and really personalise their wedding to represent the couple and their journey, and what is most important to them.

Some of these changes also mean greater acceptance, from families, for a bit of a shift from the traditional norms; which are being embraced beautifully.

Lastly, as mentioned above, there is also greater choice in the suppliers that couples choose to work with: spanning far ahead from solely looking at South Asian wedding suppliers.

As I always say, it's easy to get consumed in comparing weddings to others or comparing prices of suppliers, but it's more important to focus on bringing the wedding you want to life, and working with the right quality of suppliers; as well as, being on the lookout for the best value deals.

Anshika Arora Founder of Eternity UK - South Asian Wedding Planner

About the author

Anshika Arora

Anshika is the founder of Eternity UK, the UK's first South Asian wedding planning destination & mobile app. With a love for all things weddings, Anshika particularly understands the stress in combining traditional roots & modern mainstream elements into a dream wedding, and assists couples in creating the perfect fusion events for the modern day South Asian couple.

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