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By The Masala Team

New F&B trends for weddings, with insight from a smorgasbord of Thailand’s best Indian wedding caterers.

owever you slice it, beyond the lavish décor, the innovative entertainment that gets more exhilarating each year, and even the extravagant outfits from couture designers, what will often make or break an event is the food and beverages that you serve. Each year, caterers and planners are turning up the heat and innovating with new food trends so that events can stay memorable and fun, from personalised menus and drinks; to fun food installations; food trucks; grazing tables with outsized cheese, chaat, and charcuterie boards, and more.

We’ve asked some of Thailand’s best and most renowned wedding caterers what they’ve recently been cooking up.

Red Catering

Red Catering has been around for over a decade, and keeping their style of food, quality, and service has always been their top priorities. They specialise in live stations, making it easier to interact with their clients, and more importantly, the food stays fresh and delicious.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

People love comfort food but with a slight twist, thus making it tastier. For example, a chilli pakora turns into a Desi jalapeño popper with a twist in the dip. We specialise in a live grazing table for food, which people can pick and choose, eat and enjoy with their drinks located near the main bar.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

Lobster flambe: fresh Lobster, marinated with fresh homemade Indian masala topped with a French twist.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 96 891 9264


Saras has been a one-stop vegetarian and vegan catering experience for weddings and corporate events for a long time. Incredibly flexible, they offer catering services for all event sizes, from a largescale Indian wedding to a standalone section that can plug into an existing live/buffet setup.

Saras specialises in traditional and authentic regional specialties, such as Rajasthani, Gujarati, South Indian, Indo- Chinese, and Mughlai, as well as street food, and a variety of Indian desserts.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

Due to health and dietary preferences, smaller bite sizes; and preferably live stations, where one can interact with the chef and provide options (be it spice level, vegan, no onion/garlic, etc.); have been the trend. These can be easily customised based on the guest’s taste palate.

We simply want to stay as authentic as possible and enhance the overall look and feel of the food spread, regardless of what trends the market may be adopting.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

It’s like asking a mother to select which one of her children is her favourite! So let us break it down easier. If it’s South Indian cuisine, our Lava idli, wherein the sambhar is stuffed inside the idli, and as soon you bite into it, you can taste and experience the overall textures. As for northern cuisine, we have our Leechi ki sabzi. 

For Gujarati, Shreekhand with undhiyo and puri. Then, we have the Rajasthani five types of Daal bati and five types of churma. In the chaat category, we have Dahi bhalla. Steering slightly away from the region, into Indo-Chinese territory, our Corn kernel is a fine choice. Finally, under the selection of mithai, our Amrit ras can bring a sweet ending to any meal.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 62 316 9669


From the award-winning team of Michelin-starred restaurant Gaa helmed by Chef Garima Arora, Marigold provides catering, delivery, and takeaway for Indian sweets and chaats with quality and flavours like you’ve never had before, all at a very competitive price. Whether it’s catering for weddings, small parties at home, or corporate events, Marigold provides a world-class experience for all their guests.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

Our top priority is health. Customers ask for mithais and chaats with less sugar and more healthy ingredients. They want to know the quality of ingredients and the source. Bespoke flavours and packaging are also high on their list. The unique and different food experience at events is also in demand. Of course, all of this at a competitive price is important.

Increasingly, guests are asking for exciting and unique non- alcoholic beverage choices. We see tremendous growth in non- alcoholic beverage consumption in recent years, especially in the younger generation. They are paying more and more attention to their health and choosing non-alcoholic beverages for their social gatherings. At Marigold, we continue to offer our customers a variety of blended juices and mocktails that are never an afterthought but a highlight.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

One of our bestselling mithais is the Lychee parle g. It’s a mixture of three layers: Parle G crumble on the bottom, barfi in the middle, and gooey lychee on top. It’s a perfect ode to India’s most popular biscuit, yet staying true to the spirit of mithai.

Additionally, the Kothimbir burrata salad is a very popular choice with our catering customers. Sweet, sour, and spicy kothimbir meets creamy burrata and fresh baby spinach. Each bite is combined with different textures and flavours, making this salad a unique and fun one to dive into.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 92 498 4999


Indus has been a shining example of how North Indian Mughlai cuisine can conjure an elegant culinary experience consistently, with a nod of approval from Michelin in the form of the Michelin Plate for five consecutive years, from 2018 to 2022. In the last 15 years, however, Indus has brought its fine dining to the catering world, servicing clients and events of all sizes, specialising in North Indian tandoor, elevated street food, desserts, and many other fusion-induced dishes.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

Acquiring new clients has depended on providing extensive menus worthy of lavish events. It’s also a mixed bag with traditional and modern fusion making it onto the menu, and it’s not only Indian cuisine. We have seen wedding parties that provide a selection of other cuisines, such as Thai, Italian, Mexican, and so on.

As for the drinks menu, apart from signature cocktails, brides and grooms desire drinks based on their personalities. This carries onto the rest of the guests, regardless of the size of the gatherings. With personalised drinks, there must be something for everyone; guests should get what they want.

We continue to offer North Indian cuisine; tandoor is the main attraction but we still see demand for our seafood alongside the veg and non-veg items. Additionally, South Indian, Jain- inspired food is our main strength. We also offer Indian-Thai and Indian-Chinese, and never shy away from mixing more elements of fusion.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

Our raan dish, a 7-hour slow-cooked pulled leg of mutton where the meat falls right off the bone, is something to experience. We would also like to highlight our chaat stalls as well, which are quite popular with our clients.

For more information:
Tel: 082 342 1765

Tambu Phuket

Tambu is an exquisite rooftop dining experience at Avista Hideaway Patong. Savour modern charcoal cuisine with stunning forest and sea views in a Mughal-inspired ‘tented palace.’ Led by Iron Chef Thailand Winner Saurabh Sachdeva, Tambu offers unforgettable signature flavours. The space is perfect for group dining, weddings, and celebratory occasions, with outside catering options available with personalised menus and exceptional service.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

At Tambu, we believe in personalising menus to cater to our guests’ needs. For weddings, we offer innovative live stations, creating a unique dining experience. Additionally, we specialise in providing yacht-catering services in Phuket. Tambu ensures exceptional culinary experiences tailored to your preferences.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

Our Ghee roast mutton is inspired from the dish Keema Kulcha. Ghee roast gets its esteem from the spice blend, tempered with clarified butter and mixed with juicy pieces of mutton. The meat is then stuffed in a mini kulcha bun, and garnished with potato crisps to give a nice crunch to every bite.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 7 668 1681

Prego Bangkok

Prego Bangkok is a contemporary take on Italian cuisine, featuring both open-air and air-conditioned dining areas, a fully equipped bar and lounge, and a pizza station with an original wood-fired oven. With an exceptional menu created by Chef Marco, who founded Prego Samui and won an award for one of te ‘100 Best Risottos’ from around the world, Prego offers all Italian favourites along with gluten-free options and a menu specially curated for kids. They cater to all kinds of weddings, ranging from all sizes, with catering available across the island.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

When catering to the Indian community, that is incredibly vast and diverse, we have learnt how to personalise our options to their tastes. Prego Bangkok’s catering can suit your needs, and our dishes will take you on an unforgettable Italian journey, perfect for a romantic reception.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

One of the signature dishes and a must-try is Chef Marco’s Risotto Alla Montanara. Rich in cream and essence, this risotto is topped with an egg, completing the lushness of it. What makes this dish even more special is that it has been
featured in a book highlighting the ‘100 Best Risottos’ from around the world. This would be a memorable experience to have at any event.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 2 653 9000 ext 353

Rembrandt Catering

As a long-standing expert within Thailand’s hospitality industry, Rembrandt Hotel & Suites Bangkok is renowned in the F&B space and specialises in finger-licking good cuisine spanning Indian, Mexican, International, and Thai dishes, and speciality cuisine can be customised if requested. They can cater to all types of events, with a tailored experience designed to suit your guests, from corporate events to weddings.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

Rembrandt’s catering service aims to please with a menu that is entirely customised and personalised for your festivities. Our range of cuisines, along with fusion and global flavours are presented in a creative way to wow your guests. One of the latest offerings is an array of interactive food stations, this brings a joyful element to any meal, that will have your guests lining up for seconds. Alongside our delicious menu, we provide craft cocktails to suit any occasion.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

One of our most unique dishes is the Champaran mutton, a slow cooked mutton dish that is a speciality from Bihar. You will not find this anywhere else in Thailand, as the secret of this dish is that the meat is cooked in its own juices, making it incredibly tender and moreish. Another is the traditional and iconic Khao soi, a rich and flavorful curry noodle soup served in a clay pot that offers a unique blend of aromatic spices, creamy coconut milk, tender meat, and contrasting textures.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 65 950 1097

Cholos BKK

Cholos BKK is taco truck in the heart of Bangkok, serving a variety of mean tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and everything in between! Along with your Mexican feast, sip on a refreshing frozen margarita. Add a little Mexican spice to your wedding with their live cooking stations and other staples. They have a variety of catering packages available to suit your needs.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

One of our live cooking stations is a salsa station, where guests can enjoy seven different salsas! The couple can choose from 10 different options that they can offer during their event. These include pico de gallo, chipotle mayo, and even Carolina reaper hot sauce! Other live cooking stations include tacos, quesadillas, DIY nacho station, our famous baja fish tacos, and so many more.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique: Our little Cholos margarita bar offers a choice of two or four
margarita options to choose from, including interesting flavours like cucumber, passionfruit, strawberry, and even a Frozen frosé. The bar also comes with a range of garnishing options, and you can personalise the glasses with your wedding logo, names, or anything you want!

For more information, contact Ratish Sachathamakul:
Tel: +66 (0) 81 831 6277


Formerly Coco’s Catering, which has been serving the Indian community in Thailand for around 25 years, Jodhaa is a rebirth of the well-established catering brand, specialising in Indian food that isn’t limited to one region or cuisine, spanning North Indian, West Indian, South Indian, and vegetarian. They cater for weddings of any size in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and more, whether your event has 100 or 1,000 guests; they have no limits. Their focus is on tailor-made menus, live stalls, Indo- Chinese cuisine, and Thai-Indian fusion or Western-Indian fusion cuisine, depending on the event.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

Guests are increasingly looking for tailor-made menus, more personalisation with details of the couple incorporated, or according to the theme of the event, which we’ve done for many events. Many are looking for Thai and Indian flavour combinations, which we’re very happy to do. For example, we serve Tom yum cappuccinos served in a cup, or pizzas with Thai flavours.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

Our Tom yum gung barbecued in a tandoor oven! The cooking style is Indian but the flavours are Thai, and we serve this in live stalls, everyone loves it! Other popular items are our Lamb yum chops, lamb chops with seasonal Thai sauce, and our Pesto paneer, paneer marinated in pesto sauce.

For more information:
Tel: +66 (0) 8 2257 7896 and + 66 (0) 8 2969 6021

Punjab Grill Catering

Punjab Grill Catering brings a contemporary approach to Indian cuisine, and is ready to serve their inspired recipes at every big fat Indian wedding. With a thorough understanding of the community, Punjab Grill Catering has perfected their offerings to combine authentic Indian flavours that are inspired by western cuisine. They try and do everything a little more creatively, ensuring your guests are given a one-of-kind culinary experience at your wedding.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

We offer a variety of different culinary experiences, including live stations where we make our dishes in front of your guests. One of our life stations is a burrata butter chicken, served with a truffle cheese kulcha. These live stations allow guests to interact with their food, while ensuring they only sample the freshest dishes.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

As creativity is at the forefront of our recipes, most of our dishes are inspired by western cuisine, and are rather unheard of. For example, we serve a Truffle kichiri, an Indian version of a risotto, elevating the humble dish with a truffle twist. Another dish within the same vein, is our Dal chawal tiki, where we have used the Italian concept of arancini, with mozzarella cheese stuffed on the inside.

For more information contact Chef Bharath Bhat, Executive Chef at Punjab Grill:
Tel: +66 (0) 95 250 8307

Fatboy Izakaya

A playful and modern take on traditional Japanese izakayas, Fatboy Izakaya is a collaboration between We Design Shanghai and MTM Design, who did El Willy (in Sukhumvit Soi 51), Hundo (in Shanghai), and La Paloma (in Hong Kong). The aim was to amplify and solidify the brand’s positioning as a pioneering fun lifestyle brand. Entrusted to a team that travels around the world to ensure this, and a menu that is consistent throughout all its locations, the team works hard to be sure that what their customers try in Thailand will taste just as good in any part of the world. They cater for medium to large weddings or one-day weddings in Thailand, however they are targeting destination weddings as of next year onwards.

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

We understand that weddings are a special occasion filled with joy and cherished memories. Our dedicated team will work closely with you to create a personalised wedding catering experience that captures the essence of your love story. Whether you envision an elegant sit-down affair or a vibrant cocktail-style reception, we will tailor our services to meet your unique preferences. If you have ever come to dine at Fatboy Izakaya, you will remember that we sure do know how to throw parties! Together, we will create unforgettable memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

A must-try, signature dish and what makes it unique:

One dish I would say tells a lot about our style of food/concept is the Ramen cacio e pepe, which is a modern take on the Italian classic by using fresh ramen noodles, parmesan cheese, sweet, soy-braised bonito flakes, and plenty of cracked black pepper. This cross-cultural approach embodies the essence of our culinary philosophy; seamlessly blending traditions with culinary and cultural sensibility. It pays homage to its Italian roots while being Japanese in products and taste. At Fatboy Izakaya, we dare to bring East and West together in a playful and tasty way.

For more information:
LINE official: @fatboyizakaya

Dr. Drunk

As a new mixology service within Thailand’s event industry, Dr. Drunks bring a level of entertainment, energy, excitement, and an experimental attitude with their offerings. It is not just about their drinks, but rather cultivating a good night. Often dressed in lab coats, these ‘doctors’ bring their expertise in bar tendering and events to cater to everyone’s needs and wants, ensuring an unforgettable night. Regardless of the size of your event, big or small, the drinks pack a punch and are an ideal addition to raise everyone’s spirits!

New F&B wedding trends that they offer:

The best part about working with new clients every week, is that we get to learn so much about their desires, likes, and dislikes. Everyone wants something similar, but better or more personalised, so we have had the opportunity to try a variety of crazy things, from working on the most creative cocktail names to having a spicy boozy waterfall in ballrooms and beaches. At one wedding, we had a proper alcoholic water gun war break out. We have catered at wedding receptions, afterparties, individual birthday parties and more! Additionally, what is better than having one doctor at your service? Having two doctors!

A must-try, signature drink and what makes it unique:

It is hard to claim that a drink has never been done before, as the cocktail industry thrives on ingenuity and adaptations. However, one drink that we are famously known for and is a unanimous hit, is our Chai whisky. It brings together two Indian staples, chai and whisky. A simple twist on a classic that is now almost synonymous with Dr. Drunk!

For more information, contact Karan Bhalla or Saajan Ghogar
Tel: +66 (0) 62 643 9728, +66 (0) 92 417 2299
Instagram: @Docdrunk

What’s New in “I Do”

What’s New in “I Do”

By Kripa Singh and Mahmood Hossain

Just a couple of time zones away, where the number of weddings runs past the 10 million mark annually, India has slightly different perspectives and experiences when it comes to celebrating the union of newlyweds and their families. And in the midst of planning, several trends are shaping the Indian wedding landscape in 2023. There is a drive towards attention to detail and a strong sense of personalisation.

So, without further ado, here are some of the key wedding insights and trends from 2023.  

Some brides and grooms are being intentional about sustainability by getting rid of unnecessary waste from their nuptials. While other couples are exploring ways to create immersive experiences for their wedding guests. The ethos of curating a distinctive experience is prevalent in the celebrations taking place nowadays.

Many of today’s trends are revisiting age-old traditions. There was a time when a wedding was less about the themes at each event and more about the congregation of loved ones. In favour of the earlier ways, many couples are ditching overt themes for less fussy aesthetics to focus on the joy of a celebration.

Choosing Cleaner Aesthetic

Instead of spending on a compulsory theme, brides and grooms are choosing to focus on a cleaner aesthetic with higher quality and more attention to detail. This could mean using higher-quality flowers to create one statement arrangement, instead of using multiple faux flowers. Or it could mean curating nicer table settings, complete with charger plates, selected glassware, and ‘thank you notes’ for the guests, instead of just spending on an opulent backdrop.

Monochromatic Colours 

From tonal red affairs to pure-white celebrations, monochromatic colours have been a key part of creating a cleaner aesthetic in 2023. There has been a surge of bold celebrations that build their entire décor scheme around a single hue. Everything from the table linens to the furniture adheres to one chosen colour. But lest you think this is restrictive, monochromatic colours make for nuanced palettes that are anything but one note.

Using multiple shades in one colour family, such as combining violet, mauve, plum, and lilac can create a more dynamic colour story than a multi-coloured event can.

Immersive & Interactive Experiences  
Weddings aren’t just a spectacle. They are an experience, which is why couples are increasingly trying to make it a more enjoyable one for their guests. By incorporating interactive opportunities, the wedding hosts want their guests to feel more heard and cared for.
For instance, there is a big inclination towards interactive dining experiences with people opting for live stations and food trucks from their favourite restaurants. Dessert bars are set up with a plethora of options for people to customise their flavours.

Technology is also playing an integral part in creating an immersive experience for guests. From drone shows, to immersive lighting which can transform four ballroom walls into an underwater dreamscape, there are endless ways in which guests can be treated to a sensory experience and transported to a different space.

Pushing Back on Waste
Your wedding is meant to be the most special day of your life but it can also be the most wasteful. Couples are becoming increasingly sensitive to the amount of excess food tossed away, flowers dumped in the garbage, and paper thrown during celebrations. Hence, many hosts are choosing to go green with their weddings.
From sending out e-vites and printing stationery on seed paper (which can grow herbs or flowers when planted in soil) to using only local crafts in the décor, the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling is at the forefront for many weddings this year. Hopefully, this trend is here to stay.
Inclusive Layouts
Most events have a backdrop and a stage rising above the dance floor. The reason we’ve seen this layout a thousand times is because it works well. But nowadays, there has been more sway towards changing things up and encouraging inclusivity.
For instance, many people are choosing to place their bands or musicians in the middle of an outdoor venue so that the music feels less like a performance and more like an immersive experience.
Some brides and grooms are going one step further and doing away with a stage setup for their wedding ceremony. A stage- less mandap is increasingly popular for destination weddings where the pheras are taking place on the beach – the ceremony tends to feel more intimate and complements the earthiness of being outdoors.
The concept of ‘Living Room setups’ is another way in which a feeling of inclusivity can be achieved. The newly emerging trend is to create different lounge setups in the nooks and corners of the venue. The idea is to get rid of the monotony of solely banquet tables and give guests a way to mingle with each other in a more comfortable, yet aesthetically engaging surrounding.
Masala also had the opportunity to pick the brains of two successful wedding planners in their respective regions in India, and how the wedding planning landscape in the country is evolving.
Jaideep Singh 
Founder, Man With a Plan (MWP)
Jaideep Singh, founder of Man With A Plan (MWP) and on The Economic Times Panache ‘35 under 35 list,’ reiterates the same in emphasising the emergence of sustainability, intimate gatherings, personalised experiences, and destination weddings. Moreover, tech integration, a tried and tested blend of modern and traditional elements and emotions, as well as themed weddings, have cemented themselves into the Indian wedding landscape.
The events space is on the brink of a transformative phase, where scale, key collaborations, innovation, and creativity will play a bigger and more essential role in creating lasting memories. However, Jaideep reveals more challenging aspects of the current wedding planning journey.
“The wedding industry is the ideal example of this progression. But the lack of work ethics could prove to be a major barrier to us accomplishing certain feats. We have seen multiple examples of plagiarism in the industry because of how easy it is now to access the works of other professionals on the internet. As easy as it may seem, it’s still highly unethical.”
Jaideep shares that it is common to see smaller ventures breaking away from larger companies to begin their own business: “What most are unaware of is that training and retaining talent is a constant challenge. Competition is essential but in our industry’s case, this can result in complete chaos unless there’s a strategy in place to properly address this challenge.”
On a much lighter note, Jaideep is clearly passionate about what he does, and helping to create dream weddings for his clients continues to fuel his fire. “Every wedding is special in its own way, and that’s actually been the case for me at MWP because those clients have turned into friends and family. That phase of wedding planning makes the experience fulfilling and more precious.
My first wedding project was in December 2019 and it was that of Akhil Sachdeva (a Bollywood playback singer), which will always remain special for me because I have witnessed Akhil’s journey from the beginning. We at MWP managed to pull off exactly what he wanted in terms of venue, food, décor, and entertainment.”
Alongside the sentiments, Jaideep gives us a glimpse into the future of Indian wedding planning services. “It depends on the ability to break out of outdated methods and practices. Things must change with time. This is a field that was marred in disorganisation and formerly seen as lacking in formal education, and it has developed into a hub of knowledge with several iconic case studies to draw from.”
Jaideep has a very optimistic view of the wedding planning evolution, eager to create memorable experiences with couples aiming to begin their lives on a beautiful note.
Nanki Chawla
Nanki Chawla Events

Similar sentiments are shared by Nanki Chawla. With a BA Honours Degree in Hotel Management from one of the finest hotel management schools in India, she went on to become a management trainee for the famous Taj Group of hotels. Her passion for event management was lit by handling multiple high-profile corporate and social events for the Taj. She went on to work with Bangkok-based wedding planner, Élan Events by Nipunika and fell in love with everything to do with Indian weddings. She went back to India in 2016 and started her own company and over the years has worked with incredible clients planning and bringing to life their dream wedding.

What have been the current running wedding trends in India?

In recent times, Indian weddings have moved away from irrelevant rituals and customs and moved closer to curating highly-personalised and memorable celebrations, which will be treasured for years to come. An Indian wedding today is not just about the exchange of vows, but the joy and excitement leading up to it, with each pre-wedding event being as unique and out of the box as possible. Today, couples getting married are more in charge of ideation and decision-making and very actively participate in every detail that goes into bringing together their events. Weddings are also becoming extremely personalised and there is no longer a cookie-cutter format to follow. Each couple wants their wedding to reflect more of who they are.

How has the wedding industry changed from the time you began to how things are done now?

In the last 8-10 years, a huge segment of people has become conscious of protecting the environment and focusing on bringing sustainability into their events versus the old school model, where weddings would mean large amounts of wastage. Things like digital wedding invites, reusable gift packaging, sustainable elements in decor, recycled paper for printing, and mindful curation of menus with a focus on star cuisines and dishes are all leading to an overall reduction in wastage and helping the environment in their own way.

What have been some unique requests from couples for their weddings?

One of our clients hired a chartered plane to bring in their guests for the wedding in Jaipur and wanted some unique in-flight entertainment to be organised. We organised many exciting activities onboard, including a flash mob by the family, a 20-minute set by an amazing illusionist, and a high-energy karaoke session. The entire flight had the most exciting travel experience ever!

Is there a wedding that stands out the most to you? A wedding that may have been the most challenging, the most fun, or other reasons that made it the most memorable?

We recently planned and executed a wedding for a son of an Indian politician based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The bride was American but watching her embrace Indian traditions, culture, food, and outfits was a treat. They had 180 guests from the US, including the bride’s family and the couple’s closest friends, fly down for four days of celebrations. The guest list for the first three days was limited to family and friends, but the reception was at a massive scale of 5,500 people including local and state politicians, small and very huge businessmen, local celebrities and other government officials, and more extended friends.

It was a first for us to manage that scale, security measures were very tight and the local folk band was sublime. We pulled together the best of the local Jodhpur talent to cover all the wedding requirements and the caterer dazzled the crowd with a menu showcasing regional Indian delicacies from every corner of the country.

From how things stand now, what do you see changing in the near future for the wedding industry, and how will wedding planners and couples approach wedding festivities?

Weddings will continue to become more and more personalised with more elements in each event reflecting the couples’ personalities and personal preferences. The importance of finer details and creating more unique ‘experiences’ for wedding guests is also becoming a trend. Taking Indian weddings into lesser-known destinations across the globe is also becoming an exciting trend where clients are willing to push their boundaries to experience a new and unique location and culture. Pockets seem to be deepening and clients are now willing to spend more where it counts, without shying away.

The Inside Scoop from the Experts

The Inside Scoop from the Experts

By Mahmood Hossain & Aiden Jewelle Gonzales

Seasoned hoteliers give their insight into what goes into the ins and outs of hosting an Indian wedding, what surprised them about the big, fat, Indian wedding culture, and the USPs of their properties.

Sometimes, there’s only so far that research can take us; we want to hear from the real experts who’ve had decades of experience under their belt and know exactly what it takes to transform their property and rally their team to create the wedding of your dreams. We speak to a few General Managers of luxury properties in Thailand to hear their take.

Area General Manager, Onyx Hospitality Group

Amari Watergate Bangkok has been a mainstay in Bangkok’s city centre, and has recently been revitalised and refreshed after renovations that have retrofitted its event spaces with cutting-edge amenities and elevated their suites. With plenty of experience under its belt, the hotel has a strong events team that can cater to client needs, and are able to host a range of wedding events, from traditional ceremonies to receptions, aiming to enhance the guest experience in every way possible. Sukamal Mondal, the AGM of the ONYX Hospitality Group and who oversees the hotel’s operations, gives us more insight.

What are your hotel’s USPs when it comes to hosting Indian weddings?
We have a team of specialists and a variety of international cuisine with an in-house Indian chef. Our location is also a plus, as we are located in the shopping hub, right in the heart of Bangkok. Guests can unwind and use their downtime to hop over to centralwOrld, Platinum Fashion Mall or Siam Paragon. We have multiple event venues, catering to all sizes of groups, and we are flexible to conducting your ceremony the way you like. We also provide catering services to guests who chose to get married at another venue.

Although you’re of Indian heritage, hosting an Indian wedding is very different from attending one. What surprised you the most when you held a wedding event at the hotel?

Over time, Amari Watergate Bangkok has built a strong service and operations team able to cater to Indian weddings. So, there were no surprises as such; we are happy to go an extra mile to make each couple’s special day even more memorable.

Any unusual requests that the hotel has received for over the years?

We don’t consider any requests unusual, as we understand that every couple is only trying to make their day better – we try to accommodate requests as best as we can! Although they may be unusual traditionally and culturally, each event is so beautiful and it is a pleasure for us to be able to do it and provide this service to our guests.

General Manager, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa

Probably the most experienced property in Hua Hin by far when it comes to hosting Indian weddings, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa has hosted innumerable weddings of varying sizes, ranging from intimate gatherings of 100 to extravagant celebrations with up to 800 guests for many different religions and communities, spanning Hindu, Sikh, Punjabi, Marwari, Gujurati communities and more.

With more than 15 years experience and having hosted more than 200 couples since 2008, the resort has very strong relationships with key wedding planners, both domestically and overseas, ensuring that each occasion is perfectly curated to exceed expectations.Nicolai Mitchell, the hotel’s GM, gives us his take.

What gives your hotel the edge when hosting Indian weddings

At our resort, we recognize the significance of Indian weddings, which mark the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of our host families and their guests. Understanding that each wedding is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime event, our dedicated team collaborates tirelessly to ensure that every aspect of the celebration is meticulously attended to, creating cherished memories that will be treasured for generations to come.

Many couples have praised our resort as an ideal location for Indian weddings, and there are several reasons why. Our guestrooms are notably more spacious than those offered by our competitors, providing ample comfort for the guests. A lagoon-style swimming pool, stretching over 600 meters, winds its way through the entire resort, offering a stunning backdrop for poolside events. For pool parties, we have a separate and expansive area, adding to the festivities.

One of the most awe-inspiring elements of our resort is the beautiful, tree-flanked route available for the grand Baraat procession, which adds a touch of regal elegance to the celebrations. The Mandap, a key highlight, is situated overlooking the pristine beach and azure sea, creating a breathtaking setting for the sacred rituals.

Our two large, luxurious ballrooms with seven-meter-high ceilings and oversized sparkling chandeliers exude opulence and sophistication, befitting the grandeur of Indian weddings. Furthermore, our fully-fitted nightclub caters to those who love to dance into the early morning hours, ensuring that the celebration continues long after the ceremonies have concluded.

However, our most valuable asset is undoubtedly our exceptional team of associates, who boast extensive experience in hosting Indian weddings of varying sizes and styles. Their commitment to delivering smooth, flawless, and memorable wedding events, be it Haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet, or Var Mala, has made them the talk of the town among our newlyweds. From the initial event planning to pre-arrival arrangements and post-departure support, our team’s dedication remains unwavering.

Another highlight that truly elevates the Indian wedding experience at our resort is the presence of an Indian Chef, who is always on standby to prepare authentic traditional Indian cuisine. In addition to Indian delicacies, our team of dedicated chefs excels in preparing a diverse range of cuisines, including Thai, Japanese, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese, and Mexican, ensuring a delightful culinary journey for every guest.

What surprised you the most when you first hosted an Indian wedding?

The first Indian wedding I witnessed at my previous posting in Hua Hin’s Marriott back in 2008 took me by surprise and left me thoroughly inspired. The meticulous planning, the attention to detail, the multitude of vibrant events, the resplendent attire, the diverse and delectable food, and the captivating entertainment created an enchanting atmosphere throughout the entire resort. It was a celebration of love and culture, leaving an indelible mark on my heart.

General Manager, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort 

Situated along the picturesque river in Bangkok, Thailand, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort and Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel offer remarkable expertise in hosting Indian weddings. Taking immense pride in curating an extraordinary fusion of opulence and cultural celebration, their dedicated teams possess a deep understanding of the distinctive customs and traditions associated with Indian weddings, guaranteeing meticulous planning and flawless execution of every detail. With stunning riverfront venues and tailor-made menus showcasing delectable Indian cuisine, their utmost commitment lies in crafting unforgettable moments for you and your loved ones on your momentous day. Michael Robinson, the GM of Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort gives his insight.

What are the key advantages of your hotel when it comes to hosting Indian weddings?

• Idyllic Location: our hotel offers a picturesque setting that serves as a breathtaking backdrop for your wedding festivities.
• Unique Experiences: Recognising that an Indian wedding is not confined to a single day, we are delighted to offer a wide range of destination offerings designed to enhance your special occasion.
• Culinary Delights: Understanding the immense importance of cuisine in Indian weddings, our experienced culinary team specialises in creating exquisite dishes from Indian, Thai, and international cuisines.
• Luxurious Comfort: Our hotel boasts luxurious accommodations designed to provide the utmost comfort and relaxation for you and your guests.
• Exceptional Service: Our dedicated team is committed to delivering exceptional service tailored to your unique requirements. We strive to exceed your expectations at every step of the wedding planning process and celebration.

What was your first time hosting an Indian wedding like? Any surprises?

The first Indian wedding I had the honour of hosting left a profound impression on me. The sheer vibrancy and grandeur of the celebrations were nothing short of awe-inspiring. As time has passed, I have witnessed a remarkable evolution
in couples’ desires and preferences. The level of customisation and personalisation sought after for weddings has soared
to unprecedented heights. From intricately-themed décor to exceptional and unique entertainment options, there seems to be no limit to the creative possibilities. I wholeheartedly embrace this spirit of individuality and innovation, striving to deliver exceptional experiences that surpass expectations and create cherished memories.

My commitment to excellence is unwavering, and I take great pride in providing impeccable service and meticulous attention to detail. Your wedding dreams are my utmost priority, and I am dedicated to working closely with you to bring your vision to life in the most elegant and memorable manner imaginable.

General Manager, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is a stunning destination for hosting Indian weddings, having won numerous awards over the years. With a dedicated team of wedding specialists, picturesque venues, and a focus on authentic experiences, the resort ensures a flawless celebration. From breathtaking beachfront settings to elegant indoor spaces, it offers versatile venues for all pre-wedding and wedding events. Seasoned chefs create delectable traditional Indian cuisine, while guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations and a range of amenities. The hotel’s GM, George Varughese gives his expert opinion.

What gives your hotel the edge when hosting Indian weddings?

• Expertise in Indian Wedding Traditions: Our dedicated team of wedding specialists have extensive knowledge and experience in Indian wedding customs and rituals, understanding the cultural significance of each.
• Stunning and Versatile Venues: We boast a range of breathtaking indoor and outdoor venues that can be tailored to suit the couple’s preferences.
• Culinary Excellence: Our own Indian Chef excels in preparing authentic and delectable Indian cuisine, from traditional dishes to customised menus.
• Luxurious Accommodations and Amenities
• Attention to Detail and Personalisation: We take pride in our attention to detail and commitment to personalisation. Our dedicated Indian Wedding & Events team works closely with couples to understand their vision and requirements.

What surprised you the most when you first hosted an Indian wedding?

When we first hosted an Indian wedding, we were pleasantly surprised by the captivating elements, such as the elaborate and meticulous decorations that showcased the grandeur and attention to detail that Indian weddings are renowned for. Another aspect that caught our attention was the multi-day nature of Indian weddings. The magnitude and scale of the celebrations required careful planning and coordination, and witnessing the seamless transition from one event to another was an exciting experience for the resort’s staff.

The sheer number of guests in attendance also came as a surprise. We had to adapt to accommodate the large wedding party and their guests, ensuring that all their needs were met and that they enjoyed a memorable stay.

Lastly, the festive atmosphere surrounding Indian weddings created an infectious energy that filled our resort. Our associates were delighted to witness the lively spirit and enthusiastic participation of the guests, which added an extra layer of vibrancy to the entire wedding experience.

What is the most unusual request you’ve received for an Indian wedding?

We recently had the pleasure of hosting an extraordinary Indian wedding where we were presented with a unique request. The bride wished to make a grand entrance, being carried all the way down from the beach to meet her groom, seated on a spectacular palanquin with a mesmerising firework display. As the bride reached the beach, she wanted to be greeted by a troupe of traditional dancers, with the backdrop of a breathtaking sunset. We embraced the challenge of fulfilling this extraordinary vision, ensuring that every detail was meticulously arranged to create an unforgettable experience everyone.

General Manager, Capella Bangkok

Capella Bangkok, a new and stunning property on the banks of the River of Kings, has been hosting Indian weddings since their opening in 2020. Their keen understanding of the intimate rituals which comprise a traditional Indian wedding, including the tilak, the haldi, the mehendi, and the sangeet, has allowed them to truly personalise these beautiful celebrations. The hotel’s GM, John Blanco, gives us his expert insight.

What gives your hotel the edge when hosting Indian weddings?

Capella Bangkok’s riverfront setting lends itself to complete privacy, if clients so desire, but most importantly, features one-of-a-kind venues such as our riverside Courtyard and our river-facing Ballroom with a glass façade from which to view fireworks displays. This, paired with our world-class service and award-winning gastronomy, results in one-of-a-kind events; of course, working hand in hand with the best planners in the city.

Any surprising elements when you first hosted an Indian wedding?

Yes, I was surprised by how much fun they are! It is a truly joyous celebration with gorgeous attire and huge, festive, family gatherings.

What is the most unusual request you’ve received for an Indian wedding?

A family requested to take over the entire hotel including all our restaurants, bar, and spa. This allowed us to truly customise the entire experience for all their guests and cater solely to the wedding.

General Manager, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach

Nestled on a serene stretch of beach on Thailand’s sunset coast, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, the first Andaz in Thailand, is an exquisite luxury and lifestyle resort that combines world-class hospitality with authentic Thai heritage. Having recently opened, they are eager to host Indian weddings, and their GM, Ranjeet Y. Rajebhosale talks to us further about this.

What can make Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach become an ideal wedding destination for couples in the future?

Conveniently located just a short drive from Bangkok, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach is an idyllic destination for couples seeking an enchanting wedding experience. Surrounded by natural beauty, our resort offers the perfect setting for unforgettable weddings. Guests can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance, experience the essence of Thai culture, and partake in a wide range of activities.

What sets Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach apart from others when it comes to hosting wedding festivities?
At Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, we pride ourselves on creating truly exceptional wedding experiences with our ability to seamlessly blend the beauty of nature, exclusive access to a perfect sunset beach, and unparalleled luxury hospitality. Our resort is adorned with lush greenery, providing a picturesque backdrop for your wedding festivities. Additionally, our dedicated team ensures that every detail of this special day is executed flawlessly, providing personalised service and creating unforgettable memories.

Given the location of the Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, what types and sizes of events can be held on its property?

At Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, we are able to host a range of events, from intimate gatherings to medium- sized affairs. Our beachfront location offers a picturesque setting for small-scale events with a maximum capacity of 50 attendees. Additionally, our elegant Garden Pavilion is ideal for evening receptions, accommodating up to 180 guests. We have the flexibility to create memorable experiences for various types and sizes of events, ensuring that each occasion is tailored to our guests’ specific needs and preferences.

General Manager, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park

A sprawling property in downtown Sukhumvit, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park has been hosting Indian weddings since they opened at the end of 2016. As the hotel began to gain traction in the market, it was clear to see that the property was the market leader for larger Indian weddings due to their vast amount of space, as well as their reputation for food and beverage, especially their Indian fare. Their versatile spaces across many different floors and surroundings allow them to get as creative as the wedding couple desires and create memorable experiences for all their guests. The hotel’s GM, Simon Bell, gives us the inside scoop.

What makes your hotel the market leader for largescale Indian weddings?

The hotel has two clear advantages over the rest of the Bangkok market when it comes to Indian Weddings. We have a lot of different areas in the hotel (both indoor and outdoor), which means our wedding guests can enjoy different experiences,
all within one hotel. We have three large ballrooms, two large swimming pool areas, and a large rooftop space, all available for weddings. The second key advantage we have is we have six Indian chefs that work in our hotel full-time. Our Indian cuisine is not only for Indian weddings but also for our buffet offerings at Goji Kitchen + Bar. In Bangkok, we are well-known for our Indian cuisine, which has helped build our reputation as the leading hotel for Indian weddings.

Tell us a little about the first Indian wedding you hosted. Did you find it surprising?

Although I have worked in a number of countries before moving to Thailand four and half years ago, this is the first hotel I have worked at where we specialise in Indian weddings. I will never forget my first Indian wedding. Firstly, the decorations are amazing. The amount of creativity and thought that goes into setting up a wedding is like nothing else I have seen before. But the biggest surprise for me was the amount of partying the guests do while attending a wedding. Most weddings go for three to four days. Every day starts early in the day and then goes to the early hours of the following morning. I was shocked at how the guests can party so hard and so long, and then get back up to do it again, for three or four days in a row. Amazing!

You must have received unusual requests over the years! Tell us about one of them.

We closed part of the road for Batman! For me, it was when we had Batman’s involvement in the baraat. For this particular wedding, the Batmobile was brought out of the Batcave but instead of being used to fight against crime, it was ceremoniously used to carry the groom to meet the bride waiting in our hotel. As a Batman fan, it was very cool to witness and it went viral in the media. People still talk about this wedding today.