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With young Gen-Z couples now old enough to start tying the knot, Architectural Digest published a list of comprehensive fashionable wedding themes for the year ahead. The ideas stretch well beyond traditional cookie-cutter aesthetics. From pop culture themes to immersive experiences, here are the four hottest trends for 2024:  

Bring destination weddings home

With the idea of destination weddings rising in popularity but the cost becoming prohibitive, Architectural Digest advises, “If you can’t travel to a destination, bring it to you.” The article cites the example of Gen-Z couples who have recreated their favourite travel spots for their various wedding events, with no destination being off limits. 

Taking inspiration from a classic Italian market in a piazza, event designer Ambika Gupta recreated the look in the bride’s backyard at home. For the wedding itself, Gupta went on to create a “deconstructed take on The Colosseum using fluted acrylic arches.” For an added burst of zing, the designer used mismatched furniture “as Gen-Z couples tend to relate to elements that are offbeat.”

Minimalism over opulence 

The prevailing wisdom is that young couples of today prefer a minimalist approach, rather than OTT extravagance, in the words of Priti Sidhwani, founder and CEO of DreamzKrraft, a wedding planning service in Mumbai. The article lists the examples of the nuptials of Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan and Nupur Shikhare, as well as model Sofia Richie’s viral wedding to Elliot Grainge in Antibes, France. However, Sidhwani cautioned that simplicity needs to be balanced with aesthetics. “Gen-Z brides do want the décor to be Instagram-friendly and go viral eventually,” she notes.

Embrace pop culture

Although minimalism is key, the article highlights how young couples of today aim for a unique theme, and will go to lengths to achieve their vision. With modern weddings embracing themes ranging from Willy Wonka to Taylor Swift to Mad Hatter-style tea parties, the sky really is the limit. 

Anika Dhawan is the founder and artistic director of wedding planning service Rani Pink, and has worked with Bollywood brides Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Athiya Shetty. Dhawan reports that she recently designed a cocktail party where the theme was ‘Frida Kahlo in Sicily’. To achieve the look, wall art, ceramics, special prints, hand painted furniture and custom-made dolls were used to drive the theme home.

Immersive experiences and personal touches

Engaged couples of today are abandoning generic themes and bringing elements of their own lives into their wedding decor. According to Maitri Shah, founder and creative director of the event planning service Mai Stories, the trend now is to veer away from the ostentatious and move towards the personal. Not only are they stamping their own love stories, Shah explains that Gen-Z couples are also creating an immersive experience for their guests by scenting the venue and approaching décor as art installations to create a sensorial space for their guests, almost as if the event were taking place in the couple’s home. “Even something as simple as serving welcome drinks needs to be an experience in itself,” remarks Shah. 

Bearing all this in mind, it is unsurprising that engaged couples of today are no longer relying on Pinterest for inspiration. Aashna Lalwani, co-founder of the wedding planning service Three Entertainment, reveals how a recent engagement party involved a jungle disco theme, as the groom had popped the question during a safari in Kenya. “Even baraats have themes now,” says Lalwani. “For a groom whose childhood nickname was Jesus, we planned a Last Supper-themed baraat and photo-op, while also being mindful of religious sentiments.”

With the all-pervading power of pop culture sweeping into the minds of young couples, traditional affairs of the days of yore may soon become relics, as a tidal wave of personalised weddings takes over wedding halls.

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