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In a culture that values hospitality and respect for guests, the Indian wedding is one of the biggest celebrations for any family. Who doesn’t love the music, the food, the fashion, the henna, and the exuberance and vibrancy of the resplendent Indian wedding?

According to TheKnot. com, in the United States, the average wedding has a budget of $29,000. By contrast, an Indian heritage wedding has a budget of $78,000, almost three times the national aver-age. And of course, as with any wedding, there seems to be no upper limit.

In New York City, high-end Indian wedding planners charge over $50,000 for their services, and the Times reported of an Indian heritage wedding having a price tag of over $2 million. Recently, there was news of a $9 million Indian wedding in Las Vegas, complete with an elephantled baraat down the Vegas strip, guests on a chartered jet, and the Bellagio hotel garden redecorated with handmade, customized, moss-constructed elephants, or namental pillars, urns studded with crystals and pearls and yards and yards of brilliant-hued fabric.

Indian weddings typically run into three to seven days worth of ceremonies and events and hundreds, if not over a thousand, guests. By its very nature, an Indian wedding is a multinational event, bringing together guests, and goods and services from across the global village. Travel, hotels, transportation, music, jewelry, fashions, and food are an integral part of such an event.

Indian weddings are not just beautiful to look at and fun to attend, they are a huge economic engine powering local entrepreneurs as well as established businesses.

Looking ahead, we want to give you just glimpse of some of the upcoming trends:

We will continue to see more same-sex weddings across all demographic and ethnic groups.

We will see even bigger and more luxurious Indian weddings, with more horses and perhaps even a few elephants.

Harkening back to the classics, we will see peacocks as a central de-sign motif, as well as a resurgence of timelessly elegant orchids.

In food, we will see more fusion cuisines, with an increased attention to the quality and sourcing of the food it-self.

We all know what makes weddings wonderful is the building of bridges between individuals and families. As a nation, we can all be proud that we will continue to see more multi-ethnic and multi-cultural weddings, strengthening the bonds among diverse com-munities. n

Arushi Sinha is the publisher of Indian Wed-dings magazine. More at