March 31, 2023
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts bring Indian Destination Wedding Expo to Sri Lanka

This March, Shangri-La Colombo and Shangri-La Hambantota welcome India International Wedding Connections (IIWC), a premier expo promoting destination weddings to the global Indian wedding community. The event will be held for the first time in Sri Lanka with a view to enhancing the country’s potential as a preferred location for destination weddings. 

IIWC Experience 2023 will take place from 3 – 6 March 2023, kicking off with the conference at Shangri-La Hambantota, packed with two days of forecasting trends, masterclasses and peer-to-peer learning on wedding industry insights and best practices amongst Indian and Sri Lankan wedding vendors. The evenings will see all the vendors gather for community retreat events. The conference will wrap up with a gala night at Shangri-La Colombo with a focus on networking and strengthening business relations amongst wedding industry professionals from Sri Lanka and India. 

“Shangri-La is pleased to host IIWC for the first time here in Sri Lanka. This is an incredible opportunity for Sri Lankan vendors and event planners to hear first-hand the requirements of niche wedding clients. Previously, the most favoured destinations have been Bali, Thailand and Dubai, and this is Sri Lanka’s time to reposition our island as a luxurious setting for destination weddings and compete with other leading luxury lifestyle destinations in the region” said Shangri-La Hambantota General Manager Refhan Razeen. 

Held exclusively at Shangri-La Hambantota and Colombo, this expo is an excellent opportunity for pioneers and trendsetters in the destination wedding community of India to connect with Sri Lanka-based suppliers and experience the true potential of Sri Lanka as a preferred location for destination weddings. 

“We are pleased to host IIWC Experience 2023 in Sri Lanka together with Shangri-La Colombo and Shangri-La Hambantota. This will be one of the largest gatherings of the Indian wedding industry under one roof and is the perfect opportunity for wedding service providers in Sri Lanka to learn more about the Indian wedding market, exchange ideas and establish key industry networks to drive their business. Sri Lanka is well-poised to comeback post-pandemic as the next big luxury destination wedding location for the Indian market and we are thrilled to be facilitating this in our own way” said Millenium Events and India International Wedding Connections (IIWC) Founder and CEO Pramod Lunawat.

IIWC Experience was conceived by Millennium Event, an Indian agency with a presence in the event space since 1999. The first IIWC experience was organised in Kolkata, India in 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.  The format of the expo is that of a luxury retreat with curated experiences to collaborate, educate and network with wedding service providers.

After a hiatus of two years, IIWC Experience 2023 has partnered with India’s leading wedding media brand, Wedding Sutra and Sri Lanka’s leading destination wedding planners, Hemant Dadlani Weddings to bring a host of international speakers and wedding service providers to share their insights with the Sri Lankan wedding community on how to tap into India’s destination wedding market. The keynote speakers for the event will be:

  • Ali Behnam-Bakhtiar – an architectural designer and founder of Ali Bakhtiar Designs, an international event design company specialising in one-of-a-kind luxury events since 2003.
  • Antonio Paraiso – an international consultant with vast expertise in luxury brands and strategic marketing, premium positioning and innovation. He has over 19 years of experience speaking at similar events for clients like Sheraton, Porsche, Giorgio Armani, The Luxury Network, LOEWE, Pandora and many other leading brands around the world. 

Other speakers include:

  • Percy Sales, Creative Director of Percy Sales Events, recognised as one of the best wedding planners and designers in the world, creating luxury weddings worldwide
  • Rajiv Kapoor, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur
  • Max Hurtaud, International Master Florist
  • Sarah Young, International Destination Event and Wedding Planner based in Malta
  • Divya Chada, Founder of A Klass Apart, a bespoke events and destination wedding planner based in Mumbai and many more esteemed speakers from the global Indian wedding community.

IIWC Experience 2023 strives to foster a sense of community, encourage innovation and strengthen relationships to elevate Sri Lanka as a premier destination in the minds of luxury lifestyle clients worldwide. The main partners of IIWC Experience 2023 are as follows – Hospitality Partner, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Sri Lanka; Event Partner, Hemant Dadlani Weddings; Décor Partner, Poru Flore; DMC Partner, Aitken Spence Travels; Photography Partner, Dimitri Crusz; Videography Partner, Chroma Pictures; Gifting Partner, Lovi; Entertainer, Binu Sax; Media Partner, Bride & Groom Magazine; and Indian Media Partner, Wedding Sutra.