Weddings in Kerala get ‘filmy’ as brides and grooms make it a song and dance event during the pre- and post-wedding bashes

Ever watched longingly at Bollywood movies in which there’s a wedding and the bride’s family and friends gather and have a blast pre- and post-wedding? Wished your wedding was like that?

Well, if the current trend in marriages is anything to go by, it looks marriages in Kerala are turning ‘filmy’.

Sanjana Chandran’s wedding was one. She had a mehendi, a sangeet and a pre-wedding reception. “I wanted a “one of a kind” wedding and so my family and I planned months ahead for the wedding – right from the invites to the bachelorette party to the wedding festivities. The sangeet was fun as my bridesmaids welcomed the groom singing a boat race song – ‘Thithai thithai...’ They also played several pranks on him,” says Sanjana.

Shruthi Cyriac threw a cocktail party for her friends and cousins before her Big Day. Her then husband-to-be Nikhil’s friends and cousins were invited too.

“The cocktail party was a means to catch up with old friends, whom we last saw in school and in college. My cousins from various corners of the globe came down too and so did Nikhil’s.”

Holding pre- and post- wedding events is at least four years old in the city, says DJ Savyo who runs Eventz Entertainment People, an event management company. He and his team have organised ‘dream weddings’ for many a bride and groom.

“It’s mostly brides who insist on a wedding to remember. Bachelorette parties and bridal showers are a norm now and most of the parties revolve around a theme; we have had Hawaiian night, Pirate dress up and also a Pyjama party. We take pictures of the events and at times, organise a Karaoke or a disco night. Even weddings revolve around themes now,” says Savyo.

Colour-based themes are rather popular wherein the bride-to-be and her guests dress up in clothes of the same shade, says Kevin Simon of Fairytale Weddings and Events.

“A smart colour scheme is the place to start for much of your wedding planning. Whether you'd like a subdued, elegant wedding or the bold party of the century, colours can help tell your story. We find out what the bride wants and help organise every tiny detail so that the bride and her family are totally relaxed at the event,” says Kevin.

Old customs and traditions are being given a facelift too.

For Reshma Farook, although a mehendi ceremony is part of the Muslim wedding tradition, she wanted it to be like those she saw in Bollywood movies – larger than life.

She chose a Mughal theme for her wedding and so the décor and props for the mehendi were arranged to create such a feel.

The colour scheme chosen was dark blue, green and pink with mango designs. Rajasthani mirror curtains lent shimmer to the event.

“There was a mehendi counter for guests who wanted mehendi. All of us family and friends danced and performed and had a great time at the event,” she says.

Tripti Jacob had a grand ‘Madhuram veppu’, wherein her relatives fed her sweets. “It was a joyful and unforgettable evening with all my closest friends and relatives. It was a delight seeing those whom I hadn’t seen for ages. There were a skit and a dance performance by friends that really got the evening going,” she says.

Kevin points out that apart from helping family and friends get together, such events act as ice breakers too.

Says Sanjana: “Marriage not only unites two individuals, but also two families and extended families. Since Roshan and his family were in the United States, the idea of a five-day wedding was to celebrate the marriage with both families getting together and getting to bond and basically have fun. A sort of prequel to the wedding involving friends and relatives - it was a great phase of excitement that built up even months before the wedding week!

“A lot of fun-filled activities made it a very colourful affair. With so much of colour, food, people, rituals, music, fun and frolic I think the wedding festivities was an out-and-out festival in itself.”