Welcome to the great Indian summer weddings where everything's still opulent but soothing to the eye. Sangeetha Devi Dundoo gauges the trend
Think summer and you think whites, off-whites and lime yellows. We aren't talking fashion trends here, but choice of colours for wedding décor. The peaches, pinks and reds have taken a breather. Let the colours be soothing to the eye, Hyderabadis are telling wedding planners and décor designers.
“Everyone likes their wedding décor to be smart. It has to be striking and no one wants a repetitive theme,” says wedding planner Priyanka Ganeriwal Allahabadi. Liberal use of foliage and flowers try to soothe the searing heat. Imported orchids, which have been quite common, are being sidelined in favour of cherry blossoms, lotuses, coconut flowers flown in from coastal regions and the very ethnic banana flowers. There's a growing demand for water bodies. Priyanka recalls the creative use of artificial water fountains and water bodies surrounding a mandap that gave the feel of a poolside wedding at a farm house.
The emphasis is on aesthetics. “Fire, flames and mashals are used for winter weddings. In summer, it's more of air-conditioned pandals, garden themes, soft music and soft drapes. Water curtains, pools and fountains are common,” says décor designer Dinaz Noria. South Indian weddings are understated with more emphasis on flowers while North Indian weddings like rich décor, she adds.
The venues vary from spacious wedding gardens within the city to resorts and farmhouses in the outskirts. Some make use of resorts for destination weddings while others use them for smaller functions like mehndi and sangeet and prefer to have the reception within city limits, making the celebration accessible to a larger section of invitees.
“Those who have large bungalows and farmhouses are opting to perform the wedding at their place, attended by close-knit family and friends, and the reception is thrown open to 1000 or more,” says Priyanka.
Of late, resorts have become accommodative to theme weddings as well. Event and wedding planner Archie Paranji oversaw a four-pillar mandap that used lotus petals as the backdrop and strings of rudraksh beads decorating the stage. “The whole stage had a temple feel without being overdone,” she says. Fed up of intense use of drapes, there is a return to subtle use of flowy fabrics in pastel shades with clever use of silver than gold, she explains. Large urlis with floating flowers are in while candles are given a miss.
Lavish weddings are incomplete without lavish menus. Chaat stations, imported fruits, cuisine that ranges from Chinese, Italian and Indian, and an elaborate display of desserts have become the order of the day. The need to be unique has paved way for more variety. “Chefs are being flown in from Mumbai and Delhi to prepare specialty food — Lebanese, Mongolian, Mexican and even Burmese. People want a large salad bar with live salad counters,” says Atul Mehta of Atul Caterers. Sweet meats? From orange kulfis to choco-walnut puddings and soufflés, the variety is endless. Dragon fruit, honey dew melons, and large guavas from Thailand share space with strawberries, figs, kiwis, mangoes and watermelons. If all this isn't enough, students and young catering professionals from other cities are pressed into service to wait on guests and ensure that diners feel looked after.
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