Marry me? Yes, but only in style

Band Baaja Baraat: People seem to be taking inspiration from films and fashion shows when planning a wedding. Photos: Special Arrangement  

As Anushka Sharma, in the character of an aspiring wedding planner in the film Band Baaja Baaraat, said, whether there’s recession or inflation, weddings will continue to happen with the same fanfare. In recent years, weddings have become premium events for all classes of people, to the point where each aspect has become a burgeoning industry by itself.

Couples are increasingly shunning old-fashioned invites in favour of exciting ones that have a story or concept behind them. Dhilip Kumar, the founder of Shubh Cards in Chennai, says, “We have been using materials such as satin, raw silk, acrylic, semi -precious stones and velvet to make the cards; these give the invite a whole new look.” Invites also come in different shapes; they could be huge boxes or a tiny scroll. WhatsApp cards are also gaining traction.

Sophistication and creativity are what every couple looks for when it comes to documenting their wedding, and photography takes up a major chunk of wedding expenditures today. Gone are the days when a hexagonal formation of the groom’s smiling face rotated around the bride’s henna clad hands, or tacky poses enclosed in 3D hearts with a random quote found a place in albums. Innovative and wacky save the date reminders, a pre-wedding video documenting the couple’s story, a full wedding movie covering all the events shot in documentary style, candid photos are all the rage. Mystic, a Chennai-based wedding photography group, says it tries to bring in the fun factor into weddings while retaining Indian traditions. “We recently shot for a wedding where the bride was an Italian and the groom a Malayali, and we had both the families dancing to the Happy song . Through this, we were able to create some fun memories, something they can smile about 10 to 15 years later,” says Sarvanakumar Thangavel, co-founder. Photography isn’t for the couple and relatives alone; there are fun ways for guests to participate too. Parthiban Ravi, director of another Chennai-based photography company, Capturing, says, “At one wedding, we had an instant photo booth where we took pictures of guests and immediately displayed them on big screens in the hall with funny, caricature-type editing. Another popular concept is the selfie booth, or an Instagram booth, with cut-outs that look like an Instagram picture.”

Saree? Check. Jewellery? Check. Makeup? Check. A saree draper? What? The art of draping a saree in myriad ways for the D-day is a business of its own. Dolly Jain, a professional saree draper from Kolkata, can drape any saree in over 125 ways, and bridal sarees in 30-45 ways. “Initially, people were hesitant about this idea, but they’ve started to realise that it’s not easy to drape heavy designer sarees. Besides, there are so many different events to attend at a wedding. Since they are already spending so much money on the wedding, why not spend a little more to look perfect,” she says. “The mermaid drape is very fashionable and common these days. It suits all body types, be it thin or bulky. There is also the Gujarati style and the Raja Rani style,” she says of some of the different styles.

Designer Arjun Kapoor, of the Anjallee and Arjun Kapoor brand, says, “Initially, designer wear was exclusive. From the super-rich, it has become available to the rich, and in the last year or two, even to the middle-class. Designer-conscious society previously existed only in north India, but now it is spreading beautifully in south India as well. The modern bride doesn’t come to us with a sari in mind, she is looking for a modern cocktail outfit, or a traditional gown for the engagement or sangeet or mehendi. Even men are experimenting with different colours, cuts and fabrics.”

People’s idea of wedding décor these days is very different as compared to a few years ago. It is the whiff of fresh flowers, the eye-pleasing colour combinations, crystals, satins and glittery streamers that create the perfect wedding atmosphere. “The new generation has a completely different idea of wedding decorations; they want the best quality and detailing in every aspect,” says Muralitharan of Vivahikka, a wedding décor company based in Coimbatore. Western influences play a part as aesthetically pleasing arrangements of items like photo frames, ivory cages, and umbrellas are finding their way in decorations. Bollywood influences are, of course, never too far away. Thamizharasi from Wedlinks, a wedding planning company, says, “There was a couple that wanted the stage for their cocktail party to look exactly like the one in Badtameez Dil from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. That alone cost about 58 lakhs!”

A few years ago, planning just one wedding would have given at least fifty people a headache. But in this age of wedding planners, all we have to do is turn up; they take of everything else. With an increase in able planners, themed weddings are also on the rise. Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad has been recreating destination weddings for many years, but is looking to take things to the next level of luxury. “We are in talks with the railways to provide Maharaja Express train services for the wedding parties,” says Parag Date, general manager, sales and marketing. “We arrange for themes such as Aryan, dream valley, even mythology. The craziest theme we had so far is that of the Spanish Tomatina festival!” he adds. Vivekanand SK of Epic Weddings says it’s all about customisation. “We make your wedding planning a lot easier because we know whom to approach and how, from mehendi designers to caterers,” he says.

Every season is a wedding season in India. With so many new facilities cropping up and the old ones getting a makeover, a ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ is definitely in order.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 11:55:06 AM |

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