Homes and gardens

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

Pantone’s Greenery is currently one of the big favourites at weddings. Also seen are trestle tables, marquee lighting and installations

We are all on the same page when it comes to what’s out — thermocol cut-outs, jasmine on the walls, and lighting that has tried its darnedest to make sallow fashionable. At a time when words like elegant and organic are trending, décor choices can often be overwhelming. While to the West industrial chic and minimalism are creating waves, on our shores marquee lighting is making a comeback, along with floral installations. “This season is all about clean lines, tropical prints, and very green looks,” says Candice Pereira, of Marry Me weddings in Mumbai. “Another favourite is the geometric, and we are currently loving metallics, especially rose gold, and backgrounds like marble,” she adds. We speak with five leading wedding planners to decode the way to go before you say ‘I do’ this year.

Larger-than-life florals

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

Alternating strings of marigold and jasmine are so last decade. Now it’s all about wild flowers and temperate blossoms, and extravagant installations that make a statement. Early this year, at the wedding of UTV founder Ronnie Screwvala’s daughter, Delhi-based Punit Jasuja created a stunning passageway made of strings of gypsophila and glass globes, leading into a verdant space filled with scarlet roses. And last year, sweet William blossoms formed an elegant counterpoint to steel features (painted champagne, bronze and rose gold) at the Jindal’s family wedding.

The man behind the blooms: “I create an atmosphere where the guest feels more elegant, where they stand taller, speak softer and feel taken care of. The trend is to be more sensitive to the five senses, to the finesse of the event,” shares the creative director of the events and interior design firm, Second Floor Studio. He adds that a sizeable portion of the budget is now spent just on flowers (between ₹30 lakh and ₹2 crore). “The reason is that flowers are the true symbol of luxury — something with a time limit that lasts only for those two to three special days.”

Stay on point: A natural, more organic look is popular currently. “Décor is getting a little less feminine, with grooms also getting involved in the discussions,” says Jasuja, who has noticed that clients are also liking colour blocking and a simplified colour palette (with dusty rose being quite prominent). While industrial chic is trending globally, he says it’s not on the front foot in India where “people still need a little bling”. Up next, his company is working on a Mumbai wedding where they will be hand-painting two mural walls to depict the couple’s journey

Also to note: Customised scents are a signature. “If the bride likes mogra or camellia, we work with a fragrance company to create everything from candles to scents that we incorporate at the venue.”

Lighting is key to his design, too. “Earlier, people used flat lighting. Now, in the age of selfies, everyone needs to look good no matter where they are. So we use softer, mood-based lighting that changes during the event.”

Greenery game

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

The colour of the year is also one of the biggest trends of 2017. “We’re incorporating a lot of foliage in our décor,” says Sabah Sheikh, founder of Ātisuto, a bespoke design company in Mumbai. “We’ve created hand-made backdrops, mandaps, sit-down dinner tables, and decorative pieces with moss, eucalyptus leaves, ivy greens and the like.”

Keeping it intimate: Just 18 months old, Ātisuto prides itself on its minimalist approach. “While many still like to do destination weddings, now it’s more boutique and personal, with not more than 200 guests. We’ve also had a few interesting clients who have chosen rooftops and a run-down mill in Mumbai and a picturesque valley in Mahabaleshwar,” she says.

Looking back: Both rustic themes and vintage décor are popular. “We recently did a vintage-rustic wedding that took six months to put together, as there was a lot of detailing involved. We had a crate backdrop for the sangeet, low seating with cane baskets, dreamcatchers, parasols and bunting for a picnic brunch, a sit down dinner with 100 Edison bulbs, and a domed mandap with minimal white floral work and lots of greenery.

Also to note: Photo booths and props are giving way to couple backdrops. The stage is also being ditched for photo-ops, with couples looking to a backdrop or an altar.

Another believer in lighting, Sheikh has fun with open bulbs, and fairy light chandeliers and canopies to create a cosy atmosphere.

The English garden

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

This has been around for a couple of years now, and while some believe it’s on its way out, Gurleen Puri says the theme is a favourite. “The setting consists of cascading pastel flowers, among wispy willows of natural green foliage, shaped like a charming gazebo. The backdrop is further enhanced with carefully-crafted décor that includes white wrought-iron furniture, traditional British silverware, flower-patterned table linen, and vintage artefacts like birdcages and antique bicycles,” says the founder of Mumbai-based Weddings by Gurleen M Puri.

She knows her vintage: Having also designed events like Manish Malhotra’s 2016 Lakme Fashion Week Finale and Sussanne Khan’s Coachella-themed party, Puri states that floral installations are another one their signatures. “Bold and modern, we have taken inspiration from international artists, urban street art, and the like,” she says.

Also to note: Couples are more socially responsible. So create long-lasting designs, incorporate renewable ideas, and re-purpose elements wherever possible.

Go traditional

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

Things are a little different down South. While out-of-the-box themes are popular for functions like mehendi and sangeet, D-Day still bows to the traditional. “Our décor reflects the art and craft of the artisans here. Like the Coimbatore garland makers, who are known for their intricate work,” explains Malini Narasimhan, a well-known wedding planner. “At a recent wedding, we worked with Muthu Perumal, a National award-winning artist from Nagercoil, who specialises in the manikkamuthu mala. Originally used as part of the temple theru, we get the garlands customised and use them on the ceiling, as chandeliers, and on the mandap.”

Art speak: Wall art is also picking up. “We do a lot of hand-painted panels, where we take a textile design (like the parrots from a paithini sari), cut them out in wood and paint them,” says Narasimhan, who works with artists from Chennai for this.

Also to note: Forgotten craft is also explored in hand-crafted pieces like parrots, that are either made from the leaves of the evergreen tree or rose petals, and strung on walls.

Technology rules

Roots, shoots and floral orbs

Vandana Mohan, of Delhi-based The Wedding Design Company, believes that while “for some people less is more, for others even more is not enough”. And she has all the eventualities covered with concepts that go from cosy minimalism to palace weddings. “Technology is big right now, and with it we can transform the most nondescript space into a fabulous one,” she says, adding how for a recent wedding she used projections, lights and music to set the mood. “The walls became our screens and we created four moods — passion (red), romance (pink), spiritual (greenery), and purity (white) using graphics, photos, colours, and customised films. And, at the very end, we converted the entire space into a club so people could dance through the night.”

Think big: A believer in “establishing that one thing that makes an impact” for everything else to follow, Mohan loves the other trend of the season, installations. From large marquee lighting to florals, and even metallic statements. “A 30-foot moving ferris wheel was the centre piece for an event, while another had 28-foot vertical flower-like structures, made of laser cut wood and painted in colours like hot pink and turquoise. They looked stunning and provided shade as well.”

Also to note: Instead of creating generic mandaps, why not get structural inspiration from the architectural references that abound in our country and abroad?

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:47:54 PM |

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