Giving drama a miss, modern day weddings are all about making an understated impression
There are changes a-happening in the big fat Indian wedding scenario. Like with so much else, weddings these days seem less formal and a whole lot more fun. I have noticed this over the past several months — and in fact the last few shaadis I’ve attended seem to underline this. While there is all the inevitable desi dhoom dhaam, the accent has definitely moved towards the So there’s a lot less bowing to tradition to suit current times. Not for the young folk of today are the huge shamianas, battery of chanting priests, bowed heads and formal regalia. Even at destination weddings, everything seems to be all about fun, fun, and more fun. Shorter ceremonies, rituals mixed up and tweaked to suit the bridal couple’s wishes, beautiful yet simple locations – picturesque gardens or beaches — and non-stop music, dancing and partying. Deejays and event planners are placing the accent on the fun yet memorable element. Heck, a wedding I attended even had a goody bag complete with hangover kit, placed in the rooms!
I had a chat with Lakshmi Rammohan of Dreamweaver weddings, and she confirmed my observations. “Couples now want to spend quality time with their guests. Big marriage halls in farmhouses or hotels, massive queues to greet the couple, and ornate locations are giving way to smaller, more intimate functions where the bride and groom enjoy every bit of the festivities.” And even as visually delightful venues whether abroad or at home are getting popular, including small towns and hill stations, the focus is entirely on intimacy.
And guests who miss out on the actual event need not worry, because apps are being created which let them scan and download brief five-minute videos of the whole shebang. Music and dancing will always happen, but now there are dashes of irreverence and humour: lip synced fun songs and a dubsmash of popular numbers by the main protagonists are being added to the mix, she adds.
Wedding wear has changed too, she says. “The wedding fashion industry itself has evolved. Ramp styles are available in prêt and anyone who wants a Sabyasachi lehenga can opt for one. There is so much choice today, at such great prices too. Even jewellery is moving away from traditional pieces gifted by parents. Brides who don’t want the fuss even opt for silver jewelry or a single statement piece,” adds Rammohan. “Ceremonies are being condensed to keep everyone engaged — there are translators too to explain rituals, if the couple are from different cultures.”
Wedding outfits have changed colours too: yellow is the new red, even mints and blues abound — unheard of in the past. Fabrics for wedding outfits range from velvet and brocade to rich Benaras silk, but the mix is altogether different. “Indian weddings were perceived abroad as being cheap. No more: the market is world class, fit to be displayed in the best bridal magazines. Highly curated, gorgeous, modern and memorable.”