Stand-up comedians at mehendi, the bride riding a horse, stunning aerial performers and fire dancers ushering in the baraat, Buckingham Palace and Vegas-themed sets - Indian weddings get high on the fun quotient this season. Nona Walia reports.
Gone are the days when the bride and groom would watch guests having fun as they settled their heavy wedding ensembles and worried about the khatirdari, menus, make-up and jewellery. Weddings, these days, are not just big and fat. They are fun and trippy, where the bride and groom are equal participants. In fact, they are the centrestage of merrymaking and lead from the front - matching steps with belly dancers, doing cabaret, riding horses, acting in skits, quizzing each other about the times when they'd met, dated... For trendy youngsters, a great wedding is an unforgettable experience they are part of. Here's what else is new this wedding season...
London, New York in India: The big theme this season is creating cities at wedding venues. Says wedding planner Sonali Thakore, "We're creating London in Jaipur for a wedding this year. We have symbolic guards that you see around Buckingham Palace. The food court will have European-style restaurants and the cuisine will be British. We also did a New York wedding, where we recreated Times Square!"
Inspired by Hollywood: From Avatar to The Great Gatsby, Hollywood is inspiring events at Indian weddings. Says wedding planner Vandana Mohan, "We did an Avatar-inspired sangeet. We created a forest and a wishing tree. The Great Gatsby-theme parties have been a huge hit, with guests wearing clothes inspired from the 1920s. The non-movie themes that are popular are: fairytale, enchanted forest, Alice in Wonderland, nautanki and Raas Leela."
Authentic temple food to Greek fare:
This season is about pizza from Napoli, authentic food from Maharashtra, Rampur and Patiala," says Mohan. There's a rise in concept foods - like North West Frontier foods, with a variety of kebabs like Peshawari murg, Sikandari raan, Dakhani murgh. "A lot of people serve temple foods of India, which comprises puri- aloo from Benaras, appam and stew from South Indian temples. We are even flying in Nobu and Michelin-star chefs at grand weddings," adds Thakore.
The evolution of the invitation card:
Says Kapil Khurana, owner of a design company, specialising in wedding cards and gifts, "For destination weddings, we design cards in the shape of trunks to get guests in the mood for travel. There's an itinerary, a list of dos and don'ts and gifts - tea, healing herbs and spices."
The baraat procession: The baraat is getting bigger and fancier. The groom's family apart, the bride's side gets celebrity singers to usher in the groom. Says wedding planner Gita Samuel, "The groom's entry is planned with a lot of fanfare and drama. People with deep pockets are getting singers like Akon or fire dancers and aerial performers from abroad. Stand-up comedians are becoming a hit with the guests at wedding functions too. Adds Samuel, "We are inviting singers, dancers, DJs and bands from the international market this season."
Wedding tables have lush, sophisticated displays. Says Samuel, "We are using flower-garden themed centrepieces, candelabras with ornate dinnerware, delicate linen and more finery."
Create your wedding website:
If a couple is tech-savvy, wedding management software, helps them plan and talk about their wedding online. Bharat Kanodia, who sells software to create personalised wedding websites says, "Most couples have their wedding websites describing how they met, introducing their families, talking about their wedding functions, and inviting interactions from guests. It's a fun way of doing things."
Hot wedding set decor: TVienna, Greece, Morocco and Turkey.
Hot food trends:
Pizza from Napoli, authentic food from Maharashtra, Rampur, Patiala, food from the temples of India. Brazilian, Spanish, Greek cuisine are in demand too. If it is Oriental, it has to be Schezwan, Cantonese, Fujian or Hunan dishes. Hot destinations: Macau, Mauritius.
Hot tech trend:
Brides are blogging. From experiences to emotions, beauty, fashion tips to practical posts, brides are getting serious about blogging. These blogs are visual, fun to read and have tips for would-be brides.
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