Colours of change

Manika Dhama | Updated on March 10, 2018
A white wedding: Muted tones are gaining popularity for colour themes

A white wedding: Muted tones are gaining popularity for colour themes

Less-is-more: Get creative with centrepieces and use DIY styles to be in vogue

Less-is-more: Get creative with centrepieces and use DIY styles to be in vogue

Post-tradition: Wedding décor is moving beyond red-and-gold opulence

Post-tradition: Wedding décor is moving beyond red-and-gold opulence

Close gathering: Couples are opting for settings that have a more intimate feel

Close gathering: Couples are opting for settings that have a more intimate feel

Talking point: Weddings are becoming increasingly eco-friendly

Talking point: Weddings are becoming increasingly eco-friendly

Move over big, fat and clichéd — the lean, intimate Indian wedding is here. Au courant décor with less drama and more personality seems to be the order of the day

Red and gold, the epitome of holy matrimony in India for years, still rule as markers of opulence in wedding décor. However, they are slowly being replaced by softer colours of the earth, complete with rustic entrance doors, earthy tones of furniture and French windows for the food backdrop. Off-white, Tiffany blue and peach form the palette for wedding planners this season, with the focus moving from imitation to customisation. “Do-it-yourself (DIY) weddings are big this year. From invitations to centrepieces, these DIY styles have taken off in popularity and it's a chance for couples to display their personal taste and creativity. They are moving away from over-the-top, dramatic décor and going for subtler and chic elements. It’s all about playing with the right colours and putting together the perfect balance of opulence and understated elegance,” says Vithika Agarwal of Divya Vithika Wedding Planners. For instance, unique lighting combinations have become a significant element for evening celebrations. “Fairy lights, candles, chandeliers, colour wash, Chinese lanterns are extremely popular for receptions,” says Agarwal.

Minimalism mantra

Modern and minimalistic designs are finding takers not only on ramps across the world, but among soon-to-be-wedded couples too. This trend is echoed in the way the gathering is planned, with brides wanting the antithesis of the ‘big fat Indian wedding’. “Weddings are becoming smaller and more intimate. A lot more attention is being given to detailing and personalisation of the minutest décor components. Moreover, ensuring that the guests have ‘fun’, is becoming one of the top priorities,” says Devika Narain, a Delhi-based wedding planner. For a recent wedding in Jaisalmer when a bride was sure she didn’t want the done-to-death multicolour mehndi with marigolds, Narain used silver charpoys, clay animals and custom-printed tents as the theme. “Details like elephants, which we painted a delicious hot pink, large urlis filled with dried chillies and umbrellas were used. Indian rose, brought in especially from Ajmer, were floated in large bowls to add colour,” she says.

The “less is more” ideology among couples has also welcomed an unconventional décor trend this season — white-on-white. Gayatri Khanna Sekhri, creative head at Pomegranate Event Decor says she has been using this tone consistently for weddings this season. “It is very rare to see an Indian wedding party in neutral tones, especially white. However, things are beginning to change and clients are opting for winter whites for weddings and receptions. I have been creating it through elements like lace, crystals, pearls and floral chandeliers,” she said.

Eco-conscious coupling

Weddings are also increasingly going green and eco-friendly. From using recycled paper for invitation cards, handloom saris for the bride, to strictly vegan meals being served on disposable or even edible cutlery, passionately eco-conscious couples are bringing their philosophies to their wedding celebrations. “For a wedding at a home, we worked with a whole burst of handcrafted Indian props to make the function look festive — tambourines, vintage pickle jars, ghungroos and lanterns,” said Narain.

Festivities devoid of flowers might seem strange but planners have also been creating settings without them. “We worked on a wedding where the couple wanted to avoid using fresh flowers, so for their mehendi we created origami flowers and other handcrafted props,” shared Candice Pereira of Marry Me Wedding Planners.

Getting creative with cash

Even though some couples are rooting for simplicity, costs for weddings still remain a contested topic and one person’s ‘no-price-on-love’ could be another’s idea of colossal waste. While families may be willing to splurge any amount on a grand wedding, décor can cost as much or as little as they want. Simple décor for a farmhouse wedding can start from ₹5 to 10 lakh. Complete set décor themes for grander celebrations typically start from ₹35 lakh according to Harkrishan Singh of Elements Décor.

Planners agree that creativity can help manage budgets, and the cost largely depends on the theme, venue and the time of day for celebrations. “It is best for the couple to decide how much they want to spend on décor, what core elements they would like to have and then work backwards from there,” concluded Narain.

Wedding planner Vithika Agarwal shares ideas for adding unique elements to wedding celebrations this season

* Create a monogram with your initials to add a personal signature to your events

* Have a games-themed mehndi party. Instead of the usual centerpieces, add mini-versions of popular games like Jenga, foosball, billiards, etc. Not only does it add a fun twist to your décor but also keeps guests busy for hours and brings fun and competition to celebrations

* Add zing to your sangeet event by picking a quirky theme. Awards nights, filmi nights, Gabbar-theme are some we’ve created

* Get creative with your announcement boards. It’s the first thing your guests notice

* Beautiful flower rangolis are a great addition to your décor especially if you are on a budget and looking at saving without compromising on the look

M anika Dhama is a Dubai-based freelance writer

Published on September 21, 2016

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