Weddings today are very intimate and super luxe affairs… especially the mehendi and pheras. Instead of calling 1,500 people, young couples today insist on the family inviting only people they are close to. The idea is to keep the ceremonies close-knit and host every guest very lavishly. So, people are spending as much if not more on weddings, and they serve everyone the very best… but only select guests are invited,” reveals the elegant Debbie Hitkari, Mumbai-based industrialist, who is known to host the most swish soirees.
Intimate and super luxe weddings, sum up the biggest shaadi trend of 2019.
Image consultant and life coach Chhaya Momaya, renowned for putting together chic celebrations for fabulous brands, nods in agreement. When her son Dheer married Daria from Ukraine recently, she obviously pulled out all the stops. All those who attended the intimate but high wattage wedding, are still talking about the glam ‘n’ glitz that accompanied the soul-stirring shaadi.
We got Chhaya to share the secrets of putting together a super luxe wedding…
- Make it FUN! It’s only when the bridal couple and their parents too are having fun, that the guests enjoy themselves too.
- Envelop the wedding with warmth. Take time out to greet everyone personally, hold their hands, show them you care and that’s why you invited them to share in your joy!
- Create email and WhatsApp invites to cut down on paper and make your wedding more sustainable.
- Minimise on flowers too. Go green and incorporate trees and plants into the décor instead.
- Bring a special touch to the wedding events in ways that interest you. (For instance, Dheer and Daria’s wedding had a mithai counter cooking up the most delicious array of gur (jaggery) mithai. Guests could choose whatever mithai they liked and it was then packed up for them to take home. At the sangeet ceremony, handmade ballerina-style footwear was handed over to ladies in sky-high heels so that they could knock off their stilettos and dance the night away in flat shoes. They were then encouraged to take home their temporary shoes, plus obviously their own stilettos, once they were ready to call it a night!)
- Play all kinds of traditional music during the wedding events… don’t stick only to Bollywood beats.
- If possible, have empire style seating (long tables with an endless line of chairs; the way Parsis do at their wedding feasts) at the lunch/ dinner wedding events. Round tables occupy too much space and make it impossible to accommodate a large number of guests as most venues are not large enough. And buffet-style dining where people have to stand and eat is rather uncomfortable.
- Use glass bottles instead of plastic bottles at the food counters. It’s a classy and sustainable gesture.
- Finally, parcel off good quality, still fresh leftover food to the needy.
Western wedding trends that are catching on in India…
Times have changed and it's now considered okay to request for cash as your wedding gift. Or ask your guests to contribute to a charity that’s close to your heart, like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and our very own Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh did. Or put up an online wedding fave gift list for your guests where you can request for kickboxing classes, dancing classes, a gym membership, couple spa treatments and so on…
Branding your wedding with your favourite aroma is a new trend that’s catching on. Wedding planners can customise a perfume that you can then spritz onto invites, pump through the venue and even gift in candle form as a wedding takeaway gift.
Almost every couple wants to cut a wedding cake nowadays! Choose a traditional tiered cake, or a deconstructed cake where instead of layers stacked one on top of each another, lookalike cakes are set on individual cake stands. The design ends up looking like an over the top dessert display! Metallic coloured cakes in gold, copper and silver are big. Naked wedding cakes are popular too… they have a very thin layer of frosting and this allows some of the cake layers to peek through. Sculpted cake designs in every conceivable shape and size are also ruling.
Debbie Hitkari avers that neckpiece layering is the most glam trend. Long Basra pearl and diamond strands layered with shorter strands of large emeralds and rubies plus a diamond choker make a fabulous combination.
Kamlesh Hemdev of Ghanasingh Fine Jewels - Kamlesh Hemdev Group, believes that traditional temple gold jewellery works well for the Mehendi, with a geru (reddish) polish. Diamonds dazzle best at the Sangeet, and while Polki (uncut diamonds) jewellery in the form of a big choker along with a long rani haar looks awesome for the big day.