Weddings have always been a lavish affair, be it a Big Fat Indian style or a white church wedding around the world. A long list of guests, innumerable visits to the salon, shopping sprees, tasting sessions with various caterers, recce trips of the venue, meetings with decorators and vendors, all go hand-in-hand with the process of planning a wedding.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a lot of uncertainty and inconvenience for everyone who were planning to get married this year as well as the people involved in making the wedding day special: the list of guests has gotten shorter due to the restrictions, the visits to the salon and shopping in markets seem unsafe to some, and the replanning of venues according to small gatherings and safety protocols. Despite all the alterations, a few lovebirds decided to get married in a small ceremony while others postponed their wedding to the next year. Regardless of the situation, many couples did not hesitate to set trends and celebrate their day of love. While some revamped the existing trends; others experimented with new and unique ones. Delhi-based well-known designer, Suneet Varma quoted in an interview: “The pandemic will not last forever, but the memories of your wedding will. We, as a people, are the larger sum of all our memories. The moment you start to say ‘I want to dress down because of the coronavirus outbreak’, that thought will become an inherent part of your wedding memories,”
In the following feature, we discuss the latest trends that made heads turn this year and suggestions that would work well along with the coronavirus pandemic, for people who are planning to get married soon. Read on... - Aakanksha Verma
A Flawless Trousseau
The ensemble remains the most thoughtful and important element for the bride as well as the groom. Every detail from top to toe needs to be curated perfectly for their ceremony. We list down some unconventional yet catchy trends that have been making their place in the wedding industry.
A dose of sunshine
Yellow is the perfect colour to make the bride and the groom shine bright on their Mehendi or Haldi ceremony. The colour reflects sophistication and happiness. It is refreshing and adds the right amount of glow for the bride and the groom to stand out. Men could pick an easy-breezy kurta and add elements liked a smart piece of jewellery or a scarf to enhance the look, just like Rohanpreet Singh did. Even a lightweight lehenga inspired by Miheeka Bajaj or a minimalist saree like Neha Kakkar’s would be some of the low maintenance choices to choose from for a Haldi ceremony. The outfit can be completed with flower jewellery instead of heavy necklaces. For brides who wish to add volume to their lehenga while eliminating the heaviness, you could pick an embellished top and half lehenga set like the one shown top.
Blouse with a twist
We have seen the transition of brides as they adapted to various trends like rocking a heavy lehenga without a dupatta, pairing a satin shirt or a long jacket with the lehenga skirt. Western blouses seem to be the current favourite among brides and couturiers. Pairing the lehenga skirt with Bardot blouses, one-shoulder blouses, peplum blouses, bustiers etc. wasn’t something we imagined could look this good. The mismatched blouses with unique silhouettes compliment the OTT lehengas very well. You could choose the one that fits perfectly with your body type. Below are a few designer pieces to take inspiration from:
Pastel is the new maroon
The trend we first saw around the weddings of celebrities like Anushka Sharma and Neha Dhupia, has taken the bridal couture industry by storm this year, too. Not limited for the brides, pastels and muted tones were donned by couples for various pre-wedding functions as well as the main ceremony. Especially with coronavirus making the ceremonies smaller and more intimate, pastel-hued clothes are a stylish option for daytime functions. Miheeka Bajaj paired her Jayanti Reddy pastel lehenga with coloured jewellery. Neha Kakkar and Rohanpreet Singh looked charming in pink-toned Sabyasachi outfits that were gifted to them by the couturier.
Add a dash of colour to the jewellery
The right jewellery can enhance a bride’s and a groom’s ensemble like nothing else. It reflects tradition and royalty, and any wedding would be incomplete without it. Be it temple jewellery, large polki or kundan necklaces or the dainty diamond pieces; bridal jewellery trends always grab our attention. The latest kind that we cannot get enough of is the one accompanied by unique colours. The eclectic crystals add colour to the attire, making it look refreshing and unique. You would find various luxury designer jewellers keeping up with the trend and curating masterpieces in a variety of colours. Do experiment with the various combinations instead of just matching the colour of the gemstone with the outfit.
Best foot forward
Modern Indian brides started ditching their uncomfortable stilettos for wedges, juttis and now, for quirky sneakers. After a long day of running errands and never-ending dance performance, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the most special day of their life in a pair of comfortable sneakers? Sneakerheads in India have found ways to make the most beautiful pairs of sneakers to accompany heavy lehengas, for the lovely brides. The easy to wear, comfortable and low maintenance footwear has got a traditional makeover to go perfectly with the occasion.
Dealing with the pandemic in style
The pandemic has maybe ruined the perfect dream wedding for some. However, more people are now adapting to the idea of getting married through intimate ceremonies and with all the precautions. Safety protocols are a mandate, especially when a ceremony has to take place between a gathering of more than 50 people. Further, we discuss what trends the coronavirus scenario has brought along with it for the wedding industry.
Custom masks for the squad
Spending a large sum of money on outfits, jewellery and makeup while covering your face with a dull blue surgical mask is something you would regret doing. Couples and wedding planners have found a fashionable solution to this problem. Quirky personalised wedding masks are being made a part of the wedding ensemble. Be it colour coordinated with the lehenga or embellished with the hashtags of the couple; a custom made mask are nothing but super trendy and most importantly, safe.
At this point, it is very crucial to ensure the hygiene and safety of yourself as well as the people celebrating your happiness on your special day. Intimate weddings might be a bummer for a few people, while others seem happy to be sharing their happiness with only the special and close people in their life. Intimate weddings bring along a notable benefit of saving lots of money, further that money can be utilised for what you actually need. Also, lesser people means lesser stress. In an interview, Tina Tharwani of Mumbai-based Shaadi Squad stated: “Weddings will be more intimate, personalised celebrations. Couples will not just have quality time with people they are closest to but will also have more opportunities to pay attention to detail and customise every aspect of the wedding. Detailing in terms of decor and the food menu, as well as personalisation of cutlery, personal notes for guests, etc., will be easier than ever and will become a new trend post-pandemic.”
Most of the metropolitan cities in India are still seeing a surge in coronavirus cases. Gathering people in such circumstances is very risky. A few state governments have imposed restrictions on the limit of the number of people who can attend a wedding. Therefore, some couples are taking their ceremonies to safer destinations with lesser restrictions like Goa, Jaipur, Udaipur etc. The cost of organising a destination wedding is much lower at this point of time since very few; close members are willing to travel amid the pandemic.
While everything from work meetings to fashion weeks have become digital, weddings can also take the virtual route. You could digitally connect with the loved ones who cannot physically come to accompany you at your wedding. The virtual method would also save you a lot of money whilst everyone you care about would be able to see you walk down the aisle. To give it a personal touch, you could get personalised invites, outfits and gifts delivered to them before the special day.
What’s trending abroad
As we know, white weddings are not the same as our big fat Indian weddings. The number of ceremonies are lesser, the gathering is smaller, and the venue is usually a church. So the pandemic did not bring along many changes in the wedding scenario of foreign countries. Talented wedding planners around the world still manage to introduce mind-boggling trends that are ahead of its time, in white weddings.
Fresh beginnings, dried flowers
The unconventional trend of using rustic, dried flowers in weddings made a comeback in 2020. Textured and vintage-looking dried flowers are a unique element widely used by world-famous wedding planners this year. In an interview, Rachel Birthistle of ‘The Lake Como Wedding Planner’ stated - “This year, we started to include an ingredient in decor that previously would have been so taboo: dried flowers! We predominantly integrated the dried flowers with fresh flowers, which added a whole new dimension to the design,”. Watching brides walk down the aisle with a dried bouquet in their hands gave a very boho and earthy vibe.
Environment conscious people managed to make sustainable weddings a huge trend. Various vendors decided to go sustainable and make weddings zero-waste. Adding upcycled elements to wedding dresses and making use of sustainable textiles like organic cotton, peace silk etc. also helped brides make a smaller impact on the planet. Sustainable venues and recycled decorations would also contribute to lowering the ecological footprint.