Thousands of baraatis dancing to band baja’s tunes, hundreds of ladies sitting down to put Mehendi and singing songs, intimate family members running all around to get things in place, caterers serving food to a countless number of people in the wedding hall, and planners making sure everything runs smoothly; as chaotic as it sounds, one will agree it was fun! However, fortunately or unfortunately, the pandemic has refrained it. And now, we are all trying to adjust to the new-normal of weddings.
With the pandemic hitting the world last year, the guest list at the weddings got smaller, and the grandeur got bigger. Following COVID protocols has allowed couples to invest more in planning the décor, outfits, destination, food and several other details of their big day. And now with the onset of the second wave, it seems like 2021 will see many intimate weddings with a limited number of invitees; however, the essence will be much more authentic than before! Read ahead to catch up on the 2021 wedding trends that You & I brings to you, along with the take of industry experts. – Srivalli and Niharika
Obviously, when planning the ‘wedding’, the first thing that crosses your mind is “What am I going to wear?” Be it a man or a woman, one dreams of looking their best on their special day as it will be etched in everyone’s memory forever. Remember Anushka Sharma’s pink floral lehenga? It’s been three years and we are still not over that breath-taking piece of beauty. And that is why we spoke to two of the renowned designers from the industry to help us understand what the 2021 wedding couture trend looks like Neeta Lulla and Jayanti Reddy.
“Post the first wave of COVID-19; I saw a trend of more positive movement towards dressing for the bride and the groom. In fact, the sensibilities for the bride were becoming far more detailed, magnanimous, and colourful. People wanted to experiment. Grooms were opting for colourful outfits ranging from aqua and peaches to pinks. I see a similar pattern going forward,” says Neeta.
Meanwhile, sharing her thoughts on the trend, Jayanti tells us that we can expect to see more pastel colours for both the brides’ and grooms’ attire. She further adds, “Although the traditional jewel-tone palettes will always be popular, as well as more quirky prints and patterns.”
If you are looking for something beyond trends and something that never goes out of style, make a note that classic colours never fade away. “I have always been someone who felt the essence of our wedding lehengas exists in classic colours of maroon, red and ivory. Something that has the embroidery and details that can be preserved and kept for a long period and can be passed on to generations. The attire should have heritage value,” Neeta notes.
Jayanti suggests that the quintessential red Banarasi silk saree, or a bridal lehenga with zardosi and opulent borders in royal purple, or fuchsia pink, styled with fresh flowers in the hair, and traditional jewellery never lose their grace and elegance.
Couples these days are opting for colour coordinated attires intending to not only look their best but complement each other too. When asked Jayanti for her expert advice for to-be-married couples, she said, “Matching outfits are really sweet and thoughtful, but please don’t stress yourself out if you disagree with each other’s ideas. As individuals, you both should wear exactly what makes you feel like you’re in your element. Always keep the weather in mind when choosing your outfits, and never underestimate the power of footwear.” Take a note, love birds!
Now, it’s time for us to take a look at bridesmaids, groomsmen and several other attendees and discuss what they should arrive wearing this wedding season. Well, according to Neeta, the outfits of the attendees should be lightweight and easy to wear as eventually it is all about attending the function and at the same time dancing the night away. The outfits need to be easy to handle, flowy, and something you feel good in. So there’s the pro-tip for all the guests at the wedding who want to make a statement with their look.
The Bling Factor
Any bridal look is incomplete without a stunning set of jewellery. It adds up to the element and brings out the look. Though your wedding jewellery completely depends on your choice of outfit, some people prefer chunky pieces and a combination of contrasting colours, while some keep it simple with matching sets.
We spoke to Tarang Arora, Jewellery designer and creator, Amrapali Jewels, to better understand the 2021 trend. “I feel multifunctional pieces are something which will be used a lot as you can wear them for different occasions differently. We have pieces which can be used as a choker and as a bracelet, earrings which be worn in different forms, Kalingi’s which can be used as brooches etc. The beauty of convertible jewellery is that it can be worn for the wedding and can be used for other functions and even after the wedding,” he replied.
What are the timeless jewellery pieces? “I think jewellery which is consciously created in terms of the design and stones used and are symbolic of the time and era in which they are created, never goes out of style. It could be kundan-jadau pieces or temple jewellery. Heirloom pieces are timeless as they bring the heritage along; you can recreate them with their elements and modify them if you want to.”
Another important part to seize your day is to have the right kind of décor that speaks a lot about you and your partner. Trending top on our list is sustainable wedding décor. Yes, you heard it right. Let us all agree that more than a trend, it is a need of the hour. This décor approach made it to the news when actress Dia Mirza planned her wedding using completely biodegradable and natural materials. Taking to her Instagram, the actress wrote, “The garden where I have spent every morning for the past 19 years was an absolutely magical setting and the most intimate and perfect space for our simple and soulful ceremony! We are so proud to have organised a completely sustainable ceremony without plastics or any waste. The materials used for the minimal decor we went for were completely biodegradable and natural.” Isn’t that inspiring?!
Next up, we have all things floral! Doesn’t it sound beautiful? From your Mehendi, to Haldi, to the main wedding ceremony, floral décor will win everyone’s heart, not to forget a great backdrop for gorgeous pictures. Adding quirky props to the theme would definitely uplift the joyful and colourful mood. The best thing about floral décor is you can choose your perfect mood. If you want a subtle vibe, white and other soft colours go great; if you are looking for more of a vibrant tadka, you can pick bright colours and in case you want a romantic setting, you have your pinks and reds.
However, when it comes to the Sangeet, people have often turned to lights than flowers. We all know that in Indian weddings, Sangeet is all about shor sharaba. Speaking of lights, a trend that has been spotted in most weddings is soft and small lights paired along with handmade chandeliers and lots of candles. What could be more a romantic setting than this!
In Indian movies and Hindi daily soaps, we have seen people getting married in their own house; however, seldom have we witnessed the same in real life. Well, we are here to tell you that pandemic has normalised that as well. With our 2020 wedding special feature, we saw the trend begin and ever since then, it has only gotten better. We are in love with all the intimate wedding settings we witness over social media platforms. From your garden to the drawing-room to the terrace, you can turn any part of your house into your fairy-tale land and have the memory itched amid those walls. There is nothing more beautiful and heart-warming than tying the knot in the same place where you grew up.
If you are looking for a fancier setting, a private beach is a big yes! You can always book a private beach in your favourite destination, invite a limited number of guests, and keep a check on all the necessary COVID-19 protocols. Beaches cater serene as well as romantic surrounding and are also a perfect gateway from your routine life!
Other venue preferences that we witnessed in these tough times are holy places. Be it a temple, a Gurudwara, Church or any other holy place; couples are showing green flags to them all. It gives a perfect traditional and cultural blend to your wedding setting.
Venues that are here to stay are palaces. The grandeur that palaces and castles offer with the right mix of vintage vibe is unbeatable. For all those couples who have dreamt of a royal wedding, you know your call!
Capturing the Moment!
Long gone are the days when couples would only pose to the camera; now, photography is more about capturing the emotion and freezing the moment. Kishor Krishnamoorthi of brand ‘weddingsbykishor’ believes in a similar idea. Adding to it, he tells us that photography for a wedding is not just about the couple but families coming together, a larger set of people joining through this matrimony. It’s a greater part of wedding photography. So if you want your pictures to do the talking, then simply live in the moment.
Kishor says, “Weddings are now intimate and small, so we go with a small and efficient crew. Having said that, looks like weddings might become larger in the future. However, I feel people have tasted and loved smaller weddings, so more of those will happen.”
When asked about what colours on the bride and groom would come out really well in pictures, Kishor replied, “Doesn’t really matter what colours; however, coordination adds to it. Be it couple coordinating the colour with each other, the decor behind, or even with the members of their family if possible.”
Beauty Lies in the Hands of the Artist!
Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day and why not, it is the most important day in her life! The next step after selecting the clothes and jewellery is to zero in on the makeup and hairstyle and then to find a makeup artist who can create just that! All eyes are going to be on you so choosing the right artist to get your look right is vital!
Before selecting your look, remember it is your big day and while you want to hide the flaws and emphasize your features, it’s best not to go overboard! You have to look like the best version of yourself. Keep in mind the time of day, the weather, venue and theme, and of course the colour of your outfit. If you’re having an intimate wedding, it’s probably better to keep the look simple and not loud.
Talking to us about the change in the wedding industry owing to the pandemic, makeup artist Sidra Aamer of The Makeup Mafia says, “The wedding industry has taken quite a hit after the pandemic but luckily they have started taking place again, although more intimate and smaller in number. The trend of the ‘Timeless Bride’ never goes out of style and no matter how small or big the wedding is, the bride always wants to look beautiful. And I believe that whatever the occasion or ceremony, she must always look like herself, so I play around with different looks for different functions. Sometimes I go in for bold lips while on other occasions I opt for dramatic eyes, but for the wedding day I usually keep it minimal and dewy and let the bride’s natural glow speak for tiself.” Sharing her thoughts on the bridal trends of 2021, she says, “I forsee playful lip colours for the mehendi, dramatic and glamorous eyes for the sangeet, minimal and dewy makeup for the wedding and soft smokey eyes for the reception. In terms of hair, I’ve always loved fun braids and I’ve seen the trend pick up a lot in the last two years. I would go with a fun and quirky hairstyle for the mehendi with loads of flowers to play around with, the classic retro waves or bouncy curls for the sangeet and a timeless sleek bun for the wedding. The reception look is most experimental these days so you can take your pick of a sleek pushed back hairdo or a high pony!”
We also spoke to hairstylist Noella Pereira who has studied in Vidal Sassoon and Tony & Guy London, and has been in the industry for the last 11 years. She shared her insights into the hair trends for the upcoming wedding season and said, “Since most weddings are very small and private affairs, bride’s are going in for simple hairdos. What’s trending now though are hair accessories—tiaras, flowers, brooches. Braids are back in too, but with a modern twist. Fish braids with a low bun and pretty flowers, loose half braids with beachy waves and sleek ponytails are some styles that are are having a moment for the pre-wedding ceremonies.” She also spoke about hair colours saying that the colour you choose for your hair depends on the colour of your skin, eyes and personality and there’s no one trend that can be followed by all. She adds, “As far as hair cuts are concerned, I tell all my clients to cut their hair three months before the wedding because most Indians like long hair for their wedding and in order for it to look healthy, it needs to be well cut and neatly layered.”
While talking about haircare, let’s not forget the groom as his hair needs to as neat and tidy as the bride’s. “Grooms should cut their hair 10 days before the wedding and if they’re sporting a beard on their wedding day, they must shape it in advance and keep it neat.”
Say Shava Shava!
Let’s face it, the most fun and exciting function of a wedding is the sangeet. It’s when everyone lets their hair, and guard, down to truly have a fun and memorable time. And while the sangeet is all about fun and games, it takes a lot of effort to put it all together.
Traditionally celebrated by Punjabis, this ceremony has now been included in most Indian weddings owing to the fun and cheer it comes with. The celebration includes dance performances by the family and friends and of course the couple themselves, some friendly banter and lots of music. This function is hosted not only to rejoice but for both the families to break the ice and get friendly with one another prior to the wedding. Choreographed dances keep the guests entertained and act as a social bond connecting the two families. And not to mention the fun dance rehearsals during the run up to the wedding.
We can all agree that the main fun of a wedding is in the days leading to the main day, but while sangeet rehearsal parties were quite the rage up until 2020, come covid-19 and this doesn’t seem to be the norm anymore. With weddings becoming smaller and shorter, the number of dance practices has reduced too, keeping in mind the social distancing rule. However, even the pandemic cannot take out the fun of this ritual as people have started opting for virtual dance rehearsals and parties to keep the fervour alive. Think lots of dance and masti, all while staying safe!