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“There was a time when brides didn’t see their wedding venues till the actual day”

when instrumental piped music was considered entertainment enough, when candid pictures were labeled as poorly timed photography, and when décor was really just a stage, a sofa and the couple’s initials.

Gone are those days though. After witnessing the opulence, the extravagance and the magnitude of today’s Indian weddings, it’s hard to believe that a time like that ever existed. Indian weddings have drastically changed over the last few years and here are some ways in which they have evolved.

1. The millennial bride has a vision and isn’t afraid to share it. In the preliminary stages of planning a wedding, we always begin by asking the bride what kind of wedding she imagines for herself. We recognise that unlike her predecessors, she drives the planning process and her family, in-laws and ancé will want her to call the shots.

This change can be largely accredited to the increase of social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, giving the new-age bride access to endless wedding visuals and ideas.

What’s more is that when the planning phase is over, these brides want to put on their Sabyasachi lenghas, laugh a little louder, dance a little more and actually enjoy their weddings because coy brides are so 90s.

2. The wedding planning process
 now gives you a great blank canvas for customisation and personalisation. All new-age couples want to paint their own canvas and make their weddings more memorable, whether it’s through the little touches, or the statement elements. With the network of vendors that are now available for this niche, there are endless options for even the most intricate customisation.

Signature cocktails are curated, décor elements are custom designed, and wedding stationary, napkins and coasters are often personalised with the wedding logo. The canvas is painted to make weddings refective of each couple’s story, their style and their vision.

3. All these frills that didn’t exist for the prior generation are racking up quite the bill nowadays. The flourishing Indian wedding industry is growing with costs increasing by 25-30 percent annually.

The funny thing about us Indians is that if you dine with us, there will often be a dramatic squabble over the bill with everyone fighting to pay for it, but when it came to the amount of an Indian wedding, it used to be swiftly handed over to the bride’s family, no discussion.

If this custom continued the burden of the Laurent Perrier served at today’s sangeets, the troupe of performers for today’s mehendis, the oyster bar at today’s receptions, and the iPads gifted to all guests would be the responsibility of the bride’s family along with the cost of everything else. However with the winds of change, it is now the norm for the two sides to go dutch. Both sides will graciously step up, pull out their calculators and go 50-50 as it should have been all along. This is one of the most forward changes that the evolution of Indian weddings has brought about.

4. Indian weddings now truly capture a large part of what it means to be Indian. Indians have always been inherently opulent and weddings have now become this medium through which their warm hospitality, their heritage and all their wildest Bollywood-induced fantasies can be displayed. Couple’s make their entrances in vintage cars, helicopters and helium balloons, Baraats are take place on cruises and performers are brought in from all over the globe.

It doesn’t end there though. The evolution is ongoing and Indian weddings are also benefitting many others besides the couple and the guests. There is a proliferating network of vendors that have pro ted from the growing industry. Indian weddings have given them a platform to showcase their skills, talents and grow their businesses.

A perfect example of this is the highly anticipated Ambani and Piramal wedding. During the wedding weekend, the two families will host their friends and family in Udaipur. It is also rumoured that Beyoncé and Jay Z will be present. But what’s more is the families are partnering with artisans and craftsmen to integrate local culture and traditions into

the festivities. Although not every wedding is doing this as actively, the big fat Indian wedding is essentially generating income for lots of craftsman, artists and talented folk who may otherwise be overlooked.

So now coming to the questions that linger, were we better off with the simplicity of the weddings our preceding generation had? Is the scale and magnitude of the Indian wedding justi ed? What is the point of this momentary hedonism and indulgence? Well then, what is the point of any party? It is to create an experience. The wedding doesn’t end with the couple having a great time; it lasts in the memory of the guests forever.

Feature By Kripa Singh