Keeping the family's personal style, character and preferences in mind, the event manager decides the presentation of the entire sequence of wedding celebrations, and arranges to have them tailor made, as it were, to suit the family's requirements, keeping well within the stipulated budget. The entire wedding is then designed from beginning to the end and is offered to the family as if on a silver platter!
All weddings have a sangeet, a tikka or a mehndi function followed by the wedding, and ending with a cocktail reception. Right from creating the right kind of ambiance, selecting the floral decoration to match the occasion, booking the entertainers (singer, dancers, DJ), arranging for the tent maker, caterer, lighting specialist and so forth, its the event management team's task to take care of all the details. Along with these elements, the event management team puts forth an invitation card design. The cards are so framed that the invitees are able to decide upon their attire for each function and what to expect of the evening.
The Sangeet function, not so long back, meant that the ladies in the family got together with their neighbours, friends & relatives and sang folk songs all night long, to the accompaniment of a harmonium and a dholki. This is no longer a small family affair. Today, the family invites friends from far and near, business associates and relatives to celebrate this grand day. No longer are the boys segregated from the girls. In fact, the groom and his bride along with their friends let their hair down and dance the night away. As per the present trend, the brothers/sisters and cousins of the family stage a dance show, which is put together by a choreographer and professional dancers. All these members go through rigorous practice sessions before D-day. This is followed by a musical evening.
For this occasion the theme could be Nawabi with a Ghazal Nite complete with ethnic/royal props, antiques, zardozi & jamavar embroidered rich fabrics; Chinese or Japanese with oriental decor and a pop artist or disc jockey; Latin American / Mexican / Guns `n` Roses using abstract colours or matched themes
The bride's family usually precede the Sangeet function with a Mehndi ceremony, whilst the groom's family have the Tikka ceremony. The décor for each day is as per personal preference, but the trend towards Indian themes still remains in vogue. This is specially so with families who like to celebrate each ceremony separately, such as Tel Bhan, Bhaat, Nikasi ceremony etc. as per one's religion.
Tikka : This ceremony calls for a simple floral theme with a good colour co-ordination.
Mehndi : This remains an Indian theme with a wide use of vibrant colours. A DJ for entertainment or a singer of folk songs from Gujrat, Rajasthan or from the villages of Punjab, is a popular demand.
There are several options open to the family organizing a wedding or any wedding related event:. A DJ is a hot favourite and also the most affordable; a Pop singer of Punjabi/Hindi songs; a group of local singers or folk singers as per the family's taste; and singers from abroad (only for those who can afford to fly them Business Class, house them in five star hotels with attendant facilities
THE WEDDING DAY
The trend continues to be very traditional: there is the vedi for a Hindu wedding, a lava phera for Sikh weddings, a raised dais for a Christian wedding, a fancy stage for a Parsi wedding and so on. Only 2 out of 10 families request for a western theme.
Themes most sort after are:
Kerela Theme (complemented by a Mridangam Shenai)
Temples of India (complemented by Drums of India and ritual chants of pandits)
Kashmiri Theme(complemented by Jal Tarang, Sarod, Tabla & Rabab)
Floral Themes - An elegant Trio / Quartet or a 2 piece band.
The Ganesha Theme - accompanied by Sitar & Tabla performance.
Radha - Krishna Theme - accompanied with Classical Music / Flute recital.
Royal Victorian Theme -A Pianist sets the mood going.
The Prince Edward Theme - Jazz Music to pep up the gaiety.
THE WEDDING RECEPTION
The wedding reception is one of the last functions of a wedding that is done on a grand scale, after which there are functions like 'Phere Ki Roti', Saggan Court etc. once again each religion has its own set of ceremonies but the themes preferred are:
Venice by waters
Elegant Florals & Drapes in a colour scheme
Moscow by night
An Indian Antique statue setting.
Once the themes are decided then the designing the invitation cards is considered. The cards carry a hint of the theme - be it a colour match, a motif from the décor or an element of the theme. Cards are an intricate affair. One can get innovative using a variety of hand made paper, embroidered fabric, printed butter paper, silken threads, stained glass, etched mirror. The types are numerous.
The cards usually come accompanied by sweet meats or methai, which are creatively packed either in silver boxes, or thalls wrapped in tissue, organza, satin with dry flower posies, artificial flowers, leaves, jute, palm leaf weaves, zari motifs, ribbons etc. All these are matched with the colour scheme of the card and to that of the décor of the thematic wedding. Substitutes of the sweet meats are chocolates, (formed to the initials of the bride and groom), almonds, nuts, gajjak, imported sweets, or at times even artifacts like silver/gold ginnis, Tanjore paintings, photoframes with invites in it, champagne flutes, bottles of incense, agarbati holders or cases, gold & silver coins, thaals of sagan with sindur, haldi, elaichi, rice, dry coconut, khajur, supari in fancy containers made of metal, paper or glass, with their surfaces painted, block printed, screen printed, etched, carved, covered in parchment papers, etc.
Not all themes require flowers, but flowers definitely enhance the basic theme, besides adding a touch of freshness and gaiety to the celebration. The popularity of flowers and floral decorations has only increased with time. Although seasonal flowers are in great demand, as are the traditional yellow marigolds and everybody's favourite, the roses, off season flowers are equally sought after. Imported or Indian, dry or spray painted, or natural whites dipped in coloured water to match the theme, combined with a wide variety of ferns, grasses, twigs and roots, tree trunks or date palm bark, candles, fabrics etc. give the desired ambiance of colourful gaiety. There is a very wide variety in the market to choose from.
Sound Of Music
Weddings are not made in heaven, these days they are made by designers adding a touch of elegance and class to each occasions highlighting each pre wedding party with a bit of interaction and hulla ballu, be it done by the co-operation of the fun loving youngsters in the family or by recognized pop divas to create the tempo and degree of hype, leave it to your party manager. Each family having its own style, the designer chooses how to present the entire wedding on a silver plates tailor made to personal requirements, style and budgets. Then come the efforts of choosing the right kind of
Florals to match the occasion
Along with these elements one puts forth an invitation card design, which is a part of the entire sequel and leads the people attending the party to decide what they want to wear for each function and what to expect of the evening. All weddings have a sangeet, a tikka or a mehndi function followed by the wedding itself and to end it all with a cocktail reception evening.
The Sangeet or Cocktails
The sangeet in the old times meant that the ladies in the family get together with their neighbours, relatives and sang songs all nite along with a harmonium and dholki. This is now not a small affair and longer, People today invite their friends from far and near, business associates and family members to celebrate this grand day. This is the day the groom and his friends and the bride and her friends let their hair down and dance the nite out.
Invariably, the brothers/sisters and cousins of the family stage a dance show, which is put together by choreographer and professional dancers. All these members thru rigorous practice sessions.
Followed by which there is a musical evening.
DJ -The hot favourite and the most affordable.
Pop singer - Punjabi/Hindi music with singers stationed locally in the city, marwadi singers, folk singers to match each taste.
Singers from abroad - Depending upon the taste, only for that starter, who can afford to fly the Business Class, house them in five star hotels, provide for all meals, soft drinks, laundry and last but not the least a beauty parlour facility as well.
The brides side of the family usually precede this function with a mehndi ceremony whilst the boys side of the family have the tikka ceremony. On the average the décor for each day is as per personal preference but the trend so far last season was that themes that were more Indian in concept were used by persons who chose to separate each ceremony, there is also a Tel Bhan, Bhaat, Nikasi ceremony depending on ones religion. Tikka : Simple Floral theme with a colour co-ordination.
Mehndi : Indian with vibrant colours with a DJ for entertainment
Or singer of different languages
Villages of Punjab
Sangeet : Nawabi - for a Ghazal Nite
Ethnic Royal set up using antiques Zardozi & Zamavar embroidered rich fabrics - for a star nite.
Chinese - for a Pop artist & Disc Jockey
Japanese - for a pop artist & disc jockey
Abstract colour matched themes
Latin American / Mexican / Guns `n` Roses
Wedding: Usually very-very traditional as there is a vedi requirement for Hindu weddings, a lava phera area for Sikh weddings, a raised dias stand for a Christian wedding, a fancy stage for a Parsi wedding and so on. 2 out of 10 families request for a Western Theme.
Themes most sort after
Kerela Theme (complimented by a Mridangam Shenai)
Temples of India (complimented by Drums of India and ritual chants of pandits)
Kashmiri Theme (complimented by Jal Tarang, Sarod, Tabla & Rabab)
Floral Themes - An elegant Trio / Quartet or a 2pc. Band.
The Ganesha Theme - Sitar & Tabla.
Radha - Krishna Theme - Classical Music performance on Flute.
Royal Victorian Theme - Pianist
The Prince Edward Theme - Jazz Music
We would expand further on some of these themes, on how-to-do-it-yourself steps, in our forth-coming issues.
Once the themes are decided then once considers designing the card and each insert carrys a bit of the theme - (Be it a colour match, a motif from within the décor or an element of the décor. Cards are also an intricate affair - One can get as innovative using a variety of hand made paper, embroidered fabric, printed butter paper, variety's of silken threads, stained glass, etched mirror.
The cards usually come accompanied by what usually used to be sweet meats or methai, now a days these sweet meats are either sent in silver boxes, thalls creatively packaged in fabric like tissue, organza, satin with dry flower posies, artificial flowers, leaves, jute, palm leaf weaves, zari motifs, ribbons and all these are matched to the colour scheme of the card and to that of the décor of the thematic wedding. Substitutes of the sweet meats are chocolates, (formed to the initials of the bride and groom - to the extent), almonds, nuts, gajjak, imported sweets, or at times even artifacts like silver/gold ginnis, Tanjore paintings, photoframes with invites in it, champagne flutes, bottles of incense, agarbati holders or cases, gold & silver coins, thaals of sagan with Sindur, Haldi, Elaichi, Rice, Dry Coconut, Khajur, Supari creatively packed once again. This could be in boxes of metal, paper or glass, with surfaces painted, block printed, screen printed, etched, carved, covered in parchment papers, foil etc.
We will talk about the flowers now - Imported, Indian or desi, dry or spray painted or natural whites dipped in coloured water to match a theme with combinations in a wide variety of ferns, grasses, twigs and roots, tree trunks or date palm bark, candles, all these in-set with fabrics that give a flow, a twinkle or a shine for the desired effect. Todays market has a very wide variety and has a lot of combinations that one could come up to create an ambience. Not all themes require flowers, but a touch of Florals here and there definitely brightens and freshens the theme.