Today’s modern maharani bride is faced with so many options when it comes to deciding on the style and mood of her wedding. Wedding trends have evolved so much with thanks to social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. Brides are drawing inspiration from the likes of professionals in the industry to create unforgettable weddings.
So how do you choose a wedding style?
You may agree to disagree, but choosing a wedding style is one of the most fun elements of wedding planning.
A wedding style is all about the look and feel you are creating right through from the beginning to the end. From the stationery to the florals, colour palette, outfits, textures, photographer and the choice of cake, your style will come down to who you are as a couple. Decide if you are a traditionalist at heart, an adventurer or perhaps you are the fuss-free bride. Once you know the answer to this then you can narrow down the rest.
The next step is to choose the venue that best reflects you. Are you urban chic or country cool? Do you prefer soft or muted colour schemes or are the bright and bold tones for you? These decisions will have a huge influence on selecting the venue.
What about the season? Are you a summer or a winter lover? Do you love the idea of including vibrant, luscious, florals in your mandap design? If so, then you can narrow it down to Spring or Summer. Have you always loved the rich maroon hues that are associated with warmth? Then your best option is choose between Autumn or Winter.
Your outfits will also impact your decision. To be honest, gone are those days where the bride will wear red, unless you are sticking with Hindu traditions. However, now the trend is to steer clear from the heavy and elaborate and embrace light-weight pastels or whites that make you feel uber-comfy.
It’s time to break it down now (not MC Hammer style of course, but whatever floats your boat). The most common types of weddings are traditional, classic, informal, destination and elopement and so to steer you in the right direction, we’ve simplified the process further.
TYPES OF WEDDINGS
A traditional or religious wedding service is typically held in a courthouse or a place of worship such as a temple, conforming to age-old traditions. However, this doesn’t mean that you are restricted or can’t be creative. For instance if you’re having a multicultural marriage, you could blend the traditions and add your own personal flavour to the wedding. After the wedding ceremony you have free reign to do what you like with your reception party. You could stick to the traditional theme and play up the décor with a bright colour palette and gold accents. South Asian weddings are all about embracing colour, so let the theme flow throughout the pre-wedding and post-wedding celebrations.
Before your traditional wedding it is important to understand the rituals, blessings and cultural aspects. Customs play an important element in Indian weddings and there are many facets to each tradition. This will play a huge part in your wedding style.
If however you decide to opt for the courthouse service, well then you’re lucky because there’s very little paperwork to deal with!
For couples that love to honour traditions, then a religious wedding is highly suited.
The classic wedding follows similar traditional formats with large guest lists, standard rituals, vows and declarations. Décor is elaborate for both the ceremony and the reception, but in this instance you would be thinking more along the lines of clean and crisp, classic white linens, unassuming décor details, roses, black, white, or gold, candelabras and ornate dinnerware.
Classic weddings are elegant, refined and sophisticated to the core. If that reflects your personality, then the classic wedding style is your only option.
Informal weddings give you free reign to express yourself in whichever way you choose to do so. Couples who choose this wedding style tend to have a carefree aesthetic.
Your festivities are likely to be free spirited but still manage to impress without compromising on style. Think refined rustic-chic, beach, barn or vineyard. Be adventurous, but don’t let it feel contrived. Every little bit of detail should reflect the style, from the décor to the invitations right through to the menu. The table settings could include mix and matched mason jars with whimsical flowers and lighting can be kept au natural.
Rediscover casual elegance with your informal wedding.
A destination wedding style offers a range of flexibility. It can be elegant and romantic or casual and festive. Will it be close family and friends or one big party?
Venues who often specialize in destination weddings offer tailored packages for brides and grooms. The package usually takes care of all your wedding requirements including the wedding coordinator, styling, priest or celebrant, entertainment, cake and even accommodation. Just ensure that the location and backdrop fits under your wedding style requirements.
Often a destination wedding can be more cost effective. Couples can choose to have an all-inclusive honeymoon meaning that you receive more bang for your buck!
Turn it into a weeklong celebration with your closest family and friends. Remember that this isn’t your typical wedding, but if you want a relaxed wedding style vibe, have a team organize everything. It’s like one long vacation for you, your family and friends. All the functions are held on site and you can choose to go intimate or all out over the top.
One important rule before planning a destination wedding is to double-check the regulations for getting married in that country. It might also be worth taking out some insurance, depending on the location.
Are you completely overwhelmed with the whole idea of planning a wedding? Then perhaps eloping is your best bet.
Eloping takes the pressure off planning a wedding and you’re able to enjoy your ceremony more. Less planning and more you time. Not to forget to mention the fact that you have a lot more money to spend on the honeymoon. Hello Fiji or Iceland!
The beauty of eloping is that you can call the shots and avoid any family drama. You have the freedom to choose the location, dress up or dress down for the occasion.
Also, just because you elope doesn’t mean you can’t have a reception party afterwards. Plan ahead and crosscheck all the paperwork. If you’re eloping abroad, contact the embassies and check the rules and regulations in that country.
In order to pull off your dream wedding style, you need a team of dream pros.
Some couples opt for a wedding planner or stylist in order to avoid any hard work. An important thing to remember is that each wedding pro also has their own styles as well, so they will need to complement your wedding theme.
Are they modern in their styles or are they quite traditional?
Research the suppliers that match the wedding style you have envisioned. Meet with them in person and share your Pinterest boards or scrapbook images. Bring your views to the table and it will become so much easier for a wedding supplier to understand whether they are on the same wavelength as you.
Style is about who you are as a person. Begin with your personal tastes and infuse these into your wedding style so that you and your partner can have the celebration of a lifetime. Don’t try too hard and remember keep it tasteful and timeless.
What’s your wedding style? Let us know in the comments below. Keep posted to part three of our planning series where we look at roles and responsibilities during wedding planning.
Poonam is the founder and director of The Maharani Diaries blog. She has a passion for South Asian fashion and weddings. Drinking coffee is one of her favourite pass times and she also enjoys giving up her time for charity. You’ll often find her volunteering on the side for various community events.