Indian weddings are a thing on their own. They generally make up for a three to five days long affair with various social functions like haldi, mehendi, teeka, sangeet, etc., happening one after the other which is both tiring but at the same time a lot of fun. Marriages in India are considered as the establishment of relationship not between two people but two families, and I am not joking here! Marriages are a big deal in India and the ceremony is treated with a lot of care (read: fuss) from both the sides- the bride’s as well as the groom’s family. The entire ‘khandaans’ of the bride and groom erupt from far and wide to attend the auspicious function at the invitation with gifts and blessings (apart from taunts and judgements on every-damn-thing).
In such a scenario, it sometimes, becomes difficult to manage the affairs, which leads to problems between the two parties concerned. As a professional wedding photographer, I have come across various dramatic events in the Indian weddings that had a very trivial base in the first place. I personally feel that if a few things can be worked upon with proper planning, then the big problems can be successfully avoided in the various auspicious ceremonies in the whole wedding event.
Moreover, the present scenario demands certain changes in the performance of the various functions. It is time we move from a few conventional practices and adopt new and better methods to save our time, money, and efforts- both physical and mental, in the organization of the wedding. It should also be noted that people have become bored with the traditional set up in the weddings, and look out for new things that may catch their interest. Following are some guidelines that one can adhere to for a better, ‘cool,’ ‘peppy, and ‘chill’ wedding event:
- Invitations: PLEASE do not print invitation cards. This is so 2016! Make an invitation on Whatsapp and send. If your elders comment that certain important people need to invited in person, then ask them to visit those guests’ houses and send the Whatsapp message then and there only. That’s it. You have made everybody happy.
- Clothing: Please try to wear matching outfits. Plan a theme wedding and ask the whole family in advance to adhere to it. It looks highly appealing plus a treat to the eyes when you see the entire family wearing the same color. And matching attires are good for pictures also. Wear something bright- red, yellow, orange, and green work the best.
- Decor: For the love of God, do not try to decorate the floors, walls, and ceilings with red and orange carpets, and tents. Use these colors in dresses. Decor should always be in white so that you in your bright attire can look wonderful to eyes and to the camera. Use marigold flowers. Imagine a small, white hut with marigolds on its corners. Pretty, right?
- If you are organizing Sangeet/Musical night, then do not build a stage. Put the furniture consisting of sofas and chairs in a huge circle or soft mattresses on the ground and asks the guests to sit accordingly. The performers can then occupy the centre of the circle and showcase their talents accordingly. You can also divide the guests into two teams and ask them play Antakshari. These organization ideas are 10 times more interactive than a stage show, and can garner a lot of compliments to your event.
- If you anyway want to build a stage, then avoid using multiple-colored lights as they not only look cheap but ruin the pictures as well. Use white or halogen lights instead. Decorate the stage area with either Chinese lamps or anything else that carries a hint of warm color. Less idea about this? Ask any stoner in your family.
- Keep at least one thing related to “diet food option” in the menu. Please!
- Make sure that the members of the Band that you have hired for your Baraat ceremony wear new clothes. Most of the time, these people wear old, torn uniform, and even bring the horse wearing a shaggy saddle. Not only it is bad for the pictures of your Baraat, but also looks unauthentic and unpleasant to the eyes of your guests who come very well-dressed to attend your social function.
- Make sure that there are enough ventilation ducts for the outlet of the smoke if the Pandit is planning to conduct the Havan in a closed space.
- Please try to sit on the ground during the Havan. It is a highly auspicious ceremony and must be respected. Only the elderly who suffer from issues like, arthritis should be given the chairs but others must respect the Fire in the traditional sense of the word. Such an organization helps in building good composition in the family, and gets you good pictures.
- During the Reception, do not ask the guests to climb up on the stage in bulk for group pictures. Rather, the couple should go to the table of every family/group for the same. This way, the guests will not only feel special, but the couple will also not have to force the smiles. The background will continue to change which will save the monotony in the pictures of the couple. Speaking from my personal experience, this technique also provides best candid shots.
- Take the responsibility of booking the flight/train tickets and arranging for the stay of those family members or friends who stay in another city. At times, it becomes difficult for people to suddenly book the tickets and arrange everything else to attend your wedding. The last minute hustle can ruin plans in ways you cannot even imagine. So, plan everything is advance. Help your family members and friends out as far as their stay is concerned.
I will be writing more upon observation!