Photo: Amrit Photography
The only thing more difficult than finding the right partner is planning the perfect wedding. Organizing a wedding can be an overwhelming task for most brides. However for the modern day South Asian bride, it can be an even more daunting task as she has to decide whether or not to opt for a wedding that is more lavish and exuberant, simple and elegant, traditional or modern or the increasingly popular ‘Fusion style’ wedding.
Over the last decade, fusion weddings are becoming more commonplace in North America for couples of mixed ethnicities as well as NRIs. The charm behind having a fusion wedding is maintaining your traditions while simultaneously adding a unique and Western touch to create an unforgettable and memorable experience. Brides are opting for simplicity and uniqueness over lavishness and exuberance by incorporating customized modern and minimal elements and fusing them into the traditional South Asian Wedding.
According to website statistics, over 50% of modern South Asian brides would opt for a fusion wedding as opposed to a mere 22% who want to stick to their roots and have a traditional wedding. Everything from the colour choices, location, ceremonies and vows can be customized in a manner that reflects the individuality and background of the couple.
Obviously, planning a wedding requires a tremendous amount of work, planning and organization. One must use creative sensibility when planning the details and should have some sort of specific visualization of how they want their wedding to be.
Everything from the backdrop to the lighting and design can be customised to create the perfect ambience. Remember, the whole idea of the fusion wedding is to create a distinctive and exceptional experience for both the couple and the guests. When speaking to vendors, be clear as to ensure they fully understand the concept you have in mind.
Lighting is an integral aspect of a wedding that is often overlooked by many couples. A well-lit environment can help create an ultra-sleek ambience and set off the perfect mood. Contemporary chandeliers can add a modern touch to any reception. Gobos and ceiling designs can be customized to suit your needs and can add a touch of sophistication and style to your wedding. Gobos are available in grayscale glass, colour glass and metal. Twinkle lights are also becoming increasingly popular and create a festive mood for the party. Moroccan art pendant lamps and lanterns make great centrepieces and add an antique touch.
Candles symbolize eternal love and are a must for every wedding despite what your budget may be. Candelabras can easily be incorporated into your wedding ceremony and add a warm and illuminating glow to the overall effect. Unity candles are a symbol of unification of the bride and groom and are usually lit together by the couple. Hanging lanterns overflowing with fresh flowers can also create a surreal visual effect that is both graceful and unique.
When it comes to fusion weddings, it’s the little things that will set you apart from the crowd. An interlocking logo with both the bride and groom’s initials that match the colours of the overall theme is a great way to express love for one another. Many couples incorporate a monogram out of Styrofoam with both initials in complimentary colours, which makes for a perfect unanticipated feature. The monogram logo can also be featured on napkins, which is relatively easy to do. Miniature wedding programs go a long way when it comes to good organization and ensure that the guests have an estimate of what to expect, unless of course, you are opting for a surprise.
Never undervalue the significance of colours on your wedding day. When choosing wedding colour palettes, stick with the traditional creams and reds for the traditional wedding ceremony and add subtle touches of black, white, royal gold and deep purple to the contemporary modern day reception. Purples, browns and pinks are popular fall colours that work well with fusion weddings and add a sense of romanticism. To go the extra mile, try infusing your wedding colours into the colours of your drinks or other little details. For instance, the patterned fabric on your chair covers, table linens and pillows can be matched to the overall colour theme that you have discussed with your decorator.
Photo: G + H Photography
Many South Asian brides opt for a traditional wedding ceremony followed by a culturally infused contemporary style wedding reception, which makes for a perfect blend of traditional and modern cultures. Flowers are an important key element in all South Asian Weddings as delightfully displayed in Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’. They are traditionally used to decorate mandaps and centrepieces at receptions. It is best to consult a decorator or florist to ensure that the colours and shades of flowers will blend well with the overall theme of our wedding. Flowers that are traditionally used in South Asian wedding ceremonies are marigolds, jasmine, orchids, roses and gerbera daisies. For a modern day reception, you can choose from carnations, mums and daisies for your centrepieces.
Other popular bouquets that are customarily used in weddings are biedermeiers, cascades, orbeds and pendants. Biedermeiers combined with stem candles make perfect centrepieces. Cascades are conventional and intricate and consist of ivy and long-stemmed flowers with wire. They create a graceful ‘flowing’ shape to create the effect of a waterfall.
One of the latest and most popular trends in fusion weddings is having a portable photo booth at your reception party, which adds an element of creativity and fun to your wedding. Portable photo booths give guests the option of creating their own exclusive souvenirs while providing entertainment at the same time. Guests can choose whether to print in strips or grids and add their own personal logo or graphic design to make it more unique and fun. Most photo booth rentals offer bridal packages for around $1000.00.
By choosing the best in every detail, you can create a marvellous fusion-wedding theme that incorporates a variety of styles, colours and patterns. South Asian fusion weddings are a unification of old and new traditions and are bound to leave a visually enchanting and lasting impression with impeccable style. And remember, the divine is in the details.