How to Create a Timeless Indian Wedding

How to Create a Timeless Indian Wedding

With social media (especially Pinterest), there are waaay too many trends to follow with weddings – especially if you’re planning a wedding in the US (or any other “western” country).  It’s confusing to know what to include. The challenging part is trying to create a timeless Indian wedding that you can look back on in 30 years and have your daughter say – “Wow mom, that was so modern of you!” I’m imagining myself and I hope that happens in 30 years, but we’ll see…

What can you do at your wedding today, that people won’t laugh at 10,15, 20, 30 years down the line saying it was too trendy or kitschy and what will stay true to you, your groom, and your culture, that will stay timeless? Don’t follow huge trends that are overdone and don’t get caught up in big trends. In the moment, it might sound like the best idea ever, but take a second to think about it.  

Is that what you really want or it is because everyone and their mother is posting it on Pinterest?

Decor elements
Decor is my perfect place to stay timeless. For example – the lighting that goes with the decor.  Blues & purples can feel mellow at times, so you might want something more uplifting and neutral.  There’s certain colors that work well for lighting – like soft golds. Avoid greens if you can help it.  Work with your light specialist (usually from the venue) to work through what works and what doesn’t.  Cross-check with your decor specialist (chances are they’ve seen what works well from other Indian weddings).

For lighting and everything else, pick colors wisely. You might have picked a certain color scheme, but think about how you’re going to incorporate it. If you picked Magenta and Emerald, for example, you might not want the table clothes at the reception to be both of those colors – it might get too tacky.  Why not incorporate gold into the mix, to soften up the color scheme, (especially at the reception)? Think about your color scheme elements before moving full force with specific colors. It’ll make for more elegance overall.

And then there’s mandaps, which are transitioning to be more modern – many of them are still very elegant. That’s perfect if that’s the route you want to go.  Adding classic touches like flowers, divas, and candles altogether will keep the look timeless.  

Some other food for thought:

  • Chair covers – Chair covers are funny – you’re trying to cover up a chair you don’t like with a cover.  Linens work sometimes but they often look pretty heavy.  Try ballroom chairs – they’re simpler than chair covers, and they’re timeless and more elegant.
  • The Ceremony – some things to think about – if you don’t use flowers, you can use fabrics, chandeliers, and of course, candles, to create a timeless look.
  • Other personal touches – where can you fit your personality into the wedding elements? Some ideas – the programs.  Indian weddings usually have programs – but it might be a nice place to make these more personalized.  Or if that’s not your cup of tea, can you add some “floof” to the escort card table?  Maybe instead of a simple escort card, incorporate a theme into it (like travel) – and tie in the escort cards to the table names (places you’ve visited) to the decor on the table.  

Pinterest match-match overload
I know Pinterest is your best friend right now.  Pinterest is everyone’s friend in any given stage of life, but it’s your BEST friend when you’re planning your wedding. Everyone is posting anything and everything on there related to Indian weddings. [Check out our Pinterest page – we’ve curated some favorite picks to save you time!]. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Pinterest has great ideas but take it with a grain of salt.

When you find things on Pinterest that you want to incorporate into your wedding, think about if those elements go together.  If you loooove rustic looking burlap and want to add that to the decor, but then you have a crystal mandap and a simple look to the ceremony decor, it won’t really mesh well together.  Pick a few of your favorites on Pinterest (making sure that they’re executable ideas first), and then think about how they’ll go together. Maybe you have to tweak the ideas to make them work together – but think about it before executing and telling your decorations specialist to move forward with the ideas.

And speaking of matchy-matchy – you don’t want EVERYTHING matched like decor matching to clothing.  For example, say you picked out a color scheme of magenta and emerald [with pops of gold]. That doesn’t mean you have to make the groom wear a magenta tie with an emerald pocket square. Work in the color scheme where it works, but don’t force everything to match – it’ll look tacky.  

Don’t Go Overboard
This point goes with the last.  One of my main pieces of advice to any bride is to pick your main elements and stick to them. Pinterest is overwhelming, ideas are overwhelming, but don’t go overboard.  It’s easy to have the desire to pick too many ideas – but try to pick one that you really love (or a few) that you really want to emphasize, and then simplify the rest.  If you want to make your wedding reception grand and elegant, then simplify the lunch or coffee hour after the ceremony (if you’re having one).  This helps with budget too.  Pick what matters to you most, and then simplify the rest.

Keep in Cultural Traditions
With many of us being Indian-American (or South-Asian American), it’s important to incorporate family and cultural traditions that our mean a lot to our families.  I admit there were many traditions/superstitions/cultural “must-do’s”  that had no reasoning or rationale behind them. They didn’t have a reason to do it – they were done simply because they’ve done it for generations.  I wanted to axe many of them, but we kept in what our families wanted because it was important to them. Take note of your family traditions – in the next few generations, many of the traditions might fade, but some might stick around.  Incorporating these traditions into your wedding will make your wedding timeless.  You’ll see in years to come!

Look Like a Bride
“Yeah, no shi*t, I’m going to look like a bride,” you’re thinking…but what I mean is to keep a timeless look.  You want to look like a women, not a girl. For example – if you love braids, choose a hairstyle that incorporates braids but isn’t too trendy that it looks like a little flower girl’s hairstyle.  I have to say, of all of the brides out there, most Indian brides do a really good job of creating a timeless look with attire, so I’m not going to spend any more time harbouring this point!  

Capture the Moments & Evoke Emotions
Photography is one of the most important parts of a wedding – and HOW you capture your wedding is crucial to making the photos timeless.  Work with your photographer to capture a definitive moments like getting ready, being silly with the bridal party, etc. Indian weddings (depending on the photographer) can sometimes have very cookie cutter photography. But nowadays there are so many talented photographers out there who can really tell a story with your wedding photos.  Don’t miss that opportunity!  

Creating a timeless wedding is what you make of it.  Think about yourself in the future, and what you would want to see that captured that timeless look.  And then teleport yourself back to today, and make it happen!

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