Indian weddings are full of age-old customs and traditions that the couple have to go through before they are officially recognized as husband and wife in the eyes of the Hindu community. Each of these traditions and customs holds a deep significance for the couple. Indian weddings are extremely grandiose and colorful, and most marriages often span across three to five days. Some families even opt for week-long celebrations, with lunch or dinner served to guests on each one of those days. Both the bride and the groom are lavishly dressed and henna is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. Gold jewelry can be worn by both the bride and the groom.
Giving the bride away
Most Indian weddings have key rituals such as the symbolic moment where the father gives away his daughter. If the father is deceased, the bride’s brother or any older male relative will perform this ritual. This particular custom involves the father holding the bride’s hand in his by the holy fire while the priest recites a particular verse from the prayer book. Afterwards, the groom takes the proffered bride’s hand in a symbolic gesture.
An essential part of Indian wedding ceremonies, the sacred fire is supposed to evoke several Hindu gods and goddesses to bless the ceremony and bear witness to the union. The sacred fire is created from wooden sticks and clarified butter and offerings are often dropped into the fire throughout the ceremony. The bride and groom are often seated side by side in front of the fire.
The Seven Steps
No Indian wedding is complete without the seven steps. A piece of fabric is tied to the clothes of both the groom and the bride. Then, the couple gets up and walks seven times around the sacred fire as the priest chants seven blessings. Walking around the scared fire is the equivalent of saying the vows in Western Weddings. Each round around the fire symbolizes a particular vow, including being helpful to one another, complementing each other, ensuring the prosperity of each other, making each other happy, creating a harmonious family life, respecting the vows and remaining the best of friends. In some cultures, the bride walks ahead of the groom for the last round around the fire, signifying that she wants to die before her husband.
Hindu couples often exchange ornate fresh flower garlands during or after the ceremony to welcome each other into their respective families. Exchanging flower garlands often marks their union. This normally precedes the vermillion ceremony whereby the groom applies vermillion too the bride’s forehead and in the parting of her hair, hence bestowing upon her the status of a married woman. In some weddings, the groom also fastens a gold necklace around the bride’s neck, the Indian equivalent of the wedding ring. Other brides choose to go for a toe ring instead. In some cases, the couple also exchanges traditional wedding rings.
If you don’t properly handle it, it would be far too easy to make a gray themed wedding look dull and uninviting. While this color is undeniably glamorous and elegant, gray weddings can quickly turn to disaster if you do not adopt the proper care required when setting up the decorations.
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you pull off a lively, romantic and exceedingly classy gray-themed weddings.
Don’t neglect the bright touches
As tempting as it is to go for an all-grey palette, try to adopt this drastic step. This will result in a drab, almost funeral-like look which might even induce quite a few yawns from your guests. Therefore, do go for gray as the main color but don’t neglect the bright touches to break things up a bit. Yellow, for example, is a wonderful way to add some contrast to your wedding palette. Think yellow flowers for the bridesmaids or even a stunning yellow bouquet for the bride herself. Alternatively, you could also go for yellow bridesmaid dresses or yellow place settings. If you’re having a wedding at night, you can even go for yellow Led candles lined across the aisle or all around the reception area.
Most people tend to go for traditional white wedding cakes regardless of the overall color theme because they are afraid of being overly unconventional. After all, wedding cakes do tend to be white most of the time. However, your wedding should be the best platform for you to express yourself, a safe space where you will dare to be different and embrace what you truly want. Consequently, don’t hesitate to go for a gray wedding cake. As always, do break things up a bit with some colorful touches. While the overall surface of the cake might be gray, you could go for pink fondant flowers with some occasional touches of green. For an extra-special touch, you could also go for a dark red cake stand that will throw the gray surface of the cake into focus while beautifully complementing the overall theme of the day.
The best way to bring a gray theme to the wedding without things looking too dull is through the bridal party itself. If you want, you can dress up the bridesmaids in gray dresses with red, pink or yellow sashes. Similarly, the groomsmen can don gray tuxedos with brightly colored ties. Bear in mind that the ties and sashes do not imperatively need to be uniformed. In fact, the best way to liven up the gray theme is to allocate a differently-colored tie or sash to each groomsman and bridesmaid. For a homogenous look, the Maid of Honor and the Best Man can dress in all-gray ensembles. Of course, the groom and bride can wear gray as well: in fact, the bride can even go for an ombre-style wedding dress with varying hues of white and gray.
Beach weddings are highly coveted because of the romantic setting. Indeed, very few venues can beat the crash of the waves against the shoreline as you take your vows. For this reason, more and more couples are choosing to embrace this type of wedding. However, because it has grown so popular, the allure of a beach wedding has somewhat lessened over the years. Indeed, with everyone adopting the same beach wedding trends, it would be too easy for this type of ceremony to lose its charm. You should therefore strive to think outside the box and surprise those wary guests who think they’ve seen it all before. So, read on for some unique ideas that will undoubtedly add a special touch to your beach wedding.
Slash the guest list
If you want to enjoy an intimate gathering on the beach after the ceremony, don’t hesitate to slash the guest list and only invite your closest friends and families. This will enable you to interact with everyone after the ceremony and hence intensify the celebratory atmosphere. Consequently, an intimate gathering will also bring a deep sense of coziness to the ceremony, once again enhancing the special touch that a beach wedding brings to the day. The rule of the thumb here is that less is always more.
Have the ceremony at night
The majority of beach weddings happen during the day under the bright sunshine. For an extra-special touch, however, don’t hesitate to have a sunset or even a nighttime ceremony. The moonlight-leeched sand will undoubtedly bring a unique twist to the ceremony as a whole. In this case, don’t hesitate to go for some LED candles or lanterns as well as strings of fairy lights to create a perfectly romantic atmosphere. Bear in mind that a nocturnal wedding by the sea can result in a dip in temperature so be sure to dress adequately.
Formal dinner on the beach
In the majority of cases, couples hold the actual ceremony on the beach and then move on to a different venue for the reception. However, if you want to add a unique twist to the festivities, why not hold the reception on the beach? In fact, instead of a picnic dinner around the bonfire, you can even hold a formal dinner on the beach. If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to hire a professional catering service who can even set up a gazebo for you right on the beach.
Choose your setting
With its versatile weathers and backdrops, the beach does offer different types of settings which you can use for your wedding, with the most popular being the sparkling turquoise lagoon. For a unique twist, however, you can have your wedding against a backdrop of rocks in the sea. These will add a rather rustic look to your ceremony. More importantly, this type of background drastically differs from the typical settings, which will bring a unique look to your wedding pictures.
With weddings that are extravagant enough to make heads spin, celebrity weddings have always attracted quite a lot of attraction. Because of the lavish media attention that these weddings always seem to inspire, people very often base their own dresses, tuxes, cake and overall decoration on the wedding of their favorite celeb. While the rich and famous tend to split up very often, there is no denying the glam factor that goes hand in hand with their lavish ceremonies and even more lavish reception.
Indeed, who can forget Kate Middleton’s all-nigh wedding reception which included two wedding dresses? Or Kim Kardashian’s short-lived albeit over the top 72-day wedding to Kris Humphries? The common denominator between these weddings is of course, the glamor and the ability to spend millions of dollars on the ceremonies and receptions. Still, it would be unfair to paint everyone with the same brush. Some celebrities prefer to adopt a more toned-down and classy approach, not unlike Keira Knightley in her short wedding dress with her simple civil wedding. Here are some of the popular celebrity weddings that have marked 2015:
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
While several fans were heartbroken when he split with Demi Moore, no one can deny what a perfect match Ashton and Mila are for each other. The two of them had a toned down ceremony and did not even disclose the details until Mila started referring to Ashton as her “husband” in an interview. In fact, according to the popular E! Online magazine, the bride was dressed in a flowing strapless dress and wore her hair pulled back. The couple share a daughter named Wyatt who attended the ceremony in a white dress.
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux
Legions of fans from all over the world were devastated when Brad Pitt ditched his then-wife, Jennifer, for the foxy Angelina Jolie. Jennifer Aniston evoked quite a lot of sympathy from all around the globe when she started attending evens unaccompanied. While she and Brad were once dubbed Hollywood’s golden couple, there she was, all alone and forlorn, while Brad and Angelina started their own family. Which is exactly why several people were excited by the heartwarming news that Jennifer had finally found love again in Justin Theroux. The couple got hitched in a private- and highly secretive- ceremony in Bel Air. Most of the guests thought that they were showing up for a birthday party.
Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed
Both are blessed with near-perfect features. Both played the roles of vampires, albeit in two different movies. So when Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed tied the knot after a short engagement, even the tabloids could not deny what a perfect pair the two of them made. They had an exceptionally romantic wedding where the bride wore a flowing lace dress. When posing for pictures, the groom- dapper in his black tux- even carried her through a muddy path so she wouldn’t ruin her dress.
British weddings are renowned for being exceptionally elegant and refined. A destination wedding in Great Britain will undoubtedly enable you to benefit from the majestic settings and age-old romanticism. After all, let’s not forget that Great Britain is the land of Shakespeare and several other writers who evoked passion and romance in the heart of various people from all over the globe. Couples will be glad to learn that the wedding venues in England are available in different price ranges, hence enabling you to find something that fits both your budget and personal preferences.
A British buffet
If you’re planning a British wedding, the one thing to keep in mind is your buffet should be a reflection of the country. Indeed, it would be a shame to carefully plan a destination wedding in Britain and then distract your guests from the theme with food from all over the world. If you’re having an afternoon wedding ceremony, why don’t you go for a typical English tea-time spread with crumpets and cream, tea, cucumber sandwiches and an assortment of tea cakes and cookies? Don’t hesitate to go for the traditional cake stand that can be found in just about any English tea shop. If you’re planning on serving a lunch or dinner buffet, focus on the traditional English roast, Yorkshire pudding and other such delicacies.
Great Britain is dotted with a plethora of venues that you can rent for your wedding. Chatworth House, for example, is one of the most luxurious wedding venues. With a majestic building and lush, green gardens, this is also the ancestral home to the Duke of Devonshire. While it is undoubtedly on the more expensive side, this particular venue will certainly provide a variety of memories to last for a lifetime.
If you want to enjoy a fairytale-like atmosphere, you really can’t go wrong with Chiddingstone Castle. Located in Kent, this particular castle was built in the Tudor era and oozes charm and elegance. Couples who want to get married in a chapel will be glad to learn that England does provide a variety of venues with on-site chapels. A few notable examples include Stanbrook Abbey, St Audries Park, Latimer Place and Kent Life.
Colors and Attires
Don’t hesitate to dress up the reception table in the typical colors of the union flag. Alternatively, you can also get your bridesmaids to don classical English dress from the Victorian era. If the weather is too hot for full, multi-layered dresses, you can opt for long, flowery gowns that will bring a pronounced British charm to the day. For an extra-special twist, you can also add some traditionally British ornaments all over the place, like a miniature replica of the Big Ben. In fact, if you’re having an indoors reception, why not hang up portraits of popular places in England to add some extra charm to the reception? Don’t neglect your choice of music as well: hire a British band or ensure that your playlist comes with some of the best British hit songs.
Pulling off a destination wedding can provide you with memories to last a lifetime. Indeed, there’s nothing more romantic than starting off your nuptials in an exotic and tranquil location which can also serve as the perfect destination for your honeymoon. If you’re looking for a place that provides magnificent scenery couple with a pronounced air of romanticism, you really can’t go wrong with Bali. One of the most popular destinations for weddings, Bali also has the advantage of being quite affordable.
Think lush greenery or the crash of the sea against the beach as you take your vows. The best thing about tying the knot in Bali is that you really are spoiled when it comes to your choice of scenery. Indeed, whether you want to go for a beach wedding or a traditional Bali wedding in the middle of the jungle, you can very easily find a setting that will suit your budget, requirement and standards. Don’t hesitate to book an agency to help you with all the planning. This is particularly applicable for couples who will be visiting Bali for the first time.
Traditional or Contemporary?
With the ceremony nestled against the impressive Bali scenery, you can easily choose whether you want a traditional, full-blown Bali wedding or a more toned down, Westernized approach to the ceremony. If you’re planning on typical local wedding, it’s not a bad idea to speak with some locals or at the very least, hire a local wedding planner who will be able to introduce you to the traditional festivities. While it is prohibited to have a traditional Bali temple wedding if you belong to a different faith, you can certainly replicate some of the main elements into your own wedding.
For example, weddings in Bali tend to be more extravagant as far as clothes are concerned: instead of a white dress and black tuxedo, the bride and groom often don colorful outfits with heavy costume or gold jewelry. In some cases, both the bride and groom sit in heavily decorated seats that are carried by close friends and families.
Food and Decoration
As far as the decoration is concerned, remember that when it comes to Balinese weddings, more is always best. Be sure to lay heavy emphasis on an array of exotic colors like golds, blues, greens, reds, fuchsias and silver. If you can find a local flower shop, you can also line up the aisle with these flowers for a more romantic touch. Similarly, don’t hesitate to use natural or LED candles, especially if you’re having the wedding at a resort or on the beach at sunset. Some couple even choose to have their wedding on a catamaran boat in the middle of the Balinese sea.
Don’t hesitate to go for local delicacies as well. In some regions of Bali, people normally eat on green banana leaves instead of the usual plates so this might be another exotic touch that you can add to your Balinese wedding.
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For those brides who are fond of timeless elegance and an unusual vintage design for their footwear, this pair of wedding pumps would be perfect. It features an allover lace vamp which just flawlessly achieves a feminine look. The ribbon shoelace is not only decorative but also helpful in avoiding embarrassment.
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Wedding dresses come in a variety of styles and fabrics, which is why most brides normally take weeks-if not months- to find the perfect gown. However, once you settle on the perfect dress, there’s a whole lot of issues to consider, including your undergarments and shape-wear. While Spanx is one of the most popular shape-wears on the market, several brides prefer to opt for traditional bridal corsets to attain that perfect hourglass shape on their special day. While these undergarments do bring an enticing shape to your figure- regardless of your weight- there are quite a few cons to this accessory. So, to help you make the perfect choice, let’s examine the various pros and cons of the bridal corset.
Pros: A perfectly sculpted body leads to a confident demeanor
There’s no doubt about the fact that a bridal corset will instantly nip in the waist, lift the bust and create softly rounded curves, even on really thin people. The perfect accessory for overweight brides, a corset is also going to instantly take a few pounds off your body while making your silhouette appear more elongated and balanced.
Of course, to achieve that perfectly sculpted shape, it’s important to make the proper choice of corset. These usually come in various styles including lace up, zip, steel or plastic boned. Your choice should ultimately depend on the reason why you’ve chosen to wear a corset. A steel, lace-up undergarment will suck in your tummy and slim down your waist while a plastic or non-boned one will only serve to create curves and contours.
Remember that a corset looks absolutely fantastic under a ball gown or mermaid dress because it creates the allusion of an hourglass shape.
Cons: Comfort and mobility
While a corset certainly has the above-mentioned advantages, it can also be detrimental to your wedding day in the sense that it largely limits your comfort and mobility. A bride wearing a corset can look absolutely fantastic but, have you thought about how easy it would be for you to dance or simply sit down? These are definite matters to consider, especially if you’re opting for a boned corset.
It’s recommended to buy your corset quite a few weeks before your wedding and occasionally wear it around the house to make sure that you can actually walk in it. A common mistake is to eagerly slip into the corset for the first time on their wedding day- and then spend their reception uncomfortably shifting around, unable to dace or greet the guests.
Undoubtedly one of- if not the most- iconic movies of all time, Gone with the Wind is renowned for its extravagant and elaborate costumes as well as for the airs and graces of the highly acclaimed Scarlet O’Hara. It’s therefore no surprise that several couples want to integrate a Gone with the Wind theme within their vintage wedding. In fact, the 30’s was one of the most fashionable era of all time, filled with debonair tuxes and huge poufy ball gowns with tiny bodices. Best of all, planning this theme for your wedding is actually much easier and less expensive that you think.
For starters, remember that first impressions are last impressions, so be sure to start off with a vintage wedding invitation that will set the overall tone and mood of your special day. Antique or lace trimmed stationaries are fantastic options for these types of cards. Also, remember to include a separate note in your invitation to inform your guests about the theme of the day. If you want to really feel like you’ve stepped back in time, don’t hesitate to ask your guests to dress up in various period costumes from the 30’ as well.
Next is the location. Gone with the Mind is also reputed for its picturesque and romantic settings that manage to look extremely appealing even in the midst of the civil war. Indeed, who can forget ‘Tara’, the extravagant mansion nestled in the midst of lush greenery? So, forget about typical indoors weddings and try to book an outdoors location, preferably in the middle of nature, next to a river or waterfall. If you can afford it, don’t forget to embellish the place with an appealing white-flower wedding arch, a circular seating arrangement and the likes.
As far as your wedding dress goes, it’s best to stay away from contemporary styles such as A-cut or Mermaid hems. The 30’s were brimming with huge, Princess-like dresses and Ball gowns so bear that in mind when you shop for your perfect outfit. However, as large and billowy as the skirt portion of the dress is, remember that the bodice was notoriously small and was often worn with a corset. Now, comfort is the key to any successful wedding so you can of course skip the corset. But, brides who want to go all the way in their Gone with the Wind wedding can buy a vintage boned corset to nip in the waist by several inches. As for the groom, he might want to don a gentleman’s suit as well as a top hat for the special day. Of course, growing a mustache is quite a nice idea as well, especially if he wants to look like the ever-dashing and suave Rhett Butler.
A few decades ago, Indian brides used to be ornately decked in heavy red fabrics and saris. To symbolize the importance of the day, the bride also used to be covered in luxurious gold jewelry including bangles that go all the way up to the elbows, nose ring, large earrings, anklets, as well as a forehead chain known as ‘mang-tika.’
While this used to be the traditional attire for brides in India, the emergence of new styles, as well as the myriad of new, emerging cultures ultimately led to an upsurge in Indian fashion. Indeed, Indian ladies are nowadays eager to explore several new avenues and indulge in new trends. For example, other than the traditional sari, one of the most popular dress option for the Indian bride also includes an elaborate two piece colloquially known as the ‘Lehenga.’ Available in any color, this consists of a crop top designed to show off the stomach, coupled with a matching skirt which is usually flared, ball-gown, A-line or mermaid. While most of ‘Lehengas’ are often in red, gold or pink, contemporary brides can experiment with colors and try a multi-colored two-piece in contrasting shades.
Trendy brides might even consider an Indo-Western outfit for their special day. A novel albeit rapidly emerging trend in Indian fashion, these outfits manage to strike the perfect blend between the East and the West. Since there’s no set style in fusion clothing, don’t be afraid to experiment and play around with different combinations until you find the type of outfit that works for you. An idea would be to wear an elaborately decorated mermaid skirt and tunic and add some classical Indian jewelry like the ‘Mang-Tika.
And then of course, if you’re eager to venture into new trends and explore different cultures, why don’t you go for a traditional white wedding dress paired with traditional accents? In fact, several bridal magazines have gushed over the exquisite combination of the western white dress coupled with Indian henna patterns, makeup and jewelry. Bear in mind that this is your wedding day so it’s really important that you wear something in which you feel completely confident and comfortable in, even if it’s not within the norms. In fact, some Indian brides- who wish to wear white on their wedding day while infusing a slice of their culture- are opting for white bridal ‘lehengas’. This may or may not include the customary wedding veil and bridal crown that Indian brides usually wear.