1. Vintage Styling
Vintage Bollywood or Bollywood movies set in a historical period are good inspiration for beauty. For brides, styling your outfit, make-up, or jewelry (or all of the above) with inspirations from 50s/60s Bollywood films or period films (e.g., Devdas, Umrao Jaan, Jodhaa Akbar) would be a wonderful salute to Indian vintage.
For beauty, you could opt to keep your make up simple: neutral eyeshadow, dark liner, lots of mascara, a dark or red lip, a heavy brow, and hair tied in a simple chignon, a la 50s film acrtresses Madhubala (image from www.movietalkies.com) and Waheeda Rahman (image from Indian Vintage):
Alternatively, you could opt for a 60s Bollywood screen siren look: dramatic, wing-tipped eyeliner, false eyelashes, nude lip, and Indianized beehive hair. See Sharmila Tagore in pics below:
50s and 60s Bollywood actresses kept their jewelry to a minimum, but wore 1 or 2 dramatic pieces, like the large earrings, tikka, and choker in the above pics.
You could also opt for a Mughal-inspired maharani look, which is probably the most “traditional” of all Indian bridal looks. Now, I am not an avid Bollywood film watcher, but based on my limited knowledge, I have to say that Ashwairya Rai and Rekha “do maharani” the best.
The below pics are of Rekha in Umrao Jaan–I realize she plays a courtesan in this movie, which is, to some extent, the antithesis of a bride. Ironically, her look is quite appropriately bridal with the heavy dupatta, the intricate and ornate jewelry, and the anarkali suit.
2. Sustainable sit-downs
Measuring the carbon footprint of an Indian wedding would be an interesting endeavour. Many families travel to India for their invitations, clothing, jewelry, gifts, and even decor. If families don’t travel to India (like mine), most wedding goods are made in and shipped from India. Hmm… I’m starting to feel slightly guilty about the environmental impact of my wedding…
Most often, sustainable and eco-friendly equals locall grown and/or created or reused. At first, I was stumped–how do you eco-chicafy an Indian wedding?? I rubbed my LBB brain cells together and came up with some quick ideas…
- Old becomes new: use your mom’s or aunts’ wedding outfits as your wedding outfit or create a new one using their outfits! Use family heirlooms and family gold for jewelry
- Skip out on the flowers: decorate mandaps with dramatic draping, lighting, or unique structures rather than garlands of flowers. Make creative centrepieces for your tables that don’t require flowers. Or use flowers that are locally grown and in season
- Make your own invitations, using a eco-friendly paper supplier and printer. Or choose an eco-friendly invitation design company, such as Canadian-owned and -operated pistachio. It is very possible to incorporate Indian design elements with a non-Indian vendor. Additionally, your guests won’t experience the diesel intoxication that commonly occurs after opening an invitation made in India
- Use eco-friendly mithai boxes (e.g., skip out on the shiny boxes, consider resuable containers)
- Ask your caterer to use locally-grown food and locally-cultivated alcohol. Indian food is no longer “exotic” and I think many of our ingredients can be locally sourced
- Skip out on the hummer limo and opt for a eco-friendly ride
- Rethink the favour: donate to a charity in your guests’ names or give something useful that minimizes waste. Pack the favour in a recyclable container. Maybe something edible. Do your guests really need another picture frame??
3. Fashion forward headpieces
If you’ve been reading my blog or know anything about me, you know I’m all up on this one like Lindsay Lohan on a bottle of Vodka. For Sikh and Muslim brides, wearing a fascinator or birdcage veil during the ceremony might be somewhat impractial and awkward, as our heads are already covered with the dupatta or hijab, but wearing an awesome hair accessory at the reception (or any other wedding event) is certainly an option. For Hindu brides, though, using a modern hair accessory to replace the marigolds or jasmine flowers commonly worn in your hair would be a nice way to modernize your look.
4. Small, intimate affairs
Small. Indian. Wedding. One of these just doesn’t belong here, no?
Though for many, to say small and Indian wedding in the same sentence would be an outright contradiction, I’m convinced it can happen–especially if the couple is footing the bill. An option would be to invite all guests to the ceremony, which are usually held in a gurdwara, mosque, or hall; this would allow for the community to congregate and celebrate the union. The ceremony is, after all, the most important aspect of a wedding. The reception can be the smaller, intimate affair. My friend recently attended a wedding similar to the one I just conjured; there were only 30 people at the reception, and she said it was the best wedding she’s been to.
I’ll post the brown bride version of the remaining trends (there are 4 more) later this week!