With changing times, a lot of things are not what they used to be years ago. Landlines have been replaced by mobile phones, stacks of files have been replaced by cloud storage. Similarly, the wedding industry has faced a major change as well. Today, it’s all about new trends in the wedding business. From the bride being asked to shy away from the camera to now having a full-blown bachelorette party, the wedding industry has come a long way.
In South Asian weddings, invitations are not just limited to beautiful cards in shiny envelopes anymore. Many have opted to take the green route and switch to e-invites. Aneesha Sajnani of MonINKA by Aneesha says, ‘People have become more budget conscious and eco-friendly in recent times. They are also looking for digital options now which are customisable and add a personal touch to their wedding festivities.’
Aneesha also believes that while the trend of digital invites is here to stay, the future holds a lot more to offer. ‘A cool trend that I would like to see would be hologram wedding invites which would include creating a 3D animation of the couple’s journey followed by the invite.’
Events such as ‘Save the Date’, bachelor and bachelorette parties have also increased in the past couple of years, mainly due to social media and Western influence. The concept of bridesmaids and the mehndi, sangeet or mayon ceremonies, which earlier were not given as much importance to, are now elaborate and the most-awaited event out of all. But pre-wedding shoots have also become a norm.
Izzah Shaheen Malik, a Pakistani photographer covering South Asian weddings finds them the most amazing part of her job because it lets her get to know the couple that she and her team would be capturing on their actual wedding day. She says, ‘For pre-wedding shoots, we get to hear and document the couple’s love story. As photographers and videographers, it also gives us direction on how to approach their actual wedding events because we then find out their likes and dislikes.’
Popular photographer, Amrit Arora of Wedding Files also feels that pre-wedding shots have been gaining more and more momentum now, and are a trend that is here to stay. However, he also emphasises how other wedding ceremonies have changed. ‘Functions such as the mehndi or haldi are still considered to be intimate but the arrangements of them are equally cosmic now. They try to bring something new and do things a little differently now,’ explains Amrit.
Izzah agrees that the bride wouldn’t be doing much on the main day of the event, but mehendis now becoming the biggest ceremony gives a chance to the couple to dance their heart out and enjoy the start of a beautiful journey together. Team PictroIzzah believes that many have also switched to merging events. They share, ‘Not everyone wants the typical three-day wedding event and post-COVID people are moving towards smaller, more detail-oriented events.’
One of the most important things when it comes to weddings is the decor, which has changed drastically from what it used to be. Foil decorations that were a hit back in the 80s and 90s have now been replaced with extensive floral arrangements, dedicated, tiled dance floors with grand chandeliers and mirror-work to reflect the light, but everything depends on what the couple and their families want.
Wedding planner Sana Bhatti of Ayra Events explains, ‘Many clients request elaborate decor. But some people ask for decor that is more aesthetically refined and has intricate detailing.’
With invites sent, events and decor arranged, the next step is the actual wedding. And to remember the good memories, photographers and videographers are hired to cover the event. Naturally, one would always want the best ones in the business to capture beautiful moments. But trends in wedding photography too have changed vastly.
Amrit elaborates, ‘Clients demand more candids and momentary shots now. It’s about certain aesthetics and themes these days. They don’t want a basic, traditional shoot with everyone posing instead they demand to cover the entire family in candids and moments.’ He also mentions that while olden times often saw a huge chunk of wedding albums and frames to follow, now soft copies and Instagram posts have taken over.
Social media is a huge motivating factor for many now to choose a popular photographer and Izzah believes that many brides have gained an organic following on Instagram after they asked photographers to share moments from their wedding, turning them into influencers.
‘Many brides that my team and I photographed went on to start their businesses because of the popularity they gained.’ Likewise, Amrit also feels that many brides like to go above and beyond and do things differently so that they stand out on big portals which eventually gets them a lot of views and likes.
With scenes from wedding events now becoming viral, even video patterns are changing. Drones have been introduced and wedding stories are taking the centre stage showing testimonials by loved ones and shots of the bride and groom getting ready to walk the aisle. Amrit adds, ‘Rather than having a complete cinematic film of the wedding, clients are more interested in 1-minute videos and reels for Instagram or TikTok. Traditional videos which were over 2-hours-long are moving out of the frame with every passing day.’
While that is a new reality, many in the photography and videography business have continued to do similar things to stay relevant. But for Izzah, staying true to the client and her business tops all. ‘A good wedding photographer would always think of new, creative ways to cover rather than repeat the same thing that everyone else is doing. That is what will make them stand out.’
Trends are constantly changing but for now, e-invites, aesthetic decors and short, cinematic video teasers capturing the most important moments from the wedding events are in style. As time goes on and technology advances to new heights, new trends are sure to emerge. Who knows, maybe live wedding coverage like that of the British Royals becomes the new norm in 2050 as TV stations bid to get exclusive rights.