By Richa Wadhera

It’s no secret that the wedding industry in India is booming. In fact, it has been stated as one of the few industries that doesn’t particularly get affected by recession. Go figure, considering the trend has always seemed to be keeping up with the Joneses. It started with Sukhbir singing at a sangeet in Chhatarpur, and before we knew it, Kanye West was at a sangeet which was, of course, a destination wedding in Budapest.

Today though, things are going back to the essence of a union. I don’t mean people don’t spend on décor, planners, caterers, designer outfits, jewellery etc – in India, that seems to be hygiene. I mean people are making their weddings more about them… making them personal. Family members dance and perform at sangeets, brothers and sisters make speeches at receptions, friends make video testimonials – people who attend weddings now learn more about the couple, the family and the love story than they would ever have known, say, 10 years ago.

Here’s the catch – people have the inclination and the ideas, and between power point, moviemaker, and a million other mac and smartphone apps, they manage to put some semblance of a show together.  What they sometimes lack, though, is time, energy and audience insight. How long is too long? How many songs are too many? And speeches that start with “when Shruti was 5 years old…” usually send most people running to the bar.

Enter the professionals. The wedding industry has recently seen a fair few young, talented and quirky creative people from backgrounds like advertising, film making, and the performing arts step in and help families get it done right. The best part is – they customize packages within a range of budgets, making them so much more accessible, and we’re listing some of our favorites.

FILMERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS |

Rahul Lal Photo{Image Courtesy | Rahul Lal Photography}

Gone are the days of spotlight in face, wires tripping unassuming guests and direction likes “ab madam aap sharma ke sir ko dekhiye,” Today, it’s about guerrilla photography! Photographers and videographers are experts at catching you sneak a wink at your fiancé, or your dad as he tears up when you walk down the aisle, and sometimes even your younger cousin making eyes at the men in the approaching baraat! Real moments that aren’t orchestrated – now those make for real memories.

No more videos of people eating to shehnai music. It’s all about slick videos, even 3 minute recaps of the entire wedding, which you can upload on youtube and send out. These films are so clean and professional, they’re even making it to film festivals!  Here are some of the experts we’ve seen in action |

The Wedding Filmer | A small team of ex advertising and film making folks, they’re all about capturing the love, and will do any couple full justice.

Find them here

Colorblind productions | Beautiful aesthetics, soft focus, intimate moments in cutaways – their films could make a believer out of anybody.

Find them here.

Joseph Radhik | From pre-wedding shoots in chosen locations, to D- day moments, Joseph works brilliantly with light, romanticizes his subjects, and sneaks up on you for that contemporary signature shaadi shot. Good luck getting a hold of him – he’s always on the move!

Read more here.

Rahul Lal Photography | Romance, madness, getting down on the dance floor, craziness at the bar – Rahul captures every angle of your events. Our favorite is his shot of a bride and her girlfriends at her mehendi. Totally frameworthy!

Check out his work here.

 

PERSONALIZED ENTERTAINMENT & GIMMICKS |

asap{Image credits | ASAP}

We’ve seen baraats with everyone dancing in unison, grooms with stage-fright issues break into a song and dance with their pals at the sangeet {much to the surprise of the bride}, the parents of the couple sing a customized song about their children –  there are a million things you can do to surprise a couple before or at their wedding, and there are some super creative people out there to help you do it right |

ASAP | Any Surprise Any place, the name says it all. Started by a young and rather enterprising young lady, she can organize a private serenade under your boyfriend’s balcony, or orchestrate an elaborate weeklong buildup to a proposal. ASAP takes its name quite seriously, and delivers in other cities as well!

Read more here.

Wanna Party | Not just another party shop, they do crazy merchandise for all events – bachelorettes, Valentines day, and general naughtiness… Looking for something specific? If they don’t have it in store, they’re happy to try and source it for you. Run by a super chilled out couple, don’t be shy to tell them your ideas.

Read more here. Don’t be fooled by the kids birthday party supplies – look at the adult section.

TIP | At Take It Personally, the team meets with you and your family, and basis your personalities, love story and budget, designs gimmicks/entertainment packages for your event. They do customized songs, theme videos that you can screen at your sangeet {we’ve seen love stories done Bollywood style and funny testimonials from friends and family}, musical productions, and even a comic book of your love story.

Find them here.

FIRST DANCE AS A COUPLE |

indian-wedding-shoes{Image Courtesy | thenewindianbride.files.wordpress.com}

A lot of people now host sit down dinners or separate reception parties, mostly to have one big event where they can call everyone they are obligated to, to meet the newly weds.  As a result, the ‘first dance as a couple’ concept seems to be catching on. A soft romantic track, or a fun salsa number {please take your outfit into consideration}, you could also surprise everyone by suddenly breaking into some crazy funky moves.

Hey, you’re married now, and there’s no need to play the demure, shy bride…

Salsa India | Pretty much everyone has heard of their super fun salsa classes, but they do also take private lessons for couples. Even with just some basic moves, {you can choose from salsa, waltz and others}, they can choreograph you to look smoking on the dance floor!

Contact them here

Dance Cafe | Cha cha, tango, salsa, Bollywood – find your style, and give your family a super unexpected performance. I suggest you take it up a notch by choosing a style you wouldn’t ordinarily choose.

Read more here.

Banjara School of Dance | Learn some uber hot moves, using muscles you didn’t know you had, for your solo at your sangeet. For shy brides, these moves come in handy even years after the wedding… Added incentive – it’s a great workout.

Read more here.

Musical productions |

Yes, it’s not news, but choreographers now come with package deals! They edit your music, make you a non-stop dance mix, teach you and your family, and some even write scripts/ plays/ speeches to compliment your performance. Some go as far as bringing in props and stage sets! Talk about making a production of your love story.

Divya: 7838908234; Jyotsna: 9818338122; Saloni: 9999883868; Richa Raina: 9818624633; Gopi sir: 9811386810; Banjara School of Dance: Details here ; TIP: click here.

 

DIY IDEAS |

Here are some DIY tips to add a personal touch to your wedding – some tear jerkers, and some just plain fun |

If you have any recommendations to add to this list, please feel free to get in touch with us at editors@littleblackbookdelhi.com.

 

About the Author |  An ex advertising and publishing professional, Richa currently runs her own company that combines all her passions – dancing, writing, film and the Big Fat Indian Wedding.

 

{Featured Image Courtesy | Rahul Lal Photography}