As of 2021, the landscape of Indian weddings is on its way towards a massive transformation. With more global eyes looking at Indian weddings, partly due to the immense popularity of Indian Matchmaking in public discussion circles, the intention behind conducting Indian weddings, especially those documented by public platforms, is shifting. Perhaps drawing off the introspection that Indian Matchmaking was able to offer, big Indian weddings are consciously becoming more personalised and intuitive rather than necessarily being aligned with tradition and the good-bad-ugly of it.
It’s no secret that India has one of the world’s biggest wedding markets. In a conversation with the BOF, prominent Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, analysing the after-effects of Deepika Padukone’s wedding on the markets, points out that the movie star’s choice of wedding ensemble had a massive trickle-down effect on local artisans who found a new space in the Indian wedding fashion industry. Sabyasachi also points out that weddings are the massive affair that they are made to be because they often offer one the first taste of luxury. Weddings are intrinsic to our social and cultural fabric and by virtue of that, as Live Mint points out, despite the pandemic, it has been one of the only markets that have been able to “diversify its offerings, offer lots of customisation/personalisation, and been able to work around small shifts in the budget” –‘personalisation’ being the keyword here.
Following the success of Indian Matchmaking, Netflix India recently plated another flavour of documented Indian weddings and called it ‘The Big Day’. More than being merely about the traditions and the rituals, The Big Day, a considerably large undertaking by Condé Nast India, is an attempt at showcasing the nuances of the fusion between modern, cosmopolitan preferences, and the cords of traditional roots.
Modern Indian weddings, as pointed out earlier, are getting more and more personalised so as to set the correct balance between one’s choices and rituals, and setting it all up are event-based brands that are making sure that the wedding comes to acquire a personality of its own – a beautiful melange of the couple’s and their families’ dreams.
One such emerging brand featured in the show for wedding decor is Ātisuto Events which was rather deservedly the centrepiece of the ‘Ami and Nitin’ wedding from Episode 2. Known for their clean yet lavish aesthetics as fashioned by their astute creative director, Sabah Shaikh, Atisuto, which an all-women run team in the show, proved that “women are completely changing weddings,” as photographer Shreya Sen pointed out in the show.
Featured for her experience and event design from the collection, Sabah’s vision for Atisuto Events has always been clear – to create a truly bespoke wedding design experience for couples from scratch and create extraordinary and memorable events.
More than the post-Indian Matchmaking, I think post-COVID is when we started seeing the change. The fact that people are now being more conscious of where and how they are spending their money, weddings are definitely seeing a shift from the grandness of it to more intimate weddings. People are now realising that you don’t necessarily need 1000 people attending the wedding, they are happy to make their wedding a more intimate affair by inviting only their closed ones which is about anywhere between 100-250 people.— Sabah Shaikh, Atisuto
About the aforementioned shift in the Indian wedding scape itself, Sabah says, “More than the post-Indian Matchmaking, I think post-COVID is when we started seeing the change. The fact that people are now being more conscious of where and how they are spending their money, weddings are definitely seeing a shift from the grandness of it to more intimate weddings. People are now realising that you don’t necessarily need 1000 people attending the wedding, they are happy to make their wedding a more intimate affair by inviting only their closed ones which is about anywhere between 100-250 people. So, I would definitely say that in the current scenario, weddings are making a shift from massive OTT formats to being more personalised, customised, simple, and sustainable. People are really caring more about the idea of a marriage than the grandness of the wedding which I think is great, and it is also something that matches with our aesthetics, being intimate wedding designers that we are. We want the day to be very very special to the couple; we want them to remember it and take it back home as something that they really enjoyed and not something that they were stressed about. The idea is not to be around so many people that they don’t end up enjoying their big day. We want them to feel included and enjoy it to the fullest, after all, it is a special day for them. So, I think weddings are definitely making that shift and we are happy to be a part of that journey.”
Ātisuto’s signature designs include the use of fairy light alcoves, bamboo teepees with intimate seating, lavish tablescapes, and vintage art. Out of all of this, however, what truly catches one’s attention is how Atisuto, which works with a philosophy of ‘less is more,’ is seen going ahead and reinventing to make the wedding as creative and as personal for the couple as possible. Through the show, they have been able to showcase that Indian weddings can have all the customary shenanigans and yet, be intentional, focused, and extremely intimate.
Besides event design, Atisuto is also known for providing extremely personalised services including wedding planning, personalised stationery and customised hampers.
With the launch of Atisuto UAE just days before the release of The Big Day on Netflix, Sabah is set to bring this one-of-a-kind event design experience to a global stage. On why the show was so special to them, Sabah says, “The Big Day was a very important show to our company as a whole. Anyone who has seen our episode knows that we are trying to tell you to make a change. We are trying to break-through from the monotony of what Indian weddings are. We are trying to break through what has been told to us in terms of tradition and are trying to challenge that. We, as designers, are looking at doing weddings for people who believe in the grander and greater idea of a marriage rather than about the nitty-gritty of the tradition and the ceremony. The kind of decor we propose to our clients is not your regular run-of-the-mill decor. So, I think the idea that Netflix wanted to retain our aesthetics and Condé Nast wanted to make sure we talk about weddings in a way that we truly really believe how it should be and the way it was projected is what really mattered to us. In this massive multi-billion dollar industry, we are small-time changemakers who are trying to tell you to do something different and I think that really was beautifully captured by Condé Nast and Netflix.
I hope that people do look at our episode and believe that there is so much more to Indian weddings than what has been typically told to the whole world. This is why the show was very important to us. Just for Ātisuto Events to be a part of this journey, to be able to tell their story, to go behind the scenes with how weddings look and what are the different kinds of crazy setups and processes we go through to make sure the bride gets what they want, it was a true honour to be able to be a part of the show and really showcase our work in that essence.”
Watch the Making Of the Ami and Nitin wedding here.
Watch The Big Day here.
Find more about Atisuto Events here.
Find Atisuto Events on Instagram here.
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