Owing to the pandemic, the big fat Indian wedding might have become smaller in the guest count, but seemingly fatter in its visual extravagance. And, social media is partly to blame. The question to ask here is whether the growing digital dependence for creating a 'picture perfect' D-day is driving people to feel the pressure and pass it on to the behind-the-scenes crew? Designers and wedding curators give a nod!
Behind the scenes
There was a time when brides did little more than flip through magazines in search of ideas that would lead to their dream wedding, but social media has now taken that space. The would-be brides and grooms are pinning that perfect outfit on Pinterest or sharing photos of their D-day on Instagram resulting in too much pressure on themselves.
For ace couturier Tarun Tahiliani, because of exposure to world trends on social media, the pressure is really on the people who are organising the wedding — the brides and grooms and the immediate families who now feel this enhanced pressure to compete in a certain way.
Also, the fact that Covid-19 has been a disaster for brick-and-mortar retail over the last two years. Tahiliani says, “The fact that there's more competition is not necessarily a problem if people could see and touch and feel the clothes because most people will have the good sense to choose what suits them best. But again, I think the quality is not something that's transmitted over digital mediums. And so, you can get swayed by factors like a celebrity, and the like because you don't have the luxury of touch and feel.”
A daunting task
For many designers, it’s a task to create something out-of-the-box for brides who are exposed to world trends. “The first thing that a girl (would-be bride) states is that she wants something different. Then she also says I want something other than what you have put on your Instagram. So, it’s kind of challenging for us,” shares fashion designer Anjalee Kapoor of the duo Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor.
Today, social media posts have far-reaching effects. They attract newer clientele to your brand but the flip side of this is you have to move on, adds Arjun Kapoor. “Once something is placed on social media you've got to keep a blind eye that it's getting to be copied by a so-called aspiring designer, which keeps you on your toes to kind of produce more styles and move forward,” he said.
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The struggle is no different for many wedding curators as achieving something unique is quite difficult today because of the massive exposure to everything around the globe, explains Meha Bhargava, the founder & CEO of Styl.Inc. According to Bhargava, social media has brought one closer to the right vendor, but the cons are that one is so exposed that the feeling of being overwhelmed is inevitable.
Unhealthy push for perfection
No one said that planning a wedding was easy, but when you finally walked down the aisle into the arms of the love of your life, it became worth a wait. However, in the age of social media, you miss out on the fun and smile a little less in an attempt to get everything picture-perfect and that’s when you have to pause and think.
For Tahiliani, entertaining, unrealistic notions of what's possible and putting pressure, both financially and socially, can, of course, ruin things and make them competitive and stressful. “I’ve always said the entire point of cash and today's lifestyle is to free yourself to be who and what you're. Never before, as far as I know, have people been as free to choose their form of expression. And, if they choose not to fully express themselves, because of technology or being slaves to something, well then, they need to introspect,” he said.
Everyone wants things “Instagrammable” at the wedding and hence it’s more about building a picture-perfect wedding than enjoying the process, seconds Itchha Talreja of the brand Itchha Talreja Designs.
Re-writing the rulebook
In a country that is known for its extravagant and larger-than-life weddings, social media plays a supporting role in making the D-day perfect without complications. Presumably, this social media smash has given business ideas to multitudinous entrepreneurs. Rishika Agarwal and Navam, Founders of WedHaven, are one analogous illustration. The couple came up with the idea of a marriage app after they tied the knot in 2014. “During our marriage and a lot of cousins’ posterior marriages, we ran across issues with marriage mismanagement. We were working in the United States at the time but had a lot of desi buddies with forthcoming marriages, so we decided to take a stage, or rather, produce an app,” they said.
Explaining how the app works, the duo added, “Simplifying the workload, the app creates a digital wedding through the information provided, with details of all the events, venues, timings, real-time updates, and sending out invitations to the guests on the app.”
The same is with marriage invites that are going from print to digital. “Social media has exposed the guests to a lot of options. While a lot of them come with an inspirational Pinterest board there are multitudinous that want ideas and designs that are out-of-the-box and unique,” said Talreja.
It won’t be wrong to say that social media has had some of the biggest impacts on weddings, but it’s important to understand that what is being posted online is not what it seems every time and also it's the people who produce trends on social media, not the other way around. Be that person and show your individuality on your D-day because there is no henceforth.