A few years back in Maine, some good friends of ours had an Indian styled wedding out in the country. It was truly one of the coolest weddings… no, it WAS the coolest wedding that I’ve been to. Hands down the most unique one for sure.
The bride and groom both wore all white traditional Indian wedding attire which was handcrafted for them and imported from India. Their children all had gorgeous red, green and orange sari wraps and veils draping their long Irish red tresses and all of the girls with their wedding day Mendhi on their hands and feet. Gorgeous!
It reminded me of Loreena McKennitt songs, the intermingling of Celt and Hindu. A lifelike Pre~Raphaelite painting.
The bride and her maids performed a few belly-dances for us while we ate the most incredible hummus and pita and an insanely good curried cake with cream cheese icing.
Their decor was quite simple and not nearly as elaborate as some of the photos I’ve included as inspiration for you. The bride and groom allowed the organic beauty of the countryside to be their decor, it was beautifully simple, unpretentious and amazingly cost effective . I’m showing you the My Big Fat Moroccan Wedding version of my friends wedding with some pretty over the top and awesomely extravagant designs. They are to inspire you.
As I’ve mentioned before, in my previous life… and occasionally now, I was or am an interior designer. However, I also design events and weddings as well. My dream gig was to work on a Moroccan styled wedding so I could just go bananas on the decor! Yes, I’m sure it would be the ultra~ swank, ultra~ luxe, Bollywood times a zillion, but it would be incredibly thrilling to hunt for beautiful items for it.
Moroccan colors to me are incredibly sexy, yet so elegant and lush. The reception would have to be opulence with more opulence, yet totally relaxing and warm. Something which is generally hard to achieve with a traditional Western reception.
But, perhaps you are more of the adventurous type and are feeling ultra creative. “Hey, I can do that!”
So where do you begin in designing the bananas Bollywood wedding?
Location, Location, Location
As with any wedding, choose your time frame and cost and nail down your location and what sort of digs you are going to have.
Tent, ballroom or barn?
Make sure that it is booked and paid for first, or you may not get your desired location. Remember to find out exactly what they will do for you, provide for you, set up and break down, and how far in advance can you access the location to begin set up, etc. Not being able to gain access into the space far enough ahead of time can prove to be very exhaustive and difficult with a D.I.Y. wedding reception. Who is going to set up and break down and when? These things must be planned for in advance or you’ll become the Bridezilla.
You don’t want any surprises, you don’t want to be the Bridezilla, trust me.
**Remember to find out if they allow you to use candles. A lot of places will not. No candles are no fun!
THE Dress & Dishes
The next thing to figure out is the attire and what you’ll need to rent. Remember, your wedding may not be the only wedding Saturday, June 2nd, 2015. If you book early, you’ll be sure to get what you need and want (maybe). Trust me, it’s heartbreaking to have to change your mind at the last minute and give up something you really, really wanted to use.
Having decorated more than a few weddings, I can tell you that most rental stores do not have much to offer for table linens, china and flatware. It’s all pretty nondescript and fairly basic. Many party rental stores do have some interesting pin~tuck faux silk dupioni table cloths in copper, purple and garnet colors, crushed iridescent toppers and have coordinating napkins. These could be used in many ways for this style wedding. From seat covers to table covers. Always be sure to plan for extra dishes, goblets, flatware, napkins and table cloths, just in case. If you live in a larger city or suburb you may find that your party rental store has shorter Moroccan styled tables that could be used for low seating, I have seen these available on a few sites. Most handy for this style wedding.
Attire, may need to be special ordered from who knows where. Give yourself plenty of time in case it comes and you hate it, or it doesn’t fit. Not weeks. Months.
ETSY is an amazing place to find incredible handmade garb!
Shop Like You Mean It!
As soon as you set your date it’s time to kick it into BIG decor mode…yeah, those pesky shopping trips to home decor stores : ) .
D.I.Y. generally means more hunting and gathering and seeing things in a different light. Like the ultra cool boho candle holders and candles they always have hordes of at T.J. Maxx for around $3.00 each. Or unique lanterns they’ve probably got in the garden ware at Big Lots for a few bucks each or Moroccan styled bowls at The Christmas Tree Shop. Remember, be creative. Something may not be perfect, but can it be altered in some way to make it more usable or extra elegant? And don’t forget Christmas time! It’s one of the best times of the year to find over the top… er… okay slightly garish decor. Don’t think Christmas. Think glitzy, glamorous and fancy wedding decor!
You catch what I’m saying. The bargains are everywhere when you start looking around.
Like any wedding planner, start yourself a wedding scrapbook for ideas of cool colors, weddings, table decor, floral arrangements and work off of that. Or an even more efficient way of planning is to make yourself a page on Pinterest. That way you will always have your photos with you while out shopping and you can add things as you go when you find great resources for gear.
The wonderful thing about this style of wedding decor is it’s very forgiving and very freestyle. Mixing and matching is encouraged. Just be creative and colorful. Seek out those great treasures that you see in discount stores, yard sales, second hand shops and stockpile them for that special day.
Happy wedding to you!
Be confident with your choices. You really cannot make mistakes if you find lovely and exotic wares for your event and see each area as special and uniquely different than the rest.
Imagine, stepping into this wonderland. How magical!
Going all the way with a Bollywood chic styled wedding reception may cost a bit more than a traditional banquet styled reception, but with some time and hunting skills this look could be achieved through tag sales, flea markets, Goodwill and a few sweet Indian import websites.
Comfortable and intimate soft seating areas, low tables to hold wine, olives, nuts and fruit and plush ottomans placed in many conversational areas throughout the tent or room will give you a dreamy, magical, Arabian nights sheiky feel.
Brightly colored floral arrangements and crazy mosaic fondant cakes. Be dramatic!
Ethereal, flowing fabrics and soft candlelight to create soft spaces for guests to converse