Actress Dia Mirza got the ball rolling last year for doing away with patriarchal traditions post marriage. A female priest performed the ritual and the kanyadaan, which is a sign of a man giving his daughter, was dug up completely.
by Reya Mehrotra
Recently, a wedding made headlines when a couple from Tamil Nadu decided to tie the knot at a unique venue – one unaffected by pandemic restrictions- the metaverse.
A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connections.
Dinesh Shivakumar Padmavati and Janaganandini Ramaswamy invited 2,000 people to the Metaverse for their virtual wedding and a Hogwarts-themed reception with the help of a start-up called Tardiverse.
The couple also asked Ramaswamy’s late father to ‘bless’ Ramaswamy by creating a 3D avatar to look like him during the wedding. The wedding also featured a special edition NFT featuring artwork that included a Harry Potter background and costume.
The Metaverse Wedding, touted as Asia’s first, isn’t the only one that has changed the way we celebrate our big day. The pandemic saw all kinds of wedding ceremonies- at-home weddings, small weddings and Zoom weddings, among many others. As the Indian economy shrunk during the pandemic, marriages also became thinner.
For some, this was a boon, as it meant a short, quiet affair with an intimate gathering, while for others—who preferred to do it on a traditional large scale—wedding vows turned into trouble. . That’s when the great Indian jugaad stepped in to save the day and ideas like Metaverse Wedding emerged among the couple and wedding planners.
It took another couple from Tamil Nadu to prove that matches were indeed ‘made in heaven’. In 2021, a video went viral, showing the couple getting ready for their wedding and boarding a SpiceJet flight along with 161 other guests to watch their wedding. As Meenakshi flew over Amman’s temple in Madurai, they performed the wedding rituals. The family had booked the entire flight for two hours to fly from Madurai to Bengaluru.
Awkward marriages have not been the trending theme in a Covid-stricken world – the disintegrating traditions of patriarchy seem to have been picked up as well. Actress Dia Mirza got the ball rolling last year for doing away with patriarchal traditions post marriage. A female priest performed the ritual and the kanyadaan, which is a sign of a man giving his daughter, was dug up completely. The marriage was also durable, as Mirza championed the cause.
Others followed suit and soon after similar stories flooded social media. Interestingly, even before the pandemic hit the world, millennial couples were personalizing their wedding rituals and giving up on traditions that are no longer relevant.
short and durable
For Samira Dahiya, 33, a motorcycle instructor for women, a motorcyclist and a yoga instructor, her marriage should be about bikes and stability. So, she and her husband, 40-year-old IT professional Praveen Ramakrishnan, chose Tribal Adventure Cafe, an adventure sports center located on the outskirts of Bengaluru in Devanahalli, as their wedding venue.
“We met and got together in 2016 on a bike ride and started exploring through biking. Since my husband is from Kerala and I am from Haryana, we wanted our wedding to honor both the traditions and celebrate only with our close friends and family. We invited all our friends and our parents and siblings from the motorcycle community,” she says.
Dahiya recalls how her mother had to be hospitalized twice due to the stress of preparations during her elder siblings’ weddings. So, for her marriage, she wanted her parents to relax and enjoy the festivities. “My husband and I ran around and even as a bride, I was alone and doing all the preparations,” she says.
They had their first ceremony – a Malayali-style wedding – in a temple where only a few people were invited. Temple Prasad was served in the form of food. The North Indian-style wedding took place a few days later at the Adventure Cafe followed by the bike to Nandi Hills along the couple’s motorcycle circuit. In the evening of the same day, he hosted a small reception at the Adventure Cafe, where he entered on two Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycles.
“It was completely unconventional. We didn’t have a stage for us, but we had pictures of memories of all the rides we did together, music, dancing and everything that makes us feel light and easy.” Our photoshoot was also done during the post-wedding bike ride. I entered the reception in a Hayabusa wearing my gown. We partyed till 4 in the morning. The venue was 80 kms from Bengaluru, still matters to us. People made it,” she says.
While, traditionally, wedding ceremonies take place at night or early in the morning, she says she wanted to twist it up a bit. “I belong to the Jat community, and my mother was married back in the day. But this had changed in recent years as weddings turned into nights. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, so our ceremony was at 7.30 am,” she adds.
To ensure that food is not wasted, they pre-booked meals according to the number of people and their preference for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food was asked in advance. He also ensured that plastic cups and glasses are not used. For the wedding card, which was designed by Sameera herself, she says she put a picture of her sitting behind her husband on his bike.
Meanwhile for Sonakshi Pratap and Malhar Lakdawala it was all like breaking the shackles of patriarchy. Thirty-year-old Sonakshi, a Mumbai-based financial services entrepreneur, started working at the age of 21 and is a self-made woman. Her husband, 31-year-old Malhar, who owns an AI start-up, was supportive of her and hence decided to drop patriarchal rituals from the marriage ceremony in her hometown of Mahabaleshwar. was not there Mehndi Celebration, mangalsutra, vermilion, parting, bangle or Kanyadaan in their marriage.
The most interesting part of the wedding was that Sonakshi weighed 20 kg. was entering the venue on the horse of lehenga, “It was the idea of my in-laws. Since I love horse riding, I was excited to do stunts. My parents, who were surprised, cried seeing me,” she recalls. “It was about enjoying the moment as a family. My family was waiting for me for a long time to find someone and when I told them about Malhar, they were overjoyed. My only condition It was that I would not follow patriarchal customs and they gave up,” she adds.
even seven Ferrous A Hindu marriage was changed to equality – they asked the priest to say that they would both take care of each other and that both would cook for each other as one of the seven vows and that they would marry each other. Climbed a tree for his wedding photoshoot.
Sonakshi and Malhar met through a matchmaking portal in 2019 and now work together by collaborating through their start-up. After their ceremony, they wanted to celebrate with their friends and hence they went on the trek as they both love adventure.
The brides of the new decade are giving up their shy avatars and emerging as strong women who are stepping into new phases of their lives, but with confidence and identity intact. Last year, a video of a bride happily escaping her groom the farewell spread rapidly. Sneha Singhi Upadhyay, the bride seen in the video, later said that since she had sent her husband Saugata Upadhyay home after the first date, she wanted to do the same after their marriage.
In 2019, game of Thrones Actor Sophie Turner and singer Joe Jonas married in Las Vegas, and Sophie eschewed the traditional white gown with a veil for a white jumpsuit. In September last year, Indian bride Sanjana Rishi introduced the trend to this part of the world as she wore a powder blue pant suit for her wedding instead of a bridal lehenga. She said that she did it because she liked wearing formal suits.
Sheetal Shah, 27, from Bengaluru, who married 30-year-old Tejas Shah, a finance head at a start-up last year, says they decided to get engaged in December 2019, within two months of getting to know each other.
“I was looking forward to building my career and traveling alone. Since my two elder sisters are married, I wanted to stay with my parents so that they could be looked after as well. But when we met, we clicked immediately,” she says. Since neither of them wanted a big wedding or reception, but only an intimate one with families, they first went for a court marriage and then for a traditional ceremony as their parents wanted.