Every year, the wedding season treats us to an Instagram feed full of dreamy wedding pictures, mesmerizing makeup artists creating bridal makeover videos that we obsess over, designers showcasing their latest bridal collections, and the launch of exquisite new jewelry. And we’re certainly not complaining! Indian weddings are grand celebrations, and now with social media ruling the scene, we find ourselves celebrating even strangers’ weddings from afar. When it comes to weddings, it’s not just celebrities whose events are aesthetically pleasing; with excellent wedding photographers capturing outstanding moments, movie-like decorations and lighting, and enchanting music for all occasions, it seems like everyone’s wedding is filled with smiles, blush, and happy tears, just like scenes from a divine photograph. Bollywood movies, even before the arrival of social media, have always depicted weddings as extravagant affairs, complete with Mehendi songs, Sangeet dances, and the thrill of bridal shopping, giving us the ultimate fairy tale escapism. These stories were often based in North India, and now, with the influence of social media, many hit series on Netflix, and more, it has been established that weddings can be larger-than-life affairs for so many.
However, in Assam, weddings are characterized by simplicity and serenity. There aren’t many events for Mehendi or dancing, but instead, it’s a sweet and elegant celebration of culture. During important rituals, regional wedding songs are sung by the women in the family and the neighborhood. Rituals involve the use of banana trees and their bark for various purposes, mango leaf strings, beetle nuts in Sorai, etc., serving as centrepieces for decorations. But hey! That’s not the case anymore. With endless wedding celebration notifications on social media, the allure of extravagance has seeped in, and now even Assamese weddings are vibrant with picturesque decor and include events like Mehendi and cocktail parties/sangeet. Magnificent wedding venues along the banks of the Brahmaputra or within resorts with tea gardens have become popular choices. Being a fashion brand owner, what I obsess over the most is the bridal fashion which has evolved over the seasons, with great designs now blending traditional handloom silk with subtle English colors like pastel pink, peach, and sky blue. While, the traditional handwoven motifs still shine in zari and meenakari threads in delicate shades blending in with the trend. Today, the bridal collections in Assam look nothing less than viral dusty pink lehenga of Anushka Sharma or ivory white saree of Alia Bhatt. With the advent of bridal lehengas, Assam’s handloom silk has found its new form. The grand and flattering flares of silk lehengas flaunt traditional Assamese motifs, while exquisite designer blouses and dupattas/sadors come together to create pieces of art – the new Assamese Bride. Amidst these new bridal fashion trends, the handloom silk of the region still holds centre stage in weddings. The love for mekhela sador in the Assamese wedding season only reaches new heights of craze, whether in traditional colours or trending ones. So, every wedding season, I happily find myself glued to my phone as I scroll through and admire the wedding fashion trends of the season, going to bed with a full heart.