Brij Holi. Have you heard of it? Attended one at a wedding?
Neither had I.
Which is why when I suddenly saw multiple weddings throwing Brij Holi events, my blogger ears perked up and I dove right in to sniff out all the details that have made this a hot event at Indian weddings.
Honestly, I only know about 3 large-scale Brij Holi ceremonies that have ever taken place at weddings – you were introduced to one at Shonan’s spectacular wedding in a series of posts I wrote earlier this year (you can find it here). What stuck out what the fact that all 3 of them were shot by Stories by Joseph Radhik, one of the top wedding photography teams in India.
What is Brij Holi?
Joe and his team explained that a Brij Holi is the tradition of playing holi with flower petals, and is essentially a celebration of Krishna and Radha.
Typically, a group of traditional performers come on stage and dance to tell a story. Next, 2 performers dressed as incarnations of Krishna and Radha are brought onto the stage and flower petals are showered on them. This is followed by the bride and groom joining them, and family members showering their blessings on the couple with flower petals. A holi of sorts, but with petals instead, starts at this point and as the flowers softly fall and the air is immersed in their sweet smell, traditional music is played and the women join in the dance.
Why would you want a Brij Holi at your wedding?
For the stunning pictures.
And all the fun you have with your guests. And, did I mention the pictures?
It’s still a unique new concept. And that makes it slightly complex. Your decorator might not even know what a Brij Holi is, and might have trouble implementing it for you. Your photographer won’t know what hit them – hundreds of kilos of flower petals might do that to even the best of us. And why would you want to organize an additional event at your wedding that’s this hard to plan?
It’s a unique event everyone will enjoy. And, remind me again – have I already mentioned the spectacular images?
How do I organize one?
- Photographer – bring your photographer into the loop as early as possible. Ideally, get him to recee the venue with you! Of course, you first need to explain the concept to them, and show them pictures and this post. Since beautiful photographs is 50% of the reason why you’re going to want to do this, it makes 100% sense to take your photographer’s requirements and ideas into consideration early on.
- Timing – best time is evening, because noon = harsh shadows, and by night fall, all natural light is lost. In the evening, romantic light is what you will get if all goes well. Find out when the Golden Hour is for the city you’re in. Your photographer will know. Decide the time with him/her!
- Lighting – ideally, the stage should be lit from the top on all 4 sides so that everyone’s faces are clearly visible. Coloured lights are a definite no-no. Stick to white and yellow lights. The main aim is that “petals should look like petals” and therefore, it might even be a good idea to set up truss lighting if your photographer suggests it to help light it all up.
- Location/Stage – this depends on you. How many people will come onto the stage to shower petals on each other? It should definitely be big enough to accommodate the bride and groom, along with the 16-odd performers and some of the closest family and friends. Shonan’s Brij Holi accommodated about 80 people on stage, but you can have a smaller one too. Just not too small. The height of the stage will be determined by the number of guests. For a larger number of guests, you want to give height to your stage so that everyone has a view of what’s happening, lest the guests get bored in an activity they don’t have a view of. But if you have a smaller guest list, where everyone who is invited will come on stage and play Brij Holi with you, you can opt for a low height stage. It makes it easy to access and more comfortable for the guests to join in the fun.
- Backdrop – Ask your photographer to recommend what kind of backdrop will look good. Don’t just place the stage where you think it looks good, ask your photographer! He will end up recommending either using an existing backdrop from the venue (eg. trees or a pretty wall), or he can coordinate with the decorator to set up a backdrop that will provide the best background for your images. Make sure it’s not a dark shade that clashes with the shade of the flower petals, of course!
- The Skit – A 30 minute long skit depicting Radha & Krishna’s relationship is how a Brij Holi typically begins. Contact Vinod (+91-9414075175) to book his troop of 16-odd performers.
- The Flower Petals – You’ll have to arrange for these with either the help of the decorator, or by yourself. The number of kilos of flower petals depends on the number of people you are expecting to participate. For a big guest list, 50-60 kilos might be required.
- Things to be careful of – the stage turns into a wet pile of kilos of flowers. If you need to use the stage post the Brij Holi for another event, especially a dance, you need to make sure it’s cleared up and dried immediately after. Again, see this post to see how Shonan solved this problem at her wedding.
Best Event To Host Brij Holi With
Since it doesn’t last more than 1 hour (30 min skit + 30 min petal shower), it’s best to combine this with another small function. For example, Shonan combined it with her Mehendi. The guests played Brij Holi first and then moved to another area to have their Mehendi applied. It definitely makes sense to have the Mehendi event after the Brij Holi, because no one will want to touch those wet flower petals right after their Mehendi has been applied.
Brij Holi Checklist
- The Skit
- Book performers
- Discuss and finalise duration of skit with performers, and sequence of events
- The Flowers
- Arrange for flower petals – your decorator, or yourself
- Decide how many kilos of flowers you will need
- The Stage & Timing
- Bring photographer into loop early on
- Explain Brij Holi concept to photographer & decorator
- Decide size & height of stage, depending on number of guests
- Decide on a backdrop that will complement the colour of the petals
- Ensure photographer has communicated lighting requirement to decorator
- Decide time of event based on when Golden Hour is (consult with photographer)
PIN IT WITH THIS VISUAL CHECKLIST!