Friday, November 25, 2011

Lets talk 'Weddings'!! *A user guide, or well sort of!*

Like Su said in my previous post, this wedding seems to be like a movie! And a movie without a critical analysis, is just another movie that come and goes.
Even though this was a FIVE star wedding at a FIVE star hotel, there were a couple of things that could have been better, and since charity begins at home, I should start with myself.

I should have LOST weight. Like really should have lost weight and I could have done a little better with the outfits. I mean, I am extremely happy about the clothes that I had worn.. but my whole lehnga thing sort of got things a little out of place. The blouse/choli was a disaster.
Here is a little tip for you girls: Whenever you are getting a ‘Choli’ style blouse with cross strings in the back, NEVER get the string fixed. If you have the leverage of tying the strings instead of fixed ones the choli will always fit you better.

So, now that we have that sorted out, let us get back to the wedding.

The fun about destination wedding, rather about weddings is the whole thing about shor-sharaba and the family (ies) getting together. So, if it is a destination wedding, then having the functions away from the place where the wedding is supposed to happen and ferrying people to and fro can be a bit of a problem. The whole fun of the thing goes out, because people are normally hurried into getting ready.

If it is a Punjabi wedding, where you want to have a traditional dholki and the songs, then make sure that your guests are involved and are interested in them. Having an open bar, on a pool side, where the guests are all over the place, and no actual place where you can sit properly around the dholki and jamaao the raunak is a bad idea.

Here is another thing- It may be boring to confine your guests to a five star property, but people, the guests are there to enjoy the wedding and not sight seeing at your expense. Also a Goan wedding is a dream, but having a sangeet function out on the beach where the law bans the loud music after 10.30 pm, is again wasting too much money. In our case, it was not only the venue at the beach, but also the cost of the expensive DJ and special systems for the silent party, which was very enjoyable to the youngsters, but left out a lot of older family who left by 10-10.30. That means, effectively for a wedding that they have come so far for, they just enjoy for 2-2.5 hours, and then because they are no longer a part of the party they have to go back.

In a five star hotel, normally your room tariff includes the buffet breakfast which is on fixed timing and if you expect the guests to attend the morning pooja then you should make sure that they serve late breakfast to the guests, otherwise encourage the other guests to enjoy breakfast and only have the family, really close ones to attend the pooja.

Now, on the day of the wedding, there are a million things that are to be put together for the ceremony, apart from sending the bride to the parlour to get ready and making sure that the groom is not running all over the place. To take upon hand to arrange for lunch outside the hotel- ABSOLUTE NO- NO. Even if you indicate to the guests that the place is 5 minutes walking and that they should take it from there, being a host you are expected to make sure that all your guests eat their lunch.
TIP: On the wedding day, there is a pooja in the morning. Most of the people who sit for the pooja have to sit without eating anything, and after the pooja is done, then they are allowed to eat. So instead of having a breakfast and then a lunch, have a late breakfast *because the pooja starts as early at 8 in the morning and finishes by 10* and most of the guests are just getting ready at that point of time. So a nice heavy late breakfast shall take care of the guests and their hunger till the evening tea, when the sehrabandi happens at the boy side and the bride’s sisters, friends and relatives are too busy getting ready for the welcome and getting ready themselves.

Yes, the baraat is TO dance, and enjoy. But also be considerate about the bride and her family who anxiously wait for the baraat to come. (This one, I must say, we got it JUST right. There was no unnecessary delay on any end) I just HATE the fact when the baraat comes in at 11 or 12 in the night. The guests who come for the wedding just come there and don’t even see or congratulate the bride and the groom. And it is distressing, to wait that long after getting ready. For both the bride in her dress and make up and the groom with his ass on the horse.
 TIP: It is a money saver too!! Get married in the evening, the bride and the groom will be fresh, and not cranky. And they will actually be able to enjoy their pheras and then continue it to a wedding dinner/ reception, where rest of the people who are invited will come to congratulate or eat the food. Basically, the guests will at least have a couple to bless and the couple will atleast enjoy their own wedding!

And very important, Friends are very important, they make our life complete, but in a wedding, close family and family members are more important. So, if the friends have to step back a little and push the family forward it is okay. Your friends will not talk about this or feel bad about it, but if you make your family feel unwanted at what primarily is a family function well, you will have troubles in the family. So instead of the friends giving uptight smiles at your family’s way of doing things, get them involved and because they are friends, you can push them around a little and tell them to follow the lead of the family members.

So after the fun analysis and tips about the wedding and the ancillary functions, here are some pointers about the things that really matter…

  •  Cards: Your wedding card will always be special to you. No matter what people say. So, think through not only the card design but also through the colour schemes and more importantly the content. ALWAYS sit down with the card guy and proof read what is going to get printed in your card, bad spellings and grammar turn off even the most expensive card. Also, doing the leafs in the cards is a less costly option, because then you can easily put in the requisite invite for requisite people.
  •   Accompanying the Card: Yes, you have the standard mithai and the matthi+ shaker pare box, but there are many more options available. It does not matter whether you want to give traditional or contemporary suff, just make sure that it tastes and looks nice. My bua darling gave some weird chikki with the card in a cute potli. The potli was cute but the chikki, was well cutting corners where you should not.
  •  Venue: VERY important. But it should be decided not only on the basis of the cost factor, but also on the number of people who are coming. Sometimes, a big farm house costs you dear because the number of people are very less and the cost of renting a farm huge, then in that case a five star or a banquet is cheaper.
  • Food: PLEASE. There is no excuse for bad food. PERIOD.
  • Entertainment: Very IMPORTANT. But again plan your entertainment. I personally feel that a DJ is not required at the wedding *NOT if you are getting married in early evening and following it up with a party* Especially if it is the whole raat ki baraat and super late night pheras. Background pipe music lovely, because, the baraat is tired of all the dancing and the ladki walaas are too busy taking care of the guests. The DJ just adds to noise and nothing else. Also, for the other parties make sure that your DJ gets paid for the work and not for just being there, if there is a 10.30 pm limit, make sure that the party kickstarts early.
  •  Clothes: Just because something is expensive does not automatically make it super pretty. R & D properly. Start early in the clothes preparation *My personal favorite place for buying value for money wedding outfits for the bride is Chandni Chowk and for the groom Ushnak Mal at South Extension*. Also, dear bride, don’t load up on the sarees. Especially if you are a working professional. You will end up not wearing them. Instead buy the clothes that you will actually use. Same for satiny lacy lingerie.. one or two for the special night are fine. If you are allergic to anything but cotton in lingerie, stick to it.
  •  A Good photographer:  The wedding is a life time keepsake of memories of not only of the festivities, but also marks a milestone in your life, wherein you start new journey. Thus, a great photographer is a MUST. There are the usual photographers who click the usual posed photographs, and then there are the new breed of photographers who click beautiful natural pictures and capture the moments that are real. Again, do you research well in this regard. Thanks to FB, you can go do a random search and find some great photographers at a good price. Sincere suggestion: Put aside money for the photographer. Trust me, when the pictures will come, you will know that each penny was worth it.
  •  Mehndi: There are brides who don’t care, but if you are like me and love the whole mehndi like a bride thing, then again, go test out. Do NOT go reccos made by other people. Put them on the top of the list of try outs but try the others too. Sometimes the random search helps you get better people at best prices. Also negotiate with them every penny that you are going to pay to them, including the so called ‘shagun’ that they always ask for. There is a tendency that they escalate that, taking advantage of the whole wedding situation. Also, discuss with them in detail the style of the mehndi that they will put on for the rest of the guests and point out the special people, like your mom, sister and whoever is super close to be put special mehndi. That ways there will be lesser chance of things escalating out of hand.
  • Parlour: Pre-bridal et all. Very important that you look the best in your wedding and the functions. But instead of torturing your skin with pre-bridal session for like half a year *and spending tons of money on the parlour sittings*, just stick to a proper routine with the products that you have been using and which suit your skin. Drink loads of water, exercise and lessen your alcohol add in some healthy food and sleep well, and VOILA you will be a million dollars without really spending those million dollars! If you plan to experiment with your hair- like getting a new hair-cut then, do it 6 months in advance, so that in case it doesn’t look nice, you will have some time for the hair cut to grow out. And if it turns out to be nice, then you can always get it done again J. Stick to your own parlour and your own lady. She normally knows how you like your eyebrows and how your skin responds better than a new place. Also, big names in bridal make often don’t listen you and end up giving you a horrible look on your big day.    
  • Booze: Very important in any party. If you are given an option to get your own booze, get that that with a license and you will again save loads!
Apart from these tit-bits, just remember, that you are getting married, because you want to spend your life with this person and wedding is just a tiny part of the entire life that you are going to spend together. I have seen couples stressed for weeks about the whole wedding. As a matter of fact, when bf and I are in the thinking ahead of time mode we end up quarrelling.  Marriage is a start of a new journey, try and start the same in the happy mode and not in the stressed mode.

Budget it properly, there are excel sheets available on the net that can help you list things down with the costing in easy heads. And communicate about how you want things and try and avoid Chinese whispers! When delegating work,  delegate it to the right people, so that you know it will be done and are not stressing about the whole thing... Enjoy, the preps and the wedding!

I hope I haven’t bored you with this post. Just trying to be helpful. Even though no one asked me to help.


PS: The day I announce that I am getting married, push me to read this mail all over again! 


Jack said...


Very well explained. You could take over as Wedding Planner anytime.

Take care

Shreya said...

Too descriptive, but good one. As Sakshi said, you could take over as Wedding Planner. :)

Zeba said...

Become a wedding planner. I will vouch for you. :-) I read through most of it. I think I needed to. :-)

Rahul Bhatia said...

That was a great wedding planner! You have gone to a great length and this would be an excellent reference for anyone planning wedding soon!

PhilO♥ said...

I only go to weddings to eat :P