Pompous affairs these weddings are and we don’t call it “The Big Fat Indian Wedding” without a reason. While it could be nerve-wrecking and at the same time exhilarating to get married, the real excitement lies in planning one. Apart from the occasional allusion to Murphy’s Law and a few Bridezilla moments, (who are we kidding; Murphy’s law was based on Indian marriages!) our marriages are the most-fun-thing-ever to plan and we assure you, you will miss the drama once it’s over (seriously, if someone were to make a bloopers video of all the behind the scenes planning, it could be the funniest video of the year!). Plus you only get to plan one awesome wedding for yourself so it truly is worth all the head-banging moments. So wipe that worried look off your face, practice your wedding smile and read further to perfectly plan that dream wedding of yours.
Before we get into the serious business of wedding planning, the first thing to do is to choose your style and theme. Themed weddings are the rage now! And what you plan is who you are. It could be downright traditional or a DJ-mixed cultural bang or even a very simple, cozy get-together.
This is the first thing you should be planning after you’ve finalized the dates and set your theme. ‘The Where’ of the wedding is as important as ‘The Who’s’ and by striking this off the check list you save yourself from having a heart attack towards the end. It could be a destination wedding or the traditional kalyan mandap style or a lovely beach house but go ahead and book them first. There’s always a time and a place to get married, isn’t there?
The Wedding Invite
The Invitation to a marriage is like the cover to a book. Keep it simple but make it special. The trick is to count the number of people you will be personally inviting and those who live far off (why else do we have e-Invites and Facebook events for?) Design your card invitation and your e-mail invitation and this will save you a lot of money from printing excess cards. Some create websites just for their wedding with all the details from venue to wedding rituals to photos from pre-wedding photo-shoots (and there’s more to it than you’ll ever know).
Let’s go Shopping!
You know your wedding day is getting closer when you go on those endless trips to the malls, jewelry stores and designer boutiques. Just make sure you know the color that enhances your features and choose your wedding sarees or lehengas accordingly (now is not the time to experiment; play safe). Since you’ve already decided on your theme, this makes it easier for you in your selection but doesn’t mean that you’ll find those blessed clothes soon enough; these days it’s harder to find your perfect wedding dress than it is to find your guy (or girl) and that explains the ‘fitting ceremony’.
The fitting ceremony is nothing but the constant to and fro expeditions to the tailors’, the endless discussions, the constant research and the patient sit-down-let-me-explain with the designer/tailor. Just take your time with the designer/tailor (threaten them if you have to!) and make sure the dress fits you perfectly.
It’s not enough if you’ve got the perfect dress; you are not complete unless you’ve got the right kind of accessories. A lot more time and effort goes into accessories shopping than you can imagine. They make you look grand and it’s not just about gold and diamonds. You can also custom order them based on your outfit but make sure it accentuates your style. Accessories don’t just stop with jhumkas, bangles and rings. Every princess has a perfect pair of shoes and find the ones that fits you snug (mental note: make sure they are comfy and classy).
Now is the time that fitness makes sense and this is most often forgotten. People will pamper you, trick you into eating that extra sweet and your only physical activity will be from shopping sprees. But you will have to be very cautious about your weight and keep your body toned. You don’t want to wake up and find out that the blouse needs an extra hook-eye or you’ll have to hold your breath to fit into the dress. Just make sure you eat right quantity of healthy food, keep yourself hydrated and do not go into hard-core dieting lest you want to faint on your wedding day.
Make-up and Hair-do
Make-up and hairstyle is as important as anything else and has to be planned well in advance (by a week at least). This can make or break your day (remember, you will have portrait photos). If you have your own stylist, start discussing the options with them or you could also talk to your friends about the stylist they used. If your budget permits, get them rehearsed.
Frozen in time
While some of us get married just for the photography sessions and to feel like a princess (all you grooms, no offence; we love you too) the importance of photography in a wedding can’t be explained in words. More than what happens on that one day, it is what you see ten or twenty years down the line. It is what you show your children and your children’s’ children on how such a festival it was during your wedding. Depending on the budget you can arrange for an exclusive candid photographer apart from the normal wedding photographer. What is more important than your best day frozen in time? Plus you get to flaunt it to all those new guests who step into your house for the rest of your life!
Plan your menu
Another important aspect of Indian weddings is the food. Ours is more culturally diverse than any other country when it comes to food so choose your menu carefully and make sure everything you like is on that menu. Remember, it is your day and you will want people to feel happy and keep their tummies full. Get the contacts from your friends on the best caterers and make sure along with extravagance you also practice diligence. Request your guests not to waste food and to say ‘no’ to anything that they don’t like.
Spa, foot massage, hair massage… add them all to you list. You need to look your best and so get plenty of rest especially the week preceding the wedding date. This is something that comes naturally to all the girls and more so to the bride-to-be’s. Spend time with yourself and make peace with everything for it is time for the calm before the event.
The return gift
The best way to say ‘thank you’ to all those who were a part of your special day is to give them a return gift that is not only useful but also unique. Choose your return gifts carefully and well within your budget. Jewelry boxes, wind chimes, diyas… don’t fret, you have a wide range of gifts to choose from.
Now that you’ve got your check-list prepared, go ahead and get happily married!!