Do you find yourself constantly fixing your clothes, or smiling for no reason? Are your having nightmares about being hounded by family member for pictures? or that you have a full plate of food, but you very elderly aunt won’t stop talking to you long enough for you to get a bite in? I have– I’ve been MIA for a while because I was busy preparing and now coming off the high of a full-on-in-your-face-big-fat Indian wedding. It was 6 days of dancing, food, couture dresses, friends, family and love. After all was said and done- I came up with a quick Do and Don’t list for an Indian wedding. Here they are
1. Get a videographer– the day goes by in a blur and your hardly remember it. The videographer was the best investment I made. I was able to go back and watch moments like my uncle doing some pretty sick dance moves on the dance floor or parts of the the wedding that I missed because I was taking pictures or getting ready.
2. Let things go– don’t get hung up on the things that go wrong. At one point I was told that half my seating cards never made it to the Seating Table. Instead of freaking out- I let my maitre’d set up a plan B and everything went just fine- no one complained, no one was upset, everyone made to their assigned tables and it was just fine. Trust the maitre’d, wedding planner, your sister, whomever it is that you appointed as your right hand man.
3. Make sure to spend time with/dance with everyone– It can be easy to fall into the- this-day-is-about-me outlook, but it wouldn’t be a celebration without your friends and family. I know there’s a point where you just want to stick with a small group of people because trying to talk to 100+ people can be stressful. I ended up making sure I went around and danced with just about every person at the wedding- no awkward small talk, no stress of wanting to cut the conversation short because you have another 50 people to talk to, and the other person will feel special that you decided to seek them out to dance with them.
4. Do make a timeline– but don’t freak out if you aren’t on time. Additionally, appoint someone as your “whisk away-er”. Have someone that will politely whisk you away from conversations so that you can get ready and get pictures done without hurting anyone’s feelings. My maitre’d was my whisk away-er. When we were getting overwhelmed by guests who wanted pictures, he came by and quickly removed me so I could get ready for the reception and eat.
5. Do ask your caterer to bring food to you– luckily, our caterer, Moghul, already does this. They brought food to us in the bridal suite after the wedding and then brought us appetizers right before the reception. We didn’t eat during the reception since we were trying to spend as much time as possible with our guests. It sounds stupid, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
6. Do delegate the crap out of everything. The first thing every family member does when you get engaged is tell you that they are ready to help. So let them– have your cousins pull apart flower petals, bridesmaids put together centerpieces, and uncles decorate the house. They won’t see it as work, and instead feel like they are a part of the wedding. Also trust them, they want things to look amazing as much as you do. Also delegate the various Indian rituals to everyone. I have TONS of cousins and I made sure everyone had a role in the wedding, at some point we even went against tradition just to include someone. I remember as a kid being a part of my cousins weddings and I wanted to give the same excitement to my little cousins.
1. Don’t buy a heavy dress for the reception. Yes I know they are sparkly, and pretty, and shiny….but they suck to dance in. I made the mistake of falling in love with a 40 lb skirt…yes..40 lbs. Both my hands actually cramped up from holding the dress up while dancing. It was beautiful, but not practical. I honestly wished I went the practical route. It would have saved my hands and waist the pain.
2. Don’t go nuts on your bridesmaids– they have their own lives- be conscious of them.
3. Don’t stop smiling. Seriously, don’t. You’re pictures will come out weird. I mean what normal human being goes around smiling all day? A bride, that’s who. I have tons of pictures where I’m not smiling and I have severe resting bitch face—I looked miserable. Luckily, my cousin Akash noticed my unfortunate facial expressions and reminded me to smile like a maniac so I can get some great pictures. 🙂
4. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion to the photographer on what poses/shots you want. They don’t know that you want to reenact that cute Pinterest picture you’ve been obsessing about. Tell them…and then make that picture you’re new cover photo.
5. Don’t stop yourself from buying those expensive shoes, or that beautiful necklace, or splurge piece (other than your wedding dress of course)—-I did it, I definitely had a bout of shoppers remorse, but then I put those pretty shoes on my feet and I forgot what I was freaking out about. I think the only time you can truly justify the purchase of a pair of shoes worth a years rent in India is for your wedding…right? In the end- it made me happy.
Also here are some reviews for my vendors:
1. The Palace at Somerset – I had the most organized wedding because of these guys. They gave me everything I wanted, kept me un-stressed, on time and well fed. Literally, at one point during my photo shoot one of the bridal attendants was hand feeding me fruit. That’s what I call customer service. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Also the cakes they make in house are AMAZING!
2. Moghul Caterer – Great customer service, kept Rhut and I well fed as well. The one thing I actually remember from the wedding were all the compliments I received on the food. People LOVED the food. Every dish was well made and they are willing to change the heat, salt, even look of each item based on your taste. I was at a lost a lot on what I should pick since their menu is so extensive and Betsy was able to steer me into the right direction on what entrees we should put together.
3. Budget Printing – Located in Bloomfield, NJ- my hometown, I used my wedding as a way to help out local vendor. They were quick, reasonably priced and super helpful as they gave us tips on how we to format our work. At one point we were given a quote for our thank you cards, they realized the cards were smaller than they expected and called us to tell us it would be cheaper than they quoted us!
4. Akash Production– He’s my cousin and he’s a wedding photographer for a living. Also he’s amazing. He captured life and brightness in all our pictures. Also he’ isn’t pushy, he makes those awkward get-your-face up-in-hers-so-it-looks-romantic pics fun and not weird. He made us laugh and got some great candid shots. Book him….do it..you won’t regret it!
5. La Bella Studio– Based out of Atlanta, they made the trek up to NJ and Alabama for our 6 day wedding celebration. They captured tons of dramatic and candid shots, giving a range of pictures to choose from. The photographers are super nice and give lots of direction, if that’s what you need. Also they know how to edit the shit out of a picture to make you look AMAZING! Here are some samples:
6. Red Paisley – I had my wedding dress custom made by her. The price was SUPER reasonable and she was always emailing me with pictures of the progress the dress was making. It fit like a glove and I didn’t need to make any alterations. The dress was well made, no fly away strings or bad hemming- it was impeccably made. Couture at it’s finest!
7. Exclusively.In – I got my mandvo dress, Payal Singhal reception dream dress and my wedding headpiece from this website. That fluffy Payal Singhal dress (top picture in teal) was everything I could have hoped for. Super well made- even lined with velvet so the embroidery won’t scratch you! The dresses and jewelry were even cheaper than some of the Indian stores I went to. They were definitely my wedding life saver.
8. Bhavna Patel- My mendhi and hair for all my events was done my aunt. She has a beautician license and gets brides ready for their big day for a living. My hair never fell apart and my mendhi was unique. She got my hair done SUPER quick- 30 minutes is all she needed to get a good, firm hairstyle that could hold up the chundari on my head. She is located in New Jersey- message me if you would like to book her for an event.
9. Karuna Chani – Book her, don’t do a test, don’t wait..just book her. She did my bridesmaids’ make up in the morning for the ceremony and it lasted the whole day into the reception. Her specialty is in airbrushing and she has done make up for Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Pandukone. I knew she would know how to work with my skin tone and not make me look like a white faced-brown necked zombie. She is the reason why I look flawless in my wedding pictures. My bridesmaids were glowing all day because they looked and felt beautiful. She gets booked pretty quickly so make sure to call her pretty early on!
10. Mandaps by Dhoom – They took my Pinterest picture and made it come to life. I wanted a simple, chic mandap and that is exactly what I got. They freaked me out a bit because they were working on the mandaps all the way until the last minute, but it all worked out. I didn’t have much interaction with them as my sister worked with them. However, she had nothing but good things to say.
11. Dhoom Events – Our DJ was the BOMB.com. EVERYONE was out on the dance floor having a blast! They played a nice mix of hip hop and bhangra and just set the mood right. We got tons of compliments on the DJ and the music. Also they were on time with the reception timeline. They made sure everyone was sitting, and all the speeches and dances were performed on time.
Do you have any Do’s or Don’t for a wedding? Comment below!