Sonam and Hamir

The textbook definition of a wedding is – the ceremony or celebration of a marriage. According to us our wedding is a celebration of not only our marriage but the celebration of unity of both our families who reside in various parts of the city, country, and the world.

We – Sonam & Hamir, met initially in 2003, and no, it was not love at first sight. We did not hear about each other for the next few years, when suddenly one day, Facebook suggested that we should be friends. We started chatting on Facebook and MSN messenger. One sunny afternoon we finally decided to meet.

After this, Hamir had to leave for the UK for work. This is when we started our Blackberry chats, which were great, but it would get frustrating not to see each other. Though Skype made things easier, the time difference was killing us. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder which was true for us.

From then, we believe that no matter what happens, we both will be there for each other in our happiness, sorrow, anger, excitement, loneliness and victories. It has been a lovely experience being with him.

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Priyanka and Saurav

They say, a picture speaks a thousand words. Saurav’s photo spoke right through my heart from the day I saw it.

It was a typical arranged marriage scenario at home. On a balmy November afternoon my sister randomly flipped her laptop towards me and asked, “What do you have to say about this picture, isn’t he very handsome?” All I managed to tell her was, “Yeah” with a big smile. I was totally besotted looking at his picture. It was love at first sight for me.

We could not meet till January due to some circumstances, and it felt like a long wait. This left me frustrated. I would constantly question my mom, “What happened to ‘that’ proposal, why isn’t the guy coming to see me?” She would always give me hope without ever getting miffed.

Finally, the day drew closer and I was flushed with immense joy. On January 14, 2012, the knight in the shinning amour finally came down from Delhi. When we saw each other for the first time something magical happened. We could not stop talking once we started. By the time our official meeting ended, we exchanged numbers and the day ended with our very first of many romantic dates.

The thought of my first date always brings out a chuckle. I was then working with a PR firm and had an event to attend, so I asked Saurav to join me there. We walked through the corridors of the Taj and soaked in every bit of our tête-à-tête. The world around us just failed to exist. Later that night we headed for what I would like to call the ‘real’ date. We spoke eye-to-eye, heart to heart becoming surer about each other. I could feel the connection and the feeling was wonderful.

The next two days just flew by and so did my love with a heavy heart. I could see the pain in his eyes at the airport before he left for Delhi. It took us ten days to tell our parents that we are ready to be tied in holy matrimony.

Our courtship lasted for six months and everything about it was surreal. He flew often to Bangalore and we spent hours chit-chatting about love, life and happiness. We were truly, madly and deeply in love. We had a very heartwarming engagement ceremony in Delhi at his house. Saurav went down on his knees and proposed to me in front of everyone. I was flabbergasted, overjoyed and teary-eyed, because it was just so dreamy and touching.

From falling in love to finding my better half, my life has been full of surprises. We have been married for a year now and it has been a great journey so far.

Menaz and Devang

Life is a like a blank page of dots, which gradually connect to form a pattern, with every passing experience. We realize the meaning and importance of certain events in our lives only after we look back at them from a future point.

It has been more than fourteen years since I have known her, and we have spent a lovely decade together. Little did I know, that my best friend’s sister would be the love of my life.

I was the President of the Rotaract Club of Churchgate, when she joined. What started as a secret crush, blossomed into a little more, and soon enough, all my friends could easily see through it. When it was pretty obvious even for her to know how I felt, I decided to declare my feelings openly on June 14th 2004. But I got that one response which a man dreads, and which a woman generally uses – “I do not see you that way.”

A hopeless romantic that I am, I decided to try the “Paanch Din Ladki In” theory I had seen in a Bollywood movie. I switched off my phone  and become inaccessible to all my contacts. When I switched it on the next day, there were around two-three messages and a couple of calls from her which I ignored. Finally the next day, my heart got the better of my head (as always) and I called her. We spoke through the night till four in the morning. (I guess the trick worked).

We met over coffee at Barista the next day, and I gave her a letter I had written, describing my feelings. I left for Ahmedabad in the evening, and while I was on my way to the railway station, I got a phone call from her. She said yes!

From that day on, there has been no looking back. We have been together ever since. She has been my best friend, and it has been a roller coaster ride. I have loved every minute of it and it wouldn’t be the same without her.

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And The List Goes On & On & On…

Think back to all the parties you’ve organized or hosted. They all have a similar framework which involves catering, invites, giveaways and so on but have you realized none of these elements can be finalised until you know how many people are expected. And this issue perhaps stems from the big question  – how many guests should you invite in the first place?

As individuals of a society we always tend to base these decisions on different factors ranging from who invited us in the past to who we really want as part of our celebrations, from who is immediate family to who could pass off as far-off relatives. Each of these thoughts play a role in determining your final guest list and we know the problems it can pose. For this we suggest a four finger rule on how to create guest lists, especially for weddings, which are an elaborate affair.

Categorize the crowd

The easiest way to start the list is to categorize everyone you know. Create titles for each list like immediate family, secondary family, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, classmates and so forth. This way everyone is bracketed in a way to enable you to understand their place in your life on your big day. Our favorite way to getting started is running through your phone list, Facebook friends or the age old address book at home.

Prioritize the people

Once you have categorized the guests, it is now time to rate them in order of importance. The ones who are extremely special and important to you are prioritized on the list with a star or highlighter so you know that they are definitely included for the wedding whereas the rest remain as options based on other factors.

Feel the function

By now your most important guests are marked on the list and perhaps you are contemplating over which ones should be invited from the rest of the list. For this it is extremely important to visualize the wedding functions. Think about what kind of mood you want to set and that should give you an idea. If you want a Mehendi function that is intimate and fun then you would most likely omit acquaintances or colleagues but if you would want something more extensive then you would include the ones who aren’t too close to you as well. Similarly you wouldn’t have a bachelor or youngsters party which included far off relatives – would you? Thinking along the lines of how you would want to enjoy each day of your wedding will definitely help you define the guest list even better.

Adhere to the arrangement

Once you reach this stage, you will realize that you pretty much have a guest list that is quite close to the final one but what will really make it the final one is your ability to stick to it. We strongly recommend to try and avoid checking the list more than twice or thrice to the maximum else it is a case of – back to square one – and you will not see yourself progressing.

We aren’t claiming that making the guest list is as easy as we are trying to make it sound but we assure you it isn’t as big a task if you are systematic, focused and of course calm. So get your laptop, open up an excel sheet (avoid wasting paper where you can) and go! Good luck.

eco friendly wedding

Go Green!

While many might say ‘opposites attract’, we believe it is the love for common things that brings people together.

With people becoming more and more aware each day, it won’t be long before we have weddings that are more environment friendly, use lesser resources and yet radiate the same charm like every other wedding. If you and your partner share a common love for nature and all things natural then why not consider an eco-friendly wedding? To begin with, the idea might seem vague in an era where there are people lavishly outdoing each other at organizing weddings but then a rethink and you will realize an eco-friendly wedding stands out because of the traditional spark it provides. What does that mean? We will tell you more!

Like every other wedding, an eco-friendly wedding one requires great thought but lesser work. To begin with, scan the city for shops or factories that produce eco-friendly material. Once you get an idea of what is available to you and what needs to be sourced from elsewhere, you are better prepared to go ahead with the planning and styling of the wedding.

Invites

The biggest giveaway for guests on what to expect at your wedding are the invites. While this theme would focus on e-invites, for those still adamant on following the age old traditional method of inviting, you could opt for wedding cards made from recycled paper. You could actually go a step ahead and make the invites usable to guests by printing cards in the form of a paper file or a bookmark. This way your wedding invite is printed on one side and the card does have a use other than being disposed once the wedding is over. Don’t forget, this beautiful, nature-friendly card of yours is given to guests in a jute or paper bag else it defeats the purpose.

Venue

Bring out the beauty of nature at your wedding. Aim at selecting a venue that allows natural light and preferably opting for a wedding during nicer months of the year as this would restrict the use of air conditioning and allow guests to dwell in the natural breeze. An option would also be a nice outdoor venue to soak in the natural surroundings as much as possible. The courtyards of old forts, beach side weddings and lawns of societies, perhaps your own farmhouse, family home far away from the urban cities are some options you could consider.

Decor

Like we pointed out earlier, eco-friendly weddings radiate a traditional charm and you will notice that once you work on the decor. Materials that would suit this theme would be natural flowers like marigolds, earthen clay diyas and matkis. While these can beautifully adorn the entrance to the venue or highlight areas like the buffet counters, the stage or mandap can also be very much inline with the theme. Mud bricks and banana leaves can be used to set up the mandap and rose petals could be strewn around creating a pathway for you and your partner’s entry. Shut your eyes and visualize the gorgeousness of these Earthen elements along with the vastness of nature in the backdrop and you won’t have a second thought about your decision even once.

Entertainment

We all know that Indian weddings mean laughter, singing, dancing… in short quite a bit of noise and yours doesn’t have to be any different just because you are choosing to keep it eco-friendly. Skip the DJ, decks and sound system for traditional instruments like the dholak, harmonium and folk singers or a band.

Do remember that aiming for an eco-friendly wedding does not mean you eliminate every sign of modernization but instead you aim at limiting it and instead opt for the basics as much as you can. Express your love for each other and for the same things in this unusual and practical way.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle should be the motto this wedding season.

Doing It Your Way!

How many times have you heard your friends talk about their dream wedding and when you are invited to it, it is something quite different. Well, don’t start judging or assuming! There’s more to every wedding than the wedding arrangements. It is the guests. Having guests turn up to a wedding which they don’t know much about changes the tone and mood of the wedding. If you want to avoid that, especially if it is a destination wedding or a wedding where you are expecting many guests from out of town, we’ve got a solution. Opt for a wedding website!

Gaining popularity in recent times, wedding websites not only tend to be informative but they also save you the hassle of printing elaborate wedding booklets when you can opt for simple wedding cards. Here’s a quick peek into what the website can offer guests coming to your wedding.

Know the destination

One of our favorite reason for suggesting a website is the fact that it allows the guest to know more about the destination. Either it gives them more information on the hotel you are putting them up in or suggests hotels they could opt for during the duration of their stay. It enables you to give them information on things they can do in the city during their spare time, facilities they can avail such as salon, spa, makeup artists etc plus other vital information like the kind of climate they can expect, the dress code followed in the city and the dos and don’ts of the city.

Know the couple

As an Indian you will always find yourself surrounded by guests you don’t directly seem to know nor who know much about you but they are there because they are far off relatives or friends of your parents. To make this interesting, it is always a good idea to have a little paragraph telling them a bit about how you and your partner met and images that capture fun moments of your relationship – after all it always helps to put a face to the name.

Know the schedule

Most people tend to forget the wedding cards that are sent to them thus confusing the occasions, the timings or the dress code once they are at the destination. Having a website helps because it is easily accessible and gives guests the information they need instantly. Also, the same information works well for those planning their trip as it enables them to get complete details of what they should be wearing and how to plan their packing.

Know what to expect

Many times destination weddings or weddings in general tend to have an ambiance of constant celebration. Guests tend to group up and together make plans on the time they will meet for the next function, what they should do etc. With a website, they can stay updated on information you wish to share about the day’s happenings. If there is anything special that has been arranged for their entertainment or comfort, it seems more practical to make it known to all versus expecting the word to spread around.

Know what happened

Lastly, who said the website is just for those coming to the wedding. There might be times when a near and dear one can’t make it to your special day and you might not be the only one upset, they might too! Keep them involved by using the website to stream the wedding. Helps keeping all the special ones in your life as a part of the big day.

With websites being such a cost effective medium of communication these days, having one is definitely something a good wedding planner would recommend as part of your wedding preparations. From directing guests to filling in all on the fun, it is your mobile guide to THE DAY!

wedding budget

How much is too much?

How much is too much? A question you often ask yourself when discussing money. A question for which we may never find the exact answer because budgeting is a concept that is relative. Like they say, ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’, similarly, what one might consider the basics might be an extravagant affair for another.

The scale varies tremendously when it comes to budgeting weddings and understanding where to draw the line. This to many can be the most tedious and stressful part of wedding planning and therefore here are a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.

Prepare a budget

This can be a tricky one but we always like to believe that ‘nothing is impossible’. If you don’t know what amount to begin with which means, if you don’t know how many zeroes to add to the digits then we suggest working backwards. Aim at creating a rough estimate based on the total costing of all the things you would like to include at your wedding.

Create lists

This one has to be our favourite. We love the efficiency achieved when you break down everything to smaller, simpler parts. Create multiple lists of the different aspects of the wedding ranging from personal to family expenses, decor to entertainment expenses, accommodation to catering expenses. These lists are then further divided to help track what expenses each of them include. Like for example the ‘Personal’ list could include your wedding outfit, cost of hair and make up, cost of accessories while the ‘Entertainment’ list could include costs of hiring a DJ, the band for the baraat etc.

Rank your sub lists

Creating a list not only assists you in breaking down your expenses but also allows you a clearer understanding of what is most important to you both as a couple. It allows you to prioritize the costs based on your preferences. This is an effective way of saving yourself the moolah you would otherwise be spending with the assumption that everything needs a big budget because everything is important.

Source multiple vendors

We say work hard but more importantly, work smart. A good idea would be to gather quotations from multiple vendors as this allows comparison. A good way to start sourcing vendors would be through references and then move on to search-based vendors or just hire a wedding planner who would give you the costs at the most economical rate.

Recruit a good planner

Time and again we stress the assistance of a good wedding planner to help you through your big day because we assure you it’s a battle half won. Professional wedding planners not only assist you with creating lists of what all needs to be budgeted but their strong network of vendors also means better costs and guaranteed quality of work. After all we don’t like to take gambles on big days, do we?

Whether your strategy is to start with a model budget and work towards trimming it down or to start from scratch and work each costing till you arrive to a final figure, we recommend you to be systematic. Like we said, there’s no right or wrong spending but there is definitely the irrational spending that you would like to avoid.

The Wedding Co. aims to provide you a budget-friendly wedding without any compromises on the details. Our team works with you on each and every detail of the event and provides you guidance at each step so that your vision becomes a reality.