Resplendent Rajasthan: Have a Wedding Fit for Royals

Resplendent Rajasthan: Have a Wedding Fit for Royals

Rajasthan, literally translated, means ‘the land of kings’. It’s true that even when Indians think about Rajasthan, the first adjective that comes to mind is ‘royal’. There is a historical and cultural richness in Rajasthan that remains unmatched. So if you’re looking to have a kingly affair, this grand destination is the place for you. Though it’s beauty is a topic of long discourse, we’ll focus particularly on three cities in Rajasthan that are known for their wedding glory: Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur.

Jubilant Jaipur

Jaipur, fondly referred to as the Pink City, is first on our list of wedding hotspots in Rajasthan. It is home to magnificent palaces, looming fortresses, majestic havelis and flourishing gardens. If you want to go all out on your big day, pick Rambagh Palace, Jai Mahal Palace, or Neemrana-Fort Palace as your regal backdrop of choice.

Rambagh Palace belongs to the Taj Group of Hotels and is the ideal place for you if you’ve always dreamed of having an opulent wedding that you want to customize, right down to the table centrepieces at your reception. The venue is complete with an amphitheatre for the sangeet and lush gardens for the cocktail reception. The hotel even offers a traditional Indian baraat complete with elephants to sanctify your celebration.

Jai Mahal Palace is more whimsical and romantic. However, the hotel provides a more modern wedding setup against its ancient backdrop and also makes the honeymoon experience for the couple extraordinary. One place to keep your sight set on if you’re looking at an outdoor reception is the luxuriant Mughal Gardens.

The imposing Neemrana-Fort Palace falls on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. This architectural treasure is the very essence of Rajasthan, where culture and tradition meet modern-day luxury. Along with the old-world charm the place exudes, it also boasts a swimming pool and sundeck terraces that would be ideal for a cocktail-cum-pool party and rooftop gardens for the reception.

Unrivalled Udaipur

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is known for it’s sheer architectural beauty and finesse. The high count of lakes in the city gives it a Venetian feel. The numerous palaces adjoining these lakes give a feeling of being transported to a predated era. Taj Lake Palace, The Leela Palace and Hotel Fateh Garh are our picks from the countless wedding prospects Udaipur has to offer.

Taj Lake Palace is a floating vision in white, situated at the edge of Lake Pichola. A wedding at this destination is bound to be an affair to remember. The hotel ensures this by giving the couple an opportunity to choose from an array of traditional and modern-day themes styled to perfection.

The Leela Palace is another spectacular location overlooking Lake Pichola. True to Rajputi grandeur, this hotel has been designed to reflect intricate craftsmanship and luxury at its best. It truly typifies the perfect venue for a big fat Indian wedding.

Hotel Fateh Garh is a Heritage Renaissance structure that echoes the cultural and spiritual heritage of Rajasthan’s past. It is ideal for those couples who wish to tie the knot in a picturesque old-world location with a touch of class.

Joyful Jodhpur

Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City, is a metropolitan in its true sense. It is vibrant and bustling, complete with historical structures set in a stunning landscape, and perfect for a loud wedding. If you’re looking to have a truly Rajasthani affair, Umaid Bhawan, Ajit Bhawan, or Taj Mahal Hari is the place for you.

While Umaid Bhawan is the largest known home in India, part of it is owned by the Taj Group and is absolutely breathtaking (my personal favourite) with intricate design and rich, antique furnishing. You’ll be surprised to know that it is considered a budget hotel, so you can have a truly classy, royal-like wedding here at a not-so-exorbitant cost.

Ajit Bhawan, the first heritage hotel of India, is a great venue for a relaxed, civilized, and truly poetic wedding. It has a homely feel to it, and it truly provides the experience of a wedding from during the time of kings.

Taj Hari Mahal echoes a Moghul style with a fantastic mix of swanky and classic. It is romantic, elegant, traditional and refined, and fit for a fairy tale wedding.

Apart from the wedding buzz, the architectural marvels, such as temples, forts and palaces (of course), in Rajasthan are truly something to look forward to on your visit there. Whether you’re out shopping, on a desert safari, visiting a zoo, taking an elephant ride, or enjoying an elaborate thali meal, your experience of this beautiful destination will be far from ordinary. So as an end note in the spirit of true Rajasthani hospitality:

“In the past, people were born royal. Nowadays, royalty comes from what you do.” – Gianni Versace

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Saved by the Card: Save That Date!

Saved by the Card: Save That Date!

Have you ever faced that situation where you completely forgot about a bumchum’s birthday party or missed a close friend’s baby shower because you forgot to note the date down in your daily planner or organizer? Join the club. This particular memory lapse with dates due to the busy lives we lead is a problem mankind has faced since the beginning of time (well, at least the century). Your wedding day will probably be the biggest day of your life, and you’ll want the people you love to be a part of it. So to ensure that there are limited no-shows at your wedding, be sure to give your guests proper notice and have them save the date of your big day.

Time it to a T

Save-the-date cards are a fun and casual way of informing your potential wedding guests that your D-day is in the looming and that they should block their calendars for it. However, it’s extremely important that these cards be timed perfectly so they are most effective. Waiting till the last quarter before your wedding to send these love notes would defeat their purpose as you would ideally be sending out your formal wedding invitation by then. On the other hand, sending save-the-date cards out a year (or more) in advance would prove disastrous if you happened to change the date or venue or some other unforeseen issue was to arise. Only consider the year-long reminder if you plan on a destination wedding and your guests will have to make arrangements to fly in.

Leave no man behind

Remember that save-the-date cards are a fun reminder sent for the benefit of your guests, so don’t deprive anyone of these quirky little nudges. Most people have this notion that only out-of-towners or people they’re not really in touch with regularly need save-the-date cards. Well, don’t go by this folk tale if you want to avoid confusion when planning your guest list. Send these prompts out to every single person on the list, including close friends and family, and make sure they have your date highlighted in their planners.

Do it with style

Save-the-date cards are supposed to be creative and fun and unlike the formal wedding invitation you will send out. So let your imagination run wild and come up with an out-of-the-box idea to customize these little containers of joy. You can send out a quirky card, a cool-looking magnet, a cute little box of trinkets (including a His & Hers figurine), a playful make-it-yourself set (such as paper dolls or spinner cards), a creative bookmark, a bag of potpourri, or a humble postcard. Whatever you do, make sure there’s a little bit of you in it.

Word it with care

Just as you’ll put great thought into how the card will look, you’ll want to customize the wording on it too. Whether you go traditional or unconventional, there are a few points you must remember to add. Be sure to have your and your spouse’s name on the card, and mention the date and venue of the wedding (obviously). If you’re having a destination wedding, include an itinerary of the functions and parties; information regarding airfare, hotels and car rentals; hotspots for sightseeing (so your guests can make a trip of it), and other fun knowledge. The more detailed your card is, the bigger the sense of excitement it will generate!

Save-the-date cards are the first official announcement of your wedding, so put your heart into making these snippets of detail a joyous occasion for yourself and all your guests. Most importantly, don’t forget to have a blast!

Intercaste Marriages: Cast Away the Misconceptions

Intercaste Marriages: Cast Away the Misconceptions

“Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom

Marriages are supposed to represent a union of two souls and families. Religion, caste systems and other such social dogmas are barriers that have often crippled budding relationships in our country. Couples who have found love beyond their community circles usually tend to face resistance from friends and family. But don’t fret about it. Resisting change or something new is part of human nature. The best thing to do is to ease your family into accepting what you know in your heart is best for you. We’ll have a look at how you can attempt this. We know love doesn’t see cultural and lifestyle differences before finding it’s way into one’s heart, but there are some unforeseen hiccups that we’re going to make you aware of so you can have a smooth transition into your spouse’s family.

Learn to empathize

Every parent has a set of expectations attached with the person their child will marry. One of the biggest expectations is that their child’s choice belong to the community they are familiar with. So when you spring the fact as being something else, they are bound to be upset about it. In such a situation, it will only get worse if you throw a tantrum or use the reverse psychology of lashing out at your parents so they are forced to accept your decision. If you want them to accept your love wholeheartedly, learn to empathize with their point of view and understand the fact that time is the only healer.

What’s life without a challenge

Apart from the obvious challenges, such as resistance from family and variance in religious practices, some unanticipated obstacles could be a difference in language, lifestyle, food habits, medical beliefs, etc. However, don’t let this bog you down. The key to a successful intercaste relationship is for each couple to stay true to their roots and maintain their individuality. This will be appreciated in the long run. Try and blend in as much as you can, but you’ll have to make peace with the fact that some things are simply done differently in your spouse’s family.

Mingle

The best way to blend in is to mingle with the extended family at get-togethers and functions. The first few times may prove awkward for all of you, but once you’ve overcome this phase and actually begun to enjoy the company you’re in, things will get much easier for you (and your spouse) at home. Your in-laws will appreciate the honest effort you’re making to become a member of the family and accept their traditions. All in all, it’s a win-win!

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Educate

Intercaste marriages are beneficial in so many ways, and yet, in India they remain a social taboo of sorts. People need to be made more aware of the benefits of such unions so they are more open and accepting of them. Mixed unions are so much fun! They are an opportunity to get introduced to a whole new world of culture, rituals, traditions, ideologies and philosophies. They help aid the progress of the country by bringing two communities together and eradicating communalist ideologies.

So in the spirit of acceptance, this note goes out to all the moms and dads out there. Give your sons and daughters a say in the most important decision of their lives. In the words of William Shakespeare, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” Have confidence in your upbringing. Trust that your child will do what’s right for them and you. Keep the faith!

The Blushing Airbrushing Bride

The Blushing, Airbrushing Bride

“Treat your makeup like jewelry for the face. Play with colors, shapes, structure – it can transform you.” – Francois Nars

A brush of magic, and you’ve transformed into that Disney princess you’ve always dreamed of. That’s the brilliance of makeup. Every girl deserves to feel like a princess on their wedding day, and we’re going to show you how. Some of the makeup fads trending this 2014 will leave your mouth watering for more!

Lipstick games
As far as lip trends go this year, nudes, blushing pinks, and delicious berries are the way to go. Teasing and coy, these not-so, yet invisible shades will transform our beloved brides into irresistible coquettes.

PS: For all you bold and boisterous brides out there, another color to watch out for is the exuberant orange (it’s the new red!)

Eye spy

‘Cat eyes’ are a simple, yet transformative trend that has been around for a while now. This feline fad will not only give that scandalously shocking effect to the demure bride, but it will also help accentuate those undiscovered cheekbones. So bust out your liquid liner and start practicing for that perfectly clean line!

Of braids and brides

This wedding season, do away with open-haired styles and boring buns. Bashful braids have suddenly gone bold and are no longer reserved for the girl next door. New-age brides are slowly realizing that braids can look totally chic and glamorous. They look absolutely fabulous on any jaw line or outfit, can be worn in a million different ways, and can be adorned with pretty accessories, such as flowers, barrettes and so forth. So be they regular, French or fishtail braids, these artistic tangled webs are out to make a statement.

The wedding brow

Thin, flimsy and machine-made eyebrows are so passé. The age of big and bold brows is back. Natural-looking eyebrows add a softness to the face, which is a secret that has recently been rediscovered. They symbolize how our generation is tracing its way back to long-forgotten trends. So for all those brides with not very well-endowed brows, make optimum use of the brow pencil to get perfectly groomed eyebrows and instantly revamp your look.

Revamp

While it’s tradition in some cultures to go bold with bridal makeup to match the usually vibrant bridal attire, it’s also important for you to not look like a vamp on your wedding day. So it’s important to strike a contrast between the lip and eye shade you’re going to wear. If you want that smokey or beautiful cat-eyed look for your eyes, make sure you wear a nude lip color and not a hot pink to accompany it. Similarly, play down your eyes if you plan on shocking your lips with a vibrant red or orange.

So on this very voguish note and in the spirit of all things festive, keep the planning going for your D-Day, and watch this space for more insightful and life-changing updates. Good luck!