Unique Entries for the Indian Groom

97f44f3fc4e384d50d3d7636d48ac20e.jpgEvery Indian wedding has that moment, as the family and friends await the arrival of the groom, the entry of the baraat, the commencement of the celebrations. And while traditionally, the groom would arrive on a white horse, why not mix things up a little, and make a grand entry, one everyone is going to remember and talk about for years to come? Here are some of our top picks for unique entries ishtyles for the groom!


Vroom-in in style!

Why come in on a horse when you can ride in on a Harley or Enfield instead? Better yet, get your baraat to make an entry in style with a biker group, the engines playing a melody of their own! After all, what could possibly be hotter than a groom on a bike?

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Quirky Desi Entry

Go desi and have a few laughs by making an entry on a tractor or a scooter, or even better still, ride in in a decked up auto-rickshaw! Not only will this create a light moment and break the ice between families, it will also be a moment to always remember!

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Go Classy with Vintage

Nothing speaks classy like making an entry in a vintage luxury car! If you’re ready to splurge a little, these cars can be rented for the night of your wedding. Imagine getting out of a chauffeur driven luxury car, and after the wedding, taking your bride home in that!

Go Traditional, really traditional!

Why only a white horse? Travel like the Maharajas did! Enter your wedding venue on a royal elephant, complete with decoration and seating like that of a king. The sheer size of the gesture is sure to make an impact on the guests awaiting your entry!

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Segaway

Be cute, and be tech-savvy! Ride in on a Segaway hoverboard and charm your family to-be with a few laughs along the way! It’s convenient and completely different. What’s more, if your bride is willing (and has prior experience), lead her to the waiting car after the wedding on a Segaway as well. Now that would a vidai to remember!

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A wedding flash mob!

Imagine getting out of your car, getting in line with your family and greeting the guests waiting to start the rituals of the groom’s entry. And suddenly music plays out from the background, and one by one your baarat starts breaking into a choreographed dance. And you join in as well! This entry is not only delightful, but a beautiful way to introduce your family and announce your entry. Imagine everyone’s delight as they witness this unique entry style!

So, after reading this list, do you really still want to enter on your white horse, like thousands before you have done, or would you rather make your D-Day entry absolutely unique and unforgettable? Have any other ideas? Tell us in the comments below!

But first, let’s talk about SELFIES!

Selfies. Let’s discuss.

Wedding Selfies

Ellen took one at the Oscars. Songs have been recorded about them. And yes, with their good hair and epic backdrops, weddings seem like the ideal situation in which to snap one. While we’re all for documenting the good times, there are moments at every wedding when selfies are totally not okay. Read on for our guide to when to put the camera phone down—and when you should feel free to snap away.

Weddingwire carefully highlights moments that are a total faux pas for selfies that a wedding guest must bear in mind before lifting their iPhone up and browsing across filters.

1. While the bride is getting dressed 
Let’s face it—sucking in while squeezing into undergarments is not a good look for anyone. Wait until she’s fully dressed to pose for the pic, and then wait until after the groom sees her to post it.

2. Before her makeup is done 
Nobody, nobody, wants a picture of themselves floating around cyberspace sans make-up, and this is especially true of brides. Do you really want to risk the wrath of your friend moments before she makes her debut?

3. During the Procession
A bride’s walk down the aisle is one of the most intimate and important moments of the wedding, and you are guaranteed to ruin it if you stick an elbow out (or worse, stand up) to take a selfie during it.

4. While the couple is exchanging vows 
The almost-newlyweds are in the midst of making a lifelong commitment to each other. The courteous thing to do is sit quietly and listen, not crop your image to better flatter your face.

5. During the first kiss 
This is still part of the vows, so not exactly the most appropriate moment to toggle between the Nashville and Hefe filters on Instagram.

6. While the wedding party is posing for portraits 
The photographer the couple hired to take pictures of the day has this under control. No need to hold up your phone and point it at yourself when there’s a pro being paid.

7. While the couple is eating 
If and when the couple finds a moment to eat between greeting guests and dancing, there’s no question they’ll be scarfing food down quickly. Please do NOT take this opportunity to ask them to pose for a pic.

8. During personal moments 
Being the guest of honor means making the rounds to all sorts of attendees. Let the couple have their space with the people who made an extra effort to be there, especially older relatives.

9. While you’re giving a toast 
Snapping photos of yourself Kim Kardashian-style during what is supposed to be a genuine and sincere expression of feelings will not be received well by the couple or any of the guests. Preserve your image by putting the iPhone away.

10. The couple’s first dance 
For Catholic Weddings, this is in no way, shape, or form a moment that should include you. It’s totally kosher to ‘gram the first dance, but make sure the newlyweds are the only people in it.

11. During the send-off 
The important thing here is to send the couple off into married life in style. Wave your sparkler with enthusiasm, and wait until they’re safely in the limo before you start posing whimsically with it.

All that being said, there are certain times during a wedding when selfies are totally appropriate—and even encouraged! Here’s when you can feel free to selfie away:

1. While you’re tearing up the dance floor
2. A reunion of old college friends
3. In your getting-ready and drinking outfits, pre-ceremony
4. While you’re seated and anxiously awaiting the bride’s walk down the aisle 
5. During cocktail hour/ Reception.

About the Author: This post has been written by Sarah Title for WeddingWire.

Photo Courtesy –  Katelyn James Photography

Ten Things You’ll Witness Only at an Indian Wedding

An Indian wedding is a festival in many rights. It usually comprises a week-long celebration with traditions and ceremonies that are specific to that community or region. However, there are some standard quirks that you’ll see at every Indian wedding, irrespective of which caste, creed, region or tribe you belong to. And, these are what make an Indian wedding an affair to remember.

Let’s take a look at a few:

The Shehnai

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The Shehnai is the quintessential wedding instrument for Indian festivities and ceremonies. It is a popular aero phonic, double-reed wind instrument used in North Indian music. The sound of the Shehnai is intrinsically associated with Indian wedding music and retains its charm to this day. It is predominantly associated with celebration and happiness, and no wedding ceremony is complete without a seasoned bandwala churning out heart-wrenching music from this peculiar-looking descendent of the Persian surna.

Marigold

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The marigold flower, also known locally as ‘the Genda Phool’, is another classic element in Indian weddings. Marigolds have forever been associated in India with prosperity and good fortune, and no larger-than-life celebration is complete without the presence of these sun-kissed blossoms in decorations and important ceremonies. In fact, they even hold religious significance in Hindu ceremonies. In addition, marigolds come in bright and cheery colours such as orange, yellow, and reddish-orange, which have made them a favourite with wedding decorators and event planners. They are often used for torans, draped on walls and pillars, in mandap decorations as well as in wedding garlands or they’re simply used to add colourful touches to the wedding venues.

Multiple Cuisines

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If you haven’t been to an Indian wedding yet, attend one just for the food. Food is an integral part of festivities in any part of the world, but Indians take this concept to a whole new level.  Indian cuisine is a diverse mix of regional staples from across the country, infused with their own cultural, religious flavour. However, Indian weddings usually house a host of cuisines from across the globe and not just the country. Apart from your average Indian spread of chaats, curries, breads, pulavs and biryanis, these days you’ll usually be treated to lip-smacking desi versions of Italian, Chinese, Thai and Mediterranean food as well. To experience a meal at an Indian wedding is one for every bucket list!

Haldi

Pragati & Anant's Haldi, Pithi, Mehndi & Sangeet

‘Haldi’, known around the world as turmeric, holds an important place in Indian wedding festivities. Though weddings in the country are generally religiously diverse, the haldi ceremony is a typically Indian tradition for every caste and creed. Known among different communities as haldi, uptan, peethi, mandha, roce and many other names, the essentials of this ceremony remain pretty much the same. In the ceremony, a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rose water and other goodness is applied to the bride and the groom’s body before their wedding to give them that added pre-nuptial glow. In short, it’s like your very own ancient Indian spa day!

The Baraat

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The baraat is the most fun-filled Indian wedding ceremony, and Indian weddings deserve a separate category for how fun and entertaining they are. This is basically the groom’s procession of all his colourful and festive relatives and friends that commences from his house up to the wedding venue. The spruced up groom is perched on a mare (or elephant, if you’re going for the truly regal feel) in all his royalty and escorted to his eagerly waiting bride. The highlight of this ceremony is the crazy dancing the relatives indulge in during the procession. It’ll truly make you feel like Indians are the happiest people on this planet (at weddings at least).

The Sangeet

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Sangeet, or music, is synonymous with festivities in India, be it the shehnai at the wedding reception, the bhangda at the after party, the dholakwalis at the mehendi, or the sangeet ceremony before the actual wedding. The tradition, as the name suggests, is all about dance, music, and merry making. This is usually a grand, elaborate affair, encompassing the real spirit of the big fat Indian wedding. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for the wedding party to relax, unwind, enjoy the festivities, and celebrate their happiness together. It short,  the sangeet is great to break the ice between the bride and groom’s families.

The Saree

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The Saree is one Indian trend that’s garnered attention worldwide. This long, seamless fabric worn by women varies in design, colour and significance in different regions in India. The South Indian kanjivaram is poles apart from the Gujarati panetar and bandhani sarees and Mangalorean sados. Each saree is symbolic of a different tradition and ritual. Banarasi, Nauvari, Chiffon, Chanderi, the list is endless. Needless to say, you’re bound to look elegant in this gorgeous garment as it suits any body type, skin tone, and age group!

The Safa

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Safas, pagris or turbans are known for their elegant, regal look and are a significant detail in the Indian groom’s attire. It is basically a long piece of unstitched cloth that’s wrapped around the head. Available in bright colours such as fuschia, red, orange and so on, they add a touch of grace and vibrancy to the ensemble, and can be paired brilliantly with a suit, jodhpuri, sherwani or any other traditional wedding attire.

Lots and lots of Gold

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Indians, in most parts of the world, are considered gold crazy. This isn’t far from the truth, largely because this precious metal holds a special place in Indian tradition and society as a whole. Gold purchases are also thought to be auspicious on festivals such as Dhanteras, Onam and Durga Puja. From the Indian perspective, gold not only brings good fortune, but can be an investment, a status symbol, a great ornament, a thoughtful gift item, a cherished heirloom and a religious contribution. Indian brides are usually adorned in beautiful gold jewellery as a sign of prosperity and happiness, which bodes quite well for the global gold industry.

Paan/Mukhwas

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After-meal refreshments are quite popular at Indian weddings and are the perfect end to any meal. Paan and mukhwas have been used for years by Indian royalty and locals alike as a digestive and palate cleanser. Mukhwas comprises an assortment of aromatic colourful seeds and nuts coated with various flavours. Paans basically consist of saffron, gulkand (rose jam), sweetened cashews and almonds, and other minty elements wrapped in a betel leaf. These refreshments are usually set towards the exit of the venue or near the food counters so guests can help themselves after the meal. All we can say is that these minty surprises at the end of the meal are totally worth the wait!

These little quirks and peculiarities truly help make Indian weddings memorable affairs. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what the Indian wedding scene has to offer. The details is what makes these festivities a true experience for any wedding lover.

Because You Know We're All About The Drapes - Not Tables!

Revamping the Trend at Every Bend!

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Wedding trends are an ever-changing phenomenon. What was trending in 2013 was probably obsolete by 2014 and is blasphemous this 2015. The only constant trend of the century has been to reinvent what already exists.

Here’s what’s in store this year:

Themes and colours

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This year wedding themes and colours schemes get even bolder than last year; the palette primarily constitutes muted tones paired with vibrant colours. You can couple luscious red with sober taupe, pair vivacious orange with mouth-watering mint, or combine royal purple with sterling silver to adorn your wedding day. And that’s just the beginning of the list; there are a host of other quirky ideas you can choose from.

Un-Hotel Wedding Venues

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This season to-be-weds are looking to make a statement by picking the wackiest location for their special event and give the wedding party a true experience to remember. The benefit of an offbeat, unique wedding venue is that you won’t need to fuss over the decor too much as the natural state of the location is bound to be striking. Palaces, historical monuments/ruins, boats, botanical gardens and film cities make for stunning, unlikely wedding venues that’ll surely remain in the memory of your audiences for years to come.

Stunning Entries

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Gone is the age of horses and horse-drawn carriages. New-age grooms are discovering innovative ways to make stunning, awe-inspiring entries to make a solid statement of style on the D-day. Vintage cars, decorated bicycles, custom bikes and helicopters are some popular means of transport among these modern-days knights. Well, all that seems to be missing is a 50-foot tower and fire-breathing dragon to get to the bride!

After Parties

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A few years ago, it was all about the cocktail parties and sangeets. However, wedding couples these days have taken the celebrations up a notch, with post-reception parties being the flavour of the season. After parties are a great idea to break away from the formality of the wedding reception and provides opportunity for easy interaction between the wedding guests and the newly weds. They’re also a great opportunity for the bride and groom to get to know their partner’s family. Besides, these parties need not be extravagant, so they’re easy on the pocket. Opt for something low key like karaoke and drinks, relax at a lounge, go bowling or to a videogame arcade or just unwind with a house party. Post-wedding trends are the best thing since cupcakes!

Wedding Media

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Media has played a significant role in weddings for the longest time, but social media and other new elements have completely revamped the look and feel of weddings and made this a multi-billion industry. Wedding pairs are increasingly opting for pre-wedding photo shoots, wedding films, wedsites, wedding mobile apps and Twitter hashtags to spread their bliss. However, though the trend has been to make the wedding famous through social networking, several couples are opting for unplugged weddings so their guests can truly be present in mind and spirit to enjoy the festivities on their wedding day.

Ultimately, trends are what appeal to a mass of people, which is why they gain popularity. They’re encouraged and appreciated, but never an obligation and can most certainly be reinvented. Don’t shy away from doing something completely out of the box and wowing your wedding party. Start your own trend!

Unplugged Weddings: Why Some Duos Dare to Disengage

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The biggest  wedding trend of recent years has been to go offline with your wedding. We know it sounds like just another pomp, but consider this. Do you recall a time when wedding guests paid attention to the wedding vows rather than how much battery they had left in their phones? When the official photographer didn’t have to worry about bobbing heads and protruding arms that could potentially ruin a crucial capture of the wedding ceremony? Well, these are few of several reasons why to-be-weds these days are requesting for an unplugged affair.

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An unplugged wedding is when the wedding party requests their families and friends to turn off their camera phones, tablets and other electronic hindrances and truly enjoy the wedding experience, and bless the couple with their heart and not their photography skills. We really understand why brides and grooms are going this route. This gives the hired wedding photographer the chance to capture the wedding as efficiently as possible without missing key shots due to obtrusive guest photographers. Wedding photographers involve a heavy investment, so it’s a real shame when the perfect wedding shot is ruined by a spontaneous flash from a smartphone.

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Besides all this, an unplugged wedding helps maintain a sense of intimacy in the wedding affair. Guests can truly enjoy the revelry and participate in the ceremony without worrying about capturing the perfect portrait through a 5-inch screen. I mean, the official photographer gets paid for the job, so it’s best to let them handle it. It’s alright to let the bride be the first one to Instagram her wedding.

All in all, it boils down to the wedding couple’s personal choice. Some brides and grooms love the attention and the fact that guests are so socially charged and updating about their ceremony in real time. On the other hand, some prefer to pick the unplugged itinerary and have their friends and family be physically and mentally, rather than virtually, present on their joyous occasion. The responsibility you have as a guest is to ensure that your wedding pair have a truly memorable event and no hindrance or undue stress is caused to them due to a conspicuous camera click.

Get Shot Before You Tie The Knot!

Get Shot before You Tie the Knot!

Weddings are affairs you want to remember for the rest of your life. However, the wedding day isn’t all that’s important. It’s the journey to the wedding—the build-up to the wedding day, the fun and frolic during the wedding preparations, the stress that was caused—that remains with those involved. Pre-wedding photo shoots are a very important part of the build-up. Most to-be-weds wish for their wedding album to illustrate their love story, and a pre-wedding shoot is like a prelude to this.

Courtesy: Shaadigrapher.com

Courtesy: Shaadigrapher.com

Besides the fact that a pre-wedding photo shoot is breathtakingly romantic, it’s also perfect for confirming how your wedding shots will look. To put it simply, it’s the perfect opportunity for you and your better half to get acquainted with your wedding photographer and understand their style. It’s also great for the photographer to learn about their muses, about how you work the camera, what your likes and dislikes are, whether you’re naturals or cute and awkward, and so forth. In addition to this, you’ll have an amazing tribute to your love story that you’ll cherish forever.

Courtesy: Sandeep Gupta Photography

Courtesy: Sandeep Gupta Photography

The way we look at it, there are only advantages to a pre-wedding shoot, which is probably why they’ve become quite popular among pre-wed beaus and belles. Natural settings such as beaches and parks are preferred over concrete structures, while some love bugs even prefer to shoot in the comfort of their own homes. Not only are natural backdrops the perfect settings for a shoot, they also prove to be excellent cost-effective solutions to already mounting wedding expenses.

Courtesy: Reggie Menacherry

Courtesy: Reggie Menacherry

India has a wealth of natural beauty for the perfect pre-wedding venues. Be it the serene backwaters of Kerala, the glorious palaces of Jaipur, the lush gardens of Bangalore, the exquisite beaches of Goa, or the historical testaments of Delhi, India has something to offer to every starry-eyed couple. Some famous pre-wedding hotspots are the Neemrana Fort in Jaipur. The monument represents a glorious age and is symbolic of strength and tenacity in both good times and bad, what marriages are about. Similarly, the Palolem beach in Goa is a breathtaking backdrop for romantic souls, so is Cubben Park in Bangalore.

Courtesy: Soumen Nath Photography

Courtesy: Soumen Nath Photography

Courtesy: Hiro Photography and Cinematography

Courtesy: Hiro Photography and Cinematography

Courtesy: Anup J Kat Photography

Courtesy: Anup J Kat Photography

Courtesy: Shaadigrapher.com

Courtesy: Shaadigrapher.com

Another popular trend these days is to have a themed shoot. You may be a princess being rescued by her white knight or Kajol running through poppy fields into the arms of her Shahrukh Khan, the possibilities are endless. Some trending themes are those based on hobbies, vehicles, sports, coffee, one of the elements (water, wind, fire, earth) and fairytales. There’s just so much room to play around with multiple ideas and have some fun and unwind before your big day.

In short, pre-wedding shoots are a great way for your photographers to earn your trust. Besides, it gives you a little time together to talk about how wonderful the D-Day is scheduled to be and the different elements that will lead to it. You could also utilise these shots for your wedding website and save-the-date invites. Just think of a pre-wedding photo shoot as a fun practice session before the real deal. It’s fun, relaxed, happy and a true reminder of why you’re tying the knot in the first place. So let your photographer take the reins on this one, and remember to say cheese!

Wedding photography: The competitive trends this season!

Wedding photography has become a booming industry of its own. It’s no secret that the market has evolved into a highly competitive and fierce one. Moreover, the wedding photography industry has become highly diluted as it gets more difficult each day to distinguish the professionals from the amateurs. If you belong to the wedding party and already have a good photographer in mind, it’s best you strike this one off your to-do list as soon as possible to avoid the issue of availability later on. However, if you’re new on the wedding scene and don’t have the first clue about how this industry functions, then it might help to have these few snippets of information handy.

Pros versus Rookies

The industry is full of budding photographers looking to make their mark, and they’re certainly giving the professionals a run for their money. However, while the upcoming photographers are more enthusiastic and willing to experiment with different styles since they don’t have a niche of their own yet, the professionals are more aware of what works in the market and provide the assurance that everything will be smooth sailing on your big day. What you need to identify is whether you’re willing to take the risk with an overzealous beginner (their rates are lower too) or wish to stick with someone more seasoned.

Traditional versus contemporary

Once you’ve decided the experience you need, you have to figure out the style you want. Traditional photography and contemporary photography both have their own charm, and it all depends on the types of memories you want to keep. Are you a ritualist who believes it’s important to focus on the wedding ceremony? Do you want a shot of the kanyadaan, the pheras, the cake cutting and the toast? Do you want a picture of your entire family (including the extended one) posing for a stage shot that you can frame for your drawing room? Well, then traditional photographers are the right choice for you. However, if you’re an artistic soul and want your wedding album to tell more of a story, then contemporary photographers are the way to go. Portrait photographers use unconventional props and themes to work up a sense of magic and mystery, to add that fantasy element to your wedding.

Courtesy: Candidshutters

Courtesy: Candidshutters

 

The social media factor

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are slowly becoming a great marketing tool for photographers. Visibility on these social networks has become an absolute must, and photographers are really putting themselves out there to attract the right customers. You can check what their work experience is like, their wedding portfolios are usually available online, and you can even check their reviews to see how many people recommend them. This is also the best method to help you pick the photographer that suits you best. However, by far the long-lasting cornerstone to every successful wedding photographer’s business is a blog. Seasoned photographers are still of the opinion that this is the best way to connect with their audience and get their work featured on bigger wedding blogs.

Your wedding day will most probably be a once-in-a-lifetime affair and one you want to remember forever. That’s why, it’s very important that you hire the person you feel is most skilled to capture the right memories of your wedding day. Keep this in mind and begin your hunt for the photographer whose work pulls your heartstrings. Say cheese!

The road ahead… Post Engagement.

What kind of a wedding do you want?

The one with a groom.” – said Jude Deveraux who is well known for her historical romances.

Unfortunately in today’s times, a wedding encompasses more than just a groom. It is a blend of families, friends, responsibilities, decisions and some major decisions. Yours will be such! As soon as most couples get engaged they tend to feel like the helpless employee of a call centre – the ones who get bombarded with every question they never seem to have the answer for. Who, when, what, where and why seems to be the start to every conversation regarding the wedding and at times like these, the only way to have an answer is by creating a list. Yes! A to-do list. Just when you thought these lists only existed in school or at the workplace, you’ll be surprised. These lists will stay with you till THE DAY and perhaps later (for memories of course).

Work within a framework

Once he pops the question, a good idea would be a systematic approach to planning the wedding. The two questions that you have to ask yourselves before you start prepping up are: Will it be a small, intimate wedding or a big, copious one? Secondly, will it be a Local one or a Destination one? Once you have these questions answered, you give yourself a framework to work within.

Create a budget

Like with every other event you may have organized before, the most important factor is setting a realistic budget and getting the most of that budget. Nobody wants to “settle in” for something they aren’t completely satisfied with – not at least on this day that comes ‘once in a lifetime’ (for the most of us).

Get assistance

Up until this point your enthusiasm levels will probably be high and you will to take on everything yourself will soar. This is partially due to the fact that you are visualizing fine drapes, enchanting music and your partner exuding love and romance. But, when you realize everything comes at a cost and a cost you are not sure of or don’t know how much to negotiate for, you’ll realize the need for assistance. Opt for a wedding planner to help you streamline your thoughts.

Opt for a specialized and  experienced team

Professional wedding planners not only assist you with making the right decisions but they also help you see different aspects of the wedding you may have not accounted for. Think about your wedding set in the backdrop of a beautiful Mughal theme, you and your partner in all your fineries, traditional entertainment for guests and then throw in your regular photographer (who perhaps charged a little less than the one recommended by the planner) who hasn’t styled the shots right. Years later do you want to open a wedding album that doesn’t make you relive the memories? Thus we stress the importance of specialized wedding companies who look at every part of the process to give you a beautiful complete picture.

We assure you, by choosing not just any wedding planner but the best wedding planner in your city, your role remains the same. You stay in control of the big day while your wish is their command. The master plan or what we call the checklist stays with you thus giving you an entire idea of the tasks involved, who is responsible for them and by when it will be achieved and you in turn enjoy the benefits of the stress being taken off you for a swap of spare time to actively participate in the fun and frolic of the festivities.