I recently got engaged in Kolkata. Here I am going to share my experience and give an insight into what I dealt with and felt as an Indian bride. I hope my experience will be relatable and possibly helpful too!
A BIT OF BACKGROUND:
I am a Madwadi (North Indian) marrying my best friend who is a Malayali ( South Indian). Executing an event that incorporated both the cultures was imperative for us. Whilst I was based in Kolkata my fiancée was in Delhi with some people of the family in Kerela. Getting all of us in one place was a challenge. COVID regulations came with its own set of issues : limited guest numbers, safety protocols and that over whelming sense of doom and gloom.
Nonetheless, I soldiered on one step and one task at a time.
We wanted our invite to be unique. We created a unique video of my Mum and me dancing in gorgeous bandhani and kalamakari sarees styled with some lovely silver jewellery with a voice over of my brother Ayush Kejriwal.
You can view the invite here : https://youtu.be/gxQtAHR9PwE
You can view the full Sangeet Function here : https://youtu.be/CTaOeXBAOt4
You can view the engagement teaser here : https://youtu.be/CI3rTDwg74k
Rang Manch, Raj Kuthir, Swabhumi Kolkata.
After 3 weeks of searching we finally decided to go ahead with Raj Kuthir. It has a wonderful whimsical charm to it with lots of pillars, skylight, chandeliers, high cellings and lots of natural light. I loved the mustard and white tiles there. It was like stepping back in time into the sets of old Bengali films set up in Jamindar badis. I fell in love with and it was a done
The plan was to use a lot of fresh juhi and lotus flowers. On the day everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. The decorator that we had arranged backed out in the last minute and we had only 2 hours to pull everything together. Around 14 of my friends and family got together and we managed to dress the whole place up with a mixture of genda phool, roses, juhi and lotus flowers. We had to use a lot of fairy tea lights, as the venue was quite grand and it needed to be adorned.
The stage was the hardest part to execute, the original plan was to create two shiv tikka and one sri nath bhagwan tikka on a base of genda phool. We certainly weren’t able to do it in a way that I had envisaged, but it just was something I had to expect and move on.
A lot of brass pots , pans and lamps were dotted all around with fresh flowers. I had arranged for a diffuser which emitted the sent of juhi flowers. I wanted it to be sensory experience. Even the background music was selected to go with the theme.
THE WEDDING FAVOURS:
I wanted to mark the occasion by giving something that was unique and fun.
Each bag had a small cane box which had a silver ittar dani in it, a small suitcase with heart shape cookies, two small jars with cloves and cardamon pods in it along with a hand written thank you note.
My engagement lengha need to be traditional, that was a given for me. Ayush and I considerd a lot of ethnic Indian textiles like – bandhani, kanjiveram, benarsi, patola, kalamkari, kora silk, tussar, ghadwal and embroidered georgettes. Eventually we settled for a off white and gold hand woven benarsi brocade fabric as the lengha base. We wanted to add a bit of colour so candy pink seemed like the best option.
I wanted to be comfortable and still feel like a bride so the wait length kurta option with the lengha was perfect.
I was styled with polki jewellery with stones to match the outfit and lots of pink flowers in my hair. I felt beautiful and comfortable.
I am not an expert in any form but here are some things that I learnt whilst in the process of planning my special. When I plan for my wedding in February 2022 I will be keeping the points below in mind:
– No assumptions about people knowing what they need to deliver – there will have to be clear instructions for everything
– Even if it costs a little more sample approvals, tasting menus and test looks are crucial.
– Delegation is key, finding friends and family members who are able to execute a brief is important
– Having a back-up plan is essential.
– It’s is not a project where everything has to be perfect, the most important thing is to make some lovely memories and have fun.
Author – Ayushi Kejriwal
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