Morning lovelies! How was your weekend? I was thinking about this…
Haven’t we all dreamt about our perfect wedding well before we met our prince charming? Haven’t we all spent hours fantasizing about our gorgeous wedding lehenga, our sangeet performance, and our bridal look?
But when it actually comes to planning a wedding, let me tell you it’s a lot more than that! I don’t mean to scare you, but wedding planning can be very stressful if one isn’t organised and prepared for it.
I myself made so many mistakes when I planned my wedding in Nainital last year. It’s not like I was a clueless bride. It’s just that I lacked foresight then and didn’t realize that planning a wedding can take such a staggering amount of time, resources and energy.Wedding planning is a process. It needs a bit of know-how and a lot of awareness.
After a few months of my wedding, I decided to collaborate with some amazing wedding planners and help future brides with their wedding planning. That’s how I first met Ruchita.
Ruchita Parelkar who is now the Head Designer of Wedding Packages at MWP, not only manages weddings for MWP, but also successfully manages event design and wedding planning for Elite Wedding Planner, Mumbai. She is one of the best people out there to help you wonderful brides in executing your dream wedding vision from beginning to end.
She says, “Having spent several years in the wedding industry, we know that today’s bride is a force to reckon with. She knows exactly what she wants and has done her research. She knows how to get things done too. She might however need a bit of expert guidance before she takes up the huge task of planning her own wedding.”
Here’s Ruchita’s ultimate wedding planning guide for tech savvy, trendy and knowledgeable brides-to-be.
We hope that this guide helps you to enjoy the planning process, like making fun decisions and picking beautiful details, without feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Follow this guide, step-by-step, and all your dream wedding plans will run flawlessly!
THE WEDDING PLANNER’S GUIDE TO WEDDING PLANNING
ONE TO TWO YEARS AHEAD OF YOUR WEDDING
If you’re looking to finance your own wedding or your parents are backing it; make sure you start saving for your wedding at least a year in advance. Decide on a preliminary budget. Get realistic. Keep aside funds. Try buying a few pieces of jewellery.
Get an idea about how much your dream wedding will cost you. If any of your family members or friends have recently organised a wedding, talk to them about wedding expenses.
8 MONTHS TO ONE YEAR TO GO
SET A DATE
In the case of a Hindu wedding, the date is usually based on the auspicious time given by the family pandit. It is thoughtful to work this date in to public holidays or weekends. Also factor in exams, jobs, religious concerns and the weather so that it is convenient for people to attend.
6-8 MONTHS AHEAD OF YOUR WEDDING- OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
MAKE THE GUEST LIST
Make a list of the number of guests likely to attend your wedding as this will largely decide the choice of venue, budget and accommodation expenses.
Get the consent of your fiancé’s family and follow up later with a detailed list of addresses and e-mail IDS to send out the invites.
SET YOUR VENUE
First, decide on the city in which you wish to get married at.
Then, look up on the internet for hotels or banquets that suit your requirement in your preferred city. Tripadvisor.com can be a useful resource for couples getting married from afar. There are a few wedding websites, including ours, that feature the best hotels and banquets in India to get married at. Choose from Palace Weddings, City Weddings, Destination weddings or Popular Banquets.
Make sure you decide on your venue well before time as venues may get fully booked for the wedding season.
Keep in mind your personal style, seating arrangement, guest list and weather conditions when finalising for your dream venue. Personally check the seating capacity, rooms, music, parking spaces, electricity and power back up before making a final decision.
Book you venue at least 6 months in advance to avoid disappointment. Confirm all your bookings in writing a few months before the wedding from the hotel. Visit the site a few days before the wedding to check finer details.
DECIDE ON THE FUNCTIONS
This is the super fun part! Decide on how many pre wedding and post wedding functions you wish to have and how many days will your events go on for.
These days’ couples most commonly have a Mehendi, Haldi, Engagement, Cocktail party, Wedding nuptial and Reception ceremony.
SET A THEME
Setting a theme is optional of course, but it’s the best way to bring out your unique personality in to your wedding. It’s easier to execute a thematic wedding when you hire a planner, nevertheless you can get ample inspiration on the internet as well. If you are opting for a destination wedding it is highly advisable to go for a wedding theme.
From Peacock themes, Crystal themes, Floral themes, Colour based themes for the main wedding day to Tropical themes and Hawaiin soirees for the cocktail night; the scope is endless.
If you have a theme in mind, make sure you discuss them with your vendors thoroughly and assure its seamless execution.
TROUSSEAU SHOPPING & JEWLLERY
Once you have finalised your wedding theme as well as the number of functions, carefully scan the drool worthy websites of India’s top wedding Lehenga and Sari couturists. Choose from bespoke designer bridal wear or scout for cheaper options of designer labels at local bridal shops in your city that flatter your figure and suit your taste.
Jaipur, Kolkata and Delhi are the most famous cities for Lehenga shopping.
Once you have finalised your wedding dresses, you might want to shop for exquisite jewellery to go with it.
Now comes the most exciting and interesting part of wedding planning; choosing your wedding vendors. Wedding vendors include photographers, caterers, beauticians, event planners, mehendi artists, entertainers amongst others. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Search online for the best wedding vendors. Check their credentials on Facebook and on their website.Ask for recommendations. Ask for samples and trials. Get quotes from multiple vendors and get the best deals available. Make bookings in advance.
Also try getting into an agreement/contract, signed on paper with the important vendors. Maintain a list of selected vendors with their phone numbers.
Our experience tells us not to make bulk advance payments in cash.
Arrange for a comfortable and pleasant stay for your guests travelling from other cities. It is advisable to have your guests stay at the same hotel or as near as possible to your wedding venue. Try to work in a complimentary breakfast in the same cost as the published room tariff as a part of bulk wedding booking package. In fact many hotels also offer All meals included (API) basis room options that can work out to be much cheaper.
Guesthouses may be a cheaper option. Hire crockery, mattresses, bed linen, fans if you’re putting up guests in guesthouses.
CHALK DOWN A FITNESS/ BEAUTY REGIME
It is the most awaited day of your life; make sure you look the part. Write down a routine and stick to your beauty and fitness regime.
ONE OR TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE
Schedule appointments at a beauty parlour or call a makeup artist to your hotel for your mother and sisters. Arrange for the main mehendi artist for your bridal mehendi as well as mehendi artists for your family present at the mehendi function.
Sample cake flavours and designs and book your exquisite wedding cake. Fine tune your guest list. Purchase wedding gifts and favours for your near and dear ones.
A FEW DAYS TO THE WEDDING
Pre-assign tasks to family members as you will be too busy in make-up and trial sessions on your wedding day. For example, your brother can look after the floral arrangements; mother can take care of the catering services being delivered in a timely manner.
Visit a pampering spa if you can, for a total body massage and facial. Relax and rejuvenate.
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
Sit back, relax and make sure you enjoy your wedding day as much as your guests!
Let go of small details that might not have gone the way you imagined them to. It’s okay! It happens to everyone!
One advice though would be to start getting your make- up and lehenga draping done at least 4 hours before the baraat is expected. Everyone assumes the baraat will be late; however keep in mind that getting a bride ready is time consuming.
Lastly, it’s your once-in-a-lifetime day to look and feel like a princess…smile, feel blessed and get ready to pose for the shutterbugs!!!