Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why cant I have that!? Grand Wedding on a budget.

Are you a bride to be? Do you obsessively Pin all Indian wedding pictures on Pinterest? Are you jealous or sad when you see something you REALLY want but is out of your budget?? If yes then this post is for you.

I am sure we have all been to weddings or seen pictures of the ones that we wished were ours......come on even if you had your dream wedding there is always that one wedding or the one event or that one thing that you wish you had, or wish you had the budget for.

Fear not my friends we are Indians, the Kings and Queens of Jugaad!

Wedding Lehenga

So what if you cant buy a 3L ka lehenga you can get a copy of it in Chandani Chowk in as less as 20k. (yes 20k)

Ok, lets reason it out : 

1. If you live in a society that knows a JJ Valaya from a Tarun Tahiliani in a glimpse, and knows exactly the latkans used by Sabyasachi. Then chances are you have probably already booked an Anamika Khanna for your mehendi.

If not, if in case you were just born in a family where everyone else has that extra cash to throw around and you are a bit tight on budget, then the only thing you can do is fake it,, no actually not, trust me people who wear designer wear KNOW designer wear, it isn't the design of the garment that makes it 'designer wear' its the quality of it. People who make copies of designer wear cut down on price by cutting down on embroidery, cutting down on quality and cutting down on tiny details, everything that makes a designer piece 'a designer piece'.

So what do you do when you have a hoard of Aunties just waiting for you to make a mistake so they can make it the headlines in gossip town?! You find a small budding designer from say Shahpurjat (or you ask me, Check me out here :P ) and you hire them for your wedding designs.

By doing this you can :
a) Pro-claim that this designer is the next big thing and other designers are 'so-overdone'
b) Specify and co-design the lehenga, so you would be wearing your own design on your wedding day :D , younger designers are more open to customizing designs for you and are more open to your ideas and working within a budget!

2. If you live in a middle-class society where people's designer knowledge is limited to the names Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra and whose that, the one who parties a lot...oh ya Rohit Bal, he is a good designer too na?! Then fear not my friend all you have to do is fake it! :P

Chances are nobody in your family has actually seen a Sabyasachi in real and Anamika khanna, who is she? 

They only know the kind of designs they make (the ones that make it to the newspaper) and not the quality they come in. So if you want the big huge lehenga that you saw on pinterest go ahead and buy a copy, you will no doubt look grand and you would save a lot! . Trust me even if you buy a real Manish Malhotra nobody, expect you and your fathers credit card, would know its real.

How to fake it and not break it? Read these two articles by fellow bloggers :

a) How to get your dream lehenga in Your budget , The Delhi Bride
b) Where to buy Bridal Lehenga in Chandni Chowk , Wed Me Good

3. If you just told your family that you want a Sabyasachi lehenga and they went "Teek hai beta, us ki dukan kaha hai, kal chaltey hai, phir sham bhai haina jo, kanpur waley chacha key saaley ka dost us k yaha bhi chaley ga, badi achi saree hai us k pass" then it not a good idea to tell them the price of his bridal wear. Yes Sabyasachi is out of your budget, its not the end of the world, Chandani Chowk is full of shops that have designers copy as low as 20k! Your main concern should be what looks good on you and not what a Bollywood star wore on their wedding day!

You know why they choose that specific designer because those clothes looked good on them! not because they wanted to name drop, this in fact goes out to all bride to be, what ever be your budget if the lehenga doesn't suit you, even if it cost you 7L, it will look like crap.

Not convinced, Read This : How to decide on a Bridal outfit?

See that fancy wedding that you love so much, that grand lehenga you know why it looks awesome, because the girl in it looks awesome! and you my dear are Awesome! (too much awesome-ism ?!)

Destination Wedding

Ah, destination wedding, how I wish I could have had one, in a Rajasthani Haveli with Jarokha's, me looking down at the barat, hiding coyly.

If you can arrange for a destination wedding, ( a friend of a friend has a haveli or a beach resort) problem solved. All you have to do is figure out who to cut from the guest list. That is probably not possible.  Indians have BIG families and a huge social circle and if you don't call even one of them then you get to hear about it for the rest of your life!

So what do you do? Have a destination wedding and a reception at home town?!

"Arey humey shadi pay to bhulaya he nahi"
"Ek he Ladka/Ladki hai us ki shadi bhi dang say nahi ki"
"Lagta hai bachho nay bag k shaadi kar li hogi, isliye shaadi ka card nahi hai. Sirf Reception kar rahey hai"
" Paisey bachaney k liye court marriage kar di lagta hai and bekar sa reception kar rahey hai"

Yes these talks occur, and no they don't know the whole story, they don't know you wanted a huge grand destination wedding that's why they weren't called and now they just have a 'lousy' reception to go to.

So what do you do?? I would recommend having the wedding in your home town and having a destination Engagement/Roka. That ways you still look your best, you are not in a complete 'bridal' avatar so you can hang those pictures up forever and you save on the guest list without hurting anyone's feelings.

Imagine this you and boy exchanging rings on the beach, barefooted with your lehenga or gown flowing in the wind with as less as 50 guests. I would suggest just you, boy, your immediate family and a candid photographer.

Engagement party or the first wedding function has usually the least amount of guests and managing a destination engagement is more easier than a wedding or reception (where everyone expects an invite). So how do you cut down further on the budget? Have a pre-bridal shoot done there, haat-ke-haat.

Wedding Venue

Now that we cant have a destination wedding as a result of over population (why do we have large families?!) then how to make this wedding 'Grand'.

Choosing the right venue is super important and this is the one place you could get a lot of options in your budget. I can only advice on Delhi as I have lived here all my life for any other city dear reader please help out each other by commenting below.

For Delhi you have a lot of options, you can have a :

1. Farmhouse wedding : Chattarpur Road, Gurgaon or GT Karnal Road have a lot of farmhouses to choose from, take tour of a few before picking the one you like, they usually have a fixed decor plan so you can ask and see what you like best.

2. Tent Wedding : Pritampura, behind Karkarduma Court, Punjabi Bagh, and Nitish Kunj have 'Tent' Weddings. What are they and how will they help you?

Tent weddings are a great option for having a theme wedding in budget. These tent houses have theme setup per season. I went to a wedding recently which had a Ocean Theme, my husband went a few years ago to a Paris Theme wedding which had an eiffel tower in the middle. You can get royal palace themes or Taj Mahal or even get married in a Parliament themed wedding

3. Building it from ground up : If your budget allows it then you can easily talk to your decorator and have the decor made exactly as you want. ( Pinterest helps in this ). Its best to talk to your decorator a year or atleast 6 months in advance. This way if he was planning on getting some designs made for the season then he can incorporate your ideas.

We met with the decorator around 6 months before the wedding and gave him ideas of what we wanted and he was able to make it exactly as we had thought :)
Ofcourse we went hugely over budget but we did get what we wanted.
(will try and find the pictures of the land that we were married on, its basically just a plain ground, all the setup was done on the wedding day.
Real wedding indian

4. Having a normal wedding and a fun Mehendi with DIY decor : Do you see pictures of 'grand' wedding all over the net, do you notice how they all have colorful decor at the mehendi in common!? Do that! If you want to look 'grand' have a great Mehendi function decor, and this is easily possible! even at home, even if you have your mehendi function in the smallest room of your house.

Use :

1. Colorful Chunni's : Just drape them around the room.
2. Balloons! in many colors!
3. Kites, yes kites, they are colorful, not expensive and unique
4. Kalira : Put them every where!
5. Rajisthani umbrella, katputli 's, Tie n Dye chunni, Mirror work stuff, etc.
6. Diwali lights and rangoli, who says it needs to be Diwali to have lights inside the house, maybe you can have fireworks at your mehendi ceremony.
7. Pick a color theme and have everything in any 2 or 3 colors
8. Photo Booth things, keep them around the room all over so people can enjoy wearing them just like that! so be ready for funny pictures all around.

Having a fun mehendi within budget is quite easy and adds that extra something to the wedding events. Making your grand wedding , 'grand' without spending too much.

Pre-Bridal, Making sure the brides look pretty!

Remember when I said above, that a lehenga looks pretty if the bride looks pretty. So how to achieve that without spending a bomb?

Try :

1. Home Remedies

Do any one of these atleast once a week or once in a fortnight.

2. Before you dive into getting just pretty you should first understand what is wrong. If uneven tanning, acne, too oily or dry skin is your issue then try and find solutions for the same. Google would be your best friends and beauty and wedding bloggers or youtubers your best gurus. If you can and if the issue is a bit too much to handle alone then do visit a dermatologist.

3. Do I need pre-bridal a few months before the wedding? Well pre-bridal (the one advised every month, from say 3 months before the wedding) usually contains waxing, threading, facial or clean up and mani-pedi. If you look closely its basically everything you would and you should get done every month.

The facials or cleanup that the beauticians usually do 2-3 months before your wedding is the same if you just walk in and say you need a facial, nothing special. The 'special' face cleaning (mostly O2 facial) is done during your wedding month only.

4. Do you need pre-bridal for your wedding month : I would say yes, everyone does it (yes that is my reason) and I am sure you want to look your best, whatever help you can get is a plus point. Only try not to try anything new, trust your regular beautician and don't get any drastic change done during last few days. Use your home remedies regularly and you should be pretty for the big day.

Candid Photography

Pictures are important, super important. If you cant do any of the above for whatever reason (family a bit too traditional) then try and insist on a candid photographer, these guys have a knack of making even the simplest thing look grand.

But yes they are expensive, a good candid photographer can on an average cost 1L per event (!!). So what do you do?

1. Try the smaller guys. Young photographers who are just starting off can fall easily into your budget. But do look into there work portfolio before hand and see if you like their style.

2. Hire your studio guys and think of poses! Most 'candid' pictures that people love are the ones where the groom and bride are overly in love or making silly faces. So just check out pictures you love and re-create them. Give a list of poses you want to the photographer before hand, so he can tell you what to do and when. 

This picture is easy to re-create as balloons wala's are usually present outside the shadi venue. :P

Easy to re-create, and maybe you can re-create this ever anniversary? 
A picture with your mom or Nani ?!

There are soooo many things more that you can do to create a 'Grand' wedding within a budget. But like my mom says "A grand wedding is only 'grand' if things happen on time, if its not timely then all the money in the world cant change a thing. If you planned an amazing bridal entrance but the baraat was so late that by the time the bride made her entrance everyone was gone; no money can earn that time back" So make sure when you plan things out you make a timetable to follow too!!

I know I have missed out like a million more things that you can do to make your wedding 'grand' without burning a hole in the pocket. I will try to do a part 2 and incase if anything comes to your mind please do comment below and help other brides out :)


I love reading what you have to say :)

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