The A-Z of wedding planning
Get an all-inclusive planning checklist of the essential elements to help you realise the wedding of your dreams
When it comes to ambience, it all depends on the occasion. According to Khushi Singh, VP – Business Development, Percept Weddings, flashy décor works well for the sangeet, while classy, minimalistic style sets the mood for a sit-down dinner or reception.
Small or big, you need to set a budget. Always maintain a buffer; basically, arrive at a figure that is a little over your budget, one that you definitely cannot exceed.
If you intend to host more than one ceremony for your big day, then pace them out to avoid exhausting yourself and your guests. Alternatively, you could also consider combining the ceremonies for two or more functions.
Swati Pandya Sood, Director, Ferns N Petals, recommends the top five destinations to tie the knot at this year: Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, Mykonos in Greece, the unexplored courtyard havelis of Rajasthan, the backwaters of Kerala, and the UAE.
Vikram Mehta, Owner, Mpire, suggests, you could organise a jugalbandi between a singer and a musician who perform different genres, dancers who stand in as emcees, or a designated toastmaster who can personalise the occasion with anecdotes and games.
Home décor and stationery items are always a big hit. Alternatively, you could surprise guests with picture frames or keychains with a photo of them at the wedding.
Plan your guest list keeping in mind the budget and location. Ideally, the bride and groom and their respective families should come to a consensus on this.
Take your pick from the hottest getaways for 2016: Dominican Republic for a mix of quiet beaches and verdant forests, Antigua for its lush scenery and luxurious resorts or Saint Lucia for its white sand beaches and challenging activities
Your wedding invitation sets the tone of your wedding. According to Ravish Kapoor of Ravish Kapoor Innovative Invitations, e-vites are easier to create; however, they tend to get overlooked or misinterpreted as not ‘important enough’ to attend. Whatever the mode of invitation, follow it up with a phone call, especially for family.
Picking out the jewellery before the outfit is a must; it will hold greater value than the outfit, suggests jewellery designer Suhani Pittie.
Create a separate play area or a crèche, while ensuring that the menu offers kid-friendly foods like miniature bites and easy-to-eat nibbles. You can also arrange for colouring books and crayons for kids seated with their parents.
Many couples often miss the legal checklist involved when getting married as per Indian law. Rishi Rochlani and Yamini Shah, Owners, The Wedding Designers, advice getting the wedding registered well in advance as it helps in procuring visas if you’re travelling abroad for your honeymoon.
From napkins to silverware and bedspreads, monogramming not only lends a personal touch, but also shows that you care about making people feel special.
Weddings are costly. Negotiate with vendors wherever possible. For instance, most vendors throw in free-of-cost delivery, if you utilise their services for the more intimate functions.
Relatives’ travel and stay, minor social obligations leading up to the wedding, financial planning and setting up of your new lifestyle as a couple are some of the aspects that demand your attention. Tech tools like wedding planning apps and Google Sheets will help streamline your monthly activities and set up reminders.
According to celebrity wedding photographer Ronicka Kandhari, you should know the style of photography one is looking for. Don’t hire a large team or multiple teams of photographers; they are likely to appear in the photographs instead of you!
From booking a spa date with your mother and stepping out for a pre-wedding brunch with your friends or indulging in a last-of-its-kind solo trip—take a break! Find a way to extract some quality time.
An RSVP is vital to estimate the number of guests who will attend as it helps to prepare for any special requirements if necessary, informs Shilpa Rohera and Sonika Advani, Directors of Shilpa & Sonika–Events and Wedding Planning.
Sit-down meal v/s Buffet
A sit-down meal requires more servers, so the staffing portion of your catering bill will be higher. A buffet, on the other hand, is suitable for people who have specific tastes and prefer smaller portions. An ideal setting is a combination of the two, wherein the mains can be served at a buffet along with a few live stations, says Dhawal Oza, Founder, DreamZ Events N Ideas.
Designer Ritu Kumar gives us a word of advice. A brideshould avoid picking dull colours. For the wedding, always pick the classic lehenga choli in tones of reds and pinks.
Be it an earlymorning run, a yoga session, aweekly digital detox or a sleep-over at your bestfriend’s place, take the time to unwind and recharge.
Outdoor venues allow creative freedom and flexibility, although, this does raise the cost for elements such as décor, sound, light and production. Remember to take the necessary permissions for venues; the compulsory permissions required for any wedding function in India are the IPRS, PPL,Venue NOC, and Police NOC. For instance, without IPRS/PPL licenses, you cannot organise a DJ performance/live music event, informs Divya Chadha, Director, AKA: A Klass Apart.
Celebrity wedding planner Gurleen Puri cautions, while it is great to have enthusiastic friends and family who want to help, they cannot provide the knowledge,expertise, and problem-solving abilities that a planner can bring to your wedding.
Neha Arora, Partner, Var Vadhu, lists what can be done away with. You can easily do away with elaborate wedding invites and stationery, ridiculous number of food items on the menu, room favours, elaborate performances as well as elaborate welcome arrangements and snack boxes at the airport.
Remember, this is your big day and the memories you make will stay with you and your spouse to cherish, so don’t lose sight of your vision for the day.
Like the personal plunge you’re about to take, make sure to savour every moment with no regrets.
Photos: Getty Images, Percept Weddings, DreamZ Events N Ideas