The Wedding Post

I’m still very conflicted if I should do this post. I definitely don’t want it to come off as a show off post. But I just have a lot to say about the topic.  And while the Indian Wedding genre of blogging is saturated, there isn’t too much written about my city, Pune. So this is a mix of showing you what my wedding was like, I’ve kept few photos because I’m private that way but scroll down to find a ton of vendor information and my more about wedding planning.

The Schedule & Photos

To recap, my then-boyfriend proposed in April and I got married in December 2016! So it’s been roughly six months since and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on everything. If you’re having a typical or “big-fat” Indian or South-East Asian wedding, you’re not planning for just one day of your life, it’s the entire week of making sure everything is perfect, overseeing logistics and trending carefully over egos of everyone involved (and also those not involved). At the end of this experience, I’ve had two profound thoughts. One, I don’t want to plan a wedding by myself again and two, I deserve an honorary MBA of some sort. Ok, maybe I’m being too snarky but looking back I do kind of miss the frenzy and that feeling of looking forward to something. Definitely not missing the anxiety though. So here’s what the wedding week looked like.

Day 1 – Relatives arrive and my bridal mehendi

Day 2 Evening – Low-key Mehendi Soiree for close relatives and friends

Day 3 Morning – Ceremony to pray that everything goes ok + Haldi

Day 3 Evening – Engagement and Sangeet!

Day 4 Morning – The Wedding!

Day 5 Evening – Reception!

 

 

For my engagement, which was a rather short one hour affair, I wore this gorgeous aqua blue Kanjivaram saree. This is my favourite one out of all the ones I bought for various functions. I love the light summery colour the actual motifs running throughout the saree are in three different shades, it’s so unique! This is also the very first saree I purchased. I was in Kochi with my family and we just decided to visit a shop to look at different sarees to judge what’s out there. I instantly fell in love with this one!

After the rings were exchanged, I then wore my second outfit, a light grey gown by Natasha Dalal. It’s very light and the sequin/pearl work is very fine and tidy. I visited her studio in Mumbai a couple of times, had a fitting once and it was couriered to my house. The sangeet was actually the best part of the wedding even though I had my reservations initially about keeping one. Everyone was on their feet dancing the night away. We had so many performances from friends and relatives, it was brilliant!

I promise this wasn’t at a rave, but look at that highlight! The evening was very tiring, I reached home at midnight and had to wake early at 5 to get started on my wedding makeup and draping. The wedding was a mashup of Maharashtrian and Gujarati customs and I had to change my attire twice. First up were the pre wedding ceremonies where I wore this bright red saree from Pothys Boutique, I love the detailed motif here as well.

For the main wedding ceremony, I had to change the saree again (my room looked liked it was turned upside down at this point). My bridal saree what bright pink with gold all over (also from Pothys). I initially thought it was maybe too bright but now after looking at all the photos, it definitely seems alright! Better to be overdressed than underdressed in this case!

After the wedding, I changed into a lehenga. Right from the beginning, I knew I wanted a gold lehenga and when I walked into Sabyasachi the first time, this was out on display and it looked perfect. The gold sequin reflects in almost a flowery pattern and there is that bit of maroon that keeps it from being too plain. I also added red tourmaline to my jewellry so it would pop really well against the gold. This one was quite heavy though, I survived more than 5-6 hours in this!

The next day I was able a catch up on some sleep and we had another pooja at the house where the pandit was 3 hours late! That threw our schedule out of whack and I managed to reached the reception venue just half an hour late. The good thing about the reception is, you just have to be on stage and greet people, there isn’t much you are required to do. Your family on the other hand has to run around and make sure they’ve met everyone which is more tiresome for them. Towards the end, our friends all came up on stage and we did another Mannequin Challenge, it was fun!

My lehenga for the reception was also from Sabyasachi. I always had the colour blue in mind and it’s not the most popular colour then it comes to bridal lehengas. This was from his collection last year and it blew my mind when I first saw it. It’s velvet which looks really rich, the embroidery on it is so intricate and pretty, it’s also deceptively light, I would run in it! It was actually the blouse I fell in love with first, I love the bits of pink and gold in it. I felt like this was very different from my previous outfits and still suited my frame. As the blouse and lehenga were more busy, I kept my jewellery very simple this time round.

 

Bit of a ramble

When I first started out with the prospect of getting married, I wanted a small wedding, maybe even just a registered wedding. Naturally, both sets of parents were appalled and they made their case. I was convinced in the end because a lot of what they said made sense. Friends and relatives flew from all over the world to be here, to spend time with us and be part of the wedding, we need to show them a good time. Both families get enough time to meet and get to know each other who wouldn’t meet otherwise. It’s basically a reunion for the family and friends, which turned out to be very true. In hindsight I’m glad I listened to them. At the end of the day, we want blessings and good wishes from our loved ones, a small ceremony when the family is very large would have felt very exclusionary. I’m not saying this is how it should be, I don’t want it to be read the wrong way, just that this was what made sense the most to us.

We decided to keep a Sangeet because everyone in the family was very enthusiastic about it and performing dances. My SIL was a rock and orchestrated the entire event, would not have been such a success without her. We also decide to keep the wedding and reception two separate events because the alternative was inviting 2000 guests on one day. Also, since the wedding was in the morning and the reception in the evening, people could attend depending on their convenience. Those who had office could come for the reception. A lot of people were coming from Bombay and they could attend the wedding in the morning and head back the same day.

I would say start early and get those address books out and get an estimate of number of people that will attend as soon as you can. Get that number right is helpful for getting quotations for a lot of things. We were spot on on most days. For the reception we were expecting around 800-900 people but the actual count was close to 1100! Thankfully, the caterers managed it really well and the venue also never felt too crowded. Turns out every single person from my FIL’s undergraduate class and first place of work came to the wedding as did all of my father’s classmates.

Do your venues, photographer, caterer and makeup artist bookings early and get it out of the way. Then you can focus on your clothing, jewellery and decor. I know people say do your jewellery first and then your lehengas but I did the opposite because I really wanted everything to go well together. One month before the wedding, I had everything in place. Also when vendors ask for the wedding date, give them a date 3 weeks in advance if you’re a control freak like me. I feel like I’m missing on a lot of things so shoot me a mail or ask in the comments if you want to know anything specific.

 

Vendor Information & Where I Shopped

Photography – Amour Affairs (Pune)

Makeup Artist – Amrita Bokey (Pune)

Caterer – Deepak Caterers (Pune)

Invitations – Artsy Design Co (Bombay)

Engagement Aqua Blue Kanjeevaram Saree from Athira Silks (Kochi), Diamond Jewellery customized from Lagu Bandhu (Pune)

Sangeet Light Grey Gown from Natasha Dalal (Bombay)

Wedding Kanjeevaram Sarees (both red and pink) from Pothys Boutique (Chennai), Gold Jewellery from PNG Jewellers (Pune)

Wedding Lehenga – Sabyasachi ‘Aari Tari’ Lehenga (Bombay). Pearl, gold and Kundan Jewellery set customized  from PNG Jewellers (Pune)

Reception Lehenga – Sabyasachi Navy Blue ‘Firdoze’ Lehenga (Bombay). Polki Jewellery set from Rathod Jewellers (Pune)

Jogeshwari (on Kumthekar Road, Pune) – My mom and I bought a lot of sarees from here. Their collection is so vast the customer service is top notch. We must have seen over a 100 sarees and walked out with just one the first time we visited. When we came back, he still treated us like we were their best customers. My mom bought her Reception saree from here and a couple of more for other functions as well.

Fursungi – My MIL had a lot of gift sarees to buy as their family is ginormous, she bought them all from here. This is a town on the outskirts of Pune where everything from a toothpick to a bridal saree is sold on wholesale prices. So if you have a ton of gift sarees and shirts to buy, it’s worth paying a visit.

WedMeGood – I vetted practically every vendor here and there is so much inspiration on the blog. I must have spent days looking at photos here.

My favourite moments shopping were definitely at Sabyasachi, the store itself transports you to a different world. I visited the store twice before I booked my lehengas, a third time for my fitting and then finally while collecting it. Each visit is memorable. I found the SAs here very welcoming, not something other designer stores learn from. My SA was Nancy if you’re looking for a recommendation. She completely understood my aesthetic and what suited me, didn’t push me towards the heavier lehengas. I also briefly met Sabyasachi himself, which was amazing and he “approved” of my choices. If you’re lehenga shopping in Bombay some of the other stores worth visiting are Shymal & Bhumika (Peddar Road), Anita Dongre (Linking Road), Aza (Bandra), Dolly J (Bandra), Manish Malhotra (Bandra). Also, Aza for groomswear is only available at the Bandra store.

For jewellery shopping in Pune, I recommend the following. Take a bottle of water, snacks and spend the day trekking the entirety of Laxmi Road. For gold, I suggest PNG. For Kundan and Polki, Rathod have the best and most extensive collection. TBZ also has a store in Pune but the collection is limited. For diamond, I personally like Tanishq. I actually wanted to buy a set from them but it was sold out, I got something similar made from Lagu Bandhu instead (which is great for simple traditional jewellery and diamond rings – they use the highest quality diamonds).

 

I hope all of you are having a great summer! I got a lot of amazing comments on my last post, thank you so much, it really makes my day when I hear from you guys either here or on Instagram. I’m working on my Notes on Glossier post already! I’ve promised myself to put it up this month. See you all soon!

  • fiona furtado

    PERFECT!! You looked dreamy and beautiful. Loved the sarees… loved the lehenga

  • I knew Indian weddings were big, but wow! The pictures look amazing, you are such a beauty and look exactly like I would imagine an Indian princess to look like, but it sure was a LOT to go through.
    In the end the fact that you had a great time and made great memories is what counts.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Wow, I don’t think that I even know 1100 people! I really love the sound of the events happening over 5 days but you must have been exhausted by the end of it – that’s what the honeymoon is for, I guess! You look absolutely stunning and I love all of your outfits! Thank you for sharing xx

    Beautylymin

  • i cannot get over how beautiful you look. i’ll go back to read the post later but i just went through the pictures right now before work.. absolutely perfect xo

  • Laura

    wow..all your outfits are stunning! Beautiful photos <3 <3 <3

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

  • Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve never been to an Indian wedding but have been able to experience weddings from different cultures than my own (Armenian and Mexican, to name a few). These photos are so breathtaking and you look so beyond gorgeous. Every outfit you wore with the makeup/hair/etc went so well together! I didn’t realize that it’s not just one day that has to be prepared but rather days, it sounds like so much to take on but with the support of your loved ones and great planning I’m sure it made it be so successful! And that many people in attendance sounds so amazing! I’m so glad you were able to have a wonderful wedding and start a beautiful life together.

    xoxo
    http://www.hellohimawari.com

  • Violette

    Such a beautiful wedding! I love these photos!

    http://violettedaily.com

  • Sam

    I really love the pictures, you look beautiful! And wow, you went from wanting a small wedding to having over 1000 people, that’s crazy! It’s great that you had such an amazing time and everything seemed to go smoothly. Congrats on getting married too!

    Sam | My Beauty Cloud

  • Oh my GOD. I’m not really one of those girls that’s super into weddings and have thought that if I were getting married I kind of want to avoid the whole thing and just do something really small, but western weddings are nothing compared to Indian weddings! Having 100 people sounds scary enough to me, let alone 1100! I don’t know how you did 5 days of it! In saying that, your parents made a good point which is that if you have so many people travelling and coming to visit for the wedding it’s nice to show them a good time. I didn’t realise people your parents and in-laws went to school with all came to the wedding as well, but in a way it’s lovely to think that so many people care and would take the time to celebrate with you.

    I’m glad you were happy with how it all went though, you definitely do deserve an MBA or some kind of medal for organising all of that yourself! You looked absolutely beautiful and all of your dresses and outfits were incredible! Although stressful, it still sounds like it would have been the most amazing week and I’m really happy for you. 🙂

    littlehenrylee.net

  • Congratulations! What a handsome couple you guys are and how beautiful you look!

    I came over to say hello because I didn’t know you had started a fresh blog, and I saw this post. Such magnificent wedding ceremony! I wish you happiness <3

  • Francisca

    OMG you looked breathtaking! Seriously in awe looking at these photos 🙂 xo

    Francisca | http://www.franciscamay.com

  • these photos are absolutely incredible! seriously such an amazing bride, your clothing is to die for.

    abigail alice x

  • girl, you look super stunning! i love your dancing gown so much i’m going to cry T^T i have never been into indian weddings so this is completely new to me! we share the same tradition of having practically every relatives coming. we only do two days – one for prayer ceremony in respective groom and bride’s home, the next day is for wedding, which still divided in reception and party. i really appreciate you for keeping the tradition alive. it’s amazing to see old friends and relatives coming for your big day(s) which make it more special. it’s only happen in big weddings, man. and i’m glad you took the bullet.

    happy wedding! hope you both have a blissful marriage! <3

  • You looked absolutely beautiful, Advaita! Just the mere thought of planning a Western wedding makes me feel exhausted, but an Indian wedding all by yourself? That is definitely worthy of an award! I have quite a few Indian friends, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to afford to go to their weddings in India or Kenya, which makes me so sad because I can only imagine how wonderful and colourful everything would be! One of my Indian friends got married in Australia, which I attended, but it was a LOT smaller in comparison! It was such a great day though. I don’t really care about marriage, but when/if I meet someone that really wanted to, I’d of course consider it if it meant that much to them. I could never do something as grand as this though! I love how Indian weddings are such a massive event because like you say, it’s like a reunion for all your loved ones and to be surrounded by so many people who care about you and your husband must’ve felt so, so nice. 🙂 Even though you didn’t want a big wedding in the beginning, this will definitely be a week you cherish forever!

    Tenneil | Like Neon Love

  • Gorgeous wedding, girl, and you looked gorgeous! I can only imagine how crazy intense it must’ve been to plan a wedding for 1000 people!! Love all the outfits you chose!

    xx
    Nida | Caked To The Nines

  • Stunning pictures, Advaita. You make a very beautiful bride. Also, this post brought back memories of my own wedding. I wish I could go back and relive those moments again because it feels like I sleep walked my way through it. I was too numb to absorb what was happening around me; it felt very surreal.

    Lavanya | Elle Files

  • Zaid

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