Neha is a classmate from my school, and a recent bride who coordinated between different cities and even countries for her Big Day! Behind the actual wedding, is a cute little Bollywood love story, a whole lot of planning and even a flash mob!!!! Neha chose simple, light bridal outfits minus the Delhi-bling bling and made for one of the most gorgeous and honestly the happiest brides iv seen. If you need some quick tips for planning your big day, hear what she has to say!
So, i know this already but for the readers sake- Where are you from and where did you get married?
Delhi and Delhi! It was kind of a muti city wedding because I was in Hyderabad, my fiancé Aakash in London, my parents in Delhi and his parents in Mumbai! So basically we had to plan and coordinate from four different cities! It was additionally complicated because we had guests from across the globe – we had to make special arrangements and show them the awesomeness of Incredible India!
What’s your love story?
Our story is really quite filmy. Our maternal grandmothers were close friends and wanted to marry us. And once my nani passed away, both the moms, his and mine, took it upon themselves to make this happen. But we were in different places in life at the time and refused to even discuss it with our parents, much to their dismay.One day, I got a Facebook message from Aakash who (I am told) was just curious to check me out since his mom spoke so much about me. So he did. And it is very uncharacteristic of him, but he wrote to me, and I guess the rest is history! It was funny though, when we told our parents that we were talking, it was a classic case of ‘we told you so!’ (OMG- from Maternal grandmothers to facebook messages- that really is quite filmy!!!)
Manish Arora for Roka (above)
Sejal Kanoi for Sangeet
Anju Modi for Wedding
Tell us about your outfits!
Roka Lehenga – Manish Arora
Sangeet Lehenga – Sejal Kanoi
Wedding Lehenga – Anju Modi
It took me quite a few weekend trips to Delhi! The wedding was in July, and I only started searching for clothes in May. So in the last few months I panicked. My mom and aunts would go scouting around Delhi during the week, shortlist a few shops which I’d go and check out on the weekend! I flew to Delhi at least 4 times between April and June!
I don’t know if I should reveal this publicly, but I always snuck in my camera phone into the fitting room! I took snaps of every angle, while trying on my clothes. By the end of it, I had a huge repository to choose from! But despite the fat collection of outfits, the moment I walked into Anju Modi’s store, I knew I could not look at anything else. I completely fell in love with her delicate work and soft color tones. It was a perfect match with the kind of person I am because I usually do not like a lot of bling. Plus her clothes stand out; they are very unique and usually very different from what everyone wears in Delhi! (Agreed, usually you need sunglasses to tone down the delhi wedding bling)
One thing all brides and her shoppers should know – designers have a huge margin to bargain! No matter how fancy or pristine their store looks, they will get dirty when it’s down to business! My dad is a huge bargainer so we dragged him along to buy each outfit once we had decided on them. He managed to get at least 25% striked off the retail price! Aza is a strict exception to this rule, a nut even a seasoned bargainer like my dad could not crack! Also, try and squeeze in extra accessories. Anju Modi designed a clutch matching my lehenga, for free. I am sure it didn’t cost her much and was already included in the price, but it felt great to get something free!
Which function was the most fun and why? Tell us about your performancesss !
Sangeet, hands down! Or up! We danced like there was no tomorrow. We had two ‘mini shows’, one from my side and one from Aakash’s. I didn’t really prepare a proper dance because I was very tied up with work, and illness. (I got chicken pox one month before my wedding – SHOCK & HORROR! But that’s a different story)
So on the day of the sangeet, I prepared a short performance on ‘Bahara’ because I suppose its customary for the bride to entertain the audience :p But the main attraction was the flash mob at the end of all the performances. This is the one thing I had planned properly! It was a huge surprise and an even bigger success as all my friends and 30 of Aakash’s firang friends danced to ‘Tu Mera Hero’. It was one the funnest moments of the wedding as the audience cheered us on, and even joined in later.
The Flash Mob!!!! Looks like so much FUNN!
How did you manage to plan your entire wedding being in Hyd, with the groom in London and the actual ceremony in Delhi??? Any tips for such ‘Long Distance’ Planning Brides???
As if long distance relationships are not bad enough. long distance wedding planning is even worse! Even more so for a control freak like me. But I guess your phone’s camera is your new best friend. Like I mentioned before, I had my family shortlist things while I flew into Delhi. But Aakash was sitting in London and was only going to reach a day before the wedding events. So his parents had to send him at least a 100 photos of cloth/patterns for his Sherwaani. There was also talk of sending him a muslin fitting garment to see if they had his measurements correct! Could be a handy solution if the bride cannot attend her fittings as well.
My only tip is, plan in advance and let go. I know hard, but try to trust the eyes of people shopping on your behalf! Some drama is unavoidable, so chill – you cant control everything!
Who was yr makeup artist? Were you happy with her?
My make up artist was one of the best things about the wedding! I was a very uncharacteristic bride – I did not want Mehendi, no nail paint, no glitter, no eye shadow – my family was horrified. Then came Shivaani to the rescue! She used to work with Ambika Pillai but does freelance work now. She comes with a team of 4, and is amazing. She went easy on me, and understood exactly what I wanted. Much to my mom’s relief, she even managed to cajole me into more bridal make up J She was also the one who suggested that I wear a yellow lily in my hair, with the green lehenga for the Sangeet, it definitely made me look fresher in the smelting Delhi heat.
Where did you buy yr jewellery from ?
My parents arranged it. I cant take any credit for it. I just knew it had to be something very traditional – I wore a choker and a raani haar on the wedding. I think if its suits you, a big nath and maang tika is a must. It can really transform your look.
Few words about your photographer?
I had to be none other than Joseph Radhik. I had seen his work on Facebook and even met him at a friends wedding many years ago. I was obsessed with his work and had to fight really hard to get him because he quite expensive. Just be prepared to wait a while for your prints because he is a busy bee! But rest assured, when you do get your photos and videos, you would be in awe! His team member, Richa Kashelkar is just as awesome. Check out her blog
Anything else you want to share? General Tips for other Bride Zilla’s out there:
- Enjoy your wedding preparations and the actual day. You will be left with really fond memories.
- If you are in a time crunch for your Sangeet performance, Youtube can be a helpful resource. There are plenty of choreographies you can borrow
- When shopping for your lehenga, make sure to bargain. And get some freebies like my clutch!
- Most people tend to overlook this but make sure you get proper saari/lehenga covers. Most designers will provide you these but you must make sure to ask in case they don’t. After all, you want to be able to wear at least some of your outfits again!
- Avoid buying a heavy lehenga. I was recently at a wedding where the bride’s lehenga weighed 14 kgs. The poor girl could hardly walk, let alone enjoy herself! And trust me, it shows. You don’t want to ruin your photographs!
- Talking of photos, keep smiling. Also remember to sit up straight on the mandap! You might have to sit for hours, so ask for back support before hand!.Someone had warned me of this, so thankfully, I have no painfully slouchy photos.
- Use the restroom before you enter the wedding venue. It is practically impossible to leave once you are there. Although, I am told, my groom dashed straight for the restroom as soon as the baraat reached the venue! Somehow, guys can get away with it but you don’t want to look like a runaway bride!
- Make a wedding website if you have the time. It will give you and your fiancé a fun project to do. More importantly, if you have overseas guests, it is much easier to have all the info in one place. Helps to be organized! Have a look out our wedding website, its nothing fancy and not nearly professionally but we had fun building it!
- EAT. Don’t starve yourself. I understand that the pressure and the limelight can be overwhelming, but my biggest regret is that I did not enjoy all the good food at my wedding!
- Again, enjoy yourself. This one is repeated because it is the most important of all. It’s your day and you are a rockstar!