5 THINGS I DID AT MY INDIAN WEDDING THAT EVERY BRIDE CAN DO!
Indian weddings are truly an experience like no other! As a Bride, planning my grand Indian wedding was like taking a beautiful journey full of so many emotional moments that I would look back to for the rest of my life. They say every bride is special, and every bride’s journey is unique, and I absolutely agree. Your wedding is a celebration of who you are, your relationship with your significant other, and marks the beginning of your life together. So even though we live in a culture that values traditions and rituals (um, sometimes a little too much), it was crucial for me to make sure that my wedding reflects my beliefs in life and to take a stand for things important to me. Most importantly I wanted to spend time with people who make me happy. Because, after all, nothing is more important than a happy bride!
Here are five things that I did differently for my Indian wedding that I would recommend to every bride:
#1. A No flowers policy
Flowers are beautiful, and they should always stay that way. It’s really sad to see so many flowers going to waste at an Indian wedding. For all our wedding events, we maintained a no flowers policy and gently requested our guests to comply with it. We felt very strongly against seeing so many flowers brought in by guests go to waste. It’s impossible to preserve all of them in the post-wedding madness.
We also went for a low on flowers theme for all wedding event decorations. We made use of artificial greens and flowers made out of recycled/reusable and eco-friendly stuff. This not only ensured a unique decor but was also environment-friendly and relatively lighter on our pockets. Hence a win-win for all!
#2. No Kanyadaan
Traditions are important, but so is challenging them when something bothers you about the reason those particular traditions are maintained. For me, the concept of Kanyadaan had always been bothersome. Because the rationale behind it essentially implied that a bride can be given away to another family, like a piece of property. In this day and age, this age-old view of a marriage does not really make much sense.
I wanted my wedding rituals to be in sync with how I wanted my marriage to be. A partnership of equals, a bond of love between two people who respect each other. The ritual of a kanyadaan did not sit well this vision at all. So I talked to my parents about it, and they were happy to forego it. The best part was, it significantly reduced the time of our mandap rituals, so our mandap was a short, beautiful ceremony, memories of which we still cherish.
#3. Limited physical Wedding Invites
There is no denying the fact that an Indian wedding is elaborate and grand, and there is no end to the number of things that require considerable financial investments. The way we communicate has changed so much over the years, emails, texts and DMs have replaced letters. But when it comes to wedding invites, we still end up wasting so much money in getting them printed and then posting them across cities and sometimes even countries.
True, a beautiful physical invitation card is forever, but for us, and not for everyone who receives it. I chose to get very limited physical invitation cards printed. They were handed out only for close family and friends and made an e-invite for everyone else. Since we end up only preserving wedding invites of people really close to us, it made sense to give cards to only close people, where it would actually be a keepsake, and not end up in the trash in a few week’s time.
#4. Having my own Baraat
If you ask me the biggest realisation I had during my Indian wedding, it would be: For a bride, there is nothing more important than having fun at her wedding. A lot of times, among all the planning, coordination, rituals and the general stress of this one event that is supposed to change your life forever, brides forget to also have fun on the most important day of their life. Which is what happened to me until I decided to stop micromanaging the zillion things happening all around me and started having fun instead. I was always very sure that I wanted to dance at my wedding. So I was not on the stage at my wedding but went dancing instead, with my own little baraat. It was one of the best moments of my day. Every bride-to-be should remember, a happy bride makes for the most beautiful wedding photographs!
#5. Creating a Wishlist
One of the best decisions I made for my Indian wedding was to create a gift registry. Not only did it save us the headache of assigning someone to awkwardly hold the fort down with all the gifts being given to us on stage, it also made sure we did not receive useless or repetitive gifts and did not have to risk losing, damaging or misplacing the gifts received on our wedding day due to our hectic and absolutely crazy post-wedding itinerary.
Creating a wishlist gave us a lot of flexibility and comfort, and it was so much better to receive our gifts on a day of our choice, once we had finally settled in a little bit in our new house, than having to move the gifts through multiple places since the wedding. The best part was being able to set up our new house with things we had chosen for ourselves, and starting our new life the way we had imagined it. My Indian wedding was a smart wedding. Plus, who wants dozens of useless wall clocks and flower vases, anyway!