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Wedding day

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VenuePlanning for the Big Day

Marriages are considered to be a celebration of life. But they can only be memorable, if every aspect of the ceremony and celebrations goes off without a hitch. Archana Mahajan assembles a handy list of dos and don’ts to ensure that confusion and chaos don’t ruin that perfect evening.

Making arrangements is a pains-taking task. The planning has to start at least two to five months before the ceremony, with the choice and booking of the venue. This is the first step one should take when planning the wedding.


The marriage may take place at a hotel, a farmhouse, a club, a specially allocated place for marriage-and-receptions, or even at your residence.

Hotels seem to be the best option, because most of the planning and organizing for the event is taken care by them once the booking is made. The family can then afford to take the back seat, and enjoy the wedding themselves. Guests too can be accommodated well. Plus, there is the added benefit of hotel security, accompanied by all the necessary facilities of hygienic toilets, hot water, clean beds, air-conditioners, etc. - all suited to one’s budget. Hotels can also cater to transportation.


While marriages held in hotels cover the food and beverages part of the celebrations, at other venues, one has to consider the catering aspect independently. Food is a very important part of every wedding, and one which leaves the guests happy and remembering the wedding for a long time to come.

Hence, though hotels may be expensive, they are very professional and render good value for money, and are a favoured choice. Besides, they spare one of all the hassles of arranging a marriage ‘feast’. There are private caterers too, and many of them are thoroughly professional and well-versed in this aspect. However, do not forget to check their cutlery and other accessories before booking them for the great day.


Shop with taste, and exercise your full choice when purchasing saris and other accessories for the ceremonies. Do not blow your hard-earned money on shopping, though at the same time, do not compromise on personal comfort and elegance in whatever you may purchase. Choose a dress material that is comfortable, and which suits you. Katan silk, khadi silk, crepes are now in vogue. Pure silk garments are no longer as preferred as apparels made from wrinkle-free fabrics.

Shop for your trousseau from famous and established outlets. Every metro has its favourite shops, catering to different price segments. Outlets like Shoppers’ Stop, Panneri, Givo, Sheetal, Allure, Diwan Saheb and others cater to those willing to spend anywhere in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1.5 lakhs on clothes, depending on their workmanship and quality. At Stores like Globus, Zeenx, one can purchase outfits ranging from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 8,000. Also remember to buy related accessories like jootis (shoes), lingerie, purses, handkerchiefs, make-up kit, etc.

Jewellery forms an important part of the wedding. There are certain items you can’t avoid - the mangalsutra, for instance, which is the sign of every married woman. Or the Chandan haar, a long chain studded with nine gems or diamonds, worn by the Punjabi women. Every community has its own unique jewellery.


Looking beautiful for the D-day is another facet which has to be planned systematically. Finalize a beautician’s service and rates, so as to ensure a fine facial, bleaching, pedicure, manicure, bridal make-up, etc. Professional mehendi-wallis must also be arranged for to apply henna to your feet and hands, as well as those of your close relatives and friends.


Floral decorations lend an aura of elegance and beauty to a wedding. You may assign this task to your friends and relatives instead of hiring a florist, unless you are prepared to spend more on a professional. Some florists are attentive enough to have prepared examples for you in advance, based on your colours and budget.

Floral designers show you their album of photographs to help you decide on the design and colours you most like. Hotels take care of this aspect also, and offer to decorate tables and do flower arrangements in the hall. Florists and/or hotels also make varmalas, dolis, sehra,etc. based on your requirements. Ideally, flowers should account for 2-3% of wedding expenses. Consider using seasonal flowers to save on expenses.


Bright lights that light up a marriage venue are a must. Create a sense of cheer and happiness on your marriage grounds. A good lighting professional must be hired to usher in this all-important feeling.

Photographer/ Videographer

For that once-in-a-lifetime occasion, you need a professional photographer/videographer to keep the memory alive for you for the years to come.

Ask your family, friends and newly-weds for their recommendations. Or, just consult the yellow pages. Pick one of your choice after seeing the complete coverage of their work and comparing the price with other photographers. Many a photographer, or a studio, works in tandem with a videographer, so one can work out a deal for photographs and video with the team. However, in case of a videographer, be extra careful since some comparatively minor aspects too have to be taken care of, especially in terms of costs.

Ascertain before hand what the package would include - edited or unedited tape, multi-camera work, background music, close-up shots, etc. Discuss the costs and work out a payment schedule.

The number of functions that lead up to the wedding ceremony itself need also be planned. In the Punjabi community, for example, one has also to plan for sangeet, mehendi ceremony, mangni, or engagement, all of which are occasions for revelry and fun and bring the entire families together.

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