Tag: Indian wedding

Saying I Do in Cancun – Nikita and Shashi’s Wedding

Is there ever a more picturesque location to get married than a beach? And if that beach happens to be in Cancun, you need not ask the question.

I have featured some weddings shot by Jonathan Cossu in the past because they looked absolutely gorgeous, and this one is no exception. I love the fact that the beautiful details around the bride and groom, and the ceremonies are captured so nicely. The pictures are of course stunning to boot.

This wedding saw the coming together of Nikita and Shashi at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun. The wedding took place over 3 days and looks likes an absolute blast! I love some of the quirkier elements from the wedding like the friends putting cut-outs of the bride and groom over their faces at the sangeet. This is a cool idea and I’d love to see a wedding where masks were made from the faces and everyone wore them. Slightly creepy if everyone wore them, but also quite quirky.

For those of us who have attended numerous ethnic weddings, it is often easy to overlook the beauty of the ceremonies with so many representative elements like the fire, the prayer offerings, etc. But when you see pictures of these elements, you are reminded of the significance and of course the inherent beauty of the elements. Take the thread that is tied to both the bride and groom, such a beautiful statement of togetherness. Anyone know the significance of the thread?

The head-band worn by the bride also looks so nice! The un-cut diamonds and the three chains bring together the look beautifully. It complements the style of the lehenga very nicely. I have worn such styles at music festivals – but that’s more a boho vibe – but I haven’t seen too many girls wearing these for other ceremonies (other than the bride). I think it’s a beautiful feminine piece of jewellery that is often under-utilised.

 

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Chandni and Darshan’s Indian Beach Wedding in Cancun

I recently came across the work of Jonathan Cossu, a fantastic photographer who shoots weddings in Cancun, Mexico. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful pictures of Indian weddings that he takes. His style is unique and he even has a very cool under-water pictures section on his website. Jonathan was kind enough to permit me to use some of his photographs for the blog (Grazie Jonathan), and I selected this beautiful destination wedding of Chandni and Darshan that took place at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa.

The Resort – Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort

Moon Palace Resort

Jonathan mentioned that the wedding included LED Robots and Acrobats  – all very cool, and when you combine such details with an amazing resort, you have the recipe for magic. I personally loved the subtle elements of detail that the bride focused on and I think got it spot on.

The Bride and the Details I Loved

The bride wore some stunning bangles and also a hand-harness that was very traditional and encrusted with polki and other stones. I like the fact that she selected green stones because it complements her red lehenga so nicely.

Bride wearing a haath-phool

Beautiful Bridal Lehenga in Red

Beautiful Bangles for the Indian Bride

Such a Gorgeous Bride in a Red Indian Lehenga and Bridal Jewellery

One of the accessories that brides don’t usually pay attention to are the shoes. Comfortable yet sexy shoes are so important to finish the look and make you feel sexy on the day. Make sure you strike a balance between shoes that look stunning and also have an extra oomph factor. I love the fact that Chandni selected these gorgeous high-soled metallic toned number as her choice – they look just right for a balance between sexy and comfort.

Sexy Footwear for the Bride

The Bride getting ready

Contact Jonathan here

Big Fat Indian Wedding Survival Tips

Big fat Indian weddings are wonderful. They are huge jubilant celebrations, full of colourful clothes and decor, brilliant food and tons of dancing. They are however also long and hectic, so you need to be well prepared to ensure you get through the multiple ceremonies in perfect fashion. Below are some key tips to make sure you’re well prepared!

  1. Make sure you test out your shoes thoroughly beforehand and keep a spare pair easily to hand. It is also a good idea to have a stock of gel pads and blister plasters to prevent rubbing.
  2. Keep a spare lipstick handy. This may seem like a slightly strange one, but if you’re the bride or part of the main wedding party, you’re likely to be greeting a lot of people, so your lipstick is in danger of rubbing off. If you keep a compact lipstick in your bag you can easily reapply when necessary.
  3. Weddings can be long and stressful on occasion, so it is a good idea to keep some painkillers nearby just in case.
  4. Deodorant or perfume can be a godsend when you’ve been dancing for ages. Be sure to have some with you so you can feel nice and refreshed.
  5. A wedding is a huge, emotion-filled occasion. Be prepared for tears either from yourself or your loved ones. Take some tissues so your makeup doesn’t smudge.
  6. Just in case your makeup does smudge, get some makeup remover and q-tips to fix it.
  7. As with your lipstick, your hair is also likely to become messed up due to all that dancing, so remember a comb and some hairspray so you can touch it up. After all, you don’t want a hair out of place for your photos!
  8. If you wear contact lenses, take some solution with you and maybe even a spare pair. If your eyes dry out they may become uncomfortable.
  9. Take some snacks. This may seem odd given the vast amount of food that can be found at an Indian Wedding, but as the bride in particular you will constantly be rushed off your feet and have people vying for your attention. Having something small and easy to eat can be a godsend during the non-stop madness.
  10. Stay hydrated! Among the dancing and talking, it can be easy to forget to drink plenty of water. It will not only make you feel more alert, but will also significantly decrease the chances of headache.

The main thing however that you need to do to survive a big fat Indian wedding, is to enjoy it. Trust that everything will go to plan and if something doesn’t don’t let it bother you. Enjoy your special day and make sure you take a few moments during each ceremony to really take it all in, because it goes by in a flash!

Indian Wedding Photography By Bilal

A wedding day is the most crucial day of one’s life. And why not, we imagine getting hitched to our right life partner all our lives. When the D-day arrives, we want everything to be picture-perfect from bridal wear to jewellery, food to decor, venue to weather, so we can have the memories of a lifetime. We want THE Indian wedding photography!

Thankfully to capture these beautiful moments of our lives, we can resort to Indian wedding photography. Photos serve as a great memory and reminder of this once-in-a-lifetime event.  A wedding photo album is something you can treasure long after it is over and pass onto your children so together, you can take a stroll down memory lane.

Keeping this in mind, ‘Photography by Bilal’ swears to deliver just that. The aim is to get a series of natural and emotive photos that illustrate your unique wedding story every time you look back at them. A good photo can bring back all the emotions and excitement you had at that moment, which is why wedding photography is such an important part of your wedding.

Nowadays, wedding photography is not just about the wedding day but includes a complete range of pictures that carries all your pre and post-wedding functions. The trend of getting a pre-wedding couple photoshoot done is very popular among modern Indian couples, who seem to be relishing getting their candid and artistic photoshoot done.

These types of photoshoots do not include simple portraits but instead tell a story and capture the atmosphere and emotion of the day.  So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the stunning bridal photoshoots, taken by wedding photographer Bilal.

Art at its best

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This picture is a sure-shot winner when it comes to depicting the mehendi design in an unusual and striking way. The way the mehendi-laden hand of an Indian wedding bride is viewed through a sheer curtain of a dupatta portrays the intricate design in all its beauty.

Not just ordinary

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Anyone can click a simple picture but it takes passion and talent to get a picture like this. This picture illustrates the epitome of grace and elegance of an Indian wedding bride. It captures the myriad of emotions that a bride is going through on her wedding day. The shot is especially poignant because the bride is viewed through the sheer veil of her dupatta in the midst of a seemingly private moment.

It’s all about details

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Moving away from the expected life-size portraits, we are treated here to a view of the more minute details that make up the flawless bridal look. This photo focuses on the beautiful maang tikka worn by an Indian wedding bride.

Let eyes do all the talking

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At the time of her wedding, a bride experiences a cocktail of emotions ranging from being happy to start a new life to the sadness of leaving her parent’s home. This mixture of conflicting emotions can be seen in this intimate photograph of the bride on her wedding day.

In all her glory

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A bride looks like a million bucks on her wedding day just like this particular bride who is oozing glamour in her stunning outfit and jewellery.  She is looking like a diva in the true sense of the word. Just as the bride has made an effort to look her best, the cameraman has done his best to capture her .

Look of love

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Love is mesmerising as effectively demonstrated by this photo of the much-in-love couple as they appear completely besotted by each other. They don’t need words to express their feelings as the look of love captured by the photographer beautifully gets their emotions across.

A smile is contagious

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This smiling Indian wedding bride all dolled up in her traditional wedding attire is a delight to look at. Her infectious smile captured with panache is something I love to revel on. Her orange coloured outfit makes a great contrast with the background, but it is her million dollar smile which is the USP of this click.

Bride & the bridesmaids

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A bride’s friends and sisters play a quintessential role in a wedding. Their importance can be seen from this picture where a beautiful Indian wedding bride takes centre stage and her gorgeous colour-coordinated bridesmaids pose together by her side. This image wonderfully depicts their sisterhood and bond.

If you love the above images and want to create a beautiful pictorial story for your wedding, visit http://www.photographybybilal.com/

Indian Wedding Makeup – My Favourite Looks

Ever think back fondly at those times when as a little girl you flipped through your parents’ wedding album and innocently told your mom how beautiful she looked and how you want to look just like mommy on your own special day? Obviously all our moms looked absolutely stunning on their wedding days. There is no denying or debating that fact because we all look at those pictures with the loving eyes of daughters strolling through memory lane while trying to image what we ourselves might feel when it’s our turn.

Few decades later and it really is your turn to take the plunge and what you might or might not feel on the fateful day is as distant a question as the memory of you as a tiny tot playing dress up with mom’s clothes and makeup. Suddenly you look back at those same pictures and shudder at the pancake faced white washed pictures staring back at you and begin to have nightmares of your own Indian wedding makeup becoming a repeat performance. Worse still, you fear that you might not even look like yourself but like some strange Indian bride character straight out of one of those horrendous Indian soap operas that never end. Adding further fuel to your hellish makeup hallucinations will be encounters with ‘pro makeup artists’ who are either too traditional with their Indian bridal makeup or are completely inexperienced with Indian wedding makeup as they mostly work with western brides.

If you’re wondering how someone can describe the trials and tribulations of getting Indian wedding makeup just as you want and like it while also narrating the horrors of actually going through the process so accurately then it’s because yours truly was an Indian bride not so long ago. My own fondness (read: obsession) with makeup had become an incurable curse when it was time to take the plunge. Having been engaged for a year, I had amassed a rather large collection of bridal magazines, bookmarked a few thousand blog posts, watched countless YouTube makeup gurus and followed way too many Pinterest boards, all in the name of research for the best Indian wedding makeup.

It wasn’t until I had wasted what felt like a million years that the realization dawned on me that most western media catered to brides in white dresses walking down the aisle in rose hued make up looks. Their makeup tended to be understated and elegant to compliment their ivory wedding gowns. Indian brides in stark contrast wear flaming red lehengas or saris, short and fitted choli blouses, sparkling gold or diamond jewellery and headpieces like maang tikkas and large hair pins. The subtle and pretty makeup looks of western brides would just not suffice with the grandeur of Indian bridal finery.

Suki's Makeup 2 | My Favourite Indian Wedding Makeup

My Indian bridal makeup needed to be statement making and enhance that luscious wedding lehenga hanging in the closet. It also had to compliment the dazzle of the wedding jewellery rather than take away from it. And as if the makeup gods had finally smiled upon me or maybe my over-stimulated and sleep deprived brain just blew a fuse, it came to me as a Eureka moment! All that research would not be for nothing because the key to the best Indian wedding makeup was combining the conventional with the trendy.

A fusion of trends is not an easy path to tread but when done backed-up by your own references of the trends that you love and executed by a skilled and patient makeup artist, it is nothing short of makeup artistry magic. I decided to incorporate everything I cherished from those old photos of my mom like the kohl lined jet black eyes and gold toned eye shadow with the updated and chic twist of punchy lip colours and smokey eyes. I even side stepped the very dated matching your outfit to your Indian wedding makeup bit and picked lip and eye colours that were in the same colour family but various hues of the same colour for an added freshness and fashion forward oomph. In the end I realised that current makeup trends could be beautifully merged with traditional ideas with the right balance of both to ensure your Indian wedding makeup is a reflection of your own personal style and personality.

I hope the following photos will give you some much needed inspiration!

Makeupbymeee | My Favourite Indian Wedding Makeup

Suki's Makeup | My Favourite Indian Wedding Makeup

This beautiful engagement photo of Mandeep was taken at Hilton Eailing. Hair and makeup was done by Suky Aulakh who used geek foiled eye-shadow, 101 double lashes and Anastasia dip-brow for the eyes. Supercover foundation, Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit and NYX Copenhagen lip cream combined with ‘diva’ lipstick by Mac Cosmetics completes the facial makeup.
Image sources: Makeupbymee, Suky Aulakh

The Best Indian Wedding Websites

Most people who have planned a wedding will agree that when the process of holy matrimony is described as ‘Hooked, Booked and Cooked’ it is very succinctly and accurately depicting the state of mind of the soon-to-be hitched couple. To say there are a million decisions a day to be made is putting it mildly and it only gets more complicated when you factor in having to agree with your significant other (and sometimes his family too) on everything, topped off with the bane of all wedding planning efforts – Unsolicited Advice!

Throw in a some emotionally charged high octane disagreements with your to-be, friends and siblings who have never planned a wedding before either, Google searches with 10,000 plus results on every query, finished off with quotes for everything far exceeding anything you could afford to pay and chances are that you’re ready to just give up and make a run for it to a land where there is no word for ‘wedding’ in the local vocabulary.

If you’re reading this and screaming… Yes! Yes! Yes!…for every point and are also planning an Indian wedding then there is little doubt that you have a serious score to settle with Google for being completely biased and sending mostly western wedding inspiration websites your way. Few bridal websites cater to Indian wedding planning and fewer still are even worthy of your precious time.

However if Google brought you to this page then you might as well kiss and make up because this article sums up the best wedding websites to help your navigate through the strenuous Indian wedding planning waters.

1. Wedmegood.com

Wed Me Good | The Best Indian Wedding Websites

This little hidden gem of a bridal website is the ultimate resource for uber stylish and utterly cool Indian wedding inspirations. Browse through their vast and all encompassing sections of photos and real weddings for some truly unique ideas. And to translate those wedding fantasies into reality search through the list of talented featured vendors divided up by Indian and international locations.

2. Weddingplz.com

Wedding Plz | The Best Indian Wedding Websites

Consider it Wedmegood’s younger cousin that is more focussed on actual planning versus wedding inspiration. Find everything from astrologers to dieticians to cooking classes based on your Indian city of choice plus some very nifty little tools for budget management, checklists and notes. The website also features some interestingly written articles with tips and tricks that will come in handy any time. For those outside India, the website also features upcoming wedding related events and exhibitions happening all over the country so you can plan any shopping trips around the time.

3. Strandofsilk

Strand of Silk | The Best Indian Wedding Websites

For those days when you’ve had enough of all the logistics and technicality of wedding planning distract yourself with undoubtedly the best bit of getting married – SHOPPING! Strandofsilk.com features luscious Indian designer wear from fashion favourites like Anita Dongre, MandiraWirk and Narendra Kumar for the luxefashionistas. While boho and kitschy labels like Myoho, Sougat Paul and The Purple Sack are for the spunky princesses who like their fashion with a little bit of an earthy edge. Strandofsilk.com makes Indian wedding shopping online an effortlessly smooth process so you don’t have to give up that long awaited and much needed spa weekend with the girls because you’re out last minute shopping.

4. Weddingshop.com

Wedding Shop | The Best Indian Wedding Websites

Gift registries are a borrowed but much appreciated wedding custom from western weddings that has every modern young couple breath a sigh of relief. Lets face it no one wants yet another glass casserole or old school Indian cooking appliances that take up way too much space in an already too small first home. Catering mainly in the UK, Weddingshop.com allows couples to create a gift registry that is completely personalised and useful to their future lives as man and wife.

Indian wedding photography: The Art of Capturing the Moment with Kiran & Ajay’s Wedding

Indian wedding photography that was pretty much a point and shoot game with every couple in the same 10 cliché poses and horrendous pictures of the wedding party stuffing their faces with food has mercifully undergone a much needed makeover. Gone are the days when every SLR totting cousin or friend who called himself a ‘pro’ photographer was enlisted to take pictures at the wedding. Now couples consult and hire proper professionals who understand their style and expectations from the pictures of the momentous day.

Kiran & Ajay's Wedding | The Art of Capturing the Moment

In an age of pictures speaking not only a 1000 words but 100,000 likes, comments and shares, is it really that surprising that even camera shy couples are doling out big bucks for creative Indian wedding photography? Even those who are averse to sharing their private photos on social media are beginning to realize the significance of stunning photography that can capture magical memories to last a lifetime. The main aim of unique Indian wedding photography is not just taking some pretty pictures but to be able to take those viewing the pictures on a beautiful journey of sentiments transporting them back to the vivid memories of the joyous occasion.

Kiran & Ajay Embrace | The Art of Capturing the Moment

In their quest for wedding photo perfection Kiran and Ajay sought out the utterly talented team from Lin & Jirsa Photography that believes in creating unique and expressive imagery. From their initial consultation with the couple they are completely aware of the style of photography desired and make every effort to ensure that the final result is a seamless blend of gorgeous photos. They produce beautiful Indian wedding photography through their style of photojournalism that fuses fine art and fashion photography. Each image they capture tells a story, portrays a mood or freezes an emotion on film forever. The photographers are attuned to their surroundings at all times and wait patiently with their perfect set up of lights and props for that one smile, laugh, tear or hug that will melt your heart and take you back to that very moment every time you glance at that image.

Kiran & Ajay Share a Moment | The Art of Capturing the Moment

Lin & Jirsa offer everything from soft and romantic style photography for the mushy types to advanced camera work in the form of epic style and editorial photography for couples that want some seriously glamorous Indian wedding photography. They even use some unbelievably cool filters and post-production techniques for night photography or HDR wedding and engagement photography. Let’s just say that if you and your significant other ever harboured secret desires of super stardom in rom-coms, chick-flicks, sci-fi or hi-fashion magazine covers then these guys got you covered.

Kiran & Ajay Illuminated in the Dark | The Art of Capturing the Moment

Kiran and Ajay’s creative Indian wedding photography in the hands of these talented artists seizes every moment with such a beautifully delicate balance of form, light and angles that is result is nothing short of breath taking.

Kiran & Ajay Hold Hands | The Art of Capturing the Moment

The images tell a story of a roller-coaster of emotions felt by the bride, groom and their families as they adorn themselves in their finery before pledging themselves to each other as man and wife. Priceless loving moments between the couple filled with tender kisses and warm touches.

Image source: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Planning A Big Fat Indian Wedding

Things to do:
1. Call caterer to add butter chicken to menu as per Dadaji’s request
2. Tell tailor to add extra button to mom’s wedding blouse
3. Finalise flowers and colour scheme with decorator for the Mehendi
4. Ask Chachaji if his contact’s venue has come through for the Sangeet
5. Remember to tell the tailor to add extra margin in all bridesmaids and groomsmen clothes
6. Speak to Dad about deposit to the DJ for the cocktail
7. Tell to-be-hubby to get cracking on the Sangeet playlist
8. Ask sister to remind to be hubby about Sangeet playlist
And on and on it goes………

If you recognise the list above then there is no doubt that you are in the midst of or have very recently planned a big fat Indian wedding and if the tasks above are anything to go by then there is little chance that you’re willing to go through the entire gruelling process again anytime soon. Indian wedding planning taken on by well meaning friends and family was a frenzied reality of not too long ago and continues to be an Indian wedding tradition even today.

However, Big fat Indian weddings have now ushered in a trend of wedding planners and consultants that take on the burden of coordination with vendors, formulate new and innovative concepts and are on hand to assist the bride and groom with most of their needs and wants for the duration of the festivities. Although the keyword here remains ‘assist’ as most couples will still be running around like headless chickens trying to bring order within the chaos that is planning an Indian wedding. Those of you who have never experienced their own wedding or that of a sibling or best friend and are reading in wild amazement as to why exactly the couple needs to do anything at all when they’re paying a hefty sum to a wedding planner. The answer lies in the incredible need for new age couples to personalise and distinguish their own wedding from every other wedding ever attended by their friends and family. And if that isn’t stressful enough there is also the small matter of Indian wedding trends changing for bigger, better, brighter versions of themselves every few years.

The Indian Wedding Planner

Sonya and Kuljit Bains are two sisters who were undergoing similar dilemmas in 2010 during Sonya’s wedding planning. They started out with lists identical to the one above with every detail for everything and everyone crammed into one long unending line of numbers and over many pages long. As expected there was confusion and communication break downs galore thanks to the complete lack of any organisational system specially catered to planning an Indian wedding. Coordination with vendors, family members, wedding parties, in-laws and friends was a maze of incessant phone call, texts and emails as no planner in the market offered the ability to separate all the people, activities and functions involved in a big fat Indian wedding.

Few years later and this time for Kuljit’s upcoming wedding in 2016, the sister’s realised that absolutely nothing had changed in the offerings for planners for Indian weddings. They did find some that offered large portions for vendors but minimal pages dedicated to actual planning. It was the perfect time to set about creating their own Indian wedding planner to make things as easy as possible for already stressed out brides.

After months of hard work and commitment to ensure that nothing was left out they unveiled Every Fine Detail in July 2015. The aptly titled and first of its kind Indian wedding planner includes everything from pages dedicated to schedules, budgets, floor plans and tailoring to emergency wedding kits making it a little piece of organisational heaven. While the planner is by no means a substitute for a professional wedding planner or consultant it does give the bride the freedom to trash those countless notebooks, scribbled pieces of paper and post-it notes stuck everywhere.

Every Fine Detail was launched online to a roaring response with brides ordering the planners for themselves or friends and family surprising future brides with the planner as pre-wedding or engagement gifts. The Indian wedding planner has also found takers in places like England, Toronto, California, New Zealand and many more. The sisters were even invited to a wedding expo organised by Big Phat Indian Weddings last October where in addition to setting up a booth to showcase their product to future brides, the planners were also given away as door prizes.

As an ecstatic future bride and user of Every Fine Detail put it:

“I absolutely love it. I carry it around with me all the time. If I am in the midst of contacting/booking a vendor, I can pull out my book and jot down any notes needed. It helps keep me super organised and I like that all the information that I need is all in this one book!”

As they say the proof is in the pudding or in this case the organisational marvel born out of the necessity of two enterprising sisters. I’ll definitely be ordering one of these for myself and my soon to be wed friends. Now only if the small matter of tracking down Mr. Right and getting him to put a ring on it was made so easy!