Category: Indian Wedding

Indian weddings are joyous celebrations and for a bride is the most important ceremony of her life. Everything must be perfect, so here there are some tips for brides, grooms and guests to enjoy it in the best way! Read about Indian Wedding ceremonies here – http://strandofsilk.com/special/indian-wedding/style-tips-for-indian-wedding-ceremonies

Ananyn & Joseph’s Punjabi Wedding

A chic and stylish multi-cultural wedding with bride Ananyn and groom Joseph. I love the relaxed and very personal style of the wedding

The Baraat

I am so used to seeing pictures of the baraat with the groom on a horse, that it felt like I was missing some pictures! Then I realised that the groom took a very different route (and animal friendly I might add) to not use a horse but instead walk in his baraat.

The added advantage of walking the baraat is of course that he can very easily join in the fun and festivities – not something a lot of grooms might be able to boast.

I absolutely love the vibe this gave. It feels so much more personal and intimate this way. I do think more grooms need to consider this as an alternative to riding a horse.

Pictures courtesy Candid Wedding Stories

Gurudwara Wedding

Sikh weddings in gurudwara’s always convey a sense of calm and quiet to me. Family and friends sitting calmly and listening to the ceremony has to be one of the most precious moments during such a wedding

Special shout out to the bride for selecting such a gorgeous coloured lehenga. A yellow lehenga is not the most common colour I have to admit, but she pulled it off beautifully. And how cute is the mustard coloured pocket square that the groom used 🙂

Alisha and Savio’s Cincinnati Wedding

 A beautiful wedding from across the pond. I especially love the selection of outfits by the bride Alisha. The colours and the detailing on the outfits was spot on I thought. the couple look absolutely amazing together.  

Pre-wedding Shoot

I have been going through a phase recently, and am absolutely loving outdoor photoshoots. I think they are so much more natural and fun if done right!

At first when I saw the pictures, I thought it was one of the bridges around London. How silly of me 🙁 The bridge does have similarities to the ones in London and I think it forms a stunning backdrop for photos. It makes the photos look so much grander and gives such nice perspective. Thats the geek in me talking 

The last photos is perhaps my favourite because it has the bride, henna, pizza and a cookie – captures absolutely the essence of what the bride goes through during the long long long mehendi session.

In and Around the City and Sangeet Evening

I love the green that Alisha wore for the sangeet. The pallu is draped in a gujarati style and the detailing on the outfit looks very nicely balanced. There is just the right amount of detailing to make the outfit appropriate for the event, and it does not overwhelm.

Especially cool is her shaking a leg on the dance floor, and absolutely owning it – you go girl!

Wedding Day

For the wedding day, Alisha opted for a traditional Red coloured outfit, a colour that suited her very nicely. Savio opted for an ivory coloured sherwani. And how cool are the chooda’s with the couple’s names? I have not seen this before, and I absolutely love it!

I love the decor’s pink tone – a very delicate colour that looks so elegant. 

After Party

I loved the blue colour and the mirror work on Alisha’s outfit – I want it now!! Savio looks absolutely dapped in his classic style tux.

Vendors and Contacts

Photography/ cinematography: Priyanca Rao Photography

Planners: Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants

Venue: Hyatt Regency Cincinnati

Decor: Weddings InStyle

DJ: Opening Minds Entertainment

Lighting: Clear Lighting

Caterer: Taj Mahal Inc. 

Cake – The BonBonerie

 

Dancers – AATMA Performing Arts

Dance Floor Wrap – Elephant Head Graphics

Hair and Makeup for Bride and Mother of Bride – KC Makeup by Karuna Chani

Jared and Harpreet’s Classic American Wedding

Jared Triplett and Harpreet Singh-Gill got married in September last year in Wisconsin, USA. Of the numerous weddings that I have featured on my blog, this one has to be one of the most unique ones.

The rural setting for most of the events (the wedding events started on all days at their family farm!) make this an absolutely charming wedding.

The henna night was followed by fireworks in the evening and loads of celebrations. I love the style of the henna, a beautiful mix of contemporary and modern patterns on the hands and beautiful traditional style patterns on the feet.

Don’t you also absolutely love the colours and the simple setting for the mehendi. A refreshing change from some weddings which glorify and make the mehendi into a massive and grand affair. Back to simpler times with smaller gatherings, I am loving it. 🙂

The religious ceremony was held as per the Sikh faith. The outfits were absolutely stunning and the couple seemed to have selected colours that complement each other nicely.

Colour co-ordination between couples is an interesting topic in itself, and the outfits do not always need to be the same colour or have elements in the same colour. Tonal matching like Jared and Harpreet have done is a beautiful way to think about couple outfits.

Indian ceremony: Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin in Brookfield, WI

The reception looked absolutely lovely with a beautiful decor and theme. I especially love the outdoor pictures of the couple – beautifully executed and the end result is stunning.

Reception: Hilton in downtown Milwaukee

Photographs courtesy Brian Slawson Photography

Mehendi / Henna courtesy Mehndi by Maliha

Rachna and Gopal’s Dubai Wedding

Rachna and Gopal’s outdoor Dubai wedding makes me want to take the next flight to the city and get away from all the cold and greyness of London 🙂

Outdoor weddings are always a tricky affair because there can be so much that could go wrong. But in Dubai, where temperatures and weather are far more predictable, it is perhaps the best thing to do.

The couple are both from Chicago, so a lot of the planning was done online. They certainly did a good job if the pictures are any indication. The locations look picturesque and just the right backdrop for a wedding shoot.

If you had not previously considered Dubai as a destination for a wedding, these pictures will make you re-think your decision!

Photographs – Candid Wedding Stories

Wedding venue:  The Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills, Dubai

Special shout out for the bride Rachna’s dress – I just absolutely LOVE the colour and the detailing on her lehenga. One does not see a lot of velvet fabric lehengas in recent times, so this nod to the traditional was so refreshing to see. Rachna also got the accessories and jewellery spot on I would say – heavy enough, and not too overwhelming at the same time.

Rachna wore a very stylish outfit for the reception. Slightly un-conventional in that it was a Lehenga and a Jacket combination. But she pulled it off beautifully!

Abhimanyu & Ananya’s Beautiful Bengali Wedding

Abhimanyu and Ananya hail from a design background and planned for most of the wedding themselves. The results are absolutely stunning as you will see in the pictures.

The celebrations took place at Rajbari Bawali which is rooted in Bengali heritage. All the events took place at the same venue and were attended by close family and friends.

As individuals, both Abhimanyu and Ananya had strong views on the design and they even had clashes about the decor with Abhimanyu walking out of Ananya’s place! Thankfully, they resolved the design issues and created a style that worked for them as a couple.

Bengali Dinner

With 60 family members in attendance, the celebrations started with a Bengali themed dinner in the Rajbari’s courtyard. The dress code was traditional bengali and the details were planned by the meticulous couple themselves. Gorgeous touches included each family member printed on the beautifully wrapped menu atop the spotless silverware.

The Bengali dinner was followed by family members dedicating performances amidst a flaming bon-fire and heart-warming music.

Engagement

The Engagement was donned in vibrant hues of the open lawn. The ceremony was met with a variety of emotions as Abhimanyu and Ananya officially announced there togetherness in the presence of their near and dear ones.

In the middle of the celebrations, Abhimanyu greeted Ananya with a surprise flash mob. 30 people gathered to the tunes of popular Bollywood music to celebrate their official union. No particular theme for Engagement. They wanted to use local relevant materials hence it was a mix of handcrafted shola and jute.

Party time

The DJ took control at Rajbari and the energy flowed through the celebration. Drinks and the colourful dance floor just added fuel to the celebration fire!

Photography : Framed
Engagement Lunch Couple Outfits

Abhimanyu – Manish Malhotra
Ananya – Raw Mango

Dinner Couple Outfits

Abhimanyu’s Kurta – Rohit Bahl 
Ananya’s Saree – Anand Kabra
Both wore Jamewar shawls belonging to their family lineage.

Executed by Fahd Ali and Santosh Singh

Make up (Ananya) – Vatsala Bhagat

Poonam and Balwinder’s Gorgeous Punjabi Wedding

I had a look at the gorgeous pictures from Poonam and Balwinder’s wedding and two words stuck with me: vibrant and elegant. Photographs are courtesy Sunny Mathur – http://www.photographick.com

I love that Poonam wore a beautiful vibrant blue coloured dress with loads of gorgeous embroidery including Phulkari. I love the riot of colour and the nod to the traditional embroidery technique from Punjab.

Poonam and Balwinder’s wedding outfits were more traditional in colour and tone. The gold necklace complemented the embroidery and the red coloured lehenga very nicely. And Balwinder’s use of red in his outfit surely got him loads of brownie points 🙂

Special call out to the bridesmaids who wore punjabi style suits in beautiful purple and orange. I love the colours!

The reception screamed of elegance and style. The table setting featured a minimal and extremely chic setup. I love the crystal and floral on the table, which I think complemented the decor very nicely.

Poonam’s outfit is one to love – especially the colour themes. The choice was chic and I think it suited her extremely well.

Sonia and Arjun’s Fun Wedding

I love a lot of things about Sonia and Arjun’s wedding, but the standout feature for me are the gorgeous colour co-ordinated outfits of the groomsmen and bridesmaids.

The bridesmaids opted for the same saree and the group look absolutely stunning. The contrast against the bride Sonia’s outfit makes the group photo look absolutely stunning.

Not to be out-done, the groomsmen had similar style, if not the same colour of kurtas and the same colour of red dupatta. I like the muted tones for the kurtas because it looks so timeless and elegant.

The baraat procession looked like loads of fun

and the wedding venue looked so elegant. I especially loved the tasteful use of colours and lights. All photos courtesy Sunny Mathur – Photographick Studio

How I Helped Plan an Off Beat Honeymoon to South India

I helped a friend plan her honeymoon in India and I thought it would make the perfect topic for a blog post. While I have helped plan honeymoons in the past, this experience is particular unusual because the couple want to go off the beaten path, on their honeymoon – go figure!

One could argue that a honeymoon is one of the most important holidays for a couple and so it deserves to be well planned. This post is meant to provide some tips on how I helped to plan this off beat honeymoon in India. I suggest you can take away the process or simply see the destinations I considered for my friends.

Getting to know the couple

When I start to help a couple to plan their honeymoon, I take the time to get to know the couple individually and then together as a couple. This might sound obvious, you’ll be surprised how many times I discover that couples do not always have a clear understanding of their partner’s travel wishes.

In most cases because I am helping friends, I know at least one of the persons well. But all the same, I still meet for coffee with a very clear agenda around the honeymoon – trying to understand what they absolutely love and what they absolutely hate. The intention is to understand the type of things each of them would like to do or not. At this stage, I simply try to understand the types of activities or locations, rather than specific destinations. I also like to understand about previous holidays they have had which they really enjoyed or are particularly memorable.

Then I meet the couple together for a coffee to understand the things they enjoy together as a couple. Most of the times the individual preferences tend to get adapted as a couple. This stage is crucial to establish some basic understanding of what kind of places the couple is likely to enjoy together while respecting individual preferences.

Making an Initial Plan

With a clear understanding of the couple’s preferences for places and a sense of the type of things they like to do, I then do some initial planning for the type of honeymoon for the couple.

For my friend, it turned out that the couple both wanted to do something unusual and off beat. Their personalities were different, but what they agreed upon was that they’d like to not be sitting on a beach sipping coconut water. Phew, that made life a lot easier for me because it meant that I can focus on the destination rather than trying to get them to agree on common ground 🙂

Since they are getting married in India, I thought of starting with India as a honeymoon destination. I broadly broke down the country’s regions into 4 parts,

  • North India: Cooler, Mountains, Nature, Activities
  • West India: Warmer, Palaces, Historic
  • South India: Green, Cultural, Relaxation
  • East India: “Rugged”, Nature, Un-explored

Narrowing down options

This very broad brush classification is just that, a generalisation for me to start thinking (and tell them) about the locations and activities in each of these parts. I did this classification to structure the thinking for everyone rather than stereo-type any region.

  • West India (Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc.) is usually the first stop for tourists because they usually like to see the palaces and forts in the region, I thought that it was not off-beat enough for my friends
  • North India is great for indulging in nature and even for outdoor activities and sports, but they had already spent a lot of time in North India in the past, so this was a no go

Narrowed down my selection to South and East India for their honeymoon. 

  • East India is fascinating because it is relatively un-explored compared to other parts of India. In particular, I was thinking of the state of Assam because of the off-beat things that they could do there – Rhino safari, boat rides, nature walks, etc.
  • South India was equally fascinating because of the mix of nature, relaxation and great food

My friends wanted off-beat but also wanted luxury. They wanted to enjoy hotels that they stayed in and indulge a little. This seemed to be a problem in some parts of East India as far as I could tell because luxury properties are not as extensive as they are in South India. It seemed to me that South India was ticking all the boxes for my friends, so I decided to focus on this region.

From Options to a Plan

Now that I had a region in mind, I could focus on the fun stuff and make a plan. I usually start with standard tourist itineraries and then customise them for the specific couple.

I started by looking for Honeymoon destinations in South India. I don’t have a favourite source, but I almost always read Quora and Tripadvisor because they give me a real person’s perspective rather than a marketing message. The long list of destinations I initially found and the ones that looked interest are,

  • Alleppey
  • Coorg
  • Coonoor
  • Ooty
  • Thekkady
  • Munnar
  • Kabini
  • Kovalam
  • Kumarakom
  • Mysuru
  • Vagamon
  • Wayanad

I did very quick google searches for these places, and I usually tend to look at Images first as a quick way of getting a sense of the place. Not the most accurate, but very good for an initial shortlist.

Alleppey

What I liked: Authentic Kerala experience, house boats, local sightseeing options

What I didn’t like: Connectivity is not the best, Might get monotonous after some days (what can you do on a houseboat? take a walk?), loads of tourists

Coorg

What I liked: Indulge in nature, spice farms, trek options, good food, excellent accommodation options

What I didn’t like: Connectivity to other places not the best, loads of tourists

Coonoor

What I liked: Indulge in nature, spice farms, trek options, quaint town

What I didn’t like: Connectivity, limited local tourism options

Ooty

What I liked: Old world charm, local sightseeing options, connectivity

What I didn’t like: Limited chances to indulge in nature/treks, loads of tourists

Thekkady

What I liked: Loads of options for local tourism, elephants

What I didn’t like: Connectivity, limited accommodation options locally, loads of tourists

Munnar

What I liked: Indulge in nature, spice farms, trek options

What I didn’t like: Connectivity, limited local tourism options, loads of tourists

Kabini

What I liked: Indulge in nature, trek options, animal safari

What I didn’t like: Connectivity, limited local tourism options

Kovalam

What I liked: Quaint town, accommodation options, local tourism

What I didn’t like: Beaches do not seem the best for sun bathing, might get monotonous after a few days, loads of tourists

Kumarakom

What I liked: Authentic Kerala experience, ayurvedic spas, accommodation options

What I didn’t like: Limited local tourism options, loads of tourists

Mysuru

What I liked: Historic, cultural, accommodation options, connectivity

What I didn’t like: Medium sized city

Vagamon

What I liked: Indulge in nature, trek options

What I didn’t like: Accommodation options, connectivity

Wayanad

What I liked: Indulge in nature, spice farms, trek options, not as many tourists

What I didn’t like: Connectivity, limited local tourism options, limited accommodation options

The Final Plan

It took me a good part of a week to do the research above. And now I was ready to make some travel plans!

Most of the options above had loads of green areas to relax and explore. So for me, it was a matter of selecting places that complement each other and can work together as a coherent holiday. I considered these 3 alternative plans,

  • Munnar – Alleppey – Kumarakom: This is a standard triangle tour and provides a good mix of different things including nature treks and house boats that are traditional to Kerala
  • Kabini – Munnar: Kabini is great for a safari and Munnar is perfect to relax. You can even stay in hotels that are part of a tea plantation!
  • Wayanad: Relatively un-explored area with options for nature treks and safari at Bandipur Tiger Reserve (some hours away)

In the end, I have suggested Wayanad as the ideal destination for them because I saw some very cool accommodation options in the region, and it gave my friends the flexibility of either chilling out at their hotel or heading out and exploring the area.

Hotel Picks for Wayanad

I liked 2 hotels in Wayanad – these seem like ideal honeymoon hotels to me because of their locations, service levels / reviews and generally good connectivity to the key attractions in the region.

My friends picked Wayanad CGH Earth and will be spending a week there this year. I am super excited for them and cannot wait to see pictures!

Have you been there or have any other suggestions for south Indian honeymoon destinations? Please do share in the comments!