The horror. Yes, if you are planning your own wedding, the venue and decor is undoubtedly the horror. Food. Not to mention, the food.
When I started writing this series about my wedding, I had no clue that I will not miss my wedding at all. I am glad that the whole drama is over. Indian weddings are wedding carnivals. And if you ask me, I am not meant for them. No.
Let’s talk about the drama, shall we?
Following the social protocol is necessary. So, even after convincing my family and bae’s family for a court marriage, we still had to plan a big fat wedding reception. Okay, I will be honest. I feel splurging on weddings is a waste of money, time and effort. Also, my father is retiring, and I wouldn’t want him to spend his 45 years worth of savings on treating some strange people who show up only on weddings – that is how Indian weddings are. Also, after working for four years and saving like crazy, I was in no mood to splurge on a wedding than on travelling or on myself. So, I had this self-instigated budget constraint.
I was pretty adamant on having a small guest list. Also, now that I was having a reception, I wanted it to have everything. So yes, a pool and outdoor setting was a must. Brides are crazy. All of them are. We want nothing, but we want everything. Also, since everyone is sceptical about rains ruining a wedding, an indoor hall was a necessity too.
But first – all is well that ends well!
The horror called the Wedding Venue
Okay, so now we had few ground rules for the venue. One, we can not do without a pool because bridal tantrums. Two, we should have at least forty rooms in the wedding venue, yes, not nearby, in the venue. It makes sense now because we had just one function and it made no sense for the guests to travel to and fro the rooms and venue. Three, the place has to be some renowned chain of hotels or wedding venues. Why? The groom is allowed to throw tantrums too.
Like most of the independent millennial couples, we were staying in a different city than the city where we decided to have our wedding reception. My parents decided to step back because they are smart. They knew that their efforts will go futile if they shortlist some venue. They have a crazy daughter.
We found our dream venue on the very first week of our search. We booked it, paid in advance, signed all the contract and were super happy and excited. But, is that even a real thing? Finding your wedding venue on the first week itself? After a month, the venue management people told us that they have to undergo some silly renovation during the time of our reception and that we have to cancel the booking. And that is how, ladies and gentlemen, we spent a fortune travelling between cities every week for four months. I and my bae travelled from Hyderabad to Delhi every Friday and back to Hyderabad on every Monday because what better way to spend weekends than searching for wedding venues! We would spend our nights shortlisting venues on online portals and weekends approaching every prospective venue.
My involvement in the venue search was a half-hearted effort after that. Hundreds of frustrating vendors, tens of gallons of petrol and billions of compromises later, we found an apt venue. Courtyard by Marriott, Gurugram Downtown.
When I look back now, I am pretty happy with how everything turned out on the d-day.
Not any food enthusiast’s dream: Wedding Caterers
The reasons why the venue search took so long:
- Not every venue management would let you bring your own caterer
- The beauty of the venue is inversely proportional to the taste of the food catered by their “in-house” caterers. I kid you not.
After some horrendous food tasting sessions at a few of the ‘renowned chains of hotels and wedding venues’, we were hopeless. I was convinced that this wedding reception might not take place at all. I thought I would rather trust some good restaurant reviews on the internet and treat my guests in one of those restaurants. But it is a nice idea, right? Booking meeting and date places online.
But the universe is not that cruel after all. My apt venue had the ‘apt’ food too.
The best business called wedding venue ‘decorators‘
Indian weddings or any wedding for that matter, depends a lot on the decor. The flower color to type to the ribbon colors to the centerpieces, everything determines the happiness of the couple(read the bride). Finding a contractor for the wedding decor in my case was not very difficult because my venue management had a few vendors and we couldn’t really get our own decorator unless we pleaded like a crazy couple. And we were too exhausted to do that.
What is difficult is making your decorator visualize your dream wedding. My contractor for the decor was pretty understanding and having her was probably the most painless thing about my wedding planning. Thanks Anju(Vines Creations), if you are reading this!
But I learned that fresh flowers and lights are super expensive when it comes to your own wedding. Try to be a li’l flexible about your decor ideas and budget, both.
The other things
Rest of the things went on pretty smooth I believe. Or may be, I was too relaxed to really care because I really did not want those stress lines on my big day. I found a good photographer who clicked those dreamy pictures I wanted.
My make up artist was my bae’s friend. She is a sweetheart and did an amazing job. Thanks a lot Priyanka!
But I won’t advice to keep your friends busy with you rather than letting them enjoy the wedding.
These two major things did not really drain me out. So yes, I had a balanced wedding.
It is a good idea to relax before you get hitched. Your wedding should make you happy. And it will – because it is about you!
Everyone has that one difficult story, which makes their wedding planning memorable. This was mine – the cancellation of my wedding venue. What is yours?
Fun fact, it rained on my big day. Thanks to my indoor hall, the food was safe. Thanks to my decor contractor, she was pretty intelligent and adamant in putting up the outdoor decor in place, just as I wanted it.
So yes, that sums up my most important struggle of planning my own wedding. I am not getting married again.