- Disclaimer: Written from a Chennai point of view
Now that everyone around me is either busy getting married or trying to get married, I have been lucky enough to notice exactly what goes on at these weddings.
I believe a trend has emerged – if the wedding is not ostentatious, it may have never happened!
As an observer of this increasingly popular trend, allow me to recount some must-dos:
(Of course, you are free to improvise, to make your wedding look even more like the set erected for a song in Shankar’s film.)
All guests are to be served refreshments on a try as soon as they are seated. This could be a chilled drink or something for them to snack on while they take in the proceedings and continue giving their expert opinion. Young men and women in colour coordinated uniforms do the needful by walking around incessantly.
[Note: Costumes may range from pavadai-dhavani to miniskirts for the women; in comparison, men are always in boring attire.]
Imagine the wedding extravaganza happening on the same scale as the Chennai Sangamam (which takes place in several open venues over a span of 2-3 days). What this means is: the event is to be orchestrated like a carnival.
Make sure there are stalls to cater to all tastes. Some of the lesser spoken about spectacles could barely come up with one chaat stall, while others stepped up to the occasion and added a mehndi stall, a bangles stall (attempting to imitate the charm of buying accessories from tiny shops on the pavement, no doubt), a live pasta counter (continental food for the adventurous Mamis?). Maybe if you are feeling especially generous, you could add a book stall, where book lovers could while away their time.
A photographer with a strong presence on social networks (and a fancy camera from another country). This way, fake-candid and not-posed-for pictures can make their way to your networks, complete with a watermark, 265 likes, and 120+ comments giving mundane verdicts along the lines of: “Aawww… so pretty babe!” or “Hot! Where did you get your dress from??????”. At this point, remember to include the name of a designer, however little known – they may become famous thanks to your word-of-mouth publicity campaign! As a bonus: if you are a friend of the bride or groom, maybe one of these pictures showing you in very flattering light could be made use of when you create your profile on matrimony websites!
Once you have thoroughly understood the basics, you may move on to organizing more complex programmes:
A portfolio shoot featuring the bride and groom in an exotic location (if pressed for time, resort to the Saalai-ora Poonga in Adyar, if you foresee no constraints, take a cruise to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, with your entourage!).
Even if you may be South Indian, it appears as though your wedding cannot be complete these days without a Mehndi; and sometimes, a Sangeet as well. I am unaware of the origins of this fairly new tradition. However, I remember being taken to one such Mehndi function when I was 14, and back then, I remember the adults whispering to each other that the bride had spent far too much time in North India while she was still a student.
Some other things I just thought of:
Do follow Band Baaja Bride to help you with the planning. You can watch the bride being pampered by her fiancé, handcuffed to her fiancé, spoilt for choice with diamond jewellery and Sabyasachi outfits, being asked to straighten her teeth and broaden her forehead(?!) so as to look like the perfect princess bride on her big day.
Oh, what about the wedding gala (or mela?) organized at the Chennai Trade Centre once a year? An entire convention space dedicated solely to meeting all your wedding requirements, and letting you realize all those requirements you were not aware of previously!
I suppose I will just not invite you to my wedding, it is going to be fairly dull in comparison! 😛