Arriving in style- Baraat

The traditional Indian wedding establishes a bond between two families and their cultures, apart from creating a very special relationship between the couple, who tie the nuptial knot .One of the important and fun ceremonies, is the arrival of the groom on the day of the wedding, at the venue. The groom’s family members, relatives and friends accompany him to the wedding venue, in a marriage procession called ‘baraat’. Groom’s friends and relatives are called the ‘baraati’. The wedding baraat is held with high esteem and the baratis are pampered by the bride’s family, when they arrive at the wedding venue.
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You could go traditional and have your groom arrive by decorated horse. Or, if your groom has more modern indian wedding style, he could travel in a more extravagant way. I have seen helicopters, boats, elephants, and luxury cars. The sky is the limit, so play around with some ideas!

Here are some tips and ideas on how to spice up your Baraat and make it very memorable for your guests to remember. There is a lot more you can add to your Baraat apart from the horse and band to make it truly unique.

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The Baraat is a fun procession where guests are dancing and rejoicing the occasion. As a host it is a great idea to spice up the mood by extending some hospitality and making it very memorable for guests. It is now a trend at Indian weddings to serve refreshments such as soft beverages, tender coconut and mineral water along with cold towels during the Baraat – especially if it is a day time procession.

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The bridal families are getting into the minutest detail like crafting a special menu of bite sized snacks which can be served during the procession.
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Safas for the male guests are part of most Indian weddings. The safas are very bright and add colour to the procession. For a day time Baraat you can arrange for colourful cloth umbrellas for female guests. These are made of Indian fabric and are available in vibrant colours. These could even act as souvenirs post the procession. A fresh petal shower is also a good way to add colour to the Baraat and make it livelier. A gola or an ice-cream cart along with the procession would be a good idea for summer weddings.

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For an evening baraat a display of fireworks and crystal chandeliers are a must. Arranging for a vanity van along with baraat for guests who may want to touch up or refresh before entering the venue would be a great finishing touch!

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Traditionally, and still most commonly, the Groom’s entrance is on an elaborately decorated white horse. Recently, Grooms are opting for different entrance options to really impress their guests. Your only limitations are your imagination (and maybe the rules of your venue!),
• Tampa Trolley Cars
• Yacht or speed boat arrivals
• Jet-skis
• Segways
• Helicopters
• Elephants
• Convertibles

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Solaah Shringaar-Bicchiya

Known as Bicchiya in the North or Metthi in the South toe rings have been worn by Indian women since the ancient ages.Most Indian women who are married wear a toe-ring. It’s not only a sign that the woman is married, it’s also science. They are usually made of silver and worn in pairs (unlike the trend in Western countries, where they are worn singly or in unmatched pairs) on the second toe of both feet.
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Indian Vedas (Vedham or Vedam) say that by wearing this in both feet, it is believed, that their Menstrual cycle course is regularized with even intervals. This gives good scope for conceiving to married women. Also it is said just because that particular nerve in the second finger from toe, also connects the uterus and passes through heart. If you notice, the toe ring will always be on the second toe of the right leg and also the left leg.

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It will control the uterus and keep it healthy by producing evenly balanced blood pressure to the uterus. As Silver being a good conductor, it also absorbs the energy from the polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body, thus refreshing whole body system.
Traditionally they are quite ornate, though more contemporary designs are now being developed to cater to the modern bride.
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Some ‘bichiya sets’ may have pairs for four of the five toes, excluding the little pinky. ‘Bichiyas’ may not be made of gold, as gold holds a ‘respected’ status and may not be worn below the waist by Hindus, but this is not followed very strictly and toe rings made of gold and diamonds are commonly seen.

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In great Indian epic called ‘Ramayana’ toe ring plays a vital role. When Sita was abducted by Ravana, on the way, she throwed her toe ring (kaniazhi) as the identification for lord Rama. This shows that toe ring is used from ancient time.Toe rings were introduced to the United States by Marjorie Borell who, after returning from India began manufacturing and selling them in New York in 1973. Her first retail outlet was Fiorucci, a trendy fashion retailer located on 59th Street in New York.

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Solaah Shringar-Mangalsutra

Traditionally, there are five signs of marital status of women, according to Hindu culture-mangalsutra, toe rings, kumkum, bangles and a nose ring. Talking about Mangalsutra, the word denotes a significant meaning. While mangal means aupiscious, sutra can be deciphered as a thread.It is a sacred necklace that the groom ties around the bride’s neck on the day of the wedding in a ceremony called Mangalya dharanam (meaning – wearing the auspicious), thereby giving her the status of his wife and life mate. Thereafter, the wife wears the mangalsutra all her life or till the time the husband is alive as a sign of their marriage, mutual love and goodwill, understanding and faithful commitment to one another.

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The mangalsutra, worn by most married Hindu women across India, is known differently in different parts of the country – ‘thaali’, ‘thaaly’, ‘pustelu’, ‘maangalyam’ or ‘mangalsutram’ in the southern states of India and ‘mangalsutra’ in the northern states. Each black bead in the mangalsutra is believed to have divine powers that protect the married couple from the evil eye and is believed to safeguard the life of the husband. Hindu women are extremely superstitious about the mangalsutra.

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If it breaks or gets lost it is considered ominous. Therefore, the Mangalsutra is much more than a piece of fancy jewelry, but a sacred necklace of love, trust and marital happiness of a Hindu couple – a vital symbol of wedlock.

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Today, the concept of wearing a mangalsutra has changed considerably. It is more of a fashion statement than a symbol of marriage, thanks to modernization. With the progressive times, the wearing of mangalsutra in working women has considerably reduced.

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There is also a marked change in the style and making of mangalsutra over the years. Previously, women used to wear simple design mangalsutra, with small pendants, but now, the trend is to wear short length ones, that too with a single string.

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Instead of gold pendants, they prefer diamond ones. However, the black beads have still managed to remain constant. Whatever may be the reason to adore it, mangalsutra surely symbolizes the real essence and concept of a Hindu marriage.

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What to wear on your Mehendi Ceremony ?

So now you’ve seen all the amazing décor & ideas from my previous Singh is King themed mehendi post, but what do you wear for such an event?

The Mehndi ceremony is one such important day which chimes the wedding bell and is an occasion which sees the bride embellished in psychedelic hues signifying that her life be as bright and colorful forever. Here are some tips to help you pick out the right outfit to look your fashionable best in the Mehndi ceremony.

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Vibrant,fun yet very elegant,if you’re looking to wear bold colours but not sure if you can carry it off this should be your ideal choice.

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Love the sequin & embroidery on the lehenga although i would prefer something lighter in weight if the ceremony is to be held during the day.

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This would certainly be my choice love the pastel pink & green combo, apt for brides shying away from bold colours.
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Love this indo western lehenga,very chic & modern.
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Not a dupatta fan? Then this is perfect team your choice of dupatta with a corset and enjoy your ceremony.

Singh is King- Mehendi Ceremony

Among the many traditions that are infused into Indian weddings, one of the most prominent is the mehendi ceremony. This is the day when mehendi(henna) is applied on the hands and feet of the bride and even the groom. While the bride has a very elaborate pattern done on her hands and feet, the groom usually has just a token design.

Now don’t we all want a fun filled colourful mehendi ceremony, traditionally this ceremony was held 2 nights prior to the wedding, in the night because the bride could adorn her hands with henna and sleep peacefully however with destination weddings in place this is now held during the day followed by the sangeet ceremony.

I absolutely love the idea of an outdoor day time ceremony, pictures come out perfect you can opt for bold & bright colours, you could accompany this with a pool party so the guests involved could swim have a merry time while the others can dance .

As the title suggests this post will give you ideas about a Punjabi Themed mehendi ceremony.
What makes it Punjabi? the bold bright colours, the music and the activities.

Trust me when I say it, this is also very budget friendly.

Elements you could include to give it a Punjabi feel.

Truck/tractor photobooth – We’ve all had our fair share of experience with photobooth of all themes & designs, but I doubt you would have had got your pictures clicked on a tractor. Fits right in your theme & adds plenty of fun to the event.

Paanwaala- serve your guests some delicious paan.

Pagdi wala- have somebody tie colourful pagdi’s for all your male guests.

Get some parandaa’s for the ladies so you’ve the men in pagdi’s & women in paraanda’s

Include Manji’s ( beds/lounges made of wood & rope) in the décor.

Host some traditional games like the ones played in mela’s or fairs.
1.)Throwing wooden rings around gift items. If the ring lands on the gift its your. Keep small souvenirs for this such as chocolates, a deo, soft toy etc. To make it interesting you could also keep beer cans and vodka glasses. This would get the guys excited.

2.) Shooting balloons, now this is an age old indian fair game that we all enjoy. Living overseas we barely get the chance to experience all this now.

Have some bhangra dancers add on to the masti & dhamaal of the day.

Food menu options to add that extra Punjabi touch, you could include these items with normal menu so people have plenty of options or just have them whatever would suit your budget.
Tandoor Counter
Chaat
Chhole Bhature
Sarso ka Saag
Paneer Makhni
Lassi
Gola
Kulfi

Below are some décor ideas, stay tuned girlies next week I will be providing you with ideas about a Hawaiian themed Mehendi Ceremony.

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Colourful Seating area for the bride while she gets her mehendi done.

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Colourful Cabana’s by the pool, how cool is this?

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Outdoor Mehendi Setup,love the colours & use of flowers.

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Most bride’s are seated on swings during mehendi ceremony, love the décor of this one.

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Bold & Bright colours, love the use of colours. This certainly tops my list.

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Another seating décor idea, abundant use of flowers here.

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To have a destination wedding or not ? Part 2- The Cons

Everyone sees a destination wedding as a romantic and unconventional twist to the traditional wedding affair. Well, it will certainly give a twist to your wedding no doubt, and add an extra element of a beautiful, scenic background to your nuptials. But, there are certain things you need to keep in mind before finalising on a destination wedding. This trend may not be as appealing as it is told to be. Here are a few cons related to a destination wedding that you should know about.

Rules out a big fat wedding gathering
Well, destination wedding is definitely not for those who wish all their near and dear ones to be around them. If you are the one who loves big fat gatherings, well then destination wedding may not be your cup of tea. Many of your friends, relatives or acquaintances may not be on board to shower you with congratulations which may stir up a lot of emotions. So, you may end up regretting not having everybody for the merrymaking.

Don’t be too budget happy
Remember a scene from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani where Kalki shouts on her best friend (played by Aditya Roy Kapur) for his enormous bar and gambling tab/bill that her fiancé would have to pay for. Yes, this is a con of destination wedding. At a local wedding, there will be just few outstation guests, whereas at a destination wedding everyone, including you, is an outstation guest. The etiquettes of a destination wedding say that the couple pay for their guests’ accommodation, local travelling and room tabs; while invitees have to pay for their travel to and from the destination. Well, you never know how much those room tabs and sightseeing may end up pinching on your wedding budget.

Endless planning and checklists
Moving to a new place for your wedding is not that easy. If it is an unexplored region then it can mean a lot of unpleasant surprises and complications. Finalising your itinerary, advance bookings, juggling with the details of climate, culture (especially if it is overseas), florists, etc. are all that you might have to deal with. Planning and preparations can turn out to be far more maddening. There are chances your objective of marrying innovative turns helter-skelter.

Distance can lead to some disappointments
Your best friend has an important presentation in the office on the very morning of your wedding day… Well, your destination wedding might become difficult for him/her to be a part of. Well, not only that even those relatives who have certain health issues or problems, like your grandparents may not be able to travel for a destination wedding. Apart from this, flights getting missed, last minute reservation hassles, etc. are possibilities that you cannot rule out.

Ready for a family honeymoon
Well, if you were planning to extend your wedding destination as your honeymoon destination as well then don’t get too happy as of yet. You may land in an awkward situation when you have to continue hosting the remaining guests. It is embarrassing to ask the guests to pack up once the wedding is over. They may have their own plans to overstay out of the expense of attending the wedding. There are chances that while connecting romantically with your spouse you are bumping into your guests.

What you can do, instead!
Well, for all those couples who want a unique wedding experience sans the pros and cons of a destination wedding can choose to add a personal touch to their celebrations with the help of a theme. A theme allows you to add interesting and appealing elements to your wedding. Want your wedding to be filled with soft breeze and setting sun then opt for an outdoor wedding at a beautiful garden or pool side or a farmhouse in your city. If you cannot travel to your desired location, you can design the entire setup of the location using the themes like beaches, waterfall and more.

So, it is not far-fetched for those who cannot travel overseas to marry. You can choose any locale to make it into a good site for wedding by personalising it with a theme. But, if you still want to opt for a destination wedding to celebrate your union then do consider its pros and cons before finalising on it.

What to include in your trousseau? Anarkali’s

Call it hope chest or glory box or bridal trousseau; it has been every bride’s closest friend during the initial months of her married life since ages. With time, the contents of this treasure box might have radically changed but the purpose and emotions attached to it remain the same. Earlier what used to comprise of just 11 essential items put together, these days enclose almost every essential that a newly-wed would need to have in her closet to prepare her for all the occasions she would have to be a part off; with her bridal trousseau in place she would be all set to create a lasting impression on everyone.

Today I feature the latest trends in Anarkali’s to include in your bridal trousseau these will keep you looking stunning and apt for every occasion and save the last minute run to the tailor.

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Light Blue & pink anarkali with sequin work by Pam Mehta, this one’s perfect for the various lunch’s and dinner you’ll have to attend post the wedding.

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I absolutely love this white anarkali with a little hint of neon in it. The bright red chura would look lovely along with this.

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Now this one’s a little dressy perfect for your first karvachauth or any pooja/party you’ll be attending.

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So now that everybody is investing in the neon trend how can the dulhan be anywhere behind, Pink neon anarkali however its very subdued so you don’t look overly bright.

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Simple Blue Anarkali perfect for when you are expecting guests or just daily wear.

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Pink & Gold Anarkali by Pam Mehta, another one of my favourites, I think the color combination would bring a glow on anybody’s face, apt for a night affair.

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Blue & White anarkali simple and apt for all occasions.

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Chic & Elegant purple anarkali, it doesn’t have the usual flair that anarkali’s have, this is more of an indo-western dress.