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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Must have photos’s on your big day !

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Ek Kunwara fir gaya maaara- that’s all I can think when I see the above picture of the fun loving groom Ross and the vivacious bride Priyanka.

There will be plenty of moments on your wedding day that you’ll want to make sure your photographer catches. Now we all know the traditional drill pictures with the family, blushing bride and lots of awkward poses.Below are some fun and unique pictures snapped at some real weddings.

Get inspired by these picture-perfect moments that you can frame and treasure forever.

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Solah Shringar- Chura

Wedding is like a charm for every girl I think..! The sensation of wedding makes you happy, the makeover and accessories are hot craze for every girl. Specially wearing Chura is on top demand.With the initial thought of wedding in specially in North Indian tradition Chura is first accessory which comes in mind with your wedding dress selection. I have always been fascinated by them, just love the way they look.
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Wearing a choora, after marriage, has become more like a fashion these days, irrespective of the prevalence of this custom in their religion or not. People have now-a-days started considering Choora bangles as a symbol of a married woman. Even with the changing times, where, women do not prefer wearing mangalsootra and sindur, after marriage, they take immense pride in showing off their choora. My muslim friend went against her family to adorn the chura for her nikah. She wore it for 40 days all because it looked pretty and stated her married status.
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The bridal chura is worn to signify a woman’s newly married status. Some say that the bride doesn’t have to do housework while the bracelets are on, I have seen my maami and maasi’s being told not to work until mehendi and chura were removed how nice right? ( i hope my inlaws are reading )
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Actually, the ritual of choora has its traditional roots in the Punjabi culture, where the maternal uncle of the bride, on the day of the marriage, performs this custom of making his niece wear the wedding choora. The choora or the wedding bangles is first washed in milk, and the bride cannot see her choora before wearing it. These days, the design of the choora is first selected by would- be bride, after which a different set of the same design is worn by her on the day of her wedding.
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The traditional period of wearing a choora is the starting one year of her married life, but these days, girls wear them as long as they wish, due to their liking towards it. There are different set and designs available in the market, which vary in their colour, maroon and white being the base, and the count can vary from 21, 31 to 51, bangles in a set, as per the choice of the bride. Simple chura is now become the designer chura the simple red, maroon ad white bangle is now in new avatar with the spectacular stone work, latest trendy designs
While a simple chura would cost between 2000-4000 RS, a fancy chura with all the bling and swaroski would easily cost up 15-20,000 RS.
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Kalire !

The sweet moments of wedding are not only unforgettable for the bride and the groom but also for the near and dear ones. One such moment is the chuda ceremony which is celebrated at bride’s place just a day before the wedding. Once the chuda has been worn, the bride’s friends and cousins tie Kalire to the chuda. Kaliras (or known as kalire) are ornaments worn on the hands of Punjabi brides. While this is traditionally a Punjabi wedding custom, most brides these days opt to wear them thanks to our bolly movies.
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They hang like beautiful chandeliers and come in a range of colors to match any outfit.These are pieces of umbrella shaped gold or silver ornaments. These signify good wishes for the bride’s new life ahead and are also meant to remind her of her friends and cousins. It is said that the number of leaves on kalire are as many as bride’s friends. Kalire’s are encrusted with dried coconut and dried beetle nuts.
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I absolutely love the way they look, needless to say the logo shows my love for kalira’s. There’s an interesting ritual associated with kalire. The bride shakes her hands over heads of all the unmarried girls in the family one by one and if a leaf or a part of kalira falls on anybody’s head, then it is believed that she will be the next one to get married.
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So what happens to these post the wedding? Usually the couple visits the temple/gurudwara the morning after the wedding to take blessing this is where the bride leaves one of her kalira’s and the other is stored with the bride a momento. My mom still has her kalira’s and I plan to use it for my wedding, incorporate it in my phoolon ki chaadar how kool right? Here’s another way of storing them and keeping those wedding memories fresh
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Where to buy these? while finding them in Dubai will be a task they are readily available in India. The best ones are offcourse from Amritsar, Gandhi Market in Mumbai is another great place to buy these from or infact buy anything typically Punjabi.
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Having difficulties getting hold of some Kalira’s? contact us and we’ll have them shipped to you!

Cake-sphere

Now how can any wedding be complete without some yummy food and sweets. Although wedding cake was not part of the traditional Indian wedding, but it’s becoming quite popular these days.
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Indian inspired cakes are the new in thing be it in Dubai or London. People start to get bored with the same and similar design every time they see a wedding cake. They need something more authentic and unique. Now you can’t have an all Indian wedding and then have a white wedding cake that would just look odd. Most couples tend to stick to the theme of the event while designing their cake.
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They may use some ornament for their Indian feel. Ganesha figure is very popular along with the motifs on Sari. Paisley and henna designs are also very popular. While I’m not a fan of using ganesha and other idols as part of the cake, using a dulha and dulhan wedding topper seems quite cool.
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Where to get these in Dubai? Sugaholic Bakeshop in Karama can customise any cake according to your preferences(full feature on them coming soon). The sister duo do an amazing job not only at providing brilliant designs but also at providing some very yummy cakes. I have been getting all my cakes from them for a while and I must say they never disappoint.
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Cake Bar in Jumeirah is another place that offers some very good cakes, while the Indian quotient might not be very prominent as the chef is European you could provide them with designs and they would be able to do it.
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Another brilliant idea is to incorporate Mithaai in the cake. Recently one of my friends got a mithaai cake done for her roka ceremony. Just have your mithaai shop to customise the shape of the barfi dough. Puranmal sweets have an amazing spread of mithaai to offer.
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Pocket Pinch? While a custom designed 1 kg cake would cost an approx. 350-400 the price could be higher if you decide to have a tiered cake etc. With the mithaai it is usually charged per kg depending on which mithaai you choose and some added cost for the customisation.

Solaah Shringar- Nath

Nath or Nathni is almost synonymous with bridal wear as generally it’s worn only on weddings these days! The word ‘Nath’ is derived from HindI word “Naath”, meaning husband or master.
As per old tradition on the wedding night the groom removes the ‘Nath’ to show a sign of the ending of virginity ‘Nath-Utarna’. In the past, it was said that a single, unmarried girls or widowed woman could not wear the Nath. But nowadays at any cultural function, wedding ceremony or religious festival, women of all ages can be seen with these nose dazzlers without regard of her marital status.
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The Nath has become an essential part of trousseau of married women and women of different cultures adorn different styles of them.
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In the Punjabi culture the Nath is gifted by the Maama of the bride along with her chhoda and kalire. Here’s a pic of my Nath umm yes I already have it, my Maama was kind enough to have gifted me this post graduation.
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Nath for all the Marathi Mulgi’s
Styled in the shape of the number “9” and studded with translucent pearls, this symbol of old-world charm has long been an essential part of a bride’s trousseau, often being passed down as family heirloom.
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Solaah Shringar- Maang Tikaa

Maang tika as the name suggests is a piece of jewellery worn for the forehead. It adds the perfect ethnic touch and completes solah shringar of the bride.This beautiful piece of jewellery hangs from the forehead and is worn to accentuate the bride’s beauty.
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The types of maang tikkas vary from state to state in India. Maang tikka, according to the ancient Hindu culture is not just an adornment but it is a symbol of uniting the male and female for the rest of their life. A golden maang tikka consists of a beautifully designed pendent attached to a chain that has a hook at the other end. The chain and the hook,hold the tikka on the forehead, exactly at the place where it sits on the ‘AgyaChakra’ or the sixth chakra of the bride, that stands for preservation and control of emotions and concentration.
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The styles of the maang tikka range from very simple to heavy ones, which may differ from each other due to different communities. While for a Hindu bride, the Maang tikka is in the form of a pendant, which dangles on the center of the forehead, on the other hand a Muslim bride, adorns her hair with a Jhoomer style maang tikka.
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Another type of maang tikka is the “MatthaPatti” which is particularly designed to adorn a bride’s look. This heavy maang tikka consist two extra chains on each side, which completes the glittering look of a bride.
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The Rajput women wore Bor or Borla, the traditional Rajasthani maang tikka, in the old times. Even today, it is very common to see a married Rajasthani woman wearing this on a regular day. This type of maang tikka is spherical which makes it tricky, to stay put.
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Jhoomer or Paasa is a very important ornament worn by any Muslim bride. This is a fan shaped tikka, which is placed on the side of the hair unlike the other types of tikkas. Gold and pearls are mainly used to design this unusual style of Jhoomer.
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The Shringar Patti is different from the Mattha Patti in the way that it has more than one side panel. This “Maang Tika” looks absolutely exquisite with several types of hair style, but the catch is that it needs extra help to be secured in place.
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I’m simply a fan of the usual Maang tikka i feel the mattha patti makes a person look chubby as it accentuates your face and makes it look more round.Here’s a pic of the Maang tikka i chose for myself not really for the wedding probably for the Mehendi function or mata ki chowki.