Right now, I am 9 months into my wedding but most days I feel like it only happened yesterday. But then there are times it feels like it was years ago, what with all that is happening in life at such a fast pace. Looking back at my wedding, I do have regrets about how I planned things and how things finally went down around me.
I remembered vividly, a week into the wedding, that I completely forgot to make personal phone-calls to people I intended to invite. And then there were times during the week-long wedding celebrations when things were completely unplanned and a lot of the pre-wedding functions just happened to pass by with nothing more than a whisper. No hullabaloo, no pomp. So now, after months of making mental notes about it, I finally decided to share my take on a few things that I would have done differently in my wedding. If you are a bride-to-be or are helping out a bride in planning her wedding, in one or more ways, most of these things will apply to your scenario as well. So read on!
1. Wedding Lehenga woes
Like most potential brides, I wanted a wedding lehenga that was nothing less than a show-stopper. As soon as my wedding date was fixed, I jumped on to Pinterest and started pinning (like crazy) images of wedding outfits that were breathtaking! When you start discovering lehenga designs online, take into account the type of lehenga you want and the budget you want it in. You might want a raw silk designer lehenga or a lightweight georgette flowy lehenga from a local boutique, they all differ in prices and designs. I went lehenga shopping with a blank canvas in the mind and absolutely no idea about what I wanted. And therefore I ended up loving and buying a beautiful but heavily embroidered designer lehenga that was too huge for my overweight frame which stood stiff when worn. Considering my body type, I should have chosen a lightweight flowy lehenga but by the time I realised that, I had already made a pretty big investment in the earlier lehenga.
2. Better Photography options
Alas! This is one thing I will regret forever!!! Being a candid photographer myself, I know the importance of choosing the right photographer for the job otherwise key moments from your event get missed out and are never caught on frame. I made the biggest mistake of hiring an event organiser to handle the photography and cinematography departments. Not only did I never get to meet the photographer in person to discuss the photographs I wanted taken at the wedding, but also I did not get the key getting ready shots which I was absolutely looking forward to. Agreed that the photographers today charge a lot more than traditional photographers did back in the day, but do spare some time to find the right photographer that fit your budget. And always meet with them in person to understand their vision and work before you commit to them.
3. Planning and Delegation
This is the biggest problem people like me have. I take up all the work on my own and hate delegating work in the fear that others might end up ruining it. Turns out, I ruined a lot of things on my own because everything was too much for me to handle. Reach out to friends who live locally and ask them for help with wedding preparations. I was mostly on my own for most part of the 6 months wedding planning time and hence ended up taking all the responsibility till the last minute. Keep yourself totally work-free especially in the two weeks before the D-Day. I was running errands till a day before the wedding celebrations began and that messed up my already raging nerves.
4. Mehendi function
Believe it or not, I do not have one photograph of my Mehendi function where I look anywhere close to a bride-to-be. My hair is tied in a sock-bun, I am wearing my workout clothes and my face is lacklustre and gaunt. To top it all, I was an emotional wreck trying to allocate mehendi-waalis to the wedding guests and running hither tither before I finally sat myself down to get on with the mehendi myself. Though my camera made rounds, not one person managed to take a good photograph during the function and so those adorable pictures I had pinned of beautiful after-mehendi shots months ago never actually happened. I only blame myself.
5. Personal Invitations
I mentioned this earlier as well. I emailed and texted people inviting for the wedding, I communicated with them that I would email them the coordinates to the venue and surprise surprise, I never emailed most of them those coordinates. I also totally forgot to personally call a bunch of people in all the pre-wedding madness. Yes, I had a list prepared and everything but it totally slipped my mind to call back those numbers that were unavailable the first time. A total bummer on my part. The best thing for handing out those personal invites would have been to step on them 4 weeks before the D-day so that all fronts were covered!
6. LISTS LISTS LISTS!
I had lists. This is one thing I am very proud of actually. I made all the darned lists. But in effect those lists did not really get worked on completely as they were all just restricted to me, my mum and my aunt. I cannot emphasise enough on the importance of having help in organising the wedding. Share lists, prioritise work and let your ego disappear when you have to ask for help during your wedding preparation. Trust me, work distributed is sorted much faster. WhatsApp groups and email blasts are your best friends in this time.
7. Bridal Shower
Do not wait on your friends to organise a bridal shower or throw a surprise bachelorette party. Most times, if you do not let your friends and family know that you are expecting a celebration, chances are you will not get one. I made this misjudgement about an impending shower and having realised I wasn't going to get one, I put together a last minute dinner date with a few friends and that was it. If like me, you have the biggest expectations and love being pampered, make sure to let a couple of your closest friends know exactly that.
8. Family time
Do not be so caught up in the arrangements and preparation that you are unable to give your mum and dad some love and attention right before you scoot off into your new life. I regret not having a family fun night with my mum and my family before the wedding. I do make up for it every time I spend weekends with them after the wedding, but I did lose out on the key pre-wedding bonding time with the family.
9. Stick to the budget
If you are making a budget, you are making it for a reason. Stick to it and when you feel like going past that, pinch yourself hard and take a step back. I did not go crazy bonkers above the budget I set for myself but I did spend more than I needed to and unnecessary expenses will always come back to bite you.
10. Allocate realistic makeup time
By realistic, I do not mean hours together but an hour should be more than enough for you to get ready especially if you are in between functions. For me, it was the brief time between the Pooja and the Reception that I was given. I had 20 minutes to change into the lehenga, change jewellery and makeup. And so, in all the rushed madness, I forgot to adorn the two things I specially bought to complement my wedding outfit - a customised second dupatta and a nose ring which I bought after a painstaking search that spanned three months. Sucks, right!
11. Be the Queen and give your King all the attention
Not only did I lose out on the chance of playing queen for a month, but also I practically lived like a commoner trying to manage expectations during that time. I got so caught up trying to make everything perfect that I totally ignored my husband during a lot of them pre-wedding and wedding proceedings. Kudos to him for marrying me in spite of me being an insufferable control freak.
Listen up Brides! Let yourself go and be the queen for the entire time you are the designated bride-to-be because this time in your life will never come back!
Until next time,