Happy to feature Nethra, the cute little bride from Singapore who got married to Vishal from Coimbatore; they met in Europe where both of them were working and the magic happened! Read on to know more about their weddings in two countries - India & Singapore. Marriage is a journey not a destination; and Wedding is the first step into that :D It all feels like a mirage becoming a reality!! That’s how my wedding was… I first met Vishal in a restaurant in London (UK)… and time has flown past so quickly since then! Since we were from different countries – we had a really international wedding:- in India & in Singapore and Honeymoon in Africa :D
Being a “Third Cultured Kid” and having grown up with mixed cultural identities as I lived in several countries – Singapore, Hungary, India, USA and UK….it was really exciting for me to attend the first full-fledged Indian wedding … and little did I ever guess that I would be the bride stealing the show :D Planning a wedding being in 4 different countries at that time was definitely a big juggling gig! Vishal in Ireland, my parents were in Singapore, his family in India and I was in England! I started off by attending Wedding Fairs and Wedding Boutique Shows in London and Singapore to get some ideas flowing through my mind…. and thanks to all the wedding blogs (like and SingaporeBride.com and Shopzters) that I had stumbled upon over the course of time to get inspired. A big thanks to my Aunt (Sudha), cousins and friends who helped and guided me a lot – else it would have never happened! Most of all – Skype, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Facetime and Viber became my best ‘Hangout’ places ;)! And I must say thanks to Dad, Mum, my darling sister Haritha & my better half Vishal for supporting me through the roller-coaster ride filled with ups and downs of emotions ;-)
My wedding was the “First” Wedding in my family of my generation among all my 7 cousins and one of the added factor was being the eldest child :S
It was a great time for everyone to gather at the same time from different parts of the world. We had a truly international representation for my wedding! My friends and family from all over the world maybe from every continent too – SriLanka, UK, USA, Australia, Dubai (UAE), Italy, Germany, India and Singapore…and probably even more! It was a truly thrilling experience and one of the best anecdote was: I met a friend from my school in Hungary (Aye) after 13 years and another friend from primary school (Neethu) after 15 years!
From London, UK….to the first step to the promise of marriage was --- the Engagement in India! We had about 200-250 guests at The Residency Hotel, Avinashi Road, Coimbatore It was my first time to Chennai in my life… I was so excited that we decided to take a one-day tour and also visit a cousin. Then the whole wedding spree started. Chennai Shopping – Moksha & Manmandhir in Cathedral Road, Chennai, India Ilakiya Tailors for Blouse, Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore, India. I also bought some additional Punjabi suits/ salwars/ lehengas for post-wedding events in Chennai.
Since I was going to wear a sari for my wedding, I decided on a lehenga for my engagement – it was tied out in a half-sari style (langa voni/ dhawani style on that day). Vishal’s Engagement Suit was from PN Rao Fine Suits’s Wedding Collection, TTK Road, Alwarpet, Chennai, India; other blazers were from Debenhams, Dublin, Ireland. And a grey suit set from Harshavardhan (Mayflower Complex, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore) which was custom made according to his fit.
Engagement Decorations: This was done by one of my aunts. She had designed it from scratch and made sure it complemented my Lehenga on that day. Pretty flowers and I really appreciate the cute little decorations she had done on all the plates. Contact: Sathya Jayachandran at Ferns n Petals, Avinashi Road, Coimbatore, India. Contact Number: +91-9842-933888
Jewelry: Rajmandhir Jewellers, 45 Cathedral Road, Chennai, India. I heard that “bell-shaped” diamond drops-styled were an upcoming trend…I’ve never worn much of Indian jewels and it was a unique style that they had designed. My Uncle was friends with the owner – Dinesh Uncle and they really took the time to make elegant designs for us for the wedding later on too!
Engagement Day Slippers: Metro Shoes: Princess Bridal Collection, Chennai, India
Make-Up Artist: Meena Gopal (Contact No: +91- 9442622269), a Freelancer (thanks to my friend Aarthi who recommended her!). Meena Aunty did an excellent job in bringing out my natural best; she uses branded products like MAC and Kryolan which are used by professionals and with over 25+ years of experience under her belt, she really knows how to dress up different brides from different cultures & change their make-up and looks according to the venue and atmosphere of the party too! If you want to experiment something new, she is happy to give you a couple of trails before you are 100% satisfied with her. She also does facials, massages etc etc all at the comfort of your home/ venue! She is really great and brings out the best natural beauty in you ?
Set of 10 tier-set of Cake was a big surprise Engagement Gift from my cousins. Vishal and I were really caught off guard in amazement at such a bigset of 8-10 wedding cake. I do not know where they had ordered it from. But it was from somewhere in R.S. Puram in Coimbatore, India. Another smaller and a more formal cake was made by my family-friend. It was made using freshly whipped cream and was not too sugary and likeable taste. She operates under “Make my Cakes”, GV Residency, Coimbatore. Contact: Nirmala Radhakrishnan at Ph: +91- 9894715705/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/makemy.cakes
Once the engagement buzz had died down a little, I realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…and if I missed it… I might never get a chance like this again: Live, Laugh, Love – single and carefree! ;) So, instead of an official Hen Party… I decided on spending time with some close people. I had resigned from my role in UK and took some time off to travel: my most favourite splurge & addiction. I went on to Philippines and Indonesia with friends. And I made a trip to Australia with my Mum as her (post-recovery trip from a surgery to cheer her up too). We both had a blast and met up with some cousins there too!
Time did not care about anything at all as usual and flew and the wedding dates were coming really soon – the the peak of Summer in India & Singapore ? Dum Dum Dum and the festival began in a full-fledge state from Poojas, Sangeeth, Dance & Cockatail Party at Vivanta by Taj Hotel- Surya Coimbatore, Henna Day, Nalanugu, Reception and other Wedding Ceremonies at Suguna Wedding Hall, Peelamedu, Coimbatore and Post-Wedding Blasts in Hotels in Coimbatore, followed by Wedding Reception in Singapore at Republic of Singapore’s Yacht Club, Post-Wedding Private Boat party via Marine Bookings that we had in a Yacht with only our close family and then Honeymoon was at Africa! ?
I wanted a highly personalized wedding card. Decided to design something cute, quirky and funny to pictorially represent Vishal and my story =) My friends and family loved the theme and idea too! So here is a copy of the cover of the Wedding Invitation. Mama Seer’s Sari: PSR Silks, Cross Cut Road, Coimbatore, India Blouse Designers: Anya, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore, The Golden Window, Lakhsmi Plaza, Coimbatore, India and Leena Lalithas Mobile: +91-9364559652
Sangeeth’s Anarkali Ghagra Dress: Customized and ordered from Arts & Trends, a Boutique Shop in Hougang, Singapore; Golden Heeled Shoes: Isetan, Orchard Road, Singapore Bridal Mehendi done by: Poonam and Team Poonam’s Bridal Package was simply awesome. She was really intricate and detail-oriented. It turned out to be profound and beautiful for my big-day! ? My Henna event was like “an open house day”. We had so many people as I had friends from Pune (India), Hungary, Srilanka, Hungary, UK & Germany coming down at different times, hence we had additional help from Prasanth (he also did my Henna for Engagement). I was extremely amazed that a guy was doing Henna as I have never come across that in my life yet. He had also done for my engagement and I was really inspired with his patience levels and funny jokes to crack up everyone! That was the first time I had seen a man do such beautiful work on Henna art.
Nalangu & Reception Sari: Kalaniketan, 100 Feet Road, Gandipuram, Coimbatore, India Blouse Designer: Aparna at Reheja Towers, Coimbatore. Muhurtham Sari (The Big D-Day): Tharakaram Silk House, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore, India This was very carefully selected by me and I wanted a bit of character to it: they had Orchid patterns on them and they meant so much of meaning to me (because Singapore’s national flower is Vanda Miss Joaquim – a type of Orchid flower) Wedding Shoes, Princess Bridal Collection at Metro: http://www.metroshoes.net/ Chennai
Jewelry: Diamond Set - Kirthilals, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore Gold Jewelry Set: Suman Jewellers, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore Photography & Videography by Vishal’s Family Photographer at: Light & Shade Photography (by Kadhirr Babu) -- E-Mail: email@example.com Candid Photography: Soumya Radesh Wedding Art Photography (by Soumya & Radesh) Contact: +91- 9000544450/ +91- 9160753564/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Our 40-seconds quick Sangeeth preview is available on YouTube by KadirrBabu’s Team: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yRMj9H-XC4
Vishal’s Family in Coimbatore mostly took care of the Catering and Decorations contacts. As my family did not know much into these details. Catering: Madhampatty Rangaraj. They had a lovely mix of different South Indian varieties of food and my personal favourite was a unique mango dessert which they had served it with a coating of what seemed like Haribo sugar! It just melted at your tongue palate! Wedding Stage & Side Podium Decors: Raghavendra Decorators
Singapore Wedding & Reception Home is where the heart is… and for me that is always in Singapore. It is a beautiful island-cum-city state. A view by the sea is always so pleasant and revitalizing! We decided upon a venue to admire and capture this tranquility and essence over-looking spectacular views at night in the grand Singapore Yacht Club, West Coast Ferry Road, Singapore. I found some Dresses at “Her Bridal”, Ayer Rajah, Singapore and an amethyst-hued evening toga ball gown at “A Love Affair” and Online Boutique Shop in Singapore by Jennifer Ng (Mobile: +65-96426054)
Hairstyling & Make-Up: at Korean Salon “La Coco”, VivoCity, Singapore. My stylist Paul was simply amazing – like a work of art in just ½ hour did he turn me from a girl-next-door to a gorgeous bridal diva full of elegance! Manicure & Pedicure and then Gelish Nail Polish at: “Nails @ The Lacquer Room”, Harbour Front Walk, VivoCity Mall, Singapore
Photographers/ Videographers from: Keanu Chang Loov Productions, Delfi Orchard, Singapore and Nathan Studios, Serangoon Road, Singapore. I had met them during a Bridal fair in Suntec City Mall, Singapore just about a month or so before the wedding. They captured some amazingly great moments and their make-up was subtle and refreshing! Although, Vishal looked a little different as if he was an oriental doppelganger of himself! They made me look more beautiful than I was (or the effects of the Wedding Glow – I still have not figured it out)!
Singapore Wedding Cake from Devilicious Cake Studio, Keppel Bay Drive, Singapore. Contact No: +65-9853 1870. She made a really scrumptious layered ombre-styled wedding cake with little cupcakes at the bottom and looked very neat and classy to match to my outfit + theme of the day too – purple. Was highly a guests’ favourite that evening that even the last speck of the cream and I didn’t even get to eat a full slice!
We also went for couple wedding photo-shoot at Singapore Botanic Gardens, Marina Barrage with an amazing city view of downtown Singapore and Palwan Beach at Sentosa Island by Keanu Chang’s Loov Productions at Delfi Orchard, Singapore.
Some quick wedding tips:- Research and do your homework – it teaches you what you really need (or want) and what you don’t in your wedding shopping list. Set a budget so that you will not get disappointed! SMILE – even if you are happy/ sad/ irritated… it is the best accessory you can wear! Nothing beats that :D
No matter how careful and contentious you are, something goes wrong somewhere at the last minute – Murphy’s Law: things go completely wrong when you least expect it. Instead of brooding over it, flick your hair to the other side and move on with a shrug! You don’t need to have pedantic little things ruin your BIG MOMENTS in life! Don’t worry if the make-up is too much; or too little; or the sari fleats didn’t come out well… everyone is going to look at you – and only you…as you are the QUEEN of the day! Nobody has ever seen an ugly bride till date (and you can never be one too!). Sit back… take a chill pill…chew a gum and ENJOY the little things that make Health: I am naturally blessed with a slim/average figure. I had to go trekking and run marathons to get some muscle mass on me! Drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits – you would glow naturally! Regular full body massages and facials from a month before the wedding helps adding the extra glow!!! Up to 3 days before the wedding, get about 8-10 hours of sleep if you can! :D
Organization in very important, make sure you sort out and neatly pack all your outfits, innerwear, shoes/slippers and accessories occasion-by-occasion… you might be already tensed and nervous, and the last thing you want to be searching for is the missing bindi to match your sari! Don’t try out anything new completely on your wedding day (unless you have had trails). It might not turn out to be what you had expected! Unless it is tried and tested – NEVER experiment with anything close to your big day – be it food, makeup or even clothes! :P I always love being a little pro-active and having a say in (almost everything) – so I tried my best to get involved in as much as possible! In the end, you get the satisfaction that there is “your touch” in everything – it is YOUR wedding after all! Wedding & post-wedding events were a full one month affair starting off with some Poojas and Mama Seers (Gifts of gold and cash from maternal Uncles) then moving on to Sangeeth + Mehendi Ceremony, Nalangu, Reception & Muhurth in India. Followed by Marriage Oath Ceremony and then a Reception in Singapore at Singapore Yacht Club. Post-wedding parties with our families in a private rented ferry and heading to other islands near Singapore and Malaysia. Our post wedding trip was to Africa for our post-wedding trip. It felt like an adventure!
Vishal and I had a really hard time picking our destination for our Honeymoon as we wanted to go to a NEW PLACE, NEW COUNTRY, NEW CONTINENT which BOTH of us have never set foot on. It was a hard call as I love travelling and have been to so many countries too. And all that pointed to only one option: AFRICA! It was intriguing and definitely mind-blowing as we both came close to seeing the BIG 5 by the Kenyan and Tanzanian Borders… wild leopards, cheetahs , hippos and best of all – BOTH of OUR FIRST HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE! We were super lucky and got to see the Great Migration of the Wildbeest and Zebras happening at Maasai Mara too ? We planned the whole trip on our own and didn’t take any generic packages that touristic companies offered. It was fun doing that down to the last detail! Naibor Luxury Accommodation services were highly customized and our guide Daudi, serving staff and Safari Manager Marcus were really friendly. We were spoiled for choice on food and truly pampered like King and Queen there! Now looking ahead for a marriage more beautiful than my wedding! Now, life seems to have other plans for us… we recently moved from Europe to USA (Seattle, Washington).
“Let’s just remember…Life’s such a beautiful mistake”! Thanks for taking time to read about my story… it has been happening indeed! After the entire wedding hullabaloo…. Vishal has been transferred to USA – so just moved here recently to Seattle, Washington (USA). Our new life begins in a completely new state & country where we have never lived before too.