The Confessions (Wedding Story) of a Shopaholic Bride!

The Confessions (Wedding Story) of a Shopaholic Bride!

Heyaa, This is Aishwarya aka Aish aka Aishu aka Ash hahaha!

I’m basically a Civil Engineer, now pursuing my MBA. I have known my husband, Adhithya aka Adi, right from my college days. He was in the Mechanical Engineering department and I was in the Civil engineering department. It was always only a Hi and a Bye back then. We never thought we’d meet again after graduation. Like ever again. But, well, God had other plans and here we are, as Husband and Wife. So, Adi works for HCL, he is really handsome, super funny, very tall, plays basketball, is a boxer, loves to grow his beard (until we have this huge row and then he has no option but to trim it! Again in a few days he starts growing it and it goes on and on like that)  

So, our wedding date was fixed around September last year and the first ever thing I wanted to do was to make two very important phone calls. One to Ibrahim Sir, for the makeup and hairdo and the next to Ashok Anna from @aa-photography# for the Photo/cinematography. Simultaneously my parents went and blocked the Rani Meyemmai Hall, Egmore for the wedding and Reception. Our wedding was scheduled for June 16th. Well, 16.06.16. Not just because of the fancy dates and all ;) but mainly because it was supposed to be a very auspicious day according to the priest.

Like every other couple we were super excited about the upcoming wedding! I was very eagerly looking forward to the shopping part, but, little did I know how hectic this is going to be!

Since I’m this extremely shopaholic female, let me start with that part. Edhu panalum plaaan panni pananum.. that’s my mantra :D So, firstly, I wanted to start looking at shops, find out the new trends and all and then start shopping for my clothes. I kept telling myself not to buy more than was necessary, not to buy everything I find pretty, not to buy everything which I lay my eyes on. And being all motivated, I finally started shopping officially for the wedding on a nice bright sunny morning! (ok, it’s always bright and sunny in Chennai, but who cares?  this sounds better anyways)!

I first  planned to check out @kay-the-fashion-bay#, Anna Nagar which is just a few minutes drive from my place. Remember what I kept telling myself? Well that did not happen because I loved two Anarkalis and one Lehenga at Kay and one part of my brain told me to grab things I liked because who knows when someone else will come and whisk them away before you check out others shops and come back for it? So I decided to listen to this tiny voice and bought them all! But it was totally worth it, I say..!!

One of the anarkalies (the floor length types) was with various peacock shades. My friends loved it so I thought, why not wear this for the Mehndi and make the theme into a peacock one? My mother loved the idea and so did I. One event down! (not exactly.. but since the dress was fixed, buying accessories was all not going to be a big feat right?)

The other Anarkali was also a very elegant and pretty with a pink yoke and grape wine coloured kallis. We did not know for which event I was going to wear it.. but hey! We were going to need many new dresses right? It’s my wedding!!! Eventually I ended up wearing this dress recently for my ‘thalli pirichi kokura’ function. (The change of the yellow thali thread to gold chain).

So the third one, a blue and silver lehenga, I planned to wear it for the engagement, which happened at hotel Savera on February 12th. My in-laws bought me another engagement dress which I was supposed to change into after I got the blessings from everyone. This one was a red and gold lehenga with a floor length over coat. We got this one from Diva. Diva and Kay both have pretty good lehenga collection. They are also not too expensive but neither are they cheap!

Once again after the engagement excitement died down, we started shopping again. This time I wanted to check out the Nungambakkam Kay fashions. They had a very nice sale and I got this beautiful Hot pink and baby Blue Lehenga which I wore for my husband’s cousin’s wedding which happened like one and a half week before mine!

It was high time then that I started looking for my Sangeeth dress, wedding sarees and my reception dress. I did not want anything in red or blue as I already wore them for the engagement. Black is a big no-no for auspicious occasions. And I don’t like white and green, so my reception dress options became narrowed down, also I did not want to buy my dresses from diva or Kay as I already bought my engagement lehengas from there and also I wanted a nice gown for the wedding. Was literally too bored of lehengas!

The first store that came to my mind was @mokshaa#! So I took my parents, Adi and Adi’s parents to Moksha. Well, you won’t believe this, but the first dress I tried on (A baby pink gown with embroidered roses all over) was the only dress I tried on and that was the dress I got for the reception and that was exactly the one I wore for the reception and it was a huge hit! How lucky am I? The moment I wore it, my parents said ‘this is the one’ and Adi’s mom said I looked like a Barbie doll! Adi did not say anything, but that’s because he was dumbfounded by my beauty :D (well, who am I kidding? I think he was playing mini militia on his phone!) One problem with me is that, I’m size zero. People think it’s a good thing, but not at all. You never get clothes in Chennai with a perfect fit for anyone with a size zero. So the Moksha people very generously agreed to get me the same dress stitched to my size and deliver it in 2 months, which they did on time. I was really happy and satisfied with the outcome. The dress is pretty expensive but wedding is once in a lifetime affair. So its fine I guess.

Around this time, when I was at pantry d’or catching up with a couple of friends, my best friend, Nive told me about this boutique called fair lady (which belongs to the Aachi masala group). We paid the bill, got an auto and hit the store. 5 girls in a boutique full of gowns! Imagine the fun! :D We were having the time of our lives. The moment I saw this Orange-pink, off-shoulder gown with a train and a ring skirt, I knew that this had to be my Sangeeth dress. I asked them if they could keep it on hold for me, which they thankfully did! The next day I took my mom, wore the dress and posed for her. She loved the dress too. So we got that one again, after my friends confused me, I got thinking about how I will be able to dance with this huge gown without tripping others and tripping myself. I was in two minds, I knew I could not dance with this one and I also knew I that I could not let this dress go, that’s when I saw this floral skirt and crop top on the display at this boutique called Nakshatra, in Anna Nagar near Starbucks. I totally loved the model. It was a navy blue, high waist skirt with a lot of flair and a red crop top to go with it. I decided that I should be wearing the gown in the beginning and then change into the floral skirt on my Sangeeth.

Apart from this, I purchased kurthis, anarkalis and salwars from stores like, Rangoli, Kiah’s, Biba etc.

So the next big thing was the saree purchase. Surprisingly mine was over in just two days.

Day 1 of the saree shopping, we went to kancheepuram, Prakash silk house and got a few sarees for me and many for the relatives and family friends. My Muhurtham saree was supposed to be in red, with a green blouse, so we got that from the bridal section. The saree was a very nice maroon-red one with gold thread work in and out. Beautiful!

Day 2, we went to @sundari-silks# and got a very pretty yellow saree for the wedding morning and a beautiful light green one for the Maru function which takes place right after the wedding (I did not have time to change into this saree, so we skipped this one on the wedding day). That’s my saree shopping altogether. My mom and aunts and sister in law, shopped from Palam silks, Sundari silks, Pothys, Nalli, Kumaran, Aavarana, Kanakavalli, Silk Worm, KVR Silks etc.. The blouses were done at @shree-couture#, owned by yesteryear actress, Poornima Bhagyaraj madam. They are very good with blouses, be it the stitching or the designs, it is done with perfection. I also gave a few of my blouses at the fair lady boutique which I had mentioned earlier. I was a little skeptical at first so I just gave one trial blouse, but it was way more than satisfactory. So I gave a few more! The reception footwear was from Paprika and I did not bother to get different pairs for different events because I already own like about a hundred thousand pairs already!

The jewelry part was easy peasy because mom’s been buying them since I was born I guess. (like every other typical South Indian). Still we shopped a good amount during the wedding from @vbj#. Well, it’s always from VBJ. VBJ is like this go-to place for gold and diamond jewelry for our family. If you like antique jewelry, this is the place for you. Also I got the anklet, metti etc., from the silver section at VBJ. For the reception, I wore this stone studded choker, which I got from Utharika, Express Avenue and so many people said they thought it was diamond. Wow. Mission Accomplished! Hahaha   

Adi’s shopping was way easier than mine. We stitched his suit from @gatsby-collection#, Nungambakkam. Whatever adjective I use to praise them is not going to do justice. Their work was THAT good. Adi, with his tall and broad frame, looked like a Greek god in that suit and the suit looked like it was stitched after he wore it! Adi picked up his wedding veshti and silk shirts from @nalli-silks#, T nagar. He got his Sangeeth blazer (a nice grey one) from Van Heusen which was pretty impressive too. Well, that’s about it! really!!!!! :D

I knew for sure that all I have to do for the wedding and reception is to dress up, smile, wave and pose. So I wanted to make the most out of my sangeeth and mehendi. We were not so keen on having an event planner initially as we had a bit of a bad experience with one of them in the beginning. So we decided to plan the sangeeth and mehendi ourselves. I was looking for a photo booth vendor on the Chennai shopping group and that’s when Jenny from @red-thread-events# contacted me. She quoted a very nominal price for the photo booth with unlimited pictures, and complementary props. She asked me if I needed any help planning the Sangeeth.. I did’nt want to be very rude. So I told her my specifications and asked her to send a quotation. To be very honest, I did not look at the quotation for about a day or two. I was not interested at all, and then when I saw it, I was shocked. It was so reasonable that I couldn’t help hiring her. She is a real sweetheart because she listens to all your requirements and gives you double than what you asked for, for the most reasonable cost in town!!! I can totally vouch for her anywhere.

We had an Oscar theme Sangeeth, which happened at Hilton. The sangeeth was so much more fun than we expected ourselves. We asked the guests to come in designer clothes by sending them an Oscar themed video invite. We had Jenny hire us a very cool anchor (Monish). We had everything from ice breaker sessions to ramp walks to boys dance, gals dance, my best friends solo dance, friends singing, cake cutting, games for men and women, and ohhh.. My husband went on his knees and proposed, and then we made speeches and toasts and finally the free style dancing. We had an amazing Hollywood entrance, red carpets, film rolls with our couple pictures and everything from the centre table pieces to the return gifts was done with caution, care and oh! Love and affection too! A big shout out to Jenny!!!

The only decorator who is allowed to decorate the Rani Meyemmai hall is Mr. D. Chandirrasekar. I only have a few words about him. HE IS JUST SOOOOO GOOOD AT THIS!!!!!

The caterer that we fixed was Mr. Subbaraya Alse. He is a famous caterer among the lawyers fraternity, so dad (both my parents are lawyers) was very specific that he does the catering. The food was amazing. There were so many different varieties of sweets that he made especially for our wedding. Every soul at the wedding said the food was fantastic.

Then the Makeup! I did my own makeup for the Sangeeth and Mehendi.. But hey!! I got @make-up-ibrahim# for the wedding and Reception! What do you say about Ibrahim Sir? He’s the best in the industry. His makeup brush strokes are so confident. You will never feel nervous about the outcome even for a moment. He is that good. The end product is, you will be transformed into some princess from a fairytale. Equally good is the hair stylist, Vijayaraghavan Sir. He analyses your frame and does your hair accordingly. They are very experienced and creative. I was so surprised to see myself in the pictures. It was almost an OHHH MYYY GODDD!!! IS THAT MEEE??? moment. Jeevitha akka (Ibrahim Sir’s group) did my saree draping. She is so professional. She told me that this was the most challenging wedding for her because I’m so thin. Hahaha! But she ended up doing a terrific job. I’m always uncomfortable while wearing a saree, I was asking my mom if by any chance I can wear a salwar at the wedding! *Ha ha. Well we already know the answer, don’t we? :p but for the first time in history, I was feeling all comfy and grown up :D

The Mehendi artist we had hired for doing the bridal mehendi is called Anith Padam. She was referred to us by a friend. The mehndi was purely organic and did not peel off in a few days thankfully. It just sort of faded away. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I had booked Ashok Anna of Aa Photography for the wedding photography and cinematography. I’d been following his work for a long time. It was my dream to have him as my wedding photographer. He is a celebrity (though he never agrees to that!) but his friendly and brotherly approach is what that makes him stand out of the crowd. As he rightly says always, his team of energetic youngsters are his strength. Everyone that saw our Sangeeth, wedding and reception pictures were so impressed with his work. They were all praises for him.

Right, I forgot to mention about the mehndi function. Like I said, we planned to have a peacock themed mehndi event in a small hall owned by my dad’s close friend next to my home! We had asked jenny of red thread events to do a minimal hall décor. She had put up cute beds with matching pillows for the mehendi artists and guests. The whole hall was decorated with drapes in various peacock shades. We had asked the artists to do peacock designs for the guests. I was told that the bridal mehndi generally takes a lot of time, so I did not have my mehndi done during the function but it was done later in the evening exclusively. Purchasing return gifts for the guests was the fun part. I along with two other friends of mine, went to Sowcarpet, Parrys and bought a variety of stuff like Bindis, Bangles, Kumkum boxes, earrings etc., We displayed these stuff on trays and left pretty Kalamkaari bags next to them so that the guests can help themselves to whatever they liked. We had ordered many varieties of finger foods, so that the guests will find it easy to eat without ruining their mehndi. All of the guests had come in peacock shade dresses!! It was so aww!

I was advised to go for regular facials before the wedding. This was a common advice I got from everyone. What I would suggest is to be very cautious about going to the parlor before the wedding, because during the engagement, I found that facials didn’t do my skin any good. I don’t know if it was the beautician, the parlor, the product or my skin, but something was wrong and my skin which is generally very clear started getting rashes. Thankfully, I stopped using any product on my skin for a while and it subsided without any major problems. I followed a number of home remedies such as using kadala maavu (Besan) instead of soap, applying multani mitti, papaya pieces etc., other than that I did not do much. Oh and also people advised me to drink a lot of water. Being hydrated is the key to glowing skin.

So yeah, the wedding week finally came and all the events went by without any hassle. I should thank God, my parents, in laws, all our relatives, family and friends for making it a memorable and grand one. The Sangeeth was on the 12th June, we danced, sang, ate, posed, did face paints, caricatures etc., It was super duper. The mehndi was a family affair, with limited guests, a lot of food, songs and of course pictures. The wedding was a traditional affair. You’ll know from the pictures. The reception was as usual too crowded with over 3000 people for who I felt really bad because they had to wait in this huge queue to come up the stage and hand us our presents.

Our first night happened in a Honeymoon suit in GRT Grand. The room was beautifully decorated with complimentary cakes, sweets and fruits left on the side table. It was lovely! The breakfast buffet the next morning was also too good. Great spread and all that J

So let’s get to the honeymoon. We were initially very confused about with where to go! We were deciding between a cruise trip in the Mediterranean, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, London etc., we were writing down the pros and cons and finally decided on this London-Scotland-Paris trip. We had booked our package with Sotc. We decided on this trip as I had already been in London for a while and our parents felt it is safe to have a few relatives around who can rush to us in case of emergency (my cousin stays in London and adi’s cousin stays in Scotland). We started our trip on the 24th of June. It was the emirates airways to Paris via Dubai. So as luck would have it, our very first flight together was delayed by 1 and a half hours. So we will be having about half an hour to get our connecting flight to Paris!! Those who have been to the Dubai airport will know why I was freaking out! It’s huge! ITS JUST SOOO HUGEEEE! We had a few aww moments in the flight when the cabin crew asked us if we were on our honey moon and took a picture of us with their Polaroid camera and signed the picture, framed it and gifted us! Cute no? Ok back to story!! we finally reached Paris, and as expected, the connecting flight’s ground staff were shouting out for us and the moment we stepped out, they literally dragged us in a run across 23 gates to get us board our next flight. Phew!!! poor Adi had to carry our hand luggage, his back pack, our DSLR and run while I was tagging along carrying my Michael Kors bag which I think must have been about a 100 kgs because I greedily bought all my makeup essentials in my bag. Who knows when you’ll need them?

So thankfully we boarded the flight, saw a movie during the journey. (Me tangled, he divergent) and slept a while and finally landed. We were waiting and waiting for our baggage near the conveyor belt. Everyone took their luggage and left and that’s when we were mentioned over the PA system and asked to contact the emirates ground staff, who casually mentioned about how sorry they were and that our baggage was left back in Dubai! We were like “Wait! Whaaat???? WE HAVE A FREAKING CRUISE TONIGHT!!!!” They gave us an allowance of 50 dollars each to buy clothes. Like 50 dollars? Really? We can hardly have a meal in Paris for that allowance. So we were chauffeured to our hotel, which was very close to the Eiffel tower and we had to go to the room, leave our hand luggage, take our travel card and rush back outside to the shopping area to get us some clothes to wear. Oh and also we had to get our cab for the cruise start point at like 5 o clock which gave us about 1 and half hours to shop and bathe and  get dressed J me and adi were furiously running around trying to buy something for a decent cost. Finally he ended up buying a white shirt for 5000 rs (Indian money) and me a flimsy off shoulder summer dress for the same cost!! (I use it as a night dress now) Before I forget, I want to tell everyone this. ALWAYSSS CARRY EXTRA PAIR OF CLOTHES IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE!!!!! Ok back to the pavilion, so we came to our room, Adi got dressed and I did not want to wear that gown because it was too cold outside. I thankfully had this one fleece white jacket in my luggage and I wore it to the cruise with still my flight clothes (a flannel shirt and mango jeans) inside my jacket! But regardless of all this, we still had a ball! We enjoyed every bit of the cruise after which we had the Eiffel tower tour at 10 o clock in the night! We were ecstatic to see the glittering lights of the city from the top of the tower. After we came down, we had crepes and fries and hot dogs and strawberries and ice creams, sitting along the river and basking in the moon light!

The next day, we went to Disney land! Everything from the rides, to the shows to the parade was so enjoyable. We got some Disney souvenirs and came back to the hotel later that night. The third day was for shopping and city tours. One thing which you have to be very careful about in Paris is the pick picketers! You can lose anything from a cent to your passport. So its mandatory that you be very vigilant.

After Paris, we moved to London on the Euro Rail. We had booked our Scotland trip with the cosmos tours. We reached Kings Cross London in the Euro Rail and from there, took another one to Leeds. We stayed at this beautiful hotel at Leeds called, Mercure Leeds Parkway. It was outside the city limits but it was just so beautiful! It was very British! The next morning, we travelled across beautiful scenic hills. We saw the England Scottish border, and a few other Scottish villages called Jedburgh, Melrose ETC! And finally reached Edinburgh. The hotel we stayed at is called Novotel which was on a highway but there was KFC and Krisp Crème right next to it! Thank god for that!!! We had a tourist guide to take us around the city! The Edinburgh castle was the high light of course. We were later transferred to Wrexham, Whales. We got to see a number of beautiful places in between like the Gretna Green village, Lake district etc. Adi got me a lot of trinkets like cute bracelets and pendants from these places.!! :D We also got to see Stratford, which is a living monument to Shakesphere. On the way back to London, we visited the ancient city of Bath and the magnificent Stonehenge! Finally we were transferred back to London. The next day, we took the tube and covered places like the Big ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Madamme Tussads, Tower Bridge and of course the London eye! By the time we reached home, we were totally exhausted. The next day, we devoted all our time for shopping!!! Ashford has this famous designer outlet where you have so many branded stores such like GAP, Abercrombie and Fitch, CK, Diesel, Lacoste, Super Dry, French Connections, Sun glass hut etc. We shopped till we dropped I mean, I shopped till I dropped!! In the entire trip, Adi bought one pair of Raybans whereas I shopped till we could no longer fit things into our luggages! We were given a sendoff party by my brothers’ family with a proper dinner and of course a lot of gifts for me and finally we headed back to India.

I’m still on my honeymoon phases I guess. hahaha!

So in all, we had one hell of a wedding with a super doper honey moon. I don’t want to jinx things by saying that everything went really smooth, but that’s how it was!!!