One of the most forthright and articulate brides we have come across! The amount of credible details she has cited shows us how involved she can be. Everything you need to plan a wedding is right in here. Words and photos play an equally important role in this post. Happy reading!
Hi! This is Anjana from Coimbatore. Youngest amongst my first circle of cousins, I am a pampered, talkative, chilled-out, hyperactive, fun-loving brat. I have lived most of my life in Coimbatore apart from the recent years which I spent abroad in various countries for work and education. My parents have been on a groom hunt mode for a while now and all the more exuberantly since I came home for a career break in February. My mom found my better half Renghas profile on Bharat Matrimony. Our first phone call was on the 22nd of February and lasted hours. As we kept interacting over the days, a trusted bond grew between us. The compatibility quotient between us struck big despite us having totally opposite characteristics. After speaking for about a month, Rengha decided to make a trip to India to meet me during his Easter break. I guess both of us were on pins and needles when we met for the first time; barely talking (which is a rare thing from my end). But then, as time passed to the second and third meeting we got really comfortable with each other. Rengha gave a thumbs up to US that night at The Leather Bar, Chennai. I did take a little more time and said Yes the next day at Radisson Temple Bay, Mahabalipuram. It makes me smile now to think of how both of us accepted each other for life in such appealing locations.
One of the good things about our wedding was that we had a multitude of functions and celebrations. Ours was a traditional Kannada Gowda wedding with two engagements, two muhurtams, four cocktail parties amongst other functions. The first engagement was a proposal on one knee from Rengha which was organized with the help of my family. It was the most amazing evening of my life yet - when Rengha went down on one knee and said Anj, Marry me to which I instantly said 'Yes'. My sister Deepa had surprised us with a cake to celebrate the special occasion and celebrations continued late that night.
Since I had to apply for my visa to go and live in the UK with him, we needed to be married and get our wedding registered. This was a small wedding that happened in the temple on the 8th of May in Coimbatore. Our pre-engagement cocktail happened on the 9th of May and our formal engagement happened on the 10th of May. The formal wedding dates were finalized for 21st of August to give us enough time for visa processing and wedding prep. In addition to the above schedule, we also had a cocktail for near and dear family friends @ Taj, Coimbatore on the 18th August.
Wardrobe Most of my wedding sarees came from Chennai and Coimbatore. First Wedding Mustard Yellow colour from Tulsi silks, Chennai. Engagement Bubblegum pink colour from Varamahalakshmi silks, Chennai. Another Peacock green colour saree from @mahaveers-the-silk-peopleclothing#, Coimbatore was given by my in-laws. Out of the above three, I loved my peacock green saree the best. Mahaveers has always had an amazing collection of unique, trendy yet traditional sarees in the silk genre.
for the cocktail held at Taj on the 18th, I wore a gorgeous beige net saree with stone work and magenta border. This saree was designed by my friend Shwetha, Owner of Diya Designer Collection. She has an amazing eye for fabrics, designs and colors and I picked up this saree at one of her exhibitions of exclusive self-designed sarees.
Pre- Wedding Devroota & Haldi function Golden yellow soft silk saree from Shrest, Coimbatore. Post the haldi ceremony; I wore a bright pink benares saree with geometric design from @mahaveers-the-silk-peopleclothing#, Coimbatore.
Muhurtam Red Kanchipuram saree from Shree Devi silks, Coimbatore. This shop actually saved my family a trip all the way to Kanchipuram. I was very particular that I wanted a bright, rich-looking yet traditional red saree for my Muhurtam. This was probably one of the few shops in Coimbatore that showed us about 25 sarees in red. My Muhurtam was a blood-red stunner with a plain gold border, small gold bhuttas and bigger green outlined golden bhuttas all over the saree. Reception Majenta pink saree from Tulsi silks, Chennai. Another shop where it was difficult for me to finalize my saree as they patiently showed us their voluminous collection. I finally decided on a magenta pink Kanchipuram saree with golden mango bhuttas and a grand border.
Post-wedding lunch Pinkish peach benares saree with a silver base and lotus design from @mahaveers-the-silk-peopleclothing#, Coimbatore.
Mehendi Fluorescent green lehenga with a majenta pink Dupatta from Pothys, Coimbatore.
Pre-wedding cocktail Teel coloured gown from Karmaa the fashion store, Chennai. My one-stop place for gowns, dresses for any occasion.
Wedding cocktail My sister and I had decided the theme for the cocktail to be Sparkling Red for the women and Black with a hint of red for the men. I had decided to wear a lehenga for the occasion and found a lovely one in Jayalakshmi silks, Cochin. It was a dark red skirt with thread and sequence work all over, a golden blouse and a matching red dupatta.
Jewelry Most of my jewelry came from Big Shop, Ooty and Bhimas, Coimbatore. I did pick up a few antique bangles and chains from @saravana-stores-thanga-nagai-maligai#, Chennai and GRT, Chennai. But for my Muhurtam, I chose to wear my grandmothers age old kaasumalai, an eye-catching, vintage piece of astounding beauty.
Accessories and Footwear Most of my fashion jewelry and all my wedding footwear came from Alfa and Colaba market, Bombay before my wedding. During my wedding shopping, I also bought a few earrings and bangles from Rajeshs in Fountain plaza, Chennai and Commercial Street, Bangalore. I had always wanted to wear the Sneha-prasanna kalyanam type headset for my Muhurtam as it suited my face structure. I searched around and found the perfect piece in Bhavani Kangan, Bangalore.
Bangles My bangles for my Muhurtam, reception and post-wedding lunch came from Babu Fashions, T.Nagar, Chennai. They patiently and tastefully customize a set of bangles for your saree and their rates were comparatively inexpensive. Other occasion bangles were from Selva Gold covering, Coimbatore.
Blouse Designer My engagement and first wedding blouses were from Suhaa designers, Coimbatore. They gave a good fit but I wanted to give my wedding blouses to an exclusive designer who could give me best blouses on my wedding day. My wedding blouses for my Muhurtam, reception and post wedding lunch were done by Nvy studio. Nivya did a fabulous job with respect to giving me 3 unique bridal blouses with a sleek cut, perfect fit and tasteful embroidery. I would recommend her to anyone to trust her with their wedding attire designing.
Muhurtam Green raw silk contrast blouse with puffed sleeves and embroidery around the neck and back. Reception Self blouse with intricate flower embroidery work on the sleeves and shoulder. Post wedding Lunch Orange net blouse with pink border on the back and sleeves. Blouses for other wedding functions were done at Arvi the couturier, R. S. Puram and Sanaa designers, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore. I had fancy blouse back patterns that I had gotten off the internet and they replicated them well. Arvi was very professional giving my blouses on time.
Mehendi For my engagement, I got Arabic Mehendi done by Ajab. She was professional and quick. There was an R(for Rengha) hidden in my Mehendi which I wanted my cousins and Rengha to find. A few of my cousins found it but Rengha did not. My cousins teased him saying that he was going to be punished by not letting the both of us meet for a few nights after the wedding. For the wedding, I got intricate traditional Mehendi done by Ms. Nafisa. My wedding mehendi party was a small reunion with my cousins and many of my friends I hadnt met in a while. It was good company as we were reminiscing old times.
My friends even convinced Rengha to get my name drawn on his palm to which he sportingly agreed. Nafisa and team did a neat job although they finished a little behind schedule. Decorator I was always interested in the concept of DIY. After browsing a bit on backdrop ideas, I decided to do the backdrop for the pre-wedding day (Devroota and Mehendi) myself. The backdrop centre was a photo wall that consisted of photos from my childhood till date. The sides were adorned with silver net on top of which satin ribbon strings and bangle strings were hung alternatively. With the help of a few of my tall cousins, we put it up the day before the function. I was very happy with it as it was the first of a kind in our family weddings and looked very vibrant and colorful.
Engagement, Muhurtam and Reception backdrop was done by Mr. John.
Catering Most of my wedding functions were catered by Mr. Sunil Goel. He has catered for many family occasions in the past and is known for giving very innovative menus and tasty dishes. He did a fabulous job by giving us good food that was appreciated by all the guests on all occasions. For the post wedding non veg lunch, we had scrumptious biriyani and a feast of fish and meat dishes. It was a great way to end the wedding festivities as many people were praising the mouth-watering spread and yummy food.
Make-up Artist My wedding make up was done by Lekha Neelakantappa. To say she was fantastic is an understatement. Her patience, attention to detail and effort involved to make me look my best is commendable. She was very interactive and made sure I was satisfied with my look. I wanted to look the best ever on my wedding day and Lekha helped me do exactly just that.
Invitations Rengha and I had decided to just do personal e-invites for all the occasions. I made the first wedding, engagement and formal wedding invites with suggestions from Rengha and the rest of my family. Wedding Invite Theme sun colours
Hair Styles I wanted a different hairstyle for every main occasion and with Lekha and my sisters critique, I was able to pull off a variety of styles Engagement Side-parting, mild puff and Long jada with golden dewdrop shaped dollars. Cocktail Centre-parting with Greek goddess like heavy curls.Muhurtam Centre-parting with a net jadai. Malar of Wedding Flower Jadai, Chennai dispatched the net jadai along with 2 golden venis and a maroon veni in perfect condition the night before all the way from Chennai. No bride had worn this jadai in my family before and it attracted quite a few eyes. Reception Side-parting with heavy puff and long, wavy curls. (Replica of Deepika Padukones Om Shanti Om movie hairstyle) Post-wedding Lunch Side French braid with a fish plait. Wedding Photographer and Video Our entire wedding photographs and video was captured by @nagendra-mayya#. I found them through Shopzters.
We finalized them as we were very impressed with their candid pictures. They did give us some amazing candid couple clicks to cherish for a lifetime. Wedding shots during our Muhurtam and fun pictures during our cocktail were the highlights of our photo memoirs.
Favorite Wedding Function - My favorite wedding function was the wedding cocktail. I had planned many things for the occasion like a wish wall and photo booth props. I had made the wish wall myself - a collage of couple pictures of Rengha and me for all the guests to sign their wishes. We had customized photo booth props ordered from Untumble which all of us had a great time posing with. DJ Carl played commercial music and the entire party danced the night away.
Shopping Difficulties The entire wedding preps started only in July first week with less than two months to go for the wedding as my toddler nephew at home needed babysitting till June end. Big thanks to Rengha, my friends, mom, and sister who helped me in more ways than one. Despite Rengha always being there for me with his opinion, I had to do quite a bit of our wedding work myself since he was away. With a mild bit of last-minute running around, we managed alright. Health & Beauty Care I got facials done regularly ever since I moved back to India in Feb. I always drank a lot of water to keep myself hydrated. The best thing that worked for my skin was a homemade paste made by mom that I used to apply once or twice a day. It had egg white, pudina, badam, lime, and curd and gram flour all ground together. I had enough physical activity in the form of wedding prep work keeping my weight in check.
Honeymoon We went to Bali and Singapore for our honeymoon. We planned the entire trip ourselves, taking suggestions from people who had been to Bali and reviews on Booking.com and TripAdvisor. We stayed in Kuta Seaview in Kuta, The Royal Santrian in Benoa and Annora villas in Seminyak. We had a blissful 5 days full of good food, private pools and massages. In Singapore we spent a day at The Shangrila Resort, Sentosa and two days in Park Regis, Clarke Quay. We enjoyed all the fun activities such as Dolphin show, aquarium, cable car, laser show in Sentosa and also visited many tourist attractions famous in Singapore. Our honeymoon was a perfect mix as we had a relaxed, chilled-out time in Bali and a busy, touristy time in Singapore.
Memorable Incidents Since Rengha and I had good chemistry, people found it hard to believe it was an arranged marriage. We were always running off from the crowd to spend time alone with each other. My aunts would make fun of me saying show us also your fianc; we also want to see his face!!...In the blink of an eye both of you vanish out of our sight. During our pre-engagement cocktail, Rengha was feeding me dinner. Everyone was smiling and it was quite funny when my dad told my mom in Tamil See how nicely he is taking care of her and feeding her? You have never fed me like that
In our custom, after the haldi function gets done and the girl goes to clean up, she is supposed to walk only on a white cloth laid out for her. Instead, my brother Sidharth did the sweetest thing by carrying me all the way from the hall to the room. The best part of the wedding cocktail was a surprise wedding cake and champagne from my dearest friends Venkatesh and Srisan. We cut the cake, popped open two bottles of champagne and everyone circled around us for our first dance. It was amazing. We also played a fun game where the bride and groom were lifted on two chairs by two groups of people and we had to try to hug each other. Big thanks to my bestie Becky who is a professional MC and VJ for organizing the game and being the spirit of the evening. To add to the celebration, a group of my friends lifted me and threw me up in the air thrice.
My advice to all Brides 1.Ignore excessive wedding advice. Its your fairy tale phase. Do whatever it takes to make your wedding dreams come true even if it involves a little extra effort and running around. 2.Dont ask everyones opinion. Choose two people (I chose my mom and sister) and trust their judgment if they second your opinion. 3.Hair trials are important. Make sure you plan your hairstyles and accessories well in advance. 4.Even if everything is planned to perfection, there will be things here and there that might not go well on the D day. Take those things with a smile as nothing can spoil your day and memories thereafter. Rengha and I would like to thank all our family and friends for being a part of our wedding and giving us memories to cherish for a lifetime!! Thank you Shopzters for giving me the opportunity to feature our wedding story. It was truly a happy walk down memory lane while writing it!!!