Isn't it a happy moment when your friend gets married? And what happens when both the bride and the groom are your friends?! Double Happiness isn't it? Happy to feature the wedding story of my dear friends Harini & Prashanth. They make a cute couple.. Don't you think?!
When I saw you I fell in love, you smiled because you knew, Nope! This is not a William Shakespeare type story you are going to read. I, Harini, from Namma ooru Chennai, am going to share my absolutely normal Best friends turned into Life Partners story with you on Shopzters. If it is a normal story, why am I excited about sharing this? Of course, every love story is special but ours is my favourite always. It is extra special today because it is 100 days since Prashanth and I got married.
We had no idea that we would be stuck with each other forever when we met for the first time in SSN College, Chennai. We rarely spoke and all we knew about each other was that we existed. I do not want to believe in fate but what do I call this when we got selected in the same company to work? Yes, that's where life started changing. We were always hanging out together with a group of friends (a big group indeed as you can see) and with each other during tough times which made us the best of friends.
We all know what happens next - get-close; feel-special; get-closer; fight; miss; realize; get-close. If you think that's the end, NO. Twist in the story came through my PG admission in the US. So, what happened then? This same big group of friends we have, planned for my farewell with a trip to Yercaud. I have to admit this turned out to be a bit romantic next - out of nowhere, he takes me for a walk in a foggy weather, starts fighting with me (Not again!) and says those words. Even after everything we went through, I can never get away with you.
LONG SILENCE - He decides that I am as usual hopeless and walks away, just then I stopped him; said I definitely feel the same and proved him wrong :-B (cool smiley)
We spoke a lot after that but nothing else except our togetherness mattered. We were miles apart for a year which made us even stronger and closer. Once again, the amazing big group of friends we have, made sure our parents suspect and find out our decision and our families in turn made sure we wouldn't escape and started wedding arrangements from a year before.
I couldn't wait to be back in India for the most exciting bridal arrangements. First event was our engagement on January 23rd, 2015. We wanted this to be a trial for our wedding. So, right from photographer, caterer to make-up and garland, we chose the best possible options we could find and fixed them for our engagement. Luckily, everything worked out as we expected and we had the same crew join us in our wedding as well. Let me share those experiences one-by-one.
Engagement ring: We wanted our rings to have a concept behind it and hence, we wanted to custom make it. My brother with some of his friends came up with a wonderful logo for us which if you look closer P and h unites to become one heart.
We loved it and added some more meaning to it by having 9 diamonds in my ring and 11 diamonds in his ring which indicates (9/11 - November 9th 2013), the date when we agreed to trouble each other forever (Yes, the Yercaud incident). Bapalal Jewellers (37, Cathedral Road, Near Stella Maris College, Chennai) agreed to custom make these rings for us. This was a huge hit and turned out to be the talk of the event.
Sarees: Being in Chennai, Kanchipuram was our obvious choice. My mom and I were the most excited ones whereas my 3 men in life (dad, brother & Prashanth) were the most nervous ones.
My dad - unable to forecast the expenses :P; the other two - unable to forecast the time this would take :D Thanks to @a-s-babu-sah# (http://www.asbabusah.com/) in Kanchipuram which helped them save both money and time. We finished our entire wedding shopping in half a day with the best value for money possible. My mom made sure I get all my sarees very unique and different from each other. She has always been my best advisor for traditional wears.
Blouse Design: My friend Ranjani introduced me to a tailor , Thyagu in Otteri, Chennai who runs a very small shop with a very big talent to recreate any given design in the blouse. I was specific about the designs I wanted in my blouses so I gathered similar designs from various sources in internet and gave him the printed copies specifying the changes I wanted. He not only recreated them but used sensible creativity to modify it as per my taste. After trying his services out for my engagement blouses, I was very much relieved about my wedding blouses.
Reception Lehenga: Lehenga was not very kind to me as the sarees were. So we had to go through multiple shops to find the one that all my family truly liked. Kay Fashions, Chennai (http://www.kayfashions.in/) had impressive collections at all price ranges (How I wish we visited Kay at the first place). I thought I can relax now that all my dress shopping is done but no, there was an extra challenge to match my saree/lehenga colors with his shirts/suit (our habit!). We felt absolutely good in our outfits because of the preparation we did and also when the guests appreciated.
Make-up: I did not sleep the night before engagement due to anxiety about my make-up the next day. I am one of those girls who hardly prefer any make-up which made me even more worried about my looks on the day of event. To my biggest relief, Mrs. Lakshmi aunty from Vikashni Beauty Salon and Bridal Studio (https://www.facebook.com/vikashnibeautysalon?fref=ts) was my saviour throughout all the events.
We did a lot of homework to test different products, try different hairstyles and choose suitable hair & skin treatments for me. Vikashini was instrumental in helping me choose right accessories for all my costumes in both engagement and wedding. Their dedication to make their brides be at their best was truly admirable. Thanks to Shopzters for introducing me to them.
Wedding Hall & Decoration: As the arrangements are led by parents, we left the venue to their choice as per their convenience. Our engagement was in Abirami Chidambaram Community Hall, Kotturpuram, Chennai and our wedding was in Sri Abirami Mahal, Tambaram, Chennai. Both were very flexible and enthusiastic in replicating our ideas in decorations and other hospitality arrangements.
Invitations: We were not up for a flashy card that just conveys the time, venue and place with some clich'd quotes. We did take a lot of time to visit some of the best shops in Chennai to find our choice. Menaka cards (http://www.menakacard.in/) had some interesting options for us. As it was World cup time, a cricket based card for our friends was exciting to have. We also had separate cards printed for my brother and parents for their respective circle all from Menaka. My interest in creative designs helped me create an online invitation for sharing in all our social media networks.
Photographers: Both of us love photography (only difference is He likes to click, I like to pose :D). So we started looking for some of the best wedding photographers very early. Finally, we had Lakshman (https://www.facebook.com/lkphotography7?pnref=about.overview) cover our candid pictures in engagement.
Rest of the events (both candid and traditional) were handled by @zero-gravity# (http://zgstudios.com/). Vikas met with us several times to understand our requirements and also prepare us on make-up, costumes, etc. that would highlight our looks in the pictures. The entire team was professional and friendly before, during and after the events which helped us record the memories well. Thanks to Shopzters again for suggesting us both our photographers.
Music: Again, both of us love music (only difference is I like to sing, he likes to listen :D). Our family follows Airtel Super Singer - a reality show in Star Vijay Tv regularly and some of those singers are my mom's favourites (Mine too).
My brother knew Aravindh Srinivas (+91 9445126639) who along with title winner Diwakar run a band. Their presence increased the energy of the crowd which ended up with both of us giving some special singing and dancing performances. This was definitely one of most celebrated moments in the wedding!
Caterer: Finally, Food How can this be forgotten in a big fat Indian wedding? To add to it, a Brahmin wedding is full of rituals and customs which make it very demanding for parents to organize this 2 day wedding ceremony. A close family friend introduced us to M.K.Caterers (MuthuKrishnan - +91 9840499724) who shared the entire responsibility of end-to-end arrangements related to food & hospitality. His team did a great job in handling the unexpected increase in guest count than predicted during engagement as well as reception. There were also several other teams involved in this entire set up such as garland vendors, mehendi artists who contributed in making this event happen successfully. Thanks to all of them without which this would not have been possible.
Honeymoon: Our dream destination was always some country in Europe because of its diversified beauty and scenic attractions. We were thoroughly confused about finalizing one though. Greece perfectly suited us because it had all the attractions we were expecting - Athens (culturally rich city with historical significance), Myokonos (an absolute party island) and Santorini (beauty at its peak). Santorini's beauty was too hard to resist that it made us hire a photographer (Giorgos Z Ventouris) to capture some outdoor moments in this beautiful island.
My quick advice for to-be brides - engagement is generally easy because it is a short event and fewer crowds. Wedding in most of our traditions are long and tiring with too many people around. Although this puts some level of stress on us, keep in mind this is once in a lifetime and even after many years we are going to remember this crystal clear. So ENJOY, HAVE FUN and the spread the POSITIVITY around you. Your love in the air will take care of the rest.
Thanks to Prashanth I know you would definitely not remember that this is our 100th day :D But, I hope you enjoyed reading this to recollect our most cherished memories and also to let you know that I love surprising you!
Brother - You are and will always be our special! Parents - Both our parents took huge efforts to see us happy. Everything we are today, they are the reason. Thanks would not be enough! Our big group of friends - All of you play a big role in our lives. Our happy moments were made happier because of you. Thanks a bunch! Last but not least, thanks a lot Prasitha for this opportunity to share my experience through Shopzters. I loved compiling my own story :)