You’ve been flashing your engagement rock for sometime, that deliriously happy post affianced glow is starting to fade and inquisitive questions about D day have started rearing their ugly heads all too often. You know there is no choice but to tackle the demon of wedding planning head on. Even for girls who knew they would be brides before they were anything else, wedding planning can be a daunting and stressful proposition. Because the fantasy is all about the finished product not about the time, effort, energy and money required for meticulously putting together that dream wedding.
This isn’t a post about scaring the living daylights out of you when it comes to wedding planning. Rather an extremely handy guide to help you seamlessly transition from fiancé to bride and have an absolute blast while doing it. Because let’s face it, the groom isn’t going to be much help. As much as he might want to, you know that he will mostly just nod along or get in the way as you get on with the real work with the help of your trusted crew comprising your mom (because dads are equally clueless) your siblings (mainly sisters) and your besties. So to help alleviate the stress and confusion here are the 5 essentials for destination wedding planning.
No, we aren’t just quoting Kung Fu Panda on a whim. Wedding planning is stressful and that stress triples for a destination wedding because you need to be prepared for everything without the comfort of knowing exactly how and where to buy or find something at your chosen destination. Keep some time aside every day to indulge yourself in an activity that will calm your nerves and give you a break from all the madness. It might seem counter-productive to add yet another thing to do to your already endless list but even one hour of something enjoyable will ensure that you’re better equipped to deal all the countless issues.
Pick something you enjoy and it will quickly become the favourite part of your day. Meditation and exercise are fantastic to keep you focused, energised and patient. If you have the skills and plan on treating your guests to a performance at the sangeet or at the ceremony then spend sometime practicing playing an instrument or taking a couple’s dance lesson.
Relaxing Activity Ideas
Set Google price alerts for cheap tickets to your destination and grab those deals because it’s always good to make a few trips to finalise important details like décor, food, venues, hotel rooms and so on. It might seem like pictures will do for everything these days but remember that a destination wedding is all about the overall experience of the event and there is no camera in the world that can capture the feeling of actually being there. You don’t have to spend every weekend at the destination but plan for atleast 2 to 3 short trips to ensure things are functioning smoothly. The same goes for getting there a day or two before everything begins so you can deal with any last minute hiccups. You also don’t want to arrive right on the day of a function and look like a mess from travelling or risk delays and not having enough time to check arrangements and get dolled up. Plus it’s always a lovely gesture when the couple and their families personally greet guests who have specially taken the time out to be there for the celebrations.
Couple Welcoming Guests
You might think this is an unnecessary expense and that you can handle everything yourself from your own home but a local wedding planner based in your destination is an immensely helpful and essential wedding planning tool. Any celebration has potential for disaster like bad weather, irresponsible vendors, delayed flights, unscheduled arrivals and departures or just random chaos. A good wedding planner will ensure that things run smoothly from planning until execution so that you and your loved ones can let your hair down and enjoy every second of the celebrations.
They will work with a team of trusted local agencies, coordinate events, inform guests of function times and venues and deal with any sort of wedding confusions and debacles. They’re also a vital support system for when you need recommendations for make up artists, photographers or any other people requiring local knowledge. Not to mention they are your sole point of contact for all wedding related queries versus calling or emailing 10 different people and trying to coordinate between them while you’re somewhere else.
Think of the expense of your wedding planner as the cost of your peace of mind through the entire process and it will seem like nothing. Asking other brides and referring to the above mentioned online resources are a great place to start looking for wedding planners based where you will be getting married. But here are some quick recommendations. Pink Palki and Foreign Wedding Planners are Bangkok based companies who great for Indian weddings in Thailand. Marry me in Greece are a rare find who are based in UK and able to plan Indian weddings anywhere in Greece. But if a beach wedding in Greece is a bit over the top for you then head over to good old Goa and work with Wedding Design Soul.
Foreign Wedding Planners
Marry Me In Greece
Wedding Design Soul
While wedding planners deal with the logistics and execution of the entire proceedings more personal things like clothes, jewellery, hair and make up will still be your responsibility. Selection the right make up artists and hair dressers is an extremely important part of the wedding planning process since it’s their tools and skills that will ensure you look drop dead gorgeous. Most Asian brides often find that local hair and make artists especially in exotic locales are not adept at working with ethnic skin tones and hair types. The wedding planning universe is filled with stories galore of Asian brides ending up looking like drag queens because the artists aren’t able to match their foundation correctly followed by poorly chosen eye shadow, blush and lipstick colours that don’t compliment their natural complexion.
It’s always easier and more economical to find someone at the destination but ensure you do a trial. However if you’ve been through a fair few trials and cannot seem to find the right person for the job then it’s not uncommon to pay for make up artists and hair dressers to come to you. Many of them will also create a package for you to include assistants who can service your close family and friends as well. Mumbai based Nisha Soni has travelled all over the world for weddings and fashion shoots. Bianca Louzado is another Mumbai girl who has worked on the incredibly famous face of Kim Kardashian in addition to celebrity and high profile brides. For those based in the UK and getting married around there both Kaz Fernando and Ravita Pannu are award winning London based artists who excel at working with Asian brides and models.
You will obviously want pictures to capture all those once-in-a-lifetime memories and candid shots so an exceptional wedding photographer with his or her skills and equipment is yet another integral tool to consider during the planning process. Again local wedding photographers might be easy to find depending on your chosen destination but just like hairdressers and make up artists, it’s not uncommon to pay for the conveyance of a specific wedding photographer to come to you. Turn to the online resources, shortlist some photographers and scour through their websites or Facebook pages to find someone whose aesthetic is the same as yours.
Don’t hire the first photographer you meet unless you’re absolutely sure there can be no one better. Meet with a few photographers and discuss your own ideas about the style of your wedding photographs and also consider their suggestions before you finalise everything. A pre-wedding couple shoot has become a sort of norm and most photographers will be happy to add it on with the wedding photography. The advantage of a photographer from a similar ethnicity or someone who has worked on several Asian weddings is their knowledge of the customs and rituals.
You wouldn’t want your photographer to be scrambling to understand what is happening during the wedding ceremony and miss out on important moments. Fairytale Weddings by Delhi based Angad Sodi excel at offbeat and traditional wedding photography. Isha Shukla from Mumbai isn’t just a wedding photographer and has the ability to capture those candid shots that you will thoroughly enjoy later. Similarly London based Kashif Haque has a large repertoire of assignments that also includes Asian wedding photography.
Fairytale Weddings by Angad Sodi
Isha Shukla Photography
Sources: Pinterest.com, Planningpod.com, Trello.com, Weddinghappy.com, Facebook.com, Kazfernandomakeup.co.uk, Nishasoni.com, Wedmegood.com