Monday, June 23, 2008

Monsoon Wedding II: Preparations

Once the wedding date is decided by the priest, there is no end to the preparations. The priest will provide both date and time (muhurath/muhurtham)

Our Date : 08-08-08 Time : 12:20pm (Abhijin Muhurtham)

Here is the most comprehensive list ever that I found :
( the detectives are a tad scary )

The usual practice is to make a book with your own list. We saw lists of several friends which gave us a lot of help.

1. Book the hall

If you're living in a city, this needs to be done several months in advance. In my case, it was done 6 months prior to the date. Most halls also have rooms, do check the rooms where the bride / groom will dress etc. In many cases, the hall may look grand but the rooms inside will be tiny and poorly ventilated with cracked mirrors and bad bathrooms. Check if power back up is present. Check for the presence of lock-able cupboards.

2. Caterers

Choose the caterer well in advance. Caterer will need to check the hall to confirm the presence and use of utensils and equipment etc. Make an appointment for this. Ensure that you get to sample the fare to get an idea.
Our Caterers:

Menu for the following will need to be decided: Two breakfasts, drinks or juices between breakfast and lunch, Served Lunch and Buffet Dinner for the Reception.
Caterers can also be asked to provide snacks and savouries for a week before the wedding to satisfy the hordes of visitors who may come.

3. Gifts

For GSB marriages the following MUST be gifted by the bride's parents.
Gifts for the ladies are a Silk Sari and for the Gents a shirt and trouser piece.

a. Uncles and Aunts of the bride (Paternal and Maternal) - these are the most important and their gifts are correspondingly so. Maternal Aunt and Uncle are particularly important.

b. Sisters (of the bride) and their husbands (if any )

c. In absence of female siblings, Paternal female cousins and their husbands
( too bad for the Maternal cousins )

d. Youngest brother of the bride gets a shirt piece ( traditionally a shawl )
( I wonder why he doesnt get the trousers too )

e. "Dhedi" ( the unmarried girl who sits next to the bride )

f. "Dhedo" ( male version of above who sits beside the groom )

From the Groom's side:

a. Mother and Father of the groom.

b. Sisters of the groom and their husbands

c. Grandparents of the groom - i.e elders who are older than the Groom's Dad.

d. The priest and his wife must be gifted as well. The priest is given a silk Dhoti set (called Patte Thodopu) and a silk sari for his wife.

Outside of this list, it is usual to gift persons in the family who are close to the bride or her parents. For the elder ladies Kanchivarams in traditional patterns are preferred. The colours get darker(not brighter) in direct proportion to the age of the person. For the younger women - i.e younger than the bride's mother Saris can be gifted other silks ( bangalore silks / mysore silks )
For women, the borders of the saris get thinner in direct proportion to age. If they are very very aged they are given super light silks or cotton saris with thin zari border. Cotton to be given only if they insist on it. We bought one such cotton sari from Calcutta.

Tip: Keep a stack of post-it notes handy. Stick them on to the boxes with labels. This allows them to be reviewed and rearranged if needed.

In GSB weddings, gifts are NEVER gift wrapped. This is because they will be displayed when being gifted. The boxes that the saris and clothing pieces come in will be kept open and gifted.

Where to buy: ( we bought from all of these )
Angadi Silks, Jayanagar ( Best for buying in bulk )
Sudarshan Silks, Sheshadripuram
Cauvery Silks International, M. G. Road ( For mysore silks )
Girija Silks, Udupi
Dhakeshwari Vastralaya, Calcutta
Manish Silks, Patna
Johari Bazaar, Jaipur

3. Videographer and Photographer

These are provided by the hall as well. It is however best to pick an individual who is familiar with the wedding style, so that the important functions will be covered.
Be sure to ask the details of the package and mention if you dont want sound / video editing or any special effects.

4. Wedding Cards
These require a trip to Chickpet. It cannot be avoided, so do it when its a sunny day with no chance of rain. I would suggest parking the car in some shopping complex nearby and taking an Auto. We took several hours to choose our card. Take along water and some nourishment to keep the men awake.

Once the cards are bought, they need to be printed. This requires yet another trip to chickpet. If you want to save a trip, take along the text, typed out and formatted on A4 size sheets. Make a few copies just in case. Take along the route map to the Wedding Hall ( this will be provided by the Hall ). Printers often have ideas of their own. Ask for a sample for proof reading before the whole batch is printed.

5. Accomodation for out-station Guests

Service Apts are the best option for wedding parties. They provide transport and catering as well. This link has most of the places, sorted according to budget :

6. Transport
Includes Transport to pick up guests from airport/railway station and drop them at guest houses and for the wedding party itself. The hall / caterer / service apt/ hotel often provide these.

7. Hall decorators and Musicians

Usually these are provided by the hall itself. It is best to choose them since they will be well versed with the hall.

8. Wedding favours

South Indian weddings provide a bag/box with a Coconut ( this is in Kannadiga style ) or a Fruit. In GSB traditional style, its a box of sweets, a packet of savouries and a Sweet Pan - called "Beeda" . Sometimes a small idol of ganesha is also given.
Getting the bag requires a trip to chickpet. Many options (velvet / plastic/ jute/ cloth) and sizes are available.
If a sample is provided, the process becomes easier. Also needed is the dimensions of the sweet box from the Caterer. The Bag will need to be printed with the details of the wedding. Better to carry that along as well.


Vijay Padiyar said...

Haha, in true "amchigele" style you went for Sona Caterers! Our community is famous for being "self-reliant", I think!

Btw, thanks for your comment on my blog on Ration Cards.



Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me what all needs to be given by bride's side for the wedding and the groom's side as well, i mean what the groom gives to the bride and vice versa? is the wedding attire,gold for the groom given by the bride and vice versa?

Unknown said...

Hey anonymous,
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Please check Part 4 of the Monsoon Wedding - for details.

Regarding the exchange of clothing/gold, this is usually a matter of how the bride/groom and their families work it out.

Lets start with the gold:
Traditionally a gold ring needs to be given to the groom by the bride's family. This is given to him by the father of the bride
(See part 4 - Phool Muddi Ritual )
Obviously, those who want to can give lots more things (bracelets, chains, watches) at this stage. The sky's the limit.

While the groom gets his ring, the groom's family can provide ornaments for the bride.
They can be put on the bride by the groom's mother. If you want to be simple, (and traditional) this is usually flowers.

Ring for the Bride - This is traditionally provided by the girl's family (contrary to popular belief)
In our case, the groom provided this very early :D so it was used.
A word of caution on this, this ring is flung into a large bucket of colored water during the games between the bride and groom.
So if the ring is very delicate, arrange for a temporary substitute.

Getting the ornaments - in our case, my husband and I shopped for each other's rings together. ensuring fit and taste.
Either way get an assurance from your jewellers on buy backs / exchanges. (we used Tanishq and Gilli - great service)

The Big chunk of gold other than rings is the Mangalsutra. There are 2 - the black bead one provided by the girl's family (called Dharemani)
and the heavy coral loaded (Khasthali) provided by the groom's family. ( Aabharan jewellers in mangalore )
If you are appalled (as I was) by the skinny corals you see nowadays, do ask the jeweller for some stout ones, they will emerge magically from the backroom. :)

Clothing exchange:
The grooms clothing can be provided by the bride's family ( there is no real hard and fast rule on this )
Traditionally only the peta (headdress) is provided by the bride's family. This is often rented from chickpet ( Bad idea )
How we did it: Hubby and I went shopping for his clothing - choose a large wedding store, they will have all the accessories to match in one place.
Got a Sherwani with Dhoti as well as chudidar ( Kurta can be lengthed after the dhoti part of the wedding is over )
Matching shoes, Turban and ang vashtram/duppata.
The Groom is provided these clothes along with the ring at Phool Muddi, he can change into it at the next opportunity.

Clothes for the bride ( One set traditionally ) is provided by the groom's side. This involves a shopping trip with the groom's family
to choose it. It is then given to the bride to get the blouse etc stitched and then returned to the groom's side
so they can bring it along with them to the wedding hall. Usually it is the sari worn at the reception.

To avoid this back and forth, we shopped for this together, and kept it ( groom's clothes, brides clothes) all with us ( bride's side ).
Presented it to groom's side as and when needed.

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rohini...that was helpful!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Rohini,

Hope your're doing fine...its a very good blog...helped me get a lot of info...i had a question around who brings the toe it bought by the bride's side or given to the bride by the groom's?

Unknown said...

Hi Anon,

Thumb rule, all articles are arranged by brides side unless groom's side explicitly mentions they are getting it themselves. Best to get this cleared up before the big day.

Toe rings can be uncomfortable, i suggest the lady pick her own according to taste and comfort. Matching the attire etc. I also suggest trying them on and adjusting the fit several times before D-day.

Additional rings maybe provided as gifts for later use from groom's side - I have 7 pairs, all gifts - none of which i use :-(

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rohini, can you please give me some more clarity on what do you mean by 'All articles are arranged by the bride's side'..i belong to a different caste and your inputs would help in understanding this better...thanks

Unknown said...

Hi Anon,

By all articles, I meant all the items that will be needed for rituals ( and not being brought by the priest ) - See Part IV - "Wedding Rituals" - for details of the articles.

Eg: Gold Ring for groom, toe ring, "Bashing" ( see Part 4 to know what this is ), turban, gifts for priests, gifts in general for relatives, silver items. Sometimes even both the mangalsutras are brought by the brides side.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rohini..

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