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 : http://www.ourwedding.in/distributors_bangalore.php
( 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.
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: http://sonacaterers.co.in/
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.
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 :
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.