We are going to round out the day with a couple of totally awesome Indian wedding ideas.  The first, is a simple but sweet idea for your table numbers.  This creative idea has pictures of the bride and groom at every table.  But, of course there is a twist…the number of the table is shows a picture of the bride and groom at that age!  It’s a great way to get your guests mingling and have some fun.  

The second, was a special, sentimental surprise. The day of the couple's wedding ceremony, June 26th, was also the bride’s parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. So, the family pulled together a slide show, “wedding cake”, and dug up a video from their 1977 wedding.  I started to cry just thinking about that.  I mean, if that doesn’t start the waterworks, I don’t know what does!

Images by Parsons Photography
Some other fabulous Indian wedding ideas by our Maharani, Anjali :

We did a very sweet "first look" at the hotel before we headed off with our respective families to the venue. My handsome, never-get-emotional-groom, even shed a few tears!

-  Before I walked in, my cousin asked that everyone bless the rings as they were passed around, so that their blessings could stay with us forever

-  We had a candy favor station but we set it up before the wedding so our guests could enjoy it during the ceremony.

-  Deep and I took the seven steps (Satpadi) together, reciting the vows in english as the priest said them in sanskrit. 

-  Deep and I wrote our own, more humerus, very "us" vows that had our audience in stitches. We don't have professional footage, but here's a capture from a friend's camera:  We recited them after the sindoor and mangalsutra and before we exchanged rings.

- I handmade our escort card in our wedding colours, gluing hot pink ribbon onto green cards and handwritting quotes about love, friendship, marriage etc onto each one. Many people liked them so much they made it a point to tell me they kept theirs!

- I also handmade the placemats on which the centerpieces were placed. My centerpieces were actual plants that were potted in baskets I found at the dollar store. My total centerpiece budget (for 20 tables) was under $200. And the plats were taken home and planted into guests gardens!

- Deep is a film buff, so during the reception we had a montage of old films projected onto the ceiling, which added a unique flair to the room.- In honor of my goofball friends I made sure I had a few props to facilitate a "photobooth" of sorts. My favorite family portrait from the wedding was one where my 84 year-old ba is cocooned in a pink and black feather boa with this huge grin on her face.

Use the interwebs! My parents insisted that they must pay for all our family and family-friends hotel rooms which can run up a tab fast. So my mom went to priceline and she got an AMAZING deal of $65 (inclusive of tax, breakfast and a bonus meeting room space) per room at the Mariott Springhill Suites in Ashburn VA. I know a lot of people think cheap = nasty when it comes to hotels, but this was a new and amazing property. Use the tools at your disposal to get better prices.

Think outside the box. We found our photographers, the amazing Parsons, through a recommendation (and an extensive search). They had never done an Indian wedding, they were not local, we would not meet them till they came to the wedding. So we skyped, we negotiated travel including putting them up one night in Deep's apartment, and I tried to make sure they had background info on the wedding. I also negotiated for copyrights to my pictures.  Look outside your comfort zone, outside the norm and you'll find amazing vendors at great prices.

Get organized. When I choose to do most of my own planning and decor (with the help of friends) I was freaking out. But if you are organized, have committed and trustworthy family/friends, and do most things in advance, it is very doable. Tip, Google docs has some amazing wedding spreadsheets you can customize.

Have a budget and set priorities.T 

here were certain non-negotiables on my list, and those cost a certain amount. While I was very diligent about finding the best deal, once I found it, everything else was tailored around that. For example, I wanted a rustic, wooden frame mandap (my priority), I also wanted a flower strewn/kissing ball lined aisle. While there were vendors willing to give me a similar mandap (covering up ornate columns with cloth) with a flower strewn aisle for my budget, the vendor I went with was actually the only one who would give me ONLY the mandap I wanted, but it was EXACTLY what I wanted. So I was able to stay on budget even though I gave up a non-priority item. And instead of the kissing balls, I had these gorgeous very very inexpensive tissue paper pom-pom lined aisle :)

Reuse materialsMy grahashanti/pithi outfit was a sari my mom wore when she was a girl, with her original blouse, and a necklace her mom gave her at her engagement (that she had given to me when I turned 16). Not only did the outfit cost me nothing, it meant so much to my mom and my grandmother to see me in them. I also repurposed a lot of the decor from one event to another.

Be creative. I got many of my ideas from non-desi wedding websites. I didn't think I was a very crafty person till I started doing things for my wedding. Now I can't stop crafting :)





Congratulations to the creative pair and we will see you tomorrow!

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Photography : Parsons Photography / Mandap: Nivanjoli (The ever-talented Prabha Bhambhri) / Makeup : Uzma Wali / Caterer: Bollywood Bistro (ask for the amazing owner Pankaj) / Mendhi: Mala Amin / Invitations and Programs : Graphic Designer Young Kim