WARNING – the next few blog posts maybe all wedding related, as I want to reflect/write down as much as I can whilst it’s all still clear in my mind.
So, as you may know, I got married just over 4 months ago and looking back on the whole thing, here are my thoughts and advice.
Everyone says this, but you MUST listen! Everything gets booked up early, especially the more popular wedding services providers. Do not make the mistake of leaving planning late; you will panic and it will get worse. Most venues take bookings up to two years in advance, mine did and I got married in the middle of Wales! The result of leaving things late means you may have to settle for things. This is one day that you do not want to “settle”. It’s meant to be the best day of your life! I don’t know if that is actually reality for some people or not, but it was for me and a lot of that is down to the fact I PLANNNED… I planned well in advance.
2. Get your colours right
In Indian weddings, especially these days, you can wear an abundance of colours if you aren’t going for the traditional red theme. If so, make sure your colours match the season. If it’s summer, the bright colours are better and autumn and winter – dark and deeper colours have more effect. This might be obvious information but it’s so important when it comes to your pictures. Also, have your extended family wear their outfits according to yours – both sides needs to complement one another, not just your outfits…they need to compliment EACH OTHERS.
If in doubt – get a professional to help out!
3. Get a priest who speaks English
This is so important!
We were lucky, our priest knew us well and tailored the service around us, but if you are from an Asian background like we are, I can’t stress this more. You need someone who speaks English and someone who is also engaging! If you don’t, no one is going to be paying attention to your ceremony apart from your grandmother sitting in the front.
4. Guests your numbers right
It’s meant to read ‘get your numbers right’ but do you like what I did there? Bad joke I know! Numbers are key. The number of guests you have determines the dynamics and feel of your wedding. I had a 150 people at our wedding and I feel like I didn’t spend proper time with anyone even though. 150 people is SMALL for an Indian wedding. The more guests you have the less intimate it will feel, the more likely that people will chat during your ceremony and ultimately it means you will spend more all around. In my opinion, don’t worry about offending people if you didn’t invite them – weddings are expensive! People will understand, and if they don’t, are they the sort of people you want there in the first place?
5. The little bits don’t matter
In general, people don’t remember the ‘little things’ at your wedding, e.g. the centerpieces, the favours or the flowers. Most of your guests won’t remember or if they do, they don’t really care. I’m not saying you shouldn’t care but I am saying that it’s not the be all and end all. Concentrate on these things, spend a little time on it and then MOVE ON! The only reason my guests remembered my favours was because I wrote a personal message to all 150 guests at the reception, but I would NOT recommend that. It’s time consuming and long winded! Great that people loved it, but it’s time consuming and long winded and I wouldn’t do it again. I hope I’m not in the position to have to either!
6. Forget Indian timing – DO NOT BE LATE
Rich coming from me – I know.
For anyone who knows me, I am late everywhere – dinners with my friends, weddings, events, parties, pretty much wherever I go. I don’t know why, I just am. My friends have given up, I don’t even lie anymore. I’m late end of. HOWEVER, on this day, I was on time and it was great!, I wasn’t stressed or worried. Things ran smoothly and it also meant I didn’t upset my husband, who HATES me being late!
Don’t do it, it will ruin the day!
7. Soak it in
Half way during my ceremony I realised how far we were into it… the day, it was FLYING by. I couldn’t even explain it, I didn’t even know where the time was going. I had to stop myself to really absorb what was going on around me; what the priest was saying, what vows I was taking and even, how my husband looked. Because even though you hear these quotes all the time, they are true, you only realise how true they are when you’re in that moment! You only get married once, well you hope to anyway! So you want to remember it, cherish it and do not let the day lead you.… it will be over before you know it.
8. Don’t let ANYTHING get to you
F*** IT! Something going wrong? Forget it, move on and try not let it bug you. The night before, my mum fell face first into gravelled stone, got taken to the hospital the night before my wedding (which I am sure I will talk about more in another post) and I still managed to smile through the day. The trouble isn’t worth it, don’t let arguments, issues or anything negative touch you. I feel for once, I actually took this advice and I had THE best day. I was on cloud nine and I would do that day over and over again but I wouldn’t have felt like that if I let any person (which there were a few) upset me with their actions or thoughts, or let the little things get to me or worry too much about everything being perfect.
9. Remember it’s YOUR wedding
Forget everyone else… It’s about you and your partner! This is SO hard to do when it comes to any Indian or Asian wedding, certain people will be out there to cause drama and upset you but keep the focus on what YOU WANT. It’s one day, don’t have regrets or have someone else’s wedding because they will have/had their own… it’s yours and yours only. Obviously, if your parents or family are paying or contributing financially, be considerate but also make them understand WHY you want something one way versus another. Communication is key, but prioritise YOU.
10. LISTEN to those who have been through it
My sister-in-law, who got married two years before I did gave me the advice above. (Thanks Samy Bakrania!). The main part of the advice was to enjoy my day no matter what because she knew it would go TOO fast. I woke up at 5:00 am and didn’t go to sleep until 5:00 am the next day and I still wish it was longer. But it isnt and you can’t go back in time. If you know people who have been through it all , take their advice, tailor it to you of course, but listen. There is a reason why they are telling you, they want you to enjoy the experience!
I loved my wedding day, it was the best! It was exactly what I wanted.… Perfect! And I’m not showing off, that’s my experience.
What would I have changed? Nothing! But that’s only because I took the advice that was given to me and I am grateful to those who shared it. I hope this helps others in the future.
*photo credit to Reda Taouri