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I have always had a lot of friends. In fact, when I was in school, my birthday parties were a riot because I didn’t know who to leave out, so I just invited everyone along. The good thing about it was that everybody came and I was buried under a huge pile of wishes and gifts. The bad thing was that by the time my party ended, I would get so tired playing the hostess that I’d be glad my birthday was over and won’t be back for another year.
As I grew up, I started appreciating smaller gatherings and quieter evenings. And so, I imagined my wedding to be just as quiet and serene an affair, with only my family and closest friends around. I didn’t want the pressure of a big wedding, I didn’t want endless guests swarming over me, I didn’t want to be bathed in gifts, I didn’t want to be stared at. I just wanted that moment to myself and to the man I was committing to love all my life.
Cut to my wedding day, eight months ago, where the party started at 2 in the afternoon and didn’t slacken its pace till almost 2 in the night; where almost 8000 people arrived. Yes, 8000! How many did I really care about being present for my big day? I’d say 200. The rest of the people – I didn’t know and I didn’t care about. I didn’t want them to be there! But, all that wasn’t in my control. I married into a politically active family and well, this was their guest list. They could add more names to it, but they couldn’t possibly cut anyone out.
My parents had a real trouble looking for a venue; how does one find a place in a city that fits as many people in it? In the end, they had to book a huge, barren ground and build it up for my wedding - and that alone was a week’s hard work.
To say I was nervous on my wedding day would be an understatement. I felt like I was in school again, wishing my wedding to get over even before it started. Honestly, I had never even attended the kind of wedding I was living, so I didn’t know what to expect out of it. I remember I didn’t fuss over my bridal look in the parlour and I didn’t say a word all the way to my venue. As I sat inside the vanity van in one corner of my venue, I guess I was quietly preparing myself for the drama that was to unfold. (Yes, I had a Bollywood-style vanity van to myself.)
And then, when the time came, I stepped out of the vanity and held my breath. A red carpet rolled under my feet with my friends and family standing on its left and right - looking at me in wonder and smiling at me with pure love. Photographers ran ahead of me, trying to capture the perfect shot. As I took in the first view of my venue, it seemed to stretch forever in all directions, decorated in hues of yellow and red. Finally, I was on the huge stage, standing beside my husband. The crowds melted and the photographers disappeared and only the sounds and sights remained - the sound of thunderous clapping and insane cheering and the sight of thousands of people looking up at me and my husband, garlanding each other and appearing before them for the first time ever as man and wife.
From that moment onwards, I don’t know how the rest of that evening passed. MPs, MLAs, media persons and other dignitaries kept rushing in with their troupes and we made time for them between our own photoshoot and rituals. When it was time for me to leave, I crossed the length of my venue and truly felt what a huge event it had been.
Of course minor issues happened, of course someone went home unhappy, of course someone felt overwhelmed by it all, of course someone looked at it as a huge show off. But, for the first time ever, after my party was over, I wasn’t tired. In fact, I was looking forward to the life that awaited me after the grand welcome it had already thrown my way.
Intimate or big fat, let your family know just how special they are with these 5 adorable gifting ideas.
1. A Forest Essential Fragrant Bath Care Kit (Rs 2,250) is all the pampering your parents need after the wedding.
2. You sister will absolutely cherish this pair of Brass Studs With Pearls (Rs 899).
3. A quirky print vanity pouch for all your besties. Buy it for Rs 499 on Propshop 24.
4. Your brother will love these Gradient Aviators that are available on Ajio for Rs 1,299.
5. Gift your guests a wooden clip chalkboard with a special message scribbled across it. Buy it for Rs 350 on Propshop24.