Yes, you read that right.
After 32 years of being alive, 12 years of working and 13 years of dating escapades, I finally found my partner and my friend. While I’m ecstatic to find someone who’s as crazy and kind as I hoped he’d be, planning our wedding was nothing less than a rollercoaster.
Here’s how I planned my wedding in Jaipur. And you can too.
Srijan and I met technically matched as a 'rishta'. Unlike many setups where parents are involved, ours weren’t. So we met and soon began dating, trying to catch up as much as possible. Sure I’d told my mom (but then I tell her everything) that I was meeting this guy through the ‘rishta’ mediator. But after a few months of being together, when we were both surer and ready to get married, we met each other’s parents.
Our parents were happy and truthfully jumped the gun. Since there was no 'shubh mahurat' till October (don’t get me started) and we were given two sets of dates in both June and November.
“Ab tum dono pe hai.”
Srijan and I decided to take another plunge. I mean on top of already marrying each other.
To marry each other rather quickly.
I’m too practical a person to even think of a wedding in Paris (a girl can dream though, right?) or even Goa for that matter. The idea of gold jewellery and white sandy beaches made me cringe ever since I learned a thing or two about aesthetics. I honestly would have been fine, no, happy with a farmhouse wedding. I mean, picture this: A chilled beer in one hand, sunglasses in the other and a cascade of colours.
But unfortunately, June and outdoor weddings are not a match (not even for a night). So I swiped right and start looking at venues in Delhi. You’d think the rates would be a lot lesser in June, that they’d even want some business in a lean month like this. But no...that’s not Delhi.
I got exorbitant quotes that ranged from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 exclusive of decor, DJ and the works. Vegetarian food for Rs 3,000. This was seriously the time to consider a court marriage and check our morals to spend lacs of money that could be put to better use.
So, Sri and I decided to look at venues in Jaipur.
While Rambagh Palace (a childhood memory) and Fairmont Jaipur (a new want) was not attainable and all four stars looked the same, I was losing hope. Sure, you can’t everything in a venue, but there was a vibe that we were both looking for.
And we found it in Diggi Palace.
It was one of the sunniest afternoons this summer (43 degrees at least) but even as I made my way through their sleepy courtyard, something about the haveli really resonated with me. I’m not gonna lie, I could already imagine a great photo session thanks to the kaleidoscope of colours that you find at Diggi Palace.
I’m glad I didn’t give into steep quotes and went for something that’s not only beautiful but also value for money.
Lessons To Take
1. Look at 9-10 venues at a minimum.
2. Try to look for local contacts, vendors especially if you’re not from the city.
3. Go with your instincts.
To be honest, the venue is almost half the battle. Once that was in place, we both let our dads figure out the logistics which included stay as well as the menu. Since I tend to be a bit involved in most aspects of the wedding, I happened to browse through the wedding menu just to make sure there are a few details that are not to be missed.
Lessons To Take
1. Make sure there is transparency for all costs between families. It really helps.
2. If it’s a destination/resort wedding, make sure you don’t miss the breakfast and lunch menu.
3. Since a lot of us, including me, love non-vegetarian food, we were able to add that option to our guests. These little additions go a long way.
4. Double check vendors for chaat and appetisers. That’s what people eat the most. And talk about.
Choreographed dances aside, I’m a sucker for wedding photos. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working for POPxo but if you check my Instagram, I actually follow #indianweddings. And I’m aware that with the right photographer, you really do feel that your story is special.
I made most of my Uber time by sending inquiries to at least 8-10 wedding photographers. I even went back to my stories on photographers and found some ridiculous and some great leads. Just like venues, photography can cost you anywhere between Rs 1 lac to Rs 10 lacs. And I got quotes that were between Rs 90,000 to about Rs 4 lacs.
But we decided to go another way.
Since I’m a blogger too, I’ve had my fair share of shoots and candid photography. Since I’m not much of a poser (neither is Sri) and our priority was for someone to give us a few shots to cherish in years to come, I decided to ask a friend and colleague, Abhimanyu Choudhary, to shoot our wedding. This friend is a professional photographer and has been shooting my face for years now. So, I’m super chill about a friend shooting our wedding!
Lessons To Take
1. A senior photographer advised me to spend 10% of the total cost of the wedding on a photographer.
2. It may just happen that you don't like photos from your photographer but of your friend carrying a DSLR. So if you have really close friends, you can actually ask them to do this for you.
3. Make sure they’re using a hashtag (ours is #JanEMan). This way it gets easier for you to track all photos from your wedding and repost it too.
Seeing that I have worked in beauty for a few years now, I’m very particular about what I like. I thought Anushka’s minimalist look and Sonam’s mehendi look was just what any woman would want. I would have been very comfortable working one of the makeup artists I work with or have worked with in the past, but the quotes were really high (up to a lac plus travel and stay).
I was then advised from Noir, Chanakyapuri (part of Looks Delhi) to check out senior makeup artists at Looks, Jaipur. Apart from the budget, my decision was totally based on skills. And so that was another saving grace that has come together.
I will be going for my makeup trial towards the date just to make sure my base is really light since it’s going to be really hot. So, more details on that on POPxo Beauty.
Lessons To Take
1. Even if you can’t go for a full makeup trial, try to make sure you discuss hair, makeup ideas over Whatsapp or whenever you have time.
2. If you’re putting falsies, or hair extensions make sure you’re on the same page with your MUA. You don’t want to look like a different person altogether!
So that’s it from me for now! Stay tuned for more updates on POPxo Wedding!