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2011

$7 US $8.50 CAN

the ultimate

wedding planning guide


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content 21

Inspired: The Five Fantastic Senses Enliven the experience of wedding season with our favorite picks for each specific sense

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The Bridal Makeup Kit Everything you need to prepare and fashion yourself as a distinguished and amazing bride

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The Aura of Solah Shringar Sixteen adornments that bring meaning and significance to brides and married women

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Celebrity Weddings Vivek gets married, Katy and Russell tie the knot in India and Angelina and Brad contemplate a traditional Hindu ceremony

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Invitations 2011 – A Look Ahead The trends, the colors and the styles you need to set the tone for your special event

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Proposal: Bina and Eddie, Houston Real life lawyers fall in love and celebrate with a lavish wedding

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Proposal: Sonia and Andrew, New York City Two doctors unite in an intimate ceremony on New Year’s Eve

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GETTING CREATIVE: Actress and model Reshma Shetty celebrates her upcoming wedding resplendent in a Sagar Mehra crystal and zari lehnga from Ginni’s Boutique, NY. Her bridal necklace set from Raj Jewelers, NJ is a 22kt gold polki set with tourmalines, peridot, citrine and pink sapphires. Hair and makeup by Ginni Jaggi. Photography by Siddharth Gupta.


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Capturing the Moment The ins and outs of wedding photography and how you can plan a visual success

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Deep Love and Reshma Reshma Shetty and Deep Katdare discuss their upcoming nuptials dressed in the jewels of Raj Jewelers and the designer collections of Ginni’s Boutique

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Easy Elegance Poshak Fashion & Style of Houston brings forth style simple in its approach and regal in its design

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Let Them Eat Cake Sonam Sondhi explains how today’s cakes have a life and style of their own

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Hey Mr DJ! Meet some of the hottest DJs in the US as they rock your upcoming wedding

Top left image: Allen Henson; circle middle right, Amish Thakkar, circle bottom right, Mike Dempsey

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The Next Level Up! Therese Cole shows you how to take your wedding up and over the top

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After the I Do’s Preeti Nanvaan answers your most perplexing wedding planning dilemmas

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The Weddings of South Asia An exploration into the vast spectrum of traditions, ceremonies and rituals from South Asian cultures

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Wedding Directory Bridal resources for the modern couple

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Wedding Planning Workbook Budgets, timeline, checklists, it’s all here to get you on your way to a perfect wedding

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P U B L I S H E R A N D E D I TO R

Ayesha Hakki A DV E R T I S I N G D I R E C TO R

Zeb Mamsa B R I D A L E D I TO R

Indy Rishi Sekhon A S S I S TA N T E D I TO R S

Esha Patel, Anjali Goyal DESIGN

Saima Yousuf E D I T O R AT L A R G E

Shoaib Qureshi CO N T R I B U TO R S

Fatima Yamin, Amish Thakkar, Shekhar Sem, Stephanie Behrens, Gurmeet Taluja, Mimi Bagga, Laju Shah, Ian Montgomery

FOUNDERS

Ayesha Hakki, Zooni and Shabana Haq Rahman BOARD ADVISORS

Munir Ibrahim, Mariam Issa, Meera Gandhi, Jaswant Lalwani

W W W. B I B I M A G A Z I N E . C O M FACEBOOK: BIBI MAGAZINE T WITTER: BIBI MAGAZINE W W W. B I B I P R . C O M

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1 5 8 2 YO R K AV E N U E N E W YO R K , N Y 1 0 0 2 8 347.878.2424 H O U S TO N O F F I C E 713.992.4085

Bibi Bridal, Volume 1, (2011) Š 2011 Bibi Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Bibi Bridal is a wholly owned publication and trademark of Bibi Magazine, Inc. Cover, contents and website material are copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any shape or form without prior written consent from Bibi Magazine, Inc. Bibi Magazine, Inc. does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor does the publisher assume responsibility should such material appear. Bibi Magazine, Inc. also assumes no responsibility for content, text or artwork of advertisements other than those promoting Bibi Magazine or Bibi Bridal or Bibi-related events, placed in the magazine or website. Bibi Bridal is published once a year by Bibi Magazine, Inc. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials for Bibi Bridal and www.bibimagazine.com for consideration should NOT send originals unless specifically requested by Bibi Magazine, Inc. in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other materials should be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope, postage pre-paid. Bibi Magazine, Inc. is not responsible for loss, damage or any other injury as to unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or materials. Advertising inquiries should be sent to the above address.

Š 2011 Bibi Magazine, Entire Editorial Content and Format. MADE IN USA


Getting Creative! It’s the beginning of a new decade for Bibi and perhaps the best time ever for South Asian-American weddings. It used to be that we’d attend a wedding held inevitably at some hotel where the only South Asian touch was the humble embellishment of gota tied around a flower pot or a tired palak paneer sludged in an aging chafing dish. However, look around today and you’ll notice that weddings have come to resemble lavish galas or high-end clubs. It seems that every aspect of the nuptials, from the décor, presentation, lighting, flowers and even the introduction of the afterparty lounge, has exploded into a mélange of color, personalization and over-the-top exuberance. We’ve spent the last year speaking with brides, wedding planners and other industry professionals to find out how to interpret this newfound creativity in a manner that still honors the ancient traditions and customs that make South Asian culture so incredibly rich. We’ve translated that knowledge into the articles you will find in this issue of the Bibi Bridal Annual.

2011

Wedding expert, Therese Cole, presents new and unique ideas to take your wedding to the next level, page 66, while Preeti Nanvaan answers your most perplexing bridal questions, page 68. Amish Thakkar guides you through the photo process, page 48, Sharon Patel inspires your invites, page 38 and Sonam Sondhi takes you on a sweet ride in cakeland, page 62. Perhaps you’ll recognize our cover girl, real life bride-to-be Reshma Shetty, from USA Network’s Royal Pains. Fittingly, this woman will soon marry Deep Katdare, also an actor most known for the lead in the iconic film, American Desi. As the two plan their upcoming nuptials, we had a chance to photograph them in the regal diamond collections of Raj Jewels coupled with the designer bridal collections housed at Ginni’s Boutique, page 50. Poshak Fashion & Style from Houston shows us another side of bridal fashion, Easy Elegance; a style that reflects the growing creativity of today’s weddings, page 56. With their house collection combined with designers such as Aijazz Aslam, the Poshak photoshoot reflects this year’s on-trend attire. If you just got engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, we hope that you’ll find inspiration through Bibi. After being in the bridal magazine business for 10 years, we are very excited at the direction 2011 is taking us. Good luck, Blessings and Best Wishes!

Siddharth Gupta

Ashish Hingorani and Lakshmi Vaswani January 5th, 2011 Photography by Parikshat Suri

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to witness the nature of our five amazing senses. Each sense has a specific purpose and each purpose has a unique and powerful identity. Focusing on each sense, we present an assortment of ideas that act only to please. From do-it-yourself items to Wedgewood’s Indian

Inspired Inspired

Weddings are the perfect time

tableware line, we hope to inspire you and anyone that enjoys your special occasion.

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Scentillating Scents Aromachology is defined as “the study of scent.” The founders of this unisex fragrance line incorporate both eastern and western laboratory research on effects that smells have on the psychology of an individual. This revolutionary fragrance line, $100/100ml, is also an organic product consisting of only four ingredients: organic corn-fed alcohol, water, oil and minerals. Skip the harsh chemicals and finally use a scent that is healthy for your skin! Indulge in a variety of bases and top notes that blend for your own signature eau de parfum. Ancient kings and queens of South Asia lathered themselves in scented oils from head to toe for beautiful skin and tantalizing aroma; Every modern bride deserves the same treatment! Myaromachology.com

a sense of

smell Incandescent Candles Candles are the most effective and immediate forms of smell pleasure. One such candle, made by Altru, uses an aromatic soy blend to bring the scent of tanenashi persimmons to your surroundings. Encased in a beautiful hammered copper casing, Altru’s Harmony Tanenashi Persimmon candle, $55, lasts long and looks like a relic from ancient South Asian times. In case you aren’t fond of candles, Altru also sells incense, $15, which is an instant inspiration to the environment. Light plenty during your ceremony! Gamillahboutique.com

For upscale décor and elegant gifting at South Asian weddings, Vera Wang’s sophisticated candle collection presents five distinct vessels using a combination of scents from lilies, damask rose, leafy greens and watery nuances. The Floral Bouquet Unity Candle Keepsake Ice Bucket, $98, caught our attention as a terrific decoration and giveaway with its silver-plated exterior and its signature love knot. The Vera Wang collection also includes a votive candle, $75, a great piece that turns into a beautiful jewelry box once the candle finishes burning. VeraWang.com 22 22

Product images: Siddharth Gupta

Upscale Essence


It’s A Wrap! Although our South Asian closets may be overflowing with wraps and shawls, these incredibly touchable wraps bring a designer elegance to any outfit. Carried by Niraj Parekh Co, made of organza and embellished with wool yarn and threads or layered with silken threads floating in between, we promise that you’ve never been wrapped in so much luxury. They make for meaningful bridesmaid gifts! $75 each at Gytha, 1384 Lexington Avenue, New York City. 212.289.4114

a sense of

touch

Uptan Bowl Uptan is an integral part of a bride’s beauty preparations. During the haldi ceremony, present this herbal paste with as much joy as it brings the bride. The beauty of this layout is in the contrast between the gold and silver hues. Tie the ribbon around the pot. Place the pot in the center of the tray. Scatter flowers around it and arrange the diyas in a symmetrical pattern. Light them just before the ceremony. Fill the pot with freshly-made uptan.

ma teri als:

Copper or clay pot. Yellow or gold ribbon. Silver tray or

thaali. Yellow flowers. Diyas or votive candles. Uptan.

All That Jahazz Morrocan wedding blankets, or handira, $479, are hand-loomed from sheep’s wool and cotton in tiny Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains. Tradition and skill are passed from generation to generation; prospective brides and their relatives patiently sew each sequin by hand. It is believed that the blankets have talismanic power to protect the user from the evil eye (nazar). Laura Aviva, founder of L’aviva Home, not only sells exotic wedding blankets, but also has a section dedicated to unique “dowry” gifts from around the world. All of the gifts are dedicated to please your sense of touch. Lavivahome.com

Write On Weddings are an important time to show everyone how grateful you are for their attendance. With PlaceTile’s ceramic placeholders, $40, you can direct them to their seats and provide them with a valuable gift to take home. Made from ceramic and adorned with beautiful carvings and themes, your guests can write and rewrite with a dry-erase pen. Placetile.com

Burlesque Boudoirs Reminding us of old-school Paris bordellos, Sin In Linen introduces a beautiful sheet set with pillowcases, shams and a matching duvet cover with its Wallflower design. The 300-thread count, cotton sateen is incredibly soft and comfortable, while the Wallflower design has a burlesque feel. This is only one pattern in a collection of touch-arousing varieties sold in many sets and sizes. Queen sheet set, $119, Queen duvet cover, $120. Sininlinen.com 23


Sound Gifts If you’re looking for great wedding gifts for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, we’ve found an innovative device from Chic Blvd. With the spectrum of sounds emanating from your iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, etc, having speakers on hand can turn any casual gathering into a rocking affair. Their keychain speakers (Chicboom, $25 for gals, Rockboom, $30 for guys) have great sound and durability. An all-women owned and run business, Chic Blvd has a plethora of cute technological gifts and amenities. Chicbuds.com

a sense of

sound The Aural Sutra

Need to catch up on your Kama Sutra before the big day, but too embarrassed to read it on your morning commute? Now you can listen to the ancient text as an audiobook for the first time in its 1600-year history. Published by UK-based Beautiful Books, the text is more than detailed descriptions of the Congress of the Crow, it also includes guides for relations between the sexes, how to adorn oneself, what to do when you have to do it alone and most importantly, how to approach one’s spouse. For about (UK) £9 or (US) $14, it is worth the download. Beautiful-books.co.uk

Bollywood Bridal If you’re clueless about the hottest South Asian bridal songs, My Big Fat Bollywood Wedding hits the mark as a charming compilation of wedding inspired tunes, $18, this 3-disc/42-song box set is perfect for all types of ceremonies and gatherings. Amazon.com

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Free Harmony South Asian weddings mean great music. As important as the food and ornaments, the sound of your wedding defines its ambiance and excitement. If you’re looking for any particular classic, or even something new, Saavn.com provides free access to a vast index of South Asian music for a seamless listening experience with easy search, fast results and no annoying pop-ups. Search by song, film, actor, singer, music director or even year to make your own playlist or borrow someone else’s. You can also access Saavn on the go with Saavn.com for iPhone and iPad. With Saavn, your wedding is sure to rock! Saavn.com

Chillax! Yoga is essential to finding balance during chaotic times. Embrace the ancient exercise by listening to Putumayo Presents: Yoga, $10. The different artists on the compilation provide a wide range of yoga standards and harmonies. Play the CD before your big moments for personal peace, or play it during the wedding processions to soothe your crowd. Putumayo.com

Sealed with a Kiss Speaking of ahem, Seal’s new album Commitment is the perfect soundtrack for your more romantic moments. With songs such as “All for Love” and “Secret,” it’ll have both of you swooning with his sultry, smoky voice. The video for “Secret” featuring his wife Heidi Klum is equally inspirational in its devotion. Seal.com


Delicious Decadents Mithai, South Asian yummies, are a fixture during wedding processions. Impressing with sweets is a valuable ability, and Sweet Silk offers a modern and beautiful twist to this ancient staple. Inventing new flavors and incorporating exotic ingredients, the choices at Sweet Silk are mouthwatering, and the presentation is just as elegant. From Ginger Chai Spice to Coconut Chocolate Ganache, the types of confections will mesmerize anyone who enjoys them. Price ranges are dependent on level of customization, sweet flavor and quantity, but expect the sweets to range between $1-2 each. Sweet Silk’s gift boxes can be customized to any color theme or event and include a personalized message card. Send them to your special guests (via nationwide shipping) or include the treats in your dessert menu. Either way, Sweet Silk is a must-have for any modern wedding. Savorsweetsilk.com

a sense of

taste

Cooking Wisdom

Seduced by its mouth-watering photographs, Shubhra Ramineni’s Entice with Spice, $18.45, transported us to a delectably delicious universe. Balancing her Texas upbringing and South Asian background, Shubhra explains in detail how to cook all types of dishes originating from the subcontinent with ingredients you can find at your local supermarket. The South Asian palate is laden with flavors of all kinds, veg and non-veg, and Shubhra presents all varieties with her collection of recipes. She uses clever western interpretations of the dishes and details ingredients and instructions to ensure that anyone can understand them. Enticewithspice.com.

Cooking with Clay Bring the flavor of the earth to your South Asian fare. Toque Blanche’s Chamba Cookware offers a unique dining experience for both your wedding processions and homemade fare. The origins of the pots can be traced back 700 years to pottery found in pre-Columbian archaeological sites. Each piece is still made in the traditional manner, mostly by women in the village of La Chamba in central Columbia. The pots remind us of those used during old South Asian times and can be used in the oven, microwave and stovetop. Ranging from $20 to $120, the remarkably beautiful cookware comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Mytoque.com

Elegant Dining Tableware makes a huge difference during wedding ceremonies. It also adds character to your dinners at home. With exquisite South Asian dining, we would like to present you with tableware that brings a feeling of royalty to you and your guests. Wedgewood’s India Bone China Pattern has ravishing accents of ancient South Asian nobility with exotic blossoms on parchment-textured ivory outlined with pale saffron and contrasted with a dark arabesque border of flowers. A 22-karat rim adds a subtle touch of exotic elegance to this inspiring and romantic dinnerware collection. Entire collection ranges from $25 to $400. Wedgewood.com 25


Shopping Spree With the amount of time we spend on digital platforms, it seems fitting that we showcase a website. Exclusively.in is the type of website that evolves the way we shop. Once you register (free), you instantly get up-to-date information on new styles in clothing, accessories, home goods and more from top designers and brands from India, all with exclusive discounts. Exclusively.in

a sense of

sight

Memories in Seconds Fantastic clothes, great makeup and happy times… all need to be captured. Go the extra mile with Fun Pix, a photobooth complete with costumes and props. One minute you’re attending a wedding, the next minute the paparazzi is photographing you in your rockstar finest! Best of all, the pictures instantly print for your guests to take home or you can include them later in your thank you notes. It’s a fun and memorable addition to any cocktail hour. Funpix-photobooth.com

Fashion Footward Can’t find shoes that exactly match your lehnga? No problem, make your own personal style statement with shoes of your own design. Give your plain shoes a new and personal touch by adding an element that matches your bridal outfit. For these shoes, string small beads on a gold chain and end it with the earrings. Then, with fabric glue affix the earrings to the shoe and attach the chain with jewelry rings onto the strap with the pliers.

ma Thin chain. Fabric glue. Beads. Flat earrings with the posts removed. teri als: Fabric-covered shoes. Needle-nose pliers. 1/4-inch jewelry rings. Top This!

Dazzlin’ Diamond Although your relationship hasn’t lost any of its sparkle, maybe your engagement ring has. Clean, protect and shine your diamond ring with the Diamond Dazzle Stik by Connoisseurs, $7-8. The pen-shaped applicator safely cleans diamonds and other precious stones with micro-fine cleansers and polishing agents combined with polymer to fill in fine scratches on the setting while polishing the gem. Expect to see a dramatic increase in the sparkle and brilliance of your diamonds! Diamonddazzlestik.com 26

This eye-catching cake topper is a quick, easy, yet classic way to evoke the past. Bring back the era of yesteryear with vintage photographs of a cherished bride and groom. First, scan in your image, retouch if necessary in a photo editing program and print out onto glossy card stock (roughly 9 inches in height, depending on the size of your cake). Then, glue the image to the foam core with rubber cement (the rubber cement will keep your image from bubbling). With an Exacto knife, cut neatly all around the image. Then, vertically affix the two chopsticks to the back of the image at least one inch apart with the tape. This will be inserted into the cake to hold the topper up. Hide the back of your cake topper by gluing ribbons to create a garland or even a veil. Once finished, insert into the cake.

ma 1/4-inch foam core. Exacto knife. Vintage photograph of a bride and teri groom. Craft glue. Rubber cement. Ribbon. Tape. Two chopsticks. als:


Scent of a Princess Smell like a traditional bride of the old Moghul courts with Crabtree & Evelyn’s Iris Eau de Toilette, $45. A lightweight fragrance where the root of the iris flower, orris, is exquisitely blended with patchouli, sandalwood and a hint of fresh vetiver; the scent will remind you of the maharani that you really are. Crabtree-evelyn.com

The Bridal Toolkit YOUR WEDDING IS THE TIME TO SHINE, AND WE HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO JUST THAT. AT BIBI MAGAZINE, WE ARE ON A CONSTANT SEARCH FOR COSMETICS THAT COMPLIMENT SOUTH ASIAN SKIN. THIS YEAR, WE ARE DEDICATING THIS SECTION TO PRODUCTS THAT NOT ONLY GET THE JOB DONE, BUT HAVE GREEN, ORGANIC AND HEALTHY ATTRIBUTES. WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR SKIN, IN YOUR HAIR OR AROUND YOUR EYES SHOULD BE ENLIVENING AND HEALTHFUL. GO ORGANIC, LOOK BEAUTIFUL AND LAVISH THE ATTENTION YOU SO RIGHTFULLY DESERVE!

Stretch Calculus

Elastology® combines this natural and symbolic ingredient with an exclusive blend of vitamins and antioxidants to create a system for younger, radiant and glowing skin. We are enamored by the effectiveness of the Sacred Lotus Eye Science, $35, to reduce puffiness, bags and dark circles. Equally effective is the Optiderm Natural Skin Brightening Complex, $60, to give skin a luminous glow, while the Lotus Firming Serum, $75, packs a powerful punch of clinically proven ingredients for firmer and younger looking skin. Clientele.org/elastology.php

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Product photos by Siddharth Gupta; Bride by Mike Dempsey

Clientele, a company that fuses ancient eastern and modern western science, has developed a line of products, Elastology®, to address the loss of elasticity in the skin that age, stress and injury present. Lotus seeds, commonly referred to in Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist poems and sutras, have the ability to blossom after laying dormant for up to 1,000 years!


Theories of Night Cream It’s no secret that your body heals itself while you sleep. After searching through countless creams, we came across Jurlique’s Herbal Recovery Night Cream, $48. Its deliberate use of herbal extracts and antioxidant-rich nutrients provides an overnight boost for skin. One such ingredient is the beech tree bud extract, which has many South Asian roots. The tree lives for hundreds of years in both extremely hot and cold areas of the world because of its dermal fluidity. Blended with other equally powerful ingredients, the cream results in long-lasting hydration. Jurlique.com

Shower Power Whether your hair is curly, kinky or super straight, finding the right shampoo and conditioner is the first step to manageable locks. The Essentious Haircare System, $45/set, guarantees results with its all-natural ingredients. The system includes four products: Exonerate Sulfate Free Shampoo, Rejuvenate Strengthening Protein Treatment, Hydrate Conditioning Moisture Shine-Daily and Treatment Moisturizer. Used together as one system, they work in conjunction with one another, resulting in manageable, shiny and healthy hair. The system has been specially developed for all hair types. Essentious.com

Breakout Ban Stress causing you to break out before your the big day? The three-step Dermera Skin Cleansing System will help calm skin and reduce acne. Natural-based Dermera products blend South African rooibos/black willowbark (ayurvedic) with medicinal ingredients to heal breakouts while maintaining moisture: Step One with Cleanse Gentle Cleanser, Step Two with Refresh Gentle Astringent and Step Three with Renew Acne Serum and Moisture Complex. Use twice a day and you’ll notice results within one week of treatment, $29. Dermera.com

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Chocolaty Skin Brown skin has been a blessing for South Asian women. Its exotic appeal is why we have chosen a product that accentuates the sentiment. With an organic composition of familiar ingredients (almond oil, organic chocolate, honey) and chocolaty decadence, Bodykör’s Chocolate Macadamia Mask, $75, 2 oz, infuses skin with an intense boost of moisture and glow without any greasy residue. It comes in a small bottle as only a small amount is needed to achieve results. Bodykor.com

Skin Technology 101 An amazing technological advance in skincare, LightStim, $299, is a genuine beauty breakthrough. Using LED lights inspired by effective skin treatments by physicians, LightStim reduces wrinkles and fine lines while boosting collagen and elastin production. You simply expose your skin to the light for three minutes a day for eight weeks. Clinical trials have shown that the specially balanced LED lights can improve the texture of the skin, reduce pore size and restore skin’s radiance and youthful appearance with no observed side-effects. Bibi Editors who tried the device also saw results. LightStim.com

Skin Technology 102 Another great technological advance, Clarisonic Plus Skin Care System and Spot Therapy Kit comes with the new Clarisonic Plus with Body Brush, $225. Using the same technology behind Sonicare toothbrushes, the system comes with three cleansers, Refreshing Gel Cleanser, Nourishing Care Cleanser and a Gentle Hydro Cleanser, as well as a Refining Skin Polish. Use the rotating brush to apply the lotions deep into the dermis and expect deeply cleaned, exfoliated and nourished skin. In time, this at-home spa system will leave your skin looking younger, brighter and more radiant. Switch out the smaller brush with the Body Brush and use on your elbows, knees and back for refined body skin. For older skin looking for right-now results, Clarisonic’s Opal Sonic Infusion, $245, uses a sonic micro-massage with a proprietary Anti-Aging Sea Serum that starts to work immediately on fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll see results after the very first treatment, and regular use provides a long-lasting decrease in lined skin. Designed to be used around the eyes, the Opal Sonic Infusion is perfect for the mother of the bride seeking a refreshed look. Each package lasts for 90 days and Anti-Aging Sea Serum Dispenser Caps can be purchased separately afterwards. Clarisonic.com

Wedding Weight Loss Weddings are a great opportunity to get into shape and into your wedding outfit. Medical technology has now created a weight loss method that doesn’t require invasive surgery or unusual regimens. Doctors at Slim Concepts use the magic of low glycemic index foods and intravenous supplementation (fancy way of saying “shots”) of multiple B vitamins to create natural ketosis in your body. Patients have been known to lose 20-25 pounds per month. More importantly, because of the natural process of this method, you will have great skin and health. It works within weeks while boosting your energy levels. Email Dr Shivinder Narwal at Snarwal@msn.com for more information. 30


Concealer Conceptions Concealers are miracle products that can cover any surprise blemish or unsightly tattoo. Dermablend Cover Crème $33, is a wonder concealer because of its thick coverage and stay-put formula. It comes in many different tones of color to support the various browns that exist throughout the subcontinent, making it a perfect choice for wedding day perfection. It also acts as a terrific sunscreen with SPF 30. Dermablend is a world-renowned leader of corrective makeup and can be used all over your body. Dermablend.com

Bronzed FX’s Mineral Bronzing Powder


Third-Eye Shadows South Asian culture has a powerful infatuation with eyes. The manner in which we decorate, color and accent them garners various forms of attention to our elegant outfits and to us. These particular eyeshadows are mineral-based with high-intensity pigments. With them, you will stand out without taking a hit to your budget. It seems that the gilded age is back in a very large way. If you want to enjoy these sparkling treasures and have no idea how to apply more dramatic makeup, Black Opal’s Mineral Mosaic Gold Galaxy, $8.95, offers a palette ranging from pale gold to burnished brown for fool-proof golden eyes. Black Opal’s Mineral Mosaic Zanzibar, $8.95, offers a range of purples and grays for a more dramatic look that enhances darker colored irises. It’s as easy as painting by numbers. Blackopalbeauty.com

A brief look at Purminerals’s Perfect Fit Trio Dessert Sky, $21, gives you an idea of the unique blend of pigments used to make incredible eyeshadows. With earthy illumination, Dessert Sky offers three compatible colors that instantly enhance brown and black eye colors in a singular container perfect for honeymoon travel. Purminerals.com

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Product photos by Siddharth Gupta; Model Khatera by Joel Bieder

Spice is an international phenomenon. It has the power to change a normally ordinary thing into a burst of energy and flavor. Chamak Cosmetics developed by Sarah Ali of Houston’s The Transformation Studio has created a line of mineral eyeshadows based on the colors in a spice rack. The Spice Rack Collection, $8-15 each, consists of colors such as Tezpatha, a luxurious pale gold; Katha, a rich shimmery red and our favorite; Kalimirch, a smoky sparkle black. Check out the website for a full range of mineral-based makeup that has been designed especially for South Asian skin. Chamakmakeup.com


The Aura

of

SOLAH SHRINGAR IS THE AGE-OLD TRADITION OF ADORNING A BRIDE WITH SIXTEEN ORNAMENTS AS SHE STEPS INTO MARRIED LIFE. SIXTEEN IS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER AMONG SOUTH ASIANS AS IT CORRESPONDS WITH THE SIXTEEN PHASES OF THE MOON, WHICH IN TURN IS CONNECTED WITH A WOMAN’S MONTHLY CYCLE. ALSO, A GIRL OF SIXTEEN IS CONSIDERED TO BE AT THE BEGINNING OF WOMANLY PERFECTION. THEREFORE, THE PRACTICE OF SOLAH SHRINGAR IS EXCLUSIVE TO GIRLS WHO HAVE CROSSED OVER INTO WOMANHOOD AND ARE ABOUT TO STEP INTO MARRIED LIFE. IT IS THE EPITOME OF FEMININITY.

By Vandana Arora Upon the very first glance at a bride, one notices the prominent first shringar, the bindi. This dot signifies the mystical third eye, the channel of supreme wisdom as regarded by Hindus. It now comes in many shapes, sizes and designs and is worn for fashion, but a new bride wears it to symbolize matrimony. The second shringar is red sindoor, or vermilion. Sprinkled in the hair parting near the forehead, it is a clear and definitive symbol of a woman’s marital status, thus making her out of bounds for anyone else. Third is the tika that hangs gracefully over the sindoor. The tika is usually made of gold and is the symbol of fortune. Fourth is kajal, or kohl, lined around the eyes. Its application transforms the eyes into a central, expressive feature. Fifth is the nath, or nose ring. Traditionally, a bride is supposed to wear a nath on her wedding day as a symbol of her virginity. Removing it on subsequent days denotes the consummation of her relationship. The nose ring is supported by a chain that connects it to the bride’s hairline. It can be adorned with pearls and other precious gems. 34

This page: Amish Thakkar; Opposite page, clockwise from top: Rick Mapes, Amish Thakkar, Rick Mapes, Mangalsutras, Anjali Bhargava

Solah Shringar


Beautifully crafted necklaces are the sixth shringar. The most important, however, is the mangalsutra, a well-known symbol of matrimony. Made of gold and black beads, the purpose of this striking black necklace is to distract jealous eyes and bad omens from the wearer. The seventh shringar is the jhumka, or earring. These detailed and intricate ornaments are worn on the ears and are supported by gold chains. Earrings can also be worn in the form of balis or kundalas. The bride’s hair is adorned with flowers, the eighth shringar. Their aromas are supposed to keep the bride beautifully scented so as to heighten her husband’s attraction. The ninth shringar is the mehndi applied on her arms, hands and feet. The tradition of applying henna paste in intricate designs is considered to bring forth fertility and happiness. A common belief is that the darker the mehndi, the stronger the love in the marriage. Sometimes the groom’s name is incorporated into the bride’s complex mehndi designs, and trying to find it is a fun ice-breaking task for a couple. The armlet, or bazubandh, worn on the upper arm is the tenth, and it is meant to protect the bride on her wedding day from unlucky omens. This comes from the traditional practice of tying a small pouch of camphor with a string on the upper arm as defense against airborne germs. Along with the armlet, the hathphool, or gold hand ornament, is another shringar for the wedding day. It consists of a central medallion with three chains attached to a bracelet and five to each of the fingers secured through rings. The hathphool symbolizes the enormity of the powers of the five goddesses who help the bride protect her new family. Chooriyan, or bangles, are the most visible sign of a married woman and are the twelfth shringar. Although in ancient times they represented loss of freedom, bangles are now ornaments that are colorful, graceful and festive. A bride’s body is supposed to seduce her new husband, so it is enhanced by donning a sari or

Payal and toe ring, Goldpalace.com. Mangalsutras, SonaJewelers.com

lehnga. As the thirteenth shringar, these bridal dresses are worn in shades of red or gold. The waistband, or kamarband, is the fourteenth shringar. It is made of gold and can be embedded with various stones and diamonds. The anklet, or payal, is the playful fifteenth shringar. The anklet can be as simple as a chain or as elaborate as thick rings of silver with attachments of small round bells. The sounds from these bells are believed to ward off evil and also to warn men of the coming presence of a woman. The last shringar is the bichuas, or toe rings, worn on the second toes of both feet. Usually silver bands, these are exclusive to married women, allegedly increasing desire for their husbands by pressing on appropriate nerve endings. A woman is comparable to a goddess on her wedding day, and the solah shringar ensure that she looks like one. Colors, designs and patterns may change, but the aura of these meaningful traditions still hold deep meaning today. 35


Vivek Oberoi and Priyanka Alva

October 29th, 2010

Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi tied the nuptial knot with Priyanka Alva, daughter of former Karnataka minister, late Jeevaraj Alva and reputed dancer Nandini, at a ceremony held at the bride’s residence in Bengaluru. The wedding saw a touch of traditional Punjabi exuberance and the cultural beauty of coastal Karnataka. The day was marked by a series of rituals, keeping with Indian traditions. Vivek looked dazzling in a maroon brocade sherwani while the bride wore a lehnga with heavy intricate gold work, set off by heirloom jewelry with rubies. Both outfits were designed by Tarun Tahiliani.

Katy Perry and Russell Brand

October 23, 2010

Singer Katy Perry married actor Russell Brand at the Aman-e-Khas wildlife retreat at Ranthambhore National Park in northwestern India, the heart of Rajasthan’s countryside. The 80-guest wedding included Katy dressed in a wedding sari with henna applied to her hands, while Indian-clothed Russell arrived in a baraat procession featuring camels, elephants and horses, as well as Indian dancers and musicians. The stars reps confirmed in a statement, “The very private and spiritual ceremony, attended by the couples’ closest family and friends, was performed by a Christian minister and longtime friend of the Hudson Family. The Angelina Jolie backdrop was the inspirational and majestic countryand Brad Pitt side of Northern India.” Valentine’s Day 2011? Security was tight during the six-day celebration, Indian newspapers such as which ended with a tour of a tiger sanctuary by the the Hindustan Times are entire wedding party. The resort and its reporting that Brangelina is grounds were illuminated with lamps and considering tying the knot colorful lights. also in Rajasthan come this Valentine’s Day. Allegedly, the wedding will be held in Jodhpur, a town known for its palaces. Konkona Sen Gurudev Ramlalji Siyag, an 83-year-old and Ranvir Shorey mystic, is reported to have taught the stars September 3, 2010. yoga and meditation techniques during his US Konkona Sen, most known for her roles in tour. They are now understood to be planning independent Indian movies, tied the knot a Hindu wedding at the guru’s Adhyatma with her long-term boyfriend Ranvir Vigyan Satsang Kendraashram next month. Shorey at a private ceremony held in Mumbai. The Reps for the couple have denied comment. Bengali bride wore a traditional sari with her grandmother’s heirloom jewels, while the groom was dressed in his Punjabi best. Konkona, daughter of Bengali filmmaker and actress Aparna Sen, is known for her roles in Mr & Mrs Iyer, Page 3, Life… In A Metro and Wake Up Sid. Ranvir made his mark with films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Mixed Doubles. After the wedding, Konkona tweeted, “Hey guys. Ranvir and I got married on the 3rd. Thanks for all the good wishes! Goodnight.” While Ranbir tweeted, “We wanted you to read it here first but… we got married! Yay.” He added, “The best wish/advice I’ve received on marriage so far: Congratulations! Don’t do it again.” ø

Vivek Oberoi and Priyank Alva photo courtesy of alagukanthavel.blogspot.com

Celebrity Weddings 36

WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDINGS, EVEN THE MOST CELEBRATED OF COUPLES TEND TO REMAIN TRUE TO THEIR CULTURAL ROOTS. ALTHOUGH HOLLYWOOD AND BOLLYWOOD A-LISTERS ARE LOOKING MORE TO INDIA FOR A MEANINGFUL BRIDAL EXPERIENCE, LOOKING AT THE LIST OF HIGH PROFILE WEDDINGS THIS YEAR, IT SEEMS THAT TRADITION REMAINS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF MODERN WEDDINGS. Compiled by Gurmeet Taluja


Invitations 2011

A Look Ahead

BEAUTIFUL AND WELL-WRITTEN INVITATIONS NOT ONLY SET THE TONE OF THE WEDDING, BUT ARE ALSO MEMORABLE KEEPSAKES OF THE JOYOUS EVENT. HERE IS A QUICK LOOK AT THE ASSORTMENT OF INVITES THAT ARE HOT IN THE SOUTH ASIAN-AMERICAN BRIDAL INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW. ON-TREND INVITATIONS OF 2011 CATER TO COUPLES WHO, MUCH LIKE THEIR WEDDINGS, WANT A CULTIVATED BLEND OF RICH EASTERN HERITAGE WITH WESTERN ELEGANCE AND STYLE. YOUR PRINTED INVITATION WILL BE THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF YOUR IMPENDING WEDDING. A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED INVITATION WILL CREATE THE ANTICIPATION AND EXCITEMENT THAT YOUR GUESTS WILL BRING TO YOUR SPECIAL DAY.

2011 Trends: Custom monograms: Print it on everything, from the save-the-date card to the invitation to the programs, menu cards and placecards. Put it on your wedding website, your cake and in the lighting design. Antique textile patterns that subtly reflect the rich heritage of the east combined with modern western fonts and images. Tints: Subtle ethnic artwork tinted behind the invitation dialogue. Hot color trends: Peony pink contrasted with a deep chocolate brown and antique gold; regal purple and grass green; traditional gold embellished with glitter in the ink; deep reds and rich burgundy; burnt orange and mocha. Theme Weddings: Use your invite as the start of your amazing event.

Who to Invite To make the process of managing invitations efficient and inclusive, create two guest lists. Call them Guest List A and Guest List B. People on the A-list are those who are of significant importance to you and must certainly be invited. Guest List B folks are those who you would like to invite if there were more space, but they are not of highest priority. First send invitations to everyone on Guest List A. Based on the responses you get from them, you can invite people from Guest List B. This gives you the opportunity to make sure that while all the vital people are definitely invited, just in case somebody cannot make it, you can include someone else. If an invitee fills in a greater number of persons than invited, a member of the bridal party (or wedding planner) could be assigned to call and let them know that seating was limited (“although we wish we could invite the whole family!”). All invitations this page are by Patel Printing Plus

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Sharon Patel co-owns Patel Printing Plus Corp. in Union, NJ with her husband, Jawahar. They have been serving South Asian brides and their families for over 20 years. Patel Printing Plus is the only printing company in the US that specializes in the on-premise design and printing of unique, ethnic wedding invitations that blend elements of east and west. Available via mail order: 800.801.PRINT, Patel3Plus@aol.com.


Sample RSVP Card The favor of a reply is requested by the twelfth of March

invitee fills in name

M________________________________ ____seats are reserved in your honor __will attend __will not attend Number of persons____ Please indicate dinner preference: __Indian Vegetarian __Chicken Marsala __Salmon en Croute 322.555.1234 amee@yahoo.com

you fill in number of invitees

invitee fills intention and number of attendees

your contact information for questions, clarification All invitations this page are by The Invite

Sample Mehndi / Sangeet Card

Sample Dinner Card

Dinner Reception on Saturday the sixteenth of April two thousand and eleven at half past seven o’clock at Hotel D’Argent New York, New York Black Tie Optional

Tacky! Plain and Simple No-Nos: • • • •

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Envelopes addressed with labels Xeroxed direction sheets Unstamped response cards E-vites without a printed and mailed card

You are invited to join us for

Garba and Pre-Wedding Festivities of Mehndi and Sangeet on Friday, the Fifteenth of April at six o’clock in the evening at the Hindu Cultural Center New York, New York


Sample Reception Card You are invited to the

Valima celebrating the marriage of

Tariq and Mannat on Saturday, the twelfth of March two thousand and eleven at half past seven o’clock in the evening at the Pleasantdale Chateau West Orange, New Jersey

Elements to Consider: Paper: Consider the texture, color and weight of the paper. Ink: It can be raised (thermography) or flat. The ink color can also be enhanced with the addition of glitter. Font selection: Is your wedding contemporary or traditional? The same look can be achieved with the use of fonts. Graphic elements: The symbols, monograms and borders you choose can also reflect the style of your wedding. The wording: This will help set the tone; is it traditional formal, traditional casual, themed or contemporary? The packaging: Which envelope, stamp and style of calligraphy will you choose?

Recommended Timeline • 6 months before wedding: Order and mail Savethe-Date cards • 4-5 months: Order invitations. Include 25 extra invitations and envelopes to allow for errors and expanded guest lists • 12 weeks: Send Guest List A invitation with a 3-week RSVP time period • 8 weeks: Send Guest List B invitations with a 4-week RSVP time period

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Bina and Eddie Houston, December 12

Resources (Houston) A&A Video Productions; SB Image Studios; Design Wedding Planners Mandap Creations; The Perfect Touch Linens; Weddings in Bloom; More Than Cakes The Original Henna Company; Empire Faces; DJ Impact for DBI; Patel Printing Plus

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Although Bina was from Houston and Eddie lived in Columbus, Ohio, the two actually met in law school in Michigan. Introduced by a mutual friend, the pair instantly knew that they were soul mates and began dating for the remainder of law school, promising each other that they would get married once both of them passed the bar exam. After graduating, Bina moved back to Houston and Eddie left for Columbus, where they separately studied for, took and passed their respective bar exams. Soon, job offers followed and so did the announcement of their engagement to friends and family. Bina had always dreamed of a fairytale wedding and was insistent on incorporating both her Pakistani heritage and Eddie’s Palestinian culture in the ceremonies. Since the wedding date was set only four months in advance, the bride enlisted the help of her sister, Bibi Magazine’s Zeb Mamsa, an expert in South Asian weddings. Anticipating the intense timeline ahead, Zeb inherently knew that they would need a wedding planner to assist them with all of the detailed arrangements. Shena Cherian and Jennifer Gutierrez of Design Wedding Planners were brought on board to orchestrate the fanfare. Since it was the first wedding in their family and many extended family members, including all of the groom’s side, were traveling to Houston for the wedding, the bride’s parents planned a week-long celebration to unite the two families. The festivities kicked off with a family dinner and was followed the next day by a mayoon/haldi ceremony held at the home of the bride’s parents. Guests were greeted by a house brilliantly lit with white lights and golden and orange lanterns hanging in the garden. A large white tent was put up in the backyard to host an amazing Indo-Chinese dinner. The bride and her friends were all treated to intricately designed henna patterns on their hands by the Original Henna Company.

The nikah ceremony was held earlier in the day at Villa Rinata, Houston before the mehndi party. During the nikah, the bride wore a traditional Pakistani gold and cream beaded gharara designed by the bride’s mother, while the groom donned a traditional Arab gown and white keffiyah and agal (headdress). Around his neck, he wore a “Free Palestine” flag. After the nikah, guests were served Persian date cookies and almond milkshakes before heading upstairs to the mehndi festivities and a Persian and Pakistani buffet dinner. As the guests dined, Bina changed into a gold and sea-green churidaar while the groom put on a brown kurta and white pajama. The night was filled with song and dance as Eddie’s family performed traditional Palestinian dances, and the bride’s family and friends let loose with Bollywood choreography. The wedding reception of 400 people was held on Saturday in the grand ballroom of the Renaissance Houston Hotel. Decorations of silver and maroon decked the reception. Each floral centerpiece was custom designed with maroon miniature calla lilies, hot pink roses and black magic roses. The room glowed by candlelight while ambient LED lighting gave the room a soft pink hue. Bina wanted to make sure there was nothing ordinary about this special reception. She chose a unique brownish maroon lehnga with antique silver details and beading for her bridal outfit. Eddie wore a cream-colored, modern sherwani with slacks. The magical evening started off with mocktails and hors d’oeuvres and ended with a parade of glamorous cakes, with each guest served a mini cake. A candy bar was also set up with all types of treats. It was a sweet ending to an extraordinary night. The weeklong celebration ended with a family brunch hosted by Bina’s mother at their home as the happy couple took off to Puerto Rico for their honeymoon. ø


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Sonia and Andrew New York City, December 31

Resources (New York) Sara Wight Photography; Catering by Events by Devi

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This past New Year’s not only ushered in 2011, but it also celebrated the marriage of Sonia Tolani and Andrew David Goodwillie. The ceremony and celebration was held at Studio 450 loft in New York City. A versatile event space overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Studio 450 provided the backdrop for a small gathering of both sides. With views of New York and the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, guests were excited to celebrate the matrimony and the new year! Sonia, a second-year cardiology fellow at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital, graduated from Indiana University. The daughter of Roshini Tolani and Nirmal Tolani of Naperville, Il and Pune, India, Sonia represented South Asia via her Sindhi heritage. Her father is the chief executive of Taco Hendrickson Suspensions, a vehicle suspension manufacturer in Pune. Her mother is a successful real estate agent. Andrew, an orthopedic chief resident at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, graduated from Yale. The son of Ann and David Goodwillie of Skillman, NJ, Andrew and his fellow Scotts represented his heritage by wearing traditional Scottish kilts. His father, now retired, was the vice president for global planning of Mars, the candy company. The couple met one another in medical school. Andrew admits that he would always struggle with his microscope and slides, and it was Sonia who would come over and help him appropriately stain and interpret them. Their love for one another was only beginning, as they both noticed the flirtatious tension growing between them. Sonia recalls thinking, after attending a couple of parties together, “This guy Andrew’s really pretty cute.”

Soon they were dating, despite busy schedules and distance. In 2009, they officially announced their engagement after a momentous act of heroism by Dr. Tolani. One day while Sonia was riding the subway home, a passenger collapsed with a heart attack. She quickly sprung to action and administered CPR, reviving the passenger and saving his life. Andrew reciprocated his appreciation for her heroism by solidifying their communion with an engagement ring. December 31, 2010 arrived and the wedding of Andrew Goodwillie and Sonia Tolani was an inspiring display of two cultures merging together. Decorated with bronze elephants, peacocks and sacred cows, the loft exuberated a beautiful essence. The gathering was small, but incredibly detailed in many of its handcrafted designs. Men donned Scottish kilts while women wore spectacular saris. Events by Devi spirited the gathering with specifically created dishes that catered to both cultures. Fiona J. Blank, Andrew’s sister, officiated the marriage as a Universal Life Minister. She attained the honor in order to officiate her brother’s wedding. The combination of Scottish and Sindhi heritage was on vivid display throughout the loft. From the food, the decorations and to the conversations, both sides enjoyed immersing themselves in both sides of the couple’s cultures. By the time everyone got around to dancing and celebrating, it was January 1, 2011! With New Year’s Eve favours in hand coupled with wedding cake and champagne, guests welcomed in the new decade and a new life for Sonia and Andrew. On a funny note, we are sure that no one, including Sonia and Andrew, will ever have to worry about anyone forgetting their wedding anniversary! ø


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Capturing the Moment PICKING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER IS AS IMPORTANT AS CHOOSING THE PERFECT WEDDING DRESS. YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO CAN CAPTURE PRICELESS MOMENTS. HERE ARE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM COUPLES-TO-BE.

By Amish Thakkar (PPA, ICP)

What is a good timeline to choose a photographer? Start at least six months before the wedding. Research websites and ask for referrals from family, friends and the event staff at your wedding venue. Do I need to give a list of all the shots I want? If you have hired a reputable professional photographer, s/he will cover most standard shots. A good idea is to also supply headshots of your important relatives and friends so that the photographer can recognize them at the wedding. How much money should we spend on our wedding pictures? Statistics say you should spend approximately 15% of your overall wedding budget on your photography. As with every thing else, you get what you pay for. There is also a lot of talent out there; sometimes it is just a question of finding a diamond in the rough. 48

How many shots will the photographer take at our wedding? After a seven-to-eight hour day, you should have at least 200 to 400 images. The more images you get back, the harder it will be to narrow the selection down for your final wedding album.

Qualities to Expect PROFESSIONALISM: From the time you set your first appointment, take note of how you are treated and the photographer’s professional behavior and environment. PORTFOLIO: You must see the photographer’s previous work. Ask to see pictures from an entire wedding, preferably an album or a set of proofs from a recent wedding. You can also ask for references of previous clients. SERVICE FOR THE PRICE: Find out everything about the service, such as the number of hours of the photographer’s time included in the price, what the overtime rate is and how many images you will get back. Ask about reprints, extra albums, wall portraits, frames, etc. You can often negotiate a better deal up front for extras than if you wait until after the wedding. ENGAGEMENT SESSION: I recommend this to all my clients. The engagement session is a casual portrait session done with your photographer months before the wedding. It is a great way to get

Amish Thakkar

What is the single most important question I can ask when interviewing wedding photographers? “Are you the person who will photograph my wedding?” Make sure that the person you are meeting is the one who will show up at your wedding, not someone else assigned to the task. The photographer’s personality, rapport and comfortability s/he shares with you are critical. You are investing in this person’s vision, creativity, professionalism, character and sensitivity. Ask yourself if you would invite them as a guest because that is exactly what you are doing.


to know your photographer and see yourself on film before the actual wedding. BACKUP EQUIPMENT: No matter what type of equipment your photographer uses, 35 mm or medium format, s/he should have backup equipment available on your wedding day. Cameras do break; not having backup is not an option. CONTRACT: Once you agree on price and other details, make sure you have it in writing. A contract protects both you and your photographer. Items outlined in the contract should include the photographer’s name, total price, what that price includes and other information you deem necessary. If your photographer doesn’t have a standard contract, insist on looking elsewhere. PROPER WORKING ATTIRE: You should be prepared to communicate what you expect the photographer to wear at the wedding. Understanding the dress code will enable him or her to blend into the crowd and appear less obtrusive. CONDUCT: You should expect your photographer to be well organized and punctual. S/he should keep all appointments and promptly return phone calls. On the wedding day, s/he must be appropriately dressed and maintain a pleasant attitude. PROOF TURNAROUND: Two to four weeks after the wedding is when you can expect to get your proofs. You can also ask your photographer if s/he can provide proofs online so friends and family from around the world can see. ALBUMS AND PRINTS: The time it takes to process albums and prints varies from photographer to photographer. Expect pictures in 10 to 12 weeks. The size of your order, number of albums, extent of re-touching required and framing affect the time taken to complete an order. ø

Styles of Photography • • • • • •

PORTRAITURE PHOTOJOURNALISM BLACK AND WHITE COLOR IMAGES ACTION SHOTS DETAILED SHOTS

• • • • • •

SEPIA-TONED INFRARED HAND-TINTED FISH EYE LENS REVERSE COLOR CANDIDS


Deep Love and Reshma

by Fatima Yamin

Produced by

Ayesha Hakki

Photographed by Siddharth Gupta Jewelry: Raj Jewelers, Rajjewelsusa.com Clothes: Ginni’s Boutique. Ginnisboutique.com Location: Gytha 1384 Lexington, NYC H&M: Ginni Jaggi and Shara Weintraub

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IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? No, but we do have a physician assistant… er… associate, and she’s usually more doctor then you can handle. Meet Reshma Shetty, cast as Divya Katdare, the firecracker star of USA Network’s Royal Pains. This statuesque beauty has taken our televisions by storm, not just for charismatic tele-presence, but because she represents the duality and dilemmas of every South Asian girl who has grown up in the west, trying to accommodate parents by upholding their eastern values. In the show, Divya is expected to marry big, work in the family business, maintain an extensive lunch schedule, but her heart beats in her little medic truck she runs for HankMed. And as much as she tries to make it work with her fiancé Raj, there always seem to be steamier distractions. Meanwhile, Reshma’s own life couldn’t be further from the cliché. In her own life-imitates-art moment, Reshma did start out by enrolling in a pre-med program, but soon she discovered her voice. Several vocal competitions and degrees later, Reshma landed the female lead in the touring company of Bombay Dreams. It’s there she was to meet her future husband, Deep Katdare, the star of the iconic hit movie, American Desi. With a wedding planned for March 2011, Reshma talks to Bibi about being an actor, half of an engaged couple and the upcoming nuptials.

You’re in the middle of planning your wedding. Is it going to be a “Big Fat Desi Wedding?” It will be more of a western wedding, but I am having a mehndi on Thursday night for the ladies. There will be a rehearsal dinner on Friday for our inner circle. Saturday will be the wedding, in NYC, with about 200 people. My wedding planner is still toying with themes, but I envision cherry blossoms and candles.

Will you be wearing traditional Indian red? Actually, I am Bunt like Aishwarya Rai, so I must get married in any color but red! My wedding outfit is going to be a traditional South Indian Kanjivaram sari. I will change after the ceremony into something glitzier! Deep will be in a sherwani and perhaps a turban according to my family’s custom, but we are still in the convincing stages of that operation. So what's the love story? It’s very funny, and for me started quite a few years before we even met. I was in college and on a visit home my mother told me she had a movie she wanted me to watch called American Desi, so that I would be able to reflect on my own “anti-Indian” behavior. Five years later, I was finishing grad school and had been invited to NYC to audition for a possible Priya replacement for the London production of Bombay Dreams. The day before the audition I thought it would be a good idea to watch the show on Broadway. Afterwards, I


A MOMENT OF LOVE: Reshma is wearing a net sari from the Sagar Mehra Collection from Ginni’s Boutique. Deep looks regal in a Shobhit Arora sherwani also from Ginni’s Boutique. His necklace is from Gytha. 51


saw the actor who played the villain walking away from the theater, and I realized that it was that guy from that movie American Desi. Well, call it women’s intuition, but I knew I would know this man. About 12 months later, I was cast as Priya in the first national tour of the show, and when I walked into the rehearsal space, who is standing there but Deep. He would go on to the play the role he premiered on Broadway, which ironically was that of my fiancé! Bibi would love to know how Deep proposed! Deep surprised me one morning on his way to work. As he fell to one knee, and I realized he was going to propose, all I could think was how horrible I looked, and why on earth was he choosing this moment. So after I said yes, and he put the ring on my finger, he told me why he had woken me up. He had a weekend in Paris booked, and we were leaving that evening at 7pm, so I had better start packing. It was so beautiful; he knew I had never been to Paris. Also, he got me the exact Tiffany setting diamond pictured on all the ads on the sides of NYC buses! I’d hinted forever, and I got it! And how was the Paris trip? We hit the ground running and in two days we went to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph and Notre Dame. Some of Deep’s close friends live in Paris, so we got to hang out with people who really knew the city. We had a great time and ate the best crepes and drank the best wine! I did come back with a sense that I was not very ladylike, as all the women in Paris looked as if they are parading down runways, even for trips to the grocery stores. I had a week of highend dressing after that, but that quickly dissipated after I started missing my sweats… and my sanity! I love that your fiancé shares the same last name as your character on Royal Pains. Will you be officially changing to Katdare, or will you remain a Shetty? Well my screen name will be Reshma Shetty, but I will be hyphenating in real life. How did Royal Pains come about? The usual way— I went into NBC to audition, I got the call-back, then got flown to LA for the screen test, then landed the pilot. It has all blown up since then. I mean to go from a pilot, to a series, to a second season, to ratings reaching 8 million was not expected, but I am so blessed to be part of USA Network and to be a part of such an amazing show. 52

How has your family reacted to your non-traditional career choices? For me the change was fated, but convincing my parents was a little more difficult. My father was very upset, but I told him that I knew if I did not at least try, I would regret it for the rest of my life. They are like any typical desi parents, they want the best for their children and a career in the sciences is all they know, but they have never stopped me from doing anything I have wanted. I think that’s a matter of trust. After your non-traditional career choices, I’d love to hear their reaction when you picked "a nice Indian boy” as your mate? Hah! That’s assuming that he is a "nice Indian boy!" Of course, I am joking! Right after our third anniversary, Deep came to see my folks and ask for my hand in marriage. Daddy was very happy, but I think they were really going to be fine with anyone I wanted to marry. I have to say that I had never really dated an Indian guy before and truly never expected myself to marry one. Has the Home vs. Work debate come up between you and Deep? Deep is someone who knows and understands how important and how fragile this type of career can be, and he has never asked me to give up something I love to be a housewife. We definitely want a family; we both know it will be dependent on me as I have to carry the babies, but he has never been the type of guy to pressure me to ignore my trajectory. We are a team. Would you like to work with Deep again? He is one of my favorite co-stars. On tour, he was the most professional actor on stage. In moments of comedy due to line dropping or disasters on stage, I would be a wreck, laughing away; Deep was always in the moment, always to be counted on. Any advice for a long-lasting relationship? I am not sure if I am qualified to answer this as we have only been together for four years. I think with us, we just have a deep love for the other. That does not mean we do not dislike the other or get angry at times, but we always return to the core of why we are together. I think my best advice would be to know that there will be ups and downs in your relationship, and there will be moments when you do not understand your partner but expect to always work through things. If he is willing to communicate and work through your issues together, you are on a good path. I do not think relationships are very easy, especially when you are in the entertainment business, but if you have mutual respect and see your partnership as a team, then you can get through everything and live a happy life. I never think of Deep as my other half, he is an addition to my life, and I believe he feels the same. ø


A NIGHT OUT: Reshma wears a Parvesh Jai lehnga from Ginni’s Boutique. Her diamond necklace set with matching earrings is from Raj Jewelers, 7ct total weight diamonds set on 18kt gold. Deep wears a Shobhit Arora sherwani also from Ginni’s Boutique. 53


This page: Reshma relaxes in a Parvesh Jai lehnga from Ginni’s Boutique. Her necklace set is 18kt gold with 7.5ct total weight diamonds. The bracelets are antique-style, 22kt gold set with polki diamonds and meenakari work, all from Raj Jewelers. Opposite page: The star wears a Parvesh Jai bridal lehnga from Ginni’s Boutique. Her necklace set from Raj Jewelers is 22kt gold encrusted with pearls, black stone, emerald, peridot, citrine and tourmaline.

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Easy Elegance Perhaps because of the recession, all-out bling has been subdued to a more refined elegance where simplicity had become the decade’s luxurious mantra. Poshak Fashion & Style defines this new direction.

Produced by Sameera Faridi Photography by Allen Henson Clothes: Poshak Fashion & Style, Houston, 713.532.3232 56


Opposite page: Pure chiffon and crystal suit with churidaar. Earrings are crystal set in silver. This page: Net churidaar and flare shirt with appliquĂŠ work.

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Poshak Exclusive Collection. Opposite page: Two-tone farshi gharara with antique zari. This page: silk lehnga with Moghul zari and crystal work.

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Aijazz Aslam flare pantsuit with dabka and crystal embroidery on neckline.

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Ask the

Experts

Let Them Eat Cake What brought you to the business of gourmet cakes? I’ve always loved cooking so right out of high school, I went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY for baking and pastry. I interned at the Borgata Casino and then, at the age of 19, I became the á la carte pastry chef at The Manor. After working 80-100 hour weeks and giving up most of my social life, I realized I wanted the best of both worlds and so, I started my own business. Why did you decide to specialize in South Asian weddings? Born and raised in NJ with strong South Asian roots, it was very easy for me to relate to parents as well as the bride and groom. Wedding cakes are an adopted custom that most of us don’t know much about. What I’ve learned is that brides are looking at extravagant cakes on places such as the Food Network, but after the sixth event, most parents are just looking at the total cost. When I meet with a couple, I spend on average, 1.5 hours explaining all their available options, designing the cake, as well as holding a tasting to accommodate everyone’s ideas and budget. As a pastry chef, I am able to customize flavors and designs. Most often, the parents are looking for traditional Indian pastries, while the kids are looking for things like red velvet and tiramisu. How do you decide what type of cake to bake and design? Chefs are often considered artists, but I think we surpass them at times. When creating a dessert, you enlighten every sense with textures, temperatures, flavors, colors and smells. The plate or cake is our canvas. By sitting with a client, you

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can bring their personality and character into a design. Every cake I make is based on my creative interpretation. I take great passion in crafting cakes through inspiration, moods, fabrics, colors and the wedding couple’s personalities. Are certain types of cakes better for certain situations? Absolutely. All factors can be influenced depending on the event and theme of the party. Two of our most popular are the eggless cakes and the gelatin-free cakes. Can you tell us what cake designs are new or on-trend for 2011? Simpler and more elegant cakes are definitely in, such as focusing on one segment of your lehnga versus having a mehndi design all over the cake. Or you can try different shades of one main color instead of too many intense colors or designs. Other things to ask for are clean, stacked tiers with fondant shapes and layers instead of lots of buttercream, piped designs and thick sugar flowers. What advice would you give for someone looking to build their own gourmet cake? Make sure you know all your options and know what you are getting, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and have the pastry chef teach you. Brides should keep

Chocal8kiss

SONAM SONDHI IS THE FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF OF CHOCOL8KISS, A GOURMET CAKE AND DESSERT BUSINESS THAT SPECIALIZES IN UNIQUE CAKE DESIGNS. SHE HAS DESIGNED HUNDREDS OF CAKES OVER THE YEARS FOR SUCH NOTABLE ESTABLISHMENTS AS THE BORGATA IN ATLANTIC CITY AND THE MANOR IN WEST ORANGE, NJ. TODAY, HER EXPERTISE IS IN CREATING CAKES THAT REFLECT HER SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE. SHE PROVIDES BIBI WITH AN INTIMATE LOOK INTO THE CAKE WORLD AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2011.


Design your cake around an unusual cake topper. This one also included hints of henna patterns as a bridge between east and west; theme weddings are an excellent inspiration. in mind that the cakes are time and temperature sensitive, and the more elaborate the cake, the more expensive it will be due to the hours of labor involved. Know your budget going into it, and do research: Google other cakes in the theme, price range or design you are looking for so you have a fair idea of what you want before you order. ChocaL8kiss.com

Sometimes, the most simple of cakes can be the most elegant.


DJ Suj

A GREAT WEDDING AND ITS CEREMONIES REQUIRE THE RIGHT BLEND OF MUSIC. FOR SOUTH ASIANS, THIS MEANS THAT THE DJ IS CRITICAL TO THE PROCESS. THEY MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH TRADITIONAL SOUTH ASIAN MUSIC AND WELL VERSED IN BOTH AMERICAN AND WORLD SOUNDS. ALSO, SOME DJS ARE KNOWN TO COME WITH MUSICIANS, DHOL PLAYERS AND DANCE TEAMS. BIBI INTRODUCES SOME OF THE TOP DJS IN BUSINESS RIGHT NOW.

Celebrating 25 years as a DJ, Suj is a professional for bridal and anniversary parties. He has played at over a thousand weddings, personally attending every single one of them. His ability to connect with his client and their guests along with his professionalism goes a long way in establishing a wonderful auditory ambiance. DJ Suj is also known to be a riveting emcee, exhibiting his personality and ease with large groups. He maintains that a great DJ orchestrates his performance by communicating with the wedding planner, banquet manager, pandit, photographer, videographer, caterer and anyone else involved with the coordination of the wedding. DJ Suj’s colleagues praise him for his music mixes, including a phenomenal CD he released called A New Dawn. During his 25 years of experience, he has entertained guests with passion, creativity and immense charm. EBC Radio personality, Kulraaj Anand, tells us, “The power of music with experience and style just brings out the best of everybody when DJ Suj blends his magic with entertainment.” Nisha Mathur of AVS raves, “DJ Suj is professional, energetic and his talent is a gift to the community.” SujProductions.com How can the couple and the DJ work together so that all generations of wedding guests are happy? Prior to the event, I request a song list from the bride and groom and give recommendations from my knowledge and experience to incorporate music that would cater to both younger and older crowds.

DJ Yogi DJ Yogi, from Houston, is known as one of the top contemporary South Asian DJs. He has performed at weddings and events and alongside countless celebrity 64

musicians and artists. DJ Yogi keeps up with the latest trends by reviewing new songs over the internet and exploring new tracks throughout the world. He reaches out to all ages when he plays his music and explains that it involves practice and a spirited commitment to find the best combination of tunes. His show, Generasian Radio on Houston’s public radio station, is popular not only with South Asians, but with the mainstream community as well. His love of music is defined by his passion to share it and many weekends, Yogi can be found spinning at the most popular Houston clubs. DJ Yogi is willing to play all kinds of sounds: from Bollywood and Bhangra, to Latin and Arabic. His funniest DJ story: During an event, his lighting guy failed to show and when all seemed lost, a lone stranger came to his aid. Today, they are happily married! Yogi-g.com How can the couple and the DJ work together so that all generations of guests attending the wedding are happy? Ensuring that various genres of music will be played. Keeping volume at the appropriate levels at all times. Encouraging older guests to not leave right after dinner, which is always a hard one!

DJ Magic Mike Rocking the east coast is the talented DJ Magic Mike. Armed with an extensive collection of music, he has traveled the world DJing weddings and special events. Traveling has also helped him acquire music that other DJs may not have. Magic Mike is a natural born emcee, and it is his desire to make sure everyone is out of their seats dancing in honor of the bride and groom. He also ensures a smooth occasion by planning the timeline with the couple before the wedding and celebrations. He explains that he always has a satisfying feeling knowing that brides and grooms will have a great memory that they can always recall. When they approach him five or ten years later, he is honored by their appreciation. His funny story involves a groom that had one too many drinks. The groom, after all the guests and workers left, got into a fight with the limo driver. Abandoned and alone, the bride and groom were escorted home in a packed van by their hero: DJ Magic Mike. Magicmike.com What's the single most important thing a bride should consider when choosing a DJ? Actually three things: experience, reputation and recommendations. ø

DJ images courtesy of DJ; Main image: Amish Thakkar

Hey Mr DJ!


Ask the

Experts

EVERY COUPLE WANTS A WEDDING THAT REFLECTS THEIR PERSONALITIES WHILE ALSO IMPRESSING GUESTS WITH ITS UNIQUE VISION. WHEN IT CAME TO DESIGNING SPECTACULAR, ON-TREND EVENTS, BIBI APPROACHED THERESE COLE-HUBBS OF HOUSTON’S ELECTRIC KARMA, A SPECIALIZED WEDDING DIVISION OF HER 25-YEAR-OLD EVENT FIRM, ASC EVENT SERVICES. WE ASKED HER EXPERT ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE A WEDDING TRULY STAND OUT. THERESE, A SEASONED COORDINATOR OF HIGH-END SOUTH ASIAN WEDDINGS, HAS PRODUCED LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THESE EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH HER CREATIVITY AND PASSION. SHE DISCUSSES FOUR KEY AREAS THAT COUPLES CAN ENHANCE TO REALLY SET THEIR WEDDINGS APART FROM THE MASSES.

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The tabletop is an important part of the design and another place where you can take your wedding to the next level. Here, Electric Karma worked with the florist to create a dramatic head table.

The Next Level Up! “IT’S NOT ABOUT JUST GOING OVER-THE-TOP IN A GARISH OR UNFOCUSED MANNER, BUT ABOUT SYSTEMATICALLY LOOKING AT ALL THE ELEMENTS AND SEEING HOW THE BRIDE AND GROOM CAN TAKE THINGS UP A NOTCH,” SHE SAYS. “TO DO SO, I RECOMMEND BYPASSING THE TRADITIONAL AND LOOKING AT EACH ELEMENT FOR WAYS THEY CAN INTERJECT THEIR PERSONALITY, OR APPROACH THAT ELEMENT IN A COMPLETELY FRESH MANNER.”

Food and Beverage Food is the most important element of a successful wedding, and it’s the one place where you can make small additions and accents to make your event stand out. Therese adds, “For 2011, I’m suggesting adding a fusion flair; this means combining South Asian cuisine with other world cuisine and flavors for a delicious result, such as samosa ravioli.” A fusion of cuisines can be delicious while adding personality to an event. Therese recommends a warm discourse between the couple regarding the cuisine for the wedding, reception and any other festivities. She also hits on another significant piece of the wedding puzzle: the alcohol. “The bar is another huge element that can take an event over the top. Everyone has seen martini bars and specialty drinks,” Therese says. “The way to kick this up is to add something totally fresh, such as molecular gastronomy. Influenced by the culinary trendsetters in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, this technique of cooking with science is now coming out of the kitchen and into the party itself!”

The bar is a vital organ of the wedding body. Many guests frequent the bar, and it becomes a challenge for planners and couples to impress. With innovative drinks or jaw dropping art and technology, guests will forever remember the day (even the non-drinkers!). For example, nitrogen can be used to create instantly cold drinks without the ice. Cotton candy mojitos have become increasingly popular, demonstrating that candy and alcohol can be enjoyed simultaneously. Ideas can be endless with the right planning.

Wow your guests with unexpected entertainment.


Entertainment Wedding entertainment has evolved immensely over the years. Half-hour speeches and uncoordinated dances are part of the past. Therese suggests shorter and more exciting programs. “Instead of an hour, I am suggesting 20-minute programs integrated with exciting entertainment. We have added aerialists and contortionists that both surprise and delight the audience,” she says. She recommends focusing on careful planning and professional performers to create a memorable experience for all the guests.

Service Service is something that both the older and younger generations will always agree upon. The older generation appreciates the extra attention while the younger generation feels pampered by it. By making a couple of changes, guests will feel like they are royalty, and the wedding will be a huge hit. Therese adds, “To take service up and over the top, I suggest holding back some of the décor budget and putting it into more waitstaff. When you have one waiter for two tables, the service is impeccable. From placing hot towels in guests’ hands to pulling their chair out when they get up, it’s a small change with a huge impact.”

All images courtesy of Electric Karma

Don’t forget details such as tying the cake design into your décor.

Surrounding events such as Mehndi can even be taken to the next level with the addition of something new and sparkly! For instance, a trend today is the use of rhinestones and sequins in the henna design.

A raised aisle can also add visual energy to a room set-up. This raised aisle was lined with roses and grass in Design Design is not limited to props, flowers and lighting. a pattern to create a one-of-a-kind look. Therese points out that she focuses on floor plans and entrances. A typical layout includes a square dance floor that is placed in the center of surrounding tables. “Why does the dance floor have to be square? Recently, we just did a criss-cross floor in four sections. This extended the dancing farther out into the party so more of the tables felt like part of the action.” “We have also done amazing bride and groom entrances. Recently we did a kabuki drop as a central circular screen on a riser. The first people in the room were entertained by Indian dancers within the screen as the other 700 guests found their seats. Once everyone was seated, we again focused their attention on the screen. As that happened, the outer fabric dropped, then the inside fabric dropped, revealing the couple to the absolute astonishment of the guests. The wedding was the talk of the town for months and months.” Every couple wants their wedding to stand out as unique and memorable. As Therese reminds us, the couple and the wedding planner have to spend quality time detailing the design, service, food and entertainment. An open mind and a personal touch also play momentous roles. Simply, a few well-placed, dramatic and unusual accents will take your wedding and related events to brilliant new heights. Electric-karma.com 67


Ask the

Experts

After the I Do’s My fiancé and I are not very traditional, yet our parents want us to have a typical Indian wedding. We would rather take our friends to a club and have an awesome party. Do you have any advice on how to have the wedding we want while placating our parents? PS, they are paying for the wedding. This is a question I get all too often and also what I enjoy doing the most: “How do we mesh the best of both eastern and western ideas for a fabulous wedding?” There is no right answer because you can never make everyone happy. Although there are many options, the main thing you must keep in mind is compromise. Determine your needs versus your wants and be realistic about them. It’s understood that parents sometimes want to take over your wedding because it’s the wedding they never had. Their parents took over all aspects of their big day similar to what your parents are doing to you now, all while unintentionally using the “I’m paying for the wedding” guilt to get you to listen to their ideas. A few suggestions on compromises are as follows: THE MANDAP: Four pillars, endless possibilities Keep what happens inside of the mandap (the ceremony) as traditional as possible with all the rituals to appease the elders, but create the outside of the mandap with a contemporary look by using fabric or florals. A plus would be using eastern-inspired pillars with western-inspired fabrics—sheer and billowing chiffons in non-traditional solid colors.

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THE FOOD: Not just samosas and dosas Sure you’re tired of the “standard” food you usually find at weddings… well, newsflash, so are your guests. Many caterers realize that emerging trends such as lobster or beef are a difficult sell with old-school parents, but fear not; whether you have an all-Indian feast or a smorgasbord of international delights to please each palette, just keep one thing in mind: presentation. Let your parents have a say on most of the food, but keep in mind that you can have fun with cuisine and how your guests enjoy it. Serve a samosa chat in margarita glasses or use a tea set (saucer/cup) to serve mini dosas on the plate with sambar in the mug. Not only will the food itself be a hit, everyone will also enjoy and talk about the creative way it looks. THE ENTERTAINMENT: What? You don’t want your aunt doing a dance? Surely you jest! Here is where things get tricky. You want the plasmas, the lighting, and the lounge look—or as you say, “the club”—your parents want “dhoom dhamaka” from start to finish so it looks like a Bollywood movie with all of their friends. Be ready to compromise! Have your head table look contemporary with lighting and furniture and some traditional props or textured fabrics. Another current trend is to have the reception end early and then having the room converted into an afterparty with lounge décor and a popular DJ spinning for your friends. Inside this club, you can have fun

Images courtesy of Preeti’s Exclusive Creations

PREETI NANVAAN OF PREETI’S EXCLUSIVE CREATIONS, INC HAS BEEN PLANNING HIGH-END WEDDINGS SINCE 2002 AND SPECIALIZES IN SOUTH ASIAN FUSION EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD. HER FIRM HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR TWO COVETED INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL EVENTS SOCIETY (ISES) BIG APPLE AWARDS AND HAS BEEN NOTED BY WEDDINGCHANNEL.COM FOR PRODUCING AN EVENT THAT MADE THEIR ANNUAL “TOP 13 WEDDINGS” LIST. AS A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNER, SHE LENDS HER EXPERT ADVICE TO REAL LIFE BRIDES LOOKING FOR ANSWERS TO SOME PERPLEXING AND COMMON WEDDING QUESTIONS.


afterparty foods—you know, the type you are searching for at 3am… chicken and rice platters, hot dogs, falafels or kati rolls. Wow them all with a fabulous dessert bar at the end with your wedding cake served in boxes. Do bear in mind that if this is something you want, you may consider offering to pay for this portion of the evening.

something like, “Due to venue capacity, we respectfully request an adults-only reception.” If you want to be less subtle, send the invitation to “Mr and Mrs” (not “and family”). On the RSVP card, you can further state Mr and Mrs and write-in the number of invited guests as 2, so when they fill the line in for number attending, it also reads as 2.

We are on a very tight budget, so we need to have a small wedding. Unfortunately, we both have very large families. Who should we invite, and how do we let the others know about our wedding without actually having them there? And for those that we do invite, how can we tell them to not bring their small children? Extend the invitation only to your “nears and dears” starting with your grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, first cousins and friends with whom you socialize regularly. With this rule in place, the rest of the extended family can’t be offended because none of them were invited. Send a “Save-the-Date” to everyone, including the extended family not invited and to both sides of

How do we encourage people to RSVP? And how does the whole seating arrangement work? Do we have to seat all the children together, and does an infant need its own chair? I still don’t understand why guests need to be reminded to RSVP. You wouldn’t get all dressed up for a fancy restaurant without making reservations, would you? My brides have found it helpful to make a list of guests who have still not RSVPed for me to call or email. Sometimes, guests feel obligated to come, some even feel really bad declining. When a third party, such as myself, intervenes, guests tend to be more honest and efficient in their response. Children and infants are a personal choice when inviting. Most venues don’t allow them, and most couples don’t want them there unless they are close family members. An infant does not need its own chair; it is assumed that it will sit on its parent’s lap or in a stroller. The same holds true for toddlers. Children four and up can sit in a booster seat (that would need to be rented or provided by the venue). If you have lots of children who are old enough to sit alone, consider creating a special children’s table. Try to seat kids together who are in the same age group. Depending on the age of the children, you can put some activities on the children’s table for them to complete, but always keep them as close as possible to the nearest parents’ table. When seating infants, please do keep strollers away from heavily trafficked areas such as by the dance floor or by the entrance. 1) It will prevent anyone from tripping over the stroller wheels; 2) It is too close to the DJ’s speakers and 3) You do not want to go back and watch your wedding video only to see strollers in your way.

your families, stating that you will be getting married in a small private ceremony with immediate family and letting them know that you welcome their blessings and well wishes. The rest of the family is welcome to host any type of celebration for you that they would care to host upon your return from the honeymoon. You will be surprised at how many relatives actually do understand your need to save money for your first home, honeymoon or just for your new life; especially those that have had children recently get married as well. Anyone can understand about space and budget limitations. There will be a few that don’t get it, of course, and may still be offended, but that number is very few in comparison to those that actually will understand. As for small children, if you want to use text in your invitation to state your point, it can read

It’s my second marriage and his first, and he’s younger than me. I’m Muslim, and he’s IrishAmerican. My parents won’t ever even consider having alcohol at the wedding, much less pay for it, and his family won’t come unless the invitation comes with a pint of Guinness. Any advice on how to have this wedding without offending or boring anyone? I have done many weddings that have had a similar scenario of alcohol being served at the reception. One particular reception, however, both the bride and the groom were Muslim. Although more than half of the guests were not, they did not want to impose their religious beliefs and wanted guests to enjoy themselves. We had to get creative with a few different options and in the end, both the 69


guests and hosts were happy. Even though there are a few options, there are pros and cons to them as well. If your venue has a lobby bar, the groom’s guests can be discreetly told that this particular bar is an open bar for them. The pro is that the groom’s guests are being accommodated without a cash bar, and since there is no one actually being served in the main room of the reception, your parents will be happy too. The con, however, is that you may lose half the party to the bar. A happy medium may be to have an open bar just during cocktail hour. Having a limited bar is a good medium and shows courtesy to both sides of the drinking issue. Whatever you do, don’t have a cash bar. But if you do choose a dry wedding, don’t be surprised if people sneak their alcohol in or sneak off to a bar. Another option would be to change the timings of your event. You can have the reception start a little earlier in the evening; this way the end time is still

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early enough for you to host an afterparty or even for the guests to carry along with their own party at the venue lobby bar. What is the hottest trend for wedding favours right now? Any suggestions on how to keep things fun? I am a huge advocate in giving what you would want to get. How many times have you gone to a wedding and picked up a luggage tag only to realize that you just don’t have use for it. They are adorable items, especially if they cohesively fit in a theme, but not practical and in some cases, wasteful. Interactive favours have been becoming all the rage these past few seasons, from photo frames to photobooths. The newest trend for this season is flipbooks. A flipbook (Iloveflipbooks.com) is a few seconds of video, printed in still pictures. Once the book is produced, you “flip” through it and see the animation of your video come alive. They can be produced on-site within two minutes and about 50 books can be made in an hour. Typically brides like to start the set-up at the cocktail hour and have it on-site for five hours so about 250 guests can receive a book. With creative props, energetic staff and an interactive favour with your logo and date on them, it’s a win-win! ø


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The Weddings

of South Asia THE WEDDING CELEBRATIONS OF SOUTH ASIAN

CULTURES

TAKE

ON

NUMEROUS

FORMS. THEY VARY ACROSS RELIGIONS AND REGIONS,

GENDER

AND

GENERATIONS.

DESPITE THE DIFFERENCES, HOWEVER, THEY ARE ALL UNITED BY ONE COMMON FACTOR— THEY ARE ALWAYS EVENTS OF LOVE, JOY AND MERRIMENT SWATHED IN LAYERS OF EXOTIC COLORS AND ANCIENT CUSTOMS. AS

ONE

TRAVELS

FROM

PROVINCE

TO

PROVINCE AND COUNTRY TO COUNTRY, THE TRADITIONS OF DIFFERENT PEOPLES REPRESENT A PLETHORA OF CULTURAL RITUALS AND CUSTOMS, EACH ONE UNIQUE IN ITSELF, YET STILL TIED TO THE RICH HERITAGE OF SOUTH ASIA. Compiled by Pallavi Bora

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Sikh Traditions THE SIKH ENGAGEMENT CEREMONY CALLED KURMAYAEE OR SHAGAN TAKES PLACE AT THE GURDWARA AND INVOLVES A PROMISE TO MARRY AND AN EXCHANGE OF RINGS AND PRESENTS. HERE, A MILNI, A MEETING OF PARENTS AND CLOSE RELATIVES OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM, IS PERFORMED. Pre-wedding celebrations include a ladies’ sangeet where the women on the bride’s side sing folk songs called suhaag (relating to the bride’s feelings), and the women on the groom’s side sing ghodiyaan (praises of the groom and his family). The paath or religious prayer, which usually lasts three days, marks the beginning of the wedding. This concludes with the ceremony of bhog, an offering of oneself to God and a request to forgive all sins.

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SB Images

Punjabi

On the wedding day, the groom is dressed in traditional Sikh garments bearing the five physical articles of faith: kesh—long, unshorn hair; dastar— turban; kangha—comb; kara—bracelet; kachha— special undergarment; and the kirpan—ceremonial sword. The bride wears a pink or maroon lehnga or shalwar-kurta, with bright red bangles called churas. The groom, his family and friends lead a procession called the baraat towards the wedding site (the gurdwara) where they are received by the bride’s side. The two families conduct another milni. The actual marriage ceremony is called the anand karaj, or the “ceremony of bliss,” and takes place inside the gurdwara. It is conducted in the morning hours. The bride and groom are seated on the floor in front of the Guru Granth Sahib. A prayer invoking God’s blessings of the union occurs. This is followed by a brief speech addressed specifically to the couple explaining the significance and obligation of marriage. The bride’s father then approaches the couple and places one end of a scarf in the groom’s hand, passes it over the shoulder and places the other in the bride’s. Thus joined, the two take vows. Guru Ram Das devised a symbolic marriage ceremony in the form of four rounds called laava(n) around the Guru Granth Sahib. Before each laava, a verse is read from the Holy Book. Then the couple circles the Guru Granth Sahib as the verse is sung as a hymn. This is a reminder that a new life is beginning and attainment of God is the goal. The sadh sangat (people in the congregation) are the couple’s support system and will help them attain this life goal. The ceremony concludes with the customary singing of six stanzas of the Anand Sahib (Song of Bliss), followed by ardas (congregational prayer) and vak (the order of the day, a random reading of a verse from Guru Granth Sahib). Relatives and friends then exchange greetings and congratulate the families and the couple. Then a guru ka langar (food prepared in the gurdwara) is served to all the guests. After the marriage, the doli (bridal party) leaves and the bride departs her parental home with her husband. Later in the evening, some families choose to host a reception which gives way to an evening of fun where the entire wedding party dances to Bhangra late into the night. ø


Top: Amish Thakker. Bottom, Shekhar Sem

ALTHOUGH ALL MUSLIM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD HAVE UNIQUE CUSTOMS THAT ARE INDIGENOUS TO EACH CULTURE AND REGION TO WHICH THEY BELONG, THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF AN ISLAMIC MARRIAGE REMAIN THE SAME. According to Islam, the groom must give the bride gifts in the form of cash or in-kind, called mehr, as insurance for the bride should a divorce occur or should she become a widow. The actual ceremony, the nikah, only requires the presence of the bride and groom along with the imam (clergyman) and a few witnesses. The imam recites verses from the Holy Quran and talks about the importance of marriage before asking for their consent. The bride and groom are required to agree to the marriage three times so that their decision is absolute. The nikah is then complete. A few days after the nikah, the groom’s family hosts a feast known as valima to publicly announce the marriage to the community. Although the mehr, nikah and valima are the main obligatory rituals in a Muslim marriage, South Asian influences expanded the ceremony into a multievent celebration. The mehndi (India, Pakistan) and gaye holud (Bangladesh) are celebrated essentially for the beautification of the bride. Both the bride and the groom hold this ceremony on separate days, when family and friends go to each party’s home to anoint the bride or groom with uptan, also known as holud (a paste made from turmeric and herbs) and mehndi. In Bangladesh, the groom’s family sends two large pieces of fish dressed as a bride and groom. The fish is cooked and fed to the bride’s guests at the gaye holud. In Kashmir, the groom’s family sends a well-groomed lamb clothed and bejeweled to the bride’s home. In Pakistan and India, another ceremony called the mayoon may occur in the bride’s home where the bride is made to wear yellow clothes and is expected to stay at home until her wedding, where her days are spent relaxing and undergoing beauty and herbal treatments. Once the nikah is complete, the bride’s family hosts a formal party for the newlywed couple called shaadi. Traditionally, the bride wears a red garment in the form of a gharara in Pakistan, lehnga in India and sari in Bangladesh. Typical Muslim bridal jewelry includes a jhumar, nath and panjay. The groom usually wears a sherwani, a long jacket, with pants or shalwar. The groom may undergo a ceremonial tying of his headdress called sehra

The Islamic Nikah

bandi where prayers and blessings are recited. The groom’s side assembles at his home and leaves for the reception in a baraat procession. The bride’s siblings and friends demand money or gifts from the groom before letting anyone in. This is expected and done in a spirit of playful fun. At the end of the reception, the siblings and friends of the bride once again try to get money from the groom by stealing his shoes so that he can’t take the bride home in a tradition called juta choopai. This is followed by the rukhsati or bidai. A male member of the bride’s family, usually her brother or uncle, holds the Holy Quran above her head as the groom and his family escorts her to the transportation that will take the couple to their new home. ø

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Ceremonies

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Hand images, Amish Thakkar

Maharashtrian

WEDDING RITUALS IN THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA ARE STRONGLY GUIDED BY CUSTOMS AND RELIGION. WHEN A MATCH IS MADE, A PANDIT CHOOSES AN AUSPICIOUS DAY, CALLED MUHURAT FOR THE WEDDING. Devkarya, the worshipping of deities by the respective families, is ceremoniously conducted prior to the wedding. Kelvan follows as friends and relatives invite the couple’s families for a meal. The haldi is one of the most celebrated days that leads up to the wedding. Also known as mehndi, it is the day when the couple is anointed with turmeric and henna. Commonly, Maharashtrian brides wear an emerald green or topaz yellow sari. The lavish jewelry adorned by the bride is mostly of gold, diamonds and pearls. The groom wears a white dhoti, pajama or churidaar with a kurta. He wears a paggar on his head. Unlike the bride, who is bedecked with jewelry, the groom wears just a few rings and a gold chain around his neck. The bride’s family ceremoniously welcomes the groom and his family and friends on the day of the wedding. Their feet are washed, and they are led to the mandap. The antarpaat, a decorated curtain, divides the bride and groom as they are prevented from seeing each other until the appointed time. The pandit then recites the magalashtaka, or the invitation to various gods to witness the marriage. At the exact muhurat, the antarpaat is removed and the bride and groom exchange garlands. Family and friends shower them with rice for fertility, good fortune and blessings. The bride is entrusted to the groom in a ceremony called kanyadaan, where he promises to take care of her and respect her as his wife. The ceremony continues with the couple walking around the holy fire, which is the witness to their union. The bride then steps on seven little mounds of rice, promising love, fidelity, friendship and respect forever thereafter. The husband puts a mangalsutra necklace around his wife’s neck and the jodvi, a ring, on her toe. Furthermore, the couple performs the lajahome with the bride’s brothers, where ghee (clarified butter) and cereal are offered to the sacred fire. Friends and family then congratulate the couple and continue the evening with fun and merriment. Later, a lavish vegetarian wedding feast traditionally served on banana leaves is arranged for the guests. The meal ends with the serving of sweet paan. The couple is then ready to make their way to the groom’s house. The ritual of griha pravesh follows this where the groom’s mother and sister welcome the bride into her marital home. The in-laws perform a brief aarti, blessing with a lighted oil lamp. The bride is then made to kick over a grain measure filled with rice as a symbol of prosperity. Various games are played to welcome the bride to her new abode as she is considered the Goddess Lakshmi of the house bringing in promises of marital bliss. ø


Weddings OVER TIME, WEDDINGS OF VARIOUS RELIGIONS OF KERALA HAVE ADAPTED SOME OF THE LOCAL TRADITIONS AS PART OF THEIR CEREMONIES.

Malayalee Hindu Weddings A traditional Malayalee Hindu wedding begins with the nakshatra porutham—a ceremony conducted by an astrologer where the horoscopes of the bride and groom are matched, and an auspicious date and time are fixed for the marriage. The engagement ceremony that follows is conducted at the girl’s house where the boy and girl exchange rings in the presence of family members and images of the family gods or goddesses. On the day of the marriage, the bride visits the temple of the deity where another offering called vazhipadu is made in the name and astrological star of the groom. The ritual is called astothara archana. The wedding ceremony itself is usually held at a banquet facility under a mandapam, a canopy-like structure. Apart from the holy fire in the center, the mandapam also houses the para, a black metal container filled with unhusked rice and stalks of coconut flowers symbolizing plenitude. Wedding guests are welcomed to the strains of nadaswaram, a mixed band of musical instruments native to Kerala. The bride’s relatives receive the groom and his family. Sandalwood paste is applied to the forehead of the groom, and he is garlanded with flowers. Just before the appointed time, or muharatam, the bride is led to the mandapam escorted by nine to eleven unmarried girls in a procession of thalalpoli. The bride wears a traditional cream-colored, 78

Malayalee Christian Weddings Christian weddings are conducted according to the religion’s rituals, but the basics of the ceremony are decidedly Malayalee. The matrimony is divided into two parts, Office of the Betrothal and Office of the Coronation. The first part is the engagement ceremony, where the couple is presented before the church, filled with friends and relatives. A prayer is held, and the priest gives his holy blessings. Rings may be exchanged at this point. After the engagement ceremony, for the next three successive Sundays while the church is in congregation, this engagement is announced so as to provide a chance for anyone to file an objection, if any exist, or to otherwise forever hold their peace. This ritual is called the Reading of the Wedding Banns. The parents of the bride and groom, after mutual consultations, fix a date for the marriage. Before the couple can actually wed, however, they have to attend a marriage preparation course conducted by the church. This usually lasts up to three days and involves consultations with the clergyman. On the appointed day of the marriage, the couple enters the church escorted by immediate family members. The Christian Malayalee bride typically wears a cream or white sari with a gold border though some modern brides may don a western-style gown. The bridegroom usually wears a formal suit or tuxedo. With the arrival of the priest at the altar, the marriage ceremony begins. Thaliketu, tying the sacred thread around the bride’s neck, and mantrakodi, presentation of the wedding sari, are local customs incorporated by some of the various Christian sects in their wedding ceremony. Following

Christian couple by Shabnam Studio

Keralite

gold-bordered two-piece sari called a set mundu. The groom is clad in dhoti and jubba (kurta), both of which are made of silk in an off-white or cream color. At the muharatam, drums are played and as the beats crescendo, the groom ties a sacred thread (usually a gold chain or yellow thread) around the bride’s neck. The guests shower floral petals and rice on the newly wedded couple. They then garland each other. Another highlight of the ceremony is when the groom gives the bride a pudava—a traditional wedding sari placed in a steel platter. By this gesture, the groom promises to provide and protect his future wife for life. Both of them then perform three circles around the mandapam. After this, guests spoon-feed milk and fruits to the bride and groom as a blessing for their future conjugal bliss. Immediately after the wedding, lunch is served traditionally in banana leaves. Finally, at the conclusion of the wedding, the bride is led to the groom’s house where she undergoes a ritual called griha pravesh where she is ceremoniously welcomed and blessed in her new home.


this, the priest blesses the wedding rings and asks the bride and the groom to exchange them. Beautiful hymns are sung, sometimes to a live band, and the entire service may last not more than an hour. This is followed by the reception where the bride and groom are welcomed into the reception hall with garlands by their parents. The bride now wears the wedding sari that she was presented during the wedding ceremony. The wedding feast begins with prayers and lighting of the nilavilakku or a unity candle. During the meal, a multi-tier wedding cake is cut and served with champagne. A toast is made to the newlywed couple and is followed by song and dance, usually late into the night.

Malayalee Muslim Weddings Similar to Muslim weddings everywhere, this marriage in Kerala is a simple contract between the boy and girl. The nikah, the ritual of contract, needs to be made in the presence of male witnesses, and services of a maulvi are sought to perform the Islamic rituals. The groom needs to give mehr (cash gift or in-kind) to the girl while accepting her as his wife. The elders determine the day on which to conduct the initial process, valayidal (the custom of giving gold ornaments to the girl). The date for the engagement is arrived at through mutual consultations, and on this day, male members of the bride’s family go to the groom’s house. After reciting verses from the Holy Quran, the boy is given gold ornaments and cash. A few days preceding the marriage, sisters of the groom and other female relatives proceed to the bride’s house to take part in mailanch or the practice of applying henna on the girl’s hand. In some households, elaborate songs and dances are performed called oppana. On the marriage day, the groom and his family are received with gifts of flowers and garlands by the male relatives of the bride. The abundant use of flowers is an influence of the local culture. The groom wears a white kurta with a turban tied around his head while the bride is dressed in a (traditionally red) ghagra. Portions of the Holy Quran are read and the bridegroom declares his oath of acceptance. He is then led to the bride who is sitting in a separate section, and ties a gold chain around her neck. After the wedding, there is a reception, given by the bride’s parents. A few days later, the groom’s family also holds yet another reception for the newly wedded couple. Nowadays, Malayalee weddings are seeing a more global feel. Christian wedding ceremonies, for example, include western customs such as bridesmaids, best man and white wedding gowns. However, the colorful festivities and heartfelt emotions have not changed. The weddings are still a union of two families steeped in the centuries-old culture of Kerala. ø


Buddhist Weddings

THE SRI LANKAN WEDDING CEREMONY BORROWS HEAVILY FROM FAR EASTERN BUDDHIST TRADITIONS DUE TO THE LARGE BUDDHIST POPULATION IN THE COUNTRY. THE HINDU INFLUENCE IS REFLECTED IN ITS DEPENDENCE ON ASTROLOGY. THE CEREMONY IS CONDUCTED BY A SHILPADHIPATHI (OFFICIANT) SINCE BUDDHIST MONKS DO NOT NORMALLY ATTEND WEDDINGS. The groom often wears a nilame suit, or a formal Sri Lankan dress. The bride typically wears an osariya, similar to a sari, but tied in the Sri Lankan style. Heavy gold jewelry completes the bridal ensemble with the most important pieces being the nalalpata (a gold headband) and seven necklaces of varying lengths. Traditionally held at the bride’s home, most modern weddings now take place in hotels where the bride and groom enter at a pre-determined auspicious time. The heart of the wedding is the poruwa siritha or poruwa ceremony, named after the small wooden dais ornately decorated with flowers on which the ritual takes place. Kandiyan drums signal the beginning of the wedding and the groom enters with his family. The bride then enters, accompanied by the sounding of a conch shell. After the officiate recites the Ashtaka, the couple steps onto the poruwa. The bride’s father places the bride’s right hand over the groom’s hand. They remain standing for the duration of ceremony, which takes anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. The officiate usually chants blessings from the Jaymangala Gata, a collection of four nine-line stanzas.

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Betel leaves are placed on the highest point of the poruwa as offerings to the gods. The groom places a necklace around the bride’s neck and gives the bride a sari, traditionally red, which she wears when she returns home. A chorus of young girls then sings the Jaymangala Gata. This is followed by an exchange of betel leaves between the bride and groom, involving seven transactions signifying the hope that the couple’s love will continue over seven generations. After the bride and groom exchange rings, two of the couple’s fingers are entwined together and blessed water is poured over the union. The couple presents betel leaves to the parents and elders to symbolize respect. Additionally, the couple presents the bride’s mother with a kirikade, or white cloth, which specifically symbolizes the milk with which she nourished the bride and the love and support she gave her. The bride and groom also feed each other kiribhath (rice pudding) indicating their pledge to nourish and care for one another. They then leave the poruwa to light a traditional oil lamp to signify hope and the success of the union. The shilpadhipathi then breaks a coconut to commemorate the completion of the ceremony. This is followed by a reception. Given the beauty and meaningfulness of the Sri Lankan wedding ceremony, it is not surprising that many non-Sri Lankan couples wanting an exotic yet simple ceremony travel to Sri Lanka and opt for a poruwa ceremony, followed by a honeymoon on the island as well. ø

Color photos, Shekhar Sem

in Sri Lanka


Weddings of

Gujarat

82

Amish Thakkar

The

GUJARATI WEDDING CEREMONIES FROM WESTERN INDIA HAVE THEIR OWN REGIONAL TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS. THE PRE-WEDDING CELEBRATIONS INCLUDE A NIGHT OF GARBA AND MEHNDI, WHERE FRIENDS AND FAMILY SING AND DANCE WHILE THEY PERFORM THE CUSTOM OF ANOINTING HENNA ON THE BRIDE. The bride’s outfit, which is most commonly a sari, is of bandhani print, a material typical of the region. Gujarati brides typically wear a white sari with a red border. White signifies purity, while red is considered auspicious. Heavy gold and diamond jewelry completes the look. The groom wears a sherwani, and his paggar is also made out of bandhani printed material. The wedding day begins with the pokavu or arrival of the groom, who is greeted by his future mother-in-law at the entrance. Jaimala is then performed where the bride garlands the groom at the door. The groom is ushered to the mandap where the ceremony of madhuparka is performed. The groom’s feet are washed in honey and milk while the sisters of the bride steal his shoes and hold them hostage until he meets their playful ransom demands. The bride is then carried or escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle. At a predetermined auspicious time, the antarpaat separating the bride and groom is lowered, and the couple exchange garlands. This is followed by the hasta milap where the bride’s hand is placed in the groom’s while the pandit chants the holy verses. The varmala ceremony is also performed where close members of the family place an auspicious cotton cord or necklace around the couple’s neck to ward off any evil spirits. Soon thereafter the mangal phera takes place, where the couple walks around the holy fire four times. Each round is called a phera and represents the four basic goals of life: dharma (religion), arth (meaning), kaam (married life) and moksha (freedom from the circle of life). The couple carries rice and/or leaves in the palms of their hands while circling the fire and offers it to the fire signifying their sacrifice of all worldly possessions to the holy fire. The pheras are followed by the custom of sapta padi in which the groom helps the bride touch seven betel nuts with her right toe while they recite the seven vows of marriage. The couple also takes seven steps together facing north, during which the bride stands to the groom’s left, leaving his right side free to take on the world. The couple is now considered married and is showered with rice, grains and flower petals as blessings. Once all the rituals are performed, dinner is served. As the evening ends, the bride and groom prepare for the bidai, or departure. The couple touches their parent’s feet to be blessed by them as they embark on a new life together. ø


BIBI WEDDING DIRECTORY Resources for the modern couple Banquets/ Reception Venues Crown Plaza Fairfield 973.227.9200 Fairfield, New Jersey CPFairfield.com Doubletree Houston Intercontinental Airport 281.848.4000 Houston, Texas Doubletreehoustonbushairport.com Embassy Suites 281.531.7300 Houston,Texas Embassysuiteshouston.com Hilton Americas- Houston 713.739.8000 Houston, Texas Americashouston.hilton.com Sugarland Marriott Town Square 281.275.8400 Houston, Texas Marriott.com/housl Villa Rinata 713.334.7765 Houston, Texas VillaRinata.com Beauty/ Hair/ Makeup/ Mehndi Apsara Beauty Center 832.252.7272 Houston, Texas info@apsarausa.com Apsarausa.com The Original Henna Company 281.630.8389 Houston, Texas artist@hennacompany.com Hennacompany.com Twinkle Beauty Salon 732.963.4444 Edison, New Jersey info@twinklebeautysalon.com Twinklebeautysalon.com Boutique/ Fashion Bibi Bazaar Nationwide Bibibazaar.com Exclusively.In Nationwide Exclusively.in Ginni’s Boutique 516.934.0303 Hicksville, New York bridesbyginni@yahoo.com Ginnisboutique.com Poshak Fashion & Style Houston, TX 713.532.3232 Nazia’s Couture 281.748.5654 Houston, Texas Nazia.haroon@yahoo.com Shehnaai 917.519.5456 New York info@shehnaaiusa.com Shehnaaiusa.com

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Saahil Exclusive 773.338.3636, Illinois 723.404.1144, New Jersey Saahilexclusive.com Sari Sapne Sapna Boutique 713.783.1480, Texas 404.633.7274, Atlanta sarisapne@aol.com Cakes/ Confections Cakes by Gina 281.495.9400 Houston, Texas gina@cakesbyginahouston.com Cakesbyginahouston.com Chocal8Kiss 1.888.YUM.CAKE New Jersey sonam@chocal8kiss.com Chocal8kiss.com Caterers Chand Palace 973.334.5444 New Jersey cuisine@chandpalace.com Chandpalace.com Events by Devi 212.691.1300 New York info@devinyc.com Devinyc.com Kings Chicken / Nirvana 281.498.2900 Houston,Texas Saleem_54@yahoo.com DJ / Entertainment/ Live Band Heartbeats USA 713.539.4494 Texas Nadeem999@yahoo.com Heartbeatsusa@yahoo.com Magic Mike DJs 201.767.6762 Tri-state magicmikedjs@yahoo.com Magicmike.com DJ Suj 732.679.1921 Tri-state djsuj@hotmail.com Djsuj.com DJ Yogi 281.989.4061 Texas yogi@yogi-g.com Yogi-g.com Interior Design Lotus Sculpture 760.994.4455, Connecticut 760.994.4455, California info@lotussculpture.com Lotussculpture.com Invitations The Invite 281.849.3268 Theinviteonline@gmail.com Theinviteonline.com

Patel Printing Plus 800.801.PRINT Patel3plus@aol.com Patelprintingplus.com Jewelry Karat 22 Jewelers 713.783.0808 Houston, Texas Karat22.com Raj Jewels 732.283.9707 Edison, New Jersey Rajjewelsusa.com Photographers/ Videographers Daniel Kramer Photography 832.978.2046 Houston, Texas dankpix@sbcglobal.net Danielkramerphotography.com Eric M. Anugraham Photographer 972.248.6471 Dallas, Texas ericanugraham@aol.com Ericanugrahamphoto.com Fine Art Productions 407.979.4749, Florida 732.662.5555, New Jersey 917.421.9815, New York 832.886.1706, Texas info@fineartproductions.net Fineartproductions.net Photos by Saeed 713.784.5455 Texas 59minutephoto@sbcglobal.net Reddy Studios 732.991.5455 New Jersey info@reddystudios.com Reddystudios.com SB Image Studios 281.639.5434 Texas info@stephaniebehrens.com Sbimagestudios.com Sem Video and Photography 888.796.4942 New Jersey semphoto@gmail.com Semphotovideo.com Studio 2010 Scripted Weddings, Photography Custom Cakes and Invitation Design 609.216.0351 Studio2012.info Wedding Consultants Desi-gn 832.493.1129 Texas info@desi-gn.com Desi-gn.com Electric Karma International 281.705.9929 Texas / California therese@asceventservices.com Electric-Karma.com

Preeti’s Exclusive Creations 718.275.5690 New York info@preetiexclusive.com Preetiexclusive.com Wedding Décor / Florist Elegant Affairs 973.882.8001 New Jersey / Texas info@elegant-affairs.com Elegant-affairs.com Décor One 281.459.0040 Houston, Texas events@decor1events.com Decor1events.com Fern n’ Décor 516.710.9000 New York info@fernndecor.com Fernndecor.com Natasha Décor 770.912.0965 Georgia Natasha@natashadecor.com Natashadecor.com Wedding Favors Shaadi Presentations 908.725.1063 New Jersey geeta@shaadipresentations.com Shaadipresentations.com Sweet Silk 973.930.3939 Nationwide shef@savorsweetsilk.com Savorsweetsilk.com


WEDDING PLANNING

w

o

r

k

b

o

o

k

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ONE

YEAR

Determine the size and type of wedding

OR

Make tentative guest lists

MORE

Have an astrologer find your auspicious wedding date

Select a wedding consultant to help you plan the wedding

Book a licensed officiant

Book venue for ceremony and reception

Book Mehndi/Sangeet/Garba halls

Select the bride’s dress

Begin preparing both the bride and groom’s trousseau

AHEAD

SIX TO

MONTHS

—Sumita, married 15 years

FOUR • TO

Complete guest list with all addresses

Order invitations for all ceremonies

Order wedding cake

SIX

• Order wedding favours MONTHS • Order any special jewelry

____________________________________

____________________________________

Book your hair stylist

____________________________________

Begin researching honeymoon destinations

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

TWO

Check your state’s marriage license requirements

TO

Complete all jewelry shopping

THREE

Complete bride and groom’s trousseau

MONTHS

Address and mail invitations

Begin practicing songs and dances

Book guest accommodations

Finalize honeymoon plans

Book your makeup and mehndi artist

Check passports and other travel documentation

Inform newspapers of your engagement

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

Register your preferences at a bridal registry

Select a caterer, photographer, videographer and florist

Book the entertainment, mandap rental and transportation (including the horse for the groom)

NINE

wb2

Set a tentative budget

“I knew he was the one from our very first kiss.”

Select groom’s clothing

Reserve any rental supplies

Find accommodations for out-of-town guests

Commission formal engagement photographs

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________


ONE •

Wedding Timeline ONE MONTH

WEEK •

Provide guest count to caterer and reception hall Review details and timelines with all vendors

Plan seating arrangements

Confirm honeymoon plans, pick up tickets and traveler’s checks

Pack luggage for the honeymoon

Assign tasks to members of your family to handle during the wedding

Finalize transportation, cake and floral details

Make final payments for all services and vendors

Have bride’s belongings moved to her new home

Get blood test (if needed) and marriage license

Get final dress fittings for both bride and groom

Pack trousseau for both the bride and groom

Order mithai

Finalize all venues

____________________________________

Finalize all other vendors

____________________________________

____________________________________

DAY •

Iron/steam and hang bride and groom’s wedding clothes

Finalize all rental details

Buy thank-you notes and begin writing them for all gifts received so far

If the bride is going to change her name, begin documentation

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

TWO

Contact non-responding guests

WEEKS

Pick up wedding rings

Confirm and finalize with officiant

Buy all decorations needed for Sangeet or Mehndi

Order garlands

BEFORE

Pack bride’s handbag for the reception

Organize all things that you will need to take for the wedding ceremony. i.e., hand garlands, sindoor, mangalsutra, pens, flower baskets, bag of rice, Holy books, mirror for the arsi ceremony, etc.

Organize honeymoon luggage, overnight bag if necessary, hand bag and other things needed for the day and night of the wedding

Delegate who will be responsible for what to transport to the reception halls in advance

Hire baby-sitter to watch children during the events

____________________________________

____________________________________

Have a final wedding attire fitting for both the bride and groom and bridal party

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

“You don’t marry someone you can live with —you marry the person who you cannot live without.” —Unknown

DAY • OF WEDDING •

Take a few close friends and family members to the spa for a massage to prepare for the day ahead Find some quiet time for yourself to reflect on the holy vows you are about to take Relax and enjoy your very special day

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ONE

Begin a regular, moderate exercise routine such as brisk walking for 30 minutes, three times a week. Alternate it with light muscle-toning workouts twice a week

Begin drinking at least eight glasses of water per day

Have a physical done and have your doctor prescribe needed nutritional supplements

Begin facials every two months if over thirty, and every four to six months if in your twenties

YEAR OR MORE AHEAD

FOUR • TO SIX MONTHS •

THREE • MONTHS •

wb4

Health and Beauty Timeline ONE

Make sure that everything you will wear is ready and organized. Try on everything and have the makeup artist do a trial session with your bridal attire; take photos to see the results.

Get your final haircut

MONTH

Begin searching for your wedding dress and accessories Choose your hairstylist for the wedding day and other events. Consult with him or her about the styles you would like for different ceremonies. Take photos of the different looks Begin growing or trimming your hair based on what you and your stylist decide. Start fading out hair color, if necessary Begin regular manicures and pedicures. Keep hands and feet moisturized and nails filed. Start applying nail strengthener to brittle nails Choose a makeup artist and discuss the makeup for various events. Check to see if your skin reacts to any products used. Take photos of the different looks Choose a mehndi artist and discuss designs and products that will be used

Consult with a skincare specialist to treat any blemishes and skin problems

Establish a skincare regime of cleansing, toning and moisturizing; do not add any new products

TWO •

Get the final facial before the wedding

WEEKS ONE • WEEK

Have a spa day with a massage, hair coloring, waxing, threading, manicure and pedicure

DAY •

Have your final manicure and pedicure

BEFORE •

Have your mehndi applied; keep it on overnight to ensure a deep rich color

DAY • OF

WEDDING •

Get a massage in the morning Have your hair and makeup done as planned Get ready and enjoy the day!


Honeymoon Checklist Honeymoon… the lackadaisical tone of the word aptly describes the romance and leisure one needs in the aftermath of a colossal wedding. Once all the revelers have gone back to their lives, it’s time for the bride and groom to find their own paradise so that they can enjoy each other’s company. The paradise may be right around the corner or on the other side of the moon, but as with any special event, it is essential to plan. Here are 10 ways to ensure your honeymoon is as perfect as your wedding.

1. Do not decide on the destination alone. Ensure that your soon-to-be spouse isn’t aqua-phobic before planning a seaside getaway. 2. Google local tourist boards for websites and information about romantic restaurants, things to see and do, etc. 3. While making reservations, ensure that you have looked into minor details such as transport to and from the airport and a king-size bed instead of twins. 4. Let your hotel know in advance that you are newlyweds. You may receive special treats such as complimentary champagne, a “goodie basket” or even the honeymoon suite! 5. Pack well in advance as the days prior to the wedding will be chaotic.

6. In your main bag, pack casual outfits, evening wear, shoes, sandals, undergarments, sleepwear, toiletries, sunscreen, medicines, birth control, cosmetics, camera and chargers. 7. Don’t forget to also pack some romantic items like candles, massage oil and sexy lingerie. Make a sexy playlist on your iPod. 8. Carry a bathing suit, toothpaste, toothbrush and one complete outfit in a handbag. If the airline loses your luggage, you don’t want to lose out on the fun. 9. Confirm all travel plans a week in advance. 10. A honeymoon is not just a holiday, it’s one of the most beautiful times of your life when you and your new spouse spend quality time together in a relaxed environment. Don’t worry about sightseeing, you can always do that on a later visit. A honeymoon should be a treasured experience spent focusing on each other!

“I know that our love was meant to be when I see him playing with our children.” —Zahra, married 4 years

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Budget Planner

meh ndi/ san geet

ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Site Fee

________________

________________

________________

Music/Entertainment

________________

________________

________________

Equipment Rental

________________

________________

________________

Floral Arrangements

________________

________________

________________

Floral Garlands/Etc.

________________

________________

________________

Meals/Catering

________________

________________

________________

Beverages/Coffee/Tea

________________

________________

________________

Mithai/Sweets

________________

________________

________________

Tables/Chairs

________________

________________

________________

Decorations/Party Favours

________________

________________

________________

China Rental

________________

________________

________________

Crystal & Glassware

________________

________________

________________

Silverware

________________

________________

________________

Linens

________________

________________

________________

Transportation

________________

________________

________________

Waiters/Waitresses

________________

________________

________________

Gratuities

________________

________________

________________

Miscellaneous

________________

________________

________________

Total

________________

________________

________________

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Ceremony Site Fee

________________

________________

________________

Officiating Authority’s Fee

________________

________________

________________

Officiating Authority’s Gratuity ________________

________________

________________

Floral Garlands/Etc.

________________

________________

________________

Meals/Catering

________________

________________

________________

Beverages/Coffee/Tea

________________

________________

________________

Mithai/Sweets

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Tables/Chairs

________________

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Decorations/Mandap

________________

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Miscellaneous

________________

________________

________________

Total

________________

________________

________________

cer emo ny

ACTIVITY/ITEM

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re cep tion

ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Reception Hall Rental

________________

________________

________________

Equipment Rental

________________

________________

________________

Music/Entertainment

________________

________________

________________

Meals/Catering

________________

________________

________________

Beverages/Coffee/Tea

________________

________________

________________

China Rental

________________

________________

________________

Crystal & Glassware

________________

________________

________________

Silverware

________________

________________

________________

Linens/Chair Covers

________________

________________

________________

Waiters/Waitresses

________________

________________

________________

Tables/Chairs

________________

________________

________________

Decorations/Party Favours

________________

________________

________________

Gift Attendant

________________

________________

________________

Special Food/Services

________________

________________

________________

Valet/ Coat Check

________________

________________

________________

Transportation

________________

________________

________________

Horse Rental

________________

________________

________________

Gratuities

________________

________________

________________

Reception Arrangements

________________

________________

________________

Centerpiece Arrangements ________________

________________

________________

Delivery & Setup

________________

________________

________________

Wedding Cake

________________

________________

________________

Mithai/Sweets

________________

________________

________________

Delivery

________________

________________

________________

Cake Knife

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

________________

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________________

________________

Miscellaneous

________________

________________

________________

Total

________________

________________

________________ wb7


Budget Planner

wed ding trous seau ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Bride’s Mehndi/Sangeet

________________

________________

________________

Bride’s Ceremony

________________

________________

________________

Bride’s Reception

________________

________________

________________

Bride’s Trousseau

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Mehndi/Sangeet

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Ceremony

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Reception

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Trousseau

________________

________________

________________

Accessories

________________

________________

________________

Total

________________

________________

________________

ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Bride’s Ring

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Ring

________________

________________

________________

Bride’s Jewelry Sets

________________

________________

________________

Groom’s Jewelry/Watch

________________

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Total

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BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Announcements/Envelopes ________________

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Invitations/Envelopes

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________________

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Thank-You Cards/Envelopes ________________

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Seating Placement Cards

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Bridal Stationery/Envelopes ________________

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Mehndi/Sangeet Cards

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Ceremony Cards

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Reception Cards

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RSVP Response Cards

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Wedding Programs

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________________

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Postage

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Total

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________________

jew elry

sta tion ary ACTIVITY/ITEM

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pho to/ vid eo

ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Wedding Photographs

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________________

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Formal Engagement

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Formal Bridal Photographs ________________

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Extra Prints

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Thank You Cards

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Albums

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Total

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BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Wedding Video

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DVD Duplicates

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Total

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BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Wedding Consultant

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Limousine

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Decorations

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Rose Petals

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Dance Floor

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Marriage License

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Bridal Suite

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Accommodations

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Wedding Guest Book & Pen ________________

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Medical Exams & Blood Tests________________

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Legal/Financial

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Insurance–Floater Policy

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Rental Items

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Taxes

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Total

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ACTIVITY/ITEM

add ition als ACTIVITY/ITEM

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Budget Planner

bea uty

ACTIVITY/ITEM

BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

Facials

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Mehndi Application

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Hair Stylist

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Makeup Artist

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Manicure/Pedicure

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Hair Cut/Color

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Total

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BUDGET AMOUNT

AMOUNT SPENT

AMOUNT OVER/UNDER

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Total

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misc ell ane ous

ACTIVITY/ITEM

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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Notes

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.” —Mark Twain

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ wb11


Vendor Selection

-------------- [ wedding planner ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ venue ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ caterer ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ decorator / florist ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

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Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Vendor Selection

-------------- [ photographer / videographer ] --------------

Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ entertainment ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ hair and makeup ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [ invitations ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

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Vendor Selection

-------------- [ transportation ] -------------Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [

] --------------

Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [

] --------------

Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

-------------- [

] --------------

Choice 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________ Choice 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________ Phone Number: _________________________

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___________________________________________________________________________

Father of Bride:

___________________________________________________________________________

Mother of Groom: ___________________________________________________________________________ Father of Groom:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bride’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bride’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bride’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groom’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groom’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groom’s Siblings:

___________________________________________________________________________

Maid of Honor:

___________________________________________________________________________

Best Man:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bridesmaid 1:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bridesmaid 2:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bridesmaid 3:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bridesmaid 4:

___________________________________________________________________________

Bridesmaid 5:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groomsman 1:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groomsman 2:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groomsman 3:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groomsman 4:

___________________________________________________________________________

Groomsman 5:

___________________________________________________________________________

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Gift Lists

Mother of Bride:

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Technology

Marry Tradition with Tech OVERALL, TECHNOLOGY HAS VASTLY IMPROVED AND REDEFINED THE WAY WE SPEND OUR LIVES AND TIME WITH ONE ANOTHER. TECHNOLOGY HAS ALSO EVOLVED THE PROCESS OF GETTING MARRIED. BELOW ARE SOME INNOVATIVE WAYS TO BRING YOUR WEDDING TO THIS DECADE. By Indy Rishi Sekhon

Wedding Conferencing

Apps for Planning

Imagine receiving a phone call. You pick up and stare at the video that begins to play on the phone. You see exquisite colors and recognize a familiar face in a glamorous outfit. Now you remember, today is your cousin’s wedding in India that you unfortunately could not attend. However, the video you watch is streaming live. You sit back and enjoy the wedding in real time, and bless the couple over the phone or laptop. When you want to share with relatives and friends in different countries, a wedding videoconference is an effective way to solve natural displacement issues. Certain hotels or videographers provide the technology to make this possible. Add an extra dose of communication by having your overseas guests tweet live as a laptop connected to a large screen projects their comments for your guests to enjoy! Try free calls and conferencing at Skype.com

iPhones and iPods can also be used to effectively prepare a magnificent wedding. The iWedding Deluxe App, $9.99, is an incredibly efficient digital wedding planner that will organize, guide and inspire your wedding preparations while keeping you on track with regards to both timing and budget. It also provides integration between your Twitter and Facebook accounts so your “friends” can also stay up to date. iWeddingdeluxe.com

Facebook Marriage As important as the actual wedding proceedings, social media platforms help facilitate the hype and anticipation of your special day. A personal website with a link to a Facebook group will instantly create buzz. With friends, family and coworkers, there are many people in your network that would love to know about preparations, funny stories or knowledge you’ve picked up on your wedding journey. Post pictures online as they happen through your smart phone connected to your Facebook account.

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Memories Stored Another technology that is valuable during weddings is video cameras. If you want to enjoy your wedding proceedings behind the scenes or from your own point of view/experience, you can always invest in a digital camera. The Ultra HD Flip camera can be custom made and shoots in a phenomenal 720p HD format. Some cameras are waterproof, have multiple body coverings and have excellent warranties in case you break or lose them on your honeymoon. This includes the Kodak PLAYSPORT video camera, which shoots in either 720p HD or 1080p HD. Theflip.com, Kodak.com Even professional videography has evolved with studios such as Studio 2012, offering to make your wedding experience a cinematic one. Videographers can now use footage from the wedding ceremonies and honeymoon along with behind the scenes (reality) or scripted footage (with family members and friends) to craft an amazing personalized Bollywood film starring you! Studio2012.info


Tasks for Friends and Family BRIDE AND PARENTS OF THE BRIDE The parents (especially if financing the wedding) are, along with the bride, the main organizers of the wedding. In consultation with the groom and his family, they:

MAID OR MATRON OF HONOR She may be the sister, relative or best friend of the bride. In South Asian traditions she is in charge of all the minor details related to the bride and is her primary support system during this life-changing event. She:

• Decide on all logistics for the wedding ceremony and reception • Help the bride choose her clothes and jewelry • Plan various ceremonies • Help prepare the guest list • Act as hosts for the events they are coordinating • Order and mail the invitations as the hosts • If the groom’s family is from out-of-town, they may help with travel arrangements and accommodations • Select and purchase the groom’s attire and jewelry in some cultures • Host Mehndi and/or Sangeet • Host the bridal luncheon after the reception

BEST MAN

GROOM AND PARENTS OF THE GROOM

He is the one who stands by the groom through the wedding ceremony. In our culture, he may be a brother, relative or best friend. He:

The groom’s parents, along with the groom, are usually responsible for their own guests. They: • Prepare their guest list and help with travel and accommodations • May host a reception for the couple after the wedding. If so, they are responsible for the invitations and the guest list for that event • Buy gifts for the bride’s family • Select and purchase the bride’s attire and jewelry in some cultures • Purchase the wedding and engagement rings • Arrange for the marriage license • Host one Mehndi and/or Sangeet • Arrange for transportation after the bidai or rukhsati • Make the honeymoon arrangements

• Helps the bride shop for her wedding trousseau • May host the bridal shower and/or bachelorette party • Is usually in charge of organizing the Mehndi and/or Sangeet and finding a mehndi artist • Takes the bride to all beauty appointments on the day of the wedding • Stays with the bride throughout the festivities • Helps the bride pack for her honeymoon • Manages all other bridesmaids

• • • •

Helps pick the groom’s attire May host a bachelor party Is in charge of decorating the wedding car Is in charge of arranging the hotel for the wedding night • May be the ring-bearer in some cultures • Manages all other groomsmen BRIDESMAIDS Bridesmaids assist the bride throughout the wedding, taking instructions from the maid of honor. They escort the bride to the ceremony. Bridesmaids are also responsible for purchasing their own dresses and accessories.

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

GROOMSMEN Groomsmen assist the groom throughout the wedding, taking instructions from the best man. They also escort the groom prior to the ceremony. Groomsmen are responsible for purchasing or renting their own attire.

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Out-of-Town Guests wb18

guest

dates

hotel

flight

pickup person

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name

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phone email

Addresses for Guest List

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phone email

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The Love of My Life The first time we met was at: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

My first thought was: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

But later, I realized that: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Our favorite thing to do is: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Our favorite restaurant is: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

I found happiness within your embrace...

A sense of peace that I never could have imagined.

Each day that I am with you, I learn what it is to be utterly and completely in love.

My

e! M d n ey a n o H

iance f y m e v I lo ........ because he’s my best friend! he has a goofy smile! he makes me laugh so hard! he inspires me to better things! being with him makes me happy!

I knew I loved my fiance when: ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

He proposed to me with: ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ wb20


The Bridal Party

s Our Best Friend

My Maid of Honor

For our honeymoon, we are going to: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

The best part of planning the wedding is: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

The hardest part of planning the wedding is: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

Things I have learned while planning the wedding are: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

In our first year of marriage, we plan to: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

A wedding is the entrance to a marriage: One drives through, and suddenly one's there!

Stepping from a fairy tale carriage Into quite ordinary air. Life is now a dance, though beautiful, Requiring intense coordination;

Each self becomes, in ways inscrutable, More fully what it is in combination. And we who love you wait, of course, outside

As you become through love that mystery: One flesh made whole of separate groom and bride; Two selves, one life; two notes, one harmony. When you are one, we then may cherish two:

Loving not just one, but both of you. —William Byrd wb21


Notes

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” —Rumi

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Notes

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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Love is enough: though the World be a-waning, And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining, Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder, Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder, And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass'd over, Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter; The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover. —William Morris

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happily ever after begins today.

wb24


Bibi Bridal Annual 2011  

Spotlight: Reshma Shetty's marriage to Deep Katdare. South Asian bridal and fashion magazine with beautiful photography, bridal advice, and...

Bibi Bridal Annual 2011  

Spotlight: Reshma Shetty's marriage to Deep Katdare. South Asian bridal and fashion magazine with beautiful photography, bridal advice, and...

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