Wedding Security

We’ve all heard horror stories of wedding houses getting robbed or gifts going missing which always add a touch of worry to wedding festivities. My Dad was so worried about break ins he refused to have house lights. It’s also especially difficult trying to keep your valuables safe whilst hosting, as the guests feel you should trust them whilst you’re just trying to be cautious. Below are some ways we handled the valuables during my wedding, or ideas I have since seen.

Never Have an Empty House

This is particularly important for houses where it is very evident from the outside that a wedding is taking place. I know this one may seem difficult as when you go out for functions, so will all your family and friends. So, who could you ask to stay back? Demand has been met for this by tea ladies who help wash up and make tea whilst you host functions. They’ll also stay back at the house on wedding/reception days. However, I have no clue how to find them sorry, i’ve just seen people have them at houses i’ve done mehndi for. For my wedding my sister asked one of her friends’ siblings to house sit, as she knew them, but they weren’t close enough to the family to be invited to the wedding so it wasn’t awkward. There are also house sitter or pet sitter services that can be used too. If you are friendly with your neighbours (especially any with cameras) ask them to keep an eye on your house too. There are also lots of cameras you can buy on line if you are really worried, some people even buy fake cameras to put up.

Have a Wedding Room

If space allows try and keep all the important wedding stuff in a room that can be locked. On days where you have house functions, only one person should have the key to the room, and it should always be locked. The person with the key should be the only one opening and closing the room. This not only prevents against theft but will also help to stop all the key wedding stuff from getting touched and moved around. For my wedding we had all mine and my family’s outfits and jewellery, and the main wedding objects such as maiyaan stuff etc. locked in the one room. Try to avoid taking things out of the wedding room to show people, as this is when most things go missing. Tell people that it is a surprise and they’ll find out on the wedding day. If they push just say everything is too much of a mess and your embarrassed or that you don’t know who has the key.

Have a Single Point of Entry

When you are having functions at your house, ensure that guests can only get into the house from one entryway. This helps you to have visibility of everyone coming into the house. If you have a side door that leads into the kitchen, that’s the best entrance to use as kitchens are rarely empty during functions, so there will always be somebody there. It also helps protect your carpets! If possible, also try and keep the house entry door closed so someone has to let new guests in each time. It is annoying, but it’s the best way to keep track of who is in your house and prevent any unwanted people from entering. It is very common for opportunist to just wander into a house, and grab what they can.

If you have a hotel room for your reception that you are using to store stuff in (or if everyone is using your room to store things in), make sure that you know how many key cards there are and that entrance is restricted. Make sure any spare cards are with trusted people and they know not to pass them out.

Cash

There will be a lot of cash thrown around during a wedding week. Not only for gifting but also paying some of the smaller wedding suppliers. Having an idea on how you will manage it is extremely beneficially and will make the main days less stressful.

Cash Storage

Ensure you have identified a secure place for any cash to be held, you can use more than one place to spread the risk. Try and ensure that it is in a secluded place, so that when guests are round you can access the cash discretely. Make sure whoever will be paying suppliers know the location so that they can access the cash and don’t shout across the house asking you where it is (like my siblings did). Have envelopes or bags around too for any lose cash you are gifted, so you can store it properly. Lots of places sell lockable metal money boxes. There are these cool bags you can get from India now that you can collect shagun money in too, they lay flat on your lap then you pull the string and it turns into a bag. That really helps to stop it falling everywhere and is perfect for Gurudwara ceremonies.

Storing cash is the hardest during the religious ceremony as that is when the most is given but you have no-where to put it. For my wedding we regularly took collections of the cash to the car and left it locked in there. It was not ideal, but we didn’t think of what to do with the cash on the day and that was the best we could come up with. You could take this up a step by putting a safe or cash box in the car to keep it secure. This works best if people don’t realise that is where you are putting the money. It’s easier for the reception as the bride and groom are normally given a suite and that should have a safe in it. So, your nominated people can just pop to the room every now and again and leave the cash/cards in the safe. Don’t leave it lying around the room, as they always end up with lots of people in them.

Cash Handling

Have designated people to collect cash/gifts and tell people that are gifting to give it to them. Not everyone that collects the cash needs to know where the storage place is, they just need to know who to give it to. For example, your parents and siblings can be cash/gift contacts, however only your parents know where it is kept. So, your siblings will collect the cash then pass it to your parents to store when they get a chance. Try to handle the cash as little as possible and ensure it is not clearly visible. Make limited trips to where it is stored to keep the location hidden. When you have to pay suppliers, count out the amount in the storage place, not in public. Or have envelopes ready with the set amount inside so you can just grab it and go. For the religious ceremony and reception time have a designated person to take the cash from the function to your safe place. Make sure they do regular trips to stop any build up. Avoid having card post boxes as they are not secure, and I have heard of lots of cards going missing from them. The best thing to do is to make clear to people who to give the cash/gifts to.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!

Jaz

Bridal Henna Vs Party Henna

I know that many people feel that henna artists just add bridal to their service and use that as an excuse to charge extra. So, I thought I would write a blog to help de-bunk this myth. The easiest way to explain the difference is by using a shopping example. Party henna is like buying a dress from the high street, whilst bridal henna is like buying a couture dress. Both are dresses that will have the same function, however there is a much higher level of detail and customisation that goes into the couture gown. The high street dress is a standard dress that is decent and pretty but is quite basic and many people will have the same dress or something similar. The couture gown will be tailored to you, one of a kind and you can have input over the design. All these factors impact on the price with the couture dress being more expensive because of the additional work required. There is also the matter of quality over quantity as you would need to sell 100 high street dresses to make the same as selling 1 couture dress. However, you wouldn’t be able to make 100 couture dresses in the time you could 100 high street dresses. Which dress you buy depends on your current need as sometimes you need something basic and sometimes you need something with a bit more pizazz!

If you’re bored of reading about dresses, below are some actual henna related reasons!

Aim

The overall aim of party henna is to give all the guests a bit of henna to show they’ve been to a wedding. As there are lots of people that need henna it is important to be efficient with the types of designs that are being applied, and although designs are basic they should be neat and aesthetically pleasing. For bridal henna it is a show piece and an integral part of a bride’s attire. So, the aim is to create a beautiful and neat one of a kind designs customised to the bride’s taste. The overall focus is more on quality than quantity. Whilst party henna is more quantity focused. Though like the high street, the basic option is still nice and it requires a lot of skill to apply neat henna in such a fast-paced environment.

Design Choice

For party henna design choice is limited to rather basic elements. This is because complex design elements take much longer to do and, in a party setting you need to keep the line moving to get everyone done. For me personally clients can pick a layout and I will free-style the design for them. Whereas with bridal henna it is completely up to the bride what to include in her design. No elements are off-limits, and we can even include custom elements within the design.

Design Intricacy

Whilst I offer heavy, medium and light designs for bridal and party clients. The standard for the bridal intricacy is completely different to the standard for party henna intricacy. For example, a bridal heavy design and a party heavy design will both cover the full hand. However, the bridal design will have a more complex layout with a variety of elements and motifs. Whilst the party henna full hand will have a simplistic layout with only 2 or 3 different elements. Again, time is a big factor in this as simple element are quicker and help keep the line moving, but guests are usually quite restless when getting their henna done and want to get back to the party or eat.

Design Planning

For bridal henna I will consult with the bride and draw out some different options for her to chose from. Once a choice is made there may also be some amendments that I will have to update the final design with. This is a very time-consuming process and is factored into the price of bridal henna. For party henna there is no planning prior to the day, any design requests are made on the day and I will accommodate if feasible.

Design Practise

For bridal henna there may be new or custom elements that the bride has requested, which I will have to learn how to do. Some elements can take a while to learn and additional practise will be required. For party henna whilst I do need to practise to help with speed and neatness, it is more general and falls into my normal henna practise.

Application Time

Bridal henna must be neat and, in most cases include complex elements and be symmetrical. To achieve this a lot more time is required to apply the design. Whereas party henna mainly just needs be neat and pretty. A light party design could take 5 minutes whereas a bridal light design could take 40 minutes.

Whilst party and bridal henna are both applied by me using the same henna, the level of service required for bridal henna is far more significant than party henna. I personally put full effort into bridal and party henna, however both types of henna need different skills and have are different focuses. Bridal henna is much more demanding in every aspect and it is priced accordingly.

Hopefully this has helped you to see the difference between bridal and party henna and why there is such a big difference in the pricing!

Moving Out!

Moving Out?

When I moved out for university, I was fine. Everyone in my halls were also new, it was the first time most of us had lived away and no-one really knew what we were doing. We also had fresher’s week, induction packs and a team of university people behind us to make sure we settled in fine. Whereas moving in with my husband was a completely different experience. Unlike university where everyone was new and we were all building our own new habits and routines, I moved in with a family. Who already had set habits and routines that I needed to slot into. Plus all the practical issues that arise from moving away too, like where’s your local corner shop or where to get your hair done? Below are some points to consider when you are moving away after marriage.

Work

So this point is fairly obvious, however I included it just in case. Some things to think about are:

  • Will you be able to continue working at your current job
  • Will there be any additional travel costs after you move
  • What is the job market like in your new area
  • If you do need to move jobs, when will you hand in your notice
  • When will you start looking for new a new job
  • When will you be able to start the new job

Storage

If you are moving straight from your parents to live with your husband, you would have most likely amassed a lot of stuff. All of this stuff will have to be taken to your husband’s house where if he is also living with his parents will also have a life time of random stuff in his room. You will also have a lots of new suits and other random other wedding stuff that will need to be fitted in. Though there is the tradition in some families that you only take new stuff with you to your in-laws, so that is also worth checking. This was something me and my husband forgot about and are still trying to clear space now! Below are some key points/actions:

  • As soon as possible you and your husband need to start going through your things and cutting them down!
  • For the stuff you won’t be able to take agree with your parents how it will be stored.
  • It’s also worth looking at how much storage is available in his room so you can figure out how much stuff you can take with you. Or if you need to buy more.
  • Don’t assume that if there is empty space in the house you will be able to use it, always check beforehand.
  • Don’t look at the things that are only in your room too. The bathroom and kitchen are other key areas to keep in mind. Especially if you’ll be sharing a bathroom with the family. You also need to see how much bathroom/ kitchen space is available at your husbands house.
  • Also, if it is a shared bathroom, does everyone leave their toiletries in the bathroom or keep them in their rooms.
  • Another bathroom point is are they period equipped?

Local amenities

One thing I completely forgot about when I moved was my eyebrows! After living in Hounslow for almost a year and a half, I have finally found a wonderful threading lady and I don’t have to go back home every time my eyebrows need doing. Apart from leaving behind your family you’re also leaving behind your favourite shops, restaurants and services. Before you move it’s a good idea to try and find some replacements. Below are things that you may to change after the move:

  • Hair removal
  • Hair dressing
  • Garage
  • Corner shop
  • Post office
  • Cashpoint
  • Gym

Settling In

It’s hard moving in with a family as it’s like you’re playing a game but only they know the rules. I also feel like no-one really talks about what will happen once you move in, as everyone is so focused on the wedding. It’s just assumed that you’ll just slot in and do everything their way too. Even though their way could be completely different to how your family does things. The main thing that will help you to settle is time, the longer you are there the more everything starts to make sense. A supportive husband is also a plus!

I was thinking the other day that a house induction would be amazing. Similar to when you start a new job and they take you round the office, show you how everything works and let you know key things that happen in the office. Wouldn’t it be great if your in-laws did that too! If you feel comfortable ask your husbands family to have a little induction or practical welcome pack. If not, below are some things to ask your husband before you move in:

  • How does the hot water work?
  • Are there set bathroom/shower times.
  • How do meal times work?
  • What days are laundry days?
  • Who cooks?
  • Are there any foods you can’t cook?
  • Does everyone eat the same food, or do you all make your own?
  • Where is the fuse box/ gas/ electricity meter?
  • What is the alarm code?
  • When would they set the alarm code?
  • If they have pets (or if there’s children around), how often are they fed/ walked/ what rooms are they allowed into?
  • What days are bin days, how does the re-cycling work?
  • Do they put the tea bags directly into the bin?
  • Is there a lot of visitors?
  • Will you coming home late be an issue?
  • How will parking work?

To be honest the above list could go on forever and hopefully it has nudged you to think of some other questions too. It’s also a good idea to try and find out what jobs you’ll be expected to do when you move in. Having a clear idea of what to expect and how you and your husband would like to manage your relationship whilst living at with in-laws is important for the both of you and your relationship.

The Actual Move

A good point to consider as well is when will you move your stuff. Most people do it when the girl comes back for a couple of days after the wedding. It’s probably worth allowing a couple of days for you and your husband to unpack and get all your stuff arranged. My main advice for this would be to make sure that you thoroughly plan what you pack for the days you are at you in-laws, so that there are no last-minute emergencies. Find out what they have planned and have back-ups ready!

The Anand Karaj – What You Have To Do

Whilst many of us are familiar with what happens during the Anand Karaj, it’s different when it’s your turn to participate in it. This blog will take you through exactly what you will need to do as a bride during the Anand Karaj. Though please note that there is always some variation in the ceremony, so take this only as a rough guide. It can be helpful to ask friends/family that have recently gotten married for advice on this, especially if they were married in the same Gurudwara as you. I’m not knowledgeable enough to delve into the deeper meanings of the ceremony, however I would strongly recommend to anyone getting married through any type of religious ceremony to do their own research on the significance and meaning of it. Especially with the Anand Karaj as it is one of the most important religious commitments you will make in your life. There are many courses offered by various Sikh groups that will be able to teach you all about the Anand Karaj both online and in person.

Things you can do before the Anand Karaj

Listen to the Gurbani that forms the Anand Karaj regularly before your wedding. Mentally it will help you to connect to the ceremony, and if you’re like me and can’t understand Punjabi very well it will help you to be able to tell the different sections apart, and learn your cues for the Lavaan and Ardas.

Practise standing up and sitting down in your lehenga, if possible also do a few practise runs with whoever will be sitting behind you on the day too. As they will have to pull your lehenga out as you sit down so it doesn’t end up bunched all around you. If you have a heavy tikka/ matha patthi or big kaleeray practise wearing those too.

Have bags ready for the shagun line at the end of the ceremony, as otherwise you’ll have to put it all in the palla and that can get messy.

Consider wearing legging or knee length shorts under your lehenga. If you sweat, they will absorb it and if you need to go toilet you can just drop your skirt and run. Also, it’s more comfortable wearing them when you are sitting on the floor.

Check with the Gurudwara Committee when/where the grooms kalgi should be removed and if the shagun line will happen in or outside of the Darbar.

Practise sitting cross legged too, especially the groom!

Selecting the girls that will sit behind you

The girls that sit behind you may seem like a small detail, but if you pick the right people they will really make a difference. They will be responsible for helping you get up/down, keeping your lehenga straight and keeping you updated on what’s going on or what you need to do next. I’d stick to 3 or 4 girls maximum to stop things getting too crowded. When picking the girls try and select people that are already married or have a good knowledge of the ceremony, so you can make the most of their knowledge on your day. Also, girls that have sat behind the bride before are helpful as they know what they are doing. Most importantly, pick people that you like hanging out with as it’s always nice to be surrounded by your loved ones. Make sure that they know they will be sitting behind you in advance so there is no confusion on the day.

The below sections aren’t the complete ceremony, just the parts where you or the groom will have to do something:

Arriving At The Gurudwara

I just want to mention here that once you arrive at the Gurudwara you go straight to a waiting room until it’s time to enter the Darbar. The photographer may use this time to get some portraits and someone should bring you breakfast, however you could be there for a couple of hours so make sure you have people to keep you company!

Grooms Entrance

The groom enters the Darbar, Matha Tek’s and sits either at the front or to the side (until the bride enters) depending on the Gurudwara. Check with the Gurudwara Committee if his kalgi should be removed before or after he enters the Darbar. If after, the groom’s sister/s will then come and remove the kalgi and leave it in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Kurmai (if not done already)

The Kurmai starts with an Ardas, in which only the groom and both sets of parents participate. The Groom and parents will have to Matha Tek, stand up, Matha Tek during the Ardas and then again before they sit down. The groom sits on the men’s side at the front and the bride’s father comes and gifts him with dried fruit and some money. It either goes in his palla or a separate bag. Someone may need to be on standby to touch up the grooms palla after this.

The groom will go back to the front before the bride enters.

Brides Entrance

You will enter holding a Ramaal (though bouquets are becoming popular now too) and place the Ramaal in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then Matha Tek and sit next to the groom. Your photographer may tell you to turn and smile at him when you sit down.

Your friends/ sisters should be sitting behind you to help manage your lehenga. When you sit down you need to kick your lehenga out behind you to avoid sitting in all the net and crushing it. The girls behind you need to grab the skirt from the most inside layer and pull that out behind you. It’s helpful if they grab the inside layer whist you stand up, then pull it out as you sit down. The aim of this is to ensure you are sitting on the mat with nothing stuck underneath you (hence the leggings), with your lehenga nicely fanned out around you.

1st Ardas

The next time you and the groom will have to stand up is for the first Ardas. For this Ardas only you, the groom and both sets of parents will stand up. You must Matha Tek before you stand up, before you sit down and during the Ardas. Normally you do the 2nd Matha Tek at “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala”, but this does vary.

Palla Ceremony

During the palla ceremony your farther will come behind you and take the end of the palla that is not in the grooms lap and place it in your hands. Wrap the palla around your hand so it doesn’t slip and hold tight! You will have to hold on to the palla for the rest of the ceremony.

Laavaan

For each Laav you will Matha Tek, stand up, let your the groom go in front and then follow him around the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. If your lehenga is quite heavy, try kicking it in front of you as you walk so it doesn’t get caught in your legs. Keeping a nice slow pace is key here and you can always give the groom a tug if he’s going too fast! Once you’ve completed the round, walk behind the groom and stand next to him. This avoids you pulling the palla off him. If you went too fast during the round you may have to stay there until the Laav is finished. There will normally be a signal when you can sit down again. Matha Tek again before you sit down and that Laav is complete. Each Laav is announced before it starts so you know when to get up, however if you’re worried about standing up and sitting down at the correct time ask someone to give you a nudge every time you need to do something.

2nd Ardas

You do the same as the first Ardas, however this time everyone participates in it. As normal you will have to Matha Tek before, after and during. Though by this one you should be a pro!

Sagun Line

You’re officially married now! All you have to do is sit there and smile. This will either take place inside the Darbar after the Raagis have finished, or outside of it depending on the Gurudwara Committee. This will probably be the hardest part to get through, but at least you get blessings.

I hope this helped! If I’ve made any mistakes, please let me know!

Your Wedding Timetable

Creating my wedding timetable was quite easy as Sikh weddings tend to follow roughly the same timings to allow the Anand Karaj to be finished by 12pm. To create my timetable, I just copied a Sikh wedding invitation I found online for the main events and then worked around those. The reception timetable was also simple as the caterers recommended what they thought would work best and we went with that. If you are unsure of anything when it comes to timings, your photographer is a great person to ask as they are wedding experts. You should try and get your wedding timetable agreed as early as possible so that your suppliers are aware of what timings they are working to. Below are the timetables I used when planning as references, for the parts that don’t have timings I added them afterwards as that is the order they happened on the day but I can’t remember what time they happened.

  Wednesday
Times 03/07/2018
12pm Nails
5pm Eyebrows
6pm Home
7pm Hen Night
  Thursday
Times 04/07/2018
10am Maiyaa
12:30pm Jaz Mehndi
  Friday
Times 05/07/2018
12pmFinal Wedding prep checks
5pm Maiyaa
6pm Churra
8pm Jago
  Saturday
Times 06/07/2018
03:00 Jaz Wake up
3:30am Makeup artist arrives
5:00am Everyone else wakes up
6:30am Photographer arrives
7:30am Everyone Leaves for the Gurudwara
09:00 Baraat arrives
09:30 Milni/ Tea
10:30 Anand Karaj
13:30 Lunch/Thali Ceremony
14:00Couple Pictures
15:00 Back home
16:30 Doli
17:00 Chill (Jaz Side)
18:00 Clean up (Jaz Side)
18:30Paani Varna (Grooms side)
19 :30Travel to hotel rooms and drop alcohol to venue on the way (Jaz Side)
21:00Jaz and Gurpz check in
  Sunday
Times 07/07/2018
10am Jaz make up
Decor arrived
1pm Close family needs to be at hall
1pmPhotographer arrives
2pm People should be turning up by them
2:30pmPeople enter hall
Bride and Groom Enterance/Cake Cutting
Starters
First Dance
Dancing
Mains
Couple Photos
Dancing – Dessert served at some point
7pm Kick people out slowly
8pm FINISHED!

To ensure you can stick to your timetable it is helpful to consider the below points:

  • Venue Journey Times

There will be a lot of travel on the day and it is important to factor that in and consider what traffic is generally like at the times you will be travelling. I would also recommend doing a travel practise run. A couple of weeks before the wedding try doing the journey as per the times on your time table. This will give an idea of what to expect on the day. If you cant practise all the routes, at least ensure the groom has had a practise run to the venue at the time they will leave on the wedding day. It’s also a good idea to check if there are any road works or local public events happening on your wedding day. My wedding day was the same day as the London Pride event which meant that lots of roads were closed in central. This led to lots of guests getting delayed going from the Gurudwara to my house for the doli.

  • Can you trust your guests to be on time?

You cannot control other people’s timings, but you can plan how to handle their lateness. If you know most of your guests will be late consider telling them earlier times or give yourself a realistic time buffer. I have also seen some invitations that emphasise timings will be strictly adhered to. Though guest lateness is prevalent, hosts are getting stricter and not waiting for them anymore which I think is great. Tell guests beforehand that you will not wait for them and keep repeating it, so they know you are not joking. I do think that slowly it is working. For my wedding all the main people stayed at the house and we had coaches to transport them. This way we knew exactly where they were and could keep them to timings.

  • What are your critical events and which events can you cut/move?

Unfortunately, no matter how much planning and preparation you do sometimes things will go wrong or get delayed and you may have to make some snap decisions on the day. When creating your timetables, it can be useful to have an idea of which events are critical and must start on time, and which events you have more flexibility with or can be skipped all together. That way if on the day you are running behind you know what you can move around to get yourself back on track. For example, the Anand Karaj is a critical event that must be started on time, whilst the Milni is flexible and if you are running late can be reduced to claw back some time.

  • Are there any other events happening at your venue?

Check with your venues what else they will be doing on the day and ask them how they think it is likely to impact your event. You may not be able to make any changes to the other event but at least you will be aware of any potential issues. For example, I got married at Gravesend Gurudwara which has 2 wedding halls. So, there was another wedding happening at the same time as ours. Their Milni went on for quite a while and we couldn’t do ours until theirs had finished, which ended up delaying things for us. Whilst I don’t know what we could have done to mitigate that, it may be good to know in advance.

  • Are you providing transportation?

If you must travel quite far for the wedding it may be worth providing coaches to and from the venues for your guests. Although its an extra cost it does ensure you have everyone together and can control when and where they go. My Dad says that the bus ride from the Gurudwara was the best part of the wedding for him, which is annoying for me as I was stuck in the wedding car!

  • Who will ensure the timetable is followed?

You will be too busy getting married to enforce your timetable. You will most likely not even know what time it is most of the day as you will have no phone or watch. So, you will need to appoint people to keep an eye on timings and make sure guests are where they need to be. All of your close family will also be busy and may not be best for the job. If you have any trusted friends or cousins, ask them to keep an eye on the timings for you and try and get people to the right place on time. I say more than one person as that way you are covered, and they can support each other. You also need someone assertive that will not take no for an answer (in a nice way)!

  • Venue timings

Check with the venues before hand what times you have access to them and what time you need to be cleared out by. As you need to factor in set up and tidy up times which may or may not be included in your hire times. This information is key for your suppliers. Also, if your reception is in a hotel you may also get a room, so don’t forget to check the check in/ check out times.

  • Venue storage

For the reception especially there may be things you need to keep at the venue such as alcohol or decorations. Check with the venue beforehand if you can drop them off prior to your events and if so where they will be kept. If they are kept in a store room, check who has access so that you don’t end up locked out on the day. If there is no storage it may be worth booking a room to keep things in. This is important to know as you may have to factor drop offs into your wedding timetable.

  • Grooms side events

Our wedding took place over 2 days, with the Anand Karaj on the Saturday and the Reception on the Sunday. I was so focused on planning the two actual events I didn’t consider what would happen in between. I had planned up to the doli on the Saturday and knew that at some point on the Saturday night we would need to leave to check into our hotel room. I had no idea what we would be doing after the doli and because there was no plan, we ended up leaving for our hotel room at 1am as we had to look after guests.  It is worth asking the grooms side what will happen after the doli and if they have any functions or rasams planned for after the wedding that you will need to prepare for.

I hope this helps, let me know what else you would like me to blog about?

Jaz

Who does what?

Who will be doing what

My last tip covered agreeing which functions/traditions you will be doing with your family as well as which functions/traditions you will do with your in-laws. Knowing your functions as early as possible is extremely helpful as these are what will form your wedding week and once you know what you are doing you can start making bookings (if required).

Now you know what you will be doing, the second part is knowing who will be doing what? Set traditions/functions have set people that will need to do be involved. If you tell them in advance that they will be involved/what they will be doing, then things will run much smoother on the day of the function. As everyone knows that they are involved and what they need to do.

Reasons to allocation functions in advanced:

  • You can ensure that the people closest to you are involved. I have seen it happen at many weddings where the bride/groom want a specific person to do something. However as this was not communicated beforehand the actual person didn’t know they needed to be involved and let someone else do it.
  • People will make sure they attend the functions where they are supposed to be doing something. They will also be more likely to tell you if they will no longer be able to attend.
  • Most of the younger generation don’t know what to do in weddings. If you go through their jobs with them in advanced, they are prepared and will not be asking what to do. This will also make a nicer wedding video, as everyone will just do their job rather than repeatedly asking what to do.  
  • You will get lots of people you don’t personally know (but are probably somehow related to) try and get involved in your wedding functions. As you will be busy on the day you may not even realise that they have got involved until it’s too late and you can’t stop them. If you everyone knows in advance who is supposed to be doing what they will be able to share that message and hopefully stop others from interfering.

Action list

  1. As soon as you have selected your functions decide which people you would like involved. For example, in the churra ceremony, your churra are normally put on you by your Mama. This is where you would decide which Mama/s you would like to take part in the ceremony. Do you want just your real Mama’s (only your Mum’s actual brothers) or more distant Mama’s also (Mums cousins). If you don’t have a Mama who would you like to do this instead?
  2. Let them know that you would like them to be a part of the ceremony and tell them the dates and what they need to do. It’s common to assume that close family will be there for the whole week, however due to family and work commitments people may not always attend every wedding function. So, this way they will know what days they will need to attend.
  3. I would recommend making the below (or similar) table in excel, it’s up to you how detailed you make it. The table can also be used just to let people know where they need to be too, like the last entry which isn’t really a function but it gives direction.
Function Date/Time Name/ Role What they need to do Materials required
Churra ceremony PM 25/08/2019 Harmail – Mama Put churra on bride Churra
Milk
Anand Karaj AM 26/08/2019 Harpreet – Brother Help sister with Pheras N/A
Gurudwara Breakfast AM 26/08/2019 Brides Friends Stay with bride to keep company/ feed Breakfast Breakfast
Straw Lipstick Safety Pins
  • Print the list off before the wedding week and have it displayed somewhere prominent. This can also serve as your detailed wedding plan. If you have any wedding planning whatsapp groups also send in there.

Selecting your functions/rasams for the wedding

A wedding is very much a family affair, though confusingly every family does them differently. For Asian weddings this can be incredibly difficult to manage, as trying to find out all the different events and traditions to follow for your wedding can be almost impossible! Your Dads side says one thing, your Mums another and that’s without even speaking to your in-laws who will probably have their own things they would like included! By functions/rasams I am referring to all the traditions/ ceremonies you do in addition to the actual wedding ceremony that are a part of the wedding. So for example how many maiyans you do, or are you going to play any games with your husband when you arrive at his or do you have to make something sweet as your first dish with your in-laws?

It all gets very confusing with lots of opinions being thrown around, and you trying not to offend anyone and chose one side over another. I have also seen this repeatedly at mehndi functions where they are also doing a Maiyaan or other function and the Puah is fighting with the Masi over the correct way to do things. The way I handled this for my wedding was that me and my Mum agreed that my Bibi was the appointed cultural expert for the wedding and we solely went to her for instructions and advise. This worked for us and when we had instances of conflicting advice, we just went with what Bibi said. However, this option may not work for everyone, especially if both sides of your family are quite opinionated.

In those instances, I would recommend you speaking to your parents’ sides separately and seeing which functions/rasams they would like you to do and find out how they do them. It’s also worth asking what their essential ones are so when it comes to shortlisting you don’t miss anything important. Once you have the lists from both sides you can see what they have in common, what they involve and how important they are to your family. Then with that information you can decide which you would like to do.

I would also recommend your partner to do the same with their family. Then when you and your partner are clear on what you would like to do, you can meet with your in-laws and agree what the joint functions will be. For example, if you will be having a chunni ceremony or not and what your fiancé’s family consider to be an essential part of the ceremony and if it conflicts with how your family holds one.

For my wedding we did the below:

– A Mini Roka – it wasn’t an official roka, but I went to my husband’s house with my parents after got engaged and was introduced to his side and we were given laddu and shagun.

– 3 Maiyans – the first maiyan was on the Thursday in the morning, the second on the Friday in the evening and the third on the morning of the wedding. For the third maiyan they also put yogurt in my hair and my brother had to take me out of the bath (I was clothed).

– After my first maiyan I wasn’t allowed to shower or leave the house until the wedding day. My husband’s family only do one maiyan, so this does vary.

– Churra Ceremony – this was done after my second maiyan. My eldest Mama put my churra on.

– Jago – this was done after my churra ceremony and I was told must be done after the 2nd maiyan.

– Mehndi – can be done 2/3 days before the wedding.

– Milni – We agreed who would be participating in the milni before hand and had a list ready for the Gurudwara committee. We decided to keep it to just close family so it wouldn’t get too long. We also were supposed to have a ladies one separately but I don’t think that actually happened.

– Kurmai – we did this at the Gurudwara before the wedding. Both sides agreed not to do a chunni ceremony.

– Doli – I always wanted this to be done from my parents’ house, and luckily, we made it work.  From watching too many Bollywood films I thought that I needed to throw the rice behind me, it turned out that in my family we throw the rice in the four corners of the room.

– My brother accompanied me to my in-laws after the doli.

– Paani Varna – This was done the standard way.

– The day after the wedding we went to my parent’s house for lunch/dinner. My in-laws chose for this to be just my husbands’ immediate family though this varies with different families.

If you haven’t started thinking about this yet, I would highly recommend you do. As being able to know what you are doing/how it needs to be done is an integral part of the wedding. It also looks better in the video if you are confidently doing everything and not constantly looking confused/ asking for help.

 

Tiara Tips

After getting married myself last year, I thought I would share all the tips and tricks I learnt during the wedding planning process to help my brides with their wedding planning. It was so daunting beginning the process of planning! I had no idea what I needed to book, what was required and couldn’t find much information for Asian wedding planning online either. Hopefully these blog posts will be of some assistance.   

I have been posting tips on my Instagram however, I have found that it was not the best forum for the information as it’s more suited to sharing pictures than information. Which I know is obvious however I very confidently thought that as it was more interactive, I could make it work. Going forward I decided that all my existing tips on Instagram will remain there and any new tips will be shared on my Blog page. I will still post a summary of the tip on Instagram and then if more information is required you can view my blog page.

So please go to my Instagram to see:

The deposit table – A breakdown of how I kept track of my paid and due deposits with an example. The picture can also be used as a supplier list.

Supplier cheat sheets – A brief breakdown of the information you will need when enquiring with different suppliers.

The shared email account – How having a shared email with either your partner of family for any quotes/ wedding contracts is beneficial.

Choosing your functions – I couldn’t explain this point as in-depth as I wanted to on Instagram, so I will be writing a separate blog post.

Hopefully some of my information will be able to help with your wedding planning! Feel free to message/comment any other comments you would like covered.

The Trials of a Trial

At Tiara Mehndi we offer all of our brides a complimentary bridal trial. This consists of a discussion around what the bride is looking for in her henna and a small henna design. This is a great opportunity to discuss the bridal henna design in detail and for the brides to see the henna in real life and how it will stain them. Also as you’ll spending quite a few hours with your artist it’s a good chance to see if you are comfortable with them! To help brides get the most out of their trial, I have listed some tips below:

  • Pictures – Have some pictures of designs you like ready so that the artist can see what style you are looking for. This can be pictures of the artist your booking with work or other artists for inspiration. Focusing on you artists work is helpful as they do their style best, though should be able to replicate other styles/ elements.
  • Must do’s – If there are any elements that you would definitely like included in your bridal henna this is a good time to share them with your artist. Again pictures will be extremely helpful in showing what you would like. By discussing this now you will be able to see if the artist is comfortable doing the elements or if there will be any additional costs.
  • Coverage/Detail – It is important to know how far up the arms/legs you’s like your henna and how detailed it should be. This will allow the artist to provide you with an accurate quote. If you are unsure about either of these aspects then the trial is a good opportunity to speak to discuss your queries and get advice from an experienced source. Though it’s good to have a rough idea.
  • Bridal practise – Not only are you trialing the artist, but you are also trialing their paste. Your stain will only be as good as your after care and it is important to be familiar with what is required for a good stain. It is also important to have clean skin with no cream/ oils on. To see how the stain will be on the wedding day it is best to keep the paste on as long as you thing would be able to on the day.
  • Questions – If there is anything you are unsure of or would like to know this is your best opportunity to ask and get a full and detailed answer.
  • Budget – This will allow the artist to recommend the best package for your needs.

Hope you find this information helpful!

Jaz x

More For Less

Whether you are restricted by time, patience or budget here are some tips/ tricks to get a full coverage look without going for heavy henna:

The Churra Gap

The first artist I saw do a churra gap is Bharathi Sanghani and I think it is a genius idea, though I don’t know if she is the first person to do this. For Punjabi brides in particular their bridal churra will cover a large portion of their arm and hide the mehndi design. So by having henna done up to the wrists, then a gap where the churra will go and then a band where the churra will finish it still looks like the arms are fully covered without having to have the whole forearm hennaed. Also bridal churra are normally worn for at least 30 days, so the mehndi will have faded before the churra come off. For non Punjabi brides if you don’t mind having a gap this will still work with whatever bangles you will be wearing on your wedding day! The gaps can also be made to look a part of the design.

Strips

There’s a reason party henna is always strips and that is because they are quick, easy and effective. Strips can be done in all levels of heaviness and are always a favorite. You can have light strips going all the way up and still have a full look on a budget. If you do want some detail I would recommend going full/medium on the palms and having strips on the backs and feet. This will give you some heaviness and strips are quicker to apply. So if you don’t like sitting still for too long, this is a good option!

Embrace the space 

This is similar to the churra gap but slightly different. If you go for bold large feature elements such as mandalas they help make the design look full without having to cover the whole area. Another key element is netting, this will not save on budget but does help save time as (simple) netting is a quick way to cover large areas!

Forget the Feet!

Most bridal outfits will cover most of the feet and the legs.  So unless you really would like full henna on the legs there isn’t much point having it done. A nice way to get a full look is doing a slipper type design around the toes as they are the main parts of the feet that will be seen on the day. Another tip is to have a look which bits of the feet will be visible in your wedding shoes and have bold designs applied there. For example most shoes show the center of the foot, so a mandala is always a great way to fill the space!

Hope you find this useful! If you have anymore tips/tricks I would love to hear them!!

Jaz x