Hallo Leute :)
Today is exactly a month since we got married and just now, I feel I am back to normal life again. You guys all know before the wedding, it's ALWAYS so freaking stressed..... we were planning EVERYTHING, like literally everything ourselves, so I was running around like a chicken without a head....... I will, in a later blogpost come back to this ........ I wanted to write the blogpost in a chronicle line, so even though the wedding is over, I still wanna go back and write another preparation blog, before I actually write about the wedding. But the good thing is, I am done writing all blogs, so they will continuesly come every week...... this is a promise I can keep !!! (And it rhymes)
So this weeks post, is about my India trip in connection with my wedding. So as you guys know my HUSBAND (not partner anymore :)) proposed to me during our last vacation in September, where we travelled India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. When we were in Bali he proposed to me...... we came back home and discussed a lot whether we should have a big wedding, how we wanted to do it and what scale were we aiming for. When we decided we wanted to have a faily big wedding, we found the venue and there was less than 2 months left for the big day. We quickly made some research in Germany and London and looked at the different things we needed and quickly made a calculation that it was cheaper and easier to go to India to do our wedding shopping.....YES INDIA AGAIN !!!
My husband was more than happy to let me go alone, he didn't like India from our trip back in September, so he was really happy that I was gonna take care of everything ..... we quickly decided it would be cheaper, easier and selection would be much better in India than in any European countries. I did feel a little odd about going to india myself, so I convinced my dad it would make sense for him to come as well and join me afterwards, and then stay until just before the wedding and get all the stuff that would go bad with time....... It was a very spontaneous decision and ticket prices were high, but to be managed...... I went there 2 weeks in December, the plan was I was going to stay for a week by myself and my dad would join me afterwards ....... when I arrived I imidiately felt home...... I mean, I have just been there and felt so home ...... There was a few ground rules I wanted to follow since I was alone:
- I decided to stay in one of the more nice hotels, so I managed to book myself into a 5 star hotel in T-Nagar, so I would have easy acces to go everywhere from there..... The hotel staff and manager was really nice and protective to me ..... They knew I was alone and therefore they were just extra super nice to me.
- I already agreed with myself that I would never take the bus or the train and only go with share uber or share auto...... never alone with a uber driver....... not that it's not safe..... but it's just more safe to go with a shared uber.
- I did not want to go to restaurants and eat alone...... if there was a bunch of guys in the restaurant, they could easily follow you and try to get in touch with you...... I had one really really bad experience and just decided not to walk and chill around alone, in order to avoid any extra attention ....... no matter how traditional I was trying to be, there was just too much attention around me. I was literally wearing simple boring chudithar. No makeup for two full weeks and trying to be pakka local :) I don't know what I did wrong !!!! Anyways I always bought take away and ate at the hotel.
- If people were trying to talk to me, simply ignore them. Some people understood but a lot didn't
Anyways traveling to india alone as a female, is definitely not something I can recommend. Unfortunately this was my situation and I did handle it well, because I sticked to my rules...... my uncle from UK also came to Chennai for other reasons so I knew I had him around the corner and I knew I had another cousin who would be next to me within short time in case I needed any help
So one of my issues was the Jetlag I would say. I didn't wake up until 11 every day, and therefore my day always started at 12....... the sun goes down pretty early in India so I was back at the hotel quite early as well. After 7 hours nonstop "work" your body is messed up, so it worked out ok. Staying in T-Nagar was also a super idea, because traveling costs and traveling time was nothing compared to if I stayed in other part of Chennai.
The first few days I wanted to get inspiration. Inspiration to buy my wedding lengha, my bridesmaids Sarees and bridal jewellery. These were the things I wanted to have fixed before my dad came, so we afterwards could fix everything else. When it comes to lengha ...... I have been in more than 30 stores..... and I am not kidding...... I was soooooo unsure about what to chose. The thing is I was alone, so I didn't have anyone to tell me, if my selected items was ok or not...... it was all me and my own opinion..... so that was hard..... thank god i had my girls..... sent them pictures and asking for their advice ......... I managed to find my perfect lengha, although I was not satisfied with my shawl color, which was a mint green. My lengha was dark blue with gold stones, white crystals and gold heavy embrodogy. I managed to cut off the border from the mint shawl and add it to a coral pink colored shawl in stead........ I finally bought the lengha in a designer boutique called KAY. Their selection is absolutely stunning. It was quite expensive, but their selection was different from all other stores. More north Indian style and therefore quite different.
My bridesmaid Sarees was the biggest headache. I am not even kidding. I was 100% sure I did not want a single color with gold border, because that's what you always see. So I was sure about that .... my biggest issue was that I needed 12 pieces ......and I was also very stubborn that I wanted all the pieces to be the same color...... there is no freaking store that has 12 sareees in same color. I was really really confused whether I was able to get 12 of the same Sarees...... I considered to go for 6x2 colors, but I was not satisfied....... finally I found a model, which didn't look that nice when it was just on the table. But when the salesman from Pothys help me wear it, I was not in doubt....... the saree was gray/silver with a cream colored border. Completely simple, but different..... and something I haven't seen before...... my own saree was cream colored so I knew it would match perfectly to my first look...... my younger brother and cousins was a good guide when it came to bridesmaid Sarees..... and we all agreed (on WhatsApp) that the gray saree would look good with mine. The budget was 3 times more than expected, but I am so happy and satisfied I chose that model. I bought extra blouse material in the cream color aswell so it would match the border.
Jewelleries, I have my own jewellery guy in Parrys Corner in Chennai, so I went to him. Unfortunately my fixed sales guy was not there, and the service I got from the others was not satisfying at all, so sadly I went out without buying anything...... for those of you who has been to Chennai, knows that Parrys Corner and Pondy Bazar, is the place to go for jewelleries. I found my first set in Paris Corner (because there are like 1000 stores there) and the extra bids and stuff that I needed, I was lucky to find in Pondy Bazar.
Before my dad came I was able to buy my husbands Paddu veeti, for the thali tying. Everyone who knows their silk veeti, knows that Ramraj is the only right place to go. So that was done quickly. A lot of other bids and pieces was also bought during that week......... so that when my dad came, it was more like, all the bulk shopping we had left.
He came...... and the first thing we did was to go visit my dads friend in Coimbatore ...... we flew there early morning..... and stayed for 4 days...... we travelled to Kerala for a few days, stayed in a top tree hill bungalow (it's a huge bungalow in the top of the mountains with no connection to the rest of the world). It was just my dad, his friend, the driver and I. It was soooooo pleassent, nice and peaceful. Exactly what I needed. A timeout in all the running around in Chennai...... it was amazing..... India is soooooo absolutely beautiful when you get out of Chennai...... Kerala is stunning and just amazing..... I was so happy we did that......
We came back to Chennai, and I gotta say, my dad knows his Chennai...... we went to the most crazy places and the pakka local places ..... different places for different stuff..... we ended up ordering my flower garlands, just the once I wanted...... we ended up ordering sweets for all the gift bags to give to the guests, we designed and produced the tampulam bags. We designed the sweet boxes. We bought all the different things that went into the tampulam bags and it was perfect. Everything was done with our logo, which just made it all so perfect and the way we wanted, for a really really cheap price, since my dad knew his places.
My thaali was one I designed myself. I did not want a traditional kodi thali, and I didn't want a regular sankili thaali. My idea before I went to india was to get a Roségold chain thaali, with white gold and diamonds incorporated. A small but special and different thaali. First of all Roségold is definitely not something they work with in India ..... So they couldn't even get the material to make it. My second option was yellow and white gold combined. So when my husband and I was in Malaysia a couple of months back, I designed a chain there, that we both had in our mind for the thaali. So I wanted to use that as my thaali chain. The actual thaali is so different in india than in Sri Lanka. No one in India have a readymade thaali. And they don't use Amman and pillayar thaali like we srilankans do. Also they don't have the screw mukappu as we do in Sri Lanka ...... I quickly found out the thaali was a huge issue..... and i was not able to have it done in India, so thankfully we have our own cheddiyar Anna in Sri Lanka, and my dad fixed that part. My thaali chain is actually 3 different chains, twisted together. 2 yellow gold and a white gold. I wanted my actual thaali to be white gold, but chediyar anna told me, "thaali eppavum thangathila tharn seyyanum"..... but he agreed that it was ok to have Amman on a kompu thaali, which I wanted....... if anyone knows, it's the cheddiyar and the ayar himself. And our ayar was supporting me in getting a kompu thaali, and also explained the reason why....... my mukappu was done in the same design as my grand dads thaali, but in stead of pure gold, I added diamonds into it (yes I am a diamond girl :))
Anyways there as tons of stuff to be purchased, and you just don't go to a shop, look for something and buy the first thing you see. Nono, you walk around, check the stuff in 10 different stores before buying anything. It's just the way you do it.......
My kuurai story is actually funny. My husband and i planned to exchange rings before moving in together back in 2016. Unfortunately his grandmother passed away a few days before so we postponed/cancelled that event and ended up exchanging rings at his sons birthday party, as a surprise to everyone. For the function in 2016, I actually went to London in a rush, to buy a kuurai saree. At that time, we were both very sure we didn't wanted to have a wedding, so if I should ever have anything close to a wedding it would be that, so I decided I wanted a kuurai. I bought the most nice and delicate saree from VA COLLECTION in London and had that in my plans, as my kuurai. That was always the plan. Also when I walked from store to store for 2 full weeks, I did not change my mind in order to get a new kuurai. At the very last day. 1 hour before I had to be in the airport, I was in Pothys, and I was like....... "you know what...... I am going to have one wedding in my life.....this is a one time opportunity" ..... my kuurai from London is alright, but I bought in a hurry because I didn't have time ...... i was not 100% satisfied with my London kuurai, so I went inside a store, 1 hours before I had to be in the airport. Quickly pulled down 4 red kuurai Sarees, chose 1, paid and left to the airport !!!!!!! Never, have I been so spontaneous when it comes to anything regarding the wedding, and then I ended up buying my kuurai saree in 7 minutes....... :)
We went to the airport, my dad took the flight to SriLanka and I took the flight back to Germany. It all sounds so easy when I write it, but thinking back..... wow, it was crazy..... Now I am ready to do all wedding shopping, because I have learned so much in those 2 weeks, but it was hard...... literally waking up 7 in the morning, out of the door and back at 23...... that was our last 5 days in Chennai ...... crazy hectic !!!!! The culture, the stress, the people and their behavior ....... something you all have to be able to manage when shopping in India !!! It was 100% all worth it, and I got everything the way I wanted it, but it was DAMN HARD WORK !!!!
If you guys have any questions to stores or anything else regarding weddingshopping or shopping in general, in India, please do not hesitate to get in touch :)
Until next time