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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
Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of our wedding story......Thank you so much for the positive feedback..... the aim with sharing our wedding, which we have decided to do, is to give an insight of how difficult it actually is..... and maybe to give the idea to other future couples, that there are many things to consider and think about when planning a wedding. It is not easy AT ALL ..... until recently I have been a brand manager for a big international brand, and have had the responsibility for all marketing activities in all Europe and Middle East....... but guys.... I am telling you.... that was nothing, compared to planning a Tamil Hindu wedding. I guess what I am trying to say is, that sharing can give other future couple an insight of the different fields, there is when planning a wedding.
So here comes the next chapter ....... :) My next chapter is about planning and get organized ..... it's a chapter about my best friend....... since I got her (yes i call it, her) I spent time with her, more than I do with my future husband...... If i loose her, i don't think i am able to go through our big day ..... that's how important she is to me...... :)
So the background for "my best friend" is, that I recently came across a Instagram profile and the girl behind this profile...... we imidiately clicked...... :) I have never met her in real life...... just writing each other and yea...... it's difficult to describe what it actually is...... I don't think I have had a online friend this way...... I have always had the policy that I don't need people in my life that I don't know personally...... but this girl is different..... she has changed the way I think...... and most important of all.... she introduced me to my best friend :) She is a Canadian girl, she was bride in 2016 and had a BEAUTIFUL wedding..... many of you might have come cross her profile on Instagram ........ not only is she a beautiful human being, but she is also an author.....an author who released a book in November last year.... THAALI - a Tamil wedding planner ........ yaaaaiiii :)
The wedding planners you get from the bookstore, or the online version in a app, is all targeted towards a "white" wedding..... our Hindu weddings are so different from a white wedding...... so buying a wedding planner is only 35-50% useful. Jani created a tailored Tamil version which literally makes you think of every single thing you need to consider for the wedding...... the book is divided into 6 different chapters and covers literally everything.....
The 6 different chapters are the following:
MAIN VENDORS consists of exactly what it says, all the main vendors that you should book as soon as your auspicious dates are picked. These are crucial vendors who fill up quick and need the most attention. This section demands the most research from you. Make sure to read the "TIPS" section under each vendor and choose wisely, but swiftly or you'll miss out on the vendors you really want to take part in your wedding!
ATTIRE is where you organize wedding outfits. The brides manavarai saree and koorai saree, the grooms outfits, corresponding jewelry sets, reception outfits, bridal party outfits. Read the "TIPS" sections to find tricks on saving money and time and some traditional aspects to look out for while take care of this section. All the outfits you need to organize you will find a section for in Attire.
DETAILS we get into the nitty gritty here, invitations , bridal dressing flowers (for hair), nadheswaram, priest, etc. All things important that need to be dealt with after you finish the MAIN VENDORS section. This section has the power to make or break your "Wedding of the Year" plans! All the details that need to be taken care of with utmost care in the planning process can be found right here in DETAILS.
GET ORGANIZED is where a little piece of the authors organizational skills come out to play. This section has all the not so fun, but highly important parts. You can organize your outfits in the provided charts. Each outfit you will be wearing with the corresponding accessories so when you start packing before your shoots you wont forget any little details you wanted to wear for each outfit. You will also find a place to work on your itinerary for both the wedding and reception, and finally your thank you speech. Keep track of all the tips provided to make sure you don't miss out on any important details.
EXTRAS is where you put your real decision making skills to the test. We figure out guest lists in this section, with up to 500 slots you can list everyone from the grooms side and the brides side or you can photocopy the pages to give each side their own list containing 500 slots. Choose your bridesmaids and your groomsmen, and divide their duties. The ever so fun budgeting comes in extras. the author gives a lot of personal tips and tricks that worked for her when budgeting her own wedding.
ME TIME is a special treat from Jani to her brides. Even for someone who loves to plan weddings, the whole process can be overwhelming at times. You'll find cute quizzes, coloring pages, and activities to do to take your mind off wedding planning for a bit. Since Thaali is the ultimate wedding planner, why go elsewhere to ease your mind, skim to the back and have some time to yourself! No wedding planning thoughts just a bit of happiness for the brides, and some things to help reminisce about your relationship!
Guys, you all know I have literally had 2 months to plan our wedding.....3 weeks left today :) ...... my partner and I have decided to arrange the wedding ...... with involvement from our families of cause..... but everything is arranged by us...... there are so many things to think about..... I am learning many new things every day, either though the wedding planner, or through my dad...... a Hindu wedding is so special and so unique, and the rituals and traditions behind everything is so fascinating ..... learning about all this is truly an experience..... our parents fully understand the fact that we want to arrange and plan our own wedding, which is great ...... the last weeks has been super hectic, and every night I dream about the wedding..... I am spending all my time with the planning...... it's really nice..... but hard !!
THAALI for me has been a HUGE help getting everything organized and to keep the overview ...... THAALI is my best friend...... I have everything gathered together in one book, and my planning process has been easy, because of THAALI ...... I am not sure, I would have been able to be this organized or prepared without THAALI. There is so many organizing tools but having a book, where I can look up for everything is just nice :) not to mention how professional you can be when you attend vendor meetings........ :)
I would definitely recommend any future bride who is planning their own wedding, to get your hands on this book. It will help you very well along the way, and it will help you consider things you or your families would not have thought of ..... sitting down and filling out the pages just creates the best overview...... the book is in English, and is in a soft copy version. The quality is absolutely great !! Mine has travelled to India and been though everything there and is in my handbag wherever I go...... :) The packaging is a chapter for itself..... I do not want to reveal too much.....but receive it in your hands, and I promise you, you will smile :) ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL !!
So a shoutout to Jani for releasing THAALI...... and a message to all future brides...... get a copy...... you will not regret :)
To purchase THAALI, visit Janis Instagram page "thaaliplanner" ...... just go follow her anyway, she shares amazing wedding tips :)
Website: www.thaali.net // under construction
Until next chapter of our story, which will be the last chapter before the wedding will be about my 2 weeks weddingtrip to India :)
Until next time
Hallo Liebe Leute
Hope you all are doing great and surviving the cold weather. I am packed and staying indoor with the heaters on maximum .... I simply hate the cold.... so I can't wait to spring..... :)
Sooooo, the thing is, that my partner and I have decided to get married ..... we have already been living together for more than a year, so getting married was a decision that needed a lot of thoughts before the final decision was taken. He proposed to me on our holiday in Bali, and after we came home and have discussed all posibilities we decided to have a proper wedding. Many ideas were discussed, like a small family wedding only, destination wedding, city hall wedding, but at the end of the day we decided to do a proper Tamil wedding with the traditional wedding first and a reception later the same day. Duo to some private circumstances we are having the wedding in 1,5 month. And therefore the planning process has been on high peek, ever since we decided to do this.
What I am going to do the next few weeks, is to write about people, that has had an influence on our wedding. People that has made the difference for me and my partner to make this, the dream wedding that we want to have. I hope you will find it interesting to read about our journey through this process.
The first partner I want to introduce to you is some very important people to us. The journey that we have been through the last one year has been unforgettable and so rich in memories and emotions for all of us. So before I reveal who it is, I quickly want to give the insight behind. So I have always wanted to do a professional proper photo shoot ..... a different one and something that meant something to us ..... what we wanted was to travel to special places, that meant something to us and do some nice pictures. The pictures, we wanted to use for a photo wall.
10 years ago I was attending the Hamm Amman koyil ther. There I met a couple, who were giving out flyers..... they were energetic, friendly and with smiley faces..... the rain was pouring down and they were handing out these flyers. I took it as I normally do and it catched my eye imidiately..... the pictures especially. It was very clear for me that these people were professional ...... I went home and found them on Facebook and have been following them ever since. PRISHANKAR, they are a couple, he does the photography and she does the makeup. Shankars photography skills are absolutely faboulous and Prisanthis makeup is flawless and just perfect. Shankar has received several international awards for his beautiful work. Wedawards Best wedding photographer and others. Prisanthi akka is a former air hostess but have been working with makeup for the last many years. The pictures that catched my eyes the most, 10 years ago, was all the before and after picture. She used to have a series of models and did a before and after shoot. The creativity on the pictures were something different than what I have seen other places. I have always wanted to do a photo shoot with this couple, they work best as a couple and the best result is received when they work together. Shankar can tell Prisanthi, what kind of makeup is most correct for the particular shoot, and Prisanthi can work accordingly to that. This is also a reason why the best result is received when they work as partners. My wish has always bend to be dolled up by Prisanthi and photographed by Shankar. So when my partner and me decided to do a photo shoot, we were not in doubt who to ask first. We quickly decided they were the once we wanted to do our shoot.
I wanted to go to Paris, London and Venice. I love to travel, and so does he. So doing a photo shoot in Germany, would not really say anything about us. So we both agreed on having a destination photo shoot. The first destination was Paris. We went there in the middle of July and the first shoot was planned within 24 hours. We decided Thursday evening to go, and Friday evening we were on the road. We packed the car and started driving. The shoot in Paris was our first shoot as a couple, so it took a while before we knew how it all worked. After Prisanthi did her magic on me, we went to our destination. On the way to our first destination, we found an amazing spot and started shooting. Shankar was telling us how to be, in order to get the most natural and beautiful pictures. We had 3 shooting spots with one outfit and 2 shooting spots with the second outfit. We captured all 5 locations in 1 Day. During this shoot i realized what a hard work it is for everyone. The weather was super hot, and the sun was an issue most of the time. Even though, Shankar was really good in assisting us, and telling us how and what to do. In Paris we went for a bright romantic look with a simple fancy saree first and then a darker sophisticated look with a dress after.
The first shoot was so spontaneous, the many hours in the car, was more than fun. Not one time did we turn on the radio. We were simply talking, discussing, understanding, and trying to get to know each other more than we already did. I found the first shooting so amazing, because I knew these people were people i wanted to have in my life. We bondet in a sister brother relationship on this trip, where we went from friends to family :)
Our second shoot was 2 destinations right after each other. Unfortunately we did not have time until early November to do this, so we decided to give it a try and take the risk with the weather. We flew from Germany to Venice and relaxed the day we arrived. We started early morning with the makeup, were we were aiming for a vintage pastel look. I gotta say..... I have never ever tried using light colors on my lips before but I REALLY liked it...... the colors were all pastel colors and went so good with the outfit as well, which was a pastel green lengha and a contrast blouse. In Venice we had so much fun...... Shankar could make any location look absolutely fantastic. Venice is such an amazing beautiful destination, and the result from these pictures have been absolutely amazing !!! It was so much fun, and we had a great day .... we didn't have proper food the entire day, because we just wanted to finish the pictures..... At this shoot Prisanthi and Shankar really got to know what kind of a couple we were :) the weather was cold, our clothes was different so we did have our struggles, and also our arguments. We ended the day with the best MyMagnum and an amazing dinner in a small little restaurant away from the city. I have never had such a great pizza before.
After our dinner we went to the airport and flew to London. The time was past midnight before we checked in at Hilton Hotel in Wembley right opposite the stadium, so after a long and tired day, we were all just seeking right to the beds. The day after was needed to relax..... after all the traveling and the shooting in Italy, we were all tired, and just wanted to relax......we thought ....... with Shankar and Prisanthis passion for work, we pulled a night shoot at the hotel and on the streets just outside the hotel. We started at 22 and finished around 2, whereafter we went for dinner in central London and for coffee afterwards ...... the time was 5 in the morning before we went to bed ..... this night shoot was so spontaneous and so much fun, we were accompanied by another friend of Shankar and Prisanthi (Thanks for the company and the coffee, Nimal :) from Elegant Entertainers), and had so much fun even though the time was late and the weather was minus degrees.
Morning after we quickly got ready, and went for the traditional temple shoot. The sun was shining bright but it was so cold. We wanted to do it a bit different than others, and Shankar had the great idea that we somehow were able to implement. The look we went for here was traditional temple look with saree and veedi. The hair was in a bun with jasmin flowers and all matching accessories.
We received the pictures after a week of the last shoot ..... and I guess we watched our slideshow at least 50 times that evening. My partner who normally do not like to sit and watch pictures, was watching our photo slideshow all day long for several days ...... the pictures were beyond amazing, and just that much more than expected. The relationship with Shankar and Prisanthi is, as mentioned above, something different .... a stage where friends become family.
Shankar and Prisanthi is absolutely a couple I would recommend. They are humble, do not have big demands and adjust to everything. Shankar can make any boring location look amazing. Finding a small corner and simply use his skills and the people in front of the camera to make powerful and epic photos.
We used PRISHANKAR to do the photo shoot, beside from the slideshow, we have used the pictures for our Save The Date post, our invitation in 4 different languages and will be using the pictures at the wedding as well. It has been absolutely amazing to work with them. PRISHANKARS skills can be seen in our pictures. Their passion for what they do, makes them so special. A destination shoot is absolutely an amazing idea if you want different pictures, long lasting memories and friends for life :)
I wanna say thanks to Prisanthi akka and Shankar anna for giving us the chance to work with them, for making my wish come true and for all the things they have teached me :)
For more about PRISHANKAR, visit them
here on Kondattam.de
And to see our video from the photo shoot
I hope you liked this post and find my reviews useful for planning your wedding in the future
Until next time