There's nothing more we tend to enjoy more than family weddings, and when it's your first cousin getting married, you can barely contain the excitement! So when I got to be the 'maid of honour' at my cousin's wedding recently, I experienced wedding preparations and all the craziness that comes with it, from behind the scenes. In between making the decor look on point and dodging all the "Beta tum shaadi kab kar rahi ho?" I realised - there's so much that can go wrong at a wedding even when you're thoroughly prepared. All my fellow bridesmaids, these are the lessons I learnt while helping my cousin plan her wedding. Get those notepads out, and don't repeat our mistakes!
1. Keep An Alternative Entry Open At The Venue
As the maid-of-honour, I was super-excited about the 'ribbon-cutting' and 'joota churai' ceremonies. So, when the baraat arrived, we stopped them at the entrance and put forward our (monetary) demand for the ‘ribbon-cutting’ ceremony. The negotiations took over 30 minutes and the 'baraatis' (already tired) were left standing at the entrance. That's when we realised that the fun ritual doesn't have to be a punishment for the entire family, and thus, decided on opening the second entry to the venue for rest of the family.
#Tip: Always keep an alternative entry open for the guests.
2. Bridesmaids, Don’t Get Your Mehendi Applied At The Same Time!
While the bride got her mehendi on time (as recommended by everybody), we forgot to foresee our mehendi application and drying time. So, while we waited for our mehendi to dry, the bride had to run errands herself (sigh!)
#Tip: Make sure that not all the bridesmaids sit for mehendi together. Plan it in a manner so that one or two of them are free to help the bride.
3. Stock Up On Some Extra Wedding Favours
We had prepared some customised favours for the bride’s friends and family but soon we ran out of them (when the unexpected guests arrived).
#Tip: Be it any kind of gift you are gifting, always keep extra pieces (for those unexpected guests)
4. Assign A Team (Of Brothers) For Last Minute Decor Checks
Browsing through the internet we learnt a lot about decor and like every wedding, the venue decor was one of our top priorities in the preparations. So, we asked our decorator for some customized decor ideas which were out of their theme (so they charged us extra!). Amidst getting ready and taking care of the decor, we (3 of us bridesmaids) couldn’t take a last minute look at the final preparations of the decor which ended up giving us lots of (not so pleasant) surprises. Bummer! For example, instead of the earthen pots we asked for, the decorator displayed stainless steel pots.
#Tip: Include 2-3 male family members (usually male members take lesser time to get ready) to make sure there's always someone available to have last-minute checks.
5. Keep The Bride Company At All Times!
So on the day of the wedding, all of us were so busy treating the 'baraatis' that many a times the bride was left alone on the stage. Eventually, she had to ask the photographers to call one of the family members.
#Tip: Coordinate in advance on who would be giving company to the bride from time to time while she is on stage.
6. Pre-Book The Salon & Keep Irons Handy for the Ladies
While we were ready to leave for our salon appointment (which we booked earlier) the other ladies in the house didn’t have any prior bookings with any salon. And the whole responsibility of driving them to-and-from the salon consumed a lot of our own time. Also, they needed to iron their outfits and with only two irons at the guest house they had to take turns (which got everybody exasperated)
#Tip: Coordinate with all the women who’re staying at your place for the functions if they need ironing or a salon booking so that you can book appointments accordingly.
7. Medicines in Emergency Kit for Isolated Wedding Venues!
We've all heard about keeping an emergency kit for the wedding day with pins, band-aids, fevi kwik, etc. But what we didn't expect was someone amongst us to have a terrible headache or an upset stomach. So we ended up running around the venue, which by the way was in a secluded area on the outskirts of the city, to look for medication. Thankfully, one of the guests was carrying some pills in her handbag!
#Tip: Never forget to pack basic medications in the emergency kit!
8. Keeping Track of The Bride’s Diet
All the clean-eating before the wedding makes absolutely no sense if the bride has to stuff on 'puri-chole' and 'paranthe' during the ceremonial days, because let's be real, no one can get her coconut water & fresh fruits amidst so much chaos, especially when you're all staying at a guest house & not at home. Our bride felt terribly dizzy on the morning of the wedding because all the ceremonies and oily food had messed up her system a big time.
#Tip: Make sure you pack some juices and fresh fruits along for the bride.
Written By: Swati Sharma