Congratulations! You've done the hard part. You have found the love of your life, scheduled the wedding date, sent the invitations, decided on wedding decor, and secured the venue. You are happy and ready to start the next phase of life with your spouse. The major parts of your Indian wedding planning will get the majority of your attention, however, it's the small nuances and unexpected details that can grow from minor inconveniences to festering problems. Here are some typical yet unexpected mistakes that can happen during your Indian wedding.
A major consideration that is often overlooked is the heat. Many times venues and indoor sites of the wedding ceremony or reception don't have air conditioning, circulation, or ventilation. In the summertime this heat can become unbearable after a certain amount of time. Ensuring that the indoor location has air conditioning or that the weather will cooperate is essential to ensure the environment isn't uncomfortable for you or your guests.
Outdoor wedding ceremonies and celebrations are also popular but don't forget about the sun! The heat and radiance from it can be overwhelming and scorching. Having proper shade or time coordination will be a lifesaver when the temperature is high. Considerations for guest such as water bottles and fans would also be very appropriate in hot conditions.
It is your special day and your desires are at the forefront. To honor your special day there are many people that will come into town to celebrate with you and they should not be forgotten about. An extension of good hospitality in this situation is minimizing any downtime. You don't have to treat guests like a chaperone or tour guide would but take their time and enjoyment into consideration.
A common overlooked downtime is in between the wedding and reception. Don't have too many hours in between as guests can become bored, inpatient and moody. Also the night before the wedding could have planned activities or gatherings for guests. There is a need for the right amount of downtime however.
Starting the wedding early or exactly on time will likely have late arriving guests that will disturb your special moments. Start a little late but nothing significant. If there is considerable distance between locations of wedding and reception make sure there is enough of time for guests to transport and have some logistical assistance if needed.
Bad or Cheap Lighting
It's understandable that you may want to cut some corners and bargain shop when it comes to certain aspects of the wedding day. Indian wedding planning can be expensive but one item you want quality in is the lighting. Being able to properly see and enjoy the beautiful decor and environment is priceless for your memories.
Taking pictures is a huge part of the wedding tradition and bad lighting can negatively affect pictures that will last a lifetime and contain immeasurable amount of sentimental value. Spend the right amount for additional lighting and test the existing lighting of the location before hand.
One of the biggest considerations given to the reception is the food and planning the menu for your wedding. This is especially true for an Indian wedding and the delicious traditional and innovative dishes will be greatly enjoyed. Planning for special diets and food allergies is important. Don't make the mistake of having a portion of your guests go hungry unable to eat anything but fruit and cake. Consider the benefits of doing a buffet for guests to pick and choose or plated meals.
There will likely be vegetarians and vegans at your wedding so have multiple animal free main dishes that will accommodate them. There will be those who love or hate spicy food so including both on the menu is highly recommended. Because of varying food allergies, be mindful of cross contamination between the different foods and utensils.
A Mandap Without Cover
The mandap is one of the most iconic aspects of a traditional wedding. Be sure to get a beautiful one that you love, but also one that is functional. The cover on some can be transparent and let through too much sun. This can be distracting and almost torturous on a blistering day. If this type of mandap is the case, proper placement of it in adequate shade may be necessary.
The Wedding Dress
Listen, you look beautiful in your wedding dress and it is perfect for you! You've tried it on multiple times and it fits perfectly and you've been waiting on this moment forever. With that being said, don't try your dress on too many times before the wedding. You didn't gain 20 pounds or change a cup size since the last time you've tried it on.
Relax and look forward to the moment when you wear the dress for real and make life long memories. The the big moment will come soon enough and trying on the dress excessively will not make it come any sooner. You could spend the time you would of spent in the mirror enjoying the connection you have with your soon to be husband or family and friends.
Having good music is a big part of a vibrant Indian wedding. The soothing elegant instruments and voices of Indian music is truly unique and special. Regardless of the type of music played, don't make the mistake of playing it too loud. The volume of the audio being too high will make it difficult for people to have conversations and interact with each other.
Loud music can be physically and mentally uncomfortable and even harmful. Getting the right balance of music is key. You want loud enough to enjoy but not overbearing. Some people have different tolerance levels so offer areas to sit that have louder and lower levels of music and perhaps offer earplugs.
Hearing your loved ones talk about your life story and their exposure to you and your spouse meeting and dating is very touching. These kind words are truly what makes the ceremony personal and unforgettable. When people become emotional and passionate they can often become long winded and this should be planned for. You don't have to give speakers strict time limits but a general range is good to mention.
Having an established protocol to relieve speakers of the microphone that are carrying on too long is encouraged. Don't give everyone a designated platform as this will consume all the time, allow the most relevant and special people to you to do so. And don't forget a special pair of flutes to toast to!
It many ceremonies and special events there is a tendency to pull out a phone and record or take pictures. This is an epidemic in the smartphone era modern society is in. When it comes to your wedding, the phones being held in the air like the Statue of Liberty holding the torch will be distracting and tacky in your official wedding photos.
Not having a photo policy is a mistake that you may regret when traveling down memory lane looking at wedding pictures. Set out a sign with a cute saying to greet guests with to inform them about your phone policy.
What About the Kids?
An Indian wedding is a family affair and kids will definitely be there. Not planning what to do with the kids is something that many brides and brooms overlook. Kids are active and grow restless of formal events they don't understand or consider to be grown up stuff. Having games, a designated chaperone, special snacks, a separate room for them to watch movies or play video games would be very appropriate.
There are few times when someone is more the center of attention than the bride at a wedding. You have many people who are there primarily to pay tribute to you and express their love. When you're caught up in the moment and spending special time with your spouse, do not forget about your guests.
Your friends and family did not just come to watch from a distance and be a spectator but to share this special moment with you. Make an effort to sit at a variety of tables and to personally speak to everyone and thank them for coming and the gifts.
The Cake Table
The cake table holds a centerpiece focus during the reception and in the wedding pictures. It's an iconic moment to cut, taste, and serve the cake and the table shouldn't be ignored. You'll spend time decorating and making everything pretty from the windows to the guests tables so the cake table warrants special attention. Champagne bottles, candles, flowers, fine utensils, and other creative ideas should be implemented.
Guest bags are a generous and considerate idea for those watching the festivities. Some ceremonies lasts hours and people will become thirsty and desire snacks. Give out favor bags with bottled waters, fruit, crackers, mixed nuts, Indian sweets, handkerchiefs, gum, and other accommodations. Some people keep these bags as souvenirs so they're more important than you may think.
The bharaat is a trademark part of an Indian wedding. The mesmerizing parade-like procession of a bharaat for the groom is a highlight feature of the ceremony. Make sure the guests are aware of the route and things are made as convenient as possible. Not coordinating this right can be very unfortunate as it only occurs for a limited time and can not be repeated.
There are many things to think about when planning for an Indian wedding. Hopefully this list gave you some things you may have overlooked otherwise. Is there anything you think should be added to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
Kara has been with Wedding Favors Unlimited for 2 years. She’s been giving wedding and style advice for the past 5 years from bridal magazines to bridal boutiques. Feel free to ask Kara a question below!