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Darling, Will You Marry Me

Posted by Khush Singh-Celebrity & Indian Bridal Makeup Artist

”Will you marry me?” “Yes!” So you have been just been proposed to.
These days young brides have so much running through their minds when they are proposed to and in some cases when they propose to their partners.

While you are still drifting on cloud nine, here are a few points to consider when you are organising your wedding.

Depending on the religious and/ or cultural background couples may choose to celebrate their wedding day with more than one type or style of wedding.

1. What type of wedding do you want? Religious, Cultural or Civil

It is very important to determine the style of wedding you want as this helps to set the framework for the entire wedding ceremony and reception.

While prospective brides and grooms may practise the same religious beliefs they may originate from the same or different regions or country. A bride originating from Southern India may marry a groom originating from Western India in a traditional hindu style wedding and may choose to incorporate unique cultural practices from the South and West in the ceremony which can be the the distinguishing feature.

An example of this is the recent marriage of Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai to Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachhan in April 2007. Aishwarya was born in Mangalore, in the state of Karnataka, South India whilst Abhishek Bachhan was born in Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra, Western India. Although they are both Hindu and come from India the different States have different cultural practises. They celebrated with a traditional hindu wedding in Mumbai.

Couples may also not wish to have a wedding based on their religious beliefs and instead opt for the civil ceremony.

On the other hand prospective brides and grooms who practise different religious beliefs may originate from the same or different regions or country. A christian bride may marry a groom practising in the Hindu faith and and may decide to celebrate their wedding by having two distinct ceremonies.

An example of this is English actress Elizabeth Hurley who recently wed half-Indian half-German businessman Arun Nayar in March 2007. Elizabeth Hurley married Arun Nayar in a civil ceremony at Suedely Castle and on the following day said their vows at a religious service at the English castle. This was followed by a lavish traditional Hindu wedding ceremony at Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur North India.

In addition couples of a non South Asian background may also have chosen to celebrate their wedding in Hindu or Bhuddhist style ceremonies. A famous example of this is the marriage of English rocker and lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, to American supermodel Jerry Hall. They had a spectaculor Hindu wedding in Bali in 1990 which was later anulled as the marriage was not legally recognized under English law.

2. In what location is the wedding?

Are you organising a wedding and reception locally? If you are then it will make it easier for your family and friends who live locally to attend both the wedding and the reception. You may consider a wedding and reception interstate if your partners family is interstate.

However, more and more young prospective brides and grooms are contemplating getting married in their country of origin ie. Fiji, India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka and then having a reception back home in Australia. For example a couple may travel to India to get married at the ancient Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple (Hindu temple) in Trissur, Kerala which is popular for South Indian weddings and then head back home to Australia for the reception.

In some cases couples may also consider a wedding and reception in the country of origin as well as having a reception back home. This may be time consuming and expensive but it really depends on where all the family and friends are and where the couple want to mark their special day.

Increasingly more and more couples are having weddings abroad and its not necessarily in their country of origin. Popular wedding and honeymoon destinations include Bali,Indonesia as well as Fiji, and Thailand.

3. Where is the wedding held?

If you are having a religious wedding you may decide to have the ceremony conducted at a Church (Christian), Temple (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsee) Mosque (Muslim), or Synanogue (Jewish) etc.
If you decide to have your wedding at a temple, then unless you can arrange the reception within the temple grounds, you will need to hold the reception in an alternate venue.

If you decide to to hold a religious or civil ceremony in a hall then this will be alot easier if you combine the wedding ceremony and reception under one roof.

4. How formal is the wedding and reception?

The question on how formal your wedding is will most probably be determined by your budget.
Indian Weddings in general are always described as rich and colourful and in most weddings parents of the bride and groom usually spare no expense.

However as more and more brides and grooms opt to pay for the wedding they may be limited as to how formal their wedding can be.

Most Indian weddings are formal to very formal with ladies wearing colourful saris and ghagra cholis and men dressed in suit and tie as well as traditional Indian wear such as the sherwani.
The wedding venue and reception can be held in places of worship, private homes to ballrooms of high-end hotels and rented reception halls.

 Most Indian weddings include a large number of family and friends and are usually over 150 depending on the size of the wedding. Smaller weddings may exist but will more often than not retain an air of elegance and formality. The famous wedding of Lakshi Mittal’s (the Indian born, London based steel tycoon) daughter, Vanisha Mittal to Amit Bhatia, a Delhi born investment banker in the grand 17th century Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte in France in June 2004 included 1000 guests.

During the reception guests can be catered to in a buffet style or can be served with a multi-course meal.
How much can you spend per head on your wedding and reception? At an average cost of $75-$100 per head you may only have the capacity to invite 150 guests to the wedding & reception. So you will need to calculate how many guests you can cater to with your budget.

5. Is there a theme for the wedding?

Some couples indulge in a theme for their wedding day.

Whether it is having an outdoor beach theme as depicted in the Bollywood movie ‘Salaam Namaste’ featuring actors Saif Khan and Preitty Zeinta or a castle wedding in Italy like the wedding of American actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes who had their wedding in Odescalchi Castle by Lake Bracciano, Italy in November 2006.

A Royal Palace wedding theme in India is becoming more popular with not only with foreigners but also with South Asians looking for a unique setting to celebrate their wedding day. The theme for your wedding can also include colours as there really is nothing stopping you from choosing your own theme.

6. When would you like to get married?

You may wish to set your wedding day based on the season. Autumn weddings are beautiful when set in outdoor locations and set in sprawling parks with the backdrop of leaves on trees changing colour. Spring and Summer weddings are always popular year after year.

7. How far away is this from now?

Once you have determined which season and which year you would like to have your wedding determine how much longer you have from now to organise the wedding ceremony and reception.

On average young prospective brides and grooms can take about a year to organise everything from the venue right down to design of the wedding cake.

Photo: Indian Actress Aishwarya Rai in ‘Umrao Jaan’


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