How Early Should You Start Planning Your Destination Wedding

Destinations weddings have become one of the most coveted trend for Indian couples. Destination weddings are more of a private affair as compared to the traditional Indian wedding. It is a combination of vacation and wedding, so even if you don’t have enough time to go on an exotic honeymoon, you won’t regret much!

However, planning destination weddings are a lot more challenging than planning weddings. The guests need to be informed in advance, the venues need to be secured as soon as possible and all other things should be taken care of as soon as possible. But people often ask how much in advance? Couples planning destination weddings are known to book the dates almost 18 months in advance, but should you start as early?

Let’s have a look.

Wedding planners recommend deciding the wedding dates about 15to 18 months in advance, so that you have enough time to take care of the other aspects. If you are planning to hire a wedding planner, start looking for one about 12 to 15 months in advance. This is because wedding planners tend to become very busy during the peak wedding season and it becomes very difficult to get the dates. Even if you manage to get the dates, they might ask for extremely high charges since they have to accommodate the dates within their already busy schedules.

The next most important thing to be considered is the invitation list. Guests need to be informed 6 to 8 months in advance, so that they can make the arrangements accordingly. Moreover, they need to book the tickets, hotel accommodations, etc. (if you are not doing it on behalf of them) so they need ample time. Even if you plan to book the tickets and arrange accommodation, you need to know whether all the guests would be able to attend the wedding event or not and make the arrangements accordingly.

Another important thing that needs to be taken care of is the appointment with the beautician and wedding designer. These professionals are very busy as well, especially during the wedding season, so failing to make appointments in advance would mean, you will have to compromise with your looks and styling. Since the bride and groom want to look their best on this special day, you can’t afford to hire anyone other than the best.

People often think that if they are hiring a wedding planner, they need not do anything else; but that’s just not true. In order to make sure that everything is up-to-the-mark and everything is in sync with what you expected you need to work continuously with the wedding planners. Right from choosing the venue, the decoration, food menu, transportation and logistics – you need to supervision everything. It is not that the wedding planners cannot take care of anything; but in order to make sure every minute thing is just the way you want it to be; your supervision is crucial.

Finally, check through all the arrangements at least one month ahead of the final wedding day. People often tend to forget little things. Going through the arrangements and appointments will make sure you don’t leave out anything important.

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Overcoming the Challenges of Securing a Wedding Venue

The major wedding preparations start once you have exchanged the rings. From deciding the wedding venue to wedding gown, there is a lot to be taken care of. Gone are the days when couples would settle with an ‘above average’ wedding venue in their own hometown. Indian weddings have become more extravagant than ever and couples now look forward to try out new options.

Destination wedding is on the top of priority list for most couples, so a lot of effort goes into planning your wedding since you have to plan everything in a different place. While the Internet has empowered us with a lot of information about wedding venues and destination weddings, there is still a lot to do.

Thus in order to make sure you hire the best wedding venue and get the best value for your money, here are some factors that you must consider:

Budgeting

Destination weddings are much different from planning weddings in your own hometown; so you must be a lot more careful when budgeting for your destination wedding. Understand the logistics well before you start planning your budget – how many guests are you expecting, transportation options, special accommodations to be made (if required), etc. Based on these factors, you need to determine per night spending capacity. Once you have the numbers, you can start searching for the venues.

Negotiate Rates

You don’t get, if you don’t ask. So get an idea about the tariffs by looking at the rates published on the websites, but don’t settle for them. Call the hotels and/ or venues you are considering and negotiate the rates. Also ask about the cancellation charges, just in case. A wedding planner can be of great help in this matter since they have a lot of experience about what would be the reasonable charge depending upon the facilities offered.

A quick tip: Ask the hotel or wedding venue manager to quote the rates first and then cut them down as much as possible.

Compare Services and Rates

Once you have the list of four to five most desirable wedding venues, compare the services, facilities and rates offered by the venues. This might sound easy, but it can be the most daunting task. To make things easier, here are some factors that you should consider:

  • Value for money (best services at reasonable prices)
  • Whether meals are included
  • Airport transports available
  • Booking and cancellation terms
  • Upgrades available or not
  • Special offers and/ or discounts (if any)

Make sure you compare hotels and/ or venues of the same class for the best results.

Once you have made the choice, make sure you get a formal agreement from the hotel or wedding venue with the wedding date and agreed upon services mentioned on it. Make sure all the terms and conditions included on the agreement are as per your prior discussions.

It is advised not to make the full payment at once. Pay a part of the total amount and the rest once the wedding is over. This will ensure you get the best services and have options to change your mind, in case things don’t work out.

So get started and book the best wedding venue at your desired destination!

How to make Mehendi and Sangeet Events much more FUN

Mehendi and Sangeet – two fun occasions in almost every Indian wedding! It is celebrated prior to the wedding to hike up the fun and merriment. These events were strictly limited to the ladies traditionally who apply mehendi on the bride’s palms and feet and sing songs about love, families and children.

The old, the young and the extremely young; all join in on this event even the males. After applying turmeric paste, the bride-to-be has to wash it off and be ready to be applied complexly stunning mehendi patterns which could hide her life partner’s initials.  But mehendi and Sangeet can become boring if the events have too many guests and too little fun things to do together. So, here are a few suggestions of how to spice it up:

  • Photo Booth – Who doesn’t love having their pictures taken? You can set up a photo booth which is something which would be innovative and new. The guests could each take turns in making a Polaroid moment to add to your wedding album. You can either hire a photographer or have an automated photo booth, totally your choice.
  • J. – Dancing to beats is fun but only to a certain limit. It’s tedious and boring to dance to disco music in events which could take hours. In such cases, arrange for little prize distribution that has a personal touch. Assign some people to walk up to the floor at random moments and present a particular guest with titles like “Mr/Ms. Sweety”, “Mr/Ms. Dramebazz”, “Mr/Ms. Party ki shaan”, “Mr/Ms. Food lover”, et cetera et cetera. This little game can make them expectant and help the other poke some innocent fun. Also, you could arrange for a large scale musical chair with fun music sponsored by D. J.
  • Cartoon Artist – Hiring a cartoon artist who will draw funny comic portraits of the guests or capture a comic scene which just transpired in pencil and paper, after all in a hall full of people something really stupid and funny is bound to occur.
  • Tattoo Artist – It doesn’t have to be the permanent tattoo stall. But a stall for the temporary tattoos would be adorable and fancy. The guests who always had a secret desire to get inked would find it the most opportune to have such a stall at the convenience. Maybe etching some logo that would represent them as Team Bride to show solidarity.
  • Nail Art – Some of your guests might have been so overworked from their professional life or having a tough time managing all the hassles of wedding events. For them this stall would be a relaxation booth where they can finally catch up on their manicure and pedicure and have their lovely nails painted to a design that amateurs would be incapable of doing.
  • Tarot Card Reader/Fortune-Teller – How cool is this! A free stall for a fun insight of how the gala wedding weekend will turn out for them. It would be best utilised by people who are eager to get married soon too. Perhaps an insight into the future of where they might meet their prince or princess.

So, go ahead and use these ideas for your mehendi and sangeet events. Improvise them according to your taste. Mix it up with one sole purpose which is to have loads of fun.

Do I Need a Wedding Stylist?

Weddings are fairy tales in reality. The colourful drama, the fine linen, the shimmering lights that adorn the venue, the clink of the fine china cutlery, the heavenly aroma of multitude of flowers, the giggles of children and the tears of joy – all these are from the movies, right? What if I told you they aren’t? Hiring a wedding stylist would make this dream sequence turn into reality.

In case, you don’t understand the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding stylist, it’s just that a wedding planner will only act according to what you said you need and haphazardly put them into place with little to no sync.

Glittering warm golden fairy lights would look horrendous with a moonlit background but a wedding planner need not care about the hassles and aesthetics of it. On the other hand, a wedding stylist will ask you of what you envision regarding your D-day, what touched your heart in the wedding photographs of others or movie scenes based on weddings, what suits you and what doesn’t.

It is the job of the wedding stylist to glam your wedding up with your needs and their knowledgeable experience. There are of course, wedding planners who double over as wedding stylists. They handle both the beauty and the hard work side of your wedding.

  • The wedding stylist’s primary job is to satisfy YOUR and YOUR PARTNER’S needs and no one else’s. They will cater to only your fantasies and only indulge in other’s opinion after you have permitted and valued their opinions.

 

  • Since it’s the wedding stylist’s job to seam it all together into a smashing masterpiece of a wedding, it’s for your own good to answer honestly of what you imagined for your day. Unless you’re exceptionally good at juggling the finance for the wedding, the far-fetched relatives, the hassles of what you’ve ordered for the venue and decorating it marvelously, you do need a wedding stylist.

 

  • Contrary to popular belief, not all wedding stylists ask for exorbitant fees. They are stylists who fit into your budget and into your needs. They are time-efficient hires which would let you relax and enjoy being the center of attraction for the next three months.

 

  • One of the highlights of hiring a wedding stylist would be that you get to be stress free. Even if for a matter of few weeks, stress is bound to show on your face and body which would be counterproductive. Let someone else wonder where to put that chandelier so that it grabs eyeballs!

 

  • Wedding stylists will let you get the best out of your budget. They know what is best and when it is the best. You just need to be really clear about your budget situation with them.

Lastly, without a wedding stylist, you’re likely to be clueless about where to start and how to manage your timings of events. You’ll hit snags when trying to book a tricky location for your wedding or worst of all, be unprepared when the unexpected meteorological mood swings hit. This is why; you most definitely need an efficient wedding stylist.