A beautiful Indian Wedding Ceremony in progress – Photo Courtesy: m-bot
Traditional Indian Weddings happen within a span of days! It can be a span of 6 days or a span of 7 days and during these days there are over 40 different traditions that are observed. It is indeed a beautiful and culturally rich wedding which deserves all the photo and video coverage (and the best one at that) that it can get.
The different traditions can also differ from regions, families and castes. For the Hindus, marriage is very, very important as it also celebrates not only the joining of two individuals but two families as well.
The wedding has different parts; the pre-wedding ceremonies include an engagement which has an oral agreement as well as a written declaration, the next part would be the arrival of the groom and his party to the bride’s residence. The celebrations continue with the bride and groom entering their new home.
Here are more details on the ceremonies and traditions that are observed:
The Misri – the Ring Ceremony
The Misri – the ring ceremony needs seven married women who will draw the sign of Lord Ganesha in red powder which is spread above a bowl of rock sugar. Then prayers are said by the engaged couple and their parents; the couple will then exchange flowered garlands and gold rings. All of these is done in front of your priest. The groom’s parents then place a basket of fruit on the future bride’s lap to welcome her to the family and the bride’s family is then fed misri (rock sugar) which confirms the engagement and promises a life of sweetness.
The ‘Mehendi’ – Henna
Another ceremony is known as the ‘Mehendi’ which takes place before the wedding and is a ‘ladies only affair’. During the Mehendi, intricate and detailed henna patterns are applied to the hands and feet of the ladies which symbolize the deepening bonds with the future husband. The Mehendi is often celebrated together with the Sagri which could also be considered as an acquaintance party where the groom’s female relatives visit the bride giving gifts and flowers.
‘Shaadi’ – The Wedding
During the wedding day, the priest will perform a tradition known as Nav-Graha Puja which will be done in both the houses of the bride and the groom; here the priest says prayers to the Gods of the nine planets. Afterwards, the priest will perform the Ghari Puja which is a series of prayers that is done with offerings of betel nuts, wheat, coconut as well as rice and spices.
The mothers of the bride and groom will wear their wedding clothes and have earthenware pots with water on their heads; they will walk to their respective doorways. The water will be cut with a knife – this is to ward off evil spirits; relatives and friends will then give the parents flowers and money. The next part of the tradition is a fun one, where the the celebrations begin with dancing and feasting.
There are definitely more traditions during Hindu weddings, so make sure you prepare for it and have a great wedding videographer to catch all of the rich culture.
This article is by Tom Hewett from Octavo Pictures who produce Affordable Wedding Videography for capture your special day.
Photo Courtesy: Elaine
If there’s one thing that gives couples such a hard time while preparing for their wedding, it is the abundance of choices. Of course it is nice to have options compared to being limited to things that don’t even appeal to your tastes and preferences, but, there are instances when the exhaustive options tend to get rather exhausting. Take for instance choosing the type of wedding invitation; this alone amounts to a wide array of possibilities. From the classic ink on paper, to the less conventional and theme-specific items like coffee cups or even boxes filled with pre-wedding favors – the list goes on and on.
Scrapbook Wedding Invitation
So why don’t we narrow down the prospects and lessen, if not entirely get rid of, pre-matrimonial jitters; scrapbook wedding invitation, anyone?
Your wedding guests are the most important people in your life as a couple, so why not give all of them the lowdown on your love story through a personalized wedding invitation? A scrapbook wedding invitation does this quite well since you can conveniently incorporate several elements to this nifty item such as pictures, vignettes, story sketches, and even romantic correspondences you have shared as a couple. All these elements are enough to communicate to your wedding guests that, as partners, you are both ready to venture into a life of shared dreams, love, and of course, mortgage.
Making a scrapbook is not entirely easy. It requires ample creativity and, yes, patience. Nonetheless, this is something which you as a couple could turn into a fun and engaging project.
First, you will have to decide on a specific theme for the scrapbook. Next, cull the things you wish to include in the final output from all sorts of materials like old pictures, love letters, and the likes. You then have to scan all of these and turn them into electronic files; this will make it easier for you to accomplish the layout. There are many layout tutorials online to help you get through this task, but, if you want a professional look on your scrapbook invite, you can also hire the help of a freelance layout artist.
Here are two finish products you can choose from.
There are two ways to go digital with your scrapbook wedding invitation. One is through the online medium. You could send your friends and loved ones the scrapbook invites via their emails or social networking accounts like Facebook or Twitter. If those are not your cup of tea, you can opt to upload the scrapbook video on YouTube, or set an independent online domain for it, and then send out notes/letters to lead your guests to the website.
Another digital option is the DVD or Blue-ray file which can then be mailed to the guests.
This is not the ideal for penny-pinching couples since printing for multipage-invites can be a bit costly. But if you opt to make it even more special (than it already is), and you are willing to go the extra financial mile for the sake of having that perfect wedding, then this should definitely be your thing. All you have to do is to take your final layout to a printing service provider, order your required copies, and off you go to the post office. Surely, your guests will feel even more endeared to you as a couple having been made privy to your love story.
Left: Cover for a Scrapbook from the 1930s – Photo Courtesy: Karen Horton
Joel Chang is a manager at JAF Gifts - Wedding Centerpieces and more. With almost 5 years of experience in the retail and events management industry, he can usually be found guest blogging about crafts and gift ideas.
The Groom turns Photographer for the Bride and her Sister – Photo Courtesy: Gary Knight
There are so many things to organize for your big day that it can be a little overwhelming. If your dress is chosen and your venue booked, the next thing you should do is look for a photographer. One of the most important things that you can do when choosing a wedding photographer is research. Get a thorough idea of the photography market before you make any decisions. Looking at a number of websites and brochures should give you a fairly good idea of the kind of prices that you will be looking at. You could also ask around amongst your family and friends for recommendations.
What to look for in a wedding photographer
Now that’s an adventurous photographer AND a brave bride! – Photo Courtesy: Mike Baird
The first thing you want to see when you speak to a photographer is their portfolio. This will give you an idea of their style and experience. It is very important that you ask questions like ‘how long have you been doing this’ and ‘is photography your main job or just a hobby’ as this will allow you to further gauge how much experience they have and ensure you get a real professional on the day. Their photographic style is also very important as it must match the kind of photos you want. Some photographers are very traditional and work with posed and group shots and others prefer shots that are more candid and modern. It is also very important to find a photographer that you have a rapport with as you want to know that both you and your guests will get on well with them on the biggest day of your life!
Money saving tips
Photography can be very expensive these days but in this industry you really do get what you pay for. However there are a couple of ways in which you can reduce some of the costs.
Opt for a ceremony only deal. Many professional photographers will offer you a package where they only come for the ceremony. You can then ask an amateur photographer (every family normally has one) to photograph the meal and evening reception.
Go digital. Many photographers these days shoot in digital and will offer you the option of having your photos on disc. Not having a printed album made by the photographer will save you a fortune as there are no printing costs to be covered. You can then buy your own album and print the pictures online for a fraction of the price.
Consider a training college. There are many talented photography students who are looking for all the experience they can get. The great thing is that they will be supervised by a professional and charge next to nothing.
Traditional – Traditional style wedding photography is still one of the most popular. It is where a large proportion of the shots to be taken are pre-decided and posed for. Many couples want group shots with close family and friends as well as posed shots together as a couple.
Photojournalistic – This style is described as the ‘telling of a story’ through images. Pictures are taken spontaneously and in an unobtrusive way. The images are always in chronological order and tell the story of your big day.
Candid – Very similar to photojournalistic, candid shots can also be called ‘fly on the wall’. Normally the subject does not even know that they are being photographed. Candid photos capture moments naturally as they happen.
Vicky works with The City Rooms Wedding Venue in Leicester and has been writing about weddings for a number of years now. Her favourite topics are money saving, wedding finance and wedding DIY.
There are many tough decisions to make before the big day rolls around, not the least of which is choosing from Australia’s most romantic venues. Selecting a wedding venue can be a bit complicated, but here are some of the country’s most optimal venues from each state.
Choose any one of these wonderful Australian wedding venues listed below and make your wedding real special for you and for your guests.
Australian Capital Territory: Cockington Green Gardens, Nicholls
Photo Courtesy: Cockington Green Gardens
This location is the ultimate storybook setting, and the Gardens set aside their Garden Wedding Area to add a bit of extra romance and privacy to a nuptial event. Bride and groom take their vows beneath a garden rotunda within sight of a waterfall and an arched bridge.
New South Wales: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Photo Courtesy: ARIA Catering at Sydney Opera House
Couples who wish to wed in one of the world’s most iconic structures jump on the opportunity to commit to one another under the arches of the Sydney Opera House. Wedding parties can contact ARIA Catering to take advantage of one of four venues at this location, each with its own unique view of Sidney Harbour.
Northern Territory: Longitude 131, Yulara
Photo Courtesy: Longitude 131°, Australia
It’s not difficult to see why Longitude 131 calls itself the luxury outback wedding resort. For couples who want the guests to experience some of Australia’s true wilderness without having to stint on luxury, this is the optimal venue. The resort offers a number of options for parties, including private tents atop an isolated sand dune or beside a lagoon pool closer to the actual resort.
Queensland: Cloudland, Fortitude Valley
Cloudland is truly one of the country’s most unique venue spaces. The restaurant is undeniably modern; it’s lavish yet understated, and provides couples with six venue options. Each space can host anything from a luxurious sit-down dining affair to mere reception cocktails.
South Australia: Silvestri’s of Claredon
Photo Courtesy: Silvestri’s
The garden at Silvestri’s is a bit of Italy come to South Australia. It was built especially for the purpose of hosting weddings, and is suitable for events large and small. In springtime, the garden is a wash of white buds, and in autumn it becomes a canopy of red leaves.
Tasmania: Home Hill Winery, Ranelagh
Wedding within a winery – Heady! Photo Courtesy: Home Hill Winery of Australia
Couples who wish to take their vows in an outdoor setting will appreciate the unique venue offered by Home Hill Winery. During colder months, couples often opt to set up their ceremony inside the actual winery, framed by oak barrels and lit by rows and rows of candles.
Victoria: The Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne
The next best thing to hosting a nuptial celebration beneath the waves is hosting one at this gorgeous five star event venue. The happy couple who celebrates their wedding here will also enjoy a complimentary room in the Rendezvous Hotel, a bottle of bubbly and a box of chocolates.
Western Australia: Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, Broome
This trendy resort in Broome offers beach wedding ceremony parties – the quintessential romance-by-the-sea. This locale does more than provide a beautiful beach backdrop: wedding guests will be impressed by Cable Beach Club’s tropical and luxurious accommodations.
For more information on planning a wedding in Broome, contact the planning professionals of Broome Weddings.
Wedding Officiant Rev. Rebekah Maul performing a marriage ceremony. Photo Courtesy: Ben Ostrowsky
When it comes to your wedding ceremony, you may or may not have a choice in who will be performing the ceremony. If you have a regular place of worship, be it a church or a synagogue, chances are, one of the affiliated priests, preachers, rabbis or ministers will perform the wedding ceremony. However, if you and your partner do not have an affiliation with a place of worship, you will have to find an officiant in advance who can serve both of you on your wedding day. Below are some tips you can follow to find the ideal wedding officiant that will complement your personal style and the type of wedding ceremony that you will have.
Searching for a potential wedding officiant
As mentioned earlier, if you and your partner regularly attend an established church, the choice for an officiant will be easy since it is likely that the affiliated officiant will be the one assigned to perform the ceremony. Keep in mind, though, that most houses of worship arrange their event calendars in advance, so it is in your best interest to contact the office to get the details about the officiant’s availability and have your wedding day listed in their schedule.
If you are not affiliated with a house of worship or if you are planning to have a civil or secular ceremony, the best option you have to find the right officiant is to ask referrals from your friends and family. Or, you may also want to check with your local authorities to have a list of authorized wedding officiants in your area.
Bear in mind that some officiants follow strict rules about whom they should marry. For example, some would only perform weddings for the members of their own house of worship. Others, on the other hand, accept to officiate couples of any denomination. So if you are planning to tie the the knot outside a place of worship or perhaps you and your spouse do not share the same religion, consider finding an officiant that falls in the latter category.
Make appointments for face-to-face meeting
Once you find an officiant, plan and schedule appointments for meetings. Check with his or her schedules and make sure that you work your way around them as it is the most polite thing to do. After you have confirmed the dates (since you will be meeting the person several times), make sure that you set an ample amount of time to go over all the details that you would like to know as well as the concerns that you may have.
Usually, officiants prefer to meet at their offices or place of worship, but some are willing to travel a short distance to meet at a convenient location. However, since you will be using his or her time, so it will be preferable that you do not let them meet you at a far off place. If the instance came that you need to cancel an appointment, never wait to cancel until the last minute. Do it as soon as possible and make a phone call to personally send your apology for the inconvenience. Then, ask to reschedule the appointment and know what time will work best for him or her.
Getting a sense of the officiant’s personality
When meeting the officiant for the first time, there are some questions that you need to ask in order to get a sense of his or her background and style. Inquire about the person’s wedding experiences, trainings and education. It will also be wise if you get a feel of how comfortable you are with his or her presence as this will greatly help you on the wedding day itself. If you’re looking at an informal wedding, an officiant with a polished presence may not be an ideal choice. Instead, look for someone who is more upbeat, casual and has a sense of humor.
Going down the wedding details
Most officiants have probably heard a ton of questions related to wedding ceremonies, so you should never be afraid to inquire about the things that you are curious about. Be as candid and open during the meeting to make sure that you go down all of the details. A few of the usual ceremony-related questions you might want to ask include:
- Is the officiant available on your preferred date and time?
- Can you write your own vows and choose your own music?
- Are there pre-marriage requirements that need to be completed?
- How long will the ceremony be?
- Are there rules that your wedding vendors (decorator, florist, videographer and photographer) have to follow?
- Does the officiant have any recommendation to make your ceremony unique?
- Will he or she perform the ceremony if you have a unique circumstance – interfaith, pregnant bride, same sex?
- What degree will his or her involvement be in the planning of the event?
- Will he or she allow special readings from the family members or other guests?
- Does he or she conduct a rehearsal?
- Are children allowed in the ceremony?
- Does he or she have the final approval of the wedding script?
- How much is his or her fee and is he or she willing to sign a contract?
When you have asked the questions, you and your spouse-to-be should discuss everything and agree if the officiant is truly the right one for your wedding. At the most, you would want someone who complements your style, personality and has a pleasant sounding voice to ensure that you and your guests will clearly hear what he or she has to say. You do not want an officiant that will put people to sleep!
Article written by Ericka, who loves to write wedding-related articles. She is also a regular contributor for http://www.froxoffalkirk.co.uk/, a UK-based shop that specialize in mother of the bride and mother of the groom wedding outfits.
Who says a rugged desert landscape can’t be the stage for a dream wedding destination? Look at this happy couple getting married in the magical Nevada Desert close to Las Vegas.
A Wedding Far Away
If private elopement is not your kind of thing, you might want to join thousands of couples who plan destination weddings to make their special day memorable. A destination wedding is actually a great way to save some money as it allows you to combine your wedding ceremony and reception in one place. It is also typically a small gathering where you can invite close family members and friends to fly with you and your spouse-to-be to enjoy a unique and memorable ceremony of oneness in another place. Not sure where to start with your wedding plans? Take a look at these destination wedding trends to get some ideas how you can get started with your own.
Latest Destination Wedding Trends
When it comes to the latest destination trends, it appears that most couples prefer to focus on their personalities coupled with some traditional and contemporary elements. However, extreme romance is still there and extravagance is kept at a minimum to ensure that guests feel comfortable.
- Fabrics make the difference. In order to add a flare of vibrancy and festivity to the wedding, many couples choose to decorate their wedding venues with layers of fabrics. This allow for better use of open spaces such as beach fronts and is also seen as a cost effective solution compared to shipping flowers to decorate the whole venue.
- Exclusive resorts. When it comes to reception venues, many couples opt for secluded areas that can only be reached by boat. The seclusion of the place adds to the romantic vibe of the whole event and also lends a sense of exclusivity.
- Hiring local musicians. In order to capture the complete essence of their wedding’s destination, many couples choose to hire local musicians to play live in their wedding ceremony. This is actually a great thing to do as it helps set the tone of the ceremony itself.
- Group adventures. Rather than confining their guests in their assigned rooms, many couples who chose to have a destination wedding also set up adventure activities that they can enjoy with their friends and families. For instance, those who have their wedding on a beach also schedule an hour or two of water-based activity like a surfing lesson or diving lessons for their guests. Some even go on a canoe trip, trekking or cycling.
- Same color, different shade. As mentioned earlier, personal style overshadows tradition in current destination weddings. Hence, instead of letting their bridesmaids don the same length and color of frocks, some brides allow their bridesmaids to choose their own dress style and shade, as long as they are from a pre-selected palette.
Article by Robert Kirk who works for Frox of Falkirk, a Scottish based company who specialize in mother of the bride outfits.
Are you planning a dream destination wedding in Lake Tahoe? There are many decisions to make, from the food to the flowers to the photographer and on and on. With so much on your plate, one thing you shouldn’t have to worry too much about is where your guests will be staying. Before you run to the nearest hotel, give some thought to vacation rentals as alternate lodging for your wedding guests. Here are just a few of the many reasons why Lake Tahoe vacation rentals are a great idea.
If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’re probably envisioning your closest family and friends spending time together celebrating. When wedding guests have more space than just a box of a hotel room, then private gatherings are all of a sudden a possibility. How about sunset cocktails or a late night glass of wine? Vacation rentals will allow your guests to spend more quality time together.
Whether you’re planning a summer or winter (or somewhere in between) wedding in Lake Tahoe, your guests might want to make a real vacation out of it. For some people, this might stretch their budget, but a vacation rental could make an extended trip a reality. Your wedding guests can join together to split the cost of a bigger rental, maximizing the value out of their trip. By having families, couples, or groups of friends all pool together their funds for a rental, the shared value is guaranteed to be better than what you would get at most hotels.
Comfort and Convenience
When you ask people to travel for your wedding, you want them to be comfortable. A vacation rental provides all the conveniences of home, from kitchens to laundry facilities to living spaces with big fireplaces. You could surprise your family members by stocking the fridge at their vacation rental or sending over champagne to thank them for coming. A rental will also give your family members privacy, allowing couples and families to have their own private time too.
The Big Day
Vacation rentals can be very convenient on the big day. Spend the morning getting ready with your bridesmaids with all the space and comfort you had envisioned for your big day. With multiple bathrooms to use to get ready and plenty of space for hair and makeup, everyone will be ready right on time (ideally!).
Vacation rentals aren’t just handy for before the wedding; they’re handy for after too. Not ready for the party to end? Take the festivities back to a rental! Pop another bottle of champagne and keep the dancing going. Or simply gather with your best friends or family to reflect on the memorable day. If people have a place to gather, they will be less likely to just retire to a hotel room and go to sleep.
Start the Honeymoon Early
Another benefit is starting the honeymoon early. Choose a luxurious rental with a soaking tub for two, a steam shower, a fireplace, or whatever else will help set the romantic mood for the newlyweds. After all, who wants to get on a plane the day after their wedding? When you wake up, you will already be in a gorgeous destination. Rentals will also allow you to spend more time with friends and family after the blur of a wedding is complete.
Make Some Memories
No one wants their wedding to just blend in with all the others. Ten years down the line, you want your nearest and dearest to recall the details of your big day. Choosing vacation rentals will set your wedding apart from all the other cookie cutter weddings. You will always remember the fun you had in your elegant home away from home in Lake Tahoe, and odds are your wedding guests will too.
Laura Hoot is a freelance writer and content manager for HomeAway. She manages HomeAway’s Travel Ideas site as well as a full house with three dogs, a cat, two chickens and a baby boy. She’s written for USA Today’s travel site, GirlsGetaway.com, Cheapo Air, Travels.com, Trails.com, eFilmCritic.com, The Budget Fashionista, Travellogged.com, and many more sites.
When it comes to beautiful and symbolic wedding traditions, the Jewish chuppah is one of the most unique and interesting. The word itself means protection or covering. Simply speaking, a chuppah is a piece of cloth held by four poles, attached to the top and not the sides. It is open on all sides and symbolizes the groom’s home which becomes the bride’s new domain. Historically, those closest to the bride and groom sought to decorate the chuppah and create a piece of artwork for the newlywed couple to have as a keepsake. There are many ways to make your chuppah a one-of-a-kind memento.
One option is to use a large tallit, or prayer shawl, as your chuppah covering. If you have one in the family, it can be fun to carry on a tradition using one that has been passed between several generations. If your family doesn’t have one, buy one that strikes your fancy. Tallit can vary in price, depending on their extravagance. Basic ones will be cheaper, and more detail means a higher price tag. Using keepsakes from elderly or deceased family members can be a powerful and touching way to include them in your wedding ceremony.
An old wedding veil, apron, tablecloth, or article of clothing from times past can make a beautiful chuppah that contains many happy memories already at little to no cost.
Another great option to consider is a specially crafted chuppah made by those closest to your heart. Give out small squares of fabric and ask each friend or family member to decorate them. Every square can be embellished with well-wishes, various quotes, or specially painted. When assembled, your unique chuppah will be a reflection of the love and support provided by those who care most about you and your spouse. This can make for a fun activity during an engagement party or wedding shower. Simple fabrics will obviously be cheaper than more exotic or detailed fabrics. And the amount spent on additional décor is entirely up to you. Ask guests to bring some of their own art supplies or meaningful objects to add to their squares in order to cut costs.
Coordinate Your Colors
If you want a chuppah that matches with the colors you’ve picked specifically for your wedding, find a colorful fabric at a craft store or tablecloth. Fabrics can vary significantly in price; it all depends on what type of look and feel you are after. Take the time to add colored sequins, your name and date, quotes, or special words or designs. A chuppah made solely from flowers is nice, but brides can really get creative by adding beautiful flowers not only directly onto the chuppah but also onto the fabric that you drape onto the structure. Using real flowers adds that touch of elegance and whimsy and can also tie in with your wedding colors. Flowers can, however, add quite a bit of cost to the budget; if you are working within a tighter budget think about only using the flowers on the front two posts rather than wrapping the entire chuppah in flowers.
No matter how you choose to decorate your wedding chuppah, don’t lose sight of its symbolic meaning. Whether your chuppah is expensive and extravagant, or simple and frugal, it will be the start of many memories to come. After the wedding, there are many options to choose from when it comes to storage and/or displaying. With a few simple changes and additions, you can turn your chuppah into a bedspread to adorn your new bed together. Or you can frame it and hang it on the wall as a unique piece of décor for your shared home. Another option is to turn it into a special tablecloth to be used on holidays or your wedding anniversary each year. And if you have children, you can turn it into a baby blanket in hopes that someday your child will use it in his or her wedding. The possibilities are endless.
Olivia Nicholas has been writing and blogging about weddings for over 10 years. She works as a writer for Storkie.