Wedding Q&As Part Two

This is officially the last Wedding Q&A post on the blog, but I'm happy to answer questions as they come. For Part One, go here

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1. What are some tips to choose a photo/ video team? 

Answers below assume that you have narrowed down to 3-4 options. I took help from Ram and Varun to answer this. 

Varun: I like simple small weddings with funny people who like animals and classic rock and The Office.  

Namrata: If you can come up with an equally straight-up definition of what you'd like in a photo/ video team, half the battle is won

Ram

• Is their style and your style similar? 

• How do their night events photos look? 

• How do they choose to show their work? A few fantastic photos or a more comprehensive blog? 

• Ask if they can share a recently delivered full set from a similar style wedding 

Namrata:

• Ask the team about their familiarity with (or curiosity and willingness to learn about) your culture, rituals, and traditions. This is very important for your family 

• Find a team that is all about exploring and adapting to the pulse of the wedding

• Are they receptive when you request specific photo/ video requirements? Do they respectfully give you a valid reason if they cannot deliver something you ask for? 

• Ask them how they approach video editing, and how it differentiates them. I'll give you an example: if you are an energetic, funny, goofy couple, your raw wedding footage will be high energy for sure, but the editing will reflect the other elements...

2. Men's fashion is either limited or too expensive, especially in Hyderabad. What are my options? 

Kiran, Shiv (my brother), my father and my uncles got custom outfits from Chitwan Naredi, a tasteful and talented designer with impeccable quality, finish, and fitting. He is very intuitive about what a man can carry off confidently, and I love that he truly designs something unique for each client. He's also clear about pricing with respect to work involved, and is able to show exactly what could cause an increase in price. I'm not sure where his price range starts, but the traditional off-white outfit that Kiran wore for our ceremony cost about INR 20,000.

We stumbled upon Panchwati Silks upon a friend's recommendation, located behind the Manyavar on Road No. 1 in Banjara Hills. To put things in perspective, Panchwati's collection is one level above Manyavar's, i.e more festive, experimental, and a tad bit more expensive. For the groom, Panchwati is great for events other than the ceremony. Kiran bought his Holi outfit from here. Definitely a store you should check out for groomsmen and friends.

We also recommend Jahanpanah (Road Number 1) and Raamz (Road Number 10), and even though menswear is limited at exhibitions, it is wise to check out anyway in case you find shoes, accessories, or even a womenswear designer who is willing to make one outfit for you. 

3. Could you share more about your wedding jewelry? 

Our family jeweler customized a beautiful gold set finished in antique gold, which I was told must consist of: a long necklace (haaram), a short neckpiece, earrings, and bangles at the very least. For the haaram, I just wanted a statement pendant with rubies and emeralds and nothing else going on so I picked the belt-like chain; instead of a short necklace I picked a choker because it flattered my tiny/ slender neck. My mum decided the design for my jhumkas and bangles. 

The rest of the jewelry was from Suhani Pittie (haathphool, waist-belt) and Amrapali (maang tikka, rings) I went for antique gold here too, making sure the shades as well as stone colors closely matched. Future brides, I absolutely ADORE Suhani Pittie, so when One Wedding styles you, be ready for a trip to her store! Aquamarine recently opened a store in Jubilee Hills, and they have an array of stunning part-traditional-part-modern pieces (not gold/ silver) 

Remember that there are many other aspects of your outfit (embroidery, fabric, texture, hair, makeup) that are deciding factors when shopping for jewelry. 

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4. I cannot pose for cameras, and I'm too shy/ conscious when cameras are around. How can I overcome it by wedding time? 

Smiling with your eyes is the only "pose" you need to master. If it helps though, practice smiling not only in front of a mirror but also on camera (tripod-style, not selfie) Let your photographers know that you prefer more candids to choreographed portraits if that's the case. 

With help from your photographer, come up with 5 poses that you two sink into naturally - holding hands or day-to-day things to ease that I'm on camera feeling. After you shoot your couple photos in those 5 poses, let your photographers direct you as and when they feel like.

As for the shy/ conscious bit, practices makes perfect. Try this exercise: film a video where you and your partner interact with each other as well as the camera everyday until your wedding. We did that with the intention of capturing the planning process, and eventually it didn't feel strange to be surrounded by cameras. 

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5. How do I know if a vendor is overcharging me? 

If you feel like they're overcharging, they probably are. You have prior experience in buying most things but a wedding is new territory, so there really is no way to know what it actually costs. The best thing to do is impose a strict maximum budget, but if you can't come up with a number, ask me or Anandita. We don't charge you for initial consultation(s) and will be happy to help you get started. 

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6. As a bride who planned her own wedding, why are you starting a wedding planning firm? Why not help brides plan their own weddings?  

In the past three years, I e-witnessed at least 500 weddings. In '15 and '16, I interned as an editor at Maharani Weddings where I interviewed a range of planners, photographers, designers, brides, and had fabulous insider access to the wedding industry. In '17, once we decided to plan our wedding ourselves, I took a page from Monica Geller's book and turned into an organization freak. There were many plans, but the only one that mattered to me was to happily wed the love of my soul. But if a bride's happiness is partially dependent on how the decor turns out, we would go out of our way to make sure that is thoroughly taken care of. We have seen the opposite happen, we have seen brides/ families get upset over things that the planner should have paid attention to. We have also seen vendors rip clients off (watch the Vox video below) by taking advantage of the fact that their emotions are at an all-time high. Morally, we felt the need to address this. I planned my own wedding, yes, but I know how much stress and money I could've saved had I hired a planner. I was a hella happy bride because I'm thick-skinned, but not everyone is made the same. I just want every bride and the families One Wedding caters to, to feel on top of the world. 

That's all for now! Feel free to comment/ email/ whatever works if you have more questions!