The three great checklists for a wonderful wedding
Sometimes we get carried away amongst all the chaos of a wedding. Be it with spending hefty sums on the dress, or going overboard with the invitation cards. We know this big day comes only once, and you want to go all out for it, but there are simple gestures which could turn your day even more memorable.
NEITHER A BRIDEZILLA NOR A GROOMKONG
Do not insist on anything from the guests. This includes colour coordinating dresses, or buying expensive jewellery, or other accessories, just to attend your wedding. It is your special day, but you cannot possibly want your guests to be burdened with anything, especially when you are seeking their blessings. The same goes for your friends and close family members. Do not demand they be there for you; this is also not the time for passive-aggressiveness.
DO NOT ALWAYS GO WITH THE FLOW
It is your wedding, do not let the wedding planners turn it into a gargantuan circus, no matter how little it costs! And do be a bit considerate towards the guests that you have invited. Instead of treating the wedding venue as a movie studio with the guests as the backdrop, state clearly to the photographers and the event planners what you plan to do. There is nothing worse than the guests being given a show of a completely self-absorbed bride and groom entangled in generic cheesy poses, and that too, repeatedly!
If you are blessed to be able to host numerous events lavishly, one thing you could do is ask your guests to not bring in presents with them. You do not really need those, and a lot of times, they do not even meet your taste or requirements. We have taken lots of inspiration from the Royal Weddings, and this could be one too. Mention in your invitation to not bring along presents or 'Blessings Only', because the presence of the guests is all that matters. If they insist, they can always donate to a charity fund or feed the poor with the amount they were willing to spend on your gift. You may choose to mention an organisation of your choice which is involved in charity work.
A lot of weddings have leftovers at the end. Prepare notes for tables that state to not waste food, and you can donate the leftovers to the poor, or to the help. One could do two things here. They could pack it all up and distribute them to the poor, or directly ask them to come in, sit and enjoy. The smiles on their faces will definitely bring more joy to your day.
A GOODBYE GOODIE BAG
Prepare a goodbye goodie bag for all guests. Just a little token of appreciation for the guests attending your wedding can be a wonderful gesture. Chocolates, a flower and a handwritten note are small things, but have a great impact on the guests who would love the gesture. If you want to be on the useful side of things, you could include small everyday gadgets as well.
It is true that guests do not have as much to prepare for, but there are still little things here and there that get missed out when you are on the other side of the stage.
Look out for dress codes. It is most likely that mehndi or holud ceremonies will have a colour theme, or dress code. Sometimes dresses are provided by the couple to make it easier. If so, stick with them, and if not, try to at least coordinate colours.
We make it a habit to not read invitations properly, but we may just be missing out on important details. Make sure to go through the invitations properly. A lot of weddings specifically mention blessings only, so there is no need to waste time on getting a gift.
If you are going to be giving gifts, think it out a little. Go for something the couple will love and cherish, and will not feel burdened with.
Whether you are going as the guest for the groom's side or the bride's side, do pick gifts for both of them.
Your first option should be going for something the couple loves. This is quite easy only if you know the bride and groom.
Electronic gadgets and appliances are a great second option for a newlywed couple, especially if you are well-acquainted with them. Kitchen mixers to coffee machines to Bluetooth speakers — they will appreciate it all.
Your third option is home décor pieces. If you are unsure about the couple's tastes, go for a classic traditional piece that will compliment any outlook. A good bet here would be to get a set of porcelain vase sets or the likes as these can be placed anywhere in the house.
If you have absolutely zero clue about what to get, you can always get them a gift card, starting from online shopping apps to posh hotel spas, you can get gift cards for anything these days!
You have been invited and you have a great opportunity to connect with your extended family and friends. Treat it as a get-together instead of submerging into your phone and posting about everything that happens at the wedding. Also, avoid getting into a rat race with your friends and family on who can take the most notable picture of the newlyweds, the professional photographers are there for a reason!
DON'T FORGET THE CHILDREN
And finally, we come to the children. The age bracket of six to ten is often left out of a lot of activities, but that can be changed easily. Hand them chores that only they can accomplish with their own unique touch.
Involve the children in decorating 'dalas' for the holud. Let their crafting flow for creating gift bags and baskets. Not only will the 'dalas' and bags look unique, but also hold that sentimental value you would want to attach to your wedding.
Holud ceremony also means one side welcoming the other with numerous gifts. Let the children pitch in their ideas and pick out gifts for other children.
If you are having a sangeet night, let the budding artist(s) in the family have their five minutes of fame. But don't go overboard.
Put the children in your family as part of the welcoming party on the day of the event.
Let the children announce the arrival of the bride and the groom. Being broadcaster of such hefty news is sure to give them a boost.
It is very common to see one or two-year old guests having a bad time. Let your responsible older children give them candy or small toys, and help them settle down.
Photo: Prito Reza, Wedding Diary Bangladesh