How many times have you sat bored at a wedding staring at the newly-wed couple (both of whom you are seeing for the first time) wondering why you were even invited to it in the first place?
Whether it is a third cousin you barely know, or a son of a neighbour from your village home (which you have never visited), Bengali weddings are always include a long list of guests who could in fact be happier out of it. glad of it. Also, just imagine the money it would save!
And while it does not mean you have to be an absolute miser at your wedding, quite often large weddings miss out on the spirit of intimacy the occasion requires. You are often too busy looking up the addresses of your 2000 guests to send your wedding invitation card to actually enjoy your wedding. Instead, why not cut down on the grandeur and opt more something more personal?
WHY SHOULD YOU OPT FOR A SMALLER WEDDING?
You have probably heard your grandparents fondly talk about how their cousins spent hours making paper décor right before their weddings. In the bustling city life, it is often hard to connect with friends and family, and interactions often limit to 'following' on social media. Weddings can be a good excuse to reconnect. After all, the idea of a wedding is to celebrate love! Moreover, it becomes easy to plan exactly what you want for your big day, and a personalised wedding will indeed make it more memorable!
Although the first step towards a smaller wedding is cutting the guest list to just friends and family (and occasionally, neighbours and colleagues!), it hardly stops at just that. Start with a priority list– aspects of the wedding which are the most important to you and finish with ones that can be compromised on.
Cannot imagine a wedding without 'kachchi' and 'borhani'? Put that on the top of the list. Do not want tape marks and flower stains on your precious car? That goes at the bottom. Also, make a separate list of all the big expenses. Halls and food are somewhat staples. Bridal clothing, photography and makeup are negotiable but still make up a large part of the budget. The smaller expenses could include gifts for family members, invitation cards and so on.
After you have made your lists, it's time to hit the streets! Dhaka has specific areas dedicated to wedding materials. A hub of décor materials, Elephant Road is the go-to place for wedding shopping. With plenty of choices, there is scope to compare and get the best deals! Ask others who have gotten married recently regarding their wedding. Nothing beats research, both at the shops and now online, to get the best deals.
PLAN (PLAN A LOT!)
Now that you have made the list and seen exactly what is out there in terms of both products and pricing, it is time to readjust your dream wedding to fit the feasibility. Are the halls unavailable this month? Instead of postponing your wedding, try restaurants or apartment rooftops or common spaces which may be available.
Do you not like the generic invitation cards available? Ask your artist cousin for input as a wedding gift. Alternatively, forgo the wedding cards and just create an event page on Facebook or make phone calls. It will surely save a lot of your time.
But also, plan the nitty-gritty details. Plan whether you want a tiara or a tikli and pick what flowers go well with your dress. Plan what kind of songs you are playing at the holud and exactly what kind of sari you are gifting your mother-in-law. Remember its always the little details that make or break a wedding.
If you are here through the first three steps, you have already personalised plenty! But do remember to incorporate a bit of you and your significant other into your wedding. Play your significant other's favourite song or make little notes for your guests appreciating their presence.
Ask your best friends to say something about you two at the wedding. Keep candies for the little ones. The list here is indeed endless. Ultimately, that is what will turn your wedding from routine to memorable!
Photo: LS archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Makeup: Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon
Wardrobe: Bibi Productions