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South Asian Weddings

Hi Ladies!! So excited to find this board!! Need your ideas please!!

Hi Ladies!I’ve been looking around on the Knot for a little while and am so thrilled to find this board!  Everyone here seems so wonderful!  Full of great advice and ideas!!I’m marring the love of my life next year in November.  He is originally from Pakistan and I’m Canadian with no cultural background, except Canadian of course.  We’re planning a civil ceremony and reception but with a Bollywood or East Meets West theme and I’m super excited about it all!  I’m wondering if you ladies have any ideas of how I can surprise my fiancée Mo (Jahanzeb) with some more traditional aspects as I really don’t know where to start.The things that I’ve already planned are in the decorating, flowers and colour schemes.  I have two friends handing out lots of bangles to the women at the reception too.  We’ve also met with our photographer and extended our engagement shoot where we will wear the traditional beautiful outfits, me in a Sari of course so we can have those pictures at the reception.  And, we will bring in traditional desserts and sweets to add to the midnight buffet.I’m wondering if you have any other ideas that I can surprise Mo with?  He already knows about all the other stuff and I just want him to feel really special that day.  Any help you can offer me is so appreciated!  I’m so happy to find this board and this group of wonderful people as I know it will be such a great help for me over the next year.  Thank you so much!- Jess

Re: Hi Ladies!! So excited to find this board!! Need your ideas please!!

  • edited December 2011
    Hi Jess -- welcome to the board! The girls here are amazing and I'm sure will be a great source of advice and help in your planning. Is Mo into Bollywood and dancing? Do you enjoy dancing? One way to surprise him might be to learn a Bollywood dance maybe with some your friends or his family and do it at the Reception or one of the events? It doesn't have to be elaborate or anything -- just a few steps. If someone is already doing a dance, you could perhaps join right at the end or something. Or if Mo has any thing specific that he really loves, you could get a groom's cake to surprise him that would fit in the Bollywood theme. Hmm, I'll keep on thinking but hopefully that's a start. Good luck!
  • Meghana55Meghana55 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Welcome and happy planning!  I agree with megha on the Bollywood dance.  You could just have friends perform one, and you could also join in.I know you mentioned wearing a Sari for your engagement shoot, but what will you be wearing for the ceremony/reception?  If you're wearing a traditional "white" dress, you could change halfway through the reception into a sari or lehenga.  If you're having a DJ, you can also have him mix in Hindi songs during dinner and for dancing.  You could also hire a dhol player to play during the reception during the dancing portion, to get the crowd amped up.Also, what type of food will you be having?  You mentioned sweets for the midnight buffet, but what type of meal will you be serving?  If you're going with non-south asian food, could you add in a few south asian appetizers, or one south asian entre choice?...  A dish that is your FI's favorite.  Regarding decor, for the reception you could build some sort of mandap/backdrop if you're doing a head table.  You can also mix south asian design elements into your paper products (programs, invitations, placecards, etc.). 
  • edited December 2011
    Hi Meghaks & Meghana,Thank you SO SO much for your ideas!!!I LOVE the idea about incorporating some dancing!  I thought about having a Bollywood dancer come but maybe we could hire a few to join us and teach a lot of our guests some steps!!  Oh, I'm just so excited!We were very careful who we hired for the DJ because having someone that can mix english and Hindi sounds and songs together was so important to us.  But, Meghana, you mentioned a dhol player... what is that?  It sounds like a great idea!!For the food, we have added a Butter Chicken and rice course to the dinner with samosas added to the hors d'oeuvres part too... sooo yummy.And I love your ideas of incorporating the style into the printed stuff, invitations, menus and cards.  I'm going to start looking for all that stuff soon.For furniture, do people usually rent the special chairs and benches from an event place?  I would really like to rent a few beautiful benches and chairs for the lobby to set-up a lounge area, maybe some stools and lots of pillows too.I have to thank you again for all your ideas.  Being able to bounce these ideas off you ladies is amazing.  I greatly appreciate your time.-Jess
  • Meghana55Meghana55 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    A dhol is a drum.  I don't really know how to describe it LOL.  Basically a drum that the dhol player will have hanging from his neck and he can beat both sides of it.  I had a friend hire one for his reception and it really got the crowd amped while everyone was dancing and they were playing all the bhangra music.  If you check the SA bio, there are some vendor recs for places you can get your invitations printed in India.  Or if you don't want ones from India, there are american sites that have SA-inspired designs like weddingpaperdivas.com and magnetstreet.com.  You could also have an etsy seller design something for you.  Regarding furniture rentals, your local board could probably provide you with good recommendations!Another thing you could do is have mendhi done.  Even if you're not wearing Indian clothes, mendhi can look really nice with whatever your wearing!
  • edited December 2011
    Jess Congrats! All the pp were great ideas-that is why this board has been a lifesavor for me. I was at a wedding and they had a lounge area sepearte from the ballroom. It was decorated with pillows, throws...kind of like Jodha Akhbar. They had drinks and lite appetizers with great music int he background.
    ExerciseMilestone
  • edited December 2011
    Hi Jess - welcome to the boards! Just wanted to suggestion using someone like IndianWeddingCard.com for your stationary - both wdc*bride and I used them and they have a lot of cards that are more Western looking - for example, I used these: http://indianweddingcard.com/D-2691.html Added bonus - much cheaper than letterpress and we got tons of compliments from our non-Indian guests :)
  • katie978katie978 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I used Indian Wedding Card too for invitations and matching programs and they were great!  They had this handmade silk paper we became totally obsessed with and we got 1 million compliments on our invitations.  Don't feel bound by what they have on their site, you can change colors, symbols, etc pretty easily as they're quite flexible.Re: the dancing, a super fun thing if you're up to it would be to do a choreographed Bollywood dance for him.  I LOVE those though I totally didn't have the guts  :)Also, we had mehendi available for the guests and all the westerners got super into it and had a blast.  Great way to incorporate the SA feel.Welcome & happy planning!!
  • edited December 2011
    There are a bunch of South asian stationery companies in the US that you might like.

    3 Bees
    http://www.3beespaperie.com

    Aayan creations
    http://www.aayancreations.com/

    Saima Says (expensive)
    http://www.saimasaysdesign.com/
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