Jewellery for the Bride – Mehendi

My thoughts have recently turned towards my Mehendi / Cocktail function. I have decided that I will get my mehendi done in peace in the afternoon at home. I want the quiet reflection of having my henna applied in the house I was born in, without 300 people around me. All I really want is my Mom for that emotional time – which cannot happen if the mehendi is being done at the party. Also, this way, my mehendi will have dried and I can actually enjoy the party at night. 

And so, as I was searching online for mehendi lehenga ideas, floral jewellry caught my eye. This tradition of the bride-to-be being dressed up in floral jewellry for the mehendi is very common in many families – not in mine though. Tradition aside – I think it’s a great idea. Between all the functions where the bride is sparkling from head to foot, the mehendi is a time to look fresh. 

I recently went to a friend’s mehendi, and she had worn floral jewellry. However, she had not really dressed it up, so her sister who had on actual jewellry looked more dolled up than the bride. This of course raised flags in my head, because by then I was already checking out floral jewellry, and kind of falling in love with the idea.

It got me wondering if floral jewellery could actually be carried off well, and look “heavy”. A short search on google, and the answer was a yes. The trick it to use small flowers – and lots of them. See the pictures below for examples. These are taken off the internet but are my inspiration:

Here is an example of the jewellery looking “heavy”. I really like the maangtikka and the earrings.

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This is a tad much in my opinion, but it does not take away from the beauty of the jewellery itself

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Love the ‘jhumka’ effect of the flowers here

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And here the pearls go well with the flowers

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Love the effect that the flowers are bringing to the girls face here

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The bracelet below looks like a corsage, but it is super pretty!

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Here is one where the colour red is very prevalent. Another good one, though not my favorite:

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You will have to look closely at the jewellery of this bride. I really like the fine craftsmanship of it

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And this picture – she even has a floral kamarbandh – love it!

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Esha Deol recently got married. Here is her picture on her mehendi. I am not a fan of the floral maangtikka, but I love the necklace that she wears.

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These are pictures of Aishwarya’s mehendi. She did the floral jewellry thing very very well. I love the fact that they used buds instead of flowers.

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Look closely at the flowers behind her on the back of the sofa she is sitting on – see all the tiny flowers? That was actually a floral chunni!

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And here is the big question: Does anyone know of vendors who do such work in Delhi??

xoxo

 

Home & Hearth

This Labour Day long weekend was special. With mere weeks left to the wedding, I finally got on with some serious shopping. I only window shopped, but that’s half the battle won – once you know what you want, it makes it way easier to chase it and purchase it. 

So this weekend, I was not shopping for dresses, but rather for cookware 🙂 (Apparently, it’s not ALL about the wedding – we need to deal with the marriage part of it too!) And with marriage comes… a beautiful kitchen (hopefully!! the search is still on, though there are many condos that I am in love with!).

Though I do not cook very often, I find myself being very picky with what I want for the kitchen. A big reason is that the condos are all open concept. That means that the kitchen is not a separate part of the house, hidden away, but is rather on full display throughout the house. There are no walls to shelter it, and that is a good thing because the kitchens we have seen are GORGEOUS – black stone counters and stainless steel appliances with accent lighting – looks very glamorous. The downside – we’ll have to keep it clean always.

So coming back to the trips to the mall this weekend: I checked out the many ranges of cookware that are out there. High end, medium end. I have decided not to go for the non-stick variety of cookware. It really is unhealthy and you really should not be putting those chemicals into your body – plus the coating comes off, and it looks horrible after that. So this is the one that I like the most:

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Cuisineart has an awesome variety of cookware, and it was one of the most stylish and ‘in’ ones out there. Yes, the black and thick handles are outdated now. I loved the fact that when I picked up the pots, they were a decent weight and did not have a thin bottom. Also, the handles are incredibly easy to grip. Apart from that, the pots have subtle spouts (I have dealt with trying to pour something out of pots and getting the gravy all over the counter so I appreciate this. The lids are vented and are glass. Dishwasher safe as well (because of course, scrubbing dishes is NOT part of marriage – or my marriage at least!). 

This has not been bought yet, but will be, within the next couple of weeks. A close second was the Kitchenaid range. Notice the similarities between the two? Looks like I really like the whole ‘sleek handle’ thing. 

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Apart from that, I have had my knives chosen for a long time now: The Komachi set. 

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How gorgeous are they?! I absolutely fell in love with the brightness of it at first glance. And each colour indicates what the knife should be used for: green for greens, the small red one for tamatoes etc. It’ll look gorgeous on a granite countertop!

Things to buy from Delhi for Indian cooking: a flat ‘tawa’ for making rotis, a haandi set (that I spied at a dinner party and got the specifics from the Aunty’s it was – just need the small and medium size). And of course a pressure cooker. All these are available here in Toronto, but I feel that I’ll probably get a larger variety there. 

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I am yet to cook a full meal unaided. With Mom always in the kitchen with me, it’s just never happened so far and so this does make me anxious. Here’s hoping the gorgeous kitchen and cookware inspire us to cook together and make a lot of fun memories 🙂 May our kitchen be abundant with health and hearth! 🙂

 

Dance Practices!

…Are A LOTTTTT of fun!!

We started off with our dance choreography today and enjoyed every minute of it! It was in a dance studio and it was great having the giant mirrors to see ourselves in. The practice was early this morning, and it really put us in an upbeat mood for the rest of the day.

We go again tomorrow, and I have done my homework (practiced in my bedroom). Feels like the wedding really IS near now!

House hunting continued this weekend – seem to have narrowed down the search to a particular complex… let’s see what we end up with.

Till then… we’ll keep dancing 😀

Wedding Invites Designed!

After a LOT of revisions, it looks like we finally have the designs of the wedding invitations down.

The “bride’s side” cards have been designed entirely by my family and I, with A as the graphic designer. A and his family entirely designed the “boy’s side”invites.

This was accomplished by a lot of post dinner “meetings” around the dinner table. Poor A;; he would make changes to the cards as per me, only to change them again as per Mom, only to then change them as per Dad. It took a lot of patience but the end result is well worth it. My wedding invitations have the theme, or inspiration, of ‘haldi’ and ‘sindoor’.Some of the card inserts are bright yellow, others are a bright red, and we also have a mehendi green colour in there. Overall, the colours flow well together and it looks gorgeous.

All through this card design process, A was very cocky and kept saying watch what I do with my cards. Now that his invitations are complete, I can say the cockiness was justified. His are a beautiful combination of silver and royal blue with our names entwined as a crest. It truly is unique and I cannot wait to see them printed. I am so very glad to have such a talented fiance 😀

Now that the invites are a reality, it takes me back to our early days when I would write our names together at the back of my notebooks. It brings a smile to my face- at long last, those names are together for ever.

The Rings Are In!!

My engagement ring was chosen by A and I in December 2011. It was made to order and picked up by A this summer. He held on to it and proposed in July, which is when I fiiiiiinaaallllyyy had it on my hand. However, I am so scared I’ll wreck it, and so I have not worn the ring at all. It sits prettily in its box. I think I’ll only really start wearing it after our formal engagement ceremony a couple of days before the wedding. Till then, I am quite happy having it safe in its little box.

We picked out A’s ring this weekend. It looked fabulous on his hand, and the best part is that the rings match. In fact, when we came home and I put both of them together, they really were a pair!

Our ring shopping is unusual because it has been done entirely by us (unusual in terms of an Indian wedding where the whole family goes shopping). However, it has made the experience all that more personal and given us great memories.

There was a sweet romance to the event of choosing my ring- we knew it was the one when both of us went “wow” as soon as I tried it on, an there was romance to the event of finding his ring, where we made a set out of our rings.

The only thing left is the engraving of the rings- we’ll do that next week with a code word that we used all through high school that means “i love you”.

Another check mark off our list- another bunch of beautiful memories made. 🙂

House Hunting!

House hunting can be a tiring affair. It is also a time consuming one. But it’s also fun 🙂

There is something special about looking for your first home together. It’s a whole new energy, a whole new vibe. It truly is the unknown. But a happy unknown.

We went house hunting again this weekend, and it was a great experience, because one of the condos we walked into took our breaths away. It felt like a perfect space for us, and that has never happened so far, so it was a positive sign. Only downside – it’s available for September, and not December. However, things we took away from this:

 –  We both definitely want hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances – all the bells and whistles as our real estate agent calls it.

 – We’re willing to compromise on space a bit for these features.

 – We definitely want a 2 bedroom 2 washroom unit.  If the space is small, the 2nd bedroom is needed, and since we both leave for work at about the same time, the 2 washrooms are a must. And so we have crossed out the 1 bedroom + den from our “maybe” list. 

So we’re learning as we go, and I smell victory – the perfect condo is just around the corner. In fact, we may have even checked it out.

We checked out the sister building of this complex right after – the location was different though. However, it did meet a lot of our requirements:

 – It is also a brand new space, and available for November, which we can easily to push to December

 – It’s on the top floor (26th), so the view will be great

 – Its a 2 bed 2 bath, and falls within our budget

 – The complex itself is very luxurious and inviting – lots of amenities.

 – Close to both A’s and my work

Only downside (as there must always be) – the location. It’s in a part of town that we’ve never lived in before and we are apprehensive of making the move there. That is the only thing that is holding us back for this. So we decided to check out a few more options so that we really know what is out there before we zero in on anything. 

While looking at their model suites, I was keeping an eye out for furniture placement – biggest and best trick: they had a giant mirror on one wall of the living room, which doubled the space. We’re definitely doing that – it’s on my checklist for “Stuff to buy for new home: Giant mirror”

And so, on goes the hunt…hope to “catch” something soon! 🙂

 

 

99 days to go- house hunting on, dance choreography on, packing start

Now that we are in the double digits, the fact that we are getting married seems all the more real. The countdown is truly on now!
Things that we have been up to:
We started with the house hunt a couple of weeks ago. Met a real estate agent who showed us some pretty swanky condos, but I thought they were too small. So we’ll go for house hunting round 2 very soon- probably this weekend. I have to say, there is an element of unrealism to this whole experience. Always having lived under my parents roof…and now to live on my own is definitely a bittersweet idea. Stepping into a house and imagining where our stuff would go is a very very foreign feeling- and yet highly welcomed and anticipated. It’ll truly be our love nest… Just hope we find “the” condo soon!!

Apart from that, I met with a choreographer and figured out a plan for dance practices. We have an idea of performing to a medley of 3 songs on the Sagan ceremony. While speaking to the choreographer, i mentioned that A isnt overly excited about doing a performance since he thinks its a bit too cheesy. She said that all grooms are the same. They start off very hesitantly, but by the end, they are more into it than the bride! Lets hope that happens for us! I was proud of our song choices though- they were very uncommen. Practice starts next wednesday 🙂

And then there is the bane of my life – packing! I really need to get my act together and start with this. “stuff to keep”, “stuff to throw”, “stuff to take with me to the new house”, “stuff to take to India” and “stuff to leave here” (yes, im still keeping my bedroom closet in my parents house! Need the storage!). I have all the categories sorted out in my head… Its just the execution that is a problem. Planning on starting this weekend.

But the upside- honeymoon shopping!! With the summer sales on, I have stacked up a good clothes collection 🙂 i have all the basics- tiny skirts, dresses, tops, and the not so basics- printed pants (which i looooove btw!!) so it should be good. Just need to get swimwear now- bikini shopping soon:)

Hopefully I’ll get things checked off my list soon and be a calm bride… Here’s hoping!

When your Fiance is back from a month long business trip…

… it’s the BEST feeling ever 😀

The romance of abandoning your car mid-road to run into his open arms is unparalleled!! Too much effort to park :p

We must have made quite a scene because for those 5 minutes we were absolutely oblivious to the world, and as he twirled me in his arms, I felt like my world righted itself 🙂

I’m still smiling as I type this up – “A” was away for a whooooole month and though we rang up our phone bills, it just was not the same.

I was preoccupied with wedding stuff, so I thought that would make the month go by quicker, but it didn’t . If anything, time seemed to slow and the hours leading up to his arrival absolutely crawled.

The upshot is that he’s brought back a ton of stuff. The fact that he was sent to India for the trip was pretty awesome for us. My MIL sent me presents, and so did “A”.

I loooove it when someone is home from the airport and the suitcases open up… it’s Christmas for me then!! 😀

So now that we are back in the same time zone, we can focus not only on the wedding planning, but the marriage planning! Next weekend – we’re off to check out houses, and I am really looking forward to it 🙂

 

Wedding Date Announcements and the Shy Bride Syndrome

Nothing makes a girl feel more like a bride than when the wedding date is announced to friends and family.

This had been going on in my house for a while now – about a month or so. After the date was fixed, my parents made it a point to call up every relative’s house, and inform them of the same. These discusiions would inevitably lead to unsolicited advise and gossip from the other end – which is fun, don’t get me wrong!

However, all this had been taking place on the phone so far, since all our relatives live oreseas. Recently, my parents hosted a couple of parties at which they announced to their friends – and it finally hit me that I’m getting married!

Being congratulated and making plans on the phone is one thing – it is very easy to come back to reality after you put the phone down. But when you get congratulated by people in person, it just feels so good 🙂

The first time it happened was at a party my parents held at our place expressly for this purpose. There were about 35 people present, all close friends of my parents. At dessert time, my Mom asked for blessings for me since my wedding has been fixed. I remember freezing up because it was just so unexpected. There was a hush in the room for a second as everyone processed that information, and then a tumult of congratulations and questions. I was answering questions for the rest of the night. But I was happy to, and that was the first time ever, I felt shy being the center of attention. I guess there really is a “shy bride” hidden behind the bridezilla 🙂

On a side note, tickets to India are booked for the month of October. Very excited!! Oct is not far! 

Salon for bridal makeup and hair will also be booked very soon. Update on clothes: One “event” outfit bought! Slowly but surely… ❤

 

 

 

The Tale of the Wedding Invite

It is a good time for wedding invitations – never before has there been more focus on this (relatively) previously ignored area of weddings. This is the tale of wedding invites in my family.

A Generation Ago

My parents’ wedding cards are preserved in their wedding album. They had two – one from the “boy’s” side and one from the “girls” side. (Awww – Mom and Dad as boy-girl… too cute!)

Both the cards were very similar, and likely reflect the times that those were – simple. So simple, that their design was not even the traditional “cover-and-inside” type, but more like placards. Elegant, yes – both were basic cream coloured, with some fancy lettering, and no unnecessary words – they even had the bus route numbers printed on them, for those with no cars.

Those were cards that got the job done. They were created for one purpose only – to tell the guest where to reach, and when. They were then easily incorporated into albums and preserved.

When asked, my parents said they had no say in the designing of the invites – indeed, there was no designing. Their parents just took care of it, and that’s that. Mom even said that she was shy to take a peek at her card! She brought one into her room, shut the door and then had a good look. Imagine that!

A Generation Ahead

And here we are, with my demands of a ‘different’ invitation card. It’s not that I want to splurge a ton of money on the invites – it’s just that weddings have evolved since the 1980’s. Now, an invite sets the tone of the wedding; it gives you a glimpse of what is to be, it promises colour, spirituality, even sensuality.

And keeping that in mind, I did not wish my invite to be a run-of-the-mill one. It has been designed, and awaits printing –  it’s  a beautiful box in pink, with the bridal couple’s initials entwined on the cover. The actual card is inside the box, along with traditional Indian sweets. The card is a booklet that holds separate invites to each event – each with a different colour and theme. It is gorgeous and words cannot do it justice. I will put up a picture once it is ready.

However, I can take zero credit for this beautiful design. My Dad is always one step ahead of me, and this is all his doing. I guess you know what to expect when you bring up a wedding-obsessed daughter. He may complain about the fact that this is sheer waste, but he will have it done come what may.

My only problem – how will we preserve it? It cannot be incorporated into our album – looks like we’ll have this little box on some shelf somewhere forever.

Maybe the simple card isn’t a bad idea after all…

Times do change, and this is the journey of the wedding invite – from simple to extravagant, from one generation to the other, with love.

Below are a couple of designs I saw, and liked:

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