This is part of my Wedding Series. It is for a general audience and also addresses specific details about having a wedding in Chennai, India. It is biased towards a wedding set up where the bride/groom make final decisions as opposed to the norm where the parents make the call. Also, I am an NRI (Non-resident Indian) bride so there will also be tips on how to work things out when you are far away.
Top 5 things to do after your engagement
- Pick a date
Whether it is by matching horoscopes or just a random date. Make sure you and your SO (and the families) consider all variables and pick a date. If it is by matching horoscopes, then consider work, vacation, weather and pick a month for the dates to be chosen by the priest. If not, consider the same things and pick a date. Mine was picked by priests , but how we picked a month was by making sure it is different from our birth months (so that we don’t combine celebrations :P), our travel flexibility, our guests’ travel flexibility and the weather.And important, have a back up date, in case your preferred venue is not available or something else comes up.
2. Inform your nearest and dearest
Once you pick a date, the announcement has to be made. You might have an engagement ceremony with your family or a ‘just-between us’ one (like mine) or maybe even a bigger party to announce the engagement. However the case may be. Make sure all your nearest and dearest know the news personally from you before you post on social media. Announcing on social media is the thing now, it is easier and saves time but nothing like taking time to let your close ones know. So pick up your phone before you change your relationship status .
3. Estimate the number of guests
This is a top priority. Because this determines everything at your wedding. Before you start planning anything, get an estimate of the number of people who would be attending it. Indian weddings tend to have to have guests who the bride/groom might not know. It ranges from close relatives and friends to dissttaaannt relatives and friends. So have a conversation with both families, get an estimate from them and take a final call on how many people you want at YOUR wedding.
4. Pick a venue
The reason for asking you to get an estimate is because it makes deciding upon a venue much easier. Different venues accommodate different numbers so pick a number and search your venue accordingly. A separate post on this coming up soon.
My experience: Chennai venues seem to get booked atleast 6 months in advance. The closer to the date, the harder and lesser choices you have. Being an NRI , my friend for this search was https://www.chennaihalls.in/.
I was able to search and shortlist the venues according to my requirements. The premium services cost Rs 1000 or ~$15 which is worth it. They call and get your personal preferences and help you pick your venue. You also have a chat option on their site.
Another site that has a similar structure was http://www.bookyourmandapam.com/
This had a compiled list of venues in Chennai which was helpful too. http://my.matrimonyplanner.in/List-of-marriage-halls-in-Chennai
5. Pick a caterer
Yet another top-priority. There are a lot of them to choose from. Caterers who make only food to caterers who do everything starting from wedding planning. Food is the focus. Keep reminding yourself that. So, choose by trial. Word of mouth seems to work best in this case. Ask your family and friends who got married recently about their caterer experiences. Indian wedding are remembered by food. So do not compromise on its quality. In my case, my parents made the choice since I can’t really do the tasting and picked the one whose food they loved. Hopefully , the quality is maintained at mine as well. If possible, try the same person’s food at two different weddings before you hire them.
Was this helpful? Is there something you would like to add? Let me know 🙂
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