Even the cake was in tiers!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
Much to many of my aunties’ chagrin, I haven’t experienced the emotional rollercoaster and war of attrition that is planning my own wedding. However, being in my 30s means that I’m now privy to a steady stream of friends’ wedding joys and stresses, and I’m convinced that no five-star general can rally and coordinate an army as well as a wedding planner, or a bride a month before her big, fat, Indian wedding. Sure, your nuptials are meant to be spectacular affairs, but often, reality may not live up to everyone’s mood boards and Pinterest-inspired visions. Add to that the expectations of friends, family, in-laws, and the community at large, and this can lead to an understandable moment of pressure release – a ‘bridezilla’ or ‘groomzilla’ moment, if you will.
In honour of wedding season winding down (and slowly winding up again), we’ve talked to recently-married couples in the community about their weddings ups, downs, and meltdown moments worthy of a fictional Japanese kaiju, plus advice for those also wishing to embark on this next great adventure.
Arosha Sehgal and Vikrant ‘Vicky’ Arora
Married 28 October 2022
My vision of my ideal wedding and the reality of it did not actually differ that much, because even before we got married, my husband and I only wanted a cosy, intimate wedding with close friends and family, and I feel like we got what we planned. We did have some challenges we went through, but at the end of the day, we wouldn’t have done it over, because we’d tried our best to make it perfect for ourselves. Overall, we were super happy with how everything turned out!
Honestly, the most ‘bridezilla’ moment I had was when I had to make my entrance for the functions. I wasn’t sure whether my looks would turn out the way I wanted them to, or whether my dance performances were going to be good. My husband, Vicky, and I more or less had the same moments of worry when we wondered, “will this be ok?” Questions like, how the event flow would be, whether everything would run the way we wanted it to go, or whether the décor would be done on time, plagued us. We both also worried about remembering the dance steps for our first dance!
But when the day came, we realised things would be just fine and we should enjoy our wedding because the day was finally here! We basically planned our wedding ourselves, and divided the roles equally, and if we needed to, we would discuss any changes that we wanted to make. Instead of giving us a lot of pressure, our family members were the most supportive, and helped us through all of our challenges by giving us advice and making the wedding a memorable one. Our family looked over the entire event for us to make sure everything was running the way we wanted it to run, and we are so grateful to them.
While the idea of a big, fat, Indian wedding was true years ago, after COVID hit, I feel like the whole world changed, and the wedding industry is no exception. Now people just want to be with the people closest to them, as that’s where we get the greatest happiness from. Anything can be a big, fat wedding as long as the closest people in your life are there; it’s the quality not the quantity. With great company comes great celebrations!
The best advice I could give to couples who are planning their weddings is to live in the moment. This time will never come back, and when your wedding begins, it’s going to fly by in the blink of an eye. So, enjoy the process and every moment. Smile through the pain and challenges, and trust that at the end of the day, even if things don’t go as planned, you can still enjoy yourself. At the end of the day, I’m married to the love of my life!
Sunakshi Mahendru and Shreyans Bamb
Married 30-31 January 2023
It might sound cliché, but everything turned out as planned, as both our families made sure that the entire wedding would go as anticipated. Now, when we look back, we know that everything was possible because of how we dealt with it all. We embraced each moment and took things as they came.
We were pretty calm throughout our wedding, as we knew all we wanted was to enjoy our special day and that’s exactly what we did. Yes, there were certain things that didn’t go as planned, but nothing to quite bring out ‘bridezilla’ or ‘groomzilla’ behaviour! [Laughs] We knew what we wanted, and that was to just be together, and when you work as a team, no challenge can be tough. What we realised through it all is that it’s important to understand each other and support one another.
Coming from different backgrounds, both of us had to strike a balance, and we didn’t always see eye to eye. However, working together allows you to make mature decisions and meanwhile, both our families embraced one another beautifully. We made sure to always consider both our cultures and the families, instead of external pressures. We focused on our happiness and planned our wedding with that thought.
Overall, my advice would be, do what you want to do! It is your own aura that creates the magic at your own wedding, and as long as the couple and the family is happy, everything around you will always work out. Stay calm and positive throughout it all, and enjoy every moment!
Kanika Sirikumarkul and Pulkit Gaindhar
Married 17 January 2023
Before getting married, we had this dream of an ideal wedding; a cosy and intimate gathering with our closest friends and family. We pictured everything flowing smoothly from one event to the next, like a gentle stream. However, reality had other plans. Things didn’t quite go as smoothly as we had imagined. Our well-organised timeline turned into more of a jigsaw puzzle, with each piece trying to find its place amidst the commotion.
Our cosy venue added a lot more charm than expected, as our guests were absolute troopers. They laughed along with us, embracing the unexpected twists and turns. True to our dream, no one complained – and that made all the difference.
At the end of the day, some things didn’t go as planned, but it was a memorable event that brought us all closer together. We learned an important lesson: sometimes, the best memories come from the unpredictable moments that life has in store.
For example, as a groom, I had planned a surprise for my bride and our guests: a series of fireworks throughout the entire wedding, set in a breathtaking location atop a hill. I kept this surprise under wraps, with no one else in on the secret, making it even more special. The challenging part was that, due to the hilltop location, certain photographs had to be taken at very specific times to capture the magic of the sunset and the fireworks. This plan involved controlling the timings for these events, gathering all the guests at the right moments, and ensuring that everything was perfectly executed.
Trying to keep everything on schedule while maintaining my cool was no easy feat. The pressure certainly kept on building, and before I knew it, I found myself in the midst of a full-blown ‘groomzilla’ moment! I barked orders, double-checked every detail, and couldn’t help but micromanage every aspect of the wedding. At the time, I felt that my actions were justified – after all, I wanted everything to be absolutely perfect for my bride and our guests.
Thankfully, in the end, it all worked out. The fireworks lit up the sky, the photographs captured the enchanting ambience, and everyone was awestruck by the spectacle. Despite my antics, the wedding was a resounding success, and we created unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Looking back, I realise that while my intentions were good, perhaps I could have approached the situation with a little more grace and patience. However, the joy and amazement on my bride’s face as the fireworks lit up the night sky made it all worthwhile.
Planning our wedding was one of the most amazing experiences of our life! Yes, there were some challenges along the way, but we overcame them by communicating openly and honestly with each other and our families. We listened to everyone’s perspectives and concerns, and we made sure to express our own.
We also made a promise to ourselves that there would be no compromises on our big day. We wanted everything to be perfect, and we made sure that it was. From the stunning venue to the beautiful flowers and delicious food, every detail was exactly how we imagined it.
As for the pressure of having a grand spectacle, we made it clear from the start that we wanted an intimate celebration. With big families comes big pressure, but we stood our ground and made it happen. It’s all about changing times!
Luckily, our families were amazing and totally understood our vision. It was such a relief not to have any drama or pressure from them. We’re so grateful that the older generations are becoming more respectful of our decisions. It made our journey to the altar so much more fun and exciting!
Here’s a quick tip for planning your dream wedding – stay true to yourselves! Choose a venue that fits your style, and don’t forget to communicate openly with your partner and wedding planner. And if you’re looking for a magical destination, consider Fateh Garh Resort by Fateh Collection in Udaipur. Trust us, your big day will be unforgettable!