Meghana and Marc’s love story is straight out of a movie. They met in Grad School in Texas, and he was the first person she spoke to on the orientation day, “I was quite fascinated to meet someone from France. Two years later, Marc got down on his knee and asked me to marry him in front of the Eiffel Tower in a beautifully planned proposal. I obviously said ‘Yes’ and we got married in a super fun ceremony in Hyderabad,” says Meghana who now lives in Dubai. She shares with us, how she and her mother planned the wedding in her home town Hyderabad.
Marc and Meghana decided to have two different ceremonies: one in India and one in France to make it easy for everyone. “Planning the wedding in Hyderabad was quite easy, thanks to my mother. We have very similar tastes and I was too busy with work,” says Meghana. Though, the downside of being with an NRI bride, says Meghana, is being unable to keep in touch with what’s happening on the shopping and planning front in India. “A lot of good Indian stores don’t have a strong online presence and it’s almost impossible to shop for bridal wear online. My mother would take pictures on her phone and text me every single day. That’s how I selected my clothes. I think it’s very important to be able to trust at least one person whose tastes are similar to yours (in my case, my mother). I remember not sleeping much for those three months. If I wasn’t at work, I was skyping or emailing my parents regarding wedding updates.”
Meghana and Marc planned the entire wedding such that it would not last more than 48 hours, keeping in mind that both were on a short vacation for their wedding. “The first day started with the haldi ceremony. The making of the bride ceremony followed.
The theme for this ceremony was Peacock colors. Since my saree was a double-color blue kanchivaram, we decided to create the decor and accents in similar hues,” says Meghana. “This was followed by the mehndi ceremony in the late afternoon. The mehndi was a very relaxed affair and since most of the guests were not from India, they absolutely loved the ritual,” she reveals. Indian street food and Bollywood music completed the ceremony.
The main wedding ceremony was held late in the evening on the following day. The wedding décor and mandap was inspired by the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, the famous Vedic temple in Tirupati. “I wore a red gold Kanjeevaram saree with green highlights and Marc wore a midnight blue kurta.” Little accents like the colourful pots and coconuts were painted by Meghana’s mother herself. “They stood out in the ceremony. We wanted to do some of these things ourselves to give it a personal touch” says Meghana.
As she fondly looks back on the wedding celebrations, she says “I was stressed about a lot of things because I wasn’t sure if Marc’s family would be able to understand the significance of the rituals. So, we made sure we hired a priest who could speak English and translate the proceedings. Since my husband’s family is French, we hired a translator from Alliance Francaise in Hyderabad who helped translate some of the proceedings to his family members. He was great at his work and made sure everyone had fun at the ceremony. What all guests really appreciated was how the two families who are so different, blended so well together at the beautiful affair.”
Meghana shares details of the venues and vendors who made the celebrations memorable:
Photography/Cinematography: Hermit Panesar from ‘Girl in Pink Photography’ and Thiru Reddy from Candid Pictures. They both did an amazing job and made sure all our fun memories were captured! They are the nicest and most easy-going photographers I have met so far.
Venues: The haldi and the mehndi ceremony was held in Tulip Inn One Continental Hotel, Hyderabad. The staff was especially nice and super-efficient at execution. The wedding ceremony was in Taj Deccan and most of the wedding guests stayed there. The hotel staff did a great job and made sure everything was well taken care of.
Make up and hair: Makeup and Hairstyling was one thing I was quite concerned about. Thankfully, I found Tamanna Rooz on Facebook. After seeing her work and communicating with her via FB, I felt quite comfortable, and I think she is one of the best Makeup Artists in Hyderabad!
Sarees and jewellery: All my sarees were purchased in Hyderabad and the blouses were given to Mugdha Art Studio for more embroidery and embellishments. And they did a good job.
Meghana’s top 3 tips for couples planning a long distance wedding:
1. Do not freak out! It’s overwhelming and frustrating to plan everything from abroad, but at the end of the day all that matters is who you are marrying. Everything else will fall in place.
2. I think the more you plan, the less stressed you will be on the big day. Especially, considering the fact that all vendors in India are not very time conscious.
3. Don’t compromise on your clothes. It’s very difficult to find the exact saree/lehenga that you imagined in your head and after sometime you might get tired of the search. But when you look back at your pictures, that’s one thing that grabs your attention. So wait till you find the right ensemble!
Photographs Courtesy- Hermit Panesar
For our new blog post series, ‘Long Distance Wedding’ we’re featuring couples living abroad who planned a wedding in their hometown in India. We want to hear your story, how you shortlisted venues and your experience with the wedding planner (if you hired one) and other vendors. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your wedding photo and required details (below), and we’ll get in touch if you’re selected to be featured.
Name of Bride and Groom
Where you’re based or where you were based when planning the Wedding
Where (venue + city) you got married and when (date)