Runit and Arpit are both from Mumbai and they have been living in the United States since around ten years. The New York based couple met through a common friend. Says Runit: “We met over a casual dinner, kept in touch and quickly became friends. Nothing really happened until a few months later when we both ended up living in the same apartment complex and that is where our relationship slowly grew as we got to spend more time with each other.” Read more on Love Actually.
Here, Runit writes about how they planned their Mumbai wedding while leading their hectic work and study lives (Arpit is a business consultant and Runit is pursuing her MBA) in the US.
Photos courtesy- Ryan Martis
We both were clear we didn’t want a very big or elaborate wedding and most importantly it had to happen in Mumbai itself. Given our light-hearted personalities, we wanted the events to reflect a certain playfulness and not be bogged down by too many rituals. Since we had a large number friends and family visiting us from America, we wanted to keep things short and smooth and fix the date and schedule in advance so guests could make travel arrangements accordingly. We eventually decided on a 2 day wedding with four functions – Mehndi, Sangeet, Wedding, and Reception. As soon as the engagement was finalized, we set our wonderful parents up to the task of finalising venues and dates. Based on a rough estimation of number of guests and event type and based on our research on the web, we settled on JK Banquets for the Mehndi and Sangeet and ITC Grand Central for the Wedding and Reception.
The Wedding Makers
This was definitely one of the hardest things we had to figure out- living far away made the process hard as we couldn’t meet and speak with vendors in person. As a start, we left the decor and catering to the venues since they were experts in handling wedding parties.
We spent maximum time trying to find the right wedding planner (or event executor) to help us with logistics, photographer/ videographer as well as mehndi and makeup artists. I strongly relied weddingsutra.com to look up the portfolios of different vendors and dress designers and the Canvera Photographers Director
Eventually we settled on and were very happy with:
Bhushan More & Reema Darira (ASE Events) for wedding planning services
Fiona Varela (Makeup Artist)
Meera Mehta (Makeup Artist)
Komal Patel (Mehndi Artist)
Long Distance Coordination
It is certainly no easy task to coordinate a wedding from afar. I had to send messages and make phone calls to the venues and vendors every two months to ensure our bookings and requests were being handled etc. We relied heavily on our parents to check the progress of logistics up until the last week! Because of our tight work and school schedules, Arpit and I could reach Mumbai just one week before our wedding so we had to make sure everything was ready even before we landed in India. For most part everyone was quite responsive, especially over chat and messaging so it was not bad keeping tabs on the progress. Once we landed, we did a mock run-through of the wedding with our wedding planner, decorator, and panditji in the venue itself so that we knew what to expect- I would highly recommend this!
Advice for couples getting married in India
Start early!!! As soon as your engagement is final, work on securing good venues – a good venue comes with a high quality of service, catering, decor etc. Request your family in India to make these initial calls and reservations. As far as wedding makers (event planners, photographer/ videographer, makeup/ mehndi artist) go, look for a personality fit over a fancy name. At the end of the day, these people need to be on the same page as you while helping with creative ideas so if they are too independent or if they don’t give you enough time it could leave you stressed.
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 email@example.com 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)