Wow….I can’t believe we are exactly 100 days till our wedding…we are entering the double digit countdown ahhh!! It seems like it was just last April when we got engaged and we thought we had all the time in the world. This past year or so, wedding planning has taught me so much about myself, Nelli, and how we work together as a team. It’s been challenging and stressful to plan a wedding (ESPECIALLY a multicultural one) and I didn’t get it before but now I do. Some of the key decisions that we made for our wedding are:
- What’s the definition of FUSION – We wanted ONE ceremony. This was really important to me and Nelli. A lot of fusion weddings have 2 ceremonies to celebrate each culture. I really like that idea and think it’s a good way to incorporate everything but for me personally, it didn’t speak to me. It was important to me to show our close friends and family that we are committed to blending our cultures in our marriage and we were going to showcase that through one ceremony. We got a lot of doubters and I myself am working tirelessly to ensure that the ceremony script is seamless but I have a great feeling that it will turn out beautifully. I think it’s also nice to have one ceremony, because we will be hand pick a few traditions that mean the most to us and have a significant message that we believe in. I also love the fact that me and Nelli are working together to develop a script from scratch so it will truly be unique and represent who we are and what our union represents. Lastly, the officiants will be family members and not priests or pastors and I think this is a great idea to make the overall ceremony more personal.
2. LOCATION LOCATION – It has to be in California! We thought that would be neutral ground for both of our families instead of having it in India or San Antonio. Also, since I wasn’t familiar with either of those locations, I wanted it on MY turf as I was going to the point planner and would need to be very involved in the process. We also wanted it outside to represent our love for the outdoors and our venue is the perfect place for that because we go to that park all the time for biking. Obviously, outdoor weddings need to happen in the spring/summer and we originally wanted to do it in April/May but pushed it out to JUNE/JULY to lower our chances of inclement weather *knocks on wood*. June 24th worked out beautifully because that will be close to 4 years of Nelli and I dating. The only downside to having a wedding in California is the COST. jeez. All in all I think we have a moderate budget for our wedding even though I definitely had to shift my expectations on how much we were going to spend multiple times.
So far there have been many joyful moments and challenges with our wedding planning process. There are so many things I want to talk about regarding parental expectations, drama and ensuing twists and turns that I’ll just have to have a 2nd and 3rd post 🙂
- Searching for venues! We went to places we had never been to in the Bay Area and it felt like we were dating and going on little adventures. We went to Sonoma and visited a winery and a Japanese Tea garden in Santa Cruz.
- Also, taking engagement photos was so much fun because our photographer took us to beautiful locations in the City that we had never explored!
- Nelli’s favorite part of the wedding planning process was trying to find an Indian caterer and reaching out to different restaurants. Also, I went on 4 catering and cake tastings with my close friends which was a blast.
- Wedding dress and bridesmaid shopping with my sister and friends was a lovely time to get feedback and have fun with those closest to me. Working with my sister (Maid of Honor) and asking for her feedback and suggestions is amazing because she has such an eye for aesthetics and good fashion sense.
- Since our wedding is in June which is a popular timeframe we really didn’t expect the number of vendors telling us that they were already booked. That was really hard for me to swallow especially since some of the vendors I really really wanted already had other obligations. I think the first rule of thumb for wedding planning is learning to be flexible, having a Plan C, D, E (Yep…because good chances are A and B are long gone), and most importantly learn how to BOUNCE BACK. I would be really down and be in a funk for days if something didn’t work out. I am learning to have a strong mind when things don’t go my way and meditation has helped – this is something that I not only can apply to wedding planning but future difficult situations.
- CATERING was a big heartburn for me. According to my monthly tracker, I was on time for all of my wedding deliverables (I know, I’m a project manager what can I say). However, I was 2 months behind on booking my caterer 😦 Why do you say? This was one vendor that I was really scared to push the button because every caterer I talked to was so dang expensive. All the caterers were giving me quotes that were 1/3 of my budget 😦 I would go on tastings that were in my price range but I wasn’t a fan of their food. Also, there were a lot of caterers that wouldn’t even work with me because I told them upfront Nelli would be hiring a 2nd indian caterer – most caterers wanted to be the only vendor that provided food for liability reasons. The caterers said they could make indian food but it wasn’t traditionally south indian and then they said they could make vegetarian food but Nelli’s family only likes Indian food (sigh). Just as I was about to give up in a heap of despair, I got an email from a caterer that I had reached out to in the beginning of my search but quickly ruled out because of the budget. They invited me to a party for engaged couples to showcase their food and I decided to go because why not. It turned out to be the best decision because me and my friend loved their food AND they work with indian caterers all the time. The people working with the caterer were so nice and I knew this was the vendor for me.
Now that catering is complete, I feel definitely more at ease than I was 1 or 2 months ago. I’m still a little anxious but not as much – in fact I’m having more fun now. I had a meeting to discuss decorations for our Friday night sangeet yesterday and it was great to work with my vendor to pick out colors for the tables and backdrops. Hoping for more experiences like this! Design is so much fun 🙂