We know Indian weddings are bursting with traditions. From the milni to welcoming the groom into the mandap, to the ring game and vidai everything is beautiful and fun and if you want to incorporate all or some of these traditions into your wedding day, it’s completely possible with some careful planning.
First consider how much time you have. In this article, I detailed information about the two types of Indian wedding days: back-to-back or the time gap day. This is pretty important because in a time gap day…you have more time in-between the ceremony and the reception compared to weddings that go straight from the ceremony into the cocktail hour. That’s why a lot of couples prefer the time gap schedule.
In a back-to-back day the couple barely has enough time to take photos after the ceremony, have a vidai, get ready for the reception and do a photo shoot. There isn’t time for anything else.
In a time gap, you have 3-4 hours to engage in some of these traditions, get ready and have a photoshoot.
Think through each tradition you want to do on the wedding day and ten write down all the logistics involved, materials and items you’ll need, who will be responsible for each tradition and who is needed for each tradition. The more thorough prep work you do, the more efficiently you can do each tradition. Additionally, prepare materials and store them in a place where they’re labelled, organized and you can grab and go when it’s time to load up to head to your wedding venue.
I was at a wedding a couple years ago and the bride’s family forgot all of the thali’s for the ceremony at their home…which was two hours away from the venue. They realized it when they were setting up for the ceremony. That’s a pretty drastic example but I’m sharing the story to make a point about how important organization and prep is.
What we often forget is to allot time in the wedding day schedule to observe these traditions.
ProTip: Do your own wedding schedule in 15 minute increments. That will ensure you don’t skip anything or underestimate the amount of time necessary for each event. Write out the entire from the time you will wake up to the end of your wedding reception.
Pre-ceremony photo session
Cocktail hour starts
Hair/makeup for reception
Program details (welcome, speeches, cake cutting, toast, first dance, father-daughter/mother-son dance, performances)
Dinner is served
Dessert is served
Dance floor opens
This is a good outline of a typical Indian wedding day and the various components in it. Take these and put actual time allotments next to each. Ideally you’ll have some buffer somewhere within the schedule to be able to expect the unexpected and deal with it without throwing off your schedule.
Below are some general guides on how much time to allot for each one of those traditions.
With meticulous planning an Indian wedding that’s on time can happen! I know it seems like a long shot but it can be done. Use our list above to out together a detailed schedule of the entire wedding day. What time will each item start? finish? Who is responsible? Who needs to be there? Do you have the contact info for all of those people in your phone? How are you going to inform each of the people about where they need to be and when? What mechanism will you put into place to give them reminders?
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If it has, let me know in the comments and you might like to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help making wedding planning just a little bit easier.
Congratulations and cheers!
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