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4 Venues, 900 Guests and a very big budget!

Let me introduce to Menka, she’s one of the two lovely ladies at Event Factory.  She got married in 2008, on the 4th January in Dubai. Back then she wasn’t a wedding planner, and to be honest that’s probably a good thing. She married her best friend Nitin, and celebrated with over 900 guests. I imagine if you’re a wedding planner, this would be a very big job, especially if your the bride too. Actually the thought frightens me a little. 900 people is a lot of people to keep happy.
It was only after her own wedding that she fell in love with weddings, and all things wedding related. Menka has a background in events, so it was no surprise when she decided to launch her own company ‘Event Factory’ with her best friend Kameliya.

What you planned for the day…

The Indian weddings last for 4-5 days. The wedding started with a New Year’s Eve do at my parents on the 31st of Dec. Most of the international guests had flown in by then, and this was a welcome party of to kick start the celebrations. On the 2nd of Jan the official celebrations began with the Henna party at the Sheraton, followed by the sangeet and a cocktails night at the Emirates Towers on the 3rd evening. The religious wedding ceremony is where we took our vows on the 4th at the Park Hyatt, which followed with the wedding reception, more cocktails and dancing on the 5th at the Bustan Rotana.
The actual wedding ceremony was a colourful religious affair, with traditional games and good-natured teasing between the bride’s party and groom’s family. The groom arrived with his entourage with loud drum beats and lots of dancing to announce their arrival. I then came down (was in the hotel room) to receive and welcome them and proceed with the ceremonies.


The Proposal…
We’d been seeing each other for a while and had discussed marriage, what we want from our respective lives, our hopes and expectations etc so we did know that we would get married, there wasn’t a “will you marry me?” that popped out of the blue. However, he was still sweet and completed the formalities by proposing at the Capanna Nuova restaurant, by the beach over candle-light at the Dubai Marine Resort and Spa.

The Planning process…
I’d had previous experience planning events but when its your own wedding it’s a whole new ball game. There was immense support from my family and my husband and his family too. Me and my husband were the main decision makers and we mainly picked the hotels, menus and entertainment options along with opinions from the rest of course.
Budget…
The one thing we weren’t involved in! 😉
No. of Guests Started with 120 at the henna party and ended at 900 at the reception

Finding My Wedding Dress…
I mainly shopped for my clothes in India, I made two trips to different cities in India and finally picked my dress in the capital, Delhi. It was red, gold and green, considered auspicious colours for a bride!

My Lovely Accessories…
Included everything from traditional bangles and henna painted hands to ethnic bindis (worn on the forehead), hair pieces and brooches and traditional gold or diamond jewellery.

Groom’s Threads…
We found a designer in Delhi, and after going to his store we fell in love with his work and with the man’s great personality and passion for his work, we ordered all his outfits for all 5 days on the spot…we walked into the store at 1pm and left at close to 6pm…and we had three days to spare and lounge in the city! 🙂 (Deisgner: Lalit Laungani, store: Laungani’s, South Ex, Delhi)


My Lovely bridesmaids…
We don’t usually have a bridesmaids custom traditionally, however I did have 6 of my friends escort me down to receive the groom with lit diya’s (traditional Indian tea lights of sorts) and flowers in their hands. It felt good to be surrounded by my girls.
The Flowers…
All different shapes, sizes and colours over the 4 days. However, I didn’t pay much attention to the flowers at that point of time, I wish I knew then what I know about weddings now!

The Cake…
We had one at the Sangeet, a 3 tier and we cut the official one at the reception which was a 7 tier cake, both cakes were ordered at the respective hotels.
My Details + Décor…
The décor was different on all days and I tried to incorporate different colours and themes, the henna party was an Arabian look and feel while the actual wedding ceremony was ethnic and traditional.

Our Honeymoon…
We flew to Australia and New Zealand for a few weeks. It felt far far away from the city life of Dubai. It was a much needed vacation.
Favorite moments over the wedding week…
Far too many to capture. At the wedding, the bride and groom are so overwhelmed, most of the moments don’t register and they only come back while watching the videos. I’d say it has to be most of the dancing that goes with Indian weddings, my friends that did a little performance for us, my sister-in-law’s speech, the 7 Sanskrit vows explained to us in English on the wedding day (I didn’t know what they meant before) and the general sense of happiness and euphoria all around.
Advice for other couples…
Plan, plan plan until the week before the wedding and then rest up. Leave it be and enjoy your wedding, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Let me just say that I’m exhausted just reading this… a full week of wedding events, gatherings and dancing! Amazing! And… one thing I absolutely love about Indian weddings is the colours used in the decor and dresses. The bright reds, greens and details to every dress is just unbelievable. This is one tradition that I hope never fades…
Big thanks to Menka for sharing!
Back tomorrow…
Love Joelle x

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