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When is the right time to start looking for my wedding lehenga?

26 Jun

The answer is always - asap. Unless your wedding is more than 9-10 months away, start looking as early as as you can.

Reasons to start off as early as possible

  1. Find the right shops: If you want to go to a LOT of shops to first get an idea of what is available in the market, start spending some time shopping asap. Go out and explore what shops are there, which ones suit your budget and your style. I had never been lehenga shopping, so I started looking in February for my October wedding.
  2. Lehengas are not made over-night: Most lehengas are custom-made, and they can take anywhere between 1 to 3 months to make, depending on the kind of work you want. Keep enough time margin to get any alterations made.
  3. Find matching accessories: You also want to leave ample time to find jewelry, shoes and other accessories that match your lehenga.
  4. Plan the colors for all events: You don’t want to repeat colors on multiple-wedding functions. Knowing the color of your main wedding lehenga beforehand will help with choosing the color of your mehendi, sangeet or/and reception clothes. Since shopping for other functions is not as time-consuming, best to get the wedding lehenga out of the way first.
  5. Wait for a sale: A lot of shops go on sale during certain months of the year. Do a little bit of research and find out if you can time your purchase during sale season. Again, the earlier you start, the more the probability that a sale will be on during the time you’re looking to buy.

Avoiding the I-found-a-great-lehenga-in-the-first-store-I-visited syndrome

When you first start looking around, you can potentially find a lehenga very early on that you feel is “the One”. Please ignore the strong urge to just buy the lehenga and save yourself months of shopping (if you have that kind of time, that is). The wedding is too far off, don’t buy it. I’ll tell you why -

I found a very pretty lehenga in February itself but since the wedding was a good 8 months away, I didn’t buy it. And in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t pick it up. Why? A number of reasons. I found a much better lehenga later on. Back then, I was clueless about what kinds of lehengas were available. Figuring out what style I liked also took some time. So start looking asap, but hold your horses – don’t buy one till you’ve gone to atleast a few good shops. Getting a sense of what’s available, what your personal style is, and what fits your budget – it all takes time. If you have the luxury of time, use it. And don’t forget the all important aspect of lehenga shopping with your family – enjoy it! You get to be a bride only once (hopefully)!

Wedding Planning Updates - 2nd week of June

14 Jun

Last weekend was mini-vacation weekend. My family went for a quick 2-day trip on the outskirts of Delhi, and I had my first - ok, first two - spas!

And yes, my whole routine’s haywire now. Have not worked out since last Friday! But, I’ll get back to it starting tomorrow.

Other developments have been taking place -

Wedding Lehenga - Found & Lost(?)

I found the perfect lehenga a few weeks back. But I looked at the price tag and I was like ack! But, we found a designer who said they could make an exact copy. I was so psyched - yes! I’ll wear the prettiest lehenga on planet Earth and it will still be in my budget! Taayein-taayein-phiss happened yesterday - I saw the sample yesterday (the designer did one kali/panel of the lehenga) and my whole family was majorly dissapointed. We realised that maybe the designer’s designing sensibilities did not match ours, and we’re wondering where the hell to get it made from now! Mother wants to drag me all over Delhi this weekend to find a new wedding lehenga that’s readymade. *sigh* So we seem to be back to square one, unless we feel confident about finding some other designer who can make an exact copy.

Photographer/Videographer - save me from “Madam idhar dekho! Face neeche, aankhein upar!”

Spending a bomb on photographers and videographers is no longer making sense. In an Indian wedding, it seems it’s typical to chalk out a budget but then slowly realise that you’ve overshooting your budget by quite a bit. The lehengas you like are pinching (ok, more like tearing apart) your pockets, you go with the caterer who’s slightly over budget because you don’t want to compromise on quality of food (come on, you know you can’t go cheap here), the trousseau budget is expanding manifold because you just didn’t realise how much a suit and saree for a formal occassion cost…the list is endless. Back to the point - I have decided that we are not shelling out huge sums for capturing wedding memories. My fiancé came up with a great idea - we’ll buy an SLR camera which his sisters/friends will use to click pics at his house (which we will then gift to his sister as she’s always wanted one), I’ll borrow an SLR camera from a friend for getting more candid shots at my house, we’ll buy one handycam to capture videos at his house, and I already have an SLR camera that I want to use for video-shooting as it has HD video! We’ll also, of course, have our normal studio wala team for covering the ceremonies. But what will be required on our part is some amount of effort - explaining to him what kind of photos we want, what kind of video editing we want, etc. So, for example, I want candid plus documentary plus some posed images - I’ll tell him “bhaiya, please don’t flash very bright lights in people’s eyes while you are trying to take a candid photo, because then they will become concious” and “bhaiya, please don’t take videos of people posing for the camera becuase I don’t want videos of people stuck in time - that’s what a camera is meant to do!” However, I’m still open to ideas - in case anyone knows how I can afford a Vishal Punjabi and Vinayak Das/Snigdha Sheel, please feel free to get in touch with me at thedelhibride at gmail dot com or leave a comment here. Even if your idea involved fund raising to be able to afford that gorgeous lehenga, and these amazing photographers/videographers! Please!

MNBB (My Nose But Better)

I’ve suffered from blackheads my whole life. Never cared too much about it. Now suddenly, I do. Everyone says I need to get a pre-bridal package done at a salon. Ummm…why? Can’t I just take better care of myself over the next few months and look my best anyway? Well, it’s not that I’m against salon treatments. They’re just alien to me. But, I do want to get rid of these damn blackheads. So last night I used a scrub, then steamed, and then used a multani mitti mask (Himalaya’s). My skin looks absolutely great today, but the blackheads are still there (duh!). I even scrubbed tomato on my nose a few days back. Not much of a difference really. I’ve been scouring the pages of all the top Indian beauty blogs on how to remove blackheads, and man oh man! There are sooo many ways, apparently. Will any of them work on me? Stay tuned to find out.

Ciao for now!

A Bride to Be and Know Nothing About Make Up? Why you need to learn NOW

1 Jun

A Rookie’s Journey with Makeup

14 months ago, I bought my first foundation. Before that, I’d only used my mother’s compact powders for basically patting my oily T-zone into better shape just before a big dinner party. Then, one fine sunny day, somebody gave me gift vouchers to Shoppers Stop.

As some of you may know, Shoppers Stop houses a large range of cosmetics brands. I walked up to the Chambor counter (probably because it looked pretty), and am I glad I did! The saleswoman matched me to my perfect shade, and I was the proud owner of Chambor Brightening Foundation Wet & Dry. I used it a little bit in the first month, but then I stopped because I felt like – it showed that I’d put on makeup. You see, I had also bought my first tinted lip balm at that time – Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15 in Blush. The balm, although sheer in coverage, made my lip color pop, and its effect with the foundation was looking too made up. I wanted something more natural. I continued to use the lip balm (am halfway through my second one now), but the foundation usage more or less went down to only the big occasions.

Then came my roka ceremony (a semi-official engagement ceremony, for the uninitiated) in December 2011. I would need to put on makeup, and my novice hands were just not going to cut it – I needed to learn. I did some research online, and found out that MAC was the go-to makeup brand for most people, albeit an expensive one. So off I went, with my list of things to buy in hand. Fortunately for me, I met the best makeup artist (MUA) there. Let’s just say, out went the plan of trying to do my own makeup on the roka, and I was sold on the idea of coming in on D-Day and getting it done by her in exchange for buying beauty products. In hindsight, it was a pain to get to the mall to get my makeup done (I was late for my own roka!) but well worth the effort.

You must be wondering, why the detailed roka makeup description? Because that was a turning point. I saw the way the MUA applied the makeup, and I realized – I’ve been applying it the wrong way! With my Chambor foundation, I was using big sweeping strokes with the sponge to apply the foundation. Literally painting it on. Big. Fat. Mistake. Most of you who have been applying foundation for long enough would’ve gasped in horror if you saw my application technique. MAC was also the place where I first learnt that

  • people actually use brushes to apply makeup (yes, I was that unaware)
  • that there are different brushes for different kinds of makeup
  • and that a good brush can make all the difference!

Since then, my makeup routine and application techniques have changed drastically. I have also learnt how moisturizing is such an important part of your routine – without it, the foundation looks dry, patchy, flaky – you name it! I now use a face wash, toner, moisturizer, primer (MAC’s prep+prime with SPF 50) and then finally the foundation with a sponge. My Chambor foundation is almost over now - have been using it almost daily for the last few months, since I learnt how to use it correctly! I make the sponge wet first (it’s actually a compact powder that can be used as a foundation by making the sponge wet), sweep on some of the foundation onto the sponge, press the sponge onto a few spots on my face (cheeks, nose, eyelids, undereye, chin, upper lip, forehead – basically a few dots all over the face), and then blend like a crazy person. The way I use it, the coverage is very sheer. If I want greater coverage, I can always take a larger amount of the foundation onto the sponge. Post foundation, I don’t use the compact powder because I feel it starts to look cakey then, and I like the slightly dewy finish it gives.

Moral of this long story was, BLEND your foundation and it will make a world of a difference! :)

Why All Bride to Be’s Should Learn Basic Makeup

Ok, no. Before I start to sound more like a beauty blogger (which I have no right to be considering I’ve ever only used foundation and don’t own a single makeup brush) than a bridal blogger, let me say something which all brides-to-be should know and consider. As Indians, we have a lot of wedding functions happening over a course of a few days. Hiring a MUA on all those days will burn a massive hole in your pocket. Unless you have really deep pockets, in which case I apologise for making you go through this long post – you can stop reading now. For the rest of us, it’s important to start learning about makeup. If you’re a bride to be, you must start soon. Ideally, give yourself enough time before the wedding to:

  • try out different beauty products and see which ones work for you
  • learn some basic makeup techniques

This is the advice my mother gave me! Initially I just got annoyed with her and kept saying “Ufff! I don’t need makeup!” But then I saw my face in a photograph after I’d put on makeup. What a big difference! It honestly does even out the skin tone, lightens your dark circles, and a little bit of blush and lipstick can give you a very healthy glow.

So yes, fellow brides to be - learn some basics of makeup because you will need it on all those wedding functions when the MUA will not be by your side. It’s also useful as a lifetime practice because your pictures turn out better, the oily-skin girls can finally use sunscreen (cover it with foundation and voila! Oiliness gone!) and on those special occasions you know what you’re doing! Check out my Bridal Beauty Page on the blog for links to some great beauty blogs and websites.

Thanks for tuning in, and once again – apologies for such a long post. Many more coming soon :)

Edit: My Chambor foundation is almost finished, and I want to try out something new. Any suggestions?

What to do for your hair during pre-wedding days

23 May

Another great article on Bridal Beauty by - Your Pre-Wedding Hair To-Do’s.

My favourite part?

regardless of how long or short you decide your hair will be, get a trim two weeks before your wedding to eliminate dead ends and freshen bangs, if you have them. Switch to a cleansing shampoo that removes residue, and pay more attention to conditioning — “consider overnight treatments or oils,” he says. A week before your wedding, use a gloss or mask on your hair to boost shine.


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