January 23, 2015

A 1000 questions about your wedding, 1 answer to your wedding design : Devika Narain 

Sensory Overload. This is what I experience most days when I surf the web/open my email/ go shopping/attend a wedding. There is just too much going on everywhere! At least too much for me to handle. It doesn’t help that I am really bad at filtering out the excess stuff.When there is too much stimuli , you will probably find me sitting in a corner- eyes shut,ears covered ,gently rocking myself back in to some state of normalcy. Don’t believe me? Come shopping with me. You will know then.

Boy,am I glad that I got married three years ago (!!) and don’t have to go through the process of what shall I wear, who shall we call, what will the place look like, who will take our photos….. the list is endless my to-be brides. Yes, it is fun and the ‘process’ is what you will remember but I am happy that I am done with that. The number of blogs out there with an ‘A-Z’ listing of every possible kind of vendor you can think of is incredible! Where do you start looking for a good florist? More importantly, where (and HOW) do you stop?!

The question arises- are we spoilt for choice or are we spoiling our choice ?

Perhaps this is a reason why TUB (The Unreal Bride, guys! Get with the program.) never got down to making a vendors section. Too many people, too many choices, bad filtering system. And yeah, maybe we are picky.

Suddenly , amongst the chaos something comes to your attention! Something as simple as a photograph of a flower arrangement like you have never seen before, or the most unique mandap and you dig deeper and what do you find?Beauty! The person behind this beauty I speak of is Devika Narain . From stalking her pretty posts of different destinations-gold deserts, blue beaches, white mountains,  she transformed them in to table settings, tents, vases filled with lemons, and fairy lights everywhere!

The Unreal Bride really desperately requires a dose of gorgeousness and inspiration to start this year off so thank god for Devika !

What does Devika have to say? “I love all things happy and have found a way to corral my background in literature and an ability to put pretty things together into one big party of a business. I grew up inspired by whatever sparked my imagination – from Paris to Sabyasachi to a deep-rooted love of bold, bright colors and vintage flea market finds. With an enticing and recognizable aesthetic I now create beautiful, fun weddings and parties with lots of little details.’

If you are planning your wedding, look no further, block out the noise-start and stop your search right here because I have no doubt in my mind that Devika won’t take your dreams and make them in to the most gorgeous reality. I can prove it too! Here are  photos from some of the weddings she has designed.

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Rose petals and fairy lights 

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This mehendi in Jaisalmer is one of my favourites- so blue, big patterns and the most amazing attention to detail.My mehendi would have looked like this (if I had had one!) .

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This is a wedding in a STADIUM. Ever seen a stadium look so good? 

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All photos are property of Devika Narain. No stealing without permission, please. 

If you want to join me in stalking Devika, you can find her on her website , her blog, her instagram (definitely need to follow her here) and facebook.

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Oh, and Happy New Year everyone! <3

November 8, 2014

The Unreal Bride meets The Wedding Filmer

After talking about this for nearly four years, I FINALLY got the chance to work with Vishal of the Wedding Filmer. I’m pretty sure they need no introduction because I have been going on about their videos forever and now they are literally world famous but if you don’t know them yet, you better go take a look ASAP because I am already feeling sorry for your loss!! (Out of breath after that long sentence!)

This month I got to go work with the superbly talented crew from The Wedding Filmer and I am still buzzing from the excitement. I figured I had to share that with all of you (lots who are are fans of theirs as well!) . There is only one way I know of sharing and that is with photos -so here are some of the photos from the few days we spent in Thailand.  I will post the video once the trailer is up but till now you can just imagine how beautiful it will be!

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All photos shot on the iphone.

Thing is though, thanks to facebook and all the clutter there, it’s easy to not see the quality stuff . I mean, my timeline is full of all sorts of weird stuff and I have to really DIG for the good stuff. So, I won’t blame you entirely if you haven’t seen any of the videos yet. Let me help you out by posting one here and then will leave you to spend a couple of hours going through all the videos! In true Chandigarh spirit , it only makes sense to post a video shot in Chandigarh! (If you remember -we had set up a photobooth at the same wedding too. Connections connections!)

                                              
October 9, 2014

Design Recipes: Keeping your memories fresh and delicious!

Do you ever get the urge to sit down and flip through photos from your latest holiday or from your wedding ? But alas, you only have the option to scroll through some images on your iPad or computer or phone or whatever? We know the feeling. Printing photos has become such a thing of the past and actually sitting down to design an album is no easy business. Ask me . Almost three years since we got married and I STILL don’t have a wedding album!

This is where I get to introduce Gurleen , the star behind Design Recipes- she takes your photos and ideas and creates the loveliest photo books for you. Just so simple! They are classy, good quality and you know a lot of time and effort has gone in to making them.

If you are in Chandigarh on the 18th & 19th of October , you can find Design Recipes stall at the awesome Vanity Fair in Whispering Willows, Zirakpur. (You can also find all sorts of other goodies there so maybe you just need to make a trip here that weekend! )
AC_0062 AC_0060 AC_0059 AC_0061 AC_0063Thank you Gurleen for the two sample albums you made for me using photographs taken by me ! 

September 20, 2014

Giveaway Win a seat at The Wedding Filmer’s Workshop!!!

It’s the weekend! This could mean one of two things: time to sit back and chill out and/or sit on the edge of your seat to see if you are going to be the lucky winner of the one seat we have going for the Wedding Filmer’s workshop!! Which one is it going to be ???

I don’t think there is any need to introduce the Wedding Filmer because if there is-then you shouldn’t be here. Many moons ago when we started the Unreal Bride, we struggled to find a good Indian wedding cinematographer- what a challenge it was! Trust me, there was NO ONE. Then,one fine day- a video by the Wedding Filmer popped up on my twitter feed or somewhere and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Wedding Filmer and his crew have organised their very first workshop in Delhi this Monday. And we got a pass (or maybe two) worth INR 4,500/- to  give-away on our blog to all you  aspiring photographers and videographers for free!!!

So what do you have to do? It’s pretty simple! Workshop1

  • Take this image (the one above this line) and post it on your facebook page- tagging both the Unreal Bride and The Wedding Filmer in it.
  • Go take a wander around The Wedding Filmer’s work and tell us which is your favourite video in the comment section below. Extra points if you tell us why you want to be at that workshop SO BAD.

That’s all you have to do! How easy is that? Remember you have to leave your comment in the section below because that is what counts as an entry. You have till tomorrow afternoon (this competition is closed) to enter this contest so don’t waste any time. Good luck!!! Delhi3-2

 

Good luck to all of you! :)

GUESS WHAT? We actually have TWO passes to give away! Surprise! Surprise….So who are these two? The lucky winners of this competition after a very fair selection of chits ( normally we use randompicker.com like in our previous giveaways but because of the low number of participants we used the chit-system :P )…anyway where was I? yes- the winners…. They are- Abhishek Bali and Shumaila! The last and the first entrants to have entered ! Congratulations guys!! Keep us posted on the wonderful stuff you learn at the workshop .
TWWP.S. ‘Tis the season for workshops and this is only the first one… I will be teaching at a Wedding Workshop in October (I can hardly believe it!!) but I will be in great company- so if you are a photographer who wants to wander in to the world of wedding photography- you should really take a look at what is going to be happening at The Destination Wedding Workshop here and here.

September 16, 2014

Stylin’ Part Three : Gautam Kalra 

We wrapped up our stay at The Treasury of Trousseau with a fun chat with Gautam Kalra, the third and final stylist we interviewed at the event. Gautam started out with an advertising agency from where he moved on to open a conceptual fine dining restaurant cum store called Grasshopper. He has been the official stylist for Wills Fashion Week for four years and has worked with the top fashion designers and photographers of the country – creating unforgettable campaigns and photo shoots over the years.

Rohit-Bal-Gautam-Kalra With Rohit Bal. via

A&K – Do you feel like the brides you’ve met at this event are very specific about what they want? 

 GK-  It’s been mixed, I’ve met two brides who knew exactly what they wanted. On the other hand, I don’t know if it’s like a play on the stylists psyche or what it is, but they definitely know what they ‘don’t’ want.
For example, styling my friend would be easy, but, these are people I don’t personally know! I definitely feel like it helps to really spend time with people and try to understand them so that you can figure out what they ‘do’ want.
I’ve also had cases where the whole family has come in and been really overpowering and influential in the decision making process so, it’s not always up to the bride to choose what she’d like to wear. I’ve also met people who have no clue what they want – sometimes, from a stylists perspective, those kind of clients are the most fun. I sit with them, ask them questions – which is the only way, really, to figure out what will be the best fit for them 
 
 
 A&K – What is your styling process? 
 
GK- I’ve been to all the stores and taken photographs of a lot of key pieces and divided it up into lists like traditional, modern etc. So, as I ask questions and  begin to get a feel of what kind of look a person is after, then it’s easier to match them with an outfit because honestly, there’s so much out there and a lot of factors influence the decision to eventually buy the outfit. Factors like, price point, of course, and the name, the versatility of the garment, the location of the event, day event or night, season – all these come into play. Of course, I have my own personal style. However, I have to be very careful not to impose that on someone else and really try to find out what the person is all about. 
Sometimes, the reputation of the designer can be a hindrance in a way. People see a Tarun Tahiliani or Manish Arora store, and they are scared to walk in because they expect exorbitant price points! Actually, they’ll be surprised to know that a lot of famous designers have pieces which are very affordable. It might not be the lehenga you’ll wear to your wedding but you could definitely find quality pieces for your trousseau. In fact, a lot of the previous seasons outfits are now marked down to sixty or seventy thousand which isn’t bad at all. 
 
 
 A&K – Have a majority of brides been coming to you for assistance with all the wedding events or just the wedding? 
 
GK- Well, some people have come for just the engagement, or just the wedding. You see, selecting clothes is not only a very big decision, it’s also very tiring. After two or three hours of looking at clothes, you’re experiencing sensory overload, we’re all tired – so it’s best to spread the shopping out over a couple of days in order to keep your mind fresh and make the best decisions. Thats why we have a lot of brides coming back on day four and day five. 
At the beginning of the meeting, we decide exactly which event we are planning for – for example, for a sangeet, people are very open to the idea of something unconventional like a piece from Manish Arora, but for the actual wedding they tend to stick to more traditional styles. 
 A&K – What do you feel is the most common mistake that you see Indian brides making?
 
GK- Thats easy – christmas cake; it’s just way too much. I mean, I understand it’s your special day and you want to stand out but sometimes, simplicity is the most elegant option. Our mothers wore Kanjeevaram and Banarasi sarees and minimal jewellery and I think they looked fabulous! 
I think that’s why a lot of people like Sabyasachi because he’s understated and slowly this sensibility is catching on. 
When I meet brides I tell them, I know you’ll want to wear a lehenga for the wedding but if that is heavy, perhaps the blouse and dupatta, hair and make up can be a bit more toned down. That way one can maintain a balance and not look over the top. A simple trick is to divide your body in half, if your lehenga is heavily embellished, and you are definitely going to wear heavy jewellery, then let those things balance each other out and go easy on the veil and blouse. 
Minimal make up is a much better alternative to caking layers and layers of matching glittery elements on to your face. 
 
 
A&K – What do you think is the strongest influence on Indian brides? 
 
GK- Definitely Bollywood, whether you like it or not. And now that Bollywood is becoming less flashy and more elegant, that effect is trickling down to brides and the masses in general as well. If you look at pictures of actresses of the 90’s and look at the ones at present there is a marked difference in style and that’s a really good thing. 
 
A&K – Do you think people hire stylists for their weddings on a regular basis?
 
GK- There is a really big market for that actually, but, also, everyone is a stylist nowadays. I’ve heard of a lot of wedding planners who also offer styling services. However, I don’t think that’s a very effective approach. For example, at fashion shows, we all have our roles cut out. If I am not a choreographer, I’m not going to interfere with the choreography – it’s just not my job! 
Similarly, the hair and make up artists, the set designer, the models all have their own roles and we’ll all talk to each other so that we can put on a good show but, if we fight amongst ourselves it will be visible in the final production – everything has to be in sync right down to the music. I don’t know how wedding planners work – whether they make stylists a part of their package or whether people actually think of hiring stylists but, they should. From what I’ve heard, the wedding planners are the ones taking the couples shopping and suggesting designers and that’s all very well but every designer will want you to wear his or her creation whereas a stylist will give you an unbiased opinion on what suits you and the occasion. 
 
 
A&K – What are the essential things every bride should include in their trousseau which they might neglect to think of?
 
GK- The time period that I’m talking of, where these things will be of use, is right after the wedding – the endless parties and dinners. A really comfortable pair of gold or copper shoes because they go with everything – maybe not stilettos, but wedges instead, because they are more comfortable.
The same applies to a nice clutch which is gold or nude. 
Every woman should have one beautiful traditional saree, a Kanjeevaram, a Banarasi or even a Bengali cotton and some contrasting elegant blouses to go with them because one can’t always be in an ornate lehenga.
As far as jewellery is concerned, a nice pair of uncut diamond earrings, jhumkis or baalis, no coloured stones, just one beautiful piece which can match everything.
 
A&K – How do you think grooms can make their outfits more interesting?
GK – The kind of clothes grooms usually pick, with a lot of gold zardozi work and embellishment – I’d suggest they go with a nice pintucked sherwani instead, which they can use even after the wedding is over. Maybe play around with the colour of the churidaar? Perhaps a pink or turquoise churidaar and contrasting scarf. The material and the texture of it, in my opinion, should be given weightage over embellishment. So many menswear designers are doing nice sherwanis which are elegant and classy – there are a lot of options out there. 
 
 
A&K – Do you think the bride and groom should match each other or offset each other?
GK – I wouldn’t suggest matching outfits but yes, one or two elements in the grooms accessories that match the bride make for a pretty picture. 
 
A&K – Are you for or against the new concept of the bride matching the decor?
GK – Against! She shouldn’t blend into the decor, she should stand out. If your decor is maroon and you are also wearing maroon you’ll be invisible! 
 
A&K – What is the thing that you feel is missing from the modern brides’ wedding trousseau which was present in generations past?
GK – Tradition. When it comes to Indian wear, nothing like raiding your moms closet. If you look at style icons of the past,for example, like Waheeda Rahman or Meena Kumaari,  you’ll notice a certain balance there which is missing in todays generation. 
Whether you look at their hair and make up or jewellery – they had it all right – it was much cleaner. Somewhere along the line, in came swarovski and killed everything. It’s everywhere and it really needs to be toned down. 
 
A&K – Why do you think wedding lehengas are so heavy?
GK – I think the minute the work on the lehenga goes beyond gota and zardozi, once pearls and beads and crystals come into play – that’s when the piece becomes really heavy with the weight of embellishment. A lot of people are starting to think more practically and don’t want to be weighed down and designers are responding to it. Most designers now offer light as well as heavy lehengas as far as the weight is concerned, and even the light lehengas look very rich. 
It’s probably the brides who usually want heavy lehengas because they want more and more of everything or maybe they feel like they’re not getting their moneys worth. I’m not sure what it is but, I think that trend is changing with time. 
 
So there you have it folks! Advice, tips and tricks from the best in the field! I think we can safely deduce from all these conversations that less is sometimes, much much more. Happy wedding season planning! 
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