November 22, 2015 !!
This one’s going to be a quickie.
Simply because I CAN NOT marry one more time .
This one day had it all .
Boisterous laughter , swollen tear glands , a hyper-ventilating loving father, the ever beautiful mother, the soul sister I grew up with, the fairy grandmother, the favourite uncle & aunt, rioting cousins, the joyous family, the cant-live-without best friends, beautiful beloveds , yards of Kanjeevaram, ostentatious jewellery, main men and support systems, pot pourri of cultures and traditions , lit lamps, aromatic flowers and religious paraphernalia, quintals of confusion, overly tensed bouts , tears of joy raining down them cheeks, the sumptous feast, another ginormous family to call my own, a kazillion photographs, vibrant colours, hearty celebrations, revelrous atmosphere, and of course , the man I love !! 🙂
Errr , Hi !!
I got diagnosed with the infamous fad syndrome sometime in June as I was recovering from the big fat engagement hullabaloo . “You’re exhibiting the Bridezilla symptoms !” , Soorya told me with disgust. Oh Jeez ! It was true afterall . Who’d let a perfectionist who is unfortunately also a control freak let loose like that ?! The very thought of miles of kanjeevarams were enough to get me heaven high anyway !!
Speaking of which, I was very disappointed and let down as the weavers at Kancheepuram said that it would be difficult to weave the saree of my dreams I had in mind in less than 3 months and that would be risky since I’d be cutting it too close to the wedding. To thrive that , the enthusiastic grandmother , the mother India and I took off to Chennai, a week later, sometime in August with a vision of buying my bridal ensembles and also kanjeevarams for the near and dear ones. We Pradeeps are quick to shop. It’s more like we’re biologically engineered with a radar that easily sniffs the best yards of silk out of an emporium . Want figures ?
Well , we scooped 40 odd kanjeevarams in 18 hours of shopping spread across one and a half days. Saree erudition went up a notch alright !!
My mustard yellow kanjeevaram with a dual tone of burnt orange and intricate zari throughout is by far the most gorgeous bridal monotone saree I’ve seen . Love happened . This one’s from the pioneers, Sundari silks , Chennai .
Since we had an Andhra-Kerala hybrid wedding, as part of their customs, I was to change into a white and red kanjeevaram saree and come in again for the second “muhurat”. This classic one filled with huge gold zari motifs and the green lining at the ends of the border is from the famous Tulsi silks , Chennai .
For a Kerala bride who is religiously supposed to be covered in gold from head to toe always seemed ridiculous to me. Who wants to look like festive elephants on their wedding day ?! Gone are the days where it used to signify the wealth of a family or the dowry given or any materialistic aspect of the then narrow minded society. It isn’t even deemed as a worthy investment anymore owing to the meteoric crash of the gold prices in the last 5 years that is still expected to continue. Today, it’s either a personal choice or indoctrination by the elders in the family ( I guess ! ).
Either ways , personification of an elephant’s headgear is a big NO NO for me. I can not stand the unaesthetic mixing of matter. I just wanted to wear one statement piece ( less is more, isn’t it ?! ). Whilst mum and dad let me run the show, I had to sport a rebel and throw tantrums at extended family and those annoying aunts who just went on with their rants anyway. Ammamma pleaded though. So I agreed to wear one more. My mother & I scouted in Calicut, Bangalore , Chennai and Cochin and we picked what we connected with the most.
The uncut diamond-south sea pearl choker set is from Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri ( TBZ ) , Cochin , Kerala and the second chain which is an uncut diamond Goddess Lakshmi coin necklace is from Alukkas , Cochin, Kerala. I got the maang tikka made from TBZ itself according to my chandbaali earrings . The uncut diamond kadas ( bangles ) are from Tanishq , Calicut, Kerala and the coloured glass & metal ones from Goodwill Collections, Cochin, Kerala . The ruby studded Goddess Lakshmi waist belt ( oddyanam ) and the enamel worked Goddess Lakshmi armlet ( vanki ) are from Chennai, the paradise of temple jewellery . The rings are those that Ru gave me and that royal ruby one is what Ammamma wore on her wedding day, nearly 60 years ago ! ( It’s my most priced possession indeed. )
My hair and makeup was done by this lovely lady, Mrs.Seena Babu Cherian and her team at Angels Bridal Studio , Calicut, Kerala. I’m glad they understood my fuss with super-oily skin better than the acne that grows on it. Not to forget the troublesome hair either.
Now let me tell you bridal things that are way more important than these precious stones and metals :
* Get a well fitting blouse. Always opt for simple blouses with square rounds as necks and backs as they compliment the drape of the traditional saree. Do not overly put embellishments or embroidery on your blouse. Too much of sound is noise and cacophony means chaos . Hence, avoid !!
All the tailoring for the entire family was done by Paris Boutique , Cochin under the designer , Mr. Anil who is a gem of a person. Their work is something I can vouch for. Bespoke tailoring at it’s best !!
* Opt for padded blouses despite the fact whether your back is low or not. They make your frame look appropriate .
* If you’re opting for really low backs , get the string tie with simple tassles at the ends ( doesn’t apply to brides who don’t have south indian hair decor rules to follow . If you’re going bare back , get the most eye-catchy tassles. Check Gaurang Shah’s latest collections for ideas. ) If you’re going super-low , use “body tape” at the corners so as to avoid them from creasing or jutting out.
* Keep shoulder width of 1 inch only please. It helps broaden your frame. Use body tape at the upper bust line though ( you do not want to risk scandalizing family elders , yeah ?! )
* Don’t just get a petticoat/underskirt. Get a fish cut one with box pleats . They’re well-fitting and comfortable.
* Wear extremely comfortable heels . Wedges,preferably.
* LAUGH ! Don’t just sit and be coy and shy and smile there. Laugh out loud and break rules and go crazy. Don’t think about anybody or anything. ONLY think about the pretty photographs ( Rushil thinks that’s why I married him !! He knows me well ). Just remember that there are a lot of candid photographers hunting your emotions down. So you better get your best face showcase lined up .
The Mother India
Well , she can walk in in her doctor’s coat , or right out of bed with drool on her face or maybe after a shower like a wet hen and still look like a Queen.
Amma beautiful picked up her elegant Kanjeevaram pink and orange dual tone saree with peacock motifs all over from Varamahalakshmi Sarees, Chennai. I picked that one for her especially because it seemed worthy of her, just perfect.
We picked her uncut diamond necklace from Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Calicut and the uncut earrings from Tanishq , Calicut.
Yeah man , I know. She looks like a beautiful dream !!
Guess who has taken after her ? ( smirks and grins and does the chicken dance )
THE Pradeep .
Acha , the man with the plan , looked as simple and handsome as he is at heart.
I got him a Dennis Morton off white pure silk shirt because though a little on to the expensive side ,I think the range of shirts the brand has for dhotis and their fittings are kickass.
Dr. C. Pradeep Kumar is a hero who magnanimously deals with a dental surgeon , an educator and a criminal lawyer; 3 fiercely independent yet ridiculously emotional women , for 20 odd years and counting. ( kindly say a silent prayer and wish him more luck ) .
The Younger Pradeep
My Freida Pinto looked SO ravishing , you have NO idea !! She opted for Ammamma’s timeless ruby and pearl jewellery that will make your jaws drop as you scroll further down.
“I want aanakutty ( baby elephant ) on my blouse” , she said gleamingly when I suggested a heavy blouse for her rich pink kanjeevaram . So be it !!
( Beads , all of them . Emphasized the sleeves and the back of course. I’m super glad Paris Boutique made my sketches of penguins with trunks actually look like elephants . They infact sew the exact details I’d drawn on paper . Amazeballs this blouse is !! Imma show it to my children !)
She’s always been the most painful person to style. Looking at her that day however made all of my head ache bouts euphoric . She’s MY aanakutty after all !!
My fairy grandmother looked so kind in the traditional kerala handloom saree with gold zari weave at the borders from Kasavukada , Cochin. She’s only been this happy when I put on 7 kgs once !!
Kanjeevaram sarees for the gorgeous women are from RmKV, Chennai. Malu’s and Anu’s ( who is missing in the picture because she was searching for my heels ) silk half sarees were assembled from these palettes I had in mind : Red-Green-Yellow & Orange-Pink-Yellow for which , amazing silk materials were thrifted from Nalli’s, Chennai.
Doing the groom’s styling too was just painful okay ! I mean , I need to be paid for this shit -.- !!
I mean , look at him …. SUCH A BEAUTY !!
The plain and simple kanjeevaram silk kurta and the dhoti did the trick , I guess !! The kurta and jhootis are tailor made from Quora, Mumbai and the dhoti is from Hyderabad. His hair and beard styling was done by BBlunt, Khar, Mumbai.
Did you see the rest of the Noris ?? Oh you must !!
Mummy wore an orange-pink Kanjeevaram to be coordinated with Amma ( such high school girls , I tell you ! ) , Papa wore a silk Kurta from Fab India and I chose this deep yellow silk kurta from Manyavar for Harshil .
In other news , Mummy’s Hyderabadi kanjeevaram shall be stolen very soon. I think I’m growing fond of the loud kanjeevarams they weave that are very distinct from the Kerala and Tamil kanjeevarams. I think the Andhra-ness is kicking in slowly now !!
Ze Best Friends
Got the galaxy-eyed idiot a rust orange raw silk kurta and the normal-eyed idiot a white pure silk kurta. Their dhotis were lined with their kurta colours along with gold zari , all picked from Jayalakshmi Silks , Calicut. They’ve extremely good collections for ethnic silk attire for men.
So much malluness I tried adorning these two with , they certainly looked better than boxers and vests I’m used to seeing them around in.
Now for the buzzkill , the beige one I got for my Tambi with so much heart didn’t fit him and he had to wear another one ( cries ! ). But Mohamed Jameer still managed to look as charming as ever. ( cant.stop.crying.though )
Speaking of Jameer , DID YOU SEE WHAT THIS INGENIOUS ONE MAN ARMY MADE ??!!
Magical, isn’t it ?! 🙂 . Rushil & I are particularly glad that we have been his test subjects all along and the boy has never failed to amaze. If you would want him to cover your wedding or associated celebrations you’d want to pickle forever , contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph : 09790957428 .
Now as for all the brilliant captures above and the official wedding highlights down below , Lumiere Wedding Company , Cochin did a MARVELLOUS job.
Behold . #JaWedsRu !!
Congratulations You 😀 !!
Now that you’ve completed Wedding101 succesfully , I want you to know that there’s something bigger, better and brighter that I am living at the moment.
It’s called marriage 🙂 .
A commitment slightly greater than just adorning yourself with priceless rocks and frocks ; an institution which fairy tales, Yash Raj movies and dreamy bokeh photographs of clamour and glamour don’t cover.
For I’ve always wanted a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.
And guess what ?!
It’s happening 🙂 !!
I need some time to articulate the nuances of it however. A few more months perhaps ?
Until then …..
PEACE OUT !!