Reserve the first two or three rows of seats at your ceremony for immediate family and the wedding party. I went to a wedding once where ::GASP:: the parents of the bride were left standing at the back of the ceremony because no one left them a seat.
“The wedding day is about enjoying yourself and celebrating your love. Don’t stress out and worry over the planning–just enjoy it!”
-K of Confused Desi Bride
Of course you have to have a professional photographer for your wedding. That’s a must. But some of the best photographic memories from our wedding are the candid shots my wife and I took with our phones, whether during events or more private moments. — Dev
Not being Indian, a lot of what happened at our wedding was completely unfamiliar to me, despite all the planning and the time I spent trying to learn all the traditions. I wish I had picked a few of the traditions that had particular meaning to me and learned as much as I could about them. — David
Especially with big Indian weddings, it’s hard to spend time with, let alone greet, all of your guests. On top of that, many of the guests you may not know or recognize because the relationship is more with your parents than you. Looking back, I wish I had done a better job of going through our guest list and at least trying to make sure I knew something about everyone who was at our wedding. I also wish I had made the effort to spend a little more “quality time” with our close friends. — Sudhir
Your mom isn’t going to want to find time for professional hair and makeup. Or she isn’t going to want to spend money on a nice new sari. Or she will try to skip her pre-wedding mani/pedi.
Fight her on these! This is your special day, but she’ll be in the spotlight, too. She deserves to feel glamorous!
You plan your wedding for months or years, and then it’s over in a second. Live in the moment, don’t drink too much Johnny Walker, and take a ton of pictures.
Traditions are made to be broken. Pick and choose what works for you and for your wedding. Don’t want to steal the groom’s shoes? Ditch it.
Budgets break. Set one at the outset, but leave yourself some wiggle room. Prioritize where you’d be willing to spend extra, and where you could skimp, DIY, or rely on family to cut costs.
Whether you’re wedding planning with your parents, or with your future in-laws, pick your battles. No matter who is footing the bill, you’re all in this together, which means that you’ll have to find balance between guest lists and decor and photographers and ceremonies. If your mother insists upon serving a particular dessert at the sangeet because that’s how her family has always done it, let her have that win — you can use it as leverage when she starts to fight you on the color of your shoes or the size of your bridal party.