Wedding Event Planning tips and Gujrati Wedding Rituals explained!
So after being in the wedding industry for 10 years, offering my advice and services to Brides and planning my own wedding and helping with my sisters, I thought it was time to share what I've learnt to hopefully make your wedding planning that little bit easier.
I've noted some of the wedding events below that take place - why they're done and how you can make them personalised to you or just easier on the day. Let me know in the comments if you've found it useful!
Pithi is the haldi ceremony or also known as the maiyaan (within the punjabi culture). It’s a ceremony to ‘beautify’ the Bride-to-be, using a Turmeric paste which is rubbed over her body. Yes you literally turn yellow by the end of it!
Within the gujrati culture (or from what I’ve seen) the pithi mix is a paste rather than a dough so it’s applied similar to a mask. The ingredients are applied to enhance and brighten the skin tone and help with any blemishes.
Traditionally the mix is hardar (turmeric powder), water, oil. Turmeric is beneficial for the skin however its best used in small amounts (it can be an irritant if left on for too long.)
If you can make your own mix at home, you can make it to suit your skin and will mean its package-free so great for the environment too!
You can add
Chana no laut (Gram Flour) - helps to control excess sebum (oil) production and soothes inflamed skin.
Sandalwood powder - anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory
Small amount of turmeric - anti-inflammatory and reduces scarring
Rose Water - hydrating and helps reduce redness
Jasmine oil - antiseptic and smells great
Pithi is traditionally applied for a few days or a few times within the day and not washed off on the wedding morning. It would be a good idea to remove the pithi after a while as leaving it on for a few days can lead to drying the skin out.
You could use this paste for your face and body (do a patch test prior to the day to ensure there are no reactions). Alternatively you could also use a shop bought natural face mask which has turmeric in it. The Ayumi Turmeric & Bergamot Face Mask is #vegan and #cruelty free.
If the weather is good, get outside to do the pithi, it will look great in pictures and will also have that destination wedding feel (and an excuse for a water fight!)
Most Brides will avoid makeup on the pithi day, but be sure to apply SPF if you are going to be outside, and a waterproof mascara like the Eyeko Yoga Waterproof mascara.
Mehndi events are so much fun! We’ve played games and danced and enjoyed food and mehndi ofcourse on our events. One thing I have found and always recommend to my Brides is have your mehndi done prior to your event so that your mehndi artist can apply the mehndi in peace and at his or her own pace. The last thing they need is a relative trying to hug or have a conversation with you. That way you can also mingle with your guests and enjoy the party too!
With regards to outfit, where what you want as your mehndi will have been applied and dried by the time your mehndi event comes round. This means you can feed yourself and no awkward trip to the loo with your bridesmaids!
My sister’s was applied a day before the event which was great as she thoroughly enjoyed the event and the stain was super dark!
Your mehndi artist will give you prep and after care information. Be sure to follow these to the T and don’t worry about what family and friends recommend. The mehndi artist knows best!
If you’re booking a mehndi artist for your guests, I’ve found booking and paying by the hour works out better and agree with the mehndi artist how much mehndi to apply per hand that way everyone gets a go!
The Wedding Day
Whether you are getting married at home (due to the pandemic) or at a venue be sure to have an itinerary. I would highly recommend having an on the day coordinator so that your family can be present and enjoy the ceremony rather than clock watching.
Allocate enough time for your family photos and couple shots as these are the ones you’ll cherish for life. Nerves are normal on the day, surround yourself with positive people and make sure you enjoy your day too. Maybe do a little meditation or mindfulness whilst the ceremony begins with the groom. I was on my own on my wedding morning when the ceremony began as I didn’t want any of the friends to miss what was happening outside. This was a really good time for my to collect my thoughts, and be calm and present.
Emotions are normal, if you feel like crying roll with it, if you want to be a shy bride – do it, if you want to be smiley all the way through, that’s fine too. Main thing is just be yourself and enjoy it.
Your makeup artist will give you tips on how to look after your makeup for the day (even if there are tears).
Pagla (entering your new home)
I have always seen this in Bollywood movies and couldn’t wait to do it on my wedding day! This signifies the bride walking into her new home and bringing with her wealth and happiness to share with her new family. A copper pot filled with rice grains is tipped into the house with the Brides right foot. She then steps into red paste and walks into the new house. In Hindu culture, a lady signifies goddess Laxmi, Goddess of wealth. Before my wedding before I left home my parents did the same ritual to signify my good wishes to stay with them, and then also entered my new home this way. I love how our culture and rituals have beautiful meanings. (Be sure to use Kumkum that doesn’t stain incase you are also doing handprints which some families do).
Back in the day, Brides and Grooms saw and met each other for the first time on their wedding day. After the ceremony a few games were played to break the ice between the bride and groom. These games are now played at the wedding venue which I think is lovely. We played this back at my new home before our reception party. In this game my wedding band was dropped into a large dish with a mix of milk, water, petals and pebbles. Who ever finds the ring wins the round. Best of three wins. Whoever wins the game is said to be more dominating in the marriage. It’s just a bit of fun and doesn’t signify anything but it’s a good laugh. Lots of couples now do this at the mandap which is a great idea as all your guests can watch. Be sure to have a material to cover your lenhga as it can get messy!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and the tips have been useful!