December 28, 2020

11 Things to do for a Dream Wedding Under Budget


Wedding is an event of a lifetime. The trousseau, venue, caterers, the decor, family, food, laughter & traditions are a sum-up of any Indian wedding.

Most brides' dreams of being hands-on with each of the above tasks takes it with full stride. For some it can be a cakewalk due to the abundance of sources & resources ($$$) whereas others have to settle down for Plan B.

As a recently married woman myself, I did my research to keep my dream wedding 'project' under budget. I am more than happy to tell you all the 11 things to do for a dream wedding under budget.

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Mehendi decor done by my mom & me - all details in the end

Define a Budget

This is the first alphabet of an essay you're going to write. This would be possible after sitting with your parents and asking them upfront.

In most Indian families, parents want to have a grand wedding. Of course 'grand' is very subjective. Most brides these days want to pitch-in, if not take over their own wedding's financial. If your parents are not comfortable in giving you a number then just ask for a range.


Tip: By being involved in each step, you can control the budget of your wedding even if you are not the one spending on it.

Maintain a Planner

A planner helped me in keeping track of not only the budget but also acted as a moodboard of each and everything. Define sections like -

a) Attire & Jewellery - Function date, inspiration images

b) Makeup & Mehndi artist - Inspiration images and/or probable list of artists

c) Venue + Caterers - Local or destination

d) Invites - This is accompanied by a Save the Date website and/or chatbot for RSVP link to be sent out.

e) Photographer & Videographer - Includes pre or post wedding shoot.

f) Financials - With columns like Budgeted amount, Vendor statement, Amount spent.

g) Miscellaneous + Timeline + Ideas - Timeline & to-do lists are available on WedMeGood.




The first page however would have all the dates of functions. Also, attach a guest-list (which you will make on excel sheet)

Approach in Advance - I followed a AA or approach in advance strategy for almost everything. I did not intend to take anything for granted. This saves out on valuable time later and not to mention that you will be able to book your favourite photographer or MUA and get good deals on various apps like WedMeGood.

How & Where to Start 

i) Start by saving looks of everything you like. Instagram folders, Pinterest boards, WedMeGood dashboard, Mail labels (mails sent to yourself & labeled under 'Wedding Diaries') REALLY HELPS.

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I saved all the ideas on IG & labeled each mail

ii) By now you will have a broad idea as to what kind of makeup look, bridal lehenga or venue you would like. Start approaching professionals in the field and ask for a quotation. I religiously used the WedMeGood app for this.

iii) After you get a range of everything you have enquired - you can see which things you can 'settle for' and which things you 'absolutely want' for your wedding. For example, I let go of mehendi jewellery and outfits for some indoor functions for which I bought fabric from Lajpat Nagar, Delhi. I absolutely didn't want to let-go of matching my lehenga with my fiancé's and matching my pastel theme with my family. It was a MUST.

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Before Mr. & Mrs.

iv) Certain apps like WedMeGood even have budget filters to narrow down your venue, caterer, artist expert and even choreographer.

v) Before going to market for ANY kind of shopping, make a plan. Which market, for which function you want to shop for or is it category specific like buying jewellery for intimate functions? I first chose my outfit as it was something I didn't want to settle for after buying jewellery. Besides, my jeweller told me that he can easily break my heavy bridal set into 3 light necklaces to wear later so I was very content with my purchase.

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My pastel lehenga - all details in the end

vi) Branded & Couture vs Artificial & Local - Again, this depends on your budget and liking. I was set on NO YELLOW METAL (or gold) and no throwing money at some high-end designer label for something I will probably wear once. This doesn't mean I didn't splurge on my time to get exactly what I wanted. Jewellery was artificial but was by a fabulous store in Delhi. Both my wedding & mehendi outfits were from an amazing store in Chandni Chowk. Other jewellery and outfits were either custom made (like my head-dupatta fabric was sourced and dyed in the colour of my choice) or bought from Chandni Chowk.

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Bridal jewellery- all details are in the end

vii) Venue - Probably the first to book and not to overlook. Let's be honest here, over 80% of our family would be there for the food & selfies. We all do that and there's no denying it. Let your parents handle this. You will of course sit for the decor part but venue & food is what you should choose very carefully. You definitely don't want to settle on this one.

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My entry

viii) Photographer & videographer - I booked a Delhi based team for this who came highly recommended by my family. After spending months to search for that particular photographer I literally gave-in. I mean how can you decide on this? Most are decent and have happy couples clicked in cool destinations. If you plan a destination shoot or wedding then go for someone who has experience in this otherwise ask your friends for this part.

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ix) Invites - I asked my friend to create a chatbot for our E-invites. It was so cool for my family members to see our story, interact with the bot and RSVP there & then. This was a gift from my friend but you can definitely find someone online to do this. Hey, if you are a little bit techie, you can set-it up yourself! The invites given to rishtedaars was designed by me. It also had wedding favours like chocolate covered almonds, silver pearls & pumpkin seeds (all unique & unrelated, I know!) in reusable glass jars.

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Indian wedding invite

x) To-do lists & keeping a tab- Finally, something you need to come back to often - to do lists & planner. If you don't maintain a checklist or update your planner then it's very easy to overspend. Update every week and after every shopping trip.

xi) Bonus tips:

Don't buy everything nice in one trip. I know time is money but chances are, you might find the same thing at a much cheaper price, a few shops ahead or after a week in a completely different market altogether. If you have maintained a list before you left for the market and if that particular nicety is not in your list then don't buy at that instant.

Don't try to act over-smart and say it's your friend or sister's wedding when you've come with your whole family! Shopkeepers get irritated when they try to show you bridesmaids outfits when all you want is the best of the best since you are a bride.

Spending hours in one shop says you are interested so avoid this. I learnt it the hard way.

Sign-up for wedding apps and wedding exhibitions online if you have at least a year to plan your wedding. If not, avoid going to exhibitions and stick to your good-old social media.

Mood Boards are a life savior. Buy your outfit first and envision the kind of hair, makeup, shoes and jewellery will go with it. This will compel you to STICK to your plan.

Invest in rings & bangles- accessorized right - you will definitely have killer photographs along with your mehendi. Till date my friends ask me directions to the shop I bought my rings from.

To conclude:

There is so much that goes into planning & executing a wedding. I wouldn't say that I stuck to my budget but I controlled my expenses immensely. It gave me a thrill to spend on certain aspects of my wedding and plan others. After all, all dreams are different, all dreams are unique.

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My mehendi look

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My engagement look

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Mr & Mrs.

Makeup & Hair: Vandana MUA found through WMG
Photographer: Studio Hari
Rings: Soni Jewellers, Lajpat Nagar

WEDDING DETAILS:

Lehenga: Jagdish & Sons, Chandni Chowk
Jewellery: Soni Jewellers, Lajpat Nagar

ENGAGEMENT DETAILS: 

Cocktail dress: Meena Bazaar
Jewellery: Voylla & Soni Jewellers
Engagement ring: Carat Lane by Tanishq

MEHENDI DETAILS:

Lehenga: Jagdish & Sons, Chandni Chowk
Jewellery: A local store in Chandni Chowk
Decor: Throughout Chandni Chowk



Do you want to read or see more from my wedding? Let me know in the comments below
If you want help in planning your wedding then I'm at your service ;)

xoxo
Akanksha


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December 19, 2020

Stocking Jeans & Blue Fur

 Hey guys


It has been ages since I've written anything here. The post-married life then shifting our house completely took away my time. But, no excuses now. I am back for good. I will try to post more regularly but no promises.

How are you all doing? I will visit each of your blogs from the past blog comments and here. It's the holiday season and we should be thankful that we are healthy. Which reminds me, how are things at your end w.r.t. the pandemic? Did you get tested positive? I'd like to know if you are doing fine. I hear COVID takes a toll on your health. I hope you are doing well. 

The world has progressed to microblogs like on Instagram and Facebook. While I enjoy my time over there but I do miss blogging. Books that I can hold & feel (smell?), holding on to my childhood toys or clothes, putting the same Christmas tree each year - these are some of the things I enjoy doing.

I guess what I'm saying is, I enjoy it over here. 


For my first post after 1.5+ years, I chose this outfit. A very interesting thing about this outfit - It's very cold over here in Delhi (4°C) plus the cold air of our new house isn't helping. If you have a good memory than you might remember my several blog posts where I talk incessantly about how I hate winters. I mean read these posts please. My love for summers is clearly expressed.

Oh, so these pair of jeans were skinny and it's impossible to wear a leg warmer (which I always do in winters). Hence, I decided to wear something over them - Voila! These knee-high leg warmers just saved the day and got me to write this post. Don't they just gel-well with my jeans? 

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Wearing:

Jeans, Cardigan & fur top: Zara,  Shoes: Crocs, Headband: HM


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June 5, 2019

7 Ways to Keep Your Style Game High While Travelling


Image Source: Photo by STIL on Unsplash


We all wish to look our best while traveling. But we cannot carry an entire wardrobe every time. To pack smart for any kind of tour shows your actual style choices. For a trip, the thumb rule is to think about comfort and ease and avoid chunky, flashy stuff which will occupy space and also turn out to be uncomfortable. Also, to travel light yet stay fashionable, you need to choose outfits that can be worn in multiple ways without looking boring.

To make this easy for you, here are 7 ways to help you look stylish throughout your journey and travel experience.

1. The Comfort Factor

Image Source: Photo by Jared Weiss on Unsplash


Let’s be real. We can’t wear high heels, LBD or short skirts on our journeys. The added disadvantage is we do not know sometimes how long the journey might end up being. Comfort is not about traveling in pajamas. That will look awkward and opposite to being stylish. You can opt for easy breezy comfy maxi dresses or bottom wear which can be loose fitted pants with an elastic waistband to stay firm throughout. You can go for palazzos, yoga pants or high waist straight legged pants which looks immensely stylish if paired with the right top. Even fitness apparel can work wonders during travels. You may also want to work out and stay fit throughout your trip. Carrying a stylish gym outfit can definitely save your day. Basically, to stay comfortable is to opt for breathable clothing for journeys.

2. Layering and Opting Smooth Fabric

Image Source: Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

Layering does marvels to an outfit. We tend to ignore them often and underestimate its essence. Layers change the entire look into a sophisticated one. Just one chic jacket, it can be denim or leather, will make you look all dressed up and elegant. Wearing the jacket on your shoulders is quite in trend lately. Also, we never can predict the weather. To stay warm, comfortable and protected from harsh weathers carrying layers is a must. You do not need to go glittery for layering. Go for smooth fabrics which do not require ironing every now and then. Familiarize with some of the most travel-friendly and wrinkle-free fabrics to pack the best for your trip.   


3. Pack your Favorites

We all have some favorites in our closet which we tend to pick every time. It could be a favorite top or jeans or a dress. We always wait for that right moment to flaunt it. What could be a better way than to flaunt it while traveling! Show off those favorites in your travel pictures. Whites and blacks are most commonly found colors in the wardrobe. For travels, it is preferable to choose white since it is the most versatile color well-matched with all others. A plain white tee can look incredibly stylish if paired with blue ripped denim or an A-line comfortable skirt or a wide legged pants. A white jumpsuit can make you look polished and ready for a girl’s night out or a romantic getaway in the evening. It will look elegant, stylish and sexy. What else do you need!

4. Pay Attention to Your Shoes

Image Source: Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

Your shoes can say a lot about your personality. Yes! Be careful while choosing your shoes for travel. The trick is to stay comfortable but not look clumsy. We shouldn’t compromise with looking clean and chic even while traveling. And cleanliness is not only restricted to our clothes. It also includes our shoes. Sneakers should be your best friend during journeys. A white, grey or black ones can be worn which can go with all outfits. You may also pack one pair of block-heels (not high) or cute pumps for a relaxed day. Make sure none of them gives you a blister.

5. Play with Accessories

Image Source: Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash

If sneakers are your best friends, accessories should be your good companion too. Accessorizing a simple outfit with right jewelry, scarf, or a smart handbag can give that voguish look. These are very small details and won’t even occupy much of your suitcase space. Try out some classy looking handbags having that versatility. If you are wearing a plain colored tee or dress, opt for printed scarves with patterns to balance out the colors. Wear a nice watch along with pretty bracelets to complete the look. If you know you can pull off a hat, then do not think further. Accentuating on such small aspects always makes a huge difference to an otherwise boring outfit.    

6. Go with the Rule of Versatility

Let’s keep the experimenting thing for another day. To play it safe while traveling, choosing the most adaptable outfits can save us anytime. Choose clothes that can easily be worn for different occasions and paired in different ways. Speaking of versatility, our conveyance also should be one that can go places without causing inconveniences in our journey. If you are an ardent bike lover and wish to travel the world in bikes, dirt bikes can prove to be a really stylish and handy way for voyaging. These are very durable and can take you anywhere. Just remember to dress up accordingly.

7. Carry Essentials

Image Source: Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

Essentials while traveling includes a water bottle, hair bands, moisturizer, healthy munching options etc.

            Water- to hydrate
            Hair Bands- to secure hair anytime

Tip: Play with different hairstyles- ponytail, side braids or a messy bun

            Moisturizer- to hydrate your skin as well
            Healthy munching options- to avoid junk

A healthy body and glowing face would be an add on to a beautiful outfit you put together.

A style is more about understanding and exploring your choices. Elegance can shine out of even simple wear matched rightly. There are tricks to transform a simple look into a classy one. Do it right smartly!
      

Author’s Bio 

 
 “Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion. She wants to travel the whole world as travelling helps her calm her body and explore fashion and style around the world”.


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March 13, 2019

Personalised Passport Holder Review: Urby

Glorious days are here :)

Hello from the warm capital of India. Although, winter has sworn to stay a little longer; we can feel the warmth in certain parts of the day. I have the endless arguments with my friends over winter vs summer debate. Travelling, types of food available, activities done, time spent outside vs inside - we can't settle cos hello, beach? 

Image result for vitamin sea

Anyway, my preference will be spring > Autumn > Summer > > > > > ........ (winter)

I will be travelling very soon (confused between two islands/beach-lead destinations) and I can't wait to put my feet in the sand again. My last beach visit was in Goa when I was pursuing higher studies in Mumbai. 

Twenty nineteen is going to be all about T.R.A.V.E.L.L.I.N.G and if I do something, I do it with full passion, research and heart else not at all. 

My first step was to obviously get a sturdy cover for my, what's going to be one of the 'most important part of my life now' ~ PASSPORT. 

Yes, I got my passport new accessories and it is loving dressing up ;)

FF readers meet Urby, my leather travel partner for life. 

What I was expecting when I ordered my passport holder from Urby:
  • A leather passport holder.
What I received from Urby:
  • Personalised passport holder (meaning, my name was engraved)
  • An earthy passport drawstring pouch packed in a luxe-black box.







Okay, one thing about me - I say I love to experiment but when it comes to actually experimenting, I experiment with colours more than design, material, texture, taste (food?) etc.

So, for my first travel essential, I ordered a standard passport holder in space grey. But, it looks heavenly in person. Although, I haven't used the Urby passport holder as of now, I'm pretty sure it will give what a traveller is looking for in their passport holders:-
  • Grip and sturdiness 
  • Ample of space depending upon the need.
  • Their name or something unique!

What differentiates Urby from other brands and businesses:
  • There's no middlemen involved so you get the best price!
  • There are no shortcuts to getting the product in a desired time-frame so you get the best quality!
  • What you see is what you get.
  • You can personalise certain products like I did.
  • Not heavy on the pocket. It's like investing in luxury.

So while I was checking out the 16 passport colours (yeah!) to choose from, I came across women's wallets section. Okay, let me stop you right there!

Wallets that are small (yes please), can fit into pockets (wow), trifold (I'm sold) have been what my mom and I have been looking for. 

Neither of us like big and bulky wallets so such sleek wallets are perfect for us. 

Before you dismiss me by saying that trifold and small wallets might be bulk, take a look at Claire and I will rest my case. 

Do you own a passport holder or a small wallet? If not, give it a go and let me know what you think of it.

And MEN, I didn't forget you. Here are some sturdy wallets for men as well.

xoxo
Akanksha

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February 18, 2019

Customize Heels: An Era of Personalized Products

In the era of customization where right from your food to medicine, garment fit to user experience; it is hard to survive in a given industry if you don’t offer some form of customization.
You wake up with a custom alarm time and sound, you drink custom brewed coffee, and your
breakfast is customized according to your taste and preference. Think about when you get ready, your blazer is custom made to your body type, nowadays we get make-your-own perfume kit and even lipstick shades. 


Are we forgetting something? Shoes. How can we forget shoes? After diamonds, shoes are woman’s
best friends. 

Why do you need customized shoes?

  • For one, if it doesn’t fit, you are IN for a world full of problems.
  • Say bye to shoe bites as you don’t need to have to choose between design and comfort. Like the peep-toe but don’t like the back support of the heel? You can change/remove it.
  • You found the most amazing shoes online but obviously you can’t find them online anywhere or worse, you found them only to realize they cost a month’s rent. What do you do? Check out for websites that can create them in your budget.
  • One of a kind: You are one of a kind and so will be your shoes. You don’t have to wear what everyone else is wearing.


The list can go on but you got the drift, right?

Now there must be a big question mark hovering over your heads as to where and if such a website
is available, is it reliable too? 

The answer is yes and yes. It’s called FSJ. 


What is FSJ?

In their own words, ‘Funny She Jill (FSJ) is a shoes brand, synchronized with the international
fashion, taking super fashion design as well as an attractive price. FSJ means extremely “Innovation
“or “Adventurous ", which symbolizes the modern women's life characteristics of pursuit for fashion
and vitality. We aim to help women realize their dream of fashion and pursuit of quality.’

Note the two words above – innovation and adventurous.
Adventurous gives it a spunk, an edge and fearless quality to anything. How can we depict it in
shoes? The style, design, colours and quality speak for itself.

Innovation means to change something unique out there. Here, their customized service comes
handy.


It is so easy to customize heels that it’s not even funny. Look at the steps below:


1. Upload a picture of shoes you like or choose from FSJ’s collection. 

2. Within 7 business days you will get a price quotation from them. They will back-calculate the
material, design, your foot size and additional requirements and give you the BEST price.
3. You place your order and pay.
4. Your shoes are delivered. 



Isn’t it absolutely easy, stylish and easy on pocket?

I will leave you with the words of the most beloved shoe creator of all –

|| A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. || ~ Christian Louboutin

Will you customize your shoes? If not, what is stopping you to customize your shoes?

Let me know below. I will share the BEST answers on my IG stories. Share your IG handle along.

Xoxo
Akanksha

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