Hindu Wedding of Ramya & CJ
Updated: Jan 18
“You searched your soul to do what you wanted in your life, stepping into a new era. Your mom and I have prepared you for this.”
- Ramya’s Father
How to plan a desi South Indian wedding in Dallas, Texas: By PhotoKumar
For most of us, a wedding is a once in a lifetime opportunity so it must be made that extra special. Indian Wedding planners are definitely a saviour as they take all the load off your hands and make sure that you have the perfect day without the hassle of arranging everything. Weddings in India are absolutely sensational with people booking forts, planning to get married on a beach and what not. And there are a host of people fully equipped to get all the things you want on your wedding. But what about those who are getting married abroad. If you are a south Indian and live in Dallas Texas it would be really difficult to find people willing to arrange a desi style wedding for you but do not worry your local Indian wedding Planner and Photokumar can help you make your dream wedding possible. And it is not just about the décor, the rituals also need to be arranged. And most importantly the couple must find a good wedding photographer who would be able to execute the wedding shoot Desi style. Thankfully there are Indian wedding photographers Dallas with whom you can discuss and get your dream wedding shoot. For the rest, here are some ways you can execute a desi south Indian wedding in Dallas.
1. Choosing Indian Wedding Planner.
Traditional South Indian wedding is difficult even in India since there are thousands of little details that must be arranged. Indian wedding planners are trained to carry out every job on behalf of you so mostly arrangements are done so that you can enjoy your traditional wedding. Things get difficult if you are planning on organising a traditional Indian wedding abroad. Choosing the right wedding planners in the west is simply among the one of the most important things. If you are getting married in Texas and want to have the full Desi experience there are certain responsibilities you will have to take along with hiring a wedding planner. Primarily you have to instruct your planner on every detail and tell them how to arrange for the sangeet, the baraat and mehendi, etc. Here are certain things you should know about before instructing your planner. As Desi wedding photographers we work very closely with all local planners and we highly depend on the itinerary wedding planner sets. From the bride and groom waking up to their last dance very details need to be planned and communicated to us.
“Its truly an incredible feeling to see two families seemingly so different genuinely combine as one. In the end, we realize that we, along with our traditions, are not so different after all.”
- CJ’s Sister
2. Rope in some relative help
You are bound to invite several relatives when you are planning to get married outside India and many relatives will fly in from India itself. Ask for their help in bringing things that would be permitted by the airport. They could get many wedding essentials with them like the head gear worn by the groom and the bride. If you wish to wear traditional Indian clothes or from some Indian fashion designer, ask your relatives to carry these with them. There are literally a hundred different things that is needed in traditional weddings and the best idea is to get as many indigenous items as possible flown in from India. Any wedding planner you hire will have to import all the items and the bill can run out of budget easily. If you already arrange for certain things it will be easy on the pocket. If possible try to fly in the purohit or ask some elder of the family to officiate the ceremony.
3. DIY and local items
Even if you hire a wedding planner, you can cut down on decoration costs by insisting on DIY options and trying to make do with the things available locally. A couple who wanted the decoration and flowers to be as desi as possible, grew their own flowers in the backyard. Jasmines and marigolds used for decoration and offerings in the wedding were all grown by them. While you may not be able to do this, you can use your imagination and see what is available locally and use them to give a desi look. If the typical desi wedding needs yellow and orange flowers, try to see what flowers are cheaply available at Dallas and get the colour combination right. With the whole globalisation thing, procuring décor items will not be much of a hassle but anytime you see costs are beyond budget use DIY. For example, you can make marigold flowers out of yellow tissue papers that look better than the original.
“My son has found his calling, his best friend and his soulmate.”
- CJ’s Mother
4. Indigenous photo shoot
You will find no difficulty in finding Indian wedding photographers Dallas, but the locale of Dallas might not be the best place if you would want your wedding album to look like it’s been shot in the beautiful Deccan plateau. But PhoroKumar has a list of local Dallas locations that can be used for the couple photo shoot. These photographs are forever so keep a major chunk of the budget for this part of the wedding. With PhotoKumar expertise's and knowledge of the local locations nothing is impossible. Look at Pinterest and Pin some wedding photos shot in South India by couples. Your wedding photographer should be able to create a whole indigenous setting which will transport you to the South. It was beautiful but also within budget since you are not travelling to exotic locales.
5. Find out local cooks
Any Indian wedding is incomplete without the traditional cuisine. These days many people choose other cuisines because it is convenient and there are chefs easily available to cater those items. However, it is always special to go for one’s traditional cuisine. It makes all the people living abroad who are flying in extremely happy to get to taste food that reminds them of home. It is appreciated by elderly relatives who are flying in from India or elsewhere. Yes do have some other Western options but try to have some traditional items. And the way to get good home like food at your wedding is to look for aunties and uncles living nearby or engage your guests in a fun cooking activity. Everyone can contribute and at the end you will have a great feast with minimal cost. The ingredients are getting easier to buy with so many Indian shops popping up all over the state. Even your friends from other countries will love to participate and taste the cuisine of your home. It can be a very immersive experience.
South Indian wedding- Highlight Video: DFW Hindu Temple, Irving Texas
6. Choosing Indian Wedding Priest
The priest is the one of the most integral part of a wedding ceremony. In our scriptures a wedding cannot be conducted without the priest chanting the various Sanskrit Shlokas that complete the wedding and tie the bride and groom into the bond of holy matrimony. The priest in an Indian wedding is a special man who has to be Brahmin and a man who has been studying the scriptures all his life. He must be qualified to officiate the wedding and know all the astrological matters to determine when the different rituals should be done. It is actually very easy to get a priest in Texas who can overlook the ceremonies in your wedding. If you really wish to be fully traditional, the best solution is to contact DFW Hindu Temple. We have worked with almost all the local Dallas Priest and we know how to work with them to get the best photos of your wedding. Photokumar team conducts meet and great with the priest on the day of the wedding and plans the location the bride and groom are going to sit, parents positions and the priest position so that we can photograph your wedding in the right direction to get the most pleasing photos of your big day.
7. Hiring traditional Indian music players
The music is also a big part of the traditional Indian wedding. Each culture has their own wedding songs. In North India there might be quawaalis at a wedding, Rajasthan has their own traditional tunes, in a south Indian wedding there must be traditional Carnatic music sung, etc. There are specific tunes for different ceremonies in a traditional wedding so you will need professional traditional Indian instrument players at this. It would be quite expensive to fly singers from India as well, so a good idea would be to look for Indian trained musicians living nearby. There are several traditional Indian music groups in Texas and other states America. It would be much cheaper to hire them. If they do not have all the instruments you need to ask your planner to arrange for the instruments like Sitar or Dholak. Having traditional music really makes people who come happy to hear the tunes from back home. Your friends will also get a taste of the culture.
8. Hiring horses, elephants and horse chariots for bride entrance
It is traditional in Indian weddings that the bride and groom come atop chariots drawn by animals preferably elephants and horses. In the baraat the groom is supposed to come on horse to marry the wife. It is traditional in most weddings. Even the bride must come to the house of the groom in a palanquin drawn by elephants or horses. These things are traditional and many families especially the titled families insist that these traditions be carried out even if their kids are getting married abroad. Even if you live in Texas, it is surprisingly not difficult to arrange for horses for the wedding. Many stables are ready to supply horses for the wedding ceremony just ask your planner to arrange that. An elephant however is difficult to arrange your planner should be able to find you one, if not give us a call.
9. Indian wedding decorators
Traditional Indian weddings have a very different aesthetic from the ones found in the West. Your Indian wedding planner might be best at finding decorators who can carry out the job. The first step is to print multiple pictures of Indian wedding decorations and show it to the wedding planner they can find the decorations which are required. There has to be a mandap, the arches covered with flowers, the decoration for mehendi ceremony or where the marriage puja will take place. Put in a little effort to guide the planner as to what you want, which flowers they must use or the kind of drapery and colours. A good idea if you can take time and visit the wedding decorators warehouse located in Dallas. As a local Indian wedding photographers we have worked with local decorates and we can also help you by showing you our previous work. This will help you get a great idea and vision of what is available and how can you use whats available to decorate your wedding in your own style. You do not need to source anything from India through your relatives since you can find anything in Dallas, like banana leaves or sandalwood.
Weddings should really not be about the amount of money you spend but the people and memories. Everyone should have fun especially the bride and the groom. This is a day you will look back at, not at the décor or the expensive floral arrangements but the hearty meals and also at the wedding album which is why you should definitely look up Indian wedding photographers Dallas. With so many resources available to use these days and the internet, having a traditional Indian wedding anywhere is not difficult. So many Indian couples have done it already all over the world so you too can have that desi wedding. You just need a good deal of planning possible a year before the wedding so that nothing is missed out. Always good to keep consulting someone from India or the pandit to not miss any detail.