If your wedding is scheduled in Mumbai, in the next three months, while the rain gods play truant, don’t panic. We tell you how to plan the perfect wedding when the heavens open
Never mind if the monsoon is the only season when your partner and you can spare time to exchange your vows. We’ve rolled out the red carpet to make it a gala and memorable affair.
Start out smartly
As most of weddings take place in the latter part of the year, all the best venues and caterers are pre-booked; the pundits are busy even. However, monsoons are the best time to bargain for deals as most vendors are freer. So, it is the season to get what you want, at the lowest cost.
Mumbai couple, Soniya Nunez and her husband, Ladwin Nunez, at a pre-wedding function, during the rains
Five-star hotels slash room rates; their targets are lower, so they don’t mind lowering banquet charges; likewise with planners. Due to less work, florists, entertainers and artistes are easily available. It is one of the biggest advantages of doing a monsoon wedding. The other factor, which often goes unnoticed, is that the RSVP conversion or the number of guests in attendance.
Create an indoor garden so that you don’t miss the outdoors. Pic courtesy/Vivaah-Wedding Decor Stylists
Guests show up due to a clearer schedule of invitations. Winter dates will have at least two known weddings overlapping, which often mean last- minute confirmations or no-shows. There’s no room for scenic outdoor weddings in the rains. Having said that, there is reason to cheer starting with a pool party or rain dance on the first day.
Your choice of venue is most important. A monsoon wedding should always be an indoor affair to avoid surprise showers in middle of your celebrations. Choose a venue with big windows as monsoon is known to be a very romantic season, so with the rains in the backdrop, you’re bound to get a picture-postcard vibe.
Choose a large banquet hall. People enter with a trail of water, footwear marks, leading to soaked entry points. Hotels or banquets with long pre-function or entry points would mean your venue goes untouched by the rain gods.
Keep in mind distances and accessibility for guests. Also, check out the entrance driveway; ideally it should be covered, so that the guests can stay dry from their vehicle to the venue.
If you have a rain dance/pool party function, pick a hotel or bungalow where you can have the entire pool to yourself. It can be customised accordingly. In case you have to have any events outdoors, opt for waterproof tents. Clear tents are a great idea!
Make rain your theme by using fountains, umbrellas and rainbow colours around the venue. Play classic monsoon songs at the reception. If you love pre-wedding functions, plan a rain dance party for your friends.
Bright coloured drapes and non floral arrangements will add vibrancy to the otherwise gloomy weather. Using these things in your décor will also bring in splashes of colour. Using crystals in your décor can offer a dramatic raindrop effect as well.
A rainbow photo-booth backdrop or funny weather related placards in the photo-booth (“She just washed away my drinking plans”, “You are the rainbow in my cloud” or “I will leave when it stops raining”) will invite the chuckles. Also, this a season that tends to attract flies and other insects, so keep insect repellents handy.
Look your best
Though Indian weddings are all about heavy lehengas and jewellery for the brides and sherwanis for the grooms, if you plan on a monsoon wedding, the clothes should be light and in bright colours to compliment the weather. Stick to lightweight fabrics. Bridal makeup tends to melt away during this sultry season.
So, avoid any cream-based make up be it a blush or an eye shadow. Also, use waterproof eyeliner and mascara to prevent it from spreading. For your hair, it’s best to put it up; your hair can frizz and turn out to be the opposite of what you envision.
For regular indoor events, you can make the ladies comfortable in flats and no bun / no hair tie or ‘not just another bow tie event’ kind of theme. This way, you’re setting the mood that even if it’s raining, you don’t have to make the effort to dress up. In case of multiple functions, you should do a ‘shorts-and-flip-flops’ evening.
This can be a barbecue style or a pool-side party. For this, everyone could come in beach wear or swimming costumes. This also lays the foundation to then follow up with a classy dinner or cocktail, where people won’t mind going back to the regular ‘suit up’ dress code.
Send out your invites with monsoon elements, preferably technicoloured to be in sync with your theme or recreate the iconic Raj Kapoor-Nargis scene under the umbrella. This is also the best way to inform your guests to dress casually and come prepared to enjoy the rains.
Welcome cards for a monsoon theme decor. Pic courtesy/MPIRE Weddings
Other concepts like umbrellas, couple dancing in the rain, rainbow concept will work as well. Hashtags and concepts like ‘escape in the rain’ add to the fun. Create a vibrant logo in line with the monsoon theme incorporate an umbrella with your initials and include lots of bright colours.
Take extra care to ensure that everything prepared is hygienic where all items are fresh. The best way to do this is by having live counters. Besides tava items and pasta and oriental cuisine, a live counter for bhajiyas and jalebi with rabri will be a hit.
These days, coffee and tea stations offering flavoured options is trending, Add traditional Kesar or Masala Milk for a traditional touch. If you’re starting early, kick things off with afternoon tea hot chai and an assortment of vadas and pakodas.
If it’s dinner, piping hot soup should also work. Sea food should be avoided or tasted in advance, checked and balanced out on the menu spread, likewise with mangoes as they could be past its season.
People tend to get weary of street food during the monsoon, so the concept of Indian chaat counters can be avoided. Most monsoon diseases are water-borne, so items like kulfis and golas should also be avoided.
Inputs by Candice Pereira, (Marry me Weddings), Vikram Mehta, (MPIRE Luxury Weddings ) and (Rachana Lucknowala, Vivaah-Wedding Decor Stylists
Top 10: For the ideal monsoon wedding
>> Book venues inside five-star Hotels, instead of standalone banquets (standalones tend to have lot more monsoon maintenance issues).
>> Avoid seafood on the menu.
>> No outdoor section.
>> Work props around the weather to easily loop it into the décor (from entry point to inside).
>> Keep buffers for delays.
>> Send adequate mailers to warn the guests of the delays.
>> Keep an eye on weather reports, MET and BMC forecasts (though it could turn futile if you have blocked the date well in advance).
>> Entry for groom (baarat) should be well thought out. Baarats usually are outdoor, so you need to find a way for the rains to not disrupt them.
>> Dress code should be flexible; at least for the more casual functions, and the same should be communicated to guests.
>> Keep the weather and mood in mind, while working on theme-based functions.
- Vikram Mehta, MPIRE Luxury Weddings
It’s a two-sided coin: the rains are perfect for a memorable wedding with lush greenery all around and the rains adding a certain refreshing backdrop to the proceedings. But on the other hand, it could be a nightmare to complete the wedding preparations. However, with a bit of management, you can manage to make the best of the season and have the perfect wedding. (Read more)
Mumbai couple recount their underwater wedding ceremony. (Click here to read more)