An Asian wedding is unlike any other. With so many events, rituals and traditions involved it can be hard to keep on track. That’s why we’ve put together this mini handbook on all things weddings.
From hosting an intergenerational guestlist, to popping the other Big Q to your bestie and penning the perfect bridal speech, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re having a big, fat Asian wedding you’ll have more guests than the average Big Day – one that includes all your parents’ and grandparents’ friends. It’s only natural; after all, everyone wants to celebrate a wedding.
We get that you may want to do things your way on your Big Day, but as the event hosts it’s nice to add thoughtful touches to ensure all your guests are comfortable: think some traditional comfort food on your menu, comfy seating and easy access in and out of the venue. We’re sure they’ll appreciate it.
Photo by Two Mann Studios
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when your caterer starts talking about a wedding breakfast, rest assured it has nothing to do with toast and cereal.
The term Wedding Breakfast refers to the first meal a newlywed couple have after they’ve made their vows. It can be any time of the day, not just in the morning. In fact, most Wedding Breakfasts are the reception dinner in the evening. The more you know…
Photo by photography by Catherine Mead Photography for By Bruce Russell
The centrepiece of your reception décor, the cutting of the cake is among one of the most iconic shots you’ll want in your wedding album, so ensure you choose one that’s as dressed up as you are.
FIND BEAUTIFUL WEDDING CAKES HERE
Photo by Unique Cakes by Yevnig
D: Destination weddings
Mumbai, Istanbul, Cancun and Lake Como: just some of the incredible real weddings we’ve covered in Khush Wedding. More and more couples are opting to throw the Big Day of their dreams in foreign climes, either to give their guests that holiday feeling, have the guarantee of sun or both! If you’re dreaming of a destination do, make sure you give your guests plenty of notice; a year in advance of your date is right. Top left image: destination wedding invitation by Dimitria Jordan. All other photos by Tasneem Al Sultan
E: Engagement Rings
President of De Beers Institute of Diamonds Andrew Coxon has this helpful tip on finding the perfect engagement ring: “Try on as many rings as you can. The shape of your hand and the length of your fingers make a bigger difference than you may think.”All images from Vashi
F: First of Many
The wedding marks the start of your marriage journey, a wonderfully long road signposted with magical ‘firsts’ to relish; your first dance, the first time you call him your husband, your first toast as couple. Your Big Day will whizz by in a flash so make sure you take time to stop and enjoy the moment.
Photo by Zurihsia Studios
Ornate gold jewellery is a must for anyone who pictures herself as a traditional bride. Jaipurian jeweller Amrapali is the choice for the bride who wants to get the finer details just right. Inspired by Rajasthan’s historic craftsmanship, this is eclectic heritage design at its best.
Photo from Amrapali
When it comes to your bridal ink, the sky is the limit. Stay traditional with circular patterns, which signify unity and eternity or try geometric patterns for a more contemporary look. The only rules are; let the paste air dry and don’t get it wet!
Photo by William Lambelet
If you’re moving in to with your husband’s family, the transition to living with them can be a tricky, no matter how long you’ve known them. When you’re living in a full house, making time for each other can be tough. As newlyweds your first years should be about fun and intimacy - hard to do with your in-laws in the next room! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Book that minibreak and go for that romantic meal to keep the magic alive.
FIND DREAMY MINIBREAK AND HONEYMOON IDEAS HERE
Photo by www.IvashStudio.com
Originally worn by the majestic Mughals, the jhoomer is no longer the reserve of Muslim brides. The exquisitely jeweled pieces are now worn by Asian brides of all religions as a cultural addition to their Big Day finery. Available in all styles and colours you can go as subtle as you like or as bold as you dare. We like the idea of styling them with flowers, braids or your dupatta to make it your own.
The Kanchipuram silk that’s used to make the iconic sari comes from a temple town of the same name in Tamil Nadu, southern India. Shot through with real gold thread, its existence can be traced back some 5000 years and its even been mentioned in the Vedas.
CLICK FOR MORE AMAZING GOLD SARIS
Saris aside, lehengas are the choice du jour for Asian brides, with elite designers like Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre and Tarun Tahiliani the most wanted labels. Where once heavy fabrics and embroidery were used for bridal lehengas, there’s been a shift to lighter, floatier looks: “There’s a trend towards lightness in Indian couture, because more brides want to dance, have fun and be free. They don’t want to drag 20 kilos around,” says Tahiliani. Amen.Photo by Faraz Manan
STILL SEARCHING FOR THE ULTIMATE W-DAY OUTFIT? INSPO HERE
Couples having a religious ceremony need one key component - a mandap. There are endless styles to choose from; carved wood, fully acrylic and even mini recreations of Indian royal palaces. For open-air ’I Do’s’, seek out an epic setting like this couple did: set within the shallow pools, the mandap appears to be floating on water.
Photo by Duke Photography
Post-wedding blues: it’s officially a thing. Think about it; you’ve spent nearly every waking moment planning your Big Day, and it’s dominated nearly aspect of your life. Then suddenly, it’s over.
Ensure you have something to look forward to after the honeymoon by booking in time to see friends, planning weekend trips away or simply spending time together as a newlywed couple. Picnic for two, anyone?
Photo by Eden Moments
O: OMG Hen Parties
Hen parties have come a long way from L-plates and tequila shots. If you want to throw an epic hen for your closest girls, the options are endless. Spend a weekend lost in a fantasy world at Boomtown festival where there are glamping options available for tent-phobics (9th-12th August, tickets £243, www.BoomtownFair.co.uk) or plan a luxury country house escape. Lympstone Manor in Devon offers exquisite dining alongside views of the Exe Estuary, overnight from £315 per night inc breakfast. Want more privacy? Dar Zitouna in Marrakech is a lovely villa that sleeps up to ten and comes with a huge swimming pool. Enjoy fresh meals cooked by a personal chef by the fragrant gardens. Book now at www.ThirdHome.com.
The art of tying a groom’s pagh should only be left to a professional. Makeup artist Raji Lall offers service this alongside her bridal hair and makeup services.
Photo by Photography By Soven
He’s asked you the Big Q; now it’s your turn to do the honours – for your bridemaids! Your squad who’ll be on all-day lehenga watch to ensure you look magical at every angle. They’re going to be your personal cheer squad, your go-to group for everything from cake flavours to floral arrangements. So it’s only right that you propose in style, right? A card is a good place to start but we also love Build My Gift’s bespoke Bridesmaid boxes.
Images top left: Be My Bridesmaid Card Pack £5, www.Paperchase.com, top right: Pink bridesmaid eyemask £8, www.Lipsy.com, Bottom image: Bride Lapel Pin £3.99, www.AndSoToShop.com
Guests, listen up: you always need to RSVP, no excuses. One of the biggest planning headaches for couples is chasing guest RSVPs (because you can’t confirm catering, drinks or organise seating without firm numbers) so set aside five minutes in your day to answer.
Photo from Ananya Cards
If, for any reason, you can no longer attend, tell the couple as soon as possible. You may be worried about incurring their wrath for bailing, but trust us; the longer you leave it the more annoyed they’ll be!
Historically speaking, new brides don’t make a speech at their reception, but thankfully this is a tradition that seems to be on its way out. More brides are saying a few words on their Big Day, and even Meghan Markle broke with royal protocol and addressed her new family after marrying Prince Harry in May this year. If you want to follow suit, here are our golden rules: speak clearly, make eye contact every so often, and don’t be afraid to put in a few light-hearted jokes if you like. It’s not just the Best Man who gets to squeeze in a few gags in his speech!
Photo by Ross Harvey
Everyone needs to get to the venue on time - because on a wedding day, only the bride reserves the right to be late! Ensure your invites or wedmin site lists the right postcode and instructions to avoid getting guests lost.
If you’re handling guest transport to the venue with a coach or bus, make sure everyone knows the pick-up point and list your head bridesmaid’s number to avoid dealing with calls on the way.
If your venue has a helipad or waterway entrance - here's your chance to make an epic entrance! We love the thought of gliding down tranquil waterways to your groom.
It doesn’t bear thinking about, but when you live in the UK, the chance of rain on your Big Day is a real possibility. Well, it was until high street fashion chain Monsoon devised a genius Wedding Day Weather Calculator. Using 86 years of data from the Met Office, it gives you the likelihood of a downpour on any date in any region. If you’d rather not take any chances, why not incorporate brollies in your wedding as favours or decor?Photo by Lin & Jirsa
From real castles to grand stately homes and panoramic city centre settings, there is a wealth of wedding venues to pick from. Narrow down the vast selection by asking yourselves a few questions first: will it complement the theme I have in mind, can it fit my guest list and will I be able to hold my religious ceremony there? Next, visit the space and meet the events team; visualise saying your vows in the event spaces and scoop out photo opportunities. Once you’ve done all this, work out the costs. Securing the perfect venue is crucial; it’s the foundation for your wedding. Everything builds from there.Photo of Queens House Great Hall Ceremony by Fiona Kelly
Time to party! The Walima, celebrated a few days after a Muslim wedding, is a reception party. After months of planning and day dreaming about this moment, it’s time to let your hair down, greet your guests and cut some serious shapes on the dance floor.
X: The Ex
Ever since it was revealed that Prince Harry invited his ex-girlfriends to his wedding to Meghan Markle, it’s been a source of hot debate at Khush HQ. Should you invite past loves to your Big Day?
We live tangled lives where friendships develop with certain individuals even if love fades with others. Ultimately it comes down to your relationship with your ex. If you’ve remained friends, have lots of mutual connections and the relationship is long dead, then what’s the harm? Consider how important it is to have them there and how it may make your partner feel before extending a wedding invite.
When in the midst of wedding planning, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself. Brides can get so caught up in planning bookings, making deposits and making arrangements for guests that they develop Big Day tunnel vision and self-care falls by the wayside. The last thing you want is for the day to arrive and find yourself a bundle of stress.
Put down your planner and make time beyond the planning bubble for yourself; finish that book on your read list, make time to exercise (it’s the best stress-buster) or treat yourself to a manicure. An engagement is a special time in a woman’s life; take time to enjoy it instead of letting it pass you by.
Z: zzz.. Sleep!
A wedding takes a crazy amount of prep. It can be overwhelming, especially on the days leading up to W-Day. That’s when the guests arrive, rehearsals take place, and all the last-minute details and alterations are finalised. With all this going on, the one thing that brides can skimp on is sleep - especially the night before the ceremony. Take steps to ensure you’re well rested by having a warm bath before bed, spray lavender mist on your pillow and listen to meditation to help you drift off.
Main image from Design Lab Experience