F's mom had collected a stack of Indian-style invitations. We looked through them and picked out a couple whose styles we like. My plan is to take those, and some more American-style samples that I liked, with us to India. We'll try to get something between the two styles. That means we need to have all our invitation wording written up before we go. We've got to write the program, too.
We drove out to our ceremony and reception venue to meet with one of their event managers. We talked with her about the schedule on the actual day as well as what kind of a planning schedule we should follow. This was the first time any of the parents had seen the place, and they really liked it. The last time F. and I had been there was in the middle of November. This time we got a chance to check out the garden, too. It looked great! There's a plaza that will be a perfect place to set up the mandap.
Next we checked out some locations for the mehndi party, which my mom is in charge of. Looks like we'll have mine done Friday night (since it will take so long) and the guests can have mehndi done at the actual mehndi party on Saturday at brunchtime. This way I can even do some of it, which will be really fun. There should be time for it to dry before the garba starts Saturday night.
My mom surprised me by saying she was thinking of wearing Indian clothes at the ceremony. This will be so fun! We went back to F's parents' house for dinner, then the moms and I went upstairs to play dress-up. My mom will probably wear a lehenga choli, since she doesn't like the way sari pleats lay on her. Now I'm going to start sending her links so she can check out styles! I'll have to pick out her outfit when F's family and I are in India. What a big responsibility, picking out my mom's clothes.
We also talked with a decorator about the mandap. He showed us all the ugly plastic white ones with lights all over them first, saving the cool wooden one for last. I was starting to get worried, and then he pulled up a photo of it. Its pillars look like peacocks! It's shaped like a clover leaf! I liked it a lot. Just in case the quote's not in our price range, we're going to look for one or two other decorators to compare against. But if we're happy with the price, we'll probably go with this guy.
That was everything we could fit in one day. My parents are driving back to Michigan this morning and I'm taking the train to Champaign for a conference tonight.
So, the next few steps are:
- Finish the guest list.
- Get a visa for the India trip.
- Email the venue and let them know we want to have the ceremony on that round plaza.
- Email our awesome photographer and let her know the date so we can schedule things.
- Buy a printer with which to make save-the-date cards. (We figure that since F. works from home, and we'll probably need to print a ton of wedding stuff, it is worth it to just buy one.) Make save-the-date cards.
- Decide about the decorator. Put the decorator in touch with the venue so we can decide about hanging things from the ceiling.
- Take care of little things like a guest book, place cards, a box to put cards in, and all those other details my mom wrote down while we were meeting at the venue. See if we can rent vases from either the venue or the decorator and just put our own flowers in them.