The 5 Step Guide to Planning a Modern Wedding – Budget

Planning a wedding can be somewhat of an exciting time in your life, yet so stressful and overwhelming. There are so many options, choices and how do you even try to begin to understand your wedding style? For Indian couples this is particularly important given that our weddings are multi-day affairs comprising of gatherings, rituals and numerous pre-wedding events. In this special 5 part planning series, The Maharani Diaries will guide you through some useful planning tips to help make your wedding planning process run smoothly and help you avoid any unnecessary stress or difficulty.

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At The Maharani Diaries, we are all about guiding our maharani brides to be with their wedding planning. After all, wedding planning should never be a struggle right?

If you’re on the fence about your wedding planning, no idea where to start or simply just wondering how to keep sane during the whole process, then worry no more.

14 Pin-worthy Trends for your Wedding Day

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Don't Be Like The Rest Of Them | The Maharani Diaries

Hello Maharanis!

Having downtime over the holiday season gave my husband and I a chance to review and re-focus. It was not all sun-drenched beaches and parties for us over summer. In between travelling across South Africa, we were working on a special little project. After one and a half years of blogging, travelling back and forth to London for wedding and fashion shows and networking with some of the best minds in the industry, we are expanding the business to bring you a fresh new website. Don’t worry we’re not changing the name.

For those of you who don’t know, my journey into blogging was driven by my passion for weddings. I created my first blog with the help of a good old YouTube tutorial and I honestly thought it was the best website ever! As you can see, I’ve moved on.. Anyway, in between working and moving half way across the other end of the globe though, life has thrown me a few curveballs. However, it has been a learning experience and one that I am grateful for.

Over the past few years I have met some incredibly talented and inspiring individuals in the wedding industry and this has made the journey all the more enjoyable. I have loads more confidence and belief in myself. My calling has arrived. This is what I had set out to do and with the support of my loving husband of 5 years, we are ready for the next chapter in our lives. Our baby, ‘The Maharani Diaries.’

Anand & Poonam (TMD team) | The Maharani Diaries

Whilst working on the new site, it got me thinking about something a friend told me recently about setting new year’s resolutions. Now I’m not really one for resolutions and well I guess it is a little too late in the new year to even start. One of my good friends recently gave me a really good piece of advice to follow. Choose 3 words that you will live by this year, 100%. Try and incorporate these words into your everyday life in some form or another and follow up to see if you’re being true to yourself. I thought this was genius! I took time to reflect over this and came up with my 3 words: action, honesty and winning. With that, I will take action on a daily basis, be honest in business and in life and win in all areas of my life!

So with these 3 words, I now have the strength and courage to fulfil my ambitions. I know exactly what I want to achieve this year.

As cheesy as it sounds, we are here because we love what we do. Our goal is to produce authentic and meaningful content to our readers. More than just another wedding blog, The Maharani Diaries is an experience and a place where brides and wedding industry professionals can come together to share their love for all things wedding related. We want brides to celebrate the most important day of their lives by embracing their ‘inner Maharani.’ To have fun, embrace colour and be beautiful.

Believe that you can have the time of your life during your wedding planning. Create the wedding of your dreams with us and celebrate the most important day of your life. Share your story with us. Whether it’s in the form of a wedding feature, or perhaps you’d like to share something in our forthcoming Facebook group.

So, here it is.. The big announcement has finally arrived. Our new logo! We feel that it truly speaks us and reflects our values through and through. It’s a project that is very dear to our hearts and we’d love for you to let us know what you think!

The Maharani Diaries logo | The Maharani Diaries

xo Poonam

*The Maharani Diaries Facebook group will officially launch next month and new website in April. In the mean time, if you have any questions or would just like to say hello, send us an email to!

The National Wedding Show Ticket Offer

Win White Hot Tickets to the Wedding Show of the Season!

26 – 28 February 2016 London Olympia4 – 6 March 2016 Birmingham NEC

The National Wedding Show | The Maharani Diaries

This spring sees the return of the UK’s biggest wedding show, where you can experience every element of your dream day unfolding before your very eyes. From discovering your perfect venue and trying on the dress of your dreams to sampling delectable delights, eyeing up fabulous floral creations and seeking out your idyllic honeymoon hideaway; The National Wedding Show is the ultimate one-stop-shop to discover the wedding experts in every field. Endless inspiration and countless shopping opportunities to try, buy, book and hire everything you can imagine for your big day, all under one roof.

Jenny Packham | The Maharani Diaries

Kickstart the day by taking a seat at the renowned Catwalk Show to see the latest trends for all the bridal party brought to life on the runway. A showcase of the hottest collections of the season from the nation’s finest designers, boutiques and retailers, provides invaluable inspiration for not only the bride, but also mothers and fathers, beautiful bridesmaids, dashing best men and ushers and not forgetting the man of the moment, the groom. The must-see line-up includes designs from the likes of Jenny Packham, David’s Bridal, Qiana Bridal, Alfred Angelo, Allure Bridals, Beyond Burlesque, Nigel Rayment, Debenhams, Moss Bros and Young’s Hire, to name just a few.

Get up close and personal with the all-important wedding dresses by hitting the designated Bridal Boutique and Designer Boutique to browse and try on an unrivalled selection of dresses under one roof. From high street to couture, short and sassy styles to long, glamorous, show-stopping numbers, there is something to suit every style, shape and budget.

Head to the Wedding Theatre to discover all you need to know about big day beauty, hair and style. The National Wedding Show’s glam squad will share their Top 10 Tips for achieving your perfect wedding day look through demonstrations and revealing trade secrets for brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom. During each session, one lucky bride will be selected for a makeover live on stage and presented to the audience in a breath-taking ‘big reveal.’

TNWS | The Maharani Diaries

Hear first-hand from plus size model and TV Presenter Nina Blakemore, who will return to The National Wedding Show this season with her popular body confidence workshops which include essential advice on everything from how to hold your bridal bouquet and achieve the perfect pose for the camera to ‘how to work your wedding dress’, as well as offering advice for bridesmaids, mother of the bride and even the groom!

You’ve nailed the look for you and your bridal party, now it’s time to turn your attention to the all-important venue. Transform your wedding destination into a spectacular backdrop for your dream day by seeking inspiration from The National Wedding Show’s host of wedding planners and stylists. Create the perfect ambience through clever lighting schemes, stylish tableware and signage then get the party started by discovering the ultimate DJ or live band and top it off by ordering a must-have dazzling dance floor or perhaps ensure the night goes off with a bang with some top-class fireworks.

TNWS | The Maharani Diaries

Floral fantasies become a reality at the Designer Flower Market, where you will find inspiration-a-plenty from the show-stopping displays together with expert advice from a line-up of top florists. Whether you are dreaming of a big, traditional fairytale wedding or planning an intimate summer garden affair, there are stylish solutions for all themes and colour schemes.

If you’re looking for something a little more alternative for your big day, head to The Rock n Roll Bride Collection. Brand new for 2016, the Rock n Roll Bride Collection will feature everything from bridal-wear and accessories to flowers, cakes and stationery, to make your big day truly unique in every way.

The Rock n Roll Bride Collection will also play host to the The Rock n Roll Café, the perfect place to unwind during an action-packed day of shopping, wedding planning and inspiration.

Destination Wedding | The Maharani Diaries

Round off the day by registering for your gift list and perhaps even booking the honeymoon of your dreams. Your high-street favourites will be on hand to help, including John Lewis, Debenhams, Sandals, Thomas Cook and Turquoise Holidays.

After an action-packed day of shopping and planning, make a beeline for the Champagne Bar to enjoy a well-deserved glass of bubbly and raise a toast to your exciting big day ahead! If you appreciate the finer things in life then get ahead of the crowds and enjoy the show in style with VIP tickets. The exclusive package includes fast track entrance to the show, reserved seating at the Catwalk Show, unlimited access to the VIP Lounge, a complimentary glass of fizz and a goody box containing beauty products to pamper yourself in the build up to your big day.

The Maharani Diaries has teamed up with The National Wedding Show to offer 1 lucky reader and their ‘plus one’ the chance to attend the year’s most prestigious wedding event in London or Birmingham, absolutely free! Tickets are valid any day and are limited to one pair per winner. Head on over to our Instagram account for further details on how you can win! –>

Entries for the London show close Thursday 25th February 2016 at 6pm and Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at 9pm for the Birmingham show. So hurry! 

Don’t worry, if you are not a lucky winner, you can still book in advance and save up to £5 off the door price**. To book, visit or call the ticket hotline on 0844 874 0486.

**Advance ticket prices revert to the on the door price of £20 (London and Birmingham) at midnight the day before opening.

For more information visit The National Wedding Show website at – or Twitter – @nationalwedding / #TNWS and Instagram – @thenationalweddingshow

Pantone Colors Of The Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity

Pantone Wedding Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

It’s reigning pale pinks and soft blues this year all courtesy of Pantone.

In an unprecedented move the institute have nominated not one but two colors this year; Rose Quartz and Serenity.

For those who have been hiding under a rock for a while, the Pantone Color Institute is the world’s leading authority on color standardization. Each year Pantone releases a color, which shapes forthcoming fashion, home décor and wedding trend forecasts.

The soothing pastel tones have been talk of the town in recent months with interior experts, wedding planners, stylists and fashion designers embracing the colors. Rose Quartz and Serenity are incredibly versatile and can be paired alongside other neutral pantone colors as well as metallics. The two shades when combined together are also so dreamy and romantic. As executive director of Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eisemen stated, Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

To see how these hues can inspire your wedding, we have scoured the internet and got our creative juices flowing to create elegant and romantic inspiration mood boards. Paint your wedding festivities with rose tones and tranquil blues and layer with antique golds, champagne beiges and muted ivories to give your wedding a luxe appeal.

For our rose quartz palette we have blended beautiful and chic wedding ideas that are glowing with elegance. Vintage touches with a hint of opulence.

Rose Quartz Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

Place setting image courtesy of Pinterest // Bouttonniere image courtesy of Pinterest // Perfume image courtesy of Michael + Anna Costa // Shoes image courtesy of Silvana Di Franco //
Outdoor setting by Jeannie Savage, photography courtesy of Lin & Jirsa //Cake courtesy of Cakes by Krishanthi// Lehenga by Anita Dongre for Pernia’s Pop Up Shop //
Invitation suite by Ceci New York, photography courtesy of Thisbe Grace Photography // Ring courtesy of Trumpet & Horn 

Place setting: Add style to your wedding table with gold plated ornate china wear and cutlery. Infuse blush pink roses into your tablescape to create an eye-catching setting.

Boutonniere and tie: A mens boutonniere or buttonhole need not be over the top in this case. Inject some color and personality into the groom’s trousseau. Mix it up with a fun polka dot tie and one single pink rose. Accompany the accessories with a neutral shade suit and you have a classic yet simple look.

Perfume: Mais oui (but yes), Chanel! The beauty of this too is that the perfume bottle will look absolutely stunning in your photographs.

Shoes: These beautiful Badgley Mischka heels will add the right amount of color to your bridal trousseau and definitely won’t look over the top with your blushing pink toned bridal gown.

Outdoor setting: This isn’t a mandap, but just imagine! Something similar would make for a stunning backdrop. Adorned with luscious pink and ivory roses and complemented with metallic chairs, your wedding will be the talk of the town.

Cake: As Marie Antoinette once famously quoted, “Let them eat cake.” A standout wedding cake like this one from Cakes By Krishanthi layered with frosted pink and white petals and beautiful gold Victorian style details will stand out in any wedding venue.

Lehenga: Anita Dongre’s signature gota patti embroidered lehenga choli’s usually feature floral patterns and subtle gold foiling, hence the reason why we thought this gorgeous feminine outfit is perfect for a wedding of this style.

Invitation suite: Founder and stationery design extraordinaire, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York believes that “Every legendary party begins with an unforgettable invitation.” This deluxe gold and blush invitation suite will add a lovely touch to the overall theme building anticipation for your guests.

Ring: Whether it’s the engagement or wedding ring, this one from Trumpet & Horn speaks for itself. An unusual art deco vintage ring with yellow, rose and white gold accents. Perfect!

Serenity Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

Macarons image courtesy of Ana Grinets Photography for French Wedding Style // Invitation suite by Karli Noel, photography courtesy of Ivy & Stone Photography for Style Me Pretty
// Lehenga courtesy of Shyamal & Bhumika // Chandelier image courtesy of Pinterest // Chateau image courtesy of Wesley Nulens for Style Me Pretty // Ring courtesy of Eidel Precious for Etsy
// Shoes and bouquet image courtesy of Anastasia Belik // Place setting image courtesy of Anouschka Rokebrand for Style Me Pretty // Mehendi image courtesy of Pinterest 

Our serenity wedding color palette has been drawn from European influences (French to be exact) combining dreamy neutrals and creams offset with once again metallic and accents of rose quartz as well.

Macarons: What is a French inspired wedding without this delectable dessert? We love this striking macaron tower nestled next to vintage champagne glasses, sitting pretty on an antique sweetheart table.

Invitation suite: This stunning powder blue and cream Karli Noel invitation suite features hand written calligraphy with gold lettering. The perfect wedding invitation suite for your French destination wedding.

Lehenga: We love this luxurious, artisan pastel blue couture lehenga from designer’s Shyamal & Bhumika’s ‘A Little Romance’ collection. Create a statement with a gorgeous lehenga such as this one. Perfect for brides who love timeless and romantic looks.

Chandelier: An ornate antique gold chandelier such as this one will add opulence to your reception venue as well as your wedding photographs.

Chateau: A charming French chateau with all the trimmings is the ideal venue for a wedding of this scale and grandeur. This one looks particularly dreamy. Whisk your guests away to a European retreat for the ultimate destination wedding party.

Ring: A beautiful rose gold Victorian engagement ring featuring a blue pear cut sapphire will match beautifully with the bridal trousseau.

Bouquet and shoes: Go all out with your blue wedding palette. Pointy toed stilleto’s definitely add luxe appeal and once paired with the designer lehenga and a fresh bouquet of carnations or roses, your beau won’t be able to take his eyes off you.

Place setting: Gold candelabras, fine china and fitted blue linens add to the classic and timeless wedding setting.

Mehendi: Just when we couldn’t fall more in love with this inspiration board, we come across this stunning image over on Pinterest, featuring intricate mehendi work adorning a bride’s palms. Lovely details.

Even if you decide against translating these colors into your design concept, what’s important is to ensure that you communicate your color choices into your overall wedding theme. From the venue to your décor through to your cocktails and cake, everything should balance well.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Pantone 2016 colors of the year? Will you be incorporating them into your wedding theme? Let us know in the comments below.

A Guide To Planning A Modern Wedding – Part 2 – Wedding Styles


A little while back we shared our tips on basic rules for planning and budgeting for you impending marriage. Today we’re moving onto wedding styles. An obvious topic which is often ignored during the initial stages of wedding planning.

So, what’s your wedding style? Are you a traditionalist or perhaps you’re the fuss-free type?

For many, trying to determine the answer to these puzzling questions could mean turning to websites such as Pinterest. The truth is though you could spend hours pouring over thousands of pretty images that don’t even reflect who you are. Step away and take time out to find out what it is that you truly want in your wedding. Of course as we’ve mentioned in the past, there isn’t anything wrong with sourcing your inspiration from Pinterest, but just try and set realistic wedding goals. Trends come and go and you don’t necessarily need to stick to them.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules to follow when designing your wedding. The most important thing though is to keep it tasteful and timeless. Incorporate personal elements that both you and your partner will love. You need to feel comfortable.

To steer you in the right direction, we’ve made it simple for you by breaking down the most popular styles of weddings.



Photography courtesy of Edmund Leong Motion & Stills for The Maharani Diaries 

Typically, traditional or religious wedding ceremonies are held in a courthouse or a place of worship such as a temple, conforming to age old traditions. However, this doesn’t mean that you are restricted or can’t be creative. For instance if you’re having a mixed marriage, you could blend the traditions and add your own personal touches to the wedding. After the wedding ceremony you have free reign to do what you like with your reception party. You could stick with the traditional theme and mix up your décor. Think about using fresh colour palettes. After all, South Asian weddings are all about embracing colour.

Before your traditional wedding it is important to understand the rituals, blessings and cultural aspects. Customs play an important part in Indian weddings and there are many facets to each tradition.

If however you decide to choose a civil wedding, well you’re lucky because there’s very little paper work involved.

For couples who like to honour traditions, then a religious wedding is highly appropriate.


Cake by Cakes by Krishanthi // Tablescape by Joy Proctor for Burnetts Boards // Champagne glasses image courtesy of Pinterest 


Much like a religious wedding, classic weddings follow traditional formats with a large guest list, standard rituals, vows and declarations. Décor is elaborate for both the ceremony and the reception. Think clean lines and unassuming details with classic and fitted linens and chair covers, roses, black, white, or gold, candelabras, elegant centerpieces and ornate dinnerware.

Classic weddings are beautiful, timeless and understated and sophisticated to the core.

If this is the style of wedding you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl or boy, then this is the wedding for you. Keep it classy, elegant and refined. Your guests will thank you in the end.


Lantern and floral styling by Pearl Events Austin // Wedding Favours and Tablescape by Love Lou Collective for Green Wedding Shoes 


Informal weddings give you an opportunity to express yourself in whichever way you choose to do so. Couples who choose this style of wedding tend to have a carefree aesthetic.

Your festivities are likely to be free spirited but still manage to impress without compromising on style. Refined rustic, beach, barn or vineyard, the choice is yours. Be adventurous, but don’t let it feel contrived. Every little detail should reflect the theme, from the décor to the invitations right through to the menu. The table settings could include mix and matched jars with whimsical florals and lighting can be au natural.

Rediscover casual elegance with an informal wedding.


Photographs courtesy of Kismis Ink Photography for Strictly Weddings 


A destination wedding offers you a range of flexibility. Ask yourselves if it will be just you attending or close family or friends or more. These types of weddings are relatively stress free as most venues around the world offer a tailored package accustomed to your taste or liking. The package usually takes care of all your wedding requirements including the coordinator, the mandap, priest or celebrant, entertainment, cake and even accommodation. Just ensure that the location and backdrop reflects your personality.

Often a destination wedding can be more cost effective. Couples can also choose to have an all-inclusive honeymoon meaning that you receive more bang for your buck!

Turn it into a weeklong celebration with your closest family and friends. Remember that this isn’t your typical wedding, but if you want to feel relaxed and have a team organizing everything, then this is for you. It’s like one big long vacation for you, your family and friends. All the functions are held on site and you have free reign to choose whether you’d like to keep it intimate or OTT (over the top). 



Engagement rings image courtesy of Pinterest // Couple captured by Chris Spira Photography // Beach image courtesy of Pinterest


Are you just completely overwhelmed with the whole idea of planning a wedding? Then perhaps eloping is your best bet.

Eloping takes the pressure off planning a wedding you’re able to enjoy your ceremony more. Less planning and more time to focus on yourselves. Not to forgetting the fact that you have a lot more money to spend on the honeymoon.

The beauty of eloping is that you can avoid any family drama by calling all the shots. You have the freedom to choose the location and you can dress up or dress down for the occasion.

Also, just because you elope doesn’t mean you can’t have a reception party afterwards. Plan in advance and more importantly check that you have organised all the relevant paperwork. If you’re eloping abroad, contact the embassies and check the rules and regulations in that country.

Style is about who you are. Take this style and translate it into your wedding. Don’t try too hard and remember that you can’t incorporate every single design element into your wedding. Discover who you are as a person and take time to envisage what your wedding will look like and then commit. Best of luck!

What’s your wedding style? Let us know in the comments below. Keep posted to part 3 of our planning series where we look at roles and responsibilities during wedding planning.

New Year’s Wedding Goals

New Year Wedding Goals | The Maharani Diaries

3 weeks in to the new year and we know what you’re thinking. Planning a wedding is no mean feat even more so when you’re managing everything on your own.

Whether you recently got engaged or perhaps you are in the throes of wedding planning, now is the time to dust off the cobwebs and start afresh.

Thankfully for you, we have compiled a few pointers to help you kick-start your wedding planning for 2016.


Banner 1 New Years post | The Maharani Diaries

There’s nothing worse than not having any idea of where to begin. As mentioned in part 1 of our wedding planning series post, create a master list of things to do and delegate the tasks between your friends, family or fiancée.

Focus on the big picture. Manage your time, prioritize tasks and be flexible. Above all, take the time to relax with your better half. Go out for a coffee or watch a movie. Rest assured, everything will fall into place.

Banner 3 New Years post | The Maharani Diaries

Save money and stick to a budget. The perfect wedding day shouldn’t come at the cost of anyone’s financial stability. Let’s face it, it’s not the most ideal way to begin your married life.

Yes, having an over-the-top ceremony sounds memorable, but wouldn’t it be lovely after returning from your honeymoon to not have to cope with the stress of huge bills to pay back. Invest in your marriage and do not take out a loan.

Shop around, DIY and use seasonal flowers. There are many clever ways in which to stretch that dollar.

Banner 3 New Years post | The Maharani Diaries

If you’re managing most of the wedding planning decisions, costs and general coordination yourself, we can’t stress how important it is to trust your vendors. They have your best interests at heart and if you control their direction from the very outset, you won’t have a good working relationship with them.

Be happy with your decisions.

Banner 4 New Years post | The Maharani Diaries

Develop a good beauty regime, sleep well, exercise and stay healthy. No, we’re not doctors, but it’s common sense. After all, these rituals will have you looking your absolute best on your wedding day!

Working out is a New Years resolution that tops most people’s list every year, but it’s difficult to stick to.

Having an incentive is great and what better incentive than to wanting to fit into your wedding dress! Sign up for Bollywood dance classes, Zumba, yoga.. whatever! Motivation is the key and if you’re lagging behind, find a friend to support you or if you have budgeted for it, hire a personal fitness trainer.

Banner 5 New Years post | The Maharani Diaries

You don’t have to be a craft whizz to personalise your wedding. Take the simplest task, for instance ceremony programs or place card settings and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. If you’re eager, but don’t have a clue of where to start, Pinterest is a great tool and it’s completely free to sign up! Our favourite stationery stores, Kikki K or Cristina Re often organise monthly workshops for creative minds out there and also keep an eye out on unique wedding or craft exhibitions such as The Finders Keepers Market who also like to inspire you.

There’s something special about discovering the joys of do it yourself crafting projects. Try your hand at it, let those creative juices flow and you’ll be surprised.

Timing is everything. Start early and don’t leave this to the last minute.

So, there we have it. Remember that wedding planning isn’t always as stressful or overwhelming some brides make it out to be. Take care, look after yourselves and here’s wishing you a very happy and productive 2016!

What are your New Year wedding resolutions? We’d love to hear your stories! Drop a comment in the box below.

Introducing, Leena Mistry of Bespoke Wedding Stationery Business, ‘Ratanji Rani’

Leena Mistry of bespoke wedding stationery business, Ratanji Rani, is a woman of many talents. An accountant by profession, Leena always had a creative side to her. She has been hand crafting rakhi’s (threads) for Raksha Bandhan (Hindu festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters) as well as creating custom invitations and wedding stationery for many years. She is now based in the beautiful beachside suburbs of Sydney, Australia and continuing her passion for creating gorgeous stationery. We caught up with the face behind, Ratanji Rani to discuss all things wedding stationery.

18 Genius Ways To Budget For Your Indian Wedding

There’s something incredibly special about Indian weddings – a jam packed, colourful, three day extravaganza filled with lavish décor, mouth-watering food, dance and loads of relatives you’ve never ever met! However despite our weddings being fun to plan and attend, there’s no escaping the dreaded wedding budget. It’s no surprise to hear that the cost of an Indian wedding has almost doubled in the last few years and whilst you and your partner would love that day to be about you, we know that ain’t going to happen.