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14 Pin-worthy Trends for your Wedding Day

2017 pinterest wedding trends

Ah Pinterest.. The ultimate and original go to website to discover all things wedding related – a never-ending gold mine, full of wedding inspiration. Some may argue that Instagram has taken over, but we feel Pinterest will always be the original and best bookmarking tool for all brides.

Now if you’re getting married this year, you’re in luck. Pinterest have collated all the pins that brides were scanning through to come up with the definitive ‘trends’ list for 2017 weddings.

Gone are the elaborate floral centerpieces, naked cakes and big bridal parties. Brides to be are embracing free-spirited styled weddings along with old-world elegance as opposed to the more formal or classic themes.

So, without further a do, let’s start this count down and get pinning!

dusty rose pinterest trends

image courtesy of PAPEL & CO.

Think pink

Anyone who knows me personally will understand that I have a penchant for all things pink. We’re not talking any old pink, but ‘dusty rose’ to be exact.

This soft and romantic colour is having a big moment. The muted shade of pink is feminine and classy and has not only dominated the fashion circuit, but the wedding world too.

The term “dusty rose weddings” has risen a whopping 255%.

Already in the first half of the year we have seen designers such as Sabyasachi embrace this colour trend in his beautiful Spring/Summer collections and stationery artists around the world are infusing this colour into their invitation designs.

greenery pinterest wedding trends

styling by BEST DAY EVER // photography by MARCO SANCHEZ

Going green 

Pantone’s colour of the year is undoubtedly more popular than last year’s choices. Goodbye rose quartz and serenity.

This year, it’s all about nature and bringing the outdoors, inside.

Greenery inspired décor is not only budget-friendly, but is simple and elegant in comparison to traditional, ornate florals.

Dress up your table décor with simple, leafy arrangements in place of elaborate flowers. A beautiful way to breathe life into your wedding.

Autumnal vibes

Autumn has always been one of my favourite seasons. I had my own wedding around this season.

We’re thinking rustic details and rich colour palettes. Just picture the photography that can be captured, amid vibrant hues of orange, yellow and red leaves and a bonus is that it’s a lot cooler! Cooler months means lower costs for venues and supplies.

autumn indian wedding

photography by HILARY CAM PHOTOGRAPHY

The great outdoors

Mountainous backdrops are making a bit of a comeback. According to the pinning experts, brides aren’t so keen on the beach or standard wedding venues.

If you’re dreaming of a mountainside wedding, opt for a venue with spectacular backdrops and breathtaking views. Vineyards or farms could easily work if you’re after this style of ceremony setting.

taco food station pinterest

image from LOVE & LOBSTER

Foodie wedding

Nowadays, we are seeing more and more couples adding style and character to their weddings, infusing their personalities into their big day.

One way to do this is by offering inventive menu selections to satisfy your guests’ palate.

Jazz up your catering with your favourite foods and drink pairings.

Whether it’s appetizers, cocktails, food stations or food trucks, your guests will love you forever.

Tacos anyone?

 

drip cake pinterest wedding

cake by GAGGUI // photography by PETRA VEIKKOLA

Drip cakes 

So, what exactly is it? It’s not naked, nor semi-naked. The most Insta-worthy and pin-worthy cakes doing the rounds right now are the drip cakes!

A drip cake is essentially a cake that has liquid icing (caramel, honey, chocolate syrup etc.) dripping on the sides of it. It looks kind of messy, but is prettied up with flowers, macarons, gold leaf and other foods.

There’s an art to creating drip cakes and brides are obsessed with these mouth-watering delights.

Try not to lick the screen!

payal singhal wedding

photo by PAYAL SINGHAL

Off shoulder

We have seen bridal designers switch it up this year with unconventional off-the-shoulder gowns, crop-tops and dresses.

This look is bang on trend and perfect for the bride opting for a boho, romantic look this season.

Print dresses

The must have dress look for bridesmaids are printed. They’re playful and colourful and so not boring.

Simple doesn’t cut it anymore. Ready to wear, mismatched coloured and floral print dress styles are on the rise.

Something blue

For the groom or groomsmen, it’s time to step away from the traditional black tie and black suits because blue is the new black!

Now there are so many shades of blues.

shop nimai statement earrings

image from SHOP NIMAI

If your man is not too adventurous, try navy, otherwise, bright blues or pastels are the way to go.

Statement earrings 

The biggest jewellery trend from this years fashion weeks, have been big earrings.

Go bold, go big and make a statement on your wedding day.

Bling is in and brides are loving all styles.

Forgo the necklace Let your earrings do the talking this season.

indian wedding photography kerala

photography by CHRIS SPIRA

Au natural

Feel comfortable on your wedding day.

Ask your hair stylist to ditch the products and opt for a more natural look for your tresses.

It’s simple, alternative and ideal for the not-so-fussy bride.

Sleek up-dos are also in style.

Berry good

Refined, natural and warm, the berry lip will look stunning if you’re opting for an Autumn wedding.  

Pucker up 

On the topic of lips, collagen lip masks are trending maharanis! That’s right. You heard correctly. Thanks to Emma Stone, these masks are all the rage with brides to be.

Emma’s lip treatment selfie (captured at this year’s Golden Globes) has gone viral.

Apparently these masks keep your lips plump and hydrated. Hmm.. whatever floats your boat we guess!

Honeymooning

Something every bride and groom looks forward to most is the honeymoon of course!

Greece, in particular the island of Santorini is so exotic for all the right reasons. For dreamy sunsets and undeniable beauty, a Greek island honeymoon is the perfect escape.

Personally, I would opt for New Zealand though which is undoubtedly an adventurer’s paradise and home to stunning landscapes and snowcapped mountains… Sigh…

new zealand pinterest wedding trends

photography by ROB SUISTED

These trends aren’t the be all and all of weddings, but we like to encourage brides to instead use these tips as a guide for planning their own wedding. After all, who knows what next year will bring!

*To view the complete report click here -> https://www.pinterest.com/pinpicks/2017-wedding-report/

What trends will you be pinning this year and what will your dream wedding look like? Let us know in the comments below!

A Guide To Planning A Modern Wedding – Part 1 – Planning & Budget

A guide to planning a modern wedding - Part 1

So, you and your partner just got engaged and now you’re asking yourselves, what’s next?

Planning a wedding can be somewhat of an exciting time in your life, yet stressful at the same time. It’s very easy for couples to feel overwhelmed when planning a wedding. In particular, for Indian couples 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.

Let’s start off with some basic planning and budgeting rules.

PLANNING STAGES

Planning A Wedding - Part 1 | The Maharani Diaries

Delegate tasks

First and foremost, I highly recommend that you share the planning duties with your partner. It is the best way to get things done more efficiently and the best part is that you can assign tasks for each other. Brides-to-be will honestly be very surprised at how much the groom will want to be involved during the planning stages of your wedding. Reach out to your bridesmaids, friends and family as well. Enlist the help of those who have been in your shoes before and if you have budgeted for it, hire the professionals.

Stay organised

The most important aspect of wedding planning is to be super organised. This means having everything compiled in a spreadsheet, notes an organisation app on your phone or perhaps for the traditionalists, a fashionable little folder or hard copy wedding planning diary.

Planning A Wedding - Part 1 | The Maharani Diaries

Stay organised during your wedding planning.
Purchase a pretty little planner or start a spreadsheet.
Most importantly, keep on top of things.

Be realistic

Draw up a timetable and set aside time (perhaps over the weekends) to plan and to visit your suppliers or to fit in any shopping trips. Don’t leave things to the last minute. If there are certain tasks on the list you simply don’t have the time for or cannot accommodate for, cross it off.

Enjoy the day

Accept the fact that at the end of the day, your wedding may not go as planned. If you’re anything but a control freak, then you will most definitely notice all the little details, but at the end of the day, enjoy the moments. Don’t let the small things spoil the festivities and remember that from here onwards what’s most important is that you will be spending the rest of your life with the man or woman of your dreams.

Planning A Wedding - Part 1 | The Maharani Diaries

BUDGETING

Set a budget

I cannot stress how important setting a budget is. Set a realistic budget and try and stick to it. Decide on the costs, spread the finances across each important category and then track the expenditure.

Sort out what are the must have things and what you are content with leaving out.

More and more couples these days are choosing to take responsibility for their own expenses and foot their own wedding bills. Discuss this with your parents and if they are wanting to contribute to the budget, include them in your discussions.

Planning A Wedding - Part 1 | The Maharani Diaries

Involve your parents in your wedding planning process.

Guest list 

Try to limit the guest list. Only invite who you know, not who your parents know.

Seasonal

Opt for an Autumn or Winter wedding and that also choose to host your wedding on a day other than a Saturday. I guarantee you, it is much cheaper.

DIY

Craft your own invitations and save on hiring decor.

Embrace Pinterest, but don’t go overboard. There’s a limit to how many henna adorned mason jars you can use.

Planning A Wedding | The Maharani Diaries

Save on decor. Opt for DIY, but don’t go overboard. Remember, less is more.

Hope you will find this series helpful. Would love to hear how you are going with your wedding planning or if you recently got married and you have some useful tips to share, please let me know in the comments below.

Happy planning!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this planning series. We’ll discuss the types of weddings to choose from – modern, traditional or destination.. Everybody’s different these days and there’s no right or wrong.

*Images courtesy of: Pinterest

DAY 4 Amazon India Couture Week – Vintage Glamour

Day 4 AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

All four designers took the vintage-glam route on Day 4 of Amazon India Couture Week. From the regal and luxurious, intricately embroidered bridal lehengas of Rimple and Harpreet to the alluring and graceful, structured silhouettes of Rohit Bal’s collection, it truly was an unforgettable day in the world of Indian couture.

REYNU TAANDON

Reynu Taandon’s collection titled Shahbanu’ was like something out of a story book. A royal affair showcasing classic, elegant and timeless outfits fit for a modern maharani. Persian architecture, heritage and culture have inspired quite a few designers at Couture Week this year and for Taandon this was no different. She wanted to pay homage to the grandeur and royalty of the Persian empress and this was magnificently reflected in her traditional ensembles.

Reynu Taandon AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries(Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

The stage was set for an enthralling presentation. Against a glorious palace-like backdrop, the audience were transported to the Mughal era with the captivating sounds of live Sufi Qawwali music playing in the background. Taandon’s contemporary take on the ancient period narrated a beautiful tale with models depicted as royal princesses gracefully strutting down the runway showing off their breathtaking beauty. 

Richa Chadda - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

ACTRESS, RICHA CHADDA

Taandon’s creations featured fine gold zardosi threadwork, mirror work and floral motif embellishments intricately embroidered on rich georgette and velvet fabrics. Models sashayed down the runway dressed in sharara’s, anarkali’s and lehenga-choli designs in royal blues, reds and blacks and wearing statement jewellery pieces. Their overall looks were enhanced with beautiful and glamorous makeup and hair tied back in slick and sophisticated buns. 

Bollywood actress, Richa Chadda wowed the audience pulling off the Persian princess act with so much grace and poise. Dressed in a heavily embroidered red and gold lehenga and two sheer veils, she was also adorned with delicate jewels that included a maang tikka, jhumar, necklace and naath (nose ring). Richa looked resplendent in her regal avatar and this was definitely a signature moment of Reynu Taandon’s showcase.

“The Shahbanu muse is a dream-like vision straight out of the royal courtyard with mesmerising beauty reflecting through her accentuated eyes and statement jewellery. So I could only think of Richa when I conceptualised the show.” – Reynu Taandon

‘Shahbanu’ captured the grandeur, beauty and old-world charm of the Persian empire so well. All in all, Reynu Taandon presented a classy show. Her eye-catching collection is certainly befitting of the style conscious Indian bride who exudes modern elegance, and wants to look no less than royalty on her wedding day. 

RIMPLE & HARPREET NARULA

R&H AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

Husband and wife team, Rimple and Harpreet Narula’s design aesthetic could be best summed up in three words; ‘elegant,’ ‘understated’ and ‘dramatic.’ The designer duo have an incredible ability to produce such diverse collections year after year and this year’s showing at Couture Week was no different, presenting well crafted silhouettes in an array of colours and textures. Inspired by the splendour and the magnificence of the Maharaja’s during the days of the British Raj, the designer’s weaved magic. ‘Maharadjah & Co’ was an amalgamation of design elements combining eastern and western aesthetics.

Set against a regal backdrop, they painted a story of royalty amidst western influences. A time when the classy maharaja’s and maharani’s would be highly respected amongst the European society and would hire photographers to capture all their glory with vintage cameras.

Rimple & Harpreet - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

Rimple and Harpreet’s passion for diverse textiles and traditional craftsmanship is reflected in their use of various fabric textures and refined hand embroidery techniques. Heavily influenced by Islamic art, the designers created bespoke and sophisticated ensembles in muted undertones. Subtle shades of ivory and beige, burnished golds and velveteen ruby completed with intricate embroidery work and delicately cut Preciosa crystals.

We have been using Preciosa Crystal components in our creations for quite some time now and their quality standards are par excellence. Their range, when it comes to colors, shapes and cuts is truly amazing. To be associated with a world leader in crystals such as Preciosa is a proud moment for our label and we look forward to bringing the best in Couture and Crystals to our consumers“. – Rimple and Harpreet Narula 

The rich and ornate silhouettes, dramatic capes and robes, sheer billowy jackets, regal cloaks and classic lehenga’s were reminiscent of the majestic colonial era. Female models sported smokey eyes with bold lips and slick low buns and their looks were accentuated with exquisite Sunar jewels and statement accessories. The designer duo added vintage parasol umbrellas to appeal to the destination wedding market.

Ravishing Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty stunned as the showstopper, dressed in a gold and rose pink lehenga with a matching sequinned blouse. She stole the spotlight in the unique bridal ensemble and her overall look was enhanced (not that she needed it) with a heavy jadau necklace.

Rimple & Harpreet Narula - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

ACTRESS, SHILPA SHETTY

Shilpa’s sensuous number was one of many highlights of the show and a favourite amongst many fashion lovers.  Whilst perusing through the mens ensembles, we came across a charming sherwani suit that would complement Shilpa’s lehenga beautifully. 

Rimple and Harpreet’s stately collection is acceptable for the modern bride and groom who aren’t afraid to express themselves and love to make a statement. If you’re opting for a royal wedding theme with a palace-like or vintage backdrop, then these delicately embroidered lehenga-choli’s and sherwani suits are definitely for you.

DEBARUN MUKHERJEE

Debarun Mukherjee, an up and coming designer based in Kolkata, surprised everyone with his contemporary Bollywood inspired collection. Aptly titled, ‘Heroine’ his bridal-festive showcase took the audience on a beautiful journey of Indian cinema through the ages whilst also paying homage to the modern Indian woman.

Debarun - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

A self-confessed film fanatic, Debarun presented an array of colourful and timeless silhouettes in various textures and shades and matched them perfectly to the different era’s. From the black and white of the 30s and 40s to the technicolour and shimmer of the 70s and 80s and the subtleness of the 90s, his collection was an honest and fitting representation of the fashionable Bollywood heroine.

“This is my first couture week and it has finally given me space to stretch my creativity to a point where I feel I have arrived. A couture collection is like one’s first love and cinema is my first love.” – Debarun

Amid vibrant, multi-coloured audio visual screen backdrops and mood lighting, models strutted down the runway to the sound of songs and dialogues from popular Hindi movies playing in the background. ‘Heroine’ comprised of well hand woven, rich and diverse ensembles in beautiful, contrasting colour combinations. The silhouettes were accentuated with intricate zardosi, bead and thread work and featuring appliqués in floral and ornate motifs.

Aditi Rao Hydari - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

ACTRESS, ADITI RAO HYDARI

Showstoppers Aditi Rao Hydari and Chitrangada Singh opened and closed Dabarun’s show respectively. Aditi looked demure in a grey silk flared lehenga and shimmery dupatta. Representing the coy and shy heroine of the yesteryears, her ensemble looked fitting for a cocktail soirée or pre-wedding event. Chitrangada’s beige bridal lehenga-choli looked divine, complemented well with a green net dupatta. The quintessential bride of Hindi cinema. Both actresses sported side-swept hairstyles, bright pop lips and subtle eye make up. 

It was rather difficult to highlight favourites from Debarun’s collection, but the red and beige floral lehenga that actress, Chitrangada Singh wore was a standout from the women’s line and as for the mens wear, the lightweight red and brownish sherwani suit teamed with mojari’s, exuded understated class. 

Debarun made a strong debut at Couture Week with his flamboyant collection. A wonderful retrospective, recreating iconic moments from famous Indian movies spanning over eight decades. He has created effortless ensembles perfect for the free-spirited and artistic modern brides and grooms out there.

ROHIT BAL

Wow, what can we say! Master couturier, Rohit Bal closed out day 4 of couture week in a spectacular fashion. Held at the exclusive 5 star luxury hotel, The Imperial, Bal weaved magic with his mens and women’s collection titled ‘Husn-e-Taa’iraat’ (translating to ‘beauty of a bird’), leaving the audience spellbound.

Rohit Bal - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

Excitement and anticipation for this runway event had been building for quite some time. In the weeks leading up to Couture Week Bal teased his fans with glimpses of his collection via social media. One things for certain though, his presentation lived up to expectations and the audience were witnessing something special unfold right in front of their eyes. 

Bal’s runway shows are synonymous with entertainment having established a reputation for being more than just about the garmentsRohit Bal - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries itself. There was something different about this show though. Set amid a garden setting with fruit trees bearing apples and pomegranates and the melodious sounds of soft orchestral music playing in the background, he evoked all of the senses and made everyone feel enamoured. A gorgeous backdrop and the perfect ambience making for a memorable showcase.

Known in the past for producing exquisitely crafted bridal couture, Bal certainly turned it up a notch on this occasion blending renaissance fashion with Persian  influences as well as drawing inspiration from his Kashmiri heritage. What was  noticeably different about this collection were the references to Persian art and culture with ensembles featuring intricate zardosi and resham embroidery. ‘Husn-e-Taa’iraat’ captured the natural beauty of wildlife, birds and floral through every ensemble. The hand-woven bird-life and floral motif patterns marked precision and detail.

The colour palette was infused with vivid shades of whites, elegant golds, royal blues, blacks and deep maroon hues. There were voluminous lehenga skirts, badhgala suits, jodhpur pants, classic sherwani’s, graceful and illustrious angrakha’s (similar to an anarkali suit), oversized jackets and sumptuous sari’s in numerous cuts, styles and textures. From velvet to chanderi and net to even brocade, the designer once again produced refined bridal wear.

Models took to the runway oozing confidence and flaunting their glamour with dramatic smokey eye makeup, soft, glossy lips and hair done up in perfect buns. They wore statement fabric floral headbands and some even sported beautiful yet subtle clusters of these fabric roses as neckpieces.

Rohit Bal - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

Adding to the grandeur of this magnificent show, models playfully flirted with guests, sitting on their laps, blowing kisses and toasting their master, Bal with champagne filled flutes. Everything complemented each other; the venue, the extravagant outfits, setting and theme. Bal’s clever use of imagery reflected the old-world Victorian and colonial charm of a bygone era.

The reception was incredible with applause and even whistles from the lucky audience. A visibly happy Bal couldn’t contain his excitement and once again broke out into one of his customary dance jigs.

India’s ultimate fashion showman, Rohit Bal continues to push boundaries, creating masterpieces, impressing fans and critics alike. The designer has effortlessly captured two cultures with so much finesse. Whilst critics will call this bridal wear somewhat unconventional, there’s no doubt these beautiful silhouettes will be a favourite amongst brides and grooms for the upcoming winter wedding season. Lavish, regal and opulent wedding wear. Make a statement on your wedding day with these eclectic ensembles. 

“Design needs to be without reason – spontaneous, whatever attracts you at the given moment and time. I could be inspired by Persia or Timbuktu, but I will eventually turn it into something Indian. That’s my main aim… a strong Indianness in everything I do. “ – Rohit Bal

The 60 piece collection featured some stunning pieces. It was difficult to pin point a favourite, but of course, being lovers of traditional maroon and red bridal wear we simply couldn’t take our eyes off of these two ensembles.

Relive highlights from Rimple & Harpreet and Rohit Bal’s shows here –> http://bit.ly/1NKh6N6

Next post —> A final wrap up of Couture Week featuring every girl’s dream designer, the inimitable Manish Malhotra.

What were your favourites from day 4 of Amazon India Couture Week?

*Content and images courtesy of Elevate Promotions,Vogue India, Amazon India, FDCIHarpers Bazaar India, Instagram, Verve Magazine IndiaIndian Express and BoldSky.

Amazon India Couture Week – ‘BATER’ by Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi for AICW15 (via The National AE) | The Maharani Diaries

Fashion aficionados rejoice!

Day 1 of Amazon India Couture Week opened in a spectacular manner with one of the most anticipated runway events in recent years.

In a world first, one of India’s most acclaimed fashion designer’s and a favourite of ours here at The Maharani Diaries, Sabyasachi Mukherjee joined forces with red-soled shoe powerhouse, Christian Louboutin to produce one exquisite and unforgettable collection.

Social media was abuzz with bloggers, the press and audience posting regular updates throughout the stellar show. “Breathtaking,” “mesmerizing” and “decadent” were just some of the words being uttered.

Drawing inspiration from the Indian hunting bird, the bater, Sabyasachi and Louboutin conjured up glamorous gothic vibes with a vintage, primitive like backdrop. The setting was an abandoned crumbling mansion of some sort with soiled windows, distressed fabrics hanging from the ceiling, mood lighting, smoke and creaky floorboards. If that wasn’t enough, the show began with the loud chirping sound of crickets. The stage was set for one mind-blowing theatrical production. 

With references to India’s imperial royal hunts, ‘Bater,’ takes a dramatic shift from Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s previous work.

Sabyasachi - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

Sabyasachi and Louboutin took the audience to the dark side and this theme was reflected in the beautiful silhouettes and motifs in colours such as muted golds, blacks, gunmetal, ivories and hints of greens and blues. Of course, last but not least, in true form and rather characteristic of the two couturiers, they closed out the show in style with classic reds. And how about those iconic red-soled heels? Delicately hand embroidered Parisian footwear complementing Indian baroque, striking a perfect balance.

“Words that come into my mind to describe the collection are – dark, dangerous, and predatory. It is sexual. The historical references came from the royal hunts, which were channelised into shredded, burnt and layered textures.” – Sabyasachi

‘Bater’ was sensuous, ethereal yet edgy. Sabyasachi’s modern and contemporary line included oversized capes and jackets, bralettes, classic sherwani suits and lehenga-cholis, high neck sari blouses, figure hugging salwar suits and opulent 1920s style gowns with trains. The ensembles were beautifully complemented with fierce shoe wear and spiky clutch bags.

Sabyasachi - AICW15 | The Maharani Diaries

One may call ‘Bater’ too bold, too daring, too risqué and over the top, but in signature Sabyasachi style, he has managed to retain the old-world charm, luxury and opulence that he is so well renowned for. Understated and timeless elegance highlighted by impeccable craftsmanship and professional design elements. From the heavy and elaborate sequin embellishments to the gold and silver zari and resham embroidery, this was a carefully crafted collection that is bound to lure the fashion conscious bride or groom who dare to be different and are ready to make a statement.

In keeping with the dramatic theme, hair and makeup looks were also spot on with female models sporting intense makeup looks featuring slick low hair buns, hazel coloured lenses, voluminous lash extensions and marsala/deep red lips.

Sabyasachi Makeup looks AICW 2015 | The Maharani Diaries

It was difficult to choose a favourite from the night. We certainly could not go past the radiant red lehenga-choli. This regal and sensuous ensemble could certainly become a favourite amongst Indian brides. Some what unconventional and bold, this classic and intricately embroidered red ensemble is perfect for the quintessential modern maharani who doesn’t wish to compromise her style.

AICW15 - Sabyasachi | The Maharani Diaries copy 16

This was one runway show that certainly lived up to its expectations. Both Sabyasachi and Louboutin are forces to be reckoned with in the fashion world. Their dream pairing is one that we’re sure lovers of couture will be talking about for years. The ‘Bater’ collection is a perfect amalgamation of traditional, Sabyasachi, old-world charm combined with new-age aesthetics and one that has added a new dimension to the more conventional South Asian bridal wear.

Exclusive highlights from the show can be viewed here –> http://bit.ly/1SoJ8Rd

More images from the event courtesy of Vogue India, FDCIMs Coco Queen and Instagram.  –> 

Coming up on The Maharani Diaries, a full wrap up of DAY 2 of Amazon India Couture Week featuring more sensuous and modern designs from talented young designers, Rahul Mishra and Gaurav Gupta.

What were your favourite outfits from the Sabyasachi/Louboutin show? Let us know in the comments below. 

*Content and images courtesy of Vogue India, FDCI and Indian Express and Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Lakmé Fashion Week – Spring/Summer 2015 – Sabyasachi

Lakmé Fashion Week SS15 | The Maharani Diaries

Earlier this year, I promised to run a feature about India’s exclusive fashion event, Lakmé Fashion Week. So, without further adieu, I present to you the best of Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer fashion featuring stunning artistic illustrations from talented London based fashion illustrator, Aparna Ram.

Lakmé Fashion Week is a coveted fashion event which every up and coming Indian designer dreams about. It is the only fashion festival which brings credibility to the flourishing Indian fashion industry and integrates India into the global fashion scene.

The first season of Lakmé Fashion Week took place earlier this year in one of India’s biggest fashion capital’s and the home of Bollywood, Mumbai. Lakmé’s spring/summer festival celebrated 15 years of showcasing inspiring Indian fashion to India and the global fashion world. The event brought together emerging talent alongside veteran designers to showcase some of the most inspiring fashion India has ever seen. Designers pulled out all stops and they presented their collections in stylish and elaborate manners. Their designs certainly matched the grandeur and scales of the event as you will be able to see in the images and videos below.

Lakme Fashion Week - Aparna Ram | The Maharani Diaries

“BACKSTAGE GLAMOUR” BY APARNA RAM – LEHENGA CHOLI ENSEMBLES
FROM ANUSHREE REDDY, MANISH MALHOTRA AND SABYASACHI SITTING
SO PRETTY ON THE RACK. THE LINE UP AT THE WEEK LONG FASHION FESTIVAL
WAS POSSIBLY THE STRONGEST EVER.

The lineup at the week long fashion festival was possibly the strongest ever, with the likes of Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani all presenting their breathtaking collections.

Lakmé Fashion Week opened with a showing from the inimitable, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. His unconventional runway show, titled ‘Big Love’ was an extravagant display of seventies retro ensembles brought to light with high tech laser beams, drones and even balloons. Retro Indian fashion? Who knew right?!

In possibly one of the most opulent openings for a fashion show ever in India, Sabyasachi showcased his ‘Big Love’ collection in front of the creme de la creme of the city. Bollywood actresses such as Sridevi, Rani Mukherji, Deepika Padukone and Kajol were all out in force to support their friend and dream designer.

Sabyasachi paid tribute to the seventies era with his own signature style. He translated it effortlessly in his creations which featured a variety of different colours, fabrics and textures.

The designer shifted his dimension from the traditional sari to give them more boldness and edginess. Sabyasachi also featured jumpsuits with bell bottoms, brocade sherwani mens suits, sheer net capes, shimmery gowns, boleros and stunning printed lehengas. Fabric texturing ranged from silk, tulle, crepe, georgette, to satin and taffeta. From stark black and gold to vibrant floral prints to iridescent metallics, Sabyasachi’s ensembles were the first of its kind to come out of India.

Sabyasachi - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

Sabyasachi’s collections certainly set new summer fashion trends. ‘Big Love’ had a very international feel about it and the flowing, light weight lehengas would suit any destination or resort style wedding.

Sabyasachi - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

“Lakmé Fashion Week holds a special place in my journey as a designer other than being my debut platform. Our success stories resonate and have been parallel. It gives me great pleasure to open the season that commemorates 15 years of LFW in India and be a part of this milestone.” – Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

Sabyasachi LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

The runway show was epic and you can view exclusive highlights from the event here: http://bit.ly/1BRpDqz 

What were your favourite Sabyasachi looks from Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer week?

*Images courtesy of: Lakmé Fashion Week

18 Ways To Budget For Your Wedding

18 Ways To Budget For Your Wedding | The Maharani Diaries

A recent article published in Australian bridal magazine, ‘Bride To Be’ magazine suggested that the average cost to have a wedding now in Australia is estimated to be over $65K. Just a little over 2 years ago, the average was around $36K which indicates that the cost has almost doubled. The article was based on a survey that the magazine had been conducting since 1997 and wedding watchers say that there are many contributing factors to the rise of wedding costs.

There is a rising popularity in couples opting for destination weddings, purchasing couture made bridal wear, pre-wedding photo shoots, hiring photo booths, dessert buffets and not to forget the fact that traditional hens and stag parties are turning into weekend long parties or overseas getaways.

Save The Date | The Maharani Diaries

PLANNING THE PERFECT WEDDING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A FINANCIAL STRUGGLE.

The way in which couples choose to approach their weddings has taken a dramatic shift from the days of hiring your local community hall down the road to massive function venues in hotels, resorts, vineyards and even palaces. It’s all about the ‘wow-factor’ and creating something magical and everlasting for not just yourself, but for your family and friends as well. 

Yes, it’s true. Planning a wedding never comes cheap and it’s difficult to stay within budget. Many couples often have to seek financial support from their parents or dip into their own savings accounts in order to cover costs. But, the truth is that your perfect day shouldn’t have to be a financial struggle. It is possible to plan the perfect wedding on a budget. It is also important to remember that weddings shouldn’t be about showing off how much money you have or about making comparisons about whose wedding was better. Traditionally, Indian weddings are about the joining of two families and spending it with your loved ones.  That is all that it should eventually come down to.

Your parents are around to support you.

YOUR PARENTS ARE AROUND TO SUPPORT YOU.

Of course Indian weddings have their own challenges. It can sometimes be difficult to convince your families that this day is about you and your fiancé. They may prefer to focus on the religious aspects whereas you on the other hand want to make sure everyone has a memorable time. Try to strike a compromise. Nowadays, couples are more inclined to take charge of their own weddings but do ensure that families have their input. Nothing will happen unless you have their support. My advice is to break it all down. Break down the events, costings and components. Start a spreadsheet and perhaps even draw up a timeline as well. This is especially relevant given that Indian weddings run over several days. So it’s essential to discuss aspects such as finding a priest, ceremonial costs and mehndi/henna artist hire. But, for now, let me share a few tips and ideas on ways you can save or budget on one of the most important days of your life.

via Marigold Tales | The Maharani Diaries

1) Host your pre wedding puja’s, religious ceremonies and parties at home

These events do not have to be over the top and perhaps invite only your closest friends and relatives. If your house is too small to hold a sangeet or mendi party, host it at a friend’s house or a well equipped and acceptable looking local community hall. When I say ‘well equipped’, I mean with kitchen facilities. I also suggest that you seek assistance from your relatives and friends to help with decorations and if need be, song and dance routines.

Pinterest | The Maharani Diaries

Pinterest Inspo | The Maharani Diaries

2) DIY or purchase decorative items

Often wedding decor is expensive to hire. But items such as candle votives, candelabras or mason jars are not difficult to source yourself and are often cheaper than hiring. Collect them or try purchasing them online, at the local dollar store and op-shops.

Pinterest (as in above images) is a great tool for creating an inspiration board or brainstorming image boards. It’s free to use and is possibly the most popular website for future brides seeking inspiration for their own weddings. Through Pinterest, you can narrow your likes and dislikes and it can certainly assist you with DIY decorating ideas. However, don’t go overboard with do it yourself decoration. Trying to include every single cute Pinterest idea will make your venue look tacky and over the top. One thing I learnt during my wedding and event work experience, is that ‘less is more.’

Bridal party tug of war | The Maharani Diaries

3) Small bridal party or none at all

A modern day dilemma that all Indian brides face these days, is whether to have a bridal party or not. It isn’t actually a part of Indian tradition, however times are changing and modern, western values are becoming a norm for south asian weddings. I suggest you really think hard about whether having a bridal party is really going to make a difference for your wedding. Your family and friends are going to be around anyway to help. You don’t necessary need a label for them.

Understated wedding decor also makes a beautiful statement.

UNDERSTATED, SIMPLE WEDDING DECOR MAKES A BEAUTIFUL STATEMENT.

4) Don’t go overboard with flowers

Wedding flowers are expensive. But, some florists are very accommodating and often suggest floral arrangement options that fit within your budget. Selecting floral arrangements which are smaller or at the less expensive end of the spectrum as your centrepiece isn’t always a bad thing. As an alternative to flowers, choose candelabras as your centrepieces. It all depends on the overall look or theme that you’re trying to achieve. Often wedding venues may be able to include centrepiece or floral arrangement packages or offer recommendations to florists or stylists that they have affiliations with. But do your homework and shop around for the best deal and remember to choose flowers that are within season as well.

As for bouquets, paper flower or plastic ones look just as impressive and much cheaper. Don’t believe me? Check out this link for proof – http://liagriffith.com/diy-paper-rose-wedding-bouquet/

5) Don’t hold your wedding on a Saturday

Did you know that more and more couples are now opting for a Friday or a Sunday wedding? Not only because it’s cheaper, but you could also cut back on numbers if you’re after a more intimate wedding. 

Other factors such as the season makes a huge difference as well. Summer is the peak season with Spring coming in a close second.

6) Opt for local wedding vendors

This is a no brainer really. Interstate wedding vendors are always going to charge more for travel, time and transport.

This Kikki K wedding planner file was a life saver during my wedding planning.

A WEDDING PLANNING FILE SUCH AS THIS ONE FROM KIKKI K IS USEFUL FOR PLACING ALL YOUR VENDOR
BROCHURES, BUSINESS CARDS, DEPOSITS, RECEIPTS ETC.

7) Keep a diary or planner and set up a wedding savings account

As mentioned earlier, draw up a spreadsheet and break down your wedding costings. Purchase a planner or notebook and write everything down. This will ensure that your sanity is in check and that you’re not wasting unnecessary money. Stationary aficionado’s like myself will know that Kikki K produce beautifully presented notebooks and planners that keep you inspired. Use the planners to keep on top of your budget and keep track of deposit due dates as well.

Setting up a wedding savings account is a brilliant idea and is certainly something I wish I had thought of during my own wedding. Every week leading up to the wedding, set aside a certain amount of money for the big day. It doesn’t matter how much it is, just remember that every little amount goes a long way. If you can avoid it, try not to use your credit card.

Indian wedding buffet | The Maharani Diaries

8) Save on catering

Catering is a delicate topic when it comes to Indian weddings. Many couples don’t even know where to begin with this. After venue hire, food and beverage is the next biggest expense. In my opinion, I don’t believe that you should cut costs on catering. After all, what is an Indian wedding without delectable curries right?

What you could do though, is cater less. You can save on costs by reducing the amount of food and alcohol you serve. Indian food is generally heavy so it makes sense to do this. For my wedding, I opted for a basic beverage package and a few canapés, some starters, a couple of meat and vegetarian curries, naan and rice. There was of course dessert and the cake as well.

Try to restrict the amount you serve and you can of course discuss this with your caterer as they would know best.

If you’d like to serve a signature cocktail as well, then perhaps eliminate a couple of other drinks or one food item from the menu.

Indian wedding cake | The Maharani Diaries

9) How about the wedding cake?

Ask your cake decorator to make a cake that is just about the right size and has enough servings for your guests and yourself to enjoy. For example, for 200 guests, a 3 or 4 tier cake should be sufficient.

It is also entirely up to you if you would like a cake or not. You could opt for cupcakes instead or just a dessert table. Why not save on costs by asking a friend to bake the cake for you? I’m sure everyone knows of a friend or family member who is a keen or avid baker.

10) Hold your wedding and reception at the same venue

Venue hire is expensive. Don’t forget to factor in travel costs for your vendors and family and friends who are coming from interstate/overseas. How about holding your wedding and reception at the same venue? 

The beautiful RACV Club set in the winery region of Victoria, Australia was the perfect backdrop for my outdoor fusion wedding ceremony.

THE BEAUTIFUL RACV CLUB SET IN THE WINERY REGION OF VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA WAS THE PERFECT
BACKDROP FOR MY OUTDOOR FUSION WEDDING CEREMONY.

11) Choose a beautiful venue

I hate to say this, but opt for a wedding venue which doesn’t require too much decorating. This way you don’t have to spend a fortune on styling it. For instance, a venue that is visually appealing and has sweeping views would make a great choice.

On a side note, remember that lighting is costly. You can be quoted up to $1000AUD or more for ambient or mood lighting. You can definitely create ambience by simply telling your venue coordinator to dim the lights at the venue. Candles or tea lights create a romantic atmosphere as well.

12) Involve family and friends

Delegate tasks to family and friends. Accept help when it is offered, but be organised.

13) Save on wedding wear

I know the dream for most Indian brides is to wear a Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi or Tarun Tahiliani creation on her wedding day, but reality is that you’re looking at paying upwards of $2000AUD for a couture lehenga or sari. There are alternative options. Elegant and classy Indian bridal wear isn’t difficult to source and I will discuss this in future posts.

14) Design your own wedding stationary or don’t have it at all

If you have the time, I would seriously consider this. If you have an eye for design or have a clever graphic designer friend, by all means opt for this. Design can take time, but it is a huge cost saver.

Otherwise, there are some great online wedding invitation businesses out there that offer great packages for you and can work within your budget. Just don’t forget to double check the spelling.

Another option is to create a wedding website which might not even cost a thing. The only risk here is that some guests might not even bother to check their emails.

Decide if you want to have programs or a wedding guest signing book. Guests will look at these things if they are there or if an announcement is made, but I don’t think they will notice if these two items are missing.

Finally, after returning from your honeymoon, it’s important to snail mail or email thank you cards to guests for all of the generous gifts and for being a part of your special day. Thank you cards are simple to design and/or print. Simply type out the same gratitude message for everyone and send them off. For your online alternative, take a look at Paperless Post. 

15) Don’t include wedding favours

Wedding favours add a nice personal touch to your wedding, especially if they’re DIY. But if you are really on a tight budget and don’t have the time, then eliminate them all together. In the end, all that really matters is that you host an amazing function with delicious food and peppy music and your guests won’t even know.

Wedding guests | The Maharani Diaries

A SMALLER GUEST LIST CAN UNDOUBTEDLY SAVE COSTS.

16) How about a smaller guest list?

I know your parents are probably insistent on inviting Uncle Raj or Aunty Renuka or some distant relative or friend you haven’t seen in years. The truth is that you don’t know who they are. Is it really necessary and will you be paying them regular visits in the years to come? You could really save on costs here. Catering for one person these days can cost upwards of $100AUD per person. Try and come to some sort of compromise on this with your parents.

Ace wedding and event planner, Sonia Sharma.

ACE WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNER, SONIA SHARMA.

17) Hire a wedding planner

If you really don’t know where to start or are extremely time poor, I suggest hiring a wedding planner. Your wedding planner will complete all the note taking for you, create schedules and timelines and ensure everything is running accordingly.

An experienced wedding planner will offer you smart advice and provide you with some sort of direction. They will only work with trusted vendors and will also be able to work within your budget. Some of the more experienced and celebrity wedding planners will obviously cost an arm and a leg, so take some time to shop around for the best deal. I recommend contacting up to four or five wedding planners.

You won’t believe it, but a wedding planner can save you time and money. You won’t have to worry about whether the cake has reached the venue on time and spend more time focusing your efforts on enjoying the wedding day with your family and friends.

18) Save on photography, videography and entertainment

I’m sure you have a photographer or videographer in mind whose work you absolutely love but can’t afford their charges. One option could be to ask them if they have an associate photographer or videographer who will photograph your wedding for less. Opt for one of both as well. Two or more photographers or videographers will set you back thousands of dollars.

In terms of entertainment, hire a smaller band or just one DJ. If you’d like some Bollywood dancing as well, I’m sure you could coax some friends into performing at your sangeet party or reception without charging the massive fee.

'2 States' | The Maharani Diaries

In the end, you know your budget, your needs and wants. Try and save on money where you can. The Indian culture is so rich, colourful and vibrant. Try and save where you can but my advice would be to not hold back on food or entertainment.

Are you planning a wedding soon? What are your budget tips? Let us know in the comments below.

Introducing ‘Henna by Alisa Parveen’ – a budding architect with a passion for henna

Henna, or ‘mehndi’ parties are one of the most important functions for a Hindu bride in the lead up to her wedding. But until very recently, finding a quality henna artist in Australia was a challenge. 

I caught up with one young, up and coming talented artist by the name of Alisa Parveen who gave me an insight into her work as well as share some common myths and misconceptions about henna.

Henna artist, Alisa Parveen | The Maharani Diaries

Alisa has been trading at markets and festivals in and around Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore. In fact, the architecture student/part time henna artist was just recently in Singapore for the launch of her book, titled, ‘The Henna Narrative.’ She also appeared at The Henna Circle Australia conference over the weekend in Sydney to run some workshops as well as attend a few herself.

The talented artist has 15 years of henna drawing experience behind her. A native to Singapore, she started applying henna frequently at the mere age of 9 at the Hari Raya Bazaar in Singapore as well as in her mother’s henna studio (Parveen Ayurvedic Beauty Care). She would watch the Pakistani women working in the studio and picked up the inspiration to try her hand at the delicate art of applying henna. In between attending school and studying, Alisa continued her passion for henna art by participating in events, festivals and facilitating bridal appointments.

Alisa’s designs are unique, intricate and look highly professional. She can differentiate between Indian, Arabic, Indo-Arabic, Moroccan and Western henna patterns. She loves to challenge her creativity and is always experimenting with new, innovative designs as seen regularly on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

‘The Henna Narrative’ was Alisa’s first publication and she’s still abuzz with the success of the book launch held a few months ago in Little India, Singapore.

“I finished my first book 5 years ago before moving to Sydney for studies. However, there was never a right moment to launch the book. I was travelling back and forth from Sydney to Singapore and it would never be for long periods of time. I desperately wanted to showcase it in my home country and preferably during the Diwali or Hari Raya festival. So, I sought approval and support from the National Heritage Board of Singapore (NHB) and finally the ball got rolling. Within 1 month, I completed the book featuring new, more updated designs, sent it to the printers and launched it during the South Indian festival, Pongal.”

The response from the book launch was beyond her expectations and she was elated that she managed to sell numerous copies of her book.

In addition to launching her book, Alisa collaborated with the Little India Shopkeeper & Heritage Association (LISHA) to organise Singapore’s first henna competition. She saw it as an opportunity for the henna artists of Singapore to showcase their work and expand their portfolio. This was the first of its kind and given the chance someday, she mentioned that she’d love to take part in it herself.

Whilst chatting to Alisa, I found her to be a well grounded young woman who shares equal passion and drive for henna and her architecture studies.

Henna by Alisa Parveen | The Maharani Diaries

You will often find Alisa creating brilliant works of art such as this at popular markets around Melbourne and Sydney.

 

Alisa feels incredibly calm, relaxed and in her element when doing henna. She loves creating and coming up with new patterns every week. It gives her joy when she can make someone else happy by doing something so effortlessly. She finds inspiration everywhere and also adds that architecture and henna design sometimes goes hand in hand.

“Inspiration is all around you, everywhere you go. I often find inspiration from my henna books from India, but I also love Instagram. The henna community on Instagram is huge and it’s nice to take a look on social media every now and again to not only connect with the artists, but to also see what they are creating.”

Nowadays, in Melbourne, apart from studying for her Masters degree in Architecture at the University Of Melbourne, she’s also constantly looking for opportunities to show her talent. Alisa has applied henna for many brides in Singapore and a few in Melbourne and Sydney. She has expressed a desire to work with more brides in Australia.

On the topic of bridal henna, I asked Alisa what she thinks brides should be weary of before selecting a henna artist for their wedding.

“I believe that you should be able to see the artist’s work before hand. If they have a portfolio or website where by you can see their work, that would be great. Ensure that the designs they show you are legitimate and their own work. This is extremely important as there are a lot of imitators out there. Finally confirm what type of henna they will be using. Some henna can often cause an allergic reaction in some people, particularly the ‘instant’ ink type which isn’t commonly used. If possible, have a trial done a month or two out from the wedding day.”

She also added that she doesn’t have a personal style and doesn’t believe in trends. For brides, she has exclusive designs which she offers as a special ‘bridal package.’ She will always do finer, Indo-Arabic henna work for Indian brides. However, the use of void space in bridal henna is becoming increasingly popular these days. She also added that some brides still love the fuller style designs, but every individual has different tastes and also an idea of what they’d like their henna to look like on the big day. Furthermore, it also depends on the religion or background of the bride.

Alisa only uses natural henna and specifically mentions that it’s the same henna for every client. There is no such thing as “bridal henna.” All her cones are made up the same way and she never compromises. She’s a perfectionist when it comes to applying henna and prides herself on the quality of her work.

Currently, she is based in Melbourne and provides henna services for public or private events held in Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore. Having just returned from conducting some busy Indo-Arabic and bridal henna design classes at the henna conference, she said that she’s going to now focus on completing her Masters course and once again return to Singapore. She expressed a desire to appear at more markets in Melbourne and would also love more appointments.

Alisa’s book, ’The Henna Narrative’ includes a series of more than 40 henna designs ranging from basic beginner designs to intricate bridal narrations and a peek into Alisa’s 13 years of henna experience. She sets high achievements for herself and would love to produce more books in the future, continuing her passion for this popular art form.

The Henna Narrative | The Maharani Diaries

Henna by Alisa Parveen | The Maharani Diaries

If you are a bride in Melbourne, Sydney or Singapore or someone who just loves henna and you’d like to get in touch with Alisa or get your hands on a copy of her first book, visit the vendor page.

Tips for organising a successful Hens/Bachelorette Party

I recently returned from a whirlwind week-long trip to Singapore for my brother in law’s wedding. There were a number of preceding events leading up to the big day and my job was to make sure that the bride and her girlfriends had as much fun as possible.

Glittery hens photo shoot | The Maharani Diaries

IMAGE: PAIGE WINN PHOTOGRAPHY

Organizing hens or pre-wedding festivities are often daunting tasks and brides may feel that these parties are more difficult to plan than their actual wedding day itself.

The stressed bride | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.gabridal.com/wedding-tips-weddings-stress/)

A few brides will opt to organize these special events themselves, however, expectations are always high and it would be safe to say that hiring a planner or handing the job over to a bridesmaid or friend is your best bet. After all, the bride probably has a million and one other things on her mind!

So, what does it take to organize the perfect hen’s party?

Before jumping ahead, the first and foremost step is to decide on a date and place to host the events. This should be discussed and sorted with the bride a few weeks prior to the big day. If it is a destination wedding and the festivities are taking place overseas, then you could probably plan to hold it a few days before the wedding, giving everybody enough recovery time.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Asia/article462540.ece)

Deciding on who to invite is often problematic, but the bride has the final call. If there are certain people (i.e. mother-in-laws to be) who you think may clash (or may not approve of certain games or activities), you could advise her to save herself the trouble and avoid inviting them all together.

Next, inform guests about what’s taking place at least one month in advance, so that they can take time off accordingly. Ask the bride and groom for contact details and email a ‘save the date’ invitation.

Paperless-Post logo | The Maharani Diaries

Screenshot 2015-08-30 17.18.07

 

Snail mail invitations are always a fun idea, but are often costly. E-invite websites such as paperlesspost.com allow you to custom design your invitations and there are so many gorgeous designs and templates to choose from. Depending on the number of guests, the website may charge you a small fee, but shop around for the best deal. Simply think about the theme of your event, select the design, customise and personalise it and then email away.

After sending out the invites, follow up with a general email, introducing yourself to the guests and let them all know to RSVP by a particular date. It is also a good idea to request dietary requirements in case food is involved as well as find out where guests are staying or living in order to coordinate the festivities in a central or convenient location.

Keep in mind, that there is a certain etiquette when it comes to sending emails. It is nice to build excitement, but try to keep communication clear and concise and don’t bombard the guests with thousands of emails. If possible, limit the amount of correspondence you send. If you find guests are not responding, try Facebook or as a last resort ask the bride and groom to help contact them for you.

Meme | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.someecards.com)

A hens party should be enjoyed by all. It’s a good idea to devise a rough itinerary of events and gauge everybody’s reaction toward it beforehand. Also, include the break down of costs. If everyone sounds happy, precede with making enquiries and reservations. Of course, you can’t please everybody. If some guests don’t want to participate in all activities, that’s fine. Keep in mind that the most important person on this day is the bride herself. Know what her likes and dislikes are and plan appropriately. Most importantly, try to be realistic about the activities and timings. Give people ample time to glam up between events and factor in travel time as well.

Save everybody’s mobile phone numbers and have their emails on hand. This also applies not just to the attendees but also the venue and emergency contacts (eg. spouses, boyfriends, partners). For attendees who don’t have access to a phone (if you’re overseas) or if their mobile battery has died, you could possibly use Facebook messenger to make contact assuming they have network connectivity.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries (http://mytrueblu.com/a-spa-dinner-bachelorette-party/)

A hens party doesn’t always have to be raunchy. Keep the party tasteful and classy. Gone are the days of pole dancing and strippers. Try to celebrate the bride’s life and take her out to see and do things that perhaps she’s never done before. If you absolutely have no idea where to start, make it simple and opt for a theme party. Believe it or not, Great Gatsby and Sex And The City theme parties are still trending. Create a lolly buffet, dress up, share some cocktails and then take the girls out to a classy bar. You could even personalise the party in the form of t-shirts and accessories featuring a picture of the bride or each guest on them.

Sex And The City lolly buffet | The Maharani Diaries (http://verlockendes.blogspot.de/2012/04/sex-and-city-die-party.html#.VQr7VBCsUYc) Cocktail party | The Maharani Diaries (http://www.100layercake.com/blog/2013/02/11/pink-gold-glittery-valentines-party-ideas/)

These days the average hens party costs approximately $200AUD. Unfortunately, not everybody has that sort of money. That being said, it is possible to organise a great party within an acceptable budget. Ideas that won’t break the budget could include afternoon tea at a hotel no one has ever visited, a hip hop dancing class, wine tasting at home, a pot luck dinner party, mini-golf or a pottery making class. Don’t forget that you have to pay for the bride’s activities too. This day is all about her, so she isn’t paying for anything!

Afternoon Tea | The Maharani Diaries

It is entirely up to you as the host to decide on how you would like to collect the money for the activities. My advice is to try your best to select venues that don’t require reservation fees and sort out payment on the day of the party. Ensure that everybody is aware of how much everything costs and let them know to always carry extra change for unexpected extras such as party accessories, taxi fares, drinks, service charge and GST fees.

If you are planning travel between venues on the day, ensure you organise transport. In some countries, public transport can be problematic, hence the safest bet would be to book a taxi or minibus well in advance. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a taxi and then hailing 3 or 4 down later and getting lost. Try to keep the group together at all times.

One thing that’s becoming very popular with hens parties, are party favour bags or ‘goodie bags.’ It’s almost like you’re a little girl all over again.

Hens party favour bags | The Maharani Diaries

There’s something nostalgic and fun about receiving a gift for attending a party. Keep the items tasteful, but not tacky. Think of including items that all the girls could actually use on the night or the day after. It’s up to you as to how you would like customise them. One example could be to purchase medium sized pink gift bags, fill it up with pretty pink tissue paper and place a cute colour printed picture of the bride on each bag. Discount stores and Amazon are great for picking up little trinkets.

Inside the bag that I made for my sister-in law, I included a variety of different items such as a compact mirror, nail file, make up wipes, dental floss, hens party theme badge and an energy bar. If you like to add a bit of fun factor to the party, make the bride wear the obligatory hens party sash and giant party glasses. Later on as the festivities draw to a close, hand out ‘willy’ straws to every girl. A little ‘naughtyness’ is perfectly fine, so long as the bride isn’t put off by the antics.

Hens Party Planning | The Maharani Diaries

Many of the girls attending the hens party may not know the bride or groom very well. In this case, a great ice-breaker game to play is ‘The Newlywed Game’ which is a guessing game for the bride and also gets the rest of the guests talking. Before the party, ask the groom a series of questions about himself, the bride and their relationship. For example, “when and where was your first date?” Ask the bride to answer the questions and check if she is correct or not. There are numerous other hens party games you could play.

Hope these tips are useful to you. Remember, for more hens party inspiration visit our Pinterest board.

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that the bride must have fun and she should remember the day. Well…at least most of it!

In summary, here are a few tips for you to take away:

  • Consult the bride before any planning and if she gives you the go ahead, start planning away!
  • Do your research. Find out what’s hot and what’s not and know what the bride likes to do.
  • Jot down a few ideas and a rough schedule of events and run them past the guests.
  • Keep on top of emails. If it’s difficult to keep track, create a folder in your inbox relating to hens party correspondence.
  • Be realistic about events or activities. Don’t try to pack too much into the day.
  • Dress comfortably. This all depends with where you’re going, what the plans are and what the weather will be like.
  • Save everybody’s contact details. If need be, create a spreadsheet and print it out in case your mobile phone dies.
  • Devise a schedule and establish meeting points. This is useful for guests who are not attending all activities.
  • As far as payment is concerned, don’t settle for ‘I’ll pay you later.’ Ensure that you break down costs in your initial emails or messages.
  • Prepare some party bags and games, so that it makes for a great ice-breaker conversation between guests who have never met.

Remember that your party doesn’t have to be super expensive in order for people to have a good time.

Enjoy the day!

Have you ever had to organise a hens party? Did you do anything differently? Let us know how you went in the comments feed below.