UNDER THE BANYAN TREE

Classmate, friend, boyfriend, fiancé and finally, husband. That is the natural progression of a college romance.


But Rakshita and Siddarth’s relationship is not so ordinary. Right from Siddarth admitting that he would like to be Rakshita’s boyfriend over a hypothetical conversation about stalkers, to their wedding ceremony, where they were questioning the Pandit about the sexist rituals and laughing constantly, you can say that their relationship seems to be a rather fun one.




So after six years of dating, when Siddarth proposed with candles and a path of rose petals, all Rakshitha wanted was a simple wedding where they could be themselves and have a lot of fun. But since they are both based in the US, planning a wedding in Bangalore by themselves with just a few months in hand, seemed almost impossible. So the task of wedding planning was graciously taken up by the bride’s sister, Nischita.



A stone temple on top of a hill was the venue that the bride wanted for her wedding. When such a place wasn’t available on such short notice, Nischita started looking at other venues. She also started meeting with various wedding planners, discussing the décor and how they could help her transform the place. Katha weddings was finally chosen as they had some great ideas that were in sync with Nischita’s vision for the wedding and also because she felt that Antara was the wedding planner who seemed like the best fit due to the good rapport that the two shared.


“Being an architect, I tend to be picky, choosy and want things done in a certain way. This probably restricted Antara’s freedom as a wedding planner, but she was very accepting of my ideas. Natural looking décor which would blend into the beautiful venue without anything sticking out or looking “plasticy”, was what I had in mind. But I was quite apprehensive of how it would all turn out. I was assured that it would all look great after seeing a few pictures of previous events by Katha weddings as I realized that they add a touch of elegance to it all,” admits Nischita.
With Nischita taking the entire responsibility of the wedding, a lot of people were doubtful if she could actually pull it off. But with Antara and team Katha by her side, she proved everybody wrong by ensuring that the three-day wedding was planned to perfection.
Before the madness of the wedding began, the bride went in for her makeup trial with their family friend, who they had hired as a makeup artist. “After she was done, I was horrified to look at myself! She had made me look like a Yakshagana character by caking on lots of unnecessary products. That’s when I decided to do my own makeup for my wedding,” states Rakshita.
When the makeup artist was informed of this, and told that she was wanted only for hairstyling and saree draping, she backed out. And with only three days to go for the wedding, the sisters didn’t know what to do! But luckily, Katha weddings never disappoints a bride. Antara managed to book another artist, who was willing to do only hair and saree draping, just as the bride wanted!
The wedding festivities took off with the mehendi function at the bride’s house. The décor for the evening followed a theme of purple and white, with colorful fabrics draped artfully and illuminated by lights everywhere. The string of crystals, when they caught the light, glistened magically, making everything seem perfect! There was also a sentimental value attached to this event because it was held in the gazebo that Rakshita and Nischita’s late father had built on their terrace that made it all the more special.
Surrounded by her friends and family, the mehendi was an intimate affair. “As I was meeting some of my old friends after a long time that day, I was excited and kept talking. I must have annoyed the mehendi artist when I kept moving. Poor lady. But she still managed to do a good job,” the bride recalls with a laugh.


Team Katha had already begun decorating the wedding venue, Fireflies, an Earth Spirituality Ashram on the outskirts of Bangalore and the wedding party arrived the next day for the haldi ceremony. The unique sign boards that were placed all along the way were personalized caricatures of the adorable couple. The delightful couple’s cute love story was showcased by the various selfies and pictures, taken over the years, which adorned the entire place.



The décor for the evening that constituted colorful fabrics and lots of fairy lights, looked like a colorful Ferris wheel adding to the luminescence of the night sky! The delicately hung tea light candles and flowers accentuated the ambience.
But due to the stress of the wedding, the bride’s family had forgotten to get the rice required for one of the rituals, but a wedding planner is always there to save the day! “Given that the venue was located in the middle of nowhere and accessibility was a huge issue, when Antara went beyond what was expected of her and managed to get the rice on time, it was a huge relief for us,” reveals Nischita.
All the relatives took part in the traditional ceremony of applying turmeric paste to the bride and groom. With soft instrumental music playing in the background, the bride and her niece, looked radiant! Both of them were dressed like Shakuntala and the floral jewelry that they wore was the highlight of the evening. “One of the songs that was playing, ‘Dil Hai Chotta Sa’, happened to be the bride’s favorite and she was in tears when she heard the beautiful instrumental,” Antara, the wedding planner, says gleefully.
Later that evening, chaos ensued when some of the guests decided to stay back at the venue. “It was very frustrating as we did not have extra rooms available for them. The sleeping arrangements had to be revised in order to make place for everyone and that was very stressful. But Antara made it easy for me by handling it all and I could sleep in peace, knowing that things are in good hands,” explains Nischita.
On the glorious morning of Rakshita and Siddarth’s wedding, happiness was in the air! The sounds of typical wedding chatter, coupled with that of laughter, filled the place and made it feel extremely festive. The décor was very natural and traditional, with an orange and yellow color theme. Strings of marigold were tastefully hung, making the place look very vibrant. Other decorations like the golden bells and artful coconut shells with flowers in them, gave an old world feel to this wedding.
Everybody was sitting comfortably on the gaddis that were placed on the steps of the amphitheater and enjoying themselves while they watched the ceremony. In between the gaddis, beautiful designs were made with the help of flower petals with urlis adorning each of them. The ceremony took place right in the middle, under a huge Banyan tree with an elegant flowery backdrop. This also happened to be the design on their unique, laser cut wedding invite which was specially designed by Amrita of Katha Weddings. The happy couple then had a reception which was the last event of their wedding celebrations.
“Looking back, I can only remember all the excitement and laughter during the wedding and how much I enjoyed it all. If I was asked to plan my dream wedding, it would probably turn out the same way. Our wedding was indeed, perfect!” exclaims Rakshita, the bride, without a doubt.
While the bride and groom had their fun-filled wedding without any stress, Nischitha was the one who dealt with it all. “Choosing Katha weddings as the wedding planners for my sister’s wedding was the best decision I made. They were committed to their work and always ready to do anything to ensure that the wedding was nothing less than the fairytale that Rakshita and Siddarth deserved! I am supremely impressed and satisfied with their services. But most importantly, I gained a real friend in the process and I can honestly say that Antara’s company was the best part of the whole wedding!” Nischita declares.


PHOTO CREDITS: COFFEE STAINS / AMRITA BORAH NAIR

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