Wedding at the Haveli

See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns
See you make your way through the crowd
And say hello
Little did I know?”

Little did Megha know that this is how she would meet the love of her life. As their fathers were friends, Megha and Harsh used to often see each other at social events and soon became fast friends. This friendship blossomed into love over time and they told their parents when they were ready to get married. Though there was initial reluctance from their parents, it was all okay in a short while and the marriage was fixed!

With both of them coming from Marwadi families, the wedding was bound to be a big fat Indian Wedding with multiple events at multiple venues. For all the events happening at home, Katha Weddings was chosen to do the décor and co-ordination. “Since they were the planners for other weddings in our family in the past, we knew Antara very well and were certain that only she could make our haveli look like a dulhan for my daughter’s wedding,” said Mahendra Pirgal, the father of the bride.

Simple, sober and elegant. This was the brief given by the bride. She did not want too many bright colours or shiny elements in the décor. She told Antara to make use of just 2-3 colours and keep the whole thing as minimalistic as possible.

With only one month to go, there was a lot of work to be done as the décor included a lot of detailing and it was a big wedding after all. Structures needed to be created. The pathway to the house, the two gates and the main entrance of the house were to be considered while the décor elements were being thought of.

The first pre-wedding function at the haveli was the Siddhi Chakr Pooja, which was held as an auspicious beginning and for positivity throughout the wedding. The colour theme was light pink, gold and orange. A truss structure was created to form a pathway and had panels that was wrapped with fabric and had minimal natural flowers on them. Inside the haveli, there were panels with rich fabric flowers that also acted as a backdrop. Everybody was very happy with the way the pooja went on and the atmosphere was very serene and pious.

The path bithai ritual also happened inside the haveli. Right after that, the wedding party shifted to the terrace of the haveli where the Bada geet and mehendi took place. Though the space was quite limited, Team Katha managed to maximize the space by putting up canopies and divan sets in order to ensure seating for everyone. They also made sure that there were separate areas for food, dancing and mehendi artists. There were beautiful stools placed in front of the mehendi artists so that people could rest their hands on them conveniently while getting their mehendi done. The bride was overjoyed when her entire family joined in the naach-gaana and were enjoying themselves thoroughly.

A Sufi night was held at Chancery Hotel which saw a family jugalbandi from both the bride and groom’s families. A huge baaraat at the Palace grounds was next. “I was standing on the stage waiting for the garland exchange to happen after the baaraat. But little did I know that Harsh had something special planned for me. It was a surprise dance proposal for me where he danced to songs like ‘Marry you’ and ‘Kukkad’. It was so unexpected! I was on cloud nine and couldn’t stop smiling. That was also the reason I didn’t get tired during the long reception that followed,” confesses the bride, Megha.

Megha and Harsh’s sangeet saw the couple enter on a Harley Davidson bike with four other bikes in tow. The families were introduced through the means of song, dance and nakhal. Drum jamming and live sand painting that happened on stage, left everyone speechless. The night ended with a DJ and lots of dancing.

Back at the Haveli, team Katha was burning the midnight oil and worked till 2 am in the night to get things ready for the pheras in the morning. Right from the name board outside that was carved with lotuses, to the mandap inside, everything was lotus themed. This included the giveaways which were glass figurines of the Dal Lake’s lotus.

The pathway that lead to the haveli was covered with panels on one side. They were then decorated using red fabric which had lazer cut motifs stuck to it. The rest of the décor of the pathway was traditional and quirky at the same time. Red and gold fabric, garlands of shravanti and roses, chandeliers made of Rajnigandha flowers were contrasted with leaf parrots that were hung from them. There was also a photo booth with Royal chairs, where the guests had fun clicking pictures and felt like Royals themselves. 

Inside the haveli, the wedding took place in the big hall but it was still a challenge to accommodate 150 guests. Anatara made sure that all the guests would be comfortably seated and happy on Tiffany chairs. Two slots of amphitheater type seating were also created for additional seating due to the lack of space.

A stage was set up and covered with flex that had the haveli’s mosaic floor design on it. A small, flower shaped name board was also put up right in front. The rich velvet red backdrop had a metal tree shaped structure that was covered with white shravanti flowers.  

But the showstopper was the lotus shaped flower arrangement that hung from the ceiling, under which the couple got married. The outer circle was covered by white shravanti and the inner circle consisted of bunches of garlands of white shravanti that hung along with lotus buds. Hanging such a huge arrangement of flowers without the help of pillars or any kind of structure overhead was quite a challenge. But in the end, it turned out to be exactly what Mahendra Pirgal had dreamt for his daughter’s wedding. It was quite the spectacle!

After the traditional pheras, the guests moved to the terrace for a sit down lunch. Red and gold canopies were set up with custom-made divan mattresses as seating. Square wooden boxes were kept on them so that one person could sit on each side of the box and eat from the huge silver thalis that were kept in the middle. The traditional marwadi meal left the guests with their bellies full and heart content.

For the teary eyed bidaai that followed, the bride was carried in a doli, lifted by her brothers till a temple near the Haveli. The procession was led by a Kathak dancer and a dance group, which was significant to the bride, as Megha was a Kathak dancer herself. The bidaai doli was also accompanied by four dhol walas, a totari, a royal guard and a kacchi ghodi. After getting the Lord’s blessing at the temple, the bride and groom left in a vintage car but the procession continued till the groom’s house.

At Harsh’s place, the bride was welcomed with lots of fervor. She entered on a carpet of red fabric with rose petals and was greeted with confetti blasts of rose petals. The entire house was also decorated with red fabric, red roses and peacock feathers. 

“Though it was hectic, when I think back about my wedding, I feel nothing but joy and contentment. The best part was having the pheras at home traditionally, with the Haveli also bedecked like a bride, just like my father wanted it to be. This wouldn’t have been possible without Team Katha and Antara. We love her work and her dedication. She managed to deliver more than she promised without a single complaint! We did not have to worry about anything and the entire wedding ended up being a session of non-stop dance and masti for me!” exclaims the happy bride, Megha.

“This was one of the best weddings that we have done so far. It was not only challenging, but a lot of fun too. Mahendra Uncle and Kushali, the sister of the bride, were extremely hospitable and took care of our team the entire time that we were working in the Haveli,” concludes Antara.

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