I’m so pleased to be posting the first of a year long series of guest blogs from Sayjal Patidar, who is the Boston-based wedding planner and blogger behind Shaadi Bazaar. A self-professed wedding aficionado turned wedding professional, we had the pleasure of featuring Sayjal’s own wedding, which she planned to a tee for a mind-boggling 600 guests, in our 2014 issue of Southern New England Weddings. In addition to having a trove of advice for coordinating weddings amidst the busy hubbub of downtown Boston, Sayjal is the creator of New England’s first and only wedding resource dedicated to South Asian brides. As a leader in the South Asian wedding community, she is committed to helping brides plan their weddings, provide inspiration, and give brides a place to find their vendors. She’s also been a guest blogger on India New England, Lokvani and Boston South Asian, and we are so pleased to have her with us at Southern New England Weddings!
“You’ve spent hours looking at photographers’ blogs, Facebook pages, reading their reviews and even asking for references all before you even picked up the phone to call them. Once all of that research is done and you’ve had a glass of wine to relax, you’re probably looking at the next items on your to do list. Before you completely check off your photographer, don’t forget about creating a photo timeline. Creating a photography timeline can help you ensure that you will have all those sentimental photos long after the wedding. Trust us: on your wedding day, the last thing you want to do is be looking for a groomsman (because all your bridesmaids are going to be there on time) who overslept.
What photos do you want?
Think about what specific photos and mini photo shoots you want. Do you want a specific shot of your husband kissing your shoulder or throwing you over his shoulder? A shot of him with his hand on your face?
Next, answer the Who? & Where? We will get to the When later. The first part is the WHO?
Your Personal Portraits:
First look: Many brides are opting for this to save time after the ceremony and to make sure the photos are done when their makeup and hair is perfect! If not, when will you carve out time and where?
Reception: If you will be changing your clothes for the reception, consider setting aside some time right after you change (and before you get pulled away by all your guests) for some quiet photos with your husband. It would also be a great time to take a family photo with parents and siblings.
Bridesmaids & Groomsmen: Do you want to have some photos with your bridesmaids getting ready, or photos of you at a specific location? What about photos after the ceremony with the whole bridal party?
Your family: Do you want your soon-to-be husband in these photos? Your immediate family (parents & siblings), photos with your grandparents? Do you want photos of your parents and their siblings? Photos of you and your aunts and uncles? Photos with your cousins?
His family: Do you want to be in these photos? What photos does he want from the above list with his family?
Friends & Guests: Do you want to set aside time where people can come up and take photos with you and your husband? After the ceremony? At the reception?
Now that you have those names floating around in your head think about the WHERE?
If you are an Indian or Pakistani bride, you have the luxury of having different themes for your photos because of the multiple events and locations for your wedding. At your events, is there a park, an outside patio, a garden, a bakery (maybe you both love cupcakes), or a place that is sentimental to both of you nearby? [Ed. note: in a conversation on the phone, Sayjal told to me that she and her sister spent several weekend mornings leading up to the wedding walking around the sites that they were interested in to check out the light. Not a bad idea!]
Hope you had fun dreaming of your wedding day and all the gorgeous photos you will have!! Now the not so fun part: WHEN? In order to get all those fabulous photos in one or two days you need to stay organized. This is where you start your spreadsheet.
Talk to your hair and makeup team how much time they need. Factor that in, and then figure out your wake up time and when you will be ready to walk out that door on your wedding day! Do you have time to fit all those photos in? Many Indian brides are opting to split the groups of people up into different days, accomplishing all the photos they want systematically. For example, you can take all your photos with your extended family and friends at your mehndi and the reception and keep the wedding for your bridal party and immediate family. Include in the spreadsheet the names and cellphone numbers of the people involved in the photos, and be sure to share it and your list of desired shots with your photographer ahead of time. That way, on your wedding day you’ll have one less thing to worry about!”
-Sayjal Patidar, January 2014
Photo Credit: All photos by Symbol Photography.