The Step 0 of the marriage process is finding the girl of your choice and both of you agreeing to spend the life together. Step 0.1 of the process is getting the agreement of the parents on both the sides.
Step 1 - Printing the invitation card
I got my wedding invitation card printed in Bangalore. In Bangalore, the printing is a 2 step process. First, you have to pick up the card. Then you have to give this card to an offset printer who will do the actual printing. The best place for finding the cards and the printer in Bangalore is the Veerapillai Street, Shivaji Nagar.
The printer usually expects you to bring along the text that you want printed on the card. You have to sit down with the designer who will typeset your wedding card. This entails choosing the fonts, the colors and most importantly making sure that there are no typos in the design.
The printer usually takes one day for completing the job. Choosing the card and giving the job to the printer can be done on the same day, provided you start out in the morning and carry the text of the marriage card along with you.
Step 2 - Mailing the invitation card
I had to speedpost my marriage invites. I would suggest going to a big postoffice for the speedpost, as those people are accustomed to dealing with large amount of mails.
Step 3 - Finding a place to stay in Delhi (the venue of my marriage)
I stayed in the Paharganj section of New Delhi. This place is littered with cheap hotels and there is a Delhi Metro Station close to the place.
I walked around for an hour, inquiring at all the hotels before making my choice. As I had to host a few of my relatives at the hotel, it was important for me to get a good price.
It is easy to bargain for a good price for a room. You can get better rates if you are willing to pay with cash and forego taking a receipt for the transaction.
Step 4 - Buying the clothes for the wedding and reception
The venus for my marriage was Delhi and I had planned to buy my clothes (or costumes ) from Delhi itself. There are 2 places for the unique clothes required for the wedding - Karolbagh and Chandni Chowk. Both these places are easily accessible via the Delhi Metro.
For my wedding, my wife had decided that I would be wearing a Sherwani and for my reception, I would be wearing a suit (with a tie!!).
I bought the cloth for my suit from Chandni Chowk and got it stiched from Mohan Singh Place (Connought Place). Generally speaking, I found the Chandani Chowk to be cheaper than the shops in Karolbagh.
Step 5 - Buying other gizmos for the wedding
The other requirements for the wedding are available from the Karolbagh and Chandni Chowk markets.
Step 6 - The actual wedding
Be prepared for delays and short tempers. Some of the things will go wrong. Keeping a cool head will help. You will be photographed mercilessely. Be prepared to have stiff facial muscles after the amount of smiling you have to do.
It will help if you keep some cash (something like 4 - 5 thousand rupees) around yourself during the wedding. You will be required to pay money to your wife's sisters to recover your stolen shoes and to your own sister for various ceremonies.
Step 7 - The actual reception
In my case, the reception was in the evening itself. Again, you will be photographed mercilessly.
Step 8 - Bringing the bride to your home
You will require a specially decorated car for this ceremony (the vidai ceremony). I had to rent a car for this. It is best to inquire far and wide before renting the car. The prices vary a lot. To give you an example, the first guy I checked with wanted 5100 Rupees and the guy I finally hired the car from asked for 2100 Rupees. After getting a car, you need to find a florist and get the car decorated. Again, the prices vary and it is best to inquire at multiple places before making your choice. Also, note that for renting a car and finding a florist, the principle "you get what you pay" does not apply.
Step 9 - Zzzzz
Inspite of all the raunchy stories you might have heard about the first night, the only thing you would like to do is to get some sleep without anyone hassling you.
Step 10 - Honeymoon
Plan and execute your honeymoon. Try to book flight tickets beforehand. This will be the topic of the next blog post.