It's here -- the big day you've probably been waiting for your whole life. Or one that your Significant Other sprung on you with a solitaire in your soup. However you see it, you know you want everything to run smoother than the icing on your three-tier wedding cake.
That's why we're going to discuss the elements that come together to make your big wedding day special.
No matter what religion and cultural traditions you follow, this is the actual reason you've all come together, in celebratory mode. Details are specific to your priest, pandit, community and family, but here's our general advice on how to best approach the big event.
The officiating priest
Family or older relatives from either the bride's or groom's side usually take care of finding the priest. Choose someone who's been officiating at all your family ceremonies for decades; or if not, a pandit who'll explain the rites in layman's language as he goes along. Availability is also an important factor, as the priest of your choice should be able to work on one of the auspicious days you've chosen. Going by all the brides we spoke to, this decision is a matter of custom, comfort levels or convenience. One couple, Neha and Gaurave from New Delhi, chose to be married by the bride's family pandit, while another bride, Shikha, let her groom's family in Delhi make arrangements (two officiating priests), as her folks were coming in from Lucknow and wouldn't have known whom to call in.
Photograph: Reuters/Cornelius Poppe/Pool
Excerpted from Wedding Belles: How to make your dream wedding come true by ConnectedWeddings.com published by Random House India, 2008, Rs 595.
Interested in purchasing a copy of this book? Click here.
Also see: Countdown to your wedding: The to-do list