Inderpal & Amanpreet's Wedding in Bangkok, Thailand
From a 5 and a half year long distance relationship to tying the knot in a traditional yet fun Sikh ceremony in Bangkok, Inderpal & Amanpreet have come a long way!
How we met:
Inderpal is from Gaborone, Botswana, and I am from Bangkok, Thailand. I met his elder brother through mutual friends in Australia, where we were all studying. When his elder brother visited all of us in Bangkok, he dragged his younger brother along and voila, we clicked, and our 5.5 year long-distance relationship across continents began.
The wedding festivities were to take place in Bangkok, so the majority of the planning process fell onto my family, as Bangkok is our hometown. I think the process went by extremely smoothly. We delegated duties to various family members, and I was always, always, always thinking about cost and the easiest way forward, mainly because wedding festivities can be as dramatic and as subdued as you desire. I prioritized what I wanted to spend on, and balanced these wishes with those of our families, letting go when I had to. I tried to go local where I could with vendors, as they are quite familiar with Sikh weddings, can navigate around Bangkok easily, and are way less costly (no hassle of flights and accommodation).
My siblings and brother-in-law were especially helpful during the festivities.
Many brides-to-be stop working a few months or few weeks before their wedding, giving them time to devote themselves to the wedding planning process and their new transition. I worked full-time until four days before the first festivity; my pre-wedding shoot was the day after my last day of work, and I was moving to Botswana shortly after the wedding!
Feelings on the Big Day:
I was very relaxed before the Pheras. I can eat anything for breakfast, and true to form, ate biryani while getting my make-up and hair done. Surprisingly, I did not cry at all. I was just so happy to marry Inderpal. Once we got back to get ready for the Doli Dinner though, I realized that I was getting ready alone. My sisters and mother weren’t with me, and I felt terrible, so my husband ordered my favorite Thai food for me to try to make me feel better. My make-up artist and hair stylist said that they have never met a bride who eats so much during the festivities.
Inderpal, on the other hand, was nervous. People kept giving him conflicting advice on leading us around our Guru for the Pheras. I think he was happy afterit was over! It’s easier for the groom!
We went to Delhi for wedding shopping. The designers in each store happened to be there and were so accommodating in adapting their clothes to my needs, vision, and budget. If they weren’t there, I don’t think I would have gotten what I wanted and for the price I wanted it for.
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
I wanted my clothes to be custom-made and exclusive, but focused on getting these from upcoming designers, rather than the big names in bridal fashion. I was very pleased with each outfit. For example, I was adamant that I wanted an elegant and not too heavy anarkali with a specific length for the Pheras, as I wanted to be able to walk and sit with ease.
Wecome dinner on cruise:
Indo-western crop top pink and purple ombre shimmery gown from Maisha.
Mehndi at home:
Indo-western beige lehenga with gold threadwork from Parul Goel.
Pheras in Gurudwara:
Tomato red anarkali with gold sequins and red threadwork from Astha Narang.
Doli Dinner in Radisson Suites:
Gold and red lehenga with rose motif work from Expressionist by Jaspreet.
Reception in Plaza Athenee:
Magenta lehenga with contrasting gray dupatta with playful fine work all over from Sulakshna Monga
We didn’t have any themes, and just focused on personal preference and practicality. For example, the décor at the Maiyan function is according to my father-in-law’s taste and the décor at my house is according to my mother. For the Reception, I knew I wanted sunset colors to create a bright and popping décor, as it was the biggest function, and not to forget, my first party as a Sidhu.
Regarding clothes, I just knew I wanted to wear a light color and a Western outfit for the Welcome Dinner (more practical because the top-deck of the boat is not air-conditioned), traditional red anarkali during the Pheras, and an equally bright color for the Reception. I hardly ever wear make-up, so I really wanted to pop during the Pheras and Reception. Inderpal chose his clothes based on his own taste, and matched me where he could.
- All foreign guests stayed at Radisson Suites, Bangkok. The groom’s family insisted that there should be excellent Indian food available for all the guests every day. It was a no-brainer with Punjab Grill in the hotel. Radisson Suites is located in the center of the city, is a short walk from the skytrain, subway, restaurants, sky bars, etc. Not to mention, Radisson Suites has excellent service and spacious rooms.
- Chao Phraya Princess 5 – it is the largest boat available that comfortably fit all the guests. They came with their own entertainment—Chinese singers that sung Hindi songs. We hired a DJ for the top-deck for the younger crowd. We used Bangkok as our backdrop and décor. For example, we passed the Grand Palace, which is lit up at night.
- For the Maiyan, we chose Radisson Suites Conference center, as it was easy to access for the foreign guests and fit the function perfectly.
- My Mehndi was at my residence, as I had insisted I wanted a intimate and cosy function.
- The Pheras had to be in the Gurudwara that my parents got married in (well, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Phahurat is also the only Gurudwara in Bangkok).
- Doli was from the Gurudwara because it was just easier logistically and helped cut the emotion in half.
- The Doli Dinner was at Punjab Grill in Radisson Suites. The buffet there is excellent; it was where I was staying that night so it was easy for me and all the foreign guests (groom’s side). An intimate and convenient location, the décor there was beautiful on its own, so we didn’t need to add much to it. We only did because that is where most guests were having breakfast every day.
- The Reception was held at Plaza Athenee, a big hall that fits 1000 people, with excellent food, good benefits offered for a mini-moon; I was adamant on a hotel in the city and not by the riverside because of logistics.
Performers and Performances:
There were various performances by our family and friends.
Inderpal and I, along with our siblings, had an entrance where we danced to the chorus of ‘White Walls’ (we choreographed the steps ourselves).
A lady named Summi, along with her team, coordinated the festivities, i.e. spoke to transport, distributed wedding favors, etc.
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist, bartenders and DJ:
We decided to go with a coordinator and florist to help us organize all the events, except the Reception where we decided to go with Élan Events By Nipunika. We did not even speak to anyone else to organize the Reception. They were responsible for the stunning décor and smooth-running of the event from start to finish.
Advice for to-be-weds:
I enjoyed my wedding to the fullest—it was really the best time of my life. The groom and I ate what we wanted, dressed the way we wanted, and therefore felt comfortable and confident throughout. This allowed us to absorb every moment completely.
Photographer/Videographer: Fotozeed India
Wedding Planner: Élan Events By Nipunika for the Reception
Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist: Welcome Dinner – Makeovers by Sejal; Hair by Jinny Pinjai | Mehndi – Cosine Vincent; Hair by Kim | Pheras, Doli Dinner and Reception – Simran Takkar; Hair stylist: Sawitree
Henna Artist: Hema
DJ: Singh Lights & Sound for Welcome Dinner Cruise; DJ Ashwani Pawa for Reception
MC: KP Sandhu for Reception
Dholplayer: Dholtronics (Paul)
Lights & Sound: Singh Lights & Sound
Bartender: Flaming Trio for the Reception
Venues: Welcome Dinner – Chaophraya Princess 5 (river cruise) | Maiyan – Radisson Suites Bangkok | Mehndi – Bride’s residence | Pheras – Gurudwara (Darbar Hall) | Doli Dinner – Punjab Grill, Radisson Suites Bangkok | Reception – Plaza Athenee Hotel Bangkok