New Concepts : A Must In Event Management

 

Event Management is a profession where one needs to look for constant innovation and new ideas. Every client wants his / her event to be unique and different. The guests should long remember the event and appreciate the host for making it a wonderful experience. As event planners the onus of responsibility falls on us to not only execute the client’s ideas ut to also come up with new concepts and create a flutter.

As wedding planners this becomes even more challenging because any new ideas that you bring in is considered ‘NEW” only as long as your event. The concept is immediately copied and reproduced by others in the next wedding. So one has to really be quick to innovate and implement ideas and make a mark in this event management industry.

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The latest concept to catch every one’s fancy is the Cold Pyro Crackers. These give the effect of crackers – as in like electric sparklers or the Flower Pots that we generally ignite during festive seasons. They emit less smoke and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. They can be used in any quantity and give a beautiful effect when aglow.

As event managers we are often asked to used them in weddings to give a special entry to the bride or groom or both sometimes like in wedding receptions. Expert technicians are called to handle the same. These pyro crackers are usually placed on either side of the aisle as the couple walk down or on the stage.

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On the stage these can be placed in front of the stage or above as the requirement dictates. An idea of how it works can be seen in the video posted above. As wedding planners we take all necessary precautions and educate our clients on what it involves.

As responsible event planners we do a thorough study of the premises and suggest suitable areas where these can be used. The final output is something that every client loves and gives a beautiful start to the event.

In corporate events we do this on a large scale in a much more grand fashion.

 

Event Planning : SANGEET

As Event Managers we are sought after more for planning and executing pre wedding events than the main event itself – The Wedding. This is because most clients know that in terms of a wedding they have to go by the traditional format with no scope for innovation or creativity. They need to conform to set traditions and rituals and any attempts to veer away only leads to misunderstandings with elders.
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As wedding planners we are asked to put together a unique event as part of the pre wedding celebrations that is to be more on the informal lines with a lot of participation from the audience.

Celebrating pre wedding events like Mehndi and Sangeet on a large and grand scale has  become a fashion currently. These events are more  an ice breaker types where relatives and friends from both sides meet, interact and get to know each other.

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Pre- wedding Sangeet involves a great deal of music, dance and lot of fun in general. It is more as an occasion to celebrate the upcoming wedding by both families pitching in to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

The atmosphere is light and jovial. The spirit of the occasion catches every one’s mood and there is fun and frolic all around. It is an occasion to destress from all the tension of running around and getting all things set for the wedding. Also in some cases relatives arrive a day or two earlier and the hosts prefer to keep them all entertained at a single venue.

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Candid wedding photographers  never had it so good in terms of facing amazing challenges as far as these pre wedding events are concerned. For one youngsters these days expect a lot and the couple want their event to be extremely unique and not run of the mill types. So they keep looking for means to make it different be it in terms of themes,venue or even food. As event management service providers we ensue we give them innovative ideas after understanding their requirement and taste.
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If the couple are a fun loving type with a huge gang of friends then they normally opt for a dance floor and a DJ to take things forward. We also arrange for dances to be choreographed for the relatives and friends who want to throw surprises for the couple.

If the Sangeeth is more of family with a shy couple to boot then a lively MC who can draw people out of their shells and create an atmosphere of ease and comfort is our connecting point

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When everyone involved is the fun loving types we have specially created photo booths with a lot of attractive props that really give way for hilarious moments. Everyone wants to be photographed in the most weird manner and there is non stop riot of laughter around.
Pre wedding events like Sangeet are enjoyed in a relaxed manner and hence help us in creating a rapport with the family. They are happy to see the start to the wedding celebrations taking off on a nice note and feel confident about our arrangements.
Venue and decor are suggested keeping in mind the clients budget and the estimated crowd. As event planners we also realize the importance of  food and look to give the perfect menu that everyone enjoys.
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With a lot of events to follow, we as wedding planners also need to keep a watch on the type of food to be served since it should not be too spicy and harsh on the stomach. Every one’s health is of prime importance to  us.
At every stage we as event managers have detailed discussion with the clients and take their approval.
If traditional food is going to be the main attraction at the wedding we plan for light snack and chaat varieties that is h generally liked by most people.
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 Entertainment and music are the highlights at the Sangeet and Mehndi parties. The success of these events sets the tone for a perfect wedding and generally what follows is a highly successful event with a very satisfied client thanking us for a job well done.

Can Events at Home Be Done In A Novel Way ?

Event planning or Wedding Planning is all about sensible planning. There is a misconception that any event – whether it is a pre wedding sangeet or post wedding thanksgiving party – must be done at a designated venue like a hotel or banquet hall to get the desired effect and grandeur.
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We have clients telling us about having budget constraints to hold a sangeet or Mehndi function in a hotel and are clueless about handling the situation. As event managers we reassure them that there is no need to be apologetic about having a function at home within a limited space. It s all about how we shape the event within limited means and space that matters.
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For example if there is an independent house with some compound space then we suggest putting up a shamiana and hold the function outside. If it is a flat then it is bound to have a terrace. With prior permission from fellow occupants a  beautiful party can be arranged at any time there
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As event planners we look to manage contingencies too. In case of hot weather then fans or air coolers solve the issue. In case it rains and the event cannot be held outdoors, then we have to come up  with a plan to do it within the house.

Event management is all about managing resources effectively.  If some budget can be spared for decor then we suggest decorating the terrace or house with real flower bouquets. Else artificial flowers are always there. We also use drapes that can really enhance the ambiance.We can rearrange the furniture in the house to give a spacious look.

Again with what is available in the house in terms of props and vantage points we try to do our decor with those points. Simple and elegant decor can make the place stand out. Use of simple props like huge frames hung from the ceiling beautiful decorated really add color and brightens up the place.
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Innovative lighting inside the house like using tiny serial lights in empty  glass bottles can pep up the atmosphere amazingly. Lighting up of candles in glass bowls filled with water and sprinkled with petals can make a place look very attractive

A good music system and well edited songs of your choice is all that is needed to create the perfect atmosphere.

 

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Food is a very  important part of Event planning. If there is space constraints then planning a menu where people can serve themselves like chaat varieties, juices and beverages and ice cream cups stored in temporary freezers, salads and fruits can make way for innovative food spread.
As event managers we see to it that as afar as possible disposables are used. otherwise it is a cumbersome task to provide for cutlery and other containers. Avoid food that are messy and take a long time to prepare.
As wedding planners we have experience to transform any pace into a beautiful  venue for an events. Given the freedom and cooperation that we need the client can be rest assured that the best Event Management team is at work and look forward to a great event.

EVENT MANAGEMENT – A Creative Art

Event management is one profession that is in great demand now. In general people tend to think that wedding planning or event planning is easy money.  All it takes is to get a client, google out all their requirements, put it together, make some quick profit and that’s it.

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Well event management is not just that. If event managers had to do only that then no one would need them at all. Of course, there are clients with time constraints or physical constraints who require an event manager to put things together no matter how simple the task is or how much ever they are charged for it.

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The real challenge in event management is getting to balance between the budget and the client’s requirement.

For these two elements are always poles apart in almost every event and it takes a lot of tact and practical knowledge to work out means to give the best within the specified amount. Every client has a budget. And expects the world of services out of it. As event managers, it is our duty to make them feel that the best is being provided to them within their means.

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In event management one has no right to question or pass judgement on the budget of the client. Every client has a constraint. Instead it will help to make them understand the assorted options they can go far and replace the more expensive options. This can happen only if the event planner is well versed in the market scenario of what is available where and the pricing.

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The challenge lies in making available the best within a budget. This requires fresh and innovative thinking on the part of the wedding planner. Providing elegant and beautiful options is that which makes the job of an event manager an art.

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If one kind of decor is expensive then the event planner has to look at using different flowers or drapes and bring in the lighting to give a great effect.

 

Likewise, if vegetables are seasonal then the menu options should have suitable dishes to make the menu interesting and tasty to the guest.

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Likewise, in every aspect of event planning modifications can be made to bring our brilliant creations. All it requires is the passion and sincerity on the part of the event planner to make the event special and exclusive.

There is no fun in being given a big budget and getting things done in that. The real test in event management  lies in doing a great job within a limited budget.

 

 

Perks of EVENT MANAGEMENT as a profession

Event Management is one profession that introduces you to multitude of traditions, cultures, practices and rituals panning several religions and communities. Every event is different. There are no two similar weddings or birthdays.

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As event planners we are exposed to not only new people but find it a learning experience each time helping us to widen our knowledge about things around us.

Sandiya Weds Sathishkumar-1095It leaves one with a sense of pride and humility at the same time.  Pride when you realize what a rich tradition lies behind our Indian Culture .
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Humility when you realize  we are yet to gather knowledge about these diverse traditions fully and are dealing with or executing a minuscule part of it.
That is why as wedding planners we are ready to accept any challenge thrown at us in terms of wedding planning and event management.
At times we hardly have time to organize for the most strange requirements of the client. When we finally manage to source it the sense of satisfaction and happiness is immense.
Most of the props seen here have been passed down the generations and hold a lot of antique value attached to them.
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 As event managers the challenge is more when we have multicultural weddings. There is a need to balance between two different sets of rituals in order to have the event conducted smoothly. Therefore a lot of research and discussion between the clients and the purohits is necessary.
All the  necessary items have to be supplied at the appropriate time and as wedding planners are in a state of full preparedness to bring the event to a great conclusion.
Be it the type of people we meet or the rituals we come in touch with or the different venues we are exposed to – nothing can compensate this rich experience we receive as event managers.

Wedding Planning : Importance of Muhurtham

As wedding planners we are often given the task of fixing auspicious dates and time for the conduct of a wedding or event. Every individual looks forward to the successful completion of any happy occasion/ task undertaken minus the presence of untoward incidents and negative energy.

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Muhurtham refers to an unit of measurement of time that is preferred to perform/ start an important event / action in life.  Muhurtham is the auspicious time in a day that helps to harmonize your energies with those in nature increasing your percentage of success in the venture undertaken. This time is calculated based on the planetary positions in relation to one’s horoscope. A Muhurtham is said to comprise of 2 Ghadiyas or 48 minutes approximately. 

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The effect of  radiation on all terrestrial phenomena is an accepted scientific fact.That this was discovered by our ancestors long ago is testimony enough of their superior intelligence. We all know that the gravitational forces  between the planets in the solar system have a certain influence on the living & non – living things on earth.

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Low tides & high tides are due to the influence of the waning and waxing of the Moon. It is a well known fact that the Sun’s rays has a certain effect on the biological process and the moon plays an important role in our psychological activities. So when the auspicious time is arrived at, it is believed that the positive energy prevailing at that time is ideal in contributing to the success of the task on hand.

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In fact this is the reason why our elders insist on rising early in the morning – to reap the benefits of the Brahma Muhurtham which is the early hours of the sun rise when the rays radiated by the sun is said to possess special  qualities that activate the brain cells and help in increasing the positive energy in us to perform better. The electric and magnetic energy in the body when activated at this time provides you with extra powers of discerning, grasping and clarity of thought.

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A lot of thought goes into the fixing of the Muhurtham for a wedding keeping in mind five important aspects –  the Vara [ week day ],Thithi [ lunar day ],Nakshatram [ Stars], Yogam  & Karana. Hindus are more likely to stress on this factor than non – hindus. Although the traditions and rituals are aplenty and varied when you take the various Hindu communities, the underlying factor is that they stick to a particular time slot as the auspicious time.

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While the initial proceedings and rituals related to a wedding usually begin at any time other than ‘Raahu Kaalam’ or ‘Yama Kandam” the more important aspects of a traditional wedding are performed during the Muhurtham time only.

As event managers we ensure the smooth functioning of all aspects to have the successful completion of wedding rituals within the said time.

SASHTIABDHAPOORTHI

As Event Managers people tend to think that only weddings have a great amount of work involved for us. That is not so. Every event has to  be planned with a difference. As event planners that is what is foremost in our mind when we take up an assignment.

As wedding planners we go by the traditions followed by the respective families of the bride and groom. Same applies to life events like Sashtiabdhapoorthi. Each coupe involved in the celebrations has a different idea about going about the rituals.

While some like to make it a socio – religious event, some others prefer to have exclusively as a religious function at a  temple  with just the close family members.

Either way it is an event that requires a lot of planning by us in coordination with the client as it involves elaborate rituals.

Shashtiabdhapoorthi is a Sanskrit word {Shashti = 60; Abdha = Years; Poorthi = Completion} that signifies the completion of 60 years in a person’s life.

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Although it has taken up the connotation of a socio – religious ceremony in recent times, the term as such has deep significance.

According to the Vedas the life span of a man is supposed to be 120 years and completion of 60 years is considered a milestone – completing 50% of his lifetime.

The Hindu calendar also follows the 60 year cycle [ Interestingly the Chinese Calendar too has the 60 year cycle] So on this day all celestial bodies are said to be in alignment just the way they were at the time of the person’s birth.

The rituals undertaken at this time is said to rejuvenate and bring good health and happiness to the couple celebrating the occasion.

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Elaborate homams are performed at the end of which the couple reaffirms their marriage wows with the re-enactment of the wedding rituals especially the Maangalya Dhaaranam.

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The general itinerary begins with the Ganapathi Homam, followed by the Sankalpam, Nandhee Shradham [invoking the blessings of the ancestors] punyaham, Mangalasnaanam and Mangalya dhaaranam.

An important aspect of the proceedings is the Kalasa Sthaapanam. The number of Kalasaas used can vary from 60, 33 or 12.Various Vedic mantras are chanted a particular number of times and the water in the Kalasaas are thus charged with positive energy.

The water from these kalasas are then poured on the couple during the Mangala Snaanam and it is said to energize and endow the couple with good health hence.

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Various homams like the Ayush Homam, Navagraha Homam, Dhanvantrii Homam, Maha Mrithyunjaya Homam and Jayaathi Homam are performed. All these are performed to bless the couple with good health, longevity & prosperity.

No ceremony of this nature is complete without the ‘Dhaanams’.

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10 types of Dhaanam or offerings are given away by the couple to be blessed with happiness and prosperity. This is known as Dasa Dhaanam. Dasa = Ten.

  1. Cow or ‘Gho’ Dhaanam: Cow is scared to the Hindus and Gho Dhaanam is said to bring about peace and good fortune. Nowadays in lieu of it, Gho Mooplya [price of the cow] or even Coconut can be offered to get the same effect.
  2. Gold or Hiranya Dhaanam is supposed to free the giver from all sins.
  3. Bhoo Dhaanam or Offering Land: This is now completed with the offering of a sandal wood log in lieu of land.
  4. Vasthra Dhaanam or Cloth offerings
  5. Jaggery is offered as Dhaanam to appease Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity
  6. Salt is offered in charity to appease Lord Rudra for good Health
  7. Food Grains are offered as Dhaanam
  8. Silver is offered in charity to please our ‘pithrus’ or ancestors and Lord Vishnu as well.
  9. Ghee Dhaanam is given in a bronze vessel and is said to purify and free the soul. Offering Ghee is said to please all Devathas.
  10. Sesame is offered in an iron or copper vessel. It helps the giver to wash away all his sins and enjoy a renewed life.

Besides these the Pancha or Five Dhaanams are also offered by many.

These Include:

A religious book

Vasthram or clothes

Deepam.

Udhaka Kumbam [water taken in a brass or copper vessel]

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Finally the Phala dhaanam and the Bhoori Dhakshina are done to seek the blessings of all the scholars present and participating there.

It ends with the Maha Aashirwaadham.

As you can see the poojas are held on two different days and as event planners we normally recommend the first day’s poojas to be performed amidst close family at home. Day 2 is made elaborate due to the presence of extended family and relatives who look forward to the chance of blessing and being blessed by the couple.

How to choose your Wedding Planner?

Wedding planning is an elaborate affair considering the types of weddings we have in India panning over all regions, religions, communities and languages.A wedding in the family is an exciting event for all since it involves putting together a number of elements to the satisfaction of all to a fixed budget. 
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For those without a budget constraint planning a wedding may not be difficult since it is  a matter of bringing together the best of things and getting it to a shape. With choices galore, the rich and the famous only need to decide on what they require and even the most unique of things can be created  since money is not a constraint. As for talent we have the best of artisans and craftsmen in India. 
 
For those with budget, time or manpower constraint it is definitely wise to appoint a wedding planner or event manager to put together all that is required without any hassles. But the choice one makes needs to be prudent else the purpose of appointing a wedding planner is completely lost. 
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There is a very common misconception that only the rich and moneyed class people can approach wedding planners since it is extremely expensive. Wedding planners are generally sought out by people doing weddings out side their home town, people without support in terms of manpower for getting all arrangements done. weddings to be performed at short notice or by non resident Indians who wish to perform the wedding back in their village, hometown or city. 

There are some who despite having the time and finance still look for wedding planners for the simple reason that they would want to source the best and make their family wedding a unique experience. 
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In such a situation who is the wedding planner best suited for you ? How do you decide on this ? There are no set rules by which a client goes. To a large extent your personal judgement and comfort levels with the wedding planner matter the most. 
 
There are three types of wedding planners. The first types gets about arranging services going by the budget given by the client and charges a professional fee for it. 
 
The second type gives you  innumerable options over a wide budget and lets you choose, which invariably increases your budget. 
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Then there is the third type of wedding planner who takes a personal interest in every project and puts his name and reputation ahead of money and goes all out to understand your needs and works creatively within your scheme of things. 
 
Honesty and accountability should be the prime traits a client should look for in a wedding planner. Honesty in terms of projects done, services offered and taking responsibility is very important for development of trust and confidence. A wedding planner should genuinely showcase his / her work alone and not undertake to do something that they have no knowledge about or not ventured into yet. 
 
This genuineness helps in bonding better with a client since expectations are not too high and the working relationship is founded on truthfulness
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Respecting the clients budget is of utmost important. In case the client has no idea of the cost involved and is asking for the unrealistic elements the wedding planner should have the patience to explain and let the client absorb reality. 
 
If possible the wedding planner should look to provide less expensive options or alternative for the same and clinch the assignment. 
 
Most important is the factor of being open to suggestions. The wedding planner at all times should  keep the views and interests of the client in mind and be open to experimenting and creating the best of what is available. The wedding planner should not force his/ her opinion on the client because it makes his / her job easy and comfortable. 
 
Client satisfaction is foremost and hence that should be borne in mind at all times. 
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Always look for a wedding planner who can raise up to the occasion with quick decisions and presence of mind to tackle any untoward emergencies. It is true that the client should be taken into confidence at all times but there will be occasions that call for quick decisions and the wedding planner needs to take a call sensibly and in the general interest of all. 
 
Being accessible is another important element in choosing a wedding planner. A real professional will always be prompt in answering, messaging, mailing or returning calls. Regular follow ups should be done by the wedding planner and not the other way around. 
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Getting updated on the proceedings and arrangements is the prerogative of the client and the wedding planner should be prompt in this. 
 
The working relationship between the client and the wedding planner should be optimum for the success of any event,. Over a couple of meetings the client should  be able to judge the wedding planner and come to a decision on whether to proceed or not
 
Word of mouth references are another fool proof way in which to go for the right wedding planner  

METTI

Metti or the toe ring is worn by women in India as an indicator / symbol of their married status. It is referred to in Hindi as ‘bichiya’ , ‘jodav’ in Marathi, ‘mettelu’ in Telugu & ‘kaalungura’ in Kannada.

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It is believed that wearing Metti on the second toe exerts pressure on certain nerves in the body that relate to good health and the reproductive system, thus enhancing chances of pro creation. In India we firmly believe in the importance of nerve endings in our toes and it is referred to as ‘prana’ or life force. In other words it also refers to the concept of acupressure points in the toes.

 

Generally toe rings are made of Silver only since Gold is considered to be ‘ pure’ and hence forbidden from being worn below the waist.

 

Silver is also said to be a good conductor that is capable of absorbing energy from Mother Earth and passing along the energy to rejuvenate the entire system.

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In ancient times it was men who wore mettis as a symbol of their marital status  but the practice was discontinued by them for varied reasons. In fact even today in some weddings you will find the groom wearing the metti during the wedding ceremony. In fact there are episodes in ancient Hindu tenets to support this theory.

 

It is believed that Lord Vishnu with his consort Thayaar decided to teach a lesson to Thirumangai Alzhar who was waylaying and looting newly married couples of their ornaments in the Thirunagari area. He appeared with Thaayaar [ bedecked in gold ornaments] as a couple and was waylaid and looted. Azhwar was unable to remove Lord Vishnu’s metti and is said to have bit it with his strong teeth and removed it. But as the Lord willed otherwise Azhwar was unable to life the booty and so goes the story of what followed.

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Even today there are historic & religious references to these episodes in temples in those areas.

 

It is clearly obvious from this that any practice proposed in the Hindu Dharma is based on science and it is not a religion made of rituals and superstitions but one on strong scientific theories on how to live life.

As event planners a common problem we see faced by many a bride is at the moment when the metti is to placed on the toe. Invariably there is an element of discomfort and delay when the metti is placed on the toe and it refuses to go in smoothly.

As wedding planners we always carry a small bottle of vaseline with us. When the toe is covered with vaseline there is lubrication and this helps in slipping on the toe ring smoothly without hurting the skin or causing delay in rituals.

NALANGU

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Event Management, fun as it may seem from the outside involves  a lot of preparation in terms of understanding the various traditions of the different religions and communities spread across India. Event planning as the term denotes is simply making available all the things required for the conduct of a function well before time and in the required manner.

The term ‘Nalangu’ is used in different connotations during weddings across various communities in the South of India. As wedding event managers it is important for us to have a good understanding of the various rituals and traditions followed by each community to be able to make the necessary arrangements.

In some communities the term  ‘Nalangu’ refers to the ceremony that is held on the evening prior to the actual wedding. Here the bride is bedecked and seated and all the Sumangalis in the family apply sandal paste to her face, hands and legs. Kumkum is then applied on the forehead. Rose water and flowers are then sprinkled over her head as a form of blessing. Aarathi is then performed to end the ritual.

This is considered by some as a cleansing as well as a beautification ceremony of the bride. Whatever be the actual significance the presence of aromatic elements like sandal paste, flowers , rose water etc lends a harmonious and auspicious note as a precursor to the wedding.

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In Tamil Brahmin weddings ‘Nalangu’ refers to the fun filled game session that comes immediately after the wedding is over. It is looked forward to as an opportunity for both families to interact in a relaxed manner sharing a sense of bonhomie and camaraderie after the hectic wedding preparations. A lot of music and cheer fills the air with both parties taking sides in supporting the bride and groom in the course of the small games that are conducted.

A few decades ago this ritual was mostly skipped as most felt it was unnecessary and not suitable to current day scenario. But in recent times the young couples evince great interest in the conduct of this wedding ritual. As event managers we are often asked to bring in innovative games to make it a participative ritual.

The bride and groom are seated opposite each other on a mat on the floor and the session starts with a small ‘make – up’ session where the couple have to apply sandal paste, kumkum, powder and other beautifying elements on each other. This is followed by rolling of the coconut across the floor to each other which is followed by a tug – of – war contest to see who is stronger of the two in retrieving the coconut, exchange of rice & dal, and breaking of the appalams to the accompaniment of loud cheers and shouts.

In some sects this tradition is  a part of the wedding function and is therefore not taken out as a separate event.

These games were of significance in olden days where at times the bride and groom were not given an opportunity to meet each other before the wedding.  Such games helped them tide over their inhibitions and facilitated physical proximity. It is also said that when child marriages were the order of the day in yester years such games were conducted to entertain the child bride & groom. Now it is more of a fun filled entertainment session.