SEER BAKSHANAM – AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF WEDDING CATERING  

In olden days weddings were homely affairs. When a wedding was fixed the entire clan of relatives would arrive a week ahead of the wedding date and partake in the arrangements and pitch in on all fronts.
Wedding catering or event management were unheard of then. The family goldsmith would make the jewels. The family purohit would take care of all the religious proceedings. All the families in the village or community would happily throw open their doors to host the visiting groom’s family and relatives.

No one would wait to be invited and would consider the wedding as one in their family and extend all kinds of assistance.
In the absence of a family cook all the elders would plan and execute the food menu planning well ahead and provide timely and tasty gourmet to the guests.
Since food was and is still an important part of the Indian wedding scenario great efforts and care were taken to impress the guests. Making of the Seer Bakshanam was an important task of wedding catering.

Seer Bakshanam refers to the different sweets and savories given to the groom’s side from the bride’s family. It consisted of several varieties of sweets and savories specific to each community or religion. A certain number in each variety – 21, 51 0r 101 or even more – was expected to be given. 

 

One of the most interesting fact about these items was that all of them were home — made a couple of days before the wedding. For example in a typical South Indian Brahman Family it was common to see huge vessels containing the following sweets and savories filled to the brim – Ladoo, Adirasam, Mysur Pak, Kai Muruku, Mullu Murukku, Then Kuzhal, Maa laadoo etc.

Ladies were greatly talented and knew the exact quantity and quality of ingredients to be used in the making of these awesome delicacies. There was no question of buying anything from outside.
As modernization began this system slowly disappeared. Food and seer bakshanams are all outsourced now and it is considered to be  a painful process to undertake this job. As one of the best wedding planners in Chennai we found that there was a lot at stake as far as delivering the best and tasty Seer Bakshanams,
We as wedding caterers and event planners adopt the age old practices in the making of these goodies with talented artistes – yes thats how we call our team of mamis making all the bakshanams.. Use of quality ingredients and in the right measure goes a long way in keeping the sweetmeats fresh with a longer shelf life.
As wedding caterers  we employ experienced hands and ensure the place of preparation is spic and span and absolutely labor friendly. No compromise is made on the ingredients. Being reputed for giving great service in terms of wedding catering, we personally supervise  everything from procurement to preparation  for we believe that if the output has to be of the highest standard then even minute details have to be taken care of.
For example the process of making the Kai Murukku is an art. Right from getting the perfect rice and grinding it to flour, adding the right amount of roasted urad dal powder,  butter, warm oil and black seasame seeds every process has to be done with care and concentration to get that melt in the mouth crispiness.
When the mix is ready our catering team sets yo work. A small portion of the dough is taken and rolled into twisted strands on flat metal plates in circles.
The number of lines to the circle is generally of odd numbers – 5 , 7, 9 , 11 and so on.
The metal plate is then slid into a huge pan of hot oil. One has to do this very carefully to ensure the murukku does not break or bend.
The temperature of the oil is of great importance.
Once the Murukku is fried a bit it pops out of the plate and the metal plate remains at the bottom of the pan. It is then deftly removed with the help of a long rod . The long rod is used to turn the murukku on either side for even frying.
The fully fried murukku is removed and drained off any excess oil. Preserving the final product and protecting them from ants and pests is an another daunting task  that needs to be given full attention. The secret of it is to have a spotless and clean kitchen.
The happiness that one derives when people recognize you through your service – and products – to come back and compliment you  on the lingering taste in their mouth is the most satisfying moment.
As wedding caterers we realize that certain traditions are unique to our culture. This process of making wedding bakshanams is one such.
Our women are extremely talented and their dexterous fingers can give a lot of top chefs in the world a great complex – for even they cannot take on this challenge and come up trumps.
 To us every cook in our team is an artist whose talent needs to be respected and nurtured. We look forward to carrying forward these unique traditions through Haritham wedding catering for many more years to come..

EVENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES FOR NRI s

Non resident Indians who wish to organise weddings or events back home find event management services a real boon that solves a lot of their practical issues. The success of any event depends on good planning. With the presence of internet every service or product is available online to be inspected and purchased. However when it comes to organizing an event several factors come into play.
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Certain services and products need personal inter action and attention to choose the best. Being away from the scene of action hampers many activities for people living abroad. It is here that the role of Event Managers takes great importance. It is for this  season that many NRI s prefer to contract the services of event managers and wedding planners . It not only saves them time and money but gives them the satisfaction of getting exactly what they have in mind with minimal effort.
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The only difficult thing here is perhaps in finding a good or top event management company in Chennai with a good reputation and organisational skills. At Haritham we can proudly say that we are amongst the most sought after event management companies for the simple reason of our honesty, perfection at work and straight forward dealings with our client.
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While major elements like decor, catering and invitations can be coordinated with online images, Skype Calls and other communication facilities there are several small elements that need a lot of care and personal attention that need to be carried out on behalf of the client. For example it makes a lot of sense for us to courier the invites to the guests from here locally.
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But at Haritham Events we go a step further and call up the guests to check if they received the invite and leave a personal message on behalf of the client ensuring that they definitely attend the function. Small gestures like these are those that make a huge impact. To us it is not just about being an event manager or wedding planner of that particular  client. We look at every wedding or event as our own and work with a lot of passion towards making it a success.
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Its not that Indians living abroad do not have relatives or friends back in India to help them out. Our clients either feel uncomfortable in disturbing them or have relatives who are too aged to help out. Hence they prefer to give the full responsibility to a professional who will be a single source of contact to question on the progress and run around on their behalf.
In their busy schedule people generally may not have the time to explain about the latest trends or may not be actually aware of whats in . Hence appointing a professional event manager or wedding planner greatly helps in knowing the present scenario.
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 As wedding planners we are well versed with all sampradhayas and hence the client does not need to worry about any of the things required for the conduct of the wedding rituals. Otherwise imagine the amount of time and energy spent on sourcing even the tiniest of things and getting it ready for the event.
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When people visit India for an event it is generally on a very short holiday and hence they look to optimum use of time and energy, to spend with their loved ones. When the huge responsibility of conducting an event is taken off their shoulders they are far more relaxed and enjoy the event a hundred times more due to our presence.

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.

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.

Check list for Indian Marriage Registration

The check list of documents / items required for Marriage Registration

( Hindu / Muslim / Christian )

1. Age Proof For Both (the bride & groom) – Any one of the following:

2. Birth Certificate

3. Passport

4. School leaving certificate or Mark Sheet

5. Address Proof For Both – Any one of the following: Passport/Ration Card/Voter ID

Apart from these you will need:

i] The Wedding Invite
ii]Passport size color photo – 4 copies each
iii] Three Witnesses – Better if they carry their Ids as well as Passport Size Photographs with them as well.

OTHER CATEGORIES:

If both the bride and the groom are not residents of the city where they are getting married or if one of then is a foreign citizen, then the wedding venue becomes very important.

The wedding can be registered under the Special Marriage Act.

One has to check with the concerned registrar office closest to the wedding venue one month ahead of the wedding date to finalize the details.

Notice of the intended marriage has to be given.

You will have to submit an application form and visit the office on the specified date.

If no objection for the marriage is received within 30 days from the notice, marriage will be registered.

Photostat copies of all documents is a must.

Think wedding.. Think Haritham Events