Well.... we did it! The wedding is over and despite some of the worst rain in the history of Decembers in Bangalore, the bride and groom and their friends and family had an amazing evening. I only wish I had time to take photos of the finished site before the rain began, but as is the problem with being both the planner and a designer on the job, there was no time to step away and indulge. So.... here's what I have... I hope to get photos from the professional photographer very soon and will then, of course, post a full recap.
This is the petal pattern for the aisle being created. If you look just beyond where the women are working, you can see the wooden bridge that we built for a little extra drama and to get everyone over the firepit that was built into the ground on this spot.
This is the view of the center of the property from the lower entrance gates. These tables in front of the gazebo are the ones that couldn't be used due to the rain. Such a shame... but when the candles were lit and the sun went down, they twinkled beautifully.
In this shot, you can see a little bit of the structures on either side. To the left was an open-sided pavilion where we had 6 long tables beautifully set in the same style as those on the lawn, but with full place settings. Thank goodness for these because that was the area where most guests ate their dinner in a slow rotation as the staff set and re-set each seat. On the right was the structure that housed the dinner stations (or food counters as they are called in India). That building had a long porch with a bar and became an impromptu dining area. Can you see the amazing flower curtains that framed each "doorway" - in person they were stunning!
Here you have a glimpse of the covered dining area while it was being set up. Guest walked through this dining pavilion to reach the ceremony. When the sun went down, the orange, red and gold lighting cast an amazing glow in and around the pavilion.
One of my favorite elements of the design were the beautiful 6 foot elephants made of flowers. This is one of two which flanked the entryway into the main part of the property.
I didn't have a chance to photograph any of the entrance gate or pond area which was where cocktails and dancing took place, but I am going to try to scrounge some up from the other vendors and then I can post them because that area was spectacular - even in the rain!
What I find the most amazing about this wedding is that while I was having an internal panic attack about the rain and the wet chair covers and snuffed out candles (100s of them!), the family and guests were relaxed and lauding mother nature on her timing as rain at a wedding is considered to be the most auspicious blessing on a wedding day. Most guests continued to sit, stand and walk through the property in the rain and no one complained about there being fewer seats available because of it (I lost 72 seats on the outdoor tables!).
So, after years and years of telling my brides not to stress about rain because there is nothing they can do to change it, I, too, was reminded that a perfect wedding comes in many forms. This day was not how I imagined it, but it was what was intended - a memorable, beautiful, poignant and emotional day for a couple and their families that will be forever remembered.
I can only hope to have many more opportunities like this that challenge me in every way - as a designer, planner and person. It is an experience I will keep with me for my whole life and will always be amazed at how my perspective on the world was forever altered by one wedding.