Menu ideas for a typical Muslim Wedding

You all have or had that Muslim kid in college or school who used to bring lip-smacking mutton biriyani for meals or lunch. Generally, with every other individual getting married and logging onto social media, you’re not baffled to find a Kabir’s/Rehan’s/Muhammad’s wedding invite and pictures showing up in your news feed, timeline or inbox as well. And since, it’s too easy to remember that one of the best things of Muslim Matrimony and weddings is that yummy, sumptuous food and feast, here is what you can do to spice it up even more.

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You need to know that while every wedding feast is not for the fitness freak person, Muslim weddings tend to cross all limits with the dosage of ghee and butter exceeding human comprehension. The regalia of the meals is very high and here’s what you can expect from a Typical Muslim wedding menu.

  • Seekh Kababs: It refers to mutton or minced meat of lamb. They mix the meat of ground goat with select spices before molding and mincing them into proper skewers. They then cook it on the hot tawa or tandoor. It makes for an awesome started at Muslim weddings. Serve it some onion and lettuce to enrich the feel.
  • Boti kabab: Another mutton/lamb Mughlai dish that is always a perfect starter is the boti kabab sensation. It involves the entire muscle meat as you marinate it intensely before grilling or baking it on the barbeque. You can serve it with some quality green chutney as well. You can make the kabab with beef too.
  • Bheja Fry: Many Muslim families opt for this food item. Bheja means brain in Hindi. This is actually a succulent recipe where the animal’s brain is removed first. They then fry it herbs and spices. You can stop sulking or cringing after knowing this because the taste is heavenly. It tastes best with pav or roti.
  • Murgh Mughali: Not a typical feature, but this chicken dish originating from the Mughals is delicious. It’s creamy, rich and flavored with top-class whole, aromatic spices.
  • Nalli Nihari: Another mutton curry variation and the word Nihar comes Arabic Nahar, which means day. The recipe is literally kingly. You make the gravy from slow-cooked lamb leg pieces alongside its nalli or marrow bones. Sometimes, they also serve it with bheja fry.
  • Malai kofta: Finally, a dish sans a meat! Well, today’s Muslim Matrimony and weddings are just as cosmopolitan as the other communities. This dish entails mashed paneer and mashed potato balls. You fry them deeply and coat them in malai or cream, before dipping the same in tomato-onion gravy.
  • Shahi and regular mutton/chicken biriyani: Now, this is the customary one. Heavenly as it tastes, it’s the quintessential feature in all Muslim weddings. A rice and light-orange goat based recipe that entails a royal mix of nuts, meat, spices and herbs.

You have desserts like phirni and sheer korma ruling the roost. The latter is an extremely yummy, dairy-based vermicelli food. It’s a pudding that is flavored with different types of fancy ingredients like dried dates, rose water, saffron etc to make the taste out of the world.

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Making a Muslim Wedding elegant on a low budget

If you want a simple and traditional Muslim Matrimony, but are caught up in inhibitions like “what will my family and friends think”, “need to have that”, you will be soaked in an emotional and heavy roller coaster. There’s side to you that wants things to be inexpensive and simple. And on the other, you and your heart keeps tugging to making it fancy and swanky. Now, come to reality. You can always have things within reason and limits, but not everything. You need to make every decision with a simple question to your family and spouse, “it is necessary or just nice?” There’s no need to impress because weddings are not a platform to show off.

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You can offload enormous stress by cutting down the costs of many things that may have appeared important to you till now.

  • Cut your guest list: That’s just so elementary, isn’t it? Cut the numbers, cut it again and again because it’s easy for your attendee list to fluctuate and bloat. You need to remember that your wedding cost is proportional to the number and size of your guests. So, cut any extras, the couple, and the kids when you need only the one. There’s no point in scratching your hair over the nice-to-have things. It’s futile to think about people who don’t really count or won’t care either.
  • Cut down the venue costs: Avoid the swanky hotel or the fancy banquet/reception hall in favor of warm outdoors or a nice home space. In percentage, the reception caters to most people, which make the biggest hole in your wedding budget. You can slash it by organizing your reception or walima in spacious home of a friend or relative. You can also conduct it in the outdoors like park, garden or another venue.
  • The catering part: You can cut down the catering expenses by doing a potluck here. You have family members or friends with great cooking talent in the kitchen. Assign them the task of making some dishes and they will gladly do it. As you provide the ingredients for the recipes, the pals or relatives will be honored to pitch in. You can imbibe the one dish thumb rule. It means one appetizer followed by a main course meal and one dessert. For those using caterers, you will find that buffet is way cheaper than the conventional and formal sit on chair meal system.
  • Economize on flowers: Another element that involves a large expense in your Muslim Matrimony is that floral décor and arrangement. Curb the florist costs and get a simple bouquet for your bride. You can raid your friends or family gardens or lawns and get roses and other flowers. Cut and trim the flowers from their thorns, and put them in proper vases. You can also go to dollar stores and other dedicated outlets for candles, vases, lanterns and other accessories.
  • Online invitations: There’s no need to personally visit your guests and invite them. You have e-cards/e-vites. Use hand design cards and copy them.

You can also use digital postcards from popular sites.

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5 things to look out in a prospective bride for your son

Parents really have a tough time in finding the best girl for their son. Finding a prospective bride, who will be beautiful, charismatic, energetic, responsible and respectable, is what every parent embarks upon when they want to get their beloved son married. For the single men, it’s the parents who undertake the responsibility of arranging their son’s marriage and doing what’s best for him. They take the recourse of reputable sites like shadi.com to find a prospective bride.

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The problem arises when there’s a clash of interests. Most parents tend to forget that their prism of their son’s welfare may not tally with the guy’s prism of his welfare and happiness. So, striking a balance between both is your first directive before hitting the search pitch.

  • Understanding and nature: As much as some of you’d beg to disagree, it’s not beauty and looks that hold precedence in this case. Parents want that girl who can not only respect the son, but also understand and respect them too. It’s the dream of every mother and father to have water and tea from their son’s wife’s hands. Every parent really craves for that day and it’s indeed a sweet and satisfying feeling. You need to make sure that the girl is ever willing to accept you as her parents too, love the home as much as she loves and loves your son truly. Once there is real love, all will follow suit.
  • Dignity, elegance and outward charm: Once of the inner demeanor is settled, the girl’s outward aspects take center stage. Who doesn’t want their daughter-in-law to be pretty, beautiful and appealing. For most parents, the feeling is like they are bringing a diamond for their son. A lot of dreams and planning go into this search and you just need to ensure that you don’t go overboard in your quest for beauty and elegance. Always strive for a balance.
  • Good and bad qualities: It’s too early to call someone’s positive and negative traits. However, what most parents look for is a girl who can cook. Now, it’s not an impractical or ridiculous thing to think of. They do have the right to ask their daughter-in-law to serve them some tea or food. It’s actually a beautiful feeling to eat out of the hands of your son’s daughter. You can know if she can cook what her preferences are and what or how she intends to adjust in the house. The problem arises when the in-laws turn hostile to her feelings or become authoritative. Remember you’re bringing a daughter to the house and not a maid. It’s too wrong to expect maid’s service from her. What you can do is join her in works, teach her all household duties and shoulder the tasks. She will lovingly do it herself if you give her the warmth and love. You can ask those things in com only.
  • Know and respect her ambition: If the girl wants to pursue higher studies, don’t become a canker in her path.

It’s 21 century and she is entitled to her education. Rather, encourage her and help her in her professional pursuits.

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5 things to look out in a prospective bride

Before reading further, you need to remember that love means loyalty and commitment. Love it commitment and when you love someone, you actually commit yourself to that person. Physical attraction can often cloud your senses and judgment, causing you to take decisions solely based on some feelings. You need to be dangerous and armed while dating. The wise man will plan ahead of these things by keeping certain crucial traits in mind while making a decision on their Mrs Right. If you’re finding your bride through sites like Shadi.com, you have the time and bandwidth to meet and know that person in depth.

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While society mainly ponders on what a woman wants from her prospective husband, the men to have their share of questions and wants that they seek in their prospective bride. Here are five such things.

  • Respect: Watch how she treats people. Make sure you notice her behavior when you go to an eatery. The way she treats the server when he’s late speaks volumes about her temperament. It has proven to be a big indicator of the type and design of her heart. Remember, that’s how she will treat you and your family after the long haul. Everyone wants a wife who esteems and values you. Respect is both mutual and self. Apart from respecting you and understanding you, she needs to respect herself as well. A woman without self-respect is vulnerable to many insinuations and pricks from conniving relatives and outsiders. She shouldn’t be gullible to doubt you or cast aspersions on you. She needs to sort things out directly with you.
  • Adjustment: Adjustment doesn’t mean being compatible with you or coping with your omissions and commissions. If you live with your parents or other elders, your prospective wife needs to adjust to that setup. It is certainly difficult if the girl is the only child of her parent and is born and brought in a nuclear family setting. However, adjustment is the key here. Notice her behavior in small rooms, improper hotels, and wrong seats and see how she can compromise. Her stand and stance matter a lot in this regard.
  • Unconditional love: While it applies to both the sexes, the woman’s version is mostly skipped or rather taken for granted. In today’s times, it’s not the case and men have every right to figure out if the wife will love him forever and the way she does now. There are many things that make a man attractive and desirable to a woman. There’s a famous saying, ‘the sex appeal of a man lies in his pocket’. While that’s largely a half-baked concept, some of it is certainly. A girl, who marries you for money, will have nothing to do with and may eventually leave you if that money goes kaput someday. These are vested interests and you need to be aware of gold diggers.
  • Intentions and acts: See if your girl does certain things out of their heart’s kindness or if that’s sheer opportunism. One who does good things expecting nothing in return is actually a great person to live with. You can take the help of com to talk frequently with your partner.

Another important thing is her willingness to conceive. While some in the west might consider it as redundant, in India and most other countries, a large part of marriage is still about taking your love and generation forward through your kids. Make sure you know your woman’s mind on that before marrying her.

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Giving a Modern Twist To Some Pre Wedding Rituals Of a Kerala Wedding

India is a beautiful land of customs, traditions and celebrations of different cultural. You see each of these vividly in different Indian marriages. When you look at Kerala matrimony closely, you will see that it’s a fine specimen of wonderful age-old rituals and rites. The people follow them with elegance and simplicity. As with all other Hindu weddings, there are definite pre-wedding rituals in Kerala weddings. These are short and sweet ceremonies to mark the conjugal journey of the couple. You can call it a prelude to the main wedding rituals that take place after a while.

Overall, Kerala weddings are strikingly short. They are rightly called blink and miss affairs that start in the morning and finish within afternoon. Often, you have guests heading straight to the dining space if they arrive late. Such is the brevity of things in these weddings. Here’s how you can spice of the pre-wedding set.

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  • Engagement or Nishchyam ceremony: Usually, an engagement takes place at the bride’s abode where both the families come together and the astrologer selects an auspicious date for the wedding. There is a peculiar tradition in this ceremony. The groom and the bride are not present in the scheme of things. The ceremony culminates into the grand meal of Sadya. It’s traditional and sumptuous Malyalee food served on banana leaf.
  • Spicing it up: Okay, here’s where you can pull some strings. When you know that girl and boy can’t be present there as per customs, you can sure have them in it through video conference or phone call. In that way, their involvement will be very visible. Some people can play little pranks too. You can call the boy or girl and tell a false date, a day when he or she is unavailable, have an office trip or other serious professional obligation. Say that’s unavoidable. Just when panic is about set in, unfurl the flag and tell the real date. On some occasions, you can allow the boy and girl to talk to one another about the date in the presence of their respective families. Let this happen over video call.
  • Thaleluarieduva: It’s a short ceremony that takes place separately at the groom’s family and bride’s family respectively. It takes either on the D-day or the day before. It’s the great occasion where family members and elders arrive to bless the would-be couple. They pour clean, raw rice on their heads to mark prosperity and wealth.
  • Spicing it up: One thing you need to remember is that in Kerala matrimony, there’s not much room to tamper with the rituals or customize. The people are rooted to their culture and are very serious about the customs. They are pious and very spiritual. What you can do is improvise. While they pour rice on the head, pour some coins and candies too later on. Pick gifts are dear to the couple.

Such presents will show that the elders don’t want the couple to lose their childhood favorites or the best things after marriage and that they remember those things.

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Menu Ideas For a Typical Kerala Wedding

Food from the God’s own country, Kerala has definitely earned a venerated designation in the culinary book of the globe, especially because it becomes epicenter of most events. Kerala cuisine is dynamic and innovative. If you move through the fourteen districts of Kerala, you will find a wide variety of cuisines that differ in their taste, aroma, cooking style and appearance. In Kerala matrimony, it’s quite challenging to pick your favorite, so to speak. The unique aspect of delicacies is very evident in wedding functions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Hindu, Muslim or Christian wedding, each will have their distinct and traditional dishes and flavors.

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You need to choose menu that complies with the core regional flavors. You can then incorporate the vestige of traditional wedding food with local kitchen delicacies.

  • Fix your budget: First you need to establish a proper budget in accordance with your guest number. You can keep track of your number of dishes in this way along with the style and serving staff. Adding appetizers and auxiliary ends and odds is the next part.
  • Consider dietary preferences: While the state is relatively free in terms of food choices, there are people who don’t have dairy products, meat or other such things. Majority of weddings offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. You can provide an option. Most Hindu marriage ceremonies have sumptuous luncheon parties called Sadhyas, which are strictly vegetarian courses. However, most people also make meat in the reception parties and dinner.
  • Going local: If it’s a Muslim wedding, go for the Malabar cuisine. The place is renowned for their tasty biriyani. There are many choices here, from fish to mutton to chicken to mixed non-vegetarian biriyani too. For the vegetarians, there is vegetarian biriyani as well. Christian weddings, for example, have elaborate menu. It includes various types of stew like mutton, chicken or lamb stew, combined with rotis, appams or pancakes. You can choose soft pork chops, steaming chicken curry, crispy fish cutlet and fries and tasty mutton gravy.
  • Sea-food on the menu: Regions like Kottayam and Alleppey are famous for their exotic sea food and stellar preparations. You can always include some lip-smacking dishes like crab or mussels preparation, the Karimeen Polichathu. It’s a specialty of the district. Move over to Sadhya, it’s a sumptuous and mouth-watering feast central to Hindu weddings. You have an assortment of tasty dishes that number around 40 at times. It includes delicious sweets, tasty gravy, dessert and spicy pickles. You need to remember that while Sadhya doesn’t entail many varieties in design, the type and number of dishes along with the menu may vary in accordance with your location in the state.
  • The modern platter: You can find many Keralities preferring traditional cuisines at their Kerala matrimony. You will find that the modern parties and wedding luncheons often provide a cluster of main course meals. The 3-4 meals have rice, appetizers, bread and desserts.

South Indian food rules the roost in these weddings. People mostly serve them on plantain leaf and at times on glass plates.

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Understanding The Vows That a Muslim Couple Takes in a Nikah

Putting first things first, you need to remember that Muslim couples don’t normally recite or chant vows. The weddings vows, which are a pristine and quintessential feature of Hindu and Christian weddings, are not a customary or even faint aspect of Muslim Matrimony. The couple rather listens to the words of the cleric, the imam. Any adult and reliable Muslim male may conduct the ceremony too. The male speaks about the purport of commitment and beauty of marriage. He focuses on the responsibilities of the couple towards one another and also towards Allah.

Next, he asks the bride and groom an approximate three times if they agree to accept each other in nikah as per the terms and conditions of their pious and traditional nikah or marriage contract. Post this step; they sign the contract, which seals the marriage. The gathered congregation comes forward to bless them. However, you will come across some Muslim couples choosing to exchange vows. Here are the traditional and common recitations.

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  • The lines of the bride: She starts by mentioning her name. For example, I, Nishat Ali and continues to further elaborate on that. She offers herself in marriage and in thorough compliance with the rules of the Holy Quran and the Prophet with peace and blessing on him. She pledges with due sincerity and honesty to be a faithful and obedient wife of the man.
  • The lines of the groom: The groom keeps it simple and precise. He pledges in all sincerity and honesty to be a helpful, loving, faithful and respectful husband. It’s an important observation that exchanging vows is not a core Islamic practice. However, it’s not shunned either. Hence, today’s modern couples, influenced by cosmopolitan vibes and cross-cultural impact are imbibing the vow exchange procedure in their Muslim Matrimony. It goes beyond that it’s a wonderful moment.
  • Know your Nikah: The Muslim marriage in itself entails legal vows wherein parties, the bride and groom accepts the length of the nikah and agrees to follow the rules. You need to know that Muslim couples are free to determine the anything they want to include in the marriage contract. For instance, although Islam permits a groom to take more than one wife, the concerned bride may choose to entail in the nikah a specific clause negating and forbidding her man to do so. There are certain cases where the bride happens to be way too young. Then, the contract may have terms pertinent enough for that age of the girl at which you can consummate the marriage.
  • The imam’s role: Traditionally, Muslim couples are married of by a Muslim religious leader, an imam. There’ a Quranic reading where the imam or a reliable male convening the nikah speaks about the essence of marriage and the spouses’ roles. He then asks the couple to accept each other willingly and affirm the terms mentioned in the marriage contract.

It’s an imperative for the couple to answer in affirmatives every time the imam asks the question. It’s a specific three times. Only then the marriage will be recognized.

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Understanding The Real Concept of a Muslim Nikah

To understand the core of Muslim Nikah, you first to understand that An-Nikah translate into the marriage covenant. Nikah is marriage, which is a scared and solemn contract between the bride and groom. It’s a contract that presages a strong and divine covenant. One of the most interesting and fundamental concepts of Nikah in Muslim Matrimony is that this marriage contract is not a sacrament. Instead, it’s revocable. The entire thing thrives on a mutual agreement between the bride and groom.

Both parties agree with one another to enter into the contract. Both groom and bride have their liberty to locate and define different terms and conditions as per their liking. They can make the terms a part of the marriage contract.

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  • Mahr: The marriage gift of Mahr relates to a divine injunction. The groom gives the Mahr to the bride as an essential tool of the contract. It’s a token of respect and commitment of the groom’s responsibility. You can pay the gift in cash, moveable objects or property to the bride herself. Quran doesn’t legally specify the mahr amount. However, Islamic jurisprudence recommends moderation as the existing and proper social norm in this regard. You can pay the mehr to the bride at the time of nikah or on a later deferred date, or a juxtaposition of both. However, the deferred mahr would become due if there’s a divorce and death.
  • On sermon: The nikah assembly is addressed with a definite marriage sermon by the Muslim judge convening the contract. In marriage realm or societies, primarily, a Qazi convenes the ceremony of nikah, keeping the record of the central marriage contract. Interestingly, any trustworthy and devout Muslim can hold or oversee the nikah ceremony. You need to know that Islam actually doesn’t advocate or promote priesthood. The certificate or documents of the concerned marriage contract are subsequently filed with the local masjid (mosque) and local government. It is for the sake of record.
  • The primary requisites: You need mutual agreement or Ijab-o-Qubul from the bride and groom. There has to be two sane and adult witnesses. The groom must pay the mehr to the bride either during the marriage (muajjal) or muakhkar (deferred date), or a combination of both options.
  • Secondary requisites: A legal guardian or wakeel must represent the bride. The bride and groom will sign the Aqd-Nikah or written marriage contract and have the witnesses by their side. There will be a state appointed judge, obviously Muslim called Qazi or a Mazoon to officiate the Muslim Matrimony. The latter is responsible to do the proceedings. Next is Khutba-tun-Nikah for solemnizing the marriage.
  • Facets of Nikah: The main ceremony begins with lofty praise of God/Allah. The couple seeks His guidance and help. They declare the quintessential Muslim faith confession that one is worthy of devotion and worship save Allah and prophet Muhammad (SAW) is his messenger and servant.

They follow it with three verses from the Quran and a hadith containing a prophetic saying. It forms the make text of the nikah. The marriage ceremony is a chain of disciplined prayers and agreement. 

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Planning a Kerala Wedding in North India

Planning an authentic Kerala matrimonial ceremony in a North Indian state can be easier said than done. This is simply because everything from your traditional Kerala clothing, jewelry, décor and even food can be difficult to find in North India. Most of the couples’ shop for their traditional items from their hometown well in advance before the wedding takes place so that they don’t have to struggle last minute in their destination wedding location.

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Plan the wedding dates for off season
The peak season for northern Indian weddings is during the entire winter season from November till February end. It is important to book your wedding dates during the off season so that you get affordable rates for the wedding halls, reception lawns and even normal rates for décor and caterers. During the peak season, all the services are at almost double the price rates which means you will end up spending a bomb just on décor and food! If you do somehow end up with a peak season date, try to plan out everything in advance so that you don’t have to pay peak season prices for dresses, caterers, décor, hall and reception law rents etc.

Shorten your guest list
Since a lot of your family from Kerala and the middle east will be coming down to Punjab for the wedding, this might cost you a lot of money. Everything from the ticket prices, travel and accommodation, food etc. will be on you so you might want to plan your guest list out accordingly. If you and your partner have majority of your family in Kerala, that would mean flying down your entire family to Punjab for your Kerala matrimonial ceremony which is as good as a small destination wedding. Plan your guest list in a way where you have only your near and dear ones along with close friends. This will definitely cut your costs by 1/3rd.

Book services in bulk
Booking anything in bulk is cheaper as compared to individually booking the same thing. When it comes to hotel rooms, airline or train tickets, transport such as bus or cars on rent and other such services, book them in bulk to avail the best discounts and costs. A lot of hotels also provide complimentary lunch and dinner packages if you promise them a particular number of room bookings in advance.

Research on the best authentic Kerala caterers
These days, it is not very difficult to find your choice of caterers in any city, but it is important to do a proper research on the various caterers in the city where you plan to get married. You can also do a taste test with these caterers to see the authenticity of their Kerala style food. A lot of caterers charge a very minimal price for a tasting session where you can try their different varieties of dishes before you book them.

Apart from this, you can also hire a good wedding planner who can organize a proper authentic Kerala style wedding for you!

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Planning a Classy Cocktail Party For a Tamil Wedding

If you want to throw a classy cocktail bash for your Tamil Matrimony without hosting a gala function of the season, the most important thing is to stick to basics. While celebrating the merry occasion is exciting and fun, cocktail parties tend to get a little expensive. While many people tend to go overboard with the preparations, the idea is to start with the simple things. First is to determine the number of your guests. Always remember that your invitees for engagement and cocktail party are a must for your main wedding. So, choose your guest list wisely.

One of the central things to look for is food and décor, lights, venue and food and beverages. Here’s how to chic and simple.

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  • Guest list and invitation: A printed, formal invite is something you don’t need. They are indeed a lovely touch. They are not necessarily synced with social media mechanisms. These are casual get together. In case you have to cut your budget as per time frame, this might be the apt place to make your score. These are viable ideas if your invitee list is small. Pertaining to the guest list context, don’t invite a person that you won’t to your wedding. If a couple doesn’t set their wedding invite list, you can stick to family and close friends. The idea is to be safe.
  • The décor: If you want to throw an easygoing, welcoming party, your décor doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Just hang a chain of string lights or hanging lanterns across the lawn or patio. You can also hang them in your living room. Buy a floral arrangement to make the entry gateway. You can also make a chalkboard signage or two. For those who’re die-hard fans of the popular DIY, you could perennially find a cheap, casual, but statement-creating project. The best example is heart balloons.
  • Fun activities: You need to remember that a cocktail party of your Tamil Matrimony is not like a typical bridal shower. Nobody expects games in these ceremonies. However, in case you think that a mere conversation may be insufficient to entertain the guests, you can always create a few activities to create some other platforms. It’s always good to break out from the jinx if you face emergencies. You can opt for bar-style or themed trivia games. The games can feature the love story of the couple. You can have the game on backyard’s background. Karaoke is always a great idea.
  • Food and drink: This is the place where you spend your cash, the moolah. Just keep it simple. For those wanting to serve alcohol, you can stick to wine and beer. Just ensure you set a proper party theme to coordinate with your budget. For instance, if you want to serve little bites, you mustn’t host the function around the time of meals. Out it after dinner or at mid-afternoon.

Affordable and creative can be stuff like meatballs, spaghetti, green salad with baked potato slices, munchies and hamburgers, or cornbread and chili.

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