My cousin sister is getting married. To the love of her life. This December. And it’s pretty insane.
Read the rest of the series here: “The Wedding Diaries“.
Wedding shopping is insane. Like, INSANE.
I’d already told you about The Notebook and how we’d noted down pretty much exactly what we’d wanted each bridal outfit to be. So, armed with The Notebook, we set off to Surat to commence shopping.
We have family living in Surat, and they told us there’s a whole lot of choice there for bridal clothes (and they were NOT wrong!). And so began the 5 hour trip from Bombay to Surat, which is a great drive by the way. It’s a straight, well maintained road down National Highway 8; and with the right kind of music (we like to jam to Bollywood music and ABBA alike) and a halt at Hotel Ahura for their amazing Parsi Akuri (10/10 would recommend if you love eggs), it’s a perfect road trip. We even tried to make a consolidated guest list on the way. Note the word “tried”. 😛
Once we had settled down at our aunt’s place and had lunch (a LOT of lunch, because while in Surat, you eat a lot), we ventured out to some of the shops. Every shop we went into had the same atmosphere as the other. As soon as you walk in, we’d have 2-3 people come up to us and say, “Aaiye, kya dikhau aapko aaj?” (“Please come in, what do you want to see today?”). And we’d say the same thing in every shop, “Bridal wear.”
Soon, we’d all be ushered into chairs at the counters, even offered tea/coffee. We’d tell them what kind of stuff we were looking for, and we’d have a salesman or two showing us various lehengas, saris, and gowns fit for a bride – your usual shopping routine. Some of them were absolutely lovely, and some of them were absolutely ugly. Ektaa and I had fun subtly whispering sarcastic remarks about the ugly ones to each other.
There was SO much variety! Ektaa tried on a myriad of clothes. We tried covertly taking photos of them, covertly because most shops don’t allow photography. 😛
There were so many dresses where we liked the skirt, but not the blouse, or vice versa, or where we liked the style, but not the colour. It was so, so hard to decide. So every time someone from our little shopping party told Ektaa to hurry up and decide, I’d say, “But no pressure!” It soon became a little joke.
“Ektaa, it’s your turn to shower.” “But no pressure!”
“Ektaa, do you have an extra hair tie?” “But no pressure!”
“Ektaa, there are jalebis for breakfast, come eat!” “But no pressure!”
If you ever come across an Indian salesman, you would know his power of selling. Sometimes, they say the quirkiest things to get you to buy something from their shop!
“Madam, this has pure hand made embroidery. You won’t get it anywhere else.”
“Madam, aap try toh karke dekho.” (“Madam, at least try it on and then see.”)
“Madam, this style is in fashion right now, but it will stay in fashion till December also.”
“Madam, this is actually more expensive, but I will give it to you at a discounted rate.”
“Madam, this colour is perfect for you.”
“Madam,” this time to me, “aap bhi try karke dekho.”
However, we found one salesman that topped the list. He said, “Madam, yeh advance trend hai 2017 ka. Abhi just aaya hai, aur sirf humare dukaan mein milega.” (“Madam, this is an advance trend from 2017. We just received it and you will only find it in our shop.”)
We had to try SO hard to hide our sniggering at that one! 😀
Finally, two and a half days, a lot of yummy, heavy Gujju meals, multiple shops and millions of trips to the trial room later, we had two outfits for The Bride! Were they exactly as we’d planned them to be in The Notebook? About 50-ish%, I’d say.
Although, it wasn’t solely a crazy shopping spree trip. Every trip we make to Surat is incomplete without a dinner party, at home, with amazing Gujarati snacks and food, and lots of laughter. We chit chatted and gossiped and took selfies and played games. My youngest nephew and niece put up a dance performance for us, and we even purchased Hot Wheels cars from them by paying money from the Game of Life. It was super fun!
All in all, it was a successful trip, and soon enough, we were making our way back to Bombay, exhausted from all that walking around and shopping.
In the week that followed, Ektaa picked out her bridal lehenga for the reception from Bombay itself, and that one was EXACTLY as we’d written in The Notebook! Yay! 😀
As the wedding date gets nearer and nearer, we’re getting equal parts excited and stressed. You never really know how much there is to do for a wedding, until there’s one happening that you’re actually a part of.
But it’s pretty darn cool that there’s so many people putting in so much effort to bring two souls together and celebrate love. ❤
Next part in the series here: Pyaar Dosti Hai