"The day I said Yes"

This January, we complete five years as a married couple and every time around this year we find ourselves going back to discussing the madness we faced as a couple to be engaged. To my surprise, I still get asked about the details of our engagement attires and I thought, why not put it altogether for you to read and perhaps ponder over the approach to planning my look.

For those of you who are not aware, I had an interstate wedding and we had to blend as well as respect each other's traditions for the functions. The Engagement ceremony was held in Kerala and my Mangalorean husband along with his family traveled to Thrissur for the same.

While my husband was spared from the task of changing attires, I had to comply with the tradition of adorning myself in the clothes and jewelry gifted to me by my man at the function.For the first half of the ceremony, I chose to embrace my most favorite attire which is a Sari. Unlike most Syrian Catholic Malayali traditions, I was given free reins to choose my Sari as well as the ornaments to pair with it. There was no pressure from the family nor was I forced to pick what the relatives liked over my preferences.

The way they ask, "which came first- Chicken or the Egg?" likewise my mom asked me,"Mole which do we pick first- the Sari or the ornaments?" After much thought and discussion, we felt it wise to pick a unique set of ornaments, around the shades of which it would be much easier to pick a suitable Sari that would make both the elements stand out well.

And there we were two months before the big day, venturing into TBZ, Cochin. Apart from the impeccable craftsmanship these jewelers have to offer, isn't it exciting to know that you are the sole owner of the design you pick? Yes, no customer gets to have the same set as yours, unless you give consent to the jewelers for the design to be replicated.

One look at this design and I knew I was digging it already- the body was antique with faint strokes of enamel coalescing into a pendant studded with rubies and a chunky drop in junk gold.It had the perfect earrings to complete the look which till date I have used with various other looks, some of them being western too.The Ruby studded ring was a pick from Kirthi Diamond Jewelers while the Diamond rings are from Malabar Gold.The Kangan on my right hand is an ornament I always treasure.I still remember holding it in my hands for the very first time at the TBZ showroom, gazing at those glistening uncut diamonds interspersed with Rubies giving it that timeless classic look.

The Sari.Can I tell you how quick and easy this part was? We were the first to walk into the Kanjeevaram sari section that morning at Seemati, Cochin and this winsome weave of deep Fuschia and Gold had just been dropped off.We were the first to watch the folds unravel its stunning temple designs within and my father wished to see me draped in it right away for a trial along with the ornaments we had just picked. I will let the pictures that follow do all the talking.

The Sari blouse was designed with a "U meets V"  dip at the back with tiny bead-like accents along the inner perimeter made from the fabric itself.The tie-ups had two gorgeous stone studded drop pendants that were quite a trend at that time.

Although you get to see very little of yourself while getting ready, it is always the pretending to be during a photo shoot that draws your attention to the transition you have had.These few photographs at my mirror gave me all the confidence I needed to step out for the big day.

If you asked me what I liked the most about my makeup, it was definitely those bronzy and mildly smoked up eyes that my Make-up Artist Anez Anzare gave me that day.Also, those sensuous , oh-so-pretty tresses were styled by his patient hands.

Meet my photo-shy husband, Joystan Dsouza. It took me a lot of coaxing to make him embrace the colours and fabric I had picked out for his suit. His attire was inspired by an outfit by "Shyamal & Bhumika" and to my luck I found a near match while scouting for fabrics.As the tones were very earthy, he and many others in the family were on two minds as to how such a shade would enhance or diminish his dusky complexion.The results were fabulous and it was a risk worth taking.The earthy yet rich undertones in the raw silk in contrast with the black brocade was mighty flattering and he has fallen so much in love with it over the years.To be honest, he has donned his suit for so many functions, and gets asked often about where such a piece could be bought.

The next interesting bit is about my second attire for the day- the Lehenga. Talk about serendipity, and that's what it was to us while we were lost amongst the bundles of tulle,silk and brocade at Mysore Saree Udyog,Bangalore.While beige was the only thing on my mind,there were staggering stacks of beige in every possible avatar to choose from. Joystan and I were holding onto a particular roll of beige tulle with embellishments and a salesman knocked me down landing me and the roll onto a couple of other rolls.I stood up and straightened myself while muttering polite curses at the rude salesman under my breath and stopped right away as I stared down at the sorcery that fall had brought down upon us.The tulle was lying over a gorgeous beige brocade alongside a lovely shimmery flesh toned tissue fabric.One fall fixed everything and the fabrics were given off right away for stitching.

There is a story behind the making of the blouse.As corny as it sounds, that in all honesty is what happened.The shimmery fabric by itself looked very sober and my tailor suggested that something ought to be done about it.I had a few rolls of the border left over that I had bought for finishing the skirt and dupatta. My mom and I decided to sew the border in bits and pieces onto the blouse.Believe me it is not easy as it sounds and we took a month to accomplish it.Every few inches, the piece would align differently and in order to sew them on at the right place I had to wear it atleast five times a day to secure the bits with straight pins after which we took turns to sew it on.The outcome was stunning and we had a hard time convincing our folks that it was hand sewn.

For the jewelry I wanted something very ornate yet chunky that had elements similar to the embellishments on the skirt.This set and it's matching bangles from Goodwill collections,Cochin was the most befitting thing I have ever laid my eyes on.I have lost count of the number of times I have paired it with various attires from my wardrobe over the years and is as precious to me as my other sets in gold.

My event planner had arranged for these dainty handmade flowers in solar wood to adorn my hair.Adding these accents to my hair made a big difference to the look in totality.

Somehow I didn't feel the need to make any changes to the makeup as it seemed to be going perfectly well with the beige Lehenga.

Our engagement bands were designed by Pure Gold,Dubai.They were Platinum bands studded with diamonds and I couldn't have asked for a better way to say "Yes"!!

No matter how hard you work towards fulfilling your bridal dreams nothing holds good if you cannot treasure them through photographs.We were lucky to have the very talented photographer Girilal Gopi, and a competent crew of videographers to lock those moments in for a lifetime.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting this post together over the past few days and I guess many of you might be able to relate to how intense those bridezilla phases can get.In the end, it's very important to enjoy the whole process of becoming a bride.No matter how perfect or pretty every detail is,the journey and its culmination is what defines you in saying "Yes"