It is always beautiful when you hear stories of two people finding each other and deciding to spend their life together as a couple. Be it love or arranged, either ways, it is a new beginning for the two souls and their families as well.

Even though I am single, I have numerous friends and cousins who have gotten married over the years and have attended almost all of them, barring a few. Infact, for a few we have travelled quite a bit to the destination as well. It is fun watching the two get close to each other, discover each other and come to the decision of tying the knot.

A decade ago, weddings were fairly straight forward, find a good hall among the range of marriage halls in Chennai, hire someone to handle food and that was that. But today, weddings are so much more. They are all about finding the right place, not necessarily a wedding hall. Many a times weddings happen at Hotels and Convention centers as well. Then comes the details- decor, food, accommodation for not just the bride, groom and their families but making arrangements for those coming to the location/city for the wedding.

The wedding venues in Chennai have changed over the years, given the changes in demands. There are wedding planning companies and event management firms that handle end to end when it comes to a wedding. They start the planning months ahead of the big day, and take charge of pretty much everything. Oh and there are a few who love doing it outdoors [when the weather is good], so its a fun experience alright!

Decor at the entrance…

Traditional elai sapaad..all veg

Some of the things that wedding parties look for when choosing the right place are,

1. Space and capacity-
The big question is whether the place can hold the number of guests they have in mind. And this includes taking into account those who might stay longer than others. If the wedding is on a weekday, then many might make an appearance and leave. The place needs to seat all the guests.

When holding the wedding at a big hall, you can divide the seating and separate them so it seems spacious. Similarly, set up chairs near the main mandapam for the immediate family and close friends. During reception, have a table on the side to place the gifts at.

2. Location –
The place chosen needs to be accessible, it cannot be remote. There may be a few who come by public transport or cabs, therefore needs to make sense for all. It is typically close to either the bride or groom’s residence, unless they decide to stay over at the hall the previous day to avoid chaos.

Some venues offer indoor and outdoor spaces. So depending on the client’s desires, you could pick one.. But do keep in mind the Chennai weather, it can get hot even if you just serve food outdoors.

3. Vendors-
There are a few marriage halls that come with their own decorator or caterer. If that is the case, then clients will be restricted and might not suit them at all times. It is best to clarify this aspect before finalising the space.

When roping in light, sound and other such external elements, you need to make sure the vendor works well at the space. There is enough room, and possibility off adding extra lights, or setting up a DJ console in the corner and so on…

4. Food-
There are a few halls in the city that are particular about serving only Vegetarian food. So, if the bridge/groom wish to serve non veg they will not be able to, and so it is best to get information on these elements as well.

Plus if the families wish to do a sit down lunch, does the space have a dining hall big enough to hold the guests [ in multiple seating], or will it be a buffet style.

5. Power back up-
Given the way power fluctuations attack us when we least expect them, it is good to check if the wedding venue has power back up. Also check on the cost for the same [in some places they will insist you hire the same, pay for it irrespective of whether there is a power failure or not]

6. Cancellation cost –
If the client [bride/groom] has a change of heart about the venue, or if there is a mishap in the family and wedding needs to be postponed, what are the cancellation charges levied by the hall. This plays a major role when planning the budget.

When choosing a wedding venue or a planner, it is good to have a list and work from there. There are many planners who will handle everything – starting with the decor, backdrop, food, seating arrangement, organising the welcoming committee, to rooms at nearby hotels, make up for the bride and even photographers, they do it all.

Chennai Convention center- different wedding venues at the space…

About two years ago, a friend got re-married at this beautiful convention center on ECR- Chennai Convention center, adj to VGP Golden beach. Another friend had come down from Dubai for the same. A wedding planner was roped in, who coordinated the finer details with those involved in the wedding. This ensures the bride and groom are stress free [ well, if there is such a thing] and can focus on enjoying the day, instead of running around or being hassled about little things.
So, if you are tying the knot anytime soon, think of all possible things that could go wrong and plan ahead… Above all, enjoy the experience and the day! 
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