What are the most important things to book first?
- It’s amazing how many people leave things until the last minute but the main things that people need to book as soon as they know they are getting married is the venue for both the temple and reception. You may not be able to get your ideal venues on the same dates so having a couple of venues to choose from will allow you to book one of your preferred venues for your big day. Every wedding can be stressful so having an Event Planner can allow you to concentrate on other aspects of your wedding such as the outfits, bridesmaids, shopping, booking the honeymoon and those other little things that you need to sort out before your big day.
- Once you have booked the venue, your Event Planner if you have booked one, can find selected caterers, as certain venues will have preferred catering companies who can use their kitchen facilities. Don’t worry if you do not have an Event Planner, you can still source out good caterers from the venue's own list.
- No wedding reception is complete without Entertainment and with so many roadshows, live bands, dancers and musicians available, it pays to find the right team to be able to entertain your guests and make your reception a memorable one.
- Capturing those moments is important for any bride and groom so finding the right Photographer that you can work and feel comfortable with is key to having stunning photos taken of your wedding day. It is always nice to look at your wedding album years later for a trip down memory lane. If you are unsure about where to start when planning a wedding, our expert Event Planning team at Ragasaan are here to help you plan and book all the vendors and suppliers for your pre-wedding events as well as the wedding day.
What are the most common wedding planning mistakes people make?
The biggest mistake that people make when planning a wedding are budgets and trying to cut corners by using cheaper suppliers who do not have the expertise and when it comes to the wedding they do not deliver what has been agreed. This is really disheartening for the families and can cause a lot of stress when you are trying to find an alternative vendor at such short notice. This can cost you more money than initially planned.
What costs do brides most often overlook when budgeting?
Definitely catering, décor and photography. The catering is the largest spend for any wedding especially if you are catering for over 500 guests. It is a known fact that many guests will be judging the wedding by the food. Investing in a well establish catering company who deliver high quality and delicious food at your wedding, will be your event one to remember.
What are your best money-saving tips?
There are so many costs for a wedding, it does soon add up. When booking vendors such as make up artists, photographers, DJ it is always worth asking us when booking the catering with Ragasaan as we are able to work on a package for your event. Many vendors at wedding shows will say that they can offer a discount if you book on the day, however in most cases it isn’t a decision that you can make on the spot as you do need to see budgets and other vendors. At this point it is always handy to have a notepad and pen handy to jot quotes down so that you can refer back to them when you can.
What costs could I save if booked a winter wedding?
As weddings are being held throughout the year, costs aren’t necessarily cheaper in the winter. You might find due to various seasons it might be difficult to source particular flowers but you may choose to go with a theme that is suited more towards a winter theme.
What’s the best red meat to white meat to seafood to veg ratio to ensure all requirements are catered for?
If you are having a seated dinner which is plated per person, the amount of food served will depend on the options your guests have chosen when they RSVP to your event. Typically at Asian weddings, the wedding is all about the food and everyone shares on the table. If you are catering for both meat eaters and vegetarians, we will cater more of vegetarian dishes, as most guests will eat these as well as the meat and fish dishes.
Buffet or Table Service?
Buffet service is a more informal way of serving food, however it can look very grand with unique karahi stands that are used to serve the food, which is ideal for pre-wedding events or at a religious ceremony such as at a Gurdwara or Mandir where space doesn’t allow for table service. Table service is best suited to a reception where it will cost more due to the number of waiters needed, but this is the preferred service for weddings so that the guests do not need to walk around the venue with plates of food especially if there are a lot of guests.
What’s the most cost-effective but hospitable way to provide alcohol?
Providing alcohol at a reception can get expensive, as you will find that some venues can add a corkage charge per bottle opened or the premium cost of drinks bought from the venue can soon add up. The most cost-effective way to serve alcohol at a reception is for the spirits to be served ready in glasses as measured shots. This can either be served at the bar area or brought to the tables and served to your guests by the waiters. It is always worth exploring the options and choosing the best option for you.
Do we need to provide an after-dessert/ after-dancing snack?
Whether you serve tea and coffee with wedding cake before the end of the reception or offer guest a table of desserts, you will find that those who have travelled from afar will want something to keep them going through their journey back home after your event. We see so many guests longing for a cup of tea to keep them going after a long day especially if you have had a morning ceremony and an evening reception. If you intend to have a long reception where guests will have their starters and main meal earlier on in the day, it may be worth offering a small selection of canapés towards the end after your guests have danced the night away. Either way, Ragasaan can help plan out when to serve the food so that there is enough time between courses and dancing especially if a wedding reception is for around six to seven hours.
Do we need to serve canapés AND starters?
It is entirely up to you. Canapés aren’t something that you will find at every wedding reception and they are a perfect ice breaker for guests to mingle and have a chat before being seated at a wedding reception. If you decide to have canapés and starters we would recommend to have selection of light canapés such as Papri Chat and Amritsari fish and then for starters have Paneer Manchurian, Tandoori Aloo Chat, Chicken Achari, Lamb Chops and Tiger Chilli Prawns. If you would prefer to have just canapés then we would recommend the more filling canapés such as Fish & Chips, Chicken Satay, Lamb Kebab in cocktail Pita Pockets, Cocktail Uttappam, Grilled Vegetable Dumplings and Hara Bhara Kebab. This variety gives a variety of cuisines and there is something for everyone. If you are unsure, the Ragasaan team are able to suggest a menu that compliments each other.
What desserts are most popular with guests?
We see desserts as the finale of the wedding and it is always nice to finish with a sweet treat. Many of our clients want something different for desserts at their wedding reception and they often choose to have a selection of desserts rather than a single dessert such as Gulab Jaman. Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a Trio of Desserts, which include a Mini Strawberry Tart topped with fresh fruit, an exotic fruit Mousse and a traditional Indian dessert, Rasmalai, it’s nice to see the guests faces light up when the desserts are presented to them. We do have some brides who are rather fond of cheesecake and we can see why and they are popular with guests.
What are your favourite dishes?
It’s difficult to choose our favourite dishes as there are so many to choose from especially when we have such a diverse range of dishes available! Although we wouldn’t say no to our live stations, it is like eating at a wedding in India with every bite. Our live stations offer an exquisite range of dishes from the simple Pani Puri to Noodles or Mexican Fajitas.
What is unique about a Ragasaan wedding?
What makes us so unique from the rest is that Ragasaan has a wealth of experience of over 20 years and we have evolved over the years so that we can deliver a spectacular event from the food to the décor and every other aspect of the wedding. Every event is managed by a team of talented event coordinators and kitchen staff. The food we serve is prepared to the highest standards and presented in innovative ways with garnishes that complete the dish.
What are some of the most popular wedding trends for 2016?
So far for 2016, popular wedding trends vary depending on the budget and venue, but we have seen a lot of vintage themed weddings with an Asian twist. The larger contemporary venues tend to suit décor inspired by Art Deco or an enchanted garden theme. Many people are steering away from the traditional red and gold themed wedding reception, which are more suited to a religious wedding ceremony.
What Asian wedding trends are you happy to see the back of?
We wouldn’t call paper plates a trend but we are happy to see that they aren’t widely used at weddings anymore. There are so many more alternative disposable plates and cutlery available to add to themed weddings, which are a lot more sturdy. We are really glad to see the back of balloons at a wedding reception, although we don’t mind seeing them at children’s birthday parties.
What can a bride do to make her vendors' jobs easier?
We have a team of excellent event planners of who work closely with a lot of vendors and have established a strong network. We want to do everything we can to deliver the highest standards for our brides and to make our job easier we just ask our brides to relax and enjoy the planning stages before the big day. Weddings are hard work for everyone involved that is why we are here to help so that the bride and groom do not have to chase any vendors, we do all of that for you. We remember working at some events where the bride has been so nervous due to the number of guests but our event coordinator have been able to give them the burst of energy needed to be a calm bride. We have a team who have many skills to ensure that any event runs as planned. Every couple should enjoy and remember their wedding day and not worry about the event, it’s all under control with Ragasaan.
At Ragamama Ragasaan, we aren’t just caterers. We can locate venues, design and plan your event and deliver a wedding that is beyond impressive. And it is always good to know that we are by your side every step of the way. While the happy couple and their family enjoy their day, we ensure that the event is running as smoothly as possible and that all your guests are happy to make your day magical. We love what we do and every event we plan and cater for is a like a fairytale come true. Book Tickets to Asian Bride Live on 19th-20th November at Olympia London to meet the Ragasaan, sponsors of the event and chat to our team to plan your perfect wedding.
Originally written by Ragamama Ragasaan for Asian Bride Luxe