Here are notes I've taken from attending many, many Hindu weddings ... including my own!
- Arrange a formal ice breaker activity as early as possible, allowing friends of the bride/groom to meet and interact.
- Introduce relatives to photographer and videographers
- Make sure the foorplan is photographer friendly
- Clothes - Seasons all the way. Give them yuor measurements and away they go. However, note that sometimes the colors in photos are different than the actual product. Such is life.
- When looking at a vendor's portfolio, try to see their efforts for an entire wedding. This is opposed to looking at their top 5 moments from 50 different weddings. Get a sense of how they handle a full event.
- Most of this advice is unnecessary if you have normal, honest vendors who deliver on a timely basis. However, I advise the following because if you do find yourself in a sticky situation, you have some leverage.
- Get all signatures and keep copies. My lawyers said so.
- Minimize retainers and agree not to pay in full until all services/products are delivered.
- Nail down as many details as possible. Do not leave something like "etc" on the contract.
- Make milestones, with deliverables, for any long-term project, e.g. video editing.
- Get any verbal agreements written down and dated.
- 6 months after a contractual deadline is sufficient time to file suit for breach of contract.
- Photography and Videography
- Specify, in the contract, that all raw images and footage is to be given to you at the end of each event. You will then make a copy and give it back to the photographer/videographer for editing/processing.
- Pay a maximum of 25% as a retainer, 25% on the day of the event. The rest is paid upon full delivery of the product.
- Varghodo / Baraat
- The DJ must use an amplifier, a stock car stereo system will not suffice
- Keep hanky's handy for the groom!
- Keep the mandap three feet away from the back wall, this allows photographers access to 'behind the scenes' shots.
- Keep a suitcase close to the mandap. This allows you conveniently collect anything given to you after the ceremony.
- Fog on the dance floor means all your photos will be terrible. There exists some form of low-rolling fog that doesn't rise into the air
- Tape on the floor will help performers understand the boundaries of your lighting setup
- Don't put names on table cards. Instead make 10 table cards for each table (one per seat) and hand them out to guests based on a spreadsheet. This allows last minute seating changes without reprinting table cards. Alternatively post the spreadsheet with a table map, or don't write the table number on the card until you hand the card to the guest.