After a heavy lunch yesterday, my dad decided to show us all the venues & guest houses. I'm pretty sure that he had already planned the tour 2 months earlier, as with everything else during this entire wedding event. The initial marriage ceremonies have just started; the marriage is on 22nd. Here is what we saw yesterday:
- Rabindra Guest House: This one is a stone-throw's away from our house and all the elderly guests and close family will be staying here. In addition to our own apartment (Flat #204) and an additional vacant apartment (#107) in our own building, we have two floors in this guest house. All the meals are prepared by the Maharaj (Chef-on-hire) and served in Flat #107 at least four times a day.
- Fanindra Guest House: This one has three times more rooms than Rabindra Guest House and our extended family and out-of-station friends will stay here. It is closer to the event venues than our house, which makes sense because most relatives & friends will just join us at the events than our house.
- The Regency Terrace - 20th Jan, Evening: The 'Zara Hat Ke' (Something Different) programme will be conducted here. It's the 30th and the last quiz show that my sister has designed and will present as a Mehta. I'm sure she will continue to create and present more shows in her new married life too. With a capacity of about 250 guests, the venue is a beautiful garden constructed above the 5th floor of The Regency building, which real trees, grass, and even a waterfall fountain. You gotta have fountains! In all honesty, the only way I can do justice to the breath-taking beauty of this location and others, is by showing the pictures of our ceremonies when they are held there. That'll have to wait till I get the entire wedding-site up.
- Rangoli Banquet Hall - 21st Jan, Morning: The Mehendi (Henna) ceremony will take place here. There's space for about 300 guests in this beautiful marble hall. The hall will be decorated Rajasthani-style with Chunris & Dupattas (silk-thin shawls worn by Indian females).
- The Cloud 9 Nite Club at Astor - 21st Jan, Evening: We drove past this and didn't see it from the inside. My dad said it's a pretty decent nite club with the same DJ/music/dance-floor setup that everyone is familiar with. The Disco Nite guests will be served by full-time bartenders.
- Maharaja Banquet Hall - 22nd Jan, all day: Here be the marriage. I've been told that instead of the traditional square-block design, the mandap (traditional marriage booth/stall) will have a curved top, kinda like a dome. The bride, groom, parents/siblings, and the priest will sit inside the mandap for the 3 hour long wedding ritual. Hopefully I will not be required to sit down with my legs folded yoga-style for the entire time. I think this hall seats about 500 people.
- Moksh Banquet Halls - 23rd Jan, Evening: The reception venue with three connected halls, can hold about 700-800 at most. The theme for the decorations is floral design and ice-sculptures. We have arranged for a mocktail bar in an adjacent hall with the dinner being served in another hall. This is the last function of the wedding; the first one that my sister will attend as a Sheth.