While uploading my parents’ 25th anniversary photos, I thought it will be nice if I could pen down my experiences in organizing the function.
During the month of March people started asking me about my birthday celebration [which was in the month of April] and then about my parents’ wedding day [in the month of May]. Only when they asked about my age, it clicked me that it was my parents’ 25th anniversary. From then I was restless, at least mentally, planning for the special day. I decided not to let my parents know about my plan till the last minute. It has to be a surprise for them.
Honestly, I really didn’t feel comfortable doing all that I did. I did it just coz I wanted my parents to feel happy and special on that day. So pushing my personal feelings aside I started with the budget. It was really funny when I realized that even to prepare the budget it is necessary to have some prior knowledge. So to get a rough idea about all this I had called my friend Poornima and enquired her about her engagement, which was a year ago. With that information I called Hotel Residency Towers [where her engagement held] to check the availability of the hall and the rates. I thought I could just sit at home and make everything happen through just a phone call, but it was not that easy. They had asked me to come to the hotel to have a look at the hall. By then I found the hotel’s website and was having a look at the halls. The halls were of different kinds according to the number of people it can accommodate. I can’t go for a bigger hall if I’m going to have just 50-100 guests. Again I stopped looking at the halls and started to list the people whom I have to invite-the toughest part in the procedure.
It was not very easy to pick out the people I had to invite. After breaking my head for an hour I had 2 lists, one with less than 50 people and another with more than 150. Everything seemed to be more complex now. I really didn’t know where to start and also whether I can spend more if I had to go with list 2. Dad might not like that many people as he prefers everything to be simple, so I was worried what if at last Dad is not happy seeing the huge crowd. For the next 1 week I was just sitting with the lists trying to make a 3rd and final one with not more than 75 people. I really couldn’t do that.
I was feeling guilty that I had already wasted a week’s time, when, I got a call from the hotel saying there are just 2 halls left and rest all booked for the 27th of May. Gosh, in just one weeks time!!!!!!!! My brain got heated up. Without having a 2nd thought told mummy I need the car to go to my friend’s house and was in the hotel in the next 45 minutes. The outside look impressed me. I enquired about booking halls in the reception and had met the concerned person. She told me that among the 2 halls just one is free to have a look at. Something is better than nothing-so said “Ok, can I see the hall?” She took me to the hall named “The Raj”. I remember seeing it in their website and also could recall that it can accommodate a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 people. I liked the hall-it was above satisfactory. So I just booked the hall by paying the advance. I asked them to arrange for a cake, discussed with them regarding the seating arrangements and to arrange a garland. The 1st two was ok, but she told me they don’t arrange for garlands. Fineeeeeeeee…I told myself. They gave me a list to choose the menu for the day, I got it and had a glance and told that will get back to them later. At last I’m done with deciding the hotel so now I have to strictly stick on to the list 3 I still had to prepare. I was little bit happy about doing at least one thing on time, otherwise I would have missed this hall. Ironically, only a week before the function I heard through someone that one can bargain on the hall rates-which is actually rated per plate and also it clicked me that I didn’t have any options for myself regarding the hotel. I heard about just one, saw the same one and booked it. Anyway it was too late to regret then-“Aarthi learn from your mistakes, though it costs you something”
Deciding the menu was the easiest part of this mission. Me being a food lover and had tasted almost everything on the menu it was really helpful. Thanks dad and mum for feeding me so well, at last it helped me to do something.
Durga, my family friend-to whom I told about my plans, came forward to help me and she was the one who arranged for the garlands. We both had the same florists in mind-actually they were the only florist I had known. She asked me the color code of my parent’s wear, their approximate height and then arranged the garland accordingly. I was really surprised to see her involvement. She even wanted to pay for this, but I said a sweet “no no” since I wanted to spend every penny for my parents.
Photos!!!-Though the photographer was my dad’s friend I didn’t have his contact number with me. All I knew about him was his name. Again Durga came for rescue and gave the number. I called him and he said he’s sick but will send another person. I couldn’t do much about this but just trust his words and rely on the new person. He didn’t disappoint me. You can see - the pictures were good.
Now or Never-I had to start inviting people, it was already late. I literally had to steal my parents’ friend’s phone numbers from their mobile while they were sleeping. It was really odd to talk to people for the 1st time, though I had known them before I had hardly spoke to them. Few were really surprised by my call, few apologized that they might not attend the function coz of their other plans and engagements and few were not reachable. The day before the function I found there were 50-75 people who would turn up tomorrow-exactly the number I wanted to stick on to. Surprising!!!
I wanted to keep the surprise till the last min but unfortunately my parents were planning for something else, so had to disclose it a day before. They were very happy to know and were really surprised that everyone around them knew except themselves.
All that happened during the function was unexpected-you can see the photos, it tells you everything. All went on fine as per the plan-I thought at least one would go wrong and so I was prepared not to panic and to manage everything till the day ends. People even appreciated me for what I did. Until they did so, I didn’t realize that everyone is not as fortunate as me to do something like this for their parents. Before going to bed I thanked God for giving me such an opportunity and making the day so memorable.
The next day morning Mum woke me up with a kiss on my forehead and with her beautiful smile. Dad came to me saying- “I used to get worried that my wedding album was a black and white one and now you gave us a colored one and fulfilled my wish. All night mum n I were talking about you. We are really proud to have a daughter like you”. They left my room saying this without noticing the tears that were rolling down my cheeks..:-) At last this is what any one would wish to hear from their parents-I never expected to hear it so soon.....:-)