I’ve been traveling in India for the last two weeks with five of my dearest childhood friends, one of whom now lives in Chennai (her weekly package of pressed laundry pictured above). I can’t wait to post photos soon on the Neither Snow blog.
You may have heard of medical tourism, where people visit India for affordable medical procedures. I would like to suggest another category: wedding-stuff tourism.
My friend tells me that she imagines a day when she has returned to the States. She is standing in Target. She picks up a bath towel. It costs $15. She realizes for this amount, she could have bought 3 or 4 (beautiful, handmade, unique) towels in India. Now apply this to everything you might need for a wedding (not to mention everything you will need after: the furniture, the children’s clothes…I could go on).
I will admit I was skeptical, with visions of fuschia silk, gold bangles and mirrored pillow cases. But after weeks with my jaw and wallet open, I humbly offer my unsolicited wedding advice: take a fraction of what you might might spend on rentals, or a top tier appetizer and go at once to India. My rough estimate is that for $5,000 you can buy almost everything you might need for your wedding: jewelry (and yes, diamonds), dresses, custom suits, gifts for your bridal party, heaps of fabric, napkins, plates, paper products, pottery, lanterns, leather goods. Indeed you can even have a canvas tent handmade for a fraction of what it costs to rent.
I wanted to share some finds we’ve picked up that seem wedding appropriate. Aside from the necklace made of semiprecious stones (which was a steal) everything shown cost under $25. The hankies: $1.25. The dried leaf plates: $.10 each. A set of 6 cloth cocktail napkins: $2.00.
Here is a source list to get you started, with credit to Joy for finding these places in the first place. Many of these stores have good business practices or are women-owned. Unfortunately, their websites are often lacking, so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself.
From Mara of Neither Snow.