EVERY SINGLE ONE OF ANNE BLYTHE'S RELATIONSHIPS HAS ENDED IN DISASTER, SO WHEN FATE LEADS HER TO THE DOORSTEP OF A HIGHLY SECRETIVE ARRANGED-MARRIAGE AGENCY, SHE DECIDES TO TAKE A CHANCE.
Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.
After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she dials the number on the card... but soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged-marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it - and the company's success rate - the more it appeals to her. And so, a few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, everything seems to be working out...
Overall: Great chick lit read!
Arranged was the perfect light read for a rainy afternoon. I swear I sat down with my cuppa and this book for just an hour of reading, but wound up staying put until I finished reading the entire thing. It was such a fast and fun read that I couldn't put it down. And truthfully, I was in the mood for a chick lit book and this one fit the bill perfectly. It had a protagonist I could relate to, some romance, best friend drama, a break up to get through, and of course the typical, "happily ever after" ending that I love.
The story is about Anne Blythe and her never-ending luck of dating the wrong guy. She's just broken up for the umpteenth time, when she finds out that her best friend has gotten engaged. Feeling lonely and a tad jealous, Anne decides to phone a dating service in the hopes of meeting someone new. However, the dating service she sets up an appointment with turns out to be a company that specializes in arranged marriages. Curious about the concept of an arranged marriage and the fact that the company boasts a 95 percent guarantee, Anne decides to plunge ahead with the matchmaking process. She fills out forms, hands over a check and attends therapy sessions all in the hopes of finding her perfect match. Meanwhile, Anne doesn't tell anyone about her arranged marriage and instead continues to go on bad dates, work on her book (that is getting published!), and discussing wedding plans with her best friend. However, things go from hypothetical to very real when Anne gets the call that a match has been found. Soon enough she is flying to Mexico to meet her future husband and find out if marriage really is all that she's always imagined it to be. Of course, life never goes along with your plans, so there are plenty of highs and lows leading up to and following Anne's wedding day - you just won't believe it!
Catherine McKenzie has written a smart and entertaining book filled with likeable and relatable characters that you can't help but root for. And the story line itself, will have you eagerly turning pages to find out what happens next. Arranged is the perfect read to while away the day with. I would recommend it to anyone interested in chick lit (women's fiction).
*Thanks to William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) for providing me with a copy of this great book!
I love books that suck me in like that! This one sounds terrific!
bermudaonion, me too! Those are the good reads that leave you feeling satisfied :) I think you'll like this one - its such a fun read!
I really like the sound of this, great review!
Dot, I think you'd like this one ;) And thanks!
Great review! I can definitely see this one ending up on my Beach Reads list this summer. I love books with a relatable female protagonist that doesn't wind up annoying me by the end of the story.
Jenna, definitely a great pick for a beach read :) You will enjoy it!
This sounds great - I'm definitely going to add it to the wish list!
Lisa, it was such a fun read! I think you'll like it ;)
Importance of Mehndi in Indian Weddings...
Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriages being the most important day in one's life, mehndi has become an ornament for the soon to be brides. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat".Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.
It is a common belief that the darker the color the mehndi leaves on the hands on a bride, the more will she be loved by her husband and mother-in-law. However, the significance of applying mehndi during weddings is not restricted just to sentiments and beliefs. Although these beliefs make the application of mehndi a much anticipated and charming tradition, the actual reason is of much deeper significance.
ExpressJodi.com-Common Platform for Happiness
An ode to the wedding songs in Punjabi Wedding
Punjab is the state of festiveness. It is said that punjabis can groove to the beats of dhol even if there is no occasion. As such, when there is a shaadi in the house, it given them a reason to sing and dance. In Punjab, there are different genres of songs when it comes to marriage songs. There are categories divided on the basis of moods and situations.Some of the most popular categories include:
Gharouli de Geet: These are happy songs that are sung when the pitcher is filled for bride/bridegroom's bath on the day of the wedding.
Sehra: As the Hindu priest ties the sehra (flower veil) on the forehead of the groom while chanting sacred mantras, the close family members sing sehra songs to pep up the environment.
Suhag: A fairly popular category of wedding songs, the suhag songs are sung by the bride herself as she praises her of her life. Some of these wedding songs also reveal her anticipation of the approaching life in her husband's home. In some households, bride friends and cousins also sing these songs on her behalf.
Jaggo: Jaggo songs are sung a night prior to the wedding. These songs are sung as a celebrative way to invite the neighbours to the wedding.
South Indian Melodies
Laali: These are songs of praise for the bride and the groom who are seated on a swing in a
ceremonial manner and are rocked back and forth. The back and fro motion of the swing in the ritual signifies the waves in the sea of life while the chains represent the eternal karmic link with god. Their movement on the swing depicts that the couple is together in body and mind that they would together cross the ocean of life.
Nalangu: During this ritual, the new bride sings and calls her husband to spend time with her. These songs fill the atmosphere with a sense of merriment. The time signifies the breaking of ice between the bride and the groom as there are several other playful activities that take place, subsequently. While family members break papads on the couple's heads toward off evil, the bride anoints husband's body with sandalwood and sings to him. The female relatives poke fun at the couple and the in-laws while singing songs.
Adding a Zing of Culture
A part from the pre-wedding ceremonies that are replete with the sounds of traditional wedding tunes and lyrics, these days marriages are also witnessing a sort of rebound that seem incomplete without these rhythms and libretto. Live performances usually have the popular singers belting out hit numbers some originals, some legendary wedding songs that set the mood for the evening and get the guests tapping to these numbers. Traditional wedding songs are those symphonies that have bouts of emotions hidden behind, that bring people together to celebrate and have fun and that which any Indian marriage is not complete without.
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A wedding Planning Bussiness, Vivaah explores All the element that make weddings so special different. By tracing the romentic history of weddings from colonial times to the present suggesting ways to create a signature Wedding.
Cater to All function in the wedding such as:
This is the first of the formal ceremonies. Traditionally , rings and gifts are exchanged between the bride and the groom's families. Ascertain ring sizes and buy the engagement rings well in advance, so that the couple can try them out before the ceremony.
Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriage day being the most important day in one's life. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat". Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.
The Baraat is also a wonderful part of the indian marriage. The groom with the sehra tied to hide his face sits on the horse, while his mother holds a lamp lit for the household deity. It is merry ritual when they set forth for the marriage venue along with a band of musicians playing popular tracks, with his relatives groove their way to the wedding. The Swaagat is the ritual to welcome the groom and his entourage by the bride's family. The bride watches the arrival from one window of the house , careful not to gaze upon his face and then comes out to welcome him. At the entrance the groom places his right foot on top of the bride's foot to denote his dominating strength in their future life together. In the Sindhi tradition the groom is seen as the embodiment of lord Vishnu on the wedding day. The couple is seated with a screen separating them so that they cannot see each other while his feet are washed in a bronze thaali with raw milk by the bride's brother and is known as Paon Dhulai. The couple now gets ready for the wedding ceremony and is taken to the wedding platform where the ceremony is to take place.
Decide whether it will be a small family gathering or a big event with a professional band in attendance.
*Book a Mehndiwali well in advance. She/he should bring the necessary material.
*List the songs and hand out the lyrics to all or you can use taped music as a back-up.
*Hold practice sessions prior to the wedding, if you are so inclined.
*Arrange for snacks or a caterer if the gathering is large.
Decide whether it will be sit-down affair or a buffet.
*Make the arrangements in advance and confirm with the venue manager/caterer in writing.
*Specify the number of guests expected to the caterer if you do not want to pay for extra food.
*Confirm arrangements a day before the event.
*Set up a gift table and assign a family member to receive gifts. Maintain a list of the gifts.
*Allocate space for alive band, bar and dining.
*After the reception, move flower bouquets and leftover liquor to the couple's residence.
While a destination wedding is a unique alternative to the traditional wedding, it is only successful when planned by an expert. Destination weddings require considerable planning and research, so couples should look for someone they know they can trust..
the main concept of vow's is to create an Exclusive One Stop Shop for all your wedding needs, right from the invitation card to the Honeymoon Plan.
it will be the first and final destination for brides and bride grooms seeking exquisite resources.
Your Wedding Handbook
Plan your leave from work
Apply for leave work as much in advance as possible. Complete all pending tasks
and divide the workload between cooperative co - worker. “This way you can get up
to speed real quick when you return from your blessed – out honeymoon”
Delegate small wedding day tasks
Delegate duties in advance – get a couple of close friends to be by your side during
the ceremony to calm your nerves and handle the gifts, some relatives (in rotation)
to greet guests at the entrance, someone with a list of all vendor contact
Have a chat with your photographer
Decide the theme you want for the marriage pictures and give the photographer a
list of moments you want captured.
Pack your accessories and wedding night bag
Pack a bag with all the accessories you’ll require to get dressed on the wedding
day. This includes jewellery, makeup, hairpins, safety pins, undergarments. Leave
this bag next to your wedding dress along with your bag of “just – in – case” items.
Also, pack a small bag to carry with you to the hotel for the wedding night. This bag
should have everything you’ll need. Besides lingerie, make sure to pack a change of
clothes for the next morning, your cosmetics pouch and a midnight snack (since no
one seems to eat at their own wedding!)
Make a DVD of the days leading up to the wedding
“What I’m sure I’ll continue to find truly endearing and entertaining in the years to
come is the DVD of my wedding preparation – from the sangeet practices to the
makeup trails to some heartfelt moments with my family”
Maybe you can include messages from your close friends and family as well.
Write out ‘Thank you’ notes
A lot of people have worked tirelessly, spent lots of money and treated you like a
princess in the weeks leading up to your big day. Make some time to write
personalized cards for all of them and give it to each one before the wedding
Look And Feel Your Best
Oodles of pampering
This is perhaps one of the most essential and enjoyable parts of your pre – wedding
routine. Book appointments at least 10 days in advance for your pre – wedding
beauty regimen, preferably at a spa you frequent. Make sure to include a stress –
relieving massage to soothe those nerves.
Get lots of sleep the night before
“No matter what beauty regiment you go through in the days before your wedding,
unless you’re well rested on the night before the big day, you will neither look nor
feel your best,”. “The last thing you need is a headache putting a
damper on your mood.” So the evening before your wedding should be a quite one –
spend quality time with your family, eat a healthy meal and get at least eight hour
of sound sleep. Eat something and use the washroom before the ceremony. You
have got a long day ahead of you. Grab a healthy snack before you put on your
makeup and use the washroom right before you head out to the mandap”
Focus on your husband – to – be
If, in spite of your best efforts, things get too chaotic, try this trick : “Every bride will have a moment of nerves, no matter how perfect
everything around her is. It’s human nature. When this happened turned complete focus on my handsome fiancé and on the beautiful life we were about to
embark upon together. My mind instantly quietened down and I had a lovely smile
on my face that made me look even more fabulous in the pictures”. Maybe
you could even give his friend a note to slip to your fiancé right before the
ceremony. This could pep things up a bit for the two of you and help ease the stress
Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life
Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.
With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.
Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.
In - laws or outlaws?
if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.
Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion
Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"
Planning for the future
As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.
The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.
In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).
After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.
Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.
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