How I shopped for my wedding online & saved money & time
I’ve always liked to be in control. When I decided that I liked a guy, I proposed to him without qualms. Later, when I decided that I needed to spend more “alone time” with him, I rented an apartment, again, on my own initiative. However, after more than six years of ‘being together’, when my partner and I decided to make our relationship official, I found I’d taken on something quite beyond my control.
A “social marriage”, as far as I was concerned, meant a chance to dress-up and pose for the cameras. But to my parents, it meant something completely different. I decided to ignore the priests and the mantras and to focus on the party instead.
And there were going to be lots of opportunities to party! In all, there were going to be six occasions to dress-up! However, this also meant a huge shopping list. In normal circumstances, I am something of a shopaholic. But wedding shopping was much more complicated than even I had thought possible.
What galvanized me into action was an almost incredulous message from a friend on Facebook a few months before the wedding: “You haven’t started shopping yet???!!!” After a phone call to my mother, I figured that I ‘d have to take charge of the shopping, since our tastes are completely different. But how to manage this? I was working in Bangalore and the wedding was to be in Kolkata.
Even apart from the time I would require to shop for everything, transporting it to Kolkata would be a hassle, to say the least. The 15 kg baggage allowance on most domestic flights makes it impossible to carry anything more than a few clothes and a pair or two of shoes.
It was at this juncture that e-shopping came to my rescue. I was no e-shopping virgin, having bought many books from the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. However, shopping for my wedding was a different ball game altogether. With books, you get to read a chapter and decide whether or not to buy. But, as my friends kept asking: “How will you know the exact shade from the pictures?”, “How will you know which colour will suit you?”, “There will be no one to help you online!”. To be honest, I shared their scepticism.
But with no other recourse, one weekend, I prayed to the technology gods, sought the blessing of all my stars, and opened my laptop to go out there and buy. I started searching all the shopping sites available in India: Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Ebay, Amazon, Junglee, Fashion and You, and many more. And I felt as if I’d just entered Alibaba’s cave.
My yawns disappeared in a matter of minutes as I discovered how spoilt I was for choices! Tens of brands, both Indian and international, many of which are not available in most Indian stores, shades of lipstick, eye shadow and eyeliner that I hadn’t even known existed and costume jewellery with designs I’d never seen before took my breath away.
I browsed for hours with no shop attendant to stare pointedly at me and guilt me into buying. I could sort the products according to price, colours, company, and what not. I was like a little girl in a candy store.
OK, so I was spoilt for choices. But then, another problem presented itself. How would I choose? I read patiently through user reviews, and soon I had more information about the products than I would have had if I’d gone shopping physically for them. How would a particular colour look on me? Some searching later, I realised that this too wasn’t a problem.
I downloaded an app called MakeUp and used another online tool that allowed me to apply the make-up to my photo and see how it would look. It was really convenient. Soon, I’d put my list together, and in a few days was able to buy two makeup boxes from Amazon India, one bag and an eye shadow set from Flipkart, lipstick and a nail polish set from Myntra, and some jewellery from Jabong. I could get them all delivered directly to my house in Kolkata.
Not only were all my purchases delivered before time, but the out-of-stock products were also available by the dates promised. Being a confused bride – and this is putting it mildly, others called me a Bridezzilla – I even cancelled an order one day before delivery.
I got the refund within 7 days without having to follow up even once. Another convenience was the flexi hours. Shops in Bangalore close by 9 p.m. A month before the wedding I suddenly remembered that I didn’t have any earrings to match one of my outfits. At 2 am, I searched on Jabong, ordered my pair, and went happily back to sleep. Here’s what my trousseau eventually looked like:
Since the shop was a click away, and the transactions didn’t take much time, I had the oddest feeling of complete liberty. I bought 16 products in less than an hour, an unimaginable scenario if I’d physically gone shopping. This is why online shopping is now my first choice for everything I buy. And here I am, a relieved and happy bride!
So what happened to my sceptical friends? Well, they converted! They gaped at the range of stuff I’d bought. At least two of them have now constructed their wedding trousseaus primarily online. So my experience of online shopping transformed the shopping habits of my entire friend circle. Now we don’t go window shopping, we use Windows instead!
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