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Lavanya Bahuguna


Mumbai Artist Who Drew A Guide To Indian Weddings For Her French In-Laws Remembers Funny Mishaps

  • IWB Post
  •  June 13, 2018

Illustrator Aditi Kakade was super busy packing her bags for Paris when I phoned her earlier today. Currently living in Mumbai, she got married a month ago to a handsome French man. Unlike most weddings around the world, the focus in her cross-cultural nuptials wasn’t her or the groom. In fact, this gathering was more about introducing her French side of the family to Indian rituals.


The artist took it upon herself to do the job in the most creative manner. She drew a bilingual zine for her husband’s family in English and French, illustrating and describing every custom that takes places during an Indian wedding. “It was fun because it made me do some research and got acquainted with my Maharashtrian culture simultaneously,” remembers Aditi.

I spoke to the newlywed who is excited to begin her career as a freelance Illustrator in Paris barely after four-freaking-days!

First of all, congratulations! Are you off your Bridezilla period?  

(laughs) I never went into that phase. It was so much fun to prepare for our wedding, especially buying Indian clothes for his family. Sarees, Kurta-Pyjamas, Juttis, and Saafa – it was honestly a joyful phase for both of us. Moreover, the ‘baraatis’ were super excited about the Indian wedding that added to the aura.


What’s your ‘Guide to Indian Wedding’ about?

For them, an Indian wedding was only limited to what they had seen in the Bollywood movies. I wanted to show them how diverse our culture is and accordingly, how assorted the weddings rituals happening in these societies are. Essentially, I wanted them to prepare themselves for a Marathi wedding (I am from Mumbai). In the guide, I included each and every ritual and how can one become a part of it. From what to wear to which sacred items are used during various ceremonies, I drew it all. Of course, I used his family members as the cartoon illustrations to make it more of a personalized directory.

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This is sweet. I am guessing everything went well and according to this cute li’l booklet.

You’re wrong; we had our moments (laughs). You know how the French like to be on time and be remarkably sincere about every timetable. Well, on the wedding day, my husband’s family decided to take a stroll around the city. They wanted to visit the local temples and see the street markets. We were so sure that they were going to be on time only to know that they had gotten a little lost and hence, had entered some other wedding.


Ha-ha. They only realized their mistake once one of them suspiciously said, “That’s not our bride.”

OMG, I want to laugh so hard imagining the poetic and romantic French accent sounding angry and anxious. #SorryNotSorry!

All of us still laugh about it! But overall, the wedding was such a fun experience for all of us. For example, during the Varmala, they were told by my friends how the groom must be lifted higher to tease the bride. Let me tell you that they did pretty well at the game and kept me waiting for a good 10 minutes.


Apart from this. I will never forget how his sister and mother started crying the moment they saw me in the bridal attire. It was an emotional yet beautiful moment for the entire family. I miss everything so much!


Now that you’re moving to France, you’ll miss everything even more. Am I right?

That’s true. However, I’m very excited to explore my career as a freelance artist in a new country. While in India, I was fortunate enough to grab great collaborations and projects that helped me stay financially strong after college. I am yet to understand the scene in the West.

Before we conclude, I want to hear your love story. 

(Smiles) He came to India to study at the same college I was enrolled at. We met there and dated for a month before he moved back to France. The long-distance relationship continued for long before he decided to come and live with me for two years while I got through my degree. Meanwhile, he proposed to me and even made my family say ‘Yes’ to the wedding!


This sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Artist Aditi Kakade, who has ‘literally’ written her beautiful love story, can be found here!

(Pictures are Aditi’s own)

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