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    Neeraja Mamidanna offers a Facebook solution to bridal woes

    There’s a whole lot of crazy planning that goes on behind-the-scenes of an Indian wedding. From caterers to mehendi artists, no one can really recommend who’s a good bet unless they got married recently or they’re charging you to be your wedding planner. That’s where freelance ad professional, Neeraja Mamidanna’s Facebook page can give you a host of DIY options. And it all started with a wedding. “I planned one for eight months and I wasn’t even the bride. The problem was finding the right suppliers, we just didn’t know where to begin!” So after planning her sister-in-law’s big day, this Bangalorean decided to start a Facebook page to help other souls in the city screaming a silent wedding SOS. She called it something most brides can relate to immediately — Help! I’m getting married. “I thought it would be great to have the names and numbers of catering people and photographers, all in one place,” Neeraja recalls.

    From far and wide
    What started out as a joke after she quit her job six months ago, quickly had several takers. With a present count of over 800 members (with its fair share of grooms), the group caters to couples all over the country. “We have members in Chennai, Delhi, Dehradun, Kochi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, of course,” smiles the 31-year-old. And what takes the forum beyond a free-for-all wedding directory is the abundance of vendor references, cost quotations and even quirky requests. Like a crane to transfer a bride seated in a lotus on to the stage!

    Sound advice
    Even the most basic requirements are best chosen via a recommendation from someone who has used the service before. But perhaps the biggest draw for brides isn’t the services at all. Take it from a reporter who just got married — it’s knowing you’re close to a meltdown, and you aren’t alone.

    Details: facebook.com/groups

    – Sonali Shenoy


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