Real Weddings: Dhanya-Arun’s ‘No Frills No Fuss’ Malayali Wedding by MTM Photography

By  | 

After two very grand real weddings (which we had covered the past two weeks), we have a very simple Malyalam style, no-frills, no-fuss wedding which is all about the love and connection between the bride and groom.  Hyderabad based photographer Shashank Mahaswade and his team (Moments That Matter Photography) captured the day in all its glory. Bride Dhanya describes the events which led to day for us:


Bride and Groom: Dhanya Menon and Arun Nambiar

How did you meet?  It was an arranged marriage. My mom and sister (then aged 11) were searching for the ‘perfect groom’ for me on wedding portals on the Internet. They came across Arun’s elder brother’s profile.


I was at work when this happened, and when I came home they informed me about having sent a message to a prospective groom. When I logged in to see the groom’s details, Arun’s dad had replied saying they were also looking for bride for their younger son.  When I saw Arun’s photographs, I quite liked him and wanted to know more.

Arun and I were very firm that we would first interact with each other before considering moving ahead. Since he was working in Bangalore and I in Mumbai, we could only talk on the phone for nearly a month. During this phase, we found each other quite compatible. So, we gave the go-ahead to our families to meet.

It was the first meeting that sealed the deal. It was a busy day at office, and I had to literally sneak out to meet him. We decided to go to Cafe Coffee Day but he ended up taking the wrong route twice. (Rather than getting irritated, we actually had a good laugh about it and ended up at Starbucks instead).


What followed next was the traditional ‘pennukaanal’ (a ceremony wherein the prospective bride and groom and their immediate families meet along with all other important elders. Following this, there were a few more outings together, (which included a memorable night drive with his cousins) and endless talk on the phone that really helped us to get to know each other well. I think I knew then that I was in love with him.

The engagement This was finalized on September 8, 2013. It was a traditional ceremony before 125 odd relatives and friends.

1622626_263749640450965_1768147449_n 1798488_263749573784305_1340570908_n  1932454_263749510450978_1340888146_n 1959971_263749477117648_1750614749_n

The Wedding venue was finalised as Bunts Centre in Navi Mumbai. We chose this place as it had an auditorium with a comfortable seating arrangement that allowed all the guests to see the ceremony and be a part of the short celebration that Malyali weddings are famous for.

Our Wedding photographer: Shashank Mhasawade of Moments That Matter Photography. I feel he was one of the best decisions I made regarding my wedding day.

My Wedding sari: The wedding saris were all brought from Nalli Silks, Mumbai. We went through a lot of saris and after a great deal of confusion when I tried this particular sari, an elderly lady (a complete stranger) came up to me and said that it was looking really good on me. This compliment helped me finalize my decision.


The Wedding – The wedding day was finalised as December 8, 2013 since we both wanted a winter wedding.  Malayali weddings are very short; the main muhurat is only of about one hour.

We both wanted to do something different and something non traditional. So we planned a Sangeet on December 6, 2013. Just after the engagement, all his relatives sprang into action planning for the sangeet, choreographing dance on Bollywood numbers etc. On a pleasant Mumbai winter evening, the Sangeet venue was finalised at rooftop of Sai Palace Hotel, Andheri. The cool breeze and open rooftop arrangement totally made the occasion magical.

The day ended after a lot of dancing, music, and fun.  This was followed by an outing with Shashank for a pre-wedding shoot at Chota Kashmir.


Being a Malayalam wedding, mehendi is not a mandatory part of our customs, but being a Mumbai brought-up girl, I was particular that I wanted one.

The wedding day started quite early with great deal of excitement and nervousness This began with a visit to the temple for blessings. It was quite funny seeing Arun struggling with the ‘mundu’ , the traditional wedding dress for Malyalam grooms, which he was wearing for the very first time.


My advice to other brides-to-be: It is your big day, so put on your best smile and be happy from within!


All images courtesy Dhanya and MTM Photography

Photographers and brides/grooms can submit their real weddings stories to us at [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.

Back to General