Since Disha and Vijay were finally hitched, it was definitely time to party all night long! The adorable duo’s reception at the Sugarland Marriott was a glittery tangerine dream come true, with blush and gold accents at every turn, and lovely invitations created by Customizing Creativity. We’re loving every floral and drape that the mavens at Mandap Creations whipped up for this once in a lifetime soiree, with planning by Electric Karma. Maharani Disha got in on the glamorous action, and her ethereal fuchsia anarkali was stunning and totally unique! The lovebirds know how to have a good time, and we were thrilled to see the two animatedly laughing with joy during their reception program. They wowed their guests with their Bollywood inspired first dance, and the two were spellbinding as they floated and twirled across the dance floor. Soon after, each and every guest swarmed the pristine white dance floor to get down to banging beats by Dhol Beat international - BJ Josan. Luckily, Biyani Photography was there to capture the magic moments for all of us to relive in the full gallery. We can’t wait to watch the wedding film by Tall Productions. So much color and love bursting from this celebration!
Enjoy our Q & R with the lovely couple and get to know the bride and groom a bit better:
Q. Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
R. On February 21, 2016, Vijay invited me to brunch at Jupiter, one of the places we first had brunch together back in fall of 2014. I was excited because this meant I would get breakfast pizza and mimosas, with a side of Vijay's waffles! So I got dressed in the morning, drove to Sugar Land Town Square. Vijay met me in the parking lot and we walked towards Town Square together, little did I know that our friends were watching us from behind phone booths, with their cameras ready to click pictures. We walked towards Jupiter and I spotted two balloons, but didn't think much of it. It just seemed like there was something going on in the distance … with balloons and roses. Eventually, we made it to a beautiful set-up of 100 roses beautifully trimmed in the shape of a heart, along with two balloons, which some of Vijay's friends had set up that morning. Eventually the people eating at Jupiter and other spectators started staring at us, an unexpected photographer showed up, and Vijay got down on one knee with the most perfect diamond ring (it was so big and shiny and PERFECT!) and asked me to marry him! After I said yes, and continued to stare my ring, we proceeded to have brunch with our friends. It wasn't entirely a lie that we would be having brunch, just with a HUGE SURPRISE before!
Q. Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
R. The first thing my family and I looked at were venues since I quickly found out that all other vendors require the date and venue before they will give you a quote! We saw around to a few of our favorite places and ended up choosing Sugar Land Marriott Town Square for the ceremony and reception, since that is where Vijay proposed to me and it was a place we had shared many laughs and delicious meals. (We’re both big foodies!) Once we entered the ballroom, we loved the feeling of the mirror accents on the top of the ballroom, the grand foyer space as well as the bridal suite. Town Square is also a lively and colorful area where our guests could roam around just by walking, so it quickly met our expectations. A few weeks after, we hired our wedding planner, Therese Cole-Hubbs from Electric Karma who helped guide us through which vendors would suit my style and what we were looking for. I continued to research photographers, videographers and make-up artists and other vendors by looking at Maharani Wedding features, social media posts, visiting their online portfolios, and then chatting and meeting with a few of the vendors. After doing a few weeks of intense searching, I noticed a trend - I found myself going back to the same vendors!
For the Sangeet, we wanted to pick a location that was close to the ceremony and reception so that guests who were coming out of town didn’t have to travel too far. Our Sangeet was at NOAH’s Event Venue, which was perfect for the number of guests attending, the three different food stations and the large dance floor, along with the different options for lighting.
Picking a decor theme was one of the more difficult things for me. I knew I wanted certain concepts and specific colors with a round mandap, however I didn’t know how to make it all come together. Therese, Dipti and Kanak Uncle from Mandap Creations really helped give my vision some elegance and classiness to make it truly “come together” for our home, Sangeet, Ceremony and Reception decor. Picking Mandap Creations for the décor was a simple decision for us, as we had been to a few other weddings and seen their décor and florals, which was just breath-taking.
A very important detail that often gets overlooked is stationary. Out of the time spent planning this wedding, a large portion of the time was dedicated to wedding invitations and ceremony and reception stationary. Very similar to the other vendors we had, I searched online for days to understand the style, motifs and overall feel of invitation suites. I spoke to many vendors in the States and ended up choosing Customizing Creativity, located in India, for our invitations. I just loved their colorful floral prints which is what I wanted my other stationary to incorporate in as well.
Q. How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
R. We went shopping in Jackson Heights, New York for most of my wedding clothes, along with my family and other family members. For my ceremony though, I always wanted a Bengali traditional sari, which is known as a banarasi sari. We didn’t pay much attention to my sari as we had a lot of gifts to buy, and other clothes and knick-knacks we needed for the ceremony. Towards the end of our stay, we focused on my sari! I mostly looked for sari’s that were bright sindoor red, but yet had some depth to the color, like a classy, yet beautiful red. There were a few sari’s with gems on them, which were considered to be a bit more modern, but there were also ones with traditional golden zari embroidery, which is what I really wanted. For the anchal (pallu), I wanted some heavy golden embroidery. The day before we flew out of New York, we found my perfect sari that was the perfect bright sindoor red. Both of my parents really loved the sari that we ended up choosing, and that was quite important to me.
Q. What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
R. The most enjoyable part of the planning process was all of the food tastings and cake/dessert tastings, because we got to taste so many different from Bombay Brasserie that are usually not on the menu! I think cake tasting is self-explanatory! We went to about 4 different bakeries for cake tastings, but chose Cakes by Gina, because her cakes were delicious, and she had our favorite flavor, tres leches! I also really loved getting to plan the wedding with my parents throughout the year - they were very supportive and involved in the planning process which was very special.
Q. What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
R. Many of our family members and family friends told us that they loved being so close to family for a few days. It’s a rare occasion and people were happy that they got to be a part of the celebrations in their fancy attire. The guests also seemed to love the food for the multiple functions – we tried to mix it up by serving Bengali, South Indian, Tex-Mex (our favorite!), Mediterranean, Indo-Chinese, and a different variety of Indian food. This kept the meals interesting and there was something to eat no matter what age you were!
Q. Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
R. Being a Bengali bride, I was brought to the mandap on a piri (wooden board) by my male cousins. I had my eyes covered with paan (betel) leaves, and had a kajal lata and gauch kata, in my left and right hand, respectively. Initially, there was some resistance from my family and others who thought I would not be able to balance myself on the piri and they suggested that I just walk in. But I wasn’t going to back down, especially when Therese told me not to worry about it and that she was going to make it happen! One very special moment that replays in my mind is when I was first picked up on the piri by four of my cousins, Udit, Deb, Satyaki and Aditya who carried me Vijay and the mandap. At this point I had not seen the décor, any of the guests, or Vijay yet, but my eyes were still covered with paan leaves. I tried to not look around much, but I remember feeling like I was in an ethereal garden – I could smell the lovely flowers and took peeks around the room. I vividly remember my cousins carrying me around Vijay 7 times and finally ending with the Shubho Dhristi, which translates to auspicious sight, or the first time I saw Vijay that day. It truly felt like my fairytale came true!
Q. For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details.
R. Besides the ceremony, there were five other events. The house was decorated with red, yellow, and orange flowers with beautiful arches and other props to fit the feel of a Bengali marriage. The Ashirbaad, or formal engagement ceremony, was hosted at my house and it had a traditional feel to it. Vijay and I both wore jewel tones with golden embellishments, while I also wore a few pieces of my mom’s jewelry. My mom made lots of traditional Bengali sweets like roshogolla (our favorite!), many types of sandesh, cham cham and some pitha’s. My mom’s friends also brought an assortment of sweet delights in the shape of a fish and butterfly, as those are two auspicious for Bengali weddings. My in-laws had also brought an assortment of Turkish delights and baklava which everyone enjoyed. Many traditional clothes, jewelry and other goodies were exchanged between the two families.
The Gaye Holudh, or Haldi, was held in our backyard. It was a very colorful event full of yellow’s, green’s and reds. It was a very traditional affair where family members applied haldi on Vijay and me separately. The haldi was made by crushing raw turmeric by married women before we entered. For the food, we served a Mediterranean lunch which everyone said they really enjoyed! Overall, this was a very fun event.
The Sangeet was held at NOAH’s Event Venue which was perfect as it was close to our ceremony venue and perfect for our needs. We served the food in one of the rooms, we served drinks in another and the program went on in the main room. We had three food stations – Bengali (since I’m Bengali!), South Indian (Vijay is Tamil!), and Indo-Chinese, which is one of our favorites to have together. Many of the children had a blast with the live dosa and uttapam stations. We served Limca and Thumbs Up for our drinks and had Indian ice cream for desserts. The Sangeet was Bollywood theme, with pinks and purples, and each table was named after Bollywood movies Vijay and I had seen together. We played some games during the night and had lots of great dances and performances by family and friends!
The Dodhi Mongol was performed at midnight the day of the wedding. I was fed my last meal, mishti doi (sweet yogurt) and khoi (puffed rice) until the wedding ceremony is completed. My mom adorned my hands with traditional bangles known as shaka (white bangle) and pola (red bangle), traditionally made from conch shells. The bangles are an aesthetic Bengali symbol of marriage and are traditionally worn by the bride throughout her life. Only close family members attended this event.
The reception colors were blush, coral, nudes, golden with greens from the ivy. I wore an orchid colored dress with golden embellishments. Our bridal party performed two beautiful dances for us on our customized dance floor! The bridesmaid’s performed a beautiful Bollywood medley to songs that were about me. Like Drama Queen! The groomsmen reenacted how we met through a personalized skit and songs, which was quite great. As for other details, we also had signature cocktails, personalized cocktail napkins and other personalized floral stationary, and chaat stations during cocktail hour along with other appetizers. Our delicious reception food was catered from Narin’s Bombay Brasserie. Also, my personal favorite was our dessert bar! There were traditional Indian desserts, like rasmalai and mango mousse as well as a macaron tower, fruit skewers, and our wedding cake from Cakes by Gina! (best cake ever!) Towards the end of the night, we had a sparkler exit with our closest friends and family and then we danced the night away!
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
R. While picking your vendors, pay attention to the vendors you keep looking at. For example, I found myself looking at Biyani’s picture over and over again – I knew I had to have him for my wedding. Don’t overthink your decisions on any vendors, especially after you have made a decision! It’s never too early to start working on your stationary – give yourself time to create, edit and modify. Lastly, enjoy the planning process, it will get frustrating at times, but it is all worth it at the end of the day. On the day of your wedding, try to have as much fun as possible – I did and I’m so glad that I did! Good Luck to all of you future brides our there! :)
So lovely right? Have a great day Maharanis!