It's a fabulous Friday, Maharanis, and you know what that means: it's time to check out the best Indian wedding videos! You saw all the images of this darling duo from Jashim Jalal Studios in their photo feature (click here if you missed it!), and now we've got their super chic highlight reel from Jas Motion that brings us to the center of the fun! With a uniquely hip soundtrack (turn up the volume before you hit play!), this ultra-festive film is filled with dazzling decor by Stylish Events, gorgeous bridal fashions, and plenty of wedding inspiration. Seriously, when you see the bright and elegant ruby lengha our bride is rocking, you'll want to take notes on every detail! So, sit back and prepare to push "rewind" a few times as you enjoy this gem!
From the bride:
"Amit and I met in January of 2004. He was a freshman in Union College (Albany, NY) and I was a senior in high school from Long Island applying to that same program. He wasn’t supposed to be doing interview tours, but his friend called in sick and begged him to take over for the day. He ended up talking to my parents while I was in my interview and they found out that he was from Long Island – about 10 minutes from where we live. As soon as I came out of the interview, my parents insisted that I ask him for his contact information in case I had any questions – since I’m pretty sure he had won them over with his irresistible charm by that point. I awkwardly asked Amit if I could have his number because my mom wanted me to take it and he of course whipped out a pen and paper (the era before cell phones) and wrote down his number, email, and AIM screen name.
Later on that week I had a dilemma – I sent a thank you note to the wrong interviewer and I contacted Amit via AIM to see if he could intercept it and find out the right interviewer from me. We started talking and he asked me out on a date that weekend, but I declined. We continued to talk over the next few weeks and I finally agreed to meet up, and 3 'dates' later (including an introduction to his parents!) by early March of 2004 we were officially together, and a decade later we are still going strong!
We were engaged just over 8 years after we began dating, along the banks of the affectionately known “Passion Puddle” at my Alma Mater – Rutger’s University. The legend goes, that if you walk around the lake 3 times while holding hands with your lover, you are destined to marry. I had always wanted to do this with Amit, but we never got around to it in college. Amit had the proposal planned down to each detail including an excuse to be in New Jersey, having the police keeping the lake and 'Kissing Bridge' unavailable to the public, a hidden photographer, changes of clothes for an impromptu photo shoot, a surprise celebratory dinner with family, and a night out with friends. I never suspected a thing since it was just like 'Inception.' It was so well planned that he even had me drag him out to New Jersey that day for a family event that he didn't want to go to, fake a delay when we were already in the area, and trick me into suggesting we go to the 'Passion Puddle' during the extra time."
On planning her wedding:
"I obviously have been obsessed with Maharani weddings for years so it definitely played a large role in my ideas for planning. Other sites I frequented included “Exclusively In”, “The Knot”, and “Pinterest”. I was also a religious watcher of shows such as “David Tutera – My Fair Wedding,” “Four Weddings,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” and “Platinum Weddings.” I always wanted my wedding to be an array of purples, pinks, and blues. However, the more I started looking, I got distracted and thought that I may do an array of Fall colors? However, the more I got involved in the planning, and the more designs that I saw and vetoed, there was no way that I could stay away from my favorite hues of Royal Purple, Indigo, Blue, Gold, and Fuschia. I'm so glad I chose them and I should have followed my heart all along!
I went to India to buy all of my outfits. Luckily, my mother-in-law had gone a few months earlier and scoped out the scene for the best designers so I wouldn't have to waste my time going from place to place. I'm so glad she did because, I ended but buying all of my dream outfits for my Sangeet, Wedding, and Reception on the same day! I got my Sangeet and Reception lengha from Ritika Bhasin and my Wedding lengha from Kimmi Tej.
I am a planner. I research EVERYTHING. However, I had purposefully not spent any time looking at outfits on the internet, because I knew that when I got to India there was no way to predict my 'love at first sight' outfits, and there was no way to tell if something would look good on me unless I tried it on. So I went with a clean slate and was so glad I did! And I honestly couldn’t ask for a better mother-in-law who has such amazing taste and surprised me with matching jewelry!"
On a special moment during the wedding:
"Our 'first look' when Amit turned to me, broke in to a huge smile and simply said 'Wow.' It was right then and there that all of the stress from the planning melted away and we both knew that it was all worth it.
Our first dance was to the song "I Promise You Forever" by Nasri. It was playing randomly before Amit proposed and again, after the photoshoot. After listening to the lyrics, it couldn't have been a more perfect song for us.
Since our wedding was the first big wedding for both sides we had to start from scratch! Luckily, I had been planning this day since I emerged from the womb, so I was bursting with ideas. We obviously had a full, 5-day, 420 person-Punjabi wedding which took a LOT of planning. In residency, time is of the essence, so wedding planners were a must for us and I could not have done it without their help."
On the wedding events:
"The festivities began with a traditional puja on Wednesday night at the groom’s house to start off the wedding festivities auspiciously. It was filled with food, drinks, and mingling for all the family members just beginning to arrive from all over the country, and the world.
Thursday night was our Sangeet at Crest Hollow Country club, which featured a pool-side cocktail hour, speeches, dances, and the traditional 'Jago dance,' which was performed by the women of the groom’s family to open up the dance floor (of course we all participated with each of us taking turns carrying the Jago on our head!) After this, of course the bhangra continued all night long.
Friday was my Mehndi ceremony where I sat still in a chair for NINE hours straight but it was well worth it! The evening took place as an indoor/outdoor event at my home and consisted of the groom’s family arriving in a processional carrying decorated, lighted, gorgeous packages containing all my wedding jewelry, outfits, and gifts. Afterwards, led by my grandmother, traditional songs were sung and the dholak was played and all women, young and old danced around me and celebrated.
Saturday night consisted of a cocktail/dinner/dancing party at Akbar Restaurant that the groom’s aunt and uncle threw for us to allow for both families to get to know each other prior to the big day. A surprise performance was done by a group of very talented belly dancers, which the men really did seem to enjoy!
Sunday was the big wedding day. The morning consisted of traditional Haldi ceremonies at both the groom and my house, each held separately. My ceremony also consisted of having my mom’s brothers (cousins in our case) who traveled from Texas, each put a 'Choora' (red bangles) on each of my hands. I wasn’t allowed to see it before and I had to keep my eyes closed as it was being put on (but of course I had to take a peek while it was happening! I had to keep those bangles on for a minimum of 6 weeks after the wedding to signify that I was a newlywed – and boy did that take some getting used to!) After that, I had special hand-picked “kaleeras” put on as well, which had all been individually blessed by family who could not make it from India. I took turns trying to break them over my bridesmaid’s heads (don’t worry I had separate crystal ones for the actual wedding!) The person’s head over which I broke it over first would be the next one to get married!
The day was a blur with getting ready multiple times and taking lots of photos with family and my bridal party which then finally culminated in the moments I had been waiting for – our 'first look' and then our marriage! We took part in a traditional Hindu/Punjabi wedding ceremony which began with a Baraat (a processional where my groom arrived on a horse), Milni (greeting of families), Jai Mala (exchanging of garlands), Kanyadan (giving the bride away), various pujas, circling the sacred fire and exchanging of the seven vows, placement of the Mangal Sutra (black beaded necklace), Sindoor, and exchanging of rings indicating that I was now a married woman. This was followed by a Shiksha or poetic blessing given by my grandfather, which brought the entire room to tears. After receiving blessings, we played the 'Joote Le Lo, Paise Dey Do' game in which of course my bridesmaids received beautiful 'Kaleecheri' rings from my mother-in-law, and the rest of the girls received money from my husband (yes, husband!) for giving back his stolen shoes. The bouquet was then thrown and caught by a bridesmaid, and then I bade farewell by throwing puffed rice over my head to symbolize that I wished my parents a life of abundance after my departure. I then mounted a Doli and was carried away by my brothers (new and old), with my new hubby at my side, to the horse and carriage that was waiting to whisk us away!
The rest of course is history. We had the opportunity to make the end of our phenomenal cocktail hour, which had a wonderful new and fresh instrumental electric tabla player. The rest of our reception was full of fun, speeches, and dancing all night long - including our signature drinks mine being the “Marry Me Mohito” (blueberry lavender flavored), and Amit’s being 'Life’s Over Lime Cordial.' The night was a hit with our percussionist who played to the beat all night long, as well as our oversized caricatures within our photobooth with lots of accessories to play with!
The entire week was a blast (followed by 10 days in Hawaii!) and I loved each and every minute of it. Each one of my vendors were incredibly professional and wonderful and I am so happy to share my experience with Maharani Weddings!"
On being with her true love:
"I think the biggest accomplishment of our relationship is maintaining one and staying strong through 8 ½ years of long distance out of the 10 that we’ve been together. We had the opportunity to evolve and grow in our own lives and own friendships, but still stayed together no matter what hardship came our way. Through college in different states, and medical school in different countries, staying together and maintaining a relationship between all the stress and distance between us was quite possibly the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. But we made it! And we worked so hard to match together at the same hospital for residency (Pediatrics for me and Internal Medicine for him). Now that we had our dream wedding, it’s finally OUR time."
As sweet as can be! See you in just a bit, Maharanis!