Welcome to the first Filmy Friday of 2016, my dears! We have lots of amazing plans in store for this new year and can't wait to unveil the exciting changes with you soon! For now, let's celebrate the first full week of wedding fun with an incredible highlight reel from the phenomenal folks at KSD Weddings! They had the privilege of capturing Akhila and Ankur's Indian wedding celebration at The Merion in New Jersey last year, and none of these vibrant and glamorous details will disappoint! Watch as the South Indian bride of the hour gets ready to say I do with the help of her hair and makeup team from Cinderella Bridez. She's dressed in the most stunning pink and violet wedding sari and decorated with gorgeous gold jewelry and a set of Princess-perfect bridal bangles to complement her ensemble. Elegant Affairs decked the ceremony and reception space at the happy couple's illustrious venue in some sensational Indian wedding decorations that will wow you to pieces, and there's no shortage of breathtaking details to go around. Following an unforgettable exchange of I dos, Maharani Akhila switches gears by changing into an open shirt lengha in a gorgeous marigold color for her post-ceremony soirée, where partygoers were treated to a fine feast by Chand Palace and celebrated the day away in style with the help of a DJ from Dhoom Events!
Maharani Akhila on how she met the Raja of her dreams, Ankur:
"I met Ankur a long 7 years ago, when we were both undergraduate students at Northwestern University! We connected through mutual friends one night at a dinner, and a few weeks later struck up an impromptu conversation over lunch at a campus dining hall. Before we knew it, we had talked for a couple of hours, but we felt like we could talk forever that day. A few months later, we started dating. I knew Ankur was the one because we had many common career and personal interests, and I loved that Ankur was ambitious with big dreams, as well as being an incredibly caring person. He became my best friend, someone with whom I can share anything, and we continue to be able to talk for hours!"
On Ankur's memorable marriage proposal:
"Our proposal was romantic and memorable. Ankur surprised me by telling me we were going out for dinner to a new restaurant which had just opened in Boston. He even designed a fake flier for the restaurant opening, making it so believable! As we were walking towards our destination, our route took us past Boston's beautiful Fan Pier area, overlooking the harbor. He took me towards a grassy area, where he had set out a picnic blanket, candles, and rose petals spelling out the words "Will you marry me?" I could hardly believe it and was so surprised and touched. It was incredibly beautiful. After the proposal, his sister and cousins joined us, and he also had a photographer document the whole proposal!"
On her wedding style:
"I did not have a particular theme, to be honest, but I liked the color palette of purple and pink for the wedding ceremony. I also wanted a classy, glamorous and more fusion vibe for the reception."
On what she enjoyed most about planning her dream wedding:
"I especially enjoyed picking vendors to work with, such as photographers and videographers. I dabble in some photography myself so it was fun to go through photographers' portfolios and videos, and to get to know their different styles. I also, of course, enjoyed picking out my outfits for the wedding!"
On her bridal sari and reception lengha:
"I wore a traditional sari for the wedding ceremony, and a lengha for the reception. I spent hours going through Pinterest and looking for outfits, and really wanted something more fusion/Indo-western for my reception gown. I traveled to Hyderabad for my wedding shopping with family, and purchased both a sari and lenhga there. I found my lenhga, a unique yellow dress with a jacket style, in a boutique called Aanchal in Hyderabad."
On her most magical wedding moments:
"A couple of moments really stick out for me. One was our first dance, which we had choreographed and practiced. While we were a bit nervous, it ended up being a really magical moment for us. Another was at the end of the entire reception, where we played our last song for the night, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." Completely in the moment, all our guests formed a large circle around us and sang along while we danced in the middle. At the end of the song, everyone rushed in to give us a big bear hug. It was such a beautiful and emotional moment for us to feel like we were surrounded by so much love!"
On her and Raja Ankur's first dance song:
"We chose "Seasons of Love" from the RENT musical. It's one of our favorite musicals, and a movie we watched on our second date. We just love the song Seasons of Love and we've danced along to it so much over the years, so it was a natural choice for us."
On her hair and makeup:
"I worked with Barbie of Cinderella Bridez. She came recommended to me by a cousin, and she was absolutely fantastic. I had a trial with her and she gave me some ideas to play with. For the wedding, I had a style in mind - a loose braid accented by glittering hair accessories. And for the reception, I wanted curls to one side in an elegant fashion. I took some photos from pinterest for these. Barbie really made these initial ideas come to life and made me look beautiful. I thank her many times over for her incredible work!"
On their wedding venue:
"Our venue was the Merion in Cinnaminson, NJ. The venue is beautiful inside and outside, and the service there is really incredible! They were so accommodating in working with us and our needs - especially those that come with an Indian wedding - and were incredibly helpful throughout the process. In addition, they provided us with a cake and we opted for a Viennesse dessert bar, an incredible assortment of desserts and sweets, which was a great hit among our guests!"
Stick around for more Filmy fabulousness to kick start the year in Maharani style!