Good morning, Maharanis! Are you ready for some sensational Indian wedding wonders, today? Good. Industry experts, RB Event Design, recently planned the most spectacular celebration in Somerset, New Jersey, and we're spending this fabulous day unveiling each and every inspiration detail — starting with memorable moments as today's stunning South Indian bride, Karthy, got ready to meet up with the Raja of her dreams, Shiven, for their romantic first look portraits with The Bleu Studio at The Imperia! Hair and makeup mavens from Cinderella Bridez worked their beauty prowess on Maharani Karthy and we can't get enough of her dramatic eyes — or her vibrant red orange bridal sari! To see more from her and Raja Shiven's pre-ceremony photo shoot, head into the complete gallery!
Maharani Karthy, on how she met the Raja of her dreams, Shiven:
"So this isn’t your typical we met in college, fell in love and are getting married stories. I think fate definitely had something to do with it. We both went to college in Philadelphia, but surprisingly in the brown college scene never crossed paths. We did however have plenty of mutual friends. Fast forward to May of 2012. Both Shiven and I found ourselves in the city of brotherly love yet again. I was eagerly looking forward to seeing Beyoncé live in concert and he was visiting friends. While out in the city, our two groups of friends happen to run into each other and of course someone knew someone and everyone stopped to say hi. Shiven then came up to me and said, “You look like this girl I know!”... Now normally this is where I would laugh at a cheesy pick-up line, but it just so happens this often occurred in Philly so I knew exactly who he was referring to. We ended up talking about how we both knew the same people and chatted for a few minutes before our groups of friends moved on and parted ways. I didn’t think much of my conversation with this guy I just met. The next day I found a message waiting for me in my Facebook inbox from Shiven. We periodically messaged each other and eventually we found ourselves writing essays back and forth about our days and life in general. Believe it or not it took over a month for the first text to be exchanged and even longer until I finally agreed to dinner and our first date.
I knew Shiven was the one when I was dealing with a family member who had fallen sick. He spent many late nights with me on the phone and was so supportive. Being with someone who I knew could be with me through thick and thin was so important. He made me laugh, was there when I was upset and was the only person I could picture becoming my husband. I knew after that he was a keeper!"
On her Raja's unforgettable proposal:
"On the day Shiven proposed I was competing in a dance competition. It was also around the time of my birthday so we had planned a get together with some friends after the show. After I had performed we walked over to the hotel where we were staying along with our friends. Shiven asked if he could take me upstairs quickly to give me my birthday present and freshen up. We got to the room and upon entering I saw happy birthday balloons and a large gift wrapped box. Instead of handing me the box, he walked me to the desk in the room where he has set up his laptop. He told me he had more than one gift and this was the first part. I sat down super confused, while he cued up a video. He had put together a video of all my family and friends saying happy birthday and what they loved about me. Even my family from India! I remember thinking how AWESOME it was and how much time it must have taken him to put it together. At the end of the video, he wished me happy birthday and told me there was another gift, but this one he needed to open for me. I was so confused and turned to him only to find him on one knee with a box in hand. The next few minutes was a blur of emotion, but I said yes! To add on to the surprise he walked me to the connecting room and it was filled with all of our family and friends waiting to surprise me. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating being engaged. To add onto the excitement, I found out we won first place at the competition, which I had no idea happened because I had left early to get ready. It was such an eventful day."
On shopping for her dream wedding sari:
"I knew immediately that I wanted to wear a traditional kanjivaram silk sari from Kerala for our ceremony. I had always loved seeing photos of my mom and the women in my family on their wedding days and knew I wanted to go that route as well. I tried on many saris when we went to India and when I saw the one I eventually chose it felt so right. My family immediately agreed and it was perfect."
On her hair and makeup:
"I worked with Bhargavi from Cinderella Bridez. For my ceremony I wanted a classic south Asian bridal look. We used deep gold tones, a thick black eye liner, and red lip to match my sari for the makeup. For my hair she helped me bring my traditional south Indian bride look to life. She braided my hair and added jewels and fresh jasmine flower strands to complete the look. For the ceremony, we matched the tones in my lengha and I gave her full reign to go complete Bollywood glam."
Meet me back here later today for details from Karthy and Shivan's wedding ceremony!