Lin & Jirsa Photography captured some truly heart-melting moments between today's Indian bride and the Raja of her dreams, Niraj, at their first look photo shoot, and we're giving you an exclusive of our favorite shots alongside a preview of some of the incredible outdoor wedding decor from Deepti's Floral Designs & Mandaps you have to look forward to later today! Maharani Neeti is the picture of Princess perfection in her red, purple and gold bridal lengha, and her hair and makeup by Dolled Up by Lulu are absolutely flawless in every frame. Niraj complements his bride handsomely in cream and red, and the soft lavender mandap and baby pink rose petals decorating their wedding aisle have us in full anticipation for the ceremony highlights that are coming up next! Before we check out the happy couple's nuptials, head into the complete gallery for a preview of what's to come from this A Panache Affair planned Indian wedding!
Maharani Neeti, on meeting the Raja of her dreams, Niraj:
"My Maharaja" and I first met in undergrad at UCLA. Fate did not have us becoming a couple quite at that stage though. We both ended up traveling from Los Angeles to St Louis for medical school and our story began almost instantaneously during orientation.
We had common friends at UCLA, and had met once in passing. So naturally I tapped him on his shoulder during orientation being ecstatic to have a familiar face among st the 200 medical students in our class. As his sisters tells the story, he went home that night and over the phone told his sister Dipa that the most beautiful girl tapped him on the shoulder during orientation..."It was going to be a great four years.
Being the klutz I am, I had somehow managed to sprain both of my ankles during orientation and had to still move some of my belongings and furniture into my new apartment. I instantaneously enlisted Niraj and his roommate Niral (Niraj's best man) for the job. One thing led to another, and our friendship slowly turned into something more. Seven years later, we vowed to put each other first and take care of each other above everything else. Our special bond was visible to all of our close friends in medical school from day one. It just took the two of us a bit longer to realize there was nothing else we wanted more in life, but to be by each others side."
On the engagement:
"Well we're in residency so coordinating our weekends off (which are scarce) was a bit of a challenge. Niraj had committed us to a weekend getaway, and even though I "knew" a proposal was coming in the future I didn't have the slightest clue the moment had arrived. To my knowledge, he didn't know my ring size, or what type of ring I wanted.... so we were far from getting engaged! He has sneakily gotten one (or two) of my friends to take me to Tiffany's and Macy's to get all this sorted out... without me ever getting wind of it! He planned a romantic weekend getaway to the Hamptons with the help of his cousin sister Smitabhen, with an evening on the beach followed by a full day of wine tasting (I love wine, and wine tasting..... so this was very thoughtful). As fate had it, it was suppose to rain on the Saturday morning he had planned to propose so he woke me up at 7:30 am and rushed me to the beach without my morning coffee to beat the rain! We played in the water, danced on the beach and then he got down on one knee! The entire experience was magical!
Needless to say the first thing we did once we left the beach was call both of our parents on western standard time and woke them up at 5:30 AM to share our news, and then immediately head over to get pumpkin spiced lattes (It was October, so a fall flavored latte was a must). We've both vowed to celebrate our engagement anniversary every year with a beach vacation getaway and a pumpkin spiced latte in hand! I hope we're able to keep up with this plan!"
Don't miss out on the open-air ceremony that's just around the corner! It's overflowing with Indian wedding inspiration!