We couldn't think of anything better than a Princess perfect wedding, until we met Indian bride, Shristy, and the Rani of her dreams, Vanessa — because what could possibly be more beautiful that a wedding fit for a Princess? How about one fit for two! From beginning to end, it's impossible not to feel the love between Shristy and Vanessa in this beautifully powerful wedding film by Paul Ortiz Films, who managed to capture the most outstanding moments. From fleeting glances filled with all the feels, to a recount of the story of how the gorgeous gals met, it's more captivating than you could ever imagine. The blushing brides were equally exquisite in their bridal fashions too, but of course! Shristy rocking a traditional, red wedding lengha from Chawla Emporium accessorized with the blingin'-est set of jewels, and Vanessa picture perfect in a white gown and pearls. Makeup artist, Beauty by Teara, and hairstylist, Kat Takeshita, flawlessly delivered gorgeous looks to both brides and we just loved the highlights of the both of them getting ready. We guarantee your heart will grow at least double in size after encountering this amazing couple. See for yourself and then get exclusive insights from the brides below — including a special surprise that pops up in the beginning of the video, explained!
Maharani Shristy, on meet the Rani of her dreams, Vanessa:
"I met Vanessa through a mutual friend at a local gay bar, Tiki, in Modesto, CA. I knew the moment I got introduced to her, she was the one. (As corny as this sounds, I shook her hand and my heart felt something). A month into our relationship, I knew I was going to marry her. She was everything I was looking for. She's loving, caring, has a huge heart, protective, cooks very well, intelligent, loves children, beautiful, and most importantly I knew I could bring a woman like her to introduce to my family."
Shristy, on planning her proposal:
"Vanessa had no idea our family vacation would be a life changing moment. I managed to put together a travel bag that had a ring and other things I wanted to give to her during our romantic dinner plans."
Maharani Vanessa, on saying "Yes!":
"Shristy and I decided before our trip to Mexico that we would do a romantic dinner for the 2 of us at some point in time during the week. When we got there she thought it would be a good idea to get restaurant suggestions from the hotel concierge. That, combined with the fact that Wi-Fi was unavailable in our room, she was in and out at different times each day checking in on the tablet looking up restaurants, menus, etc. None of it seemed suspicious and made perfect sense to me, so I never questioned anything. She ended up telling me that “La Palapa” was supposed to be really good and she thought it would be a good idea to go there. I personally had no preference, so I said that would be fine. As days passed, she mentioned that she was trying to make a reservation for Friday night, and let it slip that there was a special table on the beach that she was shooting for, but wasn't sure she would get it and for me not to get my hopes up. And let me add, the reason “it slipped” is because she’s awful at keeping secrets. She had been reading the menu to me, and I approached her trying to read it for myself, and she pulled the tablet away quickly, saying there was something she didn't want me to see. I can’t remember if I questioned it or not, but she couldn’t keep her secret any longer, and told me about the beach side table. She was really excited, hopeful and nervous about this particular table, but it still didn't make a difference to me. Finally, Friday morning she was eager to check her email as she was waiting to see if we got the reservation or not, and went out to the lobby to connect to the Wi-Fi. She came back to the room totally disappointed and told me we didn't get it, and she tried really hard and she was super sorry. She was really bummed, so I hugged and kissed her, and told her it wasn't a big deal. She said the scenery was still great and the food was supposed to be too, so we should go anyways and that she had in fact already made a reservation for 6:30pm that evening.
It sounded like a great plan, and we continued on with our day. When it came time to get ready for dinner, apparently I wasn't picking up on the fact she wanted me to wear the red dress that I had just purchased that afternoon. After our normal debate of “what should I wear” and “does this look okay?”, we were ready to go. We took a cab about 10-15 minutes away towards downtown to La Palapa. We arrived a little early, but checked in anyway, and were immediately led to our table. I followed the woman in the white dress, Sophia, through the restaurant with Shristy behind me, expecting to stop at a table within the restaurant. Sophia led us through the restaurant, down a boarded pathway on the sand, and then towards the water on a smooth, birds of paradise-lined, walkway to a secluded table set for 2. As my chair was pulled out for me and I sat down, I took in my scenery. Although there were plenty of beach-goers, which was quite awkward, we were the only table around. It finally sank in, and I asked her “Is this the table you told me we didn't get?” She smiled slyly and nodded her head “yes.”
We giggled about her sneakiness and about how awkward it was to have many half naked people around watching us. But the table was really beautiful, as well as our ocean view, not to mention the effort and secrecy behind her plan. The beach around us eventually cleared up a bit. We enjoyed a 5 course dinner, and a wine pairing to go with each course. I sipped on mine slowly, while Shristy drank her glasses of wine much quicker than she normally ever would. I asked her, if she was okay, and she said she was “just thirsty.”
Although a little out of the ordinary, still not enough to question more than once. Shristy excused herself to the restroom 3 times throughout dinner, stating that the wine went right through her. Again, nothing weird, just a little funny. Dinner was delicious, and I enjoyed every course thoroughly, and slowly. Finally, the sun was starting to set as I finished up my entrée. She had just returned from her third trip to the restroom, and we picked up on casual conversation. She asked me, “Do you love me?” I crinkled my eyebrows as I answered “of course.” She followed up with our usual “promise?” I replied again with a nonchalant “of course I promise.” I thought she was just being silly. A third question started out of her mouth, “Will you do something for me then?” Just as I was trying to figure out what she might be getting at, she cut me off and said “never mind,” here comes the dessert… As I was trying to understand and dismiss what she was saying, our waiter, Max, placed the dessert plate in the center of our table. I scanned the plate realizing there was writing, and took a second to realize what exactly it was that I was reading. “Will you marry me?” was written in chocolate across the plate. I was very confused and had a million things racing through my mind, so the first thing that managed to come out of my mouth was “Is this for real? Are you serious?” But just as I was asking, my eyes caught sight of the diamond engagement ring in the center of the plate on top of a pink flower. At that moment Shristy had started to get out of her chair to stand. Someone, I’m guessing Max, had started to pull my chair out for me so I could also stand. So many things were happening I was in shock. A camera man and videographer all of a sudden came out of nowhere, I heard people clapping from the restaurant, Shristy was kneeling down on one knee and extended her hand out for mine. I started to reach out, and then realized that if this was real I needed to take off the ring I always wear on my ring finger. I did that quickly, and then reached out for her hand.
“Vanessa Marie Medina, Will you marry me?”
I've waited a long time for somebody really special to say those words to me, and for Shristy to be on the other side was really amazing. I nodded yes, and said it out loud, she placed the ring on my finger then we kissed and embraced. I always thought I would end up crying my eyes out when I got proposed to… Shristy pulled such a fast one that I was too confused and too in shock to cry I think. I was so happy and in awe of everything that I did shed just a tear or two. Luckily it wasn't more than that because the photographer she hired took plenty of pictures immediately after. Our waiter poured us a celebratory shot of champagne which we took together, then it was photo session time. Looking back, all the little bits and pieces make total sense."
Maharani Shristy, on her and Vanessa's fusion Indian wedding style:
"We knew immediately that we wanted to blend our two cultures and pay tribute to our families and traditions. Neither of us are very religious, and we think of ourselves as more spiritual than anything, but there were things that we wanted to incorporate as a sign of respect. We did a more American style vow and ring exchange, as well as a sand ceremony, and we also did an adaptation of the Indian tradition of The Circle of Fire. My wife Vanessa wore a traditional white dress for the ceremony, while I wore a traditional lengha. For the reception we did a wardrobe change; Vanessa wore an Indian saree, and I wore a white feminine pant suit with suspenders.
As far as our decor was concerned, we chose pinks and golds for our color scheme. Our bouquets were similar in style, but one was more bold in color, and the other pastel. We were going for a romantic, vintage, garden style, and our decor turned out just as we had hoped for."
On their most magical wedding moments:
"There were a couple of moments that were magical for us. The first was when we turned that corner from two different paths and met eye to eye for the first time. As we walked further down our separate aisles and closer to each other, the moment became even more magical knowing we were about to marry our best friend!
Reciting our vows was also really important to us. In that moment, it was just her and I confessing our love to each other in front of our closest family and friends, and hoping to make a change in the world by simply expressing our love for one another. Bringing together two cultures, people, different music, and most importantly love to our wedding, was an amazing memory we will never forget. Holding each others' hands as we walked into the reception as MRS. and MRS. Kumar was an amazing feeling; and knowing that every person in that room was there to celebrate us and our love made us feel truly blessed.
Our last magical highlight of the night was when we announced our pregnancy. We had been keeping the secret for months, and only our parents and bridal parties knew. A pregnancy between two women takes some special planning, and we were blessed enough to succeed on the first try. Our dream was to announce to our wedding guests on our special day that we were expecting, and we were fortunate enough to turn that into a reality. Truly a moment we'll never forget!"
On selecting their first dance song:
"Our first dance song was "You and I" by John Legend. Our invitation RSVP cards had a spot for our guests to request a song for the reception if they wanted. We went through each song request one evening, is that's how our song came about. We had actually never heard it before, but knew it was perfect for us after just one listen."
Is your heart as full as ours are? Join us tomorrow for another unforgettable South Asian wedding film you won't want to miss!