Welcome back, beautiful Maharanis! Priya and Mushhood's wedding was a tear-jerking Virginia affair. Their video by Whiddon Productions begins with a kiss and takes you through a flowerful, wondrous, and lovely wedding. The couple had been on a 12-year-journey before their big day finally arrived and the groom romantically shares that love is something we all share, a universal truth, and it's what we are doing right! The ceremony and reception were both held at the gorgeous Foxchase Manor in Manassas and we can tell how the guests loved the venue. The couple got married outdoors under a tall arch, beautifully decorated in lush green and decorated with flowers in light orange, baby pink, and summer yellow. A blue, heavenly drape was hanging unsymmetrically toward one side of the arch completing the enchanting style. The bride looked charming in a bright and fashionable multi-colored lengha and her handsome maharaja was dressed in navy blue from Knot Standard with a pink and purple boutonniere to finish the look. Priya's smitten smile shinned throughout the day highlighted with makeup from Glam by Noor and her lightly curled hair was on the loose, marvelously styled by Hair & Makeup Unveiled. The bride's entire person was embellished with sparkling Indian jewelry from Indiatrend and Glimour and decorated with novel henna tattoos created by Bhavna's Henna & Arts. At the reception, the bride joined her bridesmaids in wearing a navy blue, two-piece, eye-catching gown that she showed off on the jammed dance floor. Both bride and groom had numerous bridesmaids and groomsmen celebrating them with remarkable speeches and lots of dancing! At the center of the venue was a prominent stage with modern, white furniture and fresh orange flowers placed simply everywhere to set the mood. Expert planners and florists from Tres Belle Beauty did the wedding industry proud and decorators from Sarah Khan Event Styling did a phenomenal job creatively prepping for this wedding venture. The lucky guests were able to marvel in a delicious cuisine catered by Bollywood Bistro. The entire experience was captured by Charlie Shin who made an effort in obtaining every important minute for the wedding album. Please enjoy Whiddon Productions' striking wedding video and get bridal-spired!
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
Planning the wedding was stressful to say the least, but I feel so incredibly fortunate to have such loving family and friends who went out of their way to make our wedding unforgettable. I think the most jarring and difficult part was figuring out how much things should cost versus how much vendors were asking. Weddings in the U.S. are expensive already, but then to accomplish an Indian style wedding, with multiple days, hundreds of people, and very often a different set of priorities, makes it that much harder. I talked to a lot of friends about their experiences throughout the year of planning, I took note of things I loved and didn't love about other weddings I attended, and most importantly I really prioritized the elements that were important to me while giving less stress to those that I didn't really care about. For example, I really cared about holding a ceremony that reflected Mushhood and I as a couple. His family is Muslim and from Pakistan, while mine is Hindu and from India; meanwhile we were both born in the U.S. and aren't very religious in general. So I fought tooth and nail for a ceremony that was non-denominational, in English, we read vows to each other that we wrote ourselves, and Mushhood's brother married us so his name (rather than a stranger's) would be on our marriage certificate forever. I cared far less about hair and makeup, so I didn't start selecting those vendors until the last month before our wedding (though I ended up loving both!).
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew between all of the events, I wanted my bridal lengha to be more on the traditional side, but I didn't want it to be so heavy that it consumed me. I love bright colors and red is already one of my favorites, so that was an easy choice in terms of color scheme. But then I just started searching online for pictures of bridal lenghas, found a couple for my designer in Delhi to look at, and based on her recommendations I made a final decision. She gave me advice about things I never considered, like how much the type of work you get on a lengha impacts the weight (and I wanted to be able to move!). I also very much let her be the expert. The picture I sent her wasn't exactly what she produced, but I gave her enough design liberties and trusted that she knew what she was doing, and it turned out beautifully. She's been doing this for years, so like with all of the vendors I hired, I leaned on their expertise to help guide me through the process.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I think the most enjoyable part of the planning process was something I never expected - it really brought a lot of people in our lives together. Like I said earlier, Mushhood and I are so so fortunate to have such a community of loving friends and family around us. All from different times and places, but all equally warm hearted and willing to do everything they can to lend a hand. So many different groups of our loved ones started working together to plan a surprise engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal shower, coordinate dance performances, go with me to site visits and meet with vendors, plan full skits and games while MCing our events, the girls were planning their outfits, the guys were planning how and where to drink, the list goes on and on. Watching our friends become closer to each other, and our families have such unifying moments was an incredible experience. My cousin even taught his son how to shave for the first time so he could look nice walking down the aisle!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
A couple things seemed to really resonate with our guests after the wedding. First, that they really liked all of the personal touches. We created a ceremony most of our guests had never seen before, we asked a few people to write original poetry to read during the ceremony, we named our signature cocktails after our dog ("The Albert Einstein" and his nickname "The Bobos"), our table seating chart was hand painted by a good friend of ours, we had movie posters as our table numbers, my brother played the piano for our first dance, just to name a few.
Secondly, and probably what I'm most proud of, is that many of our guests talked about all of the love in the air that weekend. I'm sure a lot of your readers can relate, Indian and Pakistani weddings aren't always centered on best wishes and support for the couple. Often people can get caught up in having fun, or the lavishness of it all. At once point I remember just looking around at all of our guests at the reception and thinking "there's not one person in here who doesn't want to be here and isn't wishing us the best. How did we get so lucky?" In the end, you hope every bride and groom experiences that feeling on their big day.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The entire ceremony. Walking down the aisle with my father, Mushhood walking down with his mother, our bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower boys (who used bubble guns instead of rose petals), ring bearers ("ring security"), Mushhood's brother talking about the meaning of love, marriage, and family, the poetry our cousins read, our vows to each other, and the moment in which we were declared husband and wife. I still get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about it.
For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details.
There's so much! I'm happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
It's absolutely true what they say about making sure you enjoy the entire process. It's too easy to get caught up in the minutia and forget to look up. Also, I'm the type of person that wanted my wedding to be different than every one else's. However, I realized afterwards that some things are repeated at every wedding for a reason - they work and they're reliable. It's ok to have a few of the same elements as everyone else. People are going to tell you constantly what you want. You don't have to listen. You have a brain of your own, you've managed living life fairly successfully thus far, you don't need a stranger telling you what types of food you want, how you want to look at your wedding, or how you should act. Your guests have loved you the way you are, don't become a different person for 1 weekend.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
There's so much!
Thanks for checking in, Maharanis!