Welcome to an afternoon of love, Maharanis! We've got a dose of Platinum pizzazz for you today courtesy of Robles Video Productions and it's as fabulous as can be. The party kicks off under a sky blue mandap at a sublime outdoor ceremony full of spring time charm. Bride Dhwani is a dazzling beauty with a bright fuchsia lip and sweeping updo by Dolled up by Lulu and her cabernet- and champagne-colored lengha is absolutely radiant in the California sunshine. At the Great Gatsby–themed reception, the ballroom is as posh as it gets with beautiful vintage decor, and Special Occasions DJ & Lighting brings all the guests to the dance floor to celebrate in style. Harvard Photography is sure to keep their cameras flashing as our bride and groom smile long into the night. I love every moment! And I know you will too. Enjoy, darlings!
From the bride:
"I met my Raja in medical school, but our story has a little filmi twist as well. Our medical school had mistakenly placed us as roommates—Kunal emailed even though he knew it was a mistake. He had already Facebooked me and decided I was "cute," and I quickly responded, "Sorry, I'm a girl, you're a boy, this must be a mistake, but see you on the Island!" We ran into each other at the airport on our way to Grenada and over the next few months became friends (Kunal did reveal his sneaky email and Facebook search) and the rest is history! It's really hard to pin down a moment, but when you know, you really know (someone quirky to be weird with every day for the rest of your life, someone to laugh so hard with you almost pee, and someone who gives the best hugs in the world!)."
On her engagement:
"I had not seen Kunal for 5 months, and he planned to visit me in the Bay Area for a weekend when he finally got vacation. I was working the whole time still, so we decided to make a weekend adventure and headed to Sonoma. Little did I know he had the perfect moment planned. It rained the whole weekend, but the moment we went to the first winery (known as Kunde funnily), the sun came out. We drove to the top of a mountain, overlooking all of Sonoma. At the end of the tasting (and no one else was there for the tasting either), Kunal got down on one knee and asked 'Muhjse Shaadi Karogi?' It caught me by surprise—so simple, so natural! It was easy to say YES!"
On her wedding style:
"We wanted something different from the start, something that almost no South Asian weddings have. We didn't want it to be about color or over the top—we wanted it to be unique, elegant, but glamorous. We thought about things we loved doing together—we love traveling, exploring, and most of all eating and drinking. We have moved around a lot throughout our relationship, and we have always had great memories over food and drink—especially the speakeasy/1920s/Great Gatsby scene. The movie had not even come out yet! We basically let that inspire us!"
On planning the event:
"The theme and ambiance we wanted to create (and were able to successfully create) was the most fun—from the authentic 1929 Durant, to our Great Gatsby photo shoot, to our friends dressed in character of the era, to the decor and table settings—it was a blast!"
On her bridal look:
"My sister and I have been designing our own clothes for years. I had limited time when I went to India, but we were able to find the perfect outfit for each occasion. We have our go-to vendors in Mumbai (mostly), we often try new places, and we have a great tailor in San Diego! I wanted to be traditional for the wedding so I chose a panetar I loved, and for the reception I was able to have a more gown effect that went perfectly with the theme when coupled with hair and makeup.
On a special moment:
"My husband's speech—beyond perfect! And looking around and seeing my closest and dearest friends and family (who traveled from near and far, even in light of crazy schedules) all in one place—just a giant celebration of love and relationships!"
On their first dance:
"We are silly. We are funky. We kept it that way. We didn't have a slow song that we danced to as our first dance. Instead we entered to 'Oye Oye, Tirchi Topi Wale' from Tridev in a choreographed number and in all honesty it was spectacular (even though we made it up the night before in an hour!)."
On her hair and makeup:
"I had a few ideas but my stylist and makeup artist was great at creating a distinct look for each event, especially the evening 1920s soiree!"
On friends and family helping out:
"I have an incredible family! I sometimes joke that we should start our own wedding planning company. There is an immense amount of creativity, organization, artistic skills, and basically just that actual filmi sense of Hun Saath Saath Hai! I had plenty of help with negotiations, vendors, invitations, 'the wedding dance,' and all the little tiny details that go into a complex, crazy South Asian wedding—especially being a bride that lived 3000 miles away!"
On her vendors:
"Venue: Del Mar Hilton in San Diego—a beautiful boutique hotel
Mehendi: a local artist, Tejal Shah
Cake: We didn't want a traditional cake. Kunal loves, I mean loves Gulab Jamun. So we created a Gulab Jamun tower (basically like a croquembouche)—many thanks to our pastry chef Keith Tucker with Ocho Rios!
Wedding Planner: Neha Shah and company with Blue Lotus Insights—so enthusiastic and creative, always ready to help; do not know how I would have planned this long distance wedding without her!
Make Up: Dolled Up By Lulu—Lulu Nguyen—polite, creative, precise, punctual and such great company at 5 in the morning when you're half asleep!
Special Occasions: Our DJ Parag was absolutely awesome at bringing energy to the crowd, and the lighting really made the 1920s come to life!
Decor/Flowers: Dahlia Advani with Capri Flowers did an excellent job bringing our vision to life!
Robles Video: Could not thank them enough for capturing each moment of the entire weekend
Harvard Photography: What a positive experience! Amazing work—capturing every perfect moment!
Food: We are still getting compliments—Mantra was absolutely delicious!
Our pundit/maharaj: Dharmasetu Maharaj was so knowledgeable and made everything so understandable and he always put a nice humorous twist to everything. So lucky to be married in his divine presence!"
Dazzling! Come back tomorrow, Maharanis, for another spectacular wedding!