Take a break from what you're doing and join me in celebrating Janani and Gaurang's big wedding day in Irvine, California. Gary Coelho Photography kicks things off with a glorious first look at our South Indian bride and Gujarati groom! Mehndi maven Henna By Rupal not only gives our Maharani a beautiful mehndi design on her churi'd hands, but also does a meticulous job of draping Janani's sari. To add even more pop and pizzaz to the look, she's all Dolled up by Lulu with flawless hair and makeup. Our bride-to-be wanted a more modern look, so she chose to go with a bun over the traditional braid. I love a girl who knows exactly what she wants! And get this—the fresh jasmine she wears in her hair was flewn in from India, all thanks to the bride's mother. How special indeed! Their outdoor wedding, overseen by Agape Planning & Design, takes place at Hotel Irvine! In honor of this lovely occasion, Enchanted Carriages serves up the baraat, and SheerRomance designs a magical mandap encased in bright, yellow fabric. What a beautiful ceremony! Stay tuned because much more is ahead, and with vendors like Special Occasions DJ & Lighting mixing it up on the one's and two's, you don't want to miss a thing! In the meantime, feel free to browse the gallery for tons of hair and makeup inspiration!
From the bride, on how they met:
"I knew Gaurang was "the one" pretty early on. Our relationship always felt very natural and comfortable, and he really saw me for who I was. Two months into our relationship, I was meeting his family and was even present for the birth of our beautiful niece, Sarina. We've always clicked and I truly mean it when I say he is my favorite person to be around."
On the hair and makeup:
"Tamil brides usually wear long braids but I have always preferred the more modern looking bun. So all I knew is that for my ceremony, I wanted a bun with jasmine wrapped below it. My amazing mother had fresh jasmine flown from Mathurai, her hometown in India, to LA for the ceremony. All the ladies at the ceremony were able to have fresh jasmine in their hair as well. Other than asking for that bun, I left everything up to my incredible makeup artist, Lulu Ngyuen. She is so talented and I trusted her completely with both my ceremony and reception looks."
On the fashions:
"I purchased all my outfits in Chennai over a crazy, stress-filled one week span. Before we went, I spent hours researching online to get ideas. I finally decided that I wanted my ceremony to flow from the bridesmaids saris since I had 12 of them. I selected a BRIGHT yellow silk sari for the girls and the rest of the colors for the mandap and the groomsmen's odnis flowed from that. I wore two traditional kanchipuram sarees. Looking back, sprinting from store to store in Chennai to get all our shopping done is one of my favorite memories of the wedding process. We would take breaks for food, fresh coconuts and more food. Seeing my mom tear up when I tried on my wedding jewelry for the first time is a memory I will cherish forever. For the reception outfit, I saw that gowns were trending and so I decided to custom make a gown in my favorite color that resembled the lehengas that so many of my punjabi friends were wearing to their ceremonies. It was my chance to blend a little of my personality into my wedding. After I selected the reception lehenga, all the colors for the evening flowed from that. My husband's pocket square, the colors on our stage, our centerpieces, etc."
On the planning:
"My favorite part of the planning process was definitely how close I got to my family. My parents live in the Bay Area and my sister lived in Kentucky during the planning months. So we usually don't talk every day and I sometimes don't talk to my parents for an entire week at a time. But during the planning process, we would Facetime or text or Whatsapp every single day, multiple times a day. Often, we would laugh and laugh about the newest thing that had gone wrong. It really felt like we came together as a solid team. I definitely miss that the most right now."
On the wedding style:
"I really wanted a small 50 person wedding. He wanted a large, crazy Indian wedding. It was hard for us to meet in the middle so I caved and big wedding it was. I had no color palette in mind but really wanted our wedding to be a blend of us - a traditional South Indian girl who is VERY liberal & modern, and a Gujarati boy who comes from a very rich set of traditions."
The reception celebration is coming right up!