Pooja & Rajiv’s reception was a testament to the fact that colors add spark to a wedding. We were in awe of the red illumination, the Chiavari chairs, complementary blooms, and crystal additions to the tables and the stage, all done by Rangoli Decor. Speaking of, the intricate floral archway, and the darling floral wall behind the couple’s seating was a sight to behold! Rajiv in his spiffy cobalt blue suit accentuated with a red boutonniere, and Pooja in an embroidered dull gold ensemble, looked ravishing! Despite the challenging, low-lit environment, Manish & Sung Photography excelled at capturing stellar shots of the event. Guests sure had a gala time with the magic show put up by Berlin Talent, and relished the presumably scrumptious cake from Carlo’s Bakery’s.  As the reception was the last event of their wedding bash, the couple decided to go all out with a bang. “Rajiv decided to fly out RDB’s Manj Musik, who surprised our guests and kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning”, recollected Pooja. Their wedding party may have ended, but you can restart it by joining us over at the gallery

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As promised, here's our conversation with Maharani Pooja, about her big day: 

 

How did you meet your Raja and when did you know he was "the one"?
 Our relationship was all about "timing." Our first encounter was in medical school while rotating through a hospital in Brooklyn, NY. During my 30 minute break, our mutual friend invited us to lunch. As I took a huge bite into my sandwich, there walked in a tall, charming, well dressed, well groomed man. As he walked towards our table, a million thoughts raced through my head. "Wow he's good looking. Pooja chew faster! Omg, do I have food on my face?!" During our conversation, I felt a sense of comfort with Rajiv. He has this way of making everyone feel like family.  Our lunch was sweet but short-lived. We never exchanged numbers or kept in touch. It just wasn't our time. Several years and a few occurrences later, our same friend was celebrating her birthday in NYC and decided to include us in her party planning. Standing together at Beauty & Essex amongst a sea of her friends, we couldn't help but gravitate towards each other. Something was different this time, something felt right… The timing was finally right! 

Do you have a super romantic proposal story or engagement memory?
Rajiv and I have spent almost every weekend together since we met; whether it be at my family's house in Long Island or his in Jersey. He had asked whether my brother and I would be interested in going on a boat ride with his brother in law and sister who were looking to buy a yacht.  Of course I immediately said yes! While sailing into the sunset, Rajiv's nephews approached me with a wooden box and said, "Pooja mami we have something for you!", which had a dozen frosted home baked cupcakes by Rajiv and his cousins, that read "Will you marry me?" I immediately turned around and in front of me was Rajiv down on one knee and the freedom tower behind me. Rajiv had gotten a 3 story NYC penthouse overlooking the Hudson with a private rooftop. As the elevator opened into our apartment, I walked in to find dozens of rose petals, pictures and a room fully decorated and personalized for me. On the window hung 3 dresses for me to choose from for my next surprise. As I changed and walked up to the rooftop, I was surprised by 75 of our closest family and friends. The summer rooftop party continued into the wee hours of the night with catered food, including platters and Kati roll, Rajiv's friend Dhaval DJ-ing, our own personal bar tenders, an open dance floor and most importantly our family.  What I appreciate the most is that Rajiv subtly paid attention to everything I enjoyed, my hobbies , my interests  and incorporated all of those elements into making this proposal more magical than I could have ever expected.
 
Tell us about your wedding style. When you sat down to really figure out how your dream wedding would look, did you start with one central color, a palette of colors, or a theme that served as your inspiration?
Luckily, Rajiv and I have very similar taste. We wanted to make sure all of our events were unique and equally as fun for all of our guests. We chose the Jersey City Hyatt as it incorporated both of our vibrant styles and of course the Hudson River where we got engaged. Our Sangeet had very vibrant colors with special performances by our friends & family. There was a "Fresh Groom of the Bride" parody for Rajiv made by his friends Rocky and Shriya, a spinoff of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. All of our family and friends came together to organize incredible, energetic, Bollywood-style dances to keep everyone excited. Rajiv has a thing for dessert and alcohol - so guests enjoyed whiskey-chocolate ice cream, Mint Mojito & Sangria infused cupcakes along with green tea and blueberry cheesecake donuts from The Donut Bar.
 
Looking back, was there a really special moment that you remember from your wedding that stands out as the most magical?
My most favorite memories are my first look with Rajiv, dancing in our mandap after getting married, our bridal party's entrance for the ceremony and most importantly our vidai. We had decided to make our vidai a fun occasion instead of the traditional tear-jerking event. We left the mandap with our family dancing to "tenu leke main jawanga".  

 

We’ll be back tomorrow with wedding content curated especially for you, so swing by! 

Planning & Design: Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants | Photography: Manish and Sung Photography | Floral & Decor: Rangoli Weddings | Live Music: Manj Musik | Cinematography: Light Year Studio | Hair & Makeup: Beauty by Tamanna | Venues: Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson | Cakes & Treats: Carlo's Bakery | Catering: Bukhara Grill | Baraat: Equishare Baraat Horses | Mehndi Artists: Mansi and Ruchi Shah