“Her beauty encapsulates her and her radiance is an everlasting glow.” My heart just melted with that love line that Maharaja Savan used to describe his Maharani Puja. To say that this delightful tale is as old as time would deem true; I can feel the love in the air! Out in Ohio, an Indian wedding had come to town and ever since her romantic proposal in Mexico, Puja began the process of planning her own wedding. Yes, this Maharani, in one, swift, bold move, decided that a wedding planner was out and friends and family were in! The festivities began at the banquet room at the Days Inn & Suites Richfield with the garba night. Coming from a Gujarati background, both the bride and groom knew the importance of ensuring that the garba night was to be as special as possible as both sides of the family absolutely LOVE the dance helmed with sticks. The lovely bride rocked out in a colorful, embellished chaniya choli heavily festooned with beads and mirror work. Puja was committed to ensuring that the decorations for the garba night were both thoughtful and traditional and Mukesh from Bindya Decor helped bring this garba night come to life! Head into the gallery for all the shots captured impeccably by Brett Yacovella from Making the Moment with commentary from the bride right down below! 

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 Do you have a super romantic proposal story or engagement memory?

To celebrate Savan's 30th birthday, we had planned a trip to Cabo with his sisters and brother-in-laws. Little did I know that another surprise was already part of the amazing vacation plan! On one beautiful Cabo evening, Sejal and Sonal made reservations at a nice restaurant and told me that we would have to walk to the other side of the resort to book complimentary ocean side massages (of course I didn’t hesitate at that idea!). On our way to the “spa office”, I noticed a path lined with tikki torches. At the end of the path was a gazebo decorated with rose petals and hearts. Savan met me at the path entrance, took my hand, and led me to the gazebo. With a beautiful sunset and ocean behind him, Savan got down on one knee and proposed! Later that evening, Savan revealed a few surprises.

- Everybody in both of our families had known for a while and were in on the planning.

- He had asked for permission from my dad, mom, brother, sister-in-law, and two cute nieces.

- He had t-shirts made that said “She said YES” with pictures of us on it that he gave to our families

He shared the sweetest video that he had created by compiling pre-recorded best wishes messages from our family and friends who weren't able to celebrate with us.

 

What did you enjoy most about the process of planning your dream Indian wedding?

I enjoyed continuing to learn so much about Savan as we planned the wedding together. Sure, the entire process can get stressful and can sometimes cause strain in the relationship as you make decisions. It's inevitable to have disagreements. Savan kept it together the entire time and really made sure we always took out time each day to focus on each other and not always wedding chaos. We both like to travel so he even planned mini trips to random cities to explore and get away from the stress. We learned so much about our capabilities as a team which was great to experience during the process of planning our dream wedding.

 

How did you choose your lengha or lenghas? Did you work with a certain designer? Did you spend hours on the internet first?

We made a trip to India to do all of our shopping. I personally did not spend hours on the internet before going there because I had heard from other brides that what you see online versus what is available in India is different. I can honestly say that it's absolutely true. I would pass on that same advice to anyone going to India to shop. Try to not to get caught on one picture or style that you may see online. It's okay to skim through pictures ahead of time but what you see in India will be mostly different. The style here versus there does vary and new styles are always coming out there. It's better to not set expectations and just go have fun shopping while you're there in India. Make it a fun memorable experience, not stressful.

 

Looking back, was there a really special moment that you remember from your wedding that stands out as the most magical?

I think our "first look" the morning of our wedding was the most magical moment. Our photographer, Brett, had us meet each other in an open field near our venue and created a moment for us that we'll never forget. They made sure to give us our space and we were able to see each other for the first time all dressed up in our wedding outfits alone. Brett gave us time to be with each other without anyone around us for a while before coming to take close up pictures. It gave us time to pray together, remind each other of our love for one another, and take in this special day before the craziness began.

 

Did family or friends help out with certain special details that really added to the event?

Our family and friends were beyond helpful with our planning process. My family really pulled all their efforts together to create such a beautiful weekend for us. We did not have a wedding planner which can be pretty stressful since organization seems to be key when planning such a big event. My family collectively became such a strong unit to make sure every detail was taken care of from venue to rentals to decor. My friends would come over to our house weekly just to help put together centerpieces and other homemade decor to add that special touch while staying within budget. We are so blessed to have such supportive family and friends around us.

 

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)

We tried to make things very "us" and incorporated things that we liked or enjoyed. I love being crafty and creative so I spent lots of time making centerpieces from scratch and doing lots of DIY projects. For example, one of the reception centerpieces was made from dollar store pieces that were glued together, spray painted gold, and lit with a floating candle. (I can send specific pictures if interested) I had been inspired by a centerpiece that I saw on pinterest which was a bit out of my budget so I brainstormed ways to make something similar. 

Another way we made our event "us" was that during the wedding lunch we made a paan laahri (stall). So we had someone from our catering team make fresh paan live at the station for everyone. Everyone really enjoyed this fun unique touch to the meal. (can send you pictures of this as well)

Both of our families LOVE to do garba so it was important to us to create a fun environment. We had live singers and had a whole variety of food stalls from pani puri to papdi no lot pops to chikoo shakes. We created signs for each stall that also incorporated popular places in Ahmedabad and Vadodara where our families are from in India.

 

We are not done just yet! We have a spectacular Indian wedding and reception coming right up!

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Lighting: Opening Minds Entertainment | DJ: Opening Minds Entertainment | Photography: Making the Moment Photography | Cinematography: Making the Moment Photography | Baraat: Opening Minds Entertainment | Bridal Fashion: Aishwarya | Cakes & Treat: Vegan Sweet Tooth | Catering: Chowpatty | Draping/Styling: Kamani Patel | Floral & Décor: Mukesh - Bindiya Decor | (Makeup): Kajal by Kimberly | Hair: Alex Walters | Live Music: Shashank Fadnis | Mehndi: Viral Parikh - Kaya Elements | Photo Booth: TapSnap | Rentals: Miller's Party Rental | Venue: Days Inn & Suites Richfield