Happy Monday, lovies! Today, we have a special love story spanning over various locations throughout the world. To say that Maharani Ankita and her beau Nilam have traveled the world (prior to marriage!) is amazing is an understatement; these two definitely know how to live the good life! Over the course of their relationship the couple has traveled through twenty nine cities and thirteen countries in under a year. Choosing a location to host their wedding celebrations was no easy feat and the couple opted to settle in Atlanta where Ankita’s parents live. This Indian wedding was a full long week event complete with a mehndi night with Manisha’s Mehendi Designs on the forefront blueprinting some stellar bridal mehndi, a colorful sangeet at the Signature Ballroom catered by Cafe Bombay and a traditional Indian ceremony at the french inspired venue at the Callanwolde. The bride opted to ditch the traditional red bridal garb and donned a custom made mango yellow sari. Makeup artist Dina Marie ensured that the bride looked picture perfect for Justen Clay Photography and I especially loved the romantic first looks captured on camera. The bride and groom wed under a floral topped mandap designed by Sterling Decor. Planning a long distance wedding is no easy task! Premier wedding coordinator House of BASH ensured that each event was planned and designed to sheer perfection. The images from this romantic shindig can be found in the gallery! We have a special treat with the bride dropping some lines on her wedding events below! Read on Maharanis!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Both of us had recently moved to SF and were busy making it our new home when our paths first crossed on Cinco De Mayo in 2012 at a mutual friend's birthday party. He had just introduced himself to a small group of ladies when I decided to rhetorically ask, "Nilam? Isn't that a girl's name?" Thats when he says, "I knew this girl was trouble." We started hanging out at music festivals, BBQs and rooftop parties slowly discovering the city and each other's interests. Before we knew it we were dating by the beginning of 2013.
We spent the next 2 years making some of our fondest memories in San Francisco: playing dodgeball, cooking for potlucks and eating our way through the city. I met his HUGE family in California and he met my tiny family in Denver; our lives continued intermingling. But, I had a secret! I had always dreamed of living in Paris someday and I finally worked up the nerve to tell Nilam about it. Luckily Nilam loved traveling too and was on board (after a lot of convincing and a few project plans!) That's when we knew that things were about to get serious! Making a move like this was a huge commitment- leaving our friends, family, work, and SF was a big change.
Fast forward to November 2014, our first night in Paris and we just stared at each other over dinner for the longest second. This was it! All the planning and anxiety had finally paid off. We got by with my little français and Nilam's Spanish accented French (ask him to demonstrate). By the end of our stay we had traveled through 29 cities and 13 countries in 9 months learning so much about each other along the way. Like, did you know that Nilam even has an opinion on the type of sparkling water he likes?!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
On April 22nd, 2015 he took me on a stroll through Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre in Paris. While we were walking, I had a surprise picnic set up in a secluded part of the garden. As we neared the picnic he quickly put on a blindfold on and dragged me to the spot and proposed. I was completely surprised and of course said Yes! We spent the rest of that day calling everyone we know to share the news and ended the night with a rooftop party, my favorite type of party.
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
Planning the wedding was difficult mainly because of the distance associated for all parties involved. The wedding was in Atlanta, where my parents now live. The grooms parents live in San Jose and we were living in Boston. There were a lot of shared spreadsheets, FaceTime, flights (and headaches) every weekend that made the wedding possible.
We wanted our wedding to feel personal and inclusive to all guests, thats hard to achieve with 300 people but it was important for us to incorporate our love for travel: our tables were all cities we have been to. Our wedding favors were luggage tags that said "Bon Voyage". We had giant Jenga set up for guests as our Wedding Book and our theme was to be in an outdoor French Garden.
The ceremony venue: Callanwolde was perfect for transporting us to the French countryside and we brought some of that elegance back into reception with our centerpieces and decor.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I have always followed my heart and sometimes it leads me down unconventional paths. As did my wedding dress, we both love the color yellow and knew that was the color for my dress. I scoured so many shops in India looking for the perfect shade of mango yellow to be dyed. Fortunately, my designer was with me through the process and we came out with the perfect color and pearl and delicate details.
What did your guest particularly love about your Wedding?
People loved the Callanwolde, it was unlike most wedding venues they had experienced. They also loved our personal touches from drink names, to luggage tags to table names.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
We did the first look before the ceremony kicked off in the morning and that moment was really special to us. We hadn't seen each other since Friday night (Sunday morning was the ceremony) and so little time had passed but so much had happened. And we both hugged each other and said how much we missed each other. It was really emotional and special for us to have that moment before the day began.
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.
Mendhi/ Haldi: These events took place in my parents home and was one of the best days of my life. Being surrounded by friends and family and watching everyone mingle and come together was something that will stay with me forever. It was a moment bigger than the wedding. My parents had friends and family there who they have known their whole lives but maybe not in constant touch anymore, but the wedding was a catalyst to bringing people together who haven’t seen each other in a while and it was just all love everywhere.
Our sangeet was hungama! Performances, speeches everyone wanted to take the stage and it was amazing. The party continued well into the night and was the perfect kickoff to the weekend.
The reception was the perfect release after a long weekend of festivities. Not a soul was sitting. Grandparents were caught dancing on the floor and people were tucking into seconds and thirds of the dinner and cake.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
About 85% of the guest list was from out of town. Everyone travelled in for the wedding from California, Colorado, France, England, India, Boston, Atlanta, New York. It was truly so special having everyone from all different walks of our lives there to celebrate with us. We feel beyond lucky to have our friends and families in our lives!
We return to the auspicious venue at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for the grand reception party, see you in a bit Maharanis!