If you east coast Maharanis thought that your vineyard wedding dreams would have to fly west, wait until you see this amazing Indian fusion wedding from the Cross Key Vineyards in Virginia. I am not surprised that the bride, and Maharani Weddings enthusiast, blew me away with this outdoor ceremony.  In a time where mandaps keep getting more and more grand, it is refreshing to see an elegantly designed mandap, where things were added, but more importantly things were taken away.  Mirrors, kissing balls, and layers of fabric create this look and I must say, I was totally flattered to read that it was inspired by Maharani Weddings!

From our Maharani, Melissa :
When I look back at the pictures of our special day, it all still feels like a dream. I still can remember that “butterflies in my stomach” feeling … knowing that by the end of this day, I was going to be married to my best friend.
We wanted to do something different from the standard hotel wedding. We envisioned a hybrid Indian/American wedding and wanted a casual yet elegant feel to the wedding- a celebration of love, laughter, family and friendship. We were working on a budget and knew we were going to have to get creative. We must have looked at 10 different venues before we found Crosskeys Vineyard. We pulled up and just knew. The views were breathtaking and the estate was private and away from all of life’s little interruptions. It was perfect. 
Once we found the venue everything else fell into place and the DIY projects started! I had been religiously following blogs like Maharani Weddings for months for ideas. We wanted to put a personal touch on every little detail on the day and still had to keep it budget friendly. My bridesmaids and I called it “ballin on a budget” We made the place cards, table numbers, programs, put together take home gifts, made crafts out of wine corks (collecting the corks was more fun!). We looked for deals on flowers and found these beautiful elephant vases to use as centerpieces. My home started looking like an arts and crafts studio! 
When the day finally came, the wedding itself was everything we envisioned. The ceremony was pretty traditional but we incorporated the American feel by having a ring bearer, flower girls, and a bridal party. And to keep things interesting we served ice-cream in the middle of the ceremony, which was totally necessary…both sides of the family took the shoe hiding/finding quite seriously. Everyone had fun. 
My favorite detail of the wedding was the mandap. Varsha Aghera of Palki Mandaps created the mandap from scratch. We had given her a few pictures with ideas, told her we wanted to do something less traditional yet elegant and she delivered! We gave her all our DIY creations and she incorporated it effortlessly. The wedding and reception looked and felt like it came out a fairytale dream.