We return to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City for Brinda and Sunny’s grand Indian wedding bash. We have to admit that every image captured by Lightyear Studio had our hearts melting with joy. Brinda started off her big day with bridal prep with her hair and makeup expertly applied by the talents at Sonia Collection. Such an important part of the day, because we all know if the bride feels her best, then everyone around her feels their best too! The bride wanted the ultimate in South Asian flair and her long locks were festooned into an elegant updo, covered with a sparkling dupatta. Meanwhile, Partyland Sajawat bathed the ballroom into a resplendent oasis of golds and pinks. A towering mandap served as the spectacular centerpiece, and resembled something out of the most intricate Indian palace. After a banging baraat with sounds courtesy of Luxe Event Entertainment and Akshar Dholis, it was time for the main event! Every inch of the space was ornately decorated in blooms, candles, and crystals to create the most inspiration decor imaginable. After the duo were pronounced husband and wife, guests showered the newlyweds with oodles of bubbles. Relive Brinda and Sunny’s big day with all the memories captured by Lightyear Studio in the full gallery. When we return, we’ll share all the inside scoop on their fab reception. And read on for more behind the scenes deets!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Sunny and I met several years ago in Philly. The Chicago native was making his way to Philly for Dental School interviews. A mutual friend reached out, letting me know her friend was going to be in Philly but he's new to the city - "do you mind if he reaches out to you if he needs anything or questions?" "Yeah, go for it!" Fast forward a few weeks, Sunny makes his debut in Philly and we decide to meet up for ice cream. He was new to Philly so the least I could do is get ice cream with him...and my other friend I dragged with me, just to make sure Sunny doesn't get the wrong idea. The three of us had a great time and parted ways. I moved out of Philly and Sunny moved in. Next time I saw him was a year later at Starbucks then again on a bus in Atlanta with his best friend. Fast forward a few years this time, I hung out with him again but this time it was completely different. Our conversations, our interactions - everything was of butterflies and that "new" feeling. Now, years after our first encounter, we're married yet the butterflies and the "new" feeling still remain.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I spent the entire previous day helping Sunny shot for his new apartment. Safe to say I was exhausted by the end of the day! One of my best friends, Pria, texted me earlier asking me to pick her up from the airport Sunday morning and get breakfast so of course, I said yes! As I was leaving, I asked Sunny if he wanted to come with me to this "really good" bagel place Pria was taking me to - he loves bagels! Why wouldn't he want to come?! He declined and said he was hanging out with a few friends but "they want to do lunch so ask Pria if she wants to come!" I picked up Pria, took her home to drop off her things, then we walked to the bagel place. Turns out, they had minimal options so we started roaming and found something better. She then told me she wanted to meet up for a bit with her boyfriend at a coffee shop a few blocks down. I told her I was going to tag along, why not?! We started walking toward the middle of City Hall and I saw a sign in the distance - I was thinking it was either an artist or protest. As I was walking in the 90 degree weather, Pria stared slowing down so I turned back and asked her to "hurry up - it's hot!" Then I see a really well dressed man standing in the middle. STILL didn't think anything of it until I got closer and saw that this "well dressed man" was Sunny! The sign: "The One Where She Says..." a reference to my favorite show, Friends! He had a photographer, a new outfit for me to change into (plus perfect fitting shoes!), and another one of my best friends, all the way from London! It was just the perfect proposal - I was completely blown away!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I have two - the first was when the antarpat was dropped. On the back of the antarpat, facing Sunny, I had a message written "Hello my love, Get ready for forever. Love, your almost wife." However, even with this, I knew Sunny would be fully equipped with a silly face as it would be dropped so to counter that, I had a silly expression ready as well. The antarpat was dropped and all of the groomsmen were standing with Sunny in heart-shaped sunglasses and Sunny was holding the heart eyes emoji. I know Sunny well enough to expect a funny face but I was NOT expecting all of that. It was a great moment and Lightyear did a great job capturing that!
Second - vidai. I know traditionally a vidai is a somber moment but we decided from the start that's not what we wanted. We have only reasons to celebrate! It's our day to become husband and wife as well as the day two families become one. Bubbles were handed out to our friends and they blew them as we walked out to exit the ballroom. Everyone was smiling, laughing, celebrating and that's exactly what we wanted for our friends and family.
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.
We had a welcome party as the first event. A lot of our extended family and friends hadn't met so we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to meet and mingle to start our wedding weekend. We went with 90s Bollywood music, a few 90s movie poster cut outs and an neon sign of our wedding hashtag. For food, we went with street foods - Kati rolls, pav bhaji, bhel, dahi vada, and an Indian candy station! With a menu like that, we had to have Limca and Thumbs Up as well!
For my Grah Shanti, we went for a South Indian feel. I wore a silk sari my mom received during her wedding. I had my eye on it for almost ten years now and knew the first time I wanted to wear it was for my Grah Shanti. It was draped as a traditional south indian dhoti. I wore heavy floral pieces in my hair as well as floral necklaces, bracelet and waist chain. For food, we stuck with the theme - idli, mendu vada, curd rice, lemon rice.
The baraat was a huge piece of our wedding as we planned to have it on Broad Street from City Hall to the DoubleTree…but for two weeks prior to the day, all weather services forecasted rain. Luckily, the rain stayed away and it was a clear beautiful day! Sunny danced his way with our friends and family from City Hall to the venue, with DJ BK and DJ Sampat mixing live! It was an incredible experience and quite a sight to see. This was definitely a highlight - everyone loved it!
Ceremony and reception looks and styling were done by Sonia Chaudhary from Sonia Collection. I met with Sonia last year and instantly knew she was the artist I wanted! She's so easy to talk to, a sweet personality and to top it off, she's hilarious.
We took a completely different turn for the reception. One of the ideas we walked away with from Sachi was a 20s-themed reception. Once we discussed it with her, that was it! We didn't want anything different. We had beautiful feather centerpieces, candelabras with pearls, criss-cross floral backdrop with chandeliers. Sachi and team used blacks, golds and whites to complete the look.
During our reception, instead of having a friend narrate our story, our friends told our story through a series of dances. Sunny surprised me by jumping on the dance floor and dancing with our friends to "Beauty and a Beat" At the end, all of our friends danced to Let's Nacho - the dance floor was overflowing. There was an overwhelming amount of love on that dance floor and we loved every second of it!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Breathe! Part of the overwhelming/stressful factor of wedding planning is that EVERYONE expects you to be stressed out and if you're not, you start to wonder why and if you're doing something wrong. At the end, it all falls into place.
Stop ALL wedding planning/organizing/etc two weeks before your wedding date. Don't stress out through the very end. Set a deadline for yourself and whatever is done is done and whatever isn't...isn't. Enjoy the time leading up to it and relax so you can fully enjoy your big day.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
All of my ceremony jewelry was actually what my mom wore for her wedding. She held on it to for me all this time so instead of redesigning it, I wanted to wear it in the same design as she wore it all those years ago.
Shanti Scribe (http://instagram.com/shanti.scribe; @shanti.scribe) customized all of our little details: all of our signage (food, drinks, desserts, welcome sign, etc) guest book table, bridesmaids gifts, Mr. & Mrs. shirts gifted by our bridesmaids, and our custom cake topper. Anisha is SO great to work with - she's very responsive and organized. She also has great ideas and finds inspiration from anywhere!
Palak’s Cakes satisfied our guests sweet tooth with three different delicious cakes. We chose chocolate chip, mango and chocolate hazelnut.
Our venue/special-events manager, Brendan Davidson, made sure our weekend went off without a hitch! He and his team are delightful and so organized. They took care of everything, even before we mentioned a thought or question we had. It was just an incredible weekend and we cannot thank our family, friends and vendors enough for being so great!
Reception up next!