Happy Monday Maharanis! Today we have yet another fab Indian wedding hailing out of our favorite state: California! Today’s feature stems from the enchanting city of Newport Beach. The gorg duo have such an adorable love story, and Shikha filled us in on their first meeting: "On New Year's Eve 2013, I decided to go to the Wyndham NYE hotel party in Costa Mesa with my girlfriends. At the beginning of the night, a stranger with a cute dimple approached me on the dance floor. We talked and danced all night, exchanged numbers, and began texting and talking over the phone for the next few weeks." Aw! For her various events, stylish Maharani Shikha knew exactly what bridal gear she wanted for each day. For her wedding ceremony, the bride donned a white lehenga with a stunning, beaded blouse. She looked positively angelic as she was adorned in a shimmering beauty look by Beauty by Lishma. We cannot stop reveling in her radiance, and were particularly enchanted by her luscious braid adorned with layers of fragrant jasmine garlands. This masterpiece of a beauty look was perfect for the pristine, beachy surroundings. After gushing over his bride during the first look, handsome Kavin began the baraat ceremony into the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa that was transformed into a Bollywood oasis by the incredible BEL Event Productions. A gorgeously draped yellow and white linen mandap majestically took center stage in the beautiful outdoor space. There’s so much splendor yet to come, including the couple’s sacred vows and the glittering reception soiree featuring beats by 3D Sounds. We simply can’t wait for all the live footage by Avec Lumiere. In the meantime, Gary Coelho captured the most whimsical moments with more images brimming in the full gallery.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
On New Year's Eve 2013, I decided to go to the Wyndham NYE hotel party in Costa Mesa with my girlfriends. At the beginning of the night, a stranger with a cute dimple approached me on the dance floor. We talked and danced all night, exchanged numbers, and began texting and talking over the phone for the next few weeks. I was living in San Francisco finishing up pharmacy school, while Kavin was living in Irvine. Initially, I was hesitant about the long distance. However, I got to know him over time, and I love how he is such a great listener, family oriented, and caring. He knew how to cheer me up whenever I was overwhelmed with school, and there was a spark between us. One weekend I came down to Irvine, he planned a romantic dinner with a gondola ride around Newport Beach and asked me to be his girlfriend, and that's when our official love story began! Who would've thought I would end up marrying a guy I met on NYE?! Needless to say, things happen when you least expect it, and I wouldn't have it any other way! :)
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Kavin is an avid snow boarder, and loves planning group trips to Mammoth Mountain. I am not the biggest fan of being in cold weather, but decided to give snowboarding a try. Since Kavin goes to Mammoth so often, I did not think much of the group trip he was planning for the weekend of March 12, 2016. This was my second time going to Mammoth, so I still had not explored all of the lifts. Kavin accompanied me on the baby slopes for an hour in the morning, and we decided to meet up for lunch at the base of the mountain to go together to see the Summit. Noon rolled around, and I went to the meeting point, but I did not see anyone from our group. I called Kavin, and he said he was injured. While doing a jump, he fell and hurt his back. So he was sledded down the mountain to see a doctor, who prescribed some painkillers. When I had called, Kavin was already at the top of the mountain waiting for me, so he asked me to find his cousin and take the gondola up. It seemed like the longest ride of my life as I sat there concerned about Kavin. Once I reached the top, I found him and he said he was in pain, but wanted to finish taking pictures outside before relaxing indoors. We went outside to see the gorgeous view of snow capped mountains. At that time, Kavin took out a prescription bottle asking me (I'm a pharmacist) if it would be okay to take this medication. I looked at the bottle and the prescription label read "Engagement ring - Take one ring, place on ring finger, and live happily ever after." I was in shock! I opened it, and it turned out to be a fake yellow gold halo ring, which he knew was the kind of ring I did not want. I respond "Are you serious?!" What a joker! Then, he bent down on one knee, took out the real ring, and asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes!!
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
Spreadsheets became my best friend during this planning process! I did a lot of research through online Indian wedding blogs, including Maharani Weddings, to find various vendors that knew how to handle a big fat Indian wedding. We were set on doing our wedding in either San Diego, where I am from, or Orange County, where Kavin's family is from. Kavin and I took charge in planning our wedding, as we are very particular people, and we both had a vision in mind. Kavin is Gujarati and I am Malayali, so we took input from our parents on what traditions were important to them so we could incorporate both.
Being a spring wedding, we wanted our wedding colors to be bright and vibrant, yet pretty simple. I loved how the yellow and white turned out! For our reception, Kavin wanted to incorporate Lakers colors, purple and gold, and I agreed since purple is my favorite color. For our first dance, we wanted to do something outside our comfort zone, so we decided to take ballroom dancing classes. We really wanted to dance to the infamous Frank Sinatra song, "Strangers in the Night" since it related to how we first met.
I knew I wanted to buy all my wedding outfits from Mumbai. Since my grandparents live there, I have always shopped there, and I was well aware of the wide selection they have. I also knew that if I fell in love with something, I would buy it. I knew I did not have the patience to shop around for weeks. The traditional Kerala sari color is white and gold, so I wanted to incorporate those colors for my wedding lehenga. That was the hardest thing to find in Mumbai since all bridal outfits had red! After going to 3 different stores in Santa Cruz, we finally went to Aishwarya. They were the most willing to accommodate my color theme and make alterations to ready made outfits. The outfit I fell in love with had a little red, and they were more than happy to change it to white for me. Mission accomplished! For the rest of my outfits, I did not have any specific colors in mind, so I was pretty open to the selection at the stores. I was fortunate to find all my outfits at Aishwarya, and I am proud to say that I finished all my wedding outfit shopping in one day!
A surprise that Kavin kept hidden throughout the entire planning process was how he planned to enter during his baraat ceremony. As I stood with my bridesmaids on the rooftop of our venue overlooking the crowd, I was shocked to see a fire engine rolling up to our venue with lights and sirens on. The fire engine stopped, and much to my relief, Kavin, a reserve firefighter at Orange County Fire Authority, hops out with a custom wedding fire helmet! Now, talk about a grand entrance!
Thanks to our parents' and vendors' support, we were fortunate to have our dream wedding come true! Lishma made sure I looked flawless in my hair, makeup, and vibrant outfits for all the events. Our wedding coordinator, Dana, made sure we did not have a single thing to worry about and was always one step ahead. I really felt like a princess the entire weekend!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Although both Kavin and I faced a roller coaster ride of emotions throughout the planning process, I think the most enjoyable part was working together as a team to make our wedding vision come true. I was truly impressed at how involved Kavin was during the planning process (he went to more vendor meetings than I did due to work scheduling), and I definitely admired that. There were definitely many moments of frustration and late nights, but looking back, I think we overcame a great amount of challenges together and became closer as a couple. We couldn't be happier at how everything turned out!!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think every wedding is a success if it has 3 important components:
1) Good food
2) Good music
3) Good venue
Those were 3 things that were important when planning our wedding. For food, we did several tastings and finally chose Mantra due to Sumit Sharma. He was very personable and the plating on all his items were incredible. For music, I had always heard amazing things about 3D Sounds, and I had actually gone to college with one of the DJs so I always knew I could trust them. The last part is location, location, location. Initially we considered doing our events at multiple locations, but then decided against it in order to factor in convenience for our guests. We wanted our guests to stay in one location to minimize transportation and delays and also to be close to an airport. I had always wanted an ocean view wedding and Marriot Newport Beach was the perfect venue to accommodate all 3 of our wedding events.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Brides-To-Be, hope you find these tips helpful! Happy planning! :)
1. Remember that this wedding is about you and your fiance. Try to keep that the focus when you get various opinions from family/friends during the planning process. As hard as it may seem, enjoy the planning process. Work together with your fiance and pick your battles. Delegate work to bridesmaids and family so you don't feel overwhelmed. Planning can take months and sometimes years, all to revolve around 1-3 days, but all the hard work will be worth it and you will get your perfect wedding!
2. Get a wedding coordinator! It is up to you how involved you want your coordinator to be - whether it is planning from the very beginning by choosing all the vendors for you or just putting pieces together after you have chosen what you want. You may not realize the importance during the early stages, but trust me, you won't regret it!
3. Relax and enjoy your wedding day!! Give your phone to your Maid of Honor, and don't stress about the little details...just leave everything to your wedding coordinator. Don't let something small ruin the whole day. You have done an incredible amount of work to plan this special day, so make sure you cherish all the moments!
Thank you Shikha! Ceremony deets coming right up!