Maharani Preet and her Raja Jervin’s romantic and richly traditional Sikh ceremony was one for the books. The day began with a morning of glamming by Meghana Prasad Makeup & Skin Care, an exceptional makeup artist who flawlessly executed a glamorous beauty look for the main Maharani. For her ceremony, Preet wanted a classic Bollywood bridal look and opted for a sleek ‘do with glowing skin to match. Meghana Rose Make-Up also perfectly pinned and pleated Preet’s dazzling red lehenga for her grand reveal. The perfect finishing touch was the bride’s sparkling jewels. Preet told us, “I was happy that I got to wear the same jewelry set for the ceremony that my mom wore at her wedding.” So very special. This beaming bride and groom were picture perfect for their first look on the grounds of Meyer's Castle. We were swooning over the loving aura surrounding this gorgeous duo. And we’re positively drooling over the bridesmaids’ gorgeous paper bouquets. Such a creative idea that all you brides-to-be should incorporate in your own special day!  In our next posts, we’ll dive into the couple’s pristine Sikh ceremony and sensational reception soiree. While you wait, we have all the memories stored in the full gallery by Sapan Ahuja Fine Art Photography for your perusal. And, make sure to scroll below for our interview with Maharani Preet.

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?

We met through an online dating app while we were both in Boston.  He was in business school and I was in my anesthesiology residency. Our first date was at a cocktail bar called the Hawthorne, which is still one of our favorites.

I don't think there was a particular moment that made me realize he was "the one".  It was more a series of small moments, and before we knew it, we were super comfortable with each other and making long term plans to get jobs in the same city.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!

After doing a year of long distance while I was finishing residency, I finally moved to Dallas. We enjoyed being in the middle of the country --a short flight from most of the US and Mexico. Jervin really wanted to plan a Cancun weekend before we had weekend commitments in the winter and could no longer travel. He told me he booked us a hotel and that I should pack a nice outfit because we would be going to a fancy restaurant a coworker recommended.  I get to Cancun, and we enjoy a day at our nice resort. Jervin was acting a little odd before dinner, but I didn't think much of it.  The restaurant he chose for dinner set up tables in private tents along the beach.  Soon after we sat down, a photographer came into our tent and asked us to step out onto the beach for some photos--claiming they do this for all the guests. It's a touristy area, so I go to the beach to pose for a picture.  While we are starting to pose, I notice a flower petal heart in the sand and point out how cute that is. Little did I know that heart was set up for me.  Jervin panicked that I had figured it out and dropped down on one knee right away!  I said yes, we had fun with the engagement photo shoot he had set up, and we enjoyed a delicious meal as an engaged couple. When we got back to the resort, our room had changed to a romantic suite set up with champagne, rose petals, etc.

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.

I did a lot of browsing on Pinterest and websites such as Maharani when I first started planning my wedding. The first thing we did was choose a location. My family lives in Indiana, near Chicago, and we had to decide if we wanted to have the wedding in Chicago or Indiana.  We also didn't want to have a hotel conference room wedding--even though we had been to several of those that were gorgeous. We finally decided on a ceremony in the Gurudwara I went to when growing up and a reception at Myer's Castle, which offered a slightly different look that a standard conference room.

Next, I worked on the timeline.  Most of our friends would be flying in and would not be able to take several days off for a multiple day wedding. Therefore, I decided to not have a Sangeet and to have my Mehendi done as a small family affair at my parents' house. We kept the ceremony and reception on the same day. I also did a fair amount of work on the reception timeline, since I didn't want guests to get bored with several speeches, etc. So we had some dancing time between the heavy Indian appetizers and dinner itself.

When it came to getting outfits, I started to go a little crazy looking at all the details. Finally, I decided on the colors I wanted and was pretty relaxed about each little detail. I took a risk and ordered bridesmaids outfits online, but they ended up working pretty well. Jervin probably took more time trying on outfits than I did!  My advice is to leave lots of extra time for getting your outfits, since you never know when a tailor won't meet a deadline!

I found Meghana Prasad for hair and make up through searching online.  I was looking for someone with experience in Indian weddings since the hair had to support my duppata, etc. In addition to liking her previous bridal looks, I appreciated her organization and responsiveness--she was super easy to work with!

I looked for the same qualities when choosing a DJ.  I chose 219 Productions b/c Paul was organized and asked thorough questions. He wasn't an "Indian DJ" but I wanted a mix of music anyway.  He also came with photo booth and lighting services, which made planning easier.

I was pretty relaxed about the decor too, since our venues were already very pretty. But I did use the wedding as an avenue for being creative.  Jervin and I worked on the save-the-dates (we got a custom cartoon made of us), ceremony programs, candles as favors, and painting a globe for guests to sign. I made the place cards for the reception.

I was lucky that the Gurudwara is next to a horse farm. The horse for the Baraat didn't have far to travel. The horse-owners had plenty of experience with Baraats and referred me a Dohl player.

My mom suggested an auntie that does Mehendi, and I liked her work--so that was an easy vendor to hire.

I thought about getting a wedding planner, but was lucky enough to have a family that could handle most aspects of the ceremony and a reception venue that came with a day of planner. My reception venue also required a particular caterer, cake baker, and florist--so that took away the need to research those.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?

I chose color schemes first.  I looked at so many wedding looks and was falling in love with a more modern, pastel/floral look.  But then I ended up going classic red since I wanted the pictures to not get easily dated. One of my favorite colors to wear is blue/green, so that was the secondary color, since I won't ever get tired of that color.

This worked out since Jervin gravitated towards cream and red for his outfit. I like the fitted look of mermaid cut lehengas, so I went with that. I still like that look--but did miss out on twirling around in a full skirt. Since I cut down the number of events, I was grateful I only had to decide on two outfits.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?

I really like browsing wedding looks in my free time and pinning hair and makeup looks.  I also really enjoyed "arts and crafts" time since I rarely get to create.

The dance lessons Jervin insisted we take for the first dance were also very fun.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?

Guests most often commented on how much they liked the music.  Our DJ did a great job and kept the party going. Guests also liked the venue choice, with a large outdoor area and being able to explore some of the "castle".  Most of our friends especially had fun at the Baraat.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?

The whole thing!

I really enjoyed the toasts more than I thought I would.

Once the main events were done, I enjoyed relaxing and being goofy on the dance floor.

The after party at the hotel was especially memorable since there was also an anime conference occurring, which lead to an interesting mash up.

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.

For the reception, I asked for flowers that fit in with our color theme (red, teal, gold) and that was pretty much it. I worked on some other smaller pieces as described above.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?

You don't have to stress over every little detail.  I trusted my vendors to manage the tiny details.

Leave lots of time for errors and delays with vendors.  We did that and still had some stressful moments.

Find the few things that are important to your and focus on that. For us, we wanted nice photos, so we made sure to get a good photographer.  And we wanted our guests to have fun, so we carefully chose the DJ and worked on a timeline to minimize boredom.

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

I was happy that I got to wear the same jewelry set for the ceremony that my mom wore at her wedding.

I was also overly amused by the oversized paper roses I ordered for the bridesmaids, in lieu of bouquets.

The groomsmen had a lot of fun wearing turbans.

All the Sikh ceremony deets up next!

Hair & Makeup: Meghana Rose Make-Up | Draping/Styling: Meghana Rose Make-Up | Ceremony Venue: Sikh Religious Society of Indiana (Gurdwara) | Reception Venue: Meyer's Castle | Floral & Decor: Ralph Anthony Designs | Catering: Tandoor Cuisine of India | DJ: 219 Productions | Baraat: Graceful Equines | Dhol: Sirish Shah | Ceremony Bridal Fashions: Nargi's in Delhi | Reception Bridal Fashions: Geetananjali in Paitala | Reception Bridal Jewelry: Banu Mal Inder Lal & Co Jewelers in Chandigarh | Cake & Treats: Cakes by Karen | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Parekh Cards | Lighting: 219 Productions | Mehndi Artist: Manpreet Sandhu | Photo Booth: 219 Productions | Transportation: Chicago Charter Express | Photographer: Sapan Ahuja Fine Art Photography