Welcome back, beauty queens! We know how much you enjoy these love stories and how inspiring they can be. That is why we are excited to bring you an insight Sima & Anand's wedding ceremony! This time, the elegant and classy accommodations of the prestigious Le Méridien Charlotte hosted this traditional and solemn ceremony full of colors and emotions. From the get-go, we can say that this wedding ceremony was exquisite and enchanting. But there is no surprise here, as the team of experts from Sonaa Weddings & Events planned and executed this event. And they formed a winning combination with Carolina Wedding Belle, who took care of the decor. They both did a fantastic job together, creating an atmosphere so beautiful and captivating that we can only describe as a real-life fantasy. Our lovely Maharani stole all the looks while walking down the aisle on her fascinating white lehenga embellished with golden details. But it was not just the splendid attire that highlighted Sima's beauty. This traditional look that we love so much would not have been possible without the exceptional work of The Beauty Fairy. The discreet and elegant makeup, combined with the refined hairstyle, gave this Maharani a breathtaking look for this once in a lifetime event. And we want to make a special shoutout to Bhowmik Dave Photography for perpetuating the beauty of this event in such a great way. Every shot is a work of art that will brighten up your day and will make you feel just like if you were there. If you do not want to miss any detail of this wedding ceremony, don't forget to visit today's gallery. It is worth the while!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We originally met through Dil Mil, which surprisingly worked for us pretty quickly. Anand was actually one of the first that I matched with on the app. I was new to the city and had not met many Indians yet. One of my best friends, Sarah, encouraged me to get on the app to at least start the process of meeting people. It was fate that within a month of me hopping on the app, Anand and I went on our first date. We hit it off very well! After the first date, we continued to talk and meet up often (sometimes up to 3 or 4 times in a week). That’s when we really knew that we were right for each other. After 9 months of dating, our parents had already met. We were flying by then!
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The proposal was a complete surprise as Anand originally asked me on a trip to India to go to one of his best friend’s wedding. Through that, he convinced me for a stop in Italy. We chose Rome to travel for a few days before heading to India. We landed that morning in Rome, checked into our Airbnb and immediately were dressed to go out on the town. He took me to a few sight-seeing places, one park in particular in which Anand was checking his phone a lot. I wasn’t sure what was going on but continued to enjoy the views. Eventually, he took me to a lookout spot called Terrazza Viale del Belvedere, where many other people were around taking pictures. There was also a man playing an electronic piano, which was actually unplanned but a very nice touch! He kneeled down and popped the question. Little did I realize (until a bit later when she introduced herself), there was a photographer Anand was coordinating with to time out the proposal pictures. I was certainly shocked and a bit surprised as bystanders all stopped and watched the proposal — super filmy! After I said “YES”, the photographer took us all around for pictures for the next few hours. We ended the day with a wonderful dinner with my favorite red wine. It was truly magical.
 
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.
Wedding planning started early (at least for the venue) because we wanted to utilize a long weekend for the wedding. We were both set on having our wedding and reception on separate days. After seeing so many weddings where the bride and groom struggle to wake up early and endure the chaos of the two large events all in one day, we were willing to sacrifice on some things so that we could have a nice relaxed itinerary.
 
Venue:
Venues are pretty easy to find in Charlotte, but to find one with an Event Manager that you click well with is difficult. After meeting Alice at the Le Meridien in Charlotte uptown, we were set on her management style. She was on top of everything but also very flexible in the contract and other requests we made. She was so easy to work with and did a lot to help plan and execute each event. The hotel overall was also perfect for our needs. The ballrooms were kept up so well and the staff was very accommodating.
 
Outfits:
All of our outfits came from various stores throughout Mumbai. We went to India for wedding shopping about 4-5 months earlier altogether with our families. It was a tight schedule but we were able to coordinate our outfits very well! I originally wanted to go with a dark red velvet, traditional outfit. However, after trying on this particular outfit, I completely switched my mind and went with the ivory for the wedding ceremony. It turned out to fit very well with the blush outfit Anand has his mind set on. I changed my veil to be blush to match his - we were very happy with how it turned out. For garba, we certainly wanted bright colors to contrast with the soft colors we had for the wedding. For the reception, we definitely went a little more mainstream with the navy and gold theme, but we couldn’t help it that both of our all-time favorite color is actually blue! We were fine with being a little more common on that aspect.
 
Hair/Makeup:
At first, hair and makeup was a bit difficult for me to find. I went to a few vendors that others had mentioned me to, but they either ended up being booked up or out of the bridal business, unfortunately. Eventually, with the help of our amazing Event Coordinating team (Sonaa Events), I found Meliha Custovic (A.K.A. The Beauty Fairy)! Meliha and her team are amazing. She did so many trials for the ladies on both the of our sides, and she listened to everyone requests well. We had no doubts of her talent! Throughout the weekend, her and her team was on time and communicated with us very well. This made each experience so fun and easy. She’s super friendly and was a blast to work with! I definitely recommend her to anyone and would advise to trust her fully because she really knows what she’s doing! All I did for each event was show her my outfit and she went from there.
 
Theme:
Our theme for each event was simple. We had a Welcome Night for some of our close family and friends. This event was held at a lounge in the hotel, which actually had a pool with surrounding cabanas. This made us immediately think of a Hawaiian/white-out type of theme.
 
Our Mandvos were separate - Anand was at his house and I was at the Le Meridien as my parents house is in the Midwest. We went traditional for both of our Mandvos. I was able to utilize the hotel rooftop for mine, which was great for pictures with downtown views in the background!
 
For Garba Night, we wanted to go all-out in colors. We even had different colors throughout the ballroom — from the stage to the table cloths to the spritzers and gola! We also loved the idea of food stations for Garba Night, which was well implemented by our decorator and caterer.
 
The wedding decor just played off of our outfits, so it ended being light and elegant. We wanted a very clean look to complement well. We actually stumbled upon a stage that was made in the center of the ballroom with a halo of flowers hanging above. We used this as inspiration to have a hanging mandap. Our decorator, Rahma (from Carolina Wedding Belle), really made our dream come alive. She created our hanging mandap especially for us! It was beautiful. We loved having something so different from the normal stage setup along one wall in which the furthest guests can never see what’s going on during the ceremony.
 
Lastly, our reception was completely navy, gold and ivory. All we told the decorator was that we wanted something different and fresh. We were impressed when Rahma came up with the idea of offset backdrop filled with flowers! It turned out so well!
 
After the wedding of Priyanka and Nick, I was obsessed with the idea of having a logo. We found one and put it in a few different places throughout the weekend — you can mainly see it on stage for the Garba & Reception. My father was able to figure out how to get the logo cut out on a large piece of acrylic within the last few weeks right before the wedding. Rahma incorporated that last minute detail so well on both of the stages. We were very pleased with it! However, our audio-visual team created our gobo based off of the logo as well. It was displayed in all three events.
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The planning process was crazy! We were truly overwhelmed at many points, but I think it’s really important to go through all that to see truly how compatible you are together. You really do find out a lot about each other and about the families as well. It’s an interesting process. He’s great at calling up vendors, negotiating and removing any issues. I’m good at all the small details, making schedules and lists, following up on action items. It worked out well for us! Towards the 2-3 month mark, I actually became super busy at work. Anand stepped up without asking and took over a lot of the items around that time. I was really grateful for that!
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests actually talked about so many different parts of our wedding — we heard great things! Overall, everyone just noticed how much effort we put into every detail. This was really nice to hear because we were going crazy with all the planning just a few months earlier. It was nice to see our work appreciated.
 
One thing in particular really stood out to everyone, and it was actually coordinated only within two weeks of the wedding — our Baraat dance. It was to Aankh Marey. We wanted it to be super Bollywood and it kind of turned out that way! Anand and I created the dance video and sent it out to our bridesmaids and groomsmen only a week and a half before the wedding weekend. They were all troopers and came through to make the dance look so good! We didn’t think too much about it after it was over, as we were mainly thinking about the ceremony itself. However, weeks (and even months) after the wedding, all anyone could talk about was the dance. We had some guests that sent us videos of the performance from various angles, and that’s all we could watch for a few weeks. Now, anytime the song comes on, we break out the moves! I’ve even had some friends send me screenshots of them listening to the song and tell me that they’re reminiscing the weekend. It was a surprisingly special moment for everyone.
 
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 Night for some of our close family and friends. This event was held at a lounge in the hotel, which actually had a pool with surrounding cabanas. This made us immediately think of a Hawaiian/white-out type of theme. We had drinks, light food and dancing all night! It was a great way to start the weekend.
 
Our Mandvos were separate - Anand was at his house and I was at the Le Meridien as my parents house is in the Midwest. We went traditional for both of our Mandvos. I was able to utilize the hotel rooftop for mine, which was great for pictures with downtown views in the background!
 
For Garba Night, we wanted to go all-out in colors. We even had different colors throughout the ballroom — from the stage to the table cloths to the spritzers and gola! We also loved the idea of food stations for Garba Night, which was well implemented by our decorator and caterer.
 
Lastly, our reception was completely navy, gold and ivory. All we told the decorator was that we wanted something different and fresh. We were impressed when Rahma came up with the idea of offset backdrop filled with flowers! It turned out so well!
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Plan as much as you can beforehand but then do NOTHING the week of. So long as you have given out the tasks and made the requests, you cannot do more than that. And seriously, get a professional day-of coordinator at minimum. Even with a small wedding, you can’t do it all yourself. Stressing out will ruin your experience. You want to be in the moment, enjoy every small piece.

We are heading off to the upcoming wedding reception, so make sure to join us if you want to have some fun! 
STYLE
GUIDE
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Traditional
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Spring
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Planning & Design: Sonaa Weddings & Events | Photography: Bhowmik Dave Photography | Floral & Decor: Carolina Wedding Belle | Catering: District Events & Catering | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Le Méridien Charlotte | Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Fairy | Floral: Vivek Flowers | DJ: DJ Imallin | Baraat/Dholi: G2 Singh Music | Cinematography: Pixology By Shray | Baraat: Southern Breezes Horse & Carriage | Cake & Treats: Suarez Bakery