Welcome back, beauty queens! We hope that you have enjoyed this journey as much as we have. This time around, we are here to share with you Khushbu & Ronak's enchanting reception party hosted inside the halls of the Meadows Club. This wedding reception was like no other you've seen in quite a while, thanks to the perfect decor crafted by Dream Occasions. JSM Entertainment set the musical mood for this gala and put everyone on their feet with the best Bollywood hits. All the guests danced the night out and had a great time! Without any question, this was the best way to bring the wedding festivities to an end. And we are sure that this reception, along with all the other wedding festivities will forever be recalled in the minds of all the ones that witnessed it. If you want to relive this lovely journey, don't miss the gallery that we have prepared for today. We've compiled the best shots captured by Shalin Photo for your enjoyment. So make sure to check it out! You might want to keep your notebook handy because you are going to have a lot of inspirational ideas floating around.
Rolling Meadows, IL Indian Wedding by Shalin Photo
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Ronak and I were headed to the annual South Asian Bar Association Gala. We went to the botanical garden a little bit earlier so we could walk around and enjoy the beauty of the location before the Gala. Ronak and I had been to the botanical garden before and I had fallen in love with the place. It is absolutely beautiful and relaxing there. We ended up walking halfway through the garden, over the bridge when we noticed this pond. This pond was in the middle of the garden surrounded by land all around. We walked closer to the pond holding hands since the grass was a bit wet. We were walking side by side and then all of a sudden he took the lead and was on his knee. At the time I had no idea what was going on. He started talking and I thought I was listening to the words that were coming out of his mouth but honestly, I can't remember anything, it's all such a blur. I was shocked, trying to understand what was happening. I looked around and noticed that we had just walked through a rose pathway. He asked me to marry him! I was blown away! I started shedding tears of joy, I can't even remember if I actually said the word "Yes." I handed him my hand and he put this beautiful diamond on my finger. All of a sudden I noticed the photographer, I guess he was hiding behind the bush the whole time! We took a moment to ourselves and took some photos and then I turned around when I heard a loud "Surprise" from behind me. My sisters, friends, and cousins were standing behind me. I had no idea how to react but to cry (I am very emotional, to begin with). We ended up doing an engagement shoot after taking photos with everyone there. We decided to go to dinner at Macianos( the restaurant where it all started), since there was no Gala. It was all a setup, even Ronak's coworkers were in on it! We stopped at a friends house before heading to dinner since there was some time to kill. Ronak stopped the car a block away, got out of the car and put his suit jacket on. I was wondering why he didn't just take it inside the house and put it on inside. It was just our friends' house, I didn't question it though. We walked into the house and WHOA! We were greeted by all our friends and family. It was decorated, tons of food and dessert. I was admiring the decor when all of a sudden I heard another "Surprise" from the left. I turned and was greeted by my family. I started crying again, of course. Ronak had set up a surprise afterparty for our engagement with everyone close to our hearts there. My heart was so full, it was honestly the best day ever. I wish I could relive that day, every day.
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.
Where to begin. I first created a mutual email account for everything wedding related. That was really helpful, especially for organization purposes. Both our families had started venue shopping right after we did the Indian engagement ceremony, about a year before the wedding. The one thing we needed from the venue was to be able to use the entire space for our 800 guest count wedding ceremony. We had then started with big things like photo, video, DJ, and decor. I started sending emails out as soon as we finalized our wedding date and venue.
Google doc was huge! I made a google doc with multiple tabs separating each event: Mehndi, Garba/Sangeet, Vidhi, Wedding, and Reception. From there I listed all the vendors I would need for each event. The one KEY thing about planning an Indian wedding is organization and google doc helped with exactly that. Negotiation was also a big part of the planning process. I would email multiple photographers and videographers and then compare their pricing and what they were offering. I'd try to negotiate them down to what my budget was and once a happy medium was met I'd book them! When planning a wedding for 800 people it's really hard to stick with a budget, but don't forget all the vendors know that you're on a budget and are willing to negotiate as long as it's reasonable.
DJ- That was easy! We had already known we were going to hire DJ Dhiraj from JSM Entertainment based on his performance at two of our friends' weddings. He was actually the first vendor we booked! Once we booked him he sent us a Music Planner that helped us stay organized and we were able to list all the songs for each performance per night. We were also able to list "must play" songs and " do not play" songs.
Photo: We met Shalin at a nearby Starbucks. The first impression was key. We needed a photographer that would be able to handle 800+ Indian people. He was perfect! He knew what he was doing and how to talk to the Indian crowd as well as a great photographer. I stopped looking for photographers after Ronak and I met him.
Video- Greg from Neuvision was phenomenal. He showed us some same-day edits and highlights videos that he had created. While looking through his work I noticed that he had done my second cousin's wedding(what a small world)! He assured us that he had done Indian weddings before and knew what to expect. He had also worked with our Photographer before so that was that! He was booked!
Decor- We went with Dream Occasions! My sister is actually best friends with their son and so we were leaning more towards them but after the first meeting, we were sold. Shilpa and Min are just so genuine and personable. They make everything look and sound so easy. I had my full trust in them and basically told them what I liked and let them do what they do best! They put together the most breathtaking decor for each of our events including my house events! They made a tent outside of my house look like a banquet hall!
Hair and Makeup. That was hard, I honestly didn't know where to begin. I googled some people but that didn't really help. I needed to make sure that whoever did my makeup not only did a great job on hair and makeup but was also good at draping the headpiece and the dupatta for my hair and off the shoulder. I started asking my married friends and they made it so easy! I booked Nicki Hala from Hala Beauty for my wedding and reception looks. The amount of compliments I got and still get, WOW. I highly recommend her. I booked Marzena for my other events (mehndi, garba, vidhi). I had worked with her before for my engagement makeup and trusted her fully. Both makeup artists were so laid back and willing to work with every situation.
Mehndi: I booked Sheetal from Henna Moments. I found her on Facebook and reached out to her. She was willing to work with me when it came to pricing and she made her own henna paste which I really favored. The Mehndi came out great, she spent her time on it and was so easy to talk to. She fit right in with my family.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My family and I went to India for all our wedding shopping. I knew I wanted to wear traditional colors for the wedding ceremony. The first day we landed we went to AsoPalav in Ahmedabad. I walked in and told the salesperson what I was looking for. He brought out an all velvet burgundy and gold outfit. I tried it on and fell in love with it. I told my dad this was it! We didn't end up buying it since it was our first-day shopping and I could potentially like something better elsewhere. Few days went on, tried on various outfits and I found myself comparing each outfit to the first one I tried on. We ended up going to another Aso Palav location, I asked the guy to bring out the one I had tried on at the other location. They said they didn't have it at that location. My mind was set, I knew I wanted the one I had tried on the first day. They were so nice they offered to have their salesperson at the first location bring the dress to the location I was at. I tried the outfit on again and was still in love with the outfit. I ended up buying it! The dupatta was pink and I wanted beige, they gladly offered to have it made it in beige and shipped it to my house in America.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Everyone working together! Friends and family from both sides came together and helped us put together our wedding week. I never realized how much work and how many hours had to be put into planning the wedding of our dreams. It is definitely not something Ronak and I could have done ourselves. It takes the help of a crowd, and luckily we had friends and family that were willing to spend their free time helping us!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests enjoyed the energy level throughout the wedding week. There was this indescribable excitement factor that carried through throughout all the events. Ronak and I wanted to personalize the wedding as much as we could. We wanted to make sure that it wasn't just another wedding that our guests were attending. For every event, we tried to incorporate something creative that our guests would enjoy.
Wednesday, mehndi night we had a donut wall that one of our friends built for us ( the kids got a great kick out of it!). We also lit paper lanterns and had Wood Fired Pizza make fresh pizzas for the guests. To this day, we get compliments on how creative the idea of bringing pizza to the guests was.
Ronak and I love to eat! Thursday, garba night we tried to incorporate cuisines from around the world for our guests to enjoy as much as we do. We had Mexican, Asian, American, and Indian street food. It was set up in booths carnival style. We also gifted personalized notepads to everyone that performed a choreographed dance! Shivam Thakkars Live band was a hit, they were set up on the stage from beginning to end for our guests to dance the night away!
Friday, vidhi was at my house. We had hired Arpit to play the dhol throughout the day. Our guests especially the middle-aged group loved that we had a dholi. They were able to dance throughout the day and into the night while eating freshly prepared dosas to their liking.
Saturday for the wedding we tried to keep it traditional with a short ceremony and little snack bags full of m&m's and mixed nuts. They were placed on each seat for our guests to snack on throughout the ceremony.
For the reception, there were a few things that our guests still talk about. The life-size standups of Ronak and I that we had placed throughout the venue. Our guests had so much fun trying to recreate the poses and taking photos next to them ( they somehow ended up being lined up onto the stage in the middle of the night!) People still come up to us to tell us about how good the food was. Meadows Club has their own kitchen and they make the food fresh for the guests!. Lastly, lighting and music! Our DJ and light/sound guy from our venue had worked together to transform the venue into a club-style atmosphere. It was absolutely amazing!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
My bridesmaids went up to the dance floor to perform their choreographed dance during the reception. I knew they were going to do a dance but I didn't know the details. The music started and I started crying. It was a song from my favorite movie, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain. It was so thoughtful!
Another moment was when Ronak's guy friends were doing their dance during the reception. All of a sudden Ronak got up and joined them. He looked at me, we made eye contact and then threw something to me. It was a plastic diamond ring! I have no idea what was going on in my head but I definitely did not catch the ring, oops.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Stress all you want about every little detail until about a week before the wedding. Take a break, chill and enjoy the wedding week. There is nothing you can do at that point so why worry so much about it. It'll all come together and if something goes wrong it's okay. At the end of the day, just remember you are the only one that will know that something went wrong, you're guests won't even notice.
See you tomorrow for another lovely and inspiring story! Until then, have a great one!
Mehndi Artists: Henna Moments | DJ: JSM Entertainment | Baraat: JSM Entertainment | Sangeet Venue: Meadows Club | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Meadows Club | Floral & Decor: Dream Occasions | Cinematography: Neuvision Production | Photography: Shalin Photo