Happy Wednesday, ladies! We can't think of a better way to start the day than taking a look at Sonali & Hitesh's wedding festivities. So, without further ado, let's jump right into it! The couple’s wedding festivities kicked off with a colorful and vibrant Sangeet held inside the halls of the exclusive Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. And oh, boy, it was beautiful! This festive occasion was a fun-filled night surrounded by multicolored hues and beautiful floral arrangements by Rami's Mandap. Sonali stole all the looks dressed in a gorgeous embroidered lengha by Thakur's Sarees after being glamorized by Makeup By Karishma. The nude makeup and braided hair praised the natural beauty of this lovely Maharani in such a great way that we cannot take our eyes off of her! Ruqia Banu (Chicago) created an artistic Mehndi design for Sonali, adding an extra touch of traditional flair to her already ravishing look! Meanwhile, Shan Photography was there to capture every moment of this colorful Sangeet, and we have compiled all the shots in today's gallery. Go check it out; you are going to love every bit of it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We matched on the Dil Mil dating app and talked for two months before finally deciding to meet in person in Chicago. He was in residency in St. Louis and I was in medical school in Detroit, so that was a good halfway point for us. We had talked on the phone and FaceTimed several times before meeting in person so it felt like I already knew him. We toured the city and eventually ended up sitting by the lakeshore talking about our lives, our goals, and our feelings. Honestly, I think I knew then that he was the one. I knew this was something special.
More to the filminess of our first date can be found on our wedding website :)
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The whole story is also on our wedding website! And the scavenger hunt proposal cards were recently shared on Dil Mil's Instagram (link below).
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.
The wedding planning process is without a doubt a very stressful experience, but it was completely worth it. We did not hire a wedding planner because my family and I love planning events and we wanted to go about this our own way. We searched for vendors in both the Chicago and Detroit areas because the wedding was in my hometown Kalamazoo which is halfway between the two. Now as I look back, I couldn't have asked for anyone better. Everything was perfect and exactly the way I dreamed/wanted it to be.
Our venue coordinators at the Radisson (Lindsay and Sam) were PHENOMENAL from the day we booked the Radisson Plaza Hotel until the very end. They didn't have much experience with Indian weddings, but we were excited and willing to learn. We met several times to go over details and timelines and they didn't miss a thing. They were so key in keeping all the events running smoothly.
For hair and makeup, Karishma Mehta of Makeup By Karishma was also a dream come true. I shared pictures and Pinterest posts of the looks I was going for, and she nailed it. Each event was totally unique and totally perfect. At first, I struggled with an Indian vs non-Indian makeup artist due to costs. In the end, I am glad I chose Karishma because she was able to set my jewelry and do my draping without much additional instruction, allowing my mother, sister, and other family members to also get ready in a timely fashion.
Last but certainly not the least, we had the BEST DJ in the industry. DJ Mixta (Micky Singh of Singh Innovations) served as our DJ and MC. We met several times over the course of the planning process to go over timing, entrances, intros, and song selections. He was our personal hype man and to this day our guests RAVE about his charisma and his energy. He worked closely with our venue coordinators to ensure things were running in a timely fashion.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I definitely wanted a more traditional red and gold look for the wedding. Red is such a bold color and just screams bridal, and I couldn't imagine getting married in anything else. I spent one day in Rajouri Gardens in Delhi, trying on different styles and designs, but nothing clicked. I eventually ended up at CTC mall which was recommended by a friend. Their selection was unbelievable. My bridal lehenga happened to be the last one I tried on at the end of the night, right as the store was closing. When they draped it on me and I twirled around, I didn't need to look any further. I just knew I had found the right one.
On the other hand, searching for my reception gown turned out to be more difficult that I imagined. I searched high and low through Delhi and Vadodara trying to find the perfect dress. I had always envisioned a "Starry Night" themed reception and wanted a dress to match. Ideally, it would be navy blue and silver. But with the color trends these days, that was almost impossible to find. After days and days, and dresses on dresses, I finally arrived at Sequinze. The shopkeepers were determined to make my dream come true and pulled out their very best. The gown I chose fit me perfectly. It was silver and sparkly, and could perfectly complement a navy blue backdrop. They paired it with silver jewelry set from their store, and I felt like a princess.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I'm a total filmy Bollywood girl at heart. I absolutely loved picking songs with special meanings for each part of every event and our DJ was key in playing them at the right times. I also loved choreographing some of the dance performances! Danced with my bridesmaids at the sangeet, choreographed the first dance with my husband, and put together a fun skit/dance for the bridal party to perform at the reception.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The DJ's constant energy and enthusiasm pumping up the crowd for performances, entrances, and the open dance floor.
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.
I have so many more thoughts and ideas, but it is impossible to share them all here. I would be happy to answer any specific questions by phone or email.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The wedding ceremony is coming down the road, ladies!