Happy Thursday, ladies! It is time for a new fusion wedding, and you already know how much we love them! Maybe it is the fact that they are full of flair and traditions, or perhaps it is the fact that we love seeing two different cultures and backgrounds mingle into one single love story. We really don't know! What we do know is that you are going to love Avianne & Ricky's fusion wedding as it packs tons of charm and inspiring ideas that it made its way into our Best of 2019 Magazine! So, get ready to enjoy it! For this first installment, we'll be taking a peek at a Sangeet ceremony held inside the halls of the Royal Albert's Palace / Maharaja Hall. And we want to make a big shoutout to Nirali Decor for the multi-colored decor they prepared for this event! As you can see in the different pictures captured by Kumar's Photography and Film, a big part of the massive success of this evening relies on that beautiful decor, so kudos to them! It was a night full of color, fun, music, and dancing, and we would have loved to be there as it seems that everyone had the time of their lives! For more shots of this Sangeet, don't miss today's gallery! It is the perfect preamble for the upcoming wedding ceremony held at the Hanover Marriott. And if you need a little extra, there is also a cinematographic delight by Prime House Productions already featured in our Video Blog! So, make sure to check it out!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We met during our senior year, and he won me over with magic tricks, silly pranks, and an epic scavenger hunt that led to him asking me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. He's such a charmer and great with surprises! I don't think there was ever a clear defining moment when I knew he was "the one"—as corny as it sounds, we just clicked from the moment we met. We're super silly and share the same life goals and values, but at the same time, we complement each other as opposites as well. Where I'm more emotional and sensitive, he's more thick-skinned and doesn't let stress get to him easily. Over time, we've grown together and learned so much from each other. Somewhere along the way of life's ups and downs, we just knew that we were in this for the long haul as life partners.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I thought we were crashing someone else's proposal, but it turned out to be mine! It was a chilly day in the city. I thought we were just there to spend the day with his family and meet up with his brother who came down from Boston to visit. At one point in the day, Ricky suggested we walk around Central Park. I was really grumpy because I was cold and just wanted to go somewhere indoors. Eventually, we went down a trail of stairs with petals scattered all the way down. His mom commented, "Wow! What are these?" and the cynic in me just responded, "Oh, someone probably just proposed here." At the end of the stairs, though, was Ricky down on one knee in a beautiful little gazebo by a creek. A group of our friends were also there and playing the song he played (Perfect Two by Auburn) when he asked me to be his girlfriend back in high school. My jaw dropped, and let's just say I wasn't grumpy anymore

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.

For our Wedding Ceremony, we wanted to have both a traditional and modern feel. We had a burgundy tent-style Mandap with a floating floral Ganesh and bells in the center and florals all around. We also had a raised aisle lined all the way down with candles and petals. Our DJ beautifully lit up the decor with wash lighting and uplighting and the ambiance was truly romantic. The actual wedding ceremony was a traditional Gujarati Hindu ceremony with an added Bible passage reading and Christian prayer by my father to honor my side of the family's beliefs. For our Reception, we wanted to have a classic, floral, elegant theme. Our stage had cherry blossom trees, a vintage lounge, and chandeliers, and our tables were decorated with mini cherry blossom trees, tall flower vases, and candles with orchids in them. Our DJ did an amazing job again with the uplighting and creating a dark, romantic ambiance in the room! We are so grateful to all our vendors, family, and friends who helped make our day so beautiful and effortless!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I originally thought I wanted to do a classic all-red ensemble, but when I stumbled upon the lehenga I ended up wearing, I completely changed my mind. I loved how it modernized and combined the panetar and gharchola traditionally worn by Gujarati brides. My favorite part was how the skirt had Indian Wedding motifs embroidered all around in gold thread. As a writer, I love a good story, and a lehenga that told a story just seemed fitting for me.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was picking out outfits and decor. I personally love designing and decorating, and who doesn't love shopping!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think guests really loved how genuine the day felt. Above all the glitz and glam, and more than anything else, we wanted the day to celebrate the magical and miraculous love that Ricky and I share. That love has transcended cultural and religious differences and overcome so much. I was so happy to see that love everywhere that day—in our silly antics, the heartfelt speeches, and the dances and fun we had with all our loved ones.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle was a really special moment of my wedding. Right before entering, I was overcome with so much emotion that I started crying! As cheesy as it sounds, I've always dreamt of the day my dad would walk me down the aisle, and seeing him next to me at that moment made me feel so blessed. My entire eight years with Ricky also flashed through my mind. Thinking of all the challenges we'd overcome, especially coming from different backgrounds, culminating to this moment, overwhelmed me with so much gratitude and joy.

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 our Sangeet, we honored Ricky's Gujarati roots with a Garba night. We dreamt of a vibrant night filled with all the colors, song, and dance, and that's exactly what it was! I wore a colorful, multi-fabric lehenga, which was complemented by the decor—a colorful orange and pink backdrop with a golden swing and parasols—plus a beautiful tree in the center of the dance floor adorned by candles, a Radha-Krishna statue, and colorful pom-pom tassels. Ricky's mom and her friends did a special dance for us, as well as friends and two of Ricky's cousins. I also stepped out of my comfort zone to do a dance with my sister, joined by Ricky at the end.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
As crazy as wedding planning can get, don't lose sight of the reason for the day: the love you and your significant other share.

More coming in a bit!

DJ: D&S Event Solutions | Lighting: D&S Event Solutions | Venues: Hanover Marriott | Cinematography: Prime House Productions | Photography: Kumar's Photography and Film | Sangeet Venue: Royal Albert's Palace / Maharaja Hall | Planning & Design: Avianne Kharawala | Floral & Decor: Nirali Decor | Hair & Makeup: Maryam Asim Beauty | Catering: Rasoi | Baraat: Caliber Farms | Cakes & Treats: Palermo Bakery | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Maryam Asim Beauty | Event Designer: Nirali Decor | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Parekh Cards | Mehndi Artist: Deepti Patel | Tuxedos: Boss Tuxedo & Bridal Wedding and Prom Headquarters