Good morning, ladies! Today we are crossing the pond all the way to Venice, Italy, to join Isha & James at their alluring wedding festivities held at the Private Island of Isola delle Rose at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. And believe us, this is a story so charming and beautiful that you are going to love every single shot captured by Anée Atelier. In fact, this wedding celebration was so divine that it earned its way into the pages of our Best of 2019 Magazine! Those are major words! If you are up for this adventure, let's take a look at all the beauty surrounding the Hindu wedding ceremony that kicked off with the festivities! To make this ceremony a dream come true, Isha & James decided to bring Brilliant Wedding Venice on board to take care of the planning and design, and Centro Fiori who took care of the decor! This winning combination resulted in a minimalist, yet heavenly decor that we all loved so much! And talking about all the things we loved, we need to make a special mention to the look of our beautiful Maharani! She glided into the halls of the wedding venue, looking like a princess thanks to Marika Ferrara, who praised her innate beauty designing a flawless makeup and a sleek hairstyle! And the final look is fantastic beyond words! Find out more this breathtaking ceremony by taking a look at today's full gallery! You are going to love it!
Venice, Italy Indian Fusion Wedding by Anée Atelier
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met my husband at work! We worked at the same company, on the same team, on the same project! We became work besties right away. We were inseparable at work - we went to lunch together, worked late hours, shared secrets, and were there for each other regarding work issues and personal issues. We were genuinely friends and slowly transitioned into dating! Before that, we constantly heard co-workers title us as “work husband and work wife” and rumor that we were dating, long before we actually were. At one point it became impossible to fight the chemistry and connection we always had from the first interaction, and had built up even more with our friendship. It’s hard to say when I knew he was “the one” - because from our very first interaction, I felt a connection. We instantly connected and I was very comfortable around him — super weird for someone like me with so many guards up at all times to feel this way, but there was always something familiar and comforting about James, that I also felt through each fight, every argument, every issue we’ve had.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We got engaged in Positano - Amalfi Coast! For years, Positano had been on my vision board and #1 on my list of travel destinations. We had a trip planned in August 2019 to go to Italy and spend 2 solid weeks there. At the time of us booking our flight, I had no idea that my husband was planning on proposing. I was so focused on Amalfi and planning all the things I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, I never guessed he would propose. HOWEVER, the weekend right before we were leaving, our parents met. And that meeting kind of gave away that my husband was planning on proposing in Italy. I still didn’t know when or where, but I had the feeling it was going to happen. We went to Capri, and nothing. We went to Amalfi, nothing. Then we went to Positano, and bam! Our first night there, I was so taken back by the beauty and literally sat at my balcony of the room for hours just looking out at the coast and taking it all in. Right before dinner, James got down on one knee and proposed in the hotel balcony. Though it was not a complete surprise, in that moment, it felt like one. It was the best, most dreamiest thing that could have happened in Positano.
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 hardest thing about wedding planning for us, was to figure out the location. Virginia is my hometown and also where my husband and I met, so that was the first thought. However, something didn’t feel right or exciting - something about having approximately 400 guests and having it in Virginia didn’t seem right. I felt it didn’t do justice to James and I’s story. Our entire relationship had been a big adventure - lots of ups and downs and everything in between - and after dating for 7 years we were at this place where we felt ready to take this next step. It needed something more, something more meaningful and significant. In the back of my mind, Italy had been lurking. It had been such a special place for us and I wanted to get married there. Hesitantly, I presented this to my husband, who turns out, wanted the same and had been feeling the same way! The next hurdle was convincing our parents - who shockingly - with some initial reservation - agreed much easier than we expected. Slowly, it all fell in place, and we found a beautiful venue at JW Marriott Venice that my dad knew of from his last visit to Venice. We fell in love with the venue - we loved that it was a hotel and we could have all the amenities and accommodations for ourselves and our guests. We loved that it was on its on island to get away from the crowds and small spaces of Venice mainland. We loved the roses. We loved the scenery. We loved the staff. It was a sure deal for us. We also wanted an intimate wedding which is exactly what we were going to get by moving it to Venice, Italy. We worked with a wedding coordinator provided by the hotel and also another one from an external company (Brilliant Wedding Venice) that we worked with to help us get vendors, etc. It was a huge help having an external planner who connected us with all the vendors in Italy - florist, music, priest, hair, videographer - it bridged the communication gap and made it much easier to plan. We pretty much told our planner what we wanted, and she found the resources and vendors to match our vision. I did my own makeup (I love makeup and am a self-taught makeup artist) and I already had my photographers selected who would travel from US to Venice for the wedding. My photographers were the BEST wedding decision -- they literally elevated the energy of our wedding, were such a hit with our guests, and took the best photos of us and Venice! They depicted us and Venice better than I could have even imagined!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I looked a lot through Pinterest and other magazines for lehnga Inspo and to nail down a color - at first I thought red, as my mom wore red on her wedding day. I wanted to be touch of traditional but I also wanted it to be “me”. But the red color didn’t seem very “me”, so then I thought green, which is my favorite color. But the shades of green that drew me in were deep bottle greens which would be more ideal in the fall. After knocking these 2 options down, I settled on a light pink - it is also another favorite color, it felt very “me”, and was a perfects shade for the Springtime. My mom went to India to pick out my lehnga. I couldn’t make it due to some work related urgencies, but she facetimed my cousin and I from Study by Janak showroom in Delhi - where she went with my masi (my mom’s younger sister) and cousin. And just like that, on FaceTime, we selected my lehnga. It was the first one they saw that day, and we sealed the deal right when I saw it! It was the one, and I knew it right away. It was how I envisioned and was such a beautiful lehnga. It is most definitely my favorite thing I have ever worn.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of planning was deciding on the outfits — for myself and my husband. It was fun to envision something specific and to be able to make it happen exactly how I envisioned it. Since we were having two ceremonies - one hindu in the morning and one Christian in the evening, it was fun selecting outfits for myself and my husband! After selecting my lehnga, we found a matching groom set for my husband. It was also so beautiful and suited him so well! I went with my maid of honor and selected my wedding gown for the Christian ceremony - I had always envisioned a white vintage-fish looking lace gown with long sleeves and I literally got exactly what I wanted. My husband and I both wanted him to wear a white jacket and black pant tuxedo and we found such a beautiful and perfect one for him to wear. Though my vision was specific and we had to do some looking around, it was much easier that I would have thought, to get exactly what I wanted for the outfits and watch my visions come to life!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The guests especially enjoyed the location of the wedding. It was just a fantastic place to have the event, from the gorgeous city of Venice down to the venue – we couldn’t have dreamt of a more perfect setting. The charm of the city itself with travel via water only, not a car in sight. The exemplary accommodations at the JW Marriott Venice was set atop its own private island, away from the hustle and bustle of the St. Marks Square. The square in itself – the views, the Duomos, the shopping, the local Italian wine, and the homemade PASTA – it was truly heaven on earth.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
A really special moment from the wedding - though there are a lot — that I think of constantly is at the reception. My entire family from India had made it, and I remember looking around and seeing my best friends, my parents, my grandma, my brother, my Mamu and masi’s, all dancing up on the dance floor and just SO happy. I felt their happiness and it was so beautiful to see. I remember them all dancing with my husband and how happy everyone was, and is a moment stamped in my memory that I will cherish forever.
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.
Cleary, we had the theme covered , but the details were amazing as well. As one example the traditional namecards were instead loaves of rustic Italian bread, which each guest took their table and enjoyed with locally-sourced olive oil. The entire décor was Italian-styled, while keeping our Indian roots intact. We held both traditional Hindu and Christian ceremonies to honor both family religions. We also had some pretty cool attire to don both events! The dances were simple yet amazing, ours particularly was truly special. We danced to James Arthur's "Say You Won't Let Go". We made it extra special by getting some professional help, but the ambiance, decor, lights, everything really made it come to life. Our cousins did the rest of the honors. They were traditional Indian folklore-style dances with pops of our favorite American hip-hop and r&b, the videos speak for themselves as we were left in joy and tears! And who can forget the father-daughter and mother-son dances, the bride chose Beyonce's "Daddy" and the groom chose Tupac's "Dear Mama" - very fitting for us both :).
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Yes - DO IT YOUR WAY! It's your day and you will hear so many opinions on how you should do everything from everyone. Traditions are important, but your wedding day should be a meaningful testimony to you and your husband's relationship. It's important to remember the meaning behind what you're doing, and that it is a day to honor you and your husband-to-be's relationship and love and share it with your friends and family, and not get carried away with the opinions and judgments of anyone. I also have learnt that parents are much easier and more understanding than you think - if you can show them your point of view and share with them your true feelings - they will always come around! Without disrespecting anyone, always showing compassion, and purposely stirring away from any drama, it is in fact possible to do things your way on your wedding day.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Before the Christian ceremony, my husband sent a gift delivered by my Maid-of-honor - it was a Cartier just en clou ring with diamonds I had wanted! It had a really sweet note and as a very special moment that made me tear up. That was my favorite jewelry piece i wore on my wedding day.
My husband had a special wedding day watch he bought especially for the wedding - an Audemar Pigue with diamonds on the bezel - that was his favorite jewelery he wore that way.
Venues: Private Island of Isola delle Rose at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa | Planning & Design: Brilliant Wedding Venice | Floral & Decor: Centro Fiori | Hair & Makeup: Marika Ferrara | DJ: AFS Audio Luci | Bridal Fashions: Maggie Sottero | Bridal Fashions: Jimmy Choo | Cinematography: Cinemaduel | Lighting: AFS Audio Luci | Transportation: Consorzio Venezia Futura | Tuxedos: Tom Ford | Groom's Watch: Audemars Piguet | Groom's Glasses: Cartier | Photography: Anée Atelier