Happy Wednesday, ladies! We hope you are ready for an adventure because we are going international today! We are taking you to the paradisiacal lands of Montego Bay, Jamaica, for you to enjoy Ambalika & Kevin's wedding celebration! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the visual masterpieces captured by Live Lime Records. For this first installment, we'll be taking a look at these lovebirds' outdoor wedding ceremony held at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa. And, there is no denying that the luxurious architecture of this venue, combined with the paradisiacal views that surround it, created the perfect place for Ambalika & Kevin to tie the knot! Everything turned out to be amazing, and we want to make a big shoutout to Karen Bussen - Weddings by Palladium for the on-point design of this life-changing event! Without any question, a unique and custom-made ceremony that paid homage to these couple's traditions! And in case you were wondering who is the mastermind behind such perfect and colorful decor, it is none other than Tai Flora Luxe. The way they enhanced the beauty of the moment, with bright decor, is a talent available to just a handful of artists. So, big kudos to them! See more of this ceremony fully orchestrated by Leanna Budrie - Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, in today's gallery! It will take your breath away!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
My Groom, Kevin, and I have actually known each other our entire lives. Our families knew each other since they were in Guyana as they lived in the same village and even when they came over to Canada and the US, respectively, they remained very close. Because of that, Kevin and I basically grew up together. In our younger days, I had the BIGGEST crush on him! Any time I was around him I would always be shy or blush or nervous - and I'm a shy or nervous person by any means! Kevin has always lived in NYC and I have always lived in Toronto, so when we were younger I would only see him when my family drove down to NYC. Even though we had sparse time together, it was always a fun time either hanging out by my cousin or going to parties, etc.
We were both in my cousin's bridal party in July 2010. He was the best man and I was a bridesmaid, and though we hadn't really kept in touch before this wedding, when we reconnected at the wedding, it was like we never lost touch at all. We had a great time - we drank, we danced, we laughed - and after that, Kevin asked me for my phone number. Those childhood "crush" feelings began to stir inside of me and I knew this was the beginning of something special, so I willingly gave him my number ...and that sparked a 9-year long distance relationship!
Everyone said to me that long distance relationships would be hard and that they don't last. Because we didn't have the luxury of being with each other to establish our relationship, we had to use texts, phone calls, video calls and Facebook chats to establish the communication, trust, love and faith that was able to sustain us for 9 years. It became a bit easier when we were able to travel back and forth to see each other, but those airport goodbyes were truly the hardest. Though it was definitely hard not being able to see him when I wanted and spend time with him, we both knew that this was what we wanted and we did everything in our power to ensure that this relationship would last ...and now we're married! I firmly believe we're the poster children for a long distance relationship that has a happy ending!
I knew he was "the one" from the moment we began our relationship. He understands me, he makes me happy, he keeps me laughing and smiling, and whenever I'm with him, nothing else matters. Kevin always treats me with love, support and respect and I do the same for him. He is truly my heart, my soul, my everything. I can't remember my life before him and I can't imagine my life without him!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
My proposal was simple, romantic and full of love!
Kevin and I got engaged in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in September of 2017. He asked me to make the trip down to Florida to spend time with his family but also to celebrate his Uncle's 50th birthday. We had a fantastic time at the party and I was so happy to spend time with his Mom and the rest of his family. The day after the party, Kevin's uncle set up a projector in his backyard where Kevin, myself and his family spent the time playing old Hindi songs on YouTube, laughing, eating, drinking, and just enjoying each other's company. At one point, his Uncle shut everything off and told us all that Kevin has something he wants to say...
Kevin, looking as handsome as ever, declared his love for me, said that he wanted to close this long distance relationship gap, and move forward in life. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was the sweetest moment of my life! I started to cry but through those tears of joy, I was able to nod and say YES! It's a moment in my life which I will never ever forget! It was a dream come true!
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.
I can honestly say that I had a great experience with respect to the planning of our wedding! If I didn't have Leanna Budrie from the Weddings Department at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort, as my wedding coordinator, I would be so lost! Leanna was so supportive, patient and accommodating throughout the entire planning process, even when I would email her or video call her freaking out about the littlest thing. She was absolutely amazing and was able to handle my level of "crazy" at that time! Leanna listened to what I wanted and even offered her suggestions and recommendations to help achieve the look that I wanted for our wedding. She was very open and honest about everything and did whatever she could to take the stress off of my shoulders. She was definitely my wedding fairy godmother! Kevin and I firmly believe that our wedding wouldn't have been as amazing as it was if she wasn't there to oversee everything and make sure it was exactly what we had envisioned.
My hair and makeup was done by a friend of mine who became like family during this trip, Sathi Ganpat! Sathi and I have been friends for years and she was my very first choice to do my hair and makeup for the wedding, and I can honestly say, that it looked AMAZING! I'm thrilled that Sathi and her husband, Ronnie, were able to make it to Jamaica and truly become part of our family!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My beautiful white wedding dress came from Amanda-Lina's Sposa Boutique in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada and my beautiful Indian bridal lengha came from KJ Designers in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. I was fortunate enough to have my Mom and my Grandma with me when I selected my white wedding dress and to have my Mom and my Aunt with me when I selected my bridal lengha. With both dresses it was love at first sight!
My white wedding dress was the 5th one I tried on and that was the one that made my Mom and Grandma cry, so I knew that was the one. I felt like a Bride in that dress ....a feeling I didn't get with any of the other ones I tried on.
When I walked into KJ Designers, I spotted a stunning maroon bridal lengha with merlot colored accents on one of the mannequins. I was immediately drawn to it and knew right away that this was the one. I asked the owner, Dinesh, if I could try it on. He willingly took it off of the mannequin, even though he had JUST put it on before I got there, and allowed me to try it on. The minute I put that lengha on, I knew it was the one I had to get married in. I didn't want to take it off. I couldn't stop looking at myself in the mirror, and later on when my Dad and my Grandma got to see it and they teared up, it cemented the fact that it was MY lengha. That was 100% what I was going to wear to marry the man of my dreams. It was an amazing feeling!
KJ Designers is also where I got my beautiful, and surprisingly very light, green and beige Maticoor lengha. All of my outfits felt like they were made just for me. They fit amazingly and required little alterations. I couldn't be any happier with all of my outfit choices!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was it being over and just being able to enjoy it all. I was able to see my vision come to life and it really was satisfying. All of the little details that I was worried about when it came to the reception and the organization of the reception were all taken care of. I didn't have to worry about anything, and that was because I had an amazing coordinator in Leanna and also because I had amazing family members who lent a helping hand wherever possible.
The Weddings Department at Grand Palladium Jamaica are probably the most incredible and efficient people that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I would recommend them to anyone who is considering having a destination wedding.
My Mom was my right-hand when it came to planning the wedding. She was there with me every step of the way and helped Kevin and I with our decisions. Our wedding wouldn't have been as exceptional and beautiful as it was if Mom wasn't right there guiding me and adding her own special little touches throughout. Things that I didn't even think of, Mom was on top of! She had her running list and made sure everything was bought and packed for the wedding (in 9 suitcases), she made sure that everything was laid out for each day of wedding celebrations, she made sure that our guests were happy ...basically she made sure that the wedding went off without a hitch, and her preparation and organization made sure that the wedding did just that! Kevin and I both love you Mom. Thank you for everything!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I would like to think that our guests loved every aspect of our wedding. We had amazing feedback about how everything was so organized and well thought out. We did our best to cater to our guests needs, whether it be a welcome drink at the reception or fruit skewers at the wedding itself or vegetarian appetizers at our mini after wedding reception. We made sure all of our guests were fed, had drinks, and taken care of.
Our wedding was also a time for my friends and family and Kevin's friends and family to come together and enjoy each other's company. Some family that hadn't seen each other in months reunited at the Grand Palladium Jamaica. Friendships were made over the course of the wedding, which are still going strong today. Those days where we didn't have any "wedding events" happening, our guests were hanging out in the pool together, relaxing by the Infinity Bar, dancing away in the disco, playing the slots at the casino, having dinner together, etc. It was amazing to see everyone together and amazing to see people who didn't really know each other having such a great time with everyone else. There was no shortage of "family spotting". Wherever Kevin and I went in the resort, we would be bumping into family. Our guests were all over the resort, so much so that the resort staff knew them all as being part of "that huge Hindu wedding group". It was very humbling to have so many friends and family members with us and I truly hope that our guests felt how much we appreciated them being there. We wouldn't have had such a great wedding if we didn't have our guests with us!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Wedding planning is probably one of the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life, especially when it comes to a destination wedding. Having to organize via email and video chat truly makes you nervous ...it made me very nervous but, truthfully, once you have a dedicated coordinator at the resort, I promise you things will turn out EXACTLY how you imagined. There were things that we were pleasantly surprised by when we had our wedding and reception. Kevin and I went in somewhat blind, not having done a food or cake tasting, but the outcome was better than we could've imagined. We had a mini-reception at the Infinity Bar after our wedding ceremony and the quality of the vegetarian appetizers and the way they setup the area was fantastic! The same applied for the dinner and cake during our actual reception night. We selected our menu and chose our cake flavors in advance but didn't get to do any tastings, yet we were thoroughly impressed by the taste and quality of the food and the deliciousness of the cake.
Try to relinquish some control if you can - yes, it is a hard thing to do because you want everything to be absolutely perfect, but the coordinators know what they're doing and they will make sure you're over the moon happy, just like Leanna did for us! :)
It is a stressful time for you as a Bride but take the time to soak it all in and enjoy it ...and remember, at the end of the day, you've just married the love of your life.
A wedding is just one day but a marriage is a lifetime. Don't plan just for your wedding ...plan for your marriage too.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I want to give a few special thank you's to some special people:
To Mom, Dad and Aatri for all your love and support throughout this entire wedding planning process and for all of the hard work you all put into making this wedding so special and memorable for Kevin and myself. We love you all!
To Nannie, Aunty Naina, Uncle Buggy and Aunty Abby for baking all of the blackcake, which people couldn't get enough of, and for all of your help leading up to and during the wedding.
To my sister-in-law, Rose, for designing my brooch bouquet for the reception and for being my Bougie during the wedding ceremony. I couldn't ask for anyone better to be by my side as I took this step in my life.
To Aunty Debra and Aunty Maltie for designing my wedding entrance shawl which ended up being beyond what I expected and added that beautiful and romantic touch to the ceremony.
We couldn't have done this without all of your helping hands!
Don't go too far, ladies! We still have many more details for you to enjoy!