Good morning, ladies! It feels great to be back with a new real-life fairytale! Today, we are heading over to California to enjoy Julia & Anuj's big wedding celebration; and believe us, this is one you are going to love to the fullest and from which you will get tons of inspiring ideas! For this first installment, we'll be taking a look at the incredible shots captured by Matt and Jess featuring the most tender and intimate moments of our blushing Maharani getting ready for her big day! And right off the bat, we have to say Julia's bridal look was beautiful beyond words! She embraced her new culture and slipped into an exquisite champagne lengha with golden embroidery from The Grand Trunk right after being pampered by My Fair Bride, who designed a captivating makeup very well complemented with an elegant bun. To add an extra touch of sparkle to her look, she got dazzling pieces of jewelry from Sari Palace's collection, and we cannot stress how much we love every piece of jewelry she wore. And this head-turning look would not have been complete without the incredible Mehndi design outlined by Henna by Ridz! It added an extra touch of traditional flair to her overall look, and the final result: A dreamy look for this long-awaited wedding day, utter perfection! If you want to see more of this lovely Maharani during her wedding festivities, don't miss today's gallery!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met online on a website called Meet Mindful.  Both of us had never signed up for websites like this, but decided to take the plunge. Anuj has just moved to San Francisco a week before we met.  He asked me to meet him at pier 39, which is an incredibly crowded tourist spot.  I thought it would be hard to spot him, but then from the corner of my eye I saw an awkward and timid tall guy gazing at me.  But from the moment we said hi, we couldn’t stop taking all night, which was new for both of us.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I never expected the proposal when it happened.  We had been dating for over 2 years, and it had been hard to navigate the idea of marriage because of the cultural differences and his family obligations.  Anuj’s family was not on board until he decided to tell them he was planning to propose to me.  He even secretly asked my parents at the dinner table in front of me without my knowing, texting them under the table.  They became tearful and made up an excuse to leave because they were so happy.  I had no idea.  Later, Anuj took me to my favorite spa in Calistoga, for facials.  We lounged in the Buddha pond garden when he began talking to me about wine country weddings. I still didn’t get the hint.  I looked up at the sky and then back at him, when he was on his knee with a ring asking me to marry him. All that we had fought for and worked for together felt like a magical dream when he made this decision to marry me. 
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 first thing we had to figure out was the date, which in Hindi weddings was quite a task.  My mother in law had to speak with an Indian priest to settle dates according to astrology.  When we finally figured that out, I moved on to pick a venue, which was also a little stressful to find the right place.  Somehow it just landed in our laps.  From there I picked my dress, which I had limited options for Indian boutique wedding shops, but found a great one where I found my glorious golden lehenga.  Everything else just happened with ease. 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I wanted a nice quality lehenga, so I had to search for Indian boutique wedding shops in California.  I found one in Pleasanton, which had various designer dresses.  It was magnificent to look through all of the colorful and extravagant gowns.  I thought it would be hard to pick one, and it was hard to choose ones I really loved.  But when I tried them on it just suddenly clicked when the perfect one came along.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Well picking out the dress and the bridesmaid saris was so much fun! But also visiting the venue in Ojai was a blast.  Visualizing the space and the decorations got me so excited.  Cake and menu testing was also the yummiest part.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think that everyone really enjoyed the dancing.  It was present when Anuj made his baraat entrance, and again after the ceremony.  It’s hard to not have fun when Bollywood beats and high energies are blasting through the night. 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
When I was hiding in the tea house at the wedding venue, I could hear the baraat music and drums happening outside.  I realized in that moment that I was about to embark upon marrying my lovebird, my janu.  My heart pounded faster, and I couldn’t stop smiling, with subtle tears behind my eyes.  My music came on (Latina’s theme from the movie slumdog millionaire).  My eyes watered and my face smiled as I looked at Anuj watching me walk toward him.  Everything felt perfect and right and I couldn’t think of a more magical and special moment. 
There was a moment during our wedding planning where both our mothers were trying to figure out logistics pertaining to both cultures.  It wasn’t an ugly situation but it stressed both Anuj and I put.  Then I had a moment when I realized, I really don’t care when the family photos are taken, I just wanted to marry my man.  That moment was subtle but so special. 
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.
The decor was mostly just the gardens of the Ojai Ramch House.  But we embellished it with some Indian touches and masterful flower arrangements from the florist.  We wanted the decor to embody the fusion between India and California, and it was just perfect. The ceremony was still in daylight, but the reception led into the night, celebrating the twinkling lights and warmth of the cozy venue.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Enjoy the process.  The wedding is a magical moment, and the planning can be so much fun.  It passes in no time.  Savor it.

We are just getting started over here, so make sure to stick around for all the upcoming beauty!
Hair & Makeup: My Fair Bride | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Ranch House | Floral & Decor: Forage Ojai | Flower Garlands: Jasmine Indian Flowers | DJ: DJ Bobby | Dance Choreography: BollyNaach Dance Company | Bridal Lengha: The Grand Trunk | Bridal Jewelry: Sari Palace | Bridesmaid's Sarees: Sari Palace | Cake & Treats: Sugar Lab Bake Shop | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Parekh Cards India | Live Music (Sitar and Tabla): Leonice Shineman | Mehndi Artist: Henna by Ridz | Photography: Matt and Jess