Join us in our Platinum Guide Blog, and enjoy all the beauty surrounding Ashley & Nikhil's wedding!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
February 24, 2018. That’s when it went down at the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle, WA. My husband was finishing his last semester of law school, and I had an inkling that he would propose in May 2018 after graduating, since all of our families would be together for his graduation. This is why when we took a trip to one of his favorite cities, just a few months prior, a proposal was the farthest thing from my mind. He forced me to dress a little fancy prior to heading to the museum (I thought this was weird and should have expected something) and had made sure my friends had me get a manicure prior to the trip. We walked around the museum with a few of his college friends, one of whom had a fancy camera that he was using to “practice taking good pictures”. Once we entered the open gallery room, he got on one knee and proposed! I was so shocked that I just stood there staring down at him saying, “is this for real” repeatedly, until I finally said yes. Later, I learnt that he had picked the Museum for a number of reasons: 1) he knew I had never been and wanted to go, 2) proposing in Seattle would be totally unexpected, and 3) given that the Museum had glass gardens and flowers, it was beautiful year round, and there was no possibility of weather interfering with his plans.
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.
Our decision-making process for the venues and vendors was 90% driven by our budget. We knew we wanted to do a wedding in Dallas and that a hotel was going be the best option since an overwhelming majority of the guests would be flying into Dallas from out of state. We researched options, toured, made pro-con lists, and the Renaissance Dallas was finally selected, particularly because not only did it fall within our budget, but it gave us the ability to have our ceremony outdoors, which had been my dream!
For decor, since the wedding was going to be three separate events and we would have three completely different outfits, we wanted each event to feel different and intentional. We started planning our decor themes with the ceremony and knew that we wanted an outdoor morning ceremony, and so soft light tones and pastels (i.e. light pink, ivory, pale gold, mint green, etc) were going to be perfect. We wanted the Sangeet the night before to feel fun and cultural as a good way to kick off the weekend, so we wanted lots of bright colors and decor that screamed festive. Finally, the reception as the closing piece needed to feel grand and bold. Once we had these ideas nailed down, our decorator was able to take them and run and bring us back a vision that absolutely floored us.
I don’t think I could’ve gotten the Bridal looks I had envisioned if I had not gone with Red Lotus Artistry. From day one, when we began with the makeup trial, Vidya listened very closely to what kind of styles and looks I was a fan of, and what I simply couldn’t stand. For example, I wanted to refrain from heavy eyeliner on the lower lid for the ceremony, given that we were going with the softer tones theme, and given that I hate lipstick, I only agreed to move forward with lighted lip shades for most of the wedding events. You want a makeup/hair artist who believes in what you do and don’t like, and doesn’t only try to impose his or her views. Your bridal makeup artist also needs to know exactly what hiccups to expect when getting ready for your wedding events, and that’s exactly what Vidya addressed during our consultation meeting. During the consultation, Vidya and I discussed how my dupattas would be draped and we ran through how every single piece of jewelry would be worn for each event. The meeting was time consuming, yet so informative and it kept us on the same page the weekend of the wedding.
We initially were worried about identifying and communicating with the vendors in Dallas, because we both lived in Washington, DC. Luckily, we had the absolute best wedding planner, Christina Thomas at Elaan Events, to help navigate us through the process. She was able to give us multiple options within our budget for each vendor, and made sure we were 100% happy with each one before proceeding onto the next matter. It has now been three months since the wedding took place, and we can look back with certainty that each was the best choice.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Pink. My bridal lehanga was destined to be a shade of pink since god knows when. Walking into Om Parkash Jawahar Lal in Chandni Chowk in New Delhi, and seeing all of the endless options of dazzling lehengas, something clicked and I knew that even though this was the first shop we were visiting, it would be the last and my lehenga would have to come from here. Luckily, my parents and aunts had already done their homework by visiting this shop prior to me even landing in New Delhi, so that made me feel even more comfortable with sticking to Om Parkash Jawahar Lal...which I highly recommend, brides!
Given that pink was non-negotiable, and that we wanted the ceremony to be pastel themed, accenting my lehenga with sea green was the perfect choice, especially since my husband loves the color green and was happy to find a sea green sherwani with light pink accents to compliment my outfit.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Hands down the food and cake tastings were the most enjoyable parts of the planning process. Is it possible that amidst the minutiae of wedding planning and logistics, anything could have been more enjoyable than being fed a variety of scrumptious appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and then making decisions with our stomachs instead of our minds? Although I’ve got to say, pinning wedding outfits and henna designs to my Pinterest boards, which I’d share with my mother and mother-in-law to get their input, was also exciting and not stressful, so I’d consider this a close second.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The Ceremony! One would think that a late morning ceremony, on the terrace of the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, with perfect weather that wasn’t too hot or cold, with absolutely stunning soft pastel decor would have been what made the ceremony so memorable. But, all of that ended up being sides to the entree, that was the priest, Panditji Pattabhirama Krishna Jois. The guests were blown away by the fact that our traditional Hindu priest not only spoke in excellent English and was able to easily explain every step, but also that he was funny and engaging to a point where he felt as though he was an emcee. Many of our guests had not been to a traditional desi wedding before, and instead of sitting there bored and confused for an hour, they were entertained and were able to feel like they were part of all of the rituals.
Long story short, the engaging ceremony coupled with the perfect environment/vibe is something our guests have not stopped talking about.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I feel like every bride, who has her wedding fresh in her mind, has all kinds of knowledge they want to impart on all brides-to-be. Here are my two cents:
1) Enjoy the engagement period for at least the first 1-2 months before you dive into planning mode. You really want to take that time to just be on cloud nine before you become occupied with dates, locations, and the endless wedding related decisions to be made.
2) The wedding planning process is like running a marathon. Don’t sprint!! Sticking to deadlines is essential, which your planner will guide you on. But don’t try to do everything at once. During this process, remember to keep an open dialogue with your fiance! Your partner needs to be a part of the conversations. Remember, it’s not just your marathon!
DJ: DJ Riz Entertainment | Lighting: DJ Riz Entertainment | Baraat: DJ Riz Entertainment | Hair & Makeup: Red Lotus Artistry | Cinematographer: Vibe Films | Sangeet / Ceremony / Reception Venue: Renaissance Dallas | Planning & Design: Elaan Events | Floral & Decor: Alpha Décor | Catering: Desi District | Catering: Peacock Plano | Bridal Fashions: Om Prakash Jawahar Lal | Cake & Treats: Frosted by Neema | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Kaagaz | Mehndi Artist: Sheetal's Henna Designs | Photo Booth: Abbeniel Photo Studio | Transportation: Prime Limo | Photography: Vek Photo