Good morning, Maharanis! Don't miss Rucha & Rahul's wedding in today's Platinum Guide Blog.

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Rahul while visiting my brother who lived in Maryland at the time for St. Patty's Day weekend. Rahul knew my brother from prior so he had joined a group of us for the weekend festivities. I had heard his name before from my brother mentioning his name here and there, but that weekend was the first time I met Rahul in person. After that weekend, we began talking more on a consistent basis. Over time, I knew he was the one because he is able to always make me laugh and brings a smile to my face in any situation.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
This was the surprise of a lifetime! Little did I know that the girls trip with three of my best friends and I were planning to Nashville, Tennessee was going to turn into my surprise proposal. My best friends and I were planning out the itinerary while my best friend Apurva was secretly working with Rahul on the side to plan the most perfect and amazing proposal. One part of our trip included a trip to a beautiful winery since we all enjoy wineries very much. The girls had a picked a "random" row of vines to walk through while I was still completely clueless about what was to happen next. As I walked further down that row, I saw picture frames that included pictures of moments that Rahul and I shared together. My heart was racing and as I looked up, Rahul was standing at the end of the row with the ring. I had no idea that he would be flying in for one day to propose. It was the most beyond perfect, most beyond amazing, most beyond beautiful and most beyond surprise filled proposal that I could have asked for. It was so special to have my best friends there to cherish and share that incredibly amazing moment with me. It was so memorable and one of my best memories! A very special and big thank you to my best friend Apurva for helping with all the planning and to Shalini and Prachi to help keep it all a surprise to give me the best, beyond perfect and amazing proposal. All three of them did such an awesome job keeping it a secret from me. And of course, to Rahul for setting up the most wonderful proposal and asking me to marry him.

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.
Planning a wedding is definitely a daunting task that feels like a roller coaster ride filled with fun, excitement, stress, thrill and the feeling of just wanting to scream for joy and out of stress. I love to stay organized and make lists so I began by creating a wedding binder with different sections for each vendor. Each vendor section included tabs for expenses, information, deposit deadlines that I would be able to access readily. I referred to Instagram and Pinterest for ideas on hair, makeup, mehndi designs and mandap designs. The first two things that we secured were the wedding date and venue. Then we began the search for our other vendors from referrals and social media. We met with the different vendors in person and went on venue tours before deciding the perfect fit for us. Once the vendors were finalized, the planning felt more organized and solidified. We felt that we had picked the perfect, talented, most accommodating vendors because they helped to keep the rest of the wedding planning smooth sailing. They would follow up with phone call meetings, shared Google Docs, makeup trials, and in person meetings to see the fabric, colors and pieces for the mandap setup. All of our vendors went above and beyond to meet our needs to make our wedding day perfect. As the wedding planning was moving along, we were faced with an even bigger challenge. We had to cancel our original wedding date due to the COVID pandemic. That brought on a whole new obstacle that altered almost our entire original wedding agenda. It was extremely stressful but each of our vendors stuck it through with us and were very accommodating and helpful till our new wedding date in November 2020. Despite the craziness that came along with planning a COVID wedding, all of our vendors were wonderful in still helping to make our wedding day perfect, smooth, organized and filled with excitement.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Selecting a bridal lengha was definitely a stressful task for me because I had no idea what color or style I wanted to wear. The only thing I knew was that I wanted it to be simple yet elegant and light yet dressy enough for a bride and unique. While some brides go into wedding planning already knowing the type of style, color and design they want for their wedding day, I had to start by looking up different styles, designs and colors on Instagram and Pintrest to get ideas. After researching a bit, I was able to better envision what I would wear on my wedding day. That helped to narrow down my search and I saved screenshots of lenghas that I liked so I would be able to bring those with me for my trip to India for all the wedding shopping. I thought that would make it easier and more efficient to find my dream lengha with the color, style and design narrowed down. However, I found that looking for my perfect lengha as I had envisioned was much more challenging and difficult than I thought. We went to many shops in India and I was struggling to find exactly what I wanted. As my trip was coming to an end and we were getting through our last set of shops, I was becoming hopeless. I looked at my last few set of lenghas and in the pile was one that did not catch my attention at all. My aunt and mom told me to just try it on for comparison. After I tried it on, out of the countless lenghas I had looked at, that was the one. It was slightly different than I had envisioned but something clicked and I fell in love with the unique style, color and design. As I saw it more and more, I knew that was the lengha I wanted.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was being able to go through with it with my close family and best friends. They helped make the whole process more enjoyable and I would not have been able to have a successful wedding without any of them. Along with the planning process, I was treated with the most amazing and most perfect bridal shower and bachelorette weekend thrown for me. It made the planning process most memorable because I was able to get my mind off of wedding planning and just have the most fun, relax and feel so loved all at the same time.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The guests enjoyed the fun, lively and upbeat dancing at the baraat that took place the morning of the wedding ceremony.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The entire wedding weekend felt like one big special moment because we were surrounded by all our close family and friends. It was truly a blessing and so special to have all our close family and friends be there with all their love and support, despite the craziness of the pandemic. All our family and friends still were filled with so much excitement, love and support for us which meant the world to us. It was truly special and so touching to hear the speeches made by our best friends during the Mehndi Night. Having my Maid of Honor and bridesmaids by my side was beyond memorable because we created memories of a lifetime together.

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 wedding weekend had to be modified from the original plans due to the COVID pandemic. We made sure all the events including the ceremony were safe and strictly enforced all COVID guidelines. However, that did not stop the fun for the other two events held. The Mehndi Night was filled with beautiful dance performances by my aunts, mother and bridesmaids, heartfelt speeches by our best friends, mehndi artist available for the guests, fun game of charades involving the guests, awesome MC performance by my brother and an amazing backdrop decoration handmade by my all my closest aunts.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Enjoy the time planning the wedding as much as you can! It can get extremely overwhelming and stressful but remember to take breaks in between to enjoy the whole process. Have fun and do not sweat the small stuff. The wedding planning happens once in a lifetime and you want to remember it as a happy and enjoyable process. Try not to get worked up about making sure that every detail turns out perfectly for the wedding day because you lose out on enjoying the day for yourself. It is okay if everything does not turn out perfectly or as you had envisioned it because enjoying the day for your self with your close family and friends and getting to marry the love of your life is all that matters at the end of the day. All of that is definitely easier said than done, as I am definitely guilty of not abiding by my own advice and the stress is unavoidable during the planning process and wedding day, but I truly encourage all the Brides-To-Be have fun, relax, laugh, get plenty of sleep, smile and just enjoy all of the wedding planning and the wedding day. It will be perfect and wonderful in its own way and everything will fall into place perfectly. All of you Brides-To-Be out there will look absolutely stunning and beautiful.

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
While it was tough and stressful to plan a COVID wedding, we were only able to get through it with the support and help of our close family, friends and vendors. It would not have been possible without all of them. We were so happy to have such a successful, amazing, fun and beautiful wedding despite having to deal with the craziness of the COVID pandemic. The day was so special and we felt so much love. We were overjoyed with all the support and excitement.

STYLE
GUIDE
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Traditional
Romantic
Contemporary
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Autumn
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Photography: Dreamline Productions LLC | DJ: Amplifire Entertainment | Hair & Makeup: SakhiBeauty Salon New Jersey | Ceremony Venue: The Imperia | Decor: MM Celebrations