Happy Wednesday, Maharanis! Today, we wanted to revisit one of your favorite weddings, and it is none other than Cynthia & Ankur's wedding celebrated during COVID times. This spectacular event had so much repercussion, and you all loved it so much that we couldn't wait to share the jaw-dropping film captured by Studio KSD with all of you. Right from the start, we have to say that this intimate event, already featured in our Main Blog and our Best of 2020 Magazine, is one inspiring and romantic story you don't want to miss. So let's check it out together! From the wedding ceremony officiated at the Thompson Park to the intimate reception party, everything was impressive. This unique and unforgettable event overflowed with so much beauty and flair that it still has us sighing. But we are not surprised that everything turned out to be this amazing as the talented and highly experienced team from Haneen Festivities took care of the decor that set the mood for this life milestone. And oh boy, they did a phenomenal work exceeding all expectations and delivering nothing but utter perfection. This perfection mirrored Cynthia's fabulous look, who amazed everyone after being fully glamorized by Kanwal Batool. Darlings, if you want to check more of this beautiful wedding celebration, hit the play icon below and get ready to be amazed by this spectacular film!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met through bumble and our first date was at Cienfuegos in Manhattan.

There really wasn't one big ah-ha moment. It was a very subtle and slow change change where I felt myself wanting to share everything with him. If I was not hanging out with Ankur I found myself making a mental list of all the things I wanted to tell him. And whenever I would daydream or plan the future he was always a part of it.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
He proposed to me after a hike that overlooks the manhattan skyline in the Palisades. We love to hike together and it was a gorgeous view with just  the two of us.

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.
Ha! I planned my wedding twice! I had my venue, dress and a few vendors ready before I was even proposed to! In-fact Tina (from KSD studios) and I finalized the terms of the photo/video contract while I was on on the hike in which Ankur proposed to me. I am a type A person and I have experience planning large scale events so I threw myself right, made a list of all the things I had to do and just got started. Our original wedding date was supposed on be Oct 31st 2020, I was pretty much done planning with all my vendors booked by Jan 2020.

Then the pandemic hit and completely derailed my plans. With all the uncertainty I was losing my mind. I couldn't plan anything more a few weeks out. I had no idea how much money I was going to lose with all the deposits I had already put down. I also had to completely reimagine the wedding because it was supposed to be a 3 days affair with a catholic ceremony (my family is catholic), a hindu ceremony (Ankur's side is Hindu), mehendi etc and now multi-day affair was out of the questions.

I didn't even know what the safest way to cater this would be: can you even have open food? would the caterer even do individually packages meals? Is it tacky to hand out boxed food at a wedding? There were just so many unknowns that the vendors could not answer either. But all of my vendors were absolutely fantastic, they all worked me to make my day simply amazing.

At the end of the day, the pandemic really let me and Ankur imagine and bring to life the wedding of our dreams. All the plans from the original wedding were so formulaic, we had so many events JUST because that is what tradition dictates. Well the pandemic made us throw all the traditions out he window to create our own. We decided to move up our wedding to September so that it would not be too cold for an outdoor wedding.

With a much smaller wedding, we were able to focus on us and our guests and get a lot more people involved. My dad and I handmade the wedding signs - welcome to the wedding, table cards with names, the rustic polaroid photo board. I had my sister and best friend do a lot of the creative work (games, wedding programs, wedding hashtags). My aunt made the wedding cake and all the cupcakes. My uncles figured out how live stream the wedding so that people who could not attend can still watch the wedding. This wedding came to life because of so many people and it was simply amazing! Better than what could hope for! Even the weather that day was perfect!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Actually I had bought about 5 dresses and only used one. I had a white dress for the catholic ceremony, a saree for the hindu ceremony, lengha for the reception and a few others for the pre-wedding event. I had all the matching jewelry too!

But with the pandemic I ended up just using my big white dress. I got this dress from David's Bridal. Ankur and I had a conversation about getting married and OF COUSE I immediately had to tell my best friend that Ankur and I talked about getting married and that a proposal was gonna happen soon! She decided to book a bridal appointment at BHLDN just for fun! We got a ate brunch, got a little tipsy and went to try on dresses! It was there that I realized I loved lace and an A-line silhouette. Then it was just a matter of finding the right dress. This dress at David's Bridal had everything I wanted and it fit perfectly.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Getting to reimagine the wedding to be very intimate. I loved adding the personal touches to everything: I worked with Lilly Mae Designed to make all the lettering so that people had something to take home with their names on it. We got custom coloring books for the kids with activities. We planned games so that everyone could be an active participant.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Everyone loved how relaxed it was. No one had to wake up at 4am to get their make up done or stay up late to practice the dances/performances. It was a very chill day, beautiful weather, great atmosphere! And we had the dogs!!! They were the best part. All the dogs were having the fun and everyone had fun playing with them. Ankur even made them pup-cakes. They definitely added to the vibe 

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Honestly the whole day was just spectacular. There wasn't just one moment that I loved because so many people came together to make this day a reality. The whole thing was chaotic yet perfect. Just as it should be.

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.
We had to cancel all other events. I spent the few days prior relaxing with my family and by best friends family. My mom made is face masks, we got our nails done, had some great food and watched movies. Ankur spent the day before playing Overwatch with his friends and playing with this nieces and nephews. It was great because we were so relaxed going into the wedding day.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Do not try to plan or control everything about the wedding especially the day of. It is just not going to happen. I thought I had everything planned then a pandemic hit. Then I thought I had everything planned again then a whole slew of things went wrong: the rain made the tables sink in the grass, the wind knocked down the ceremony arch right before we were about it start, the electricity stopped working, half our guests didn't get food, one of the dogs jumped on me and got mud on all over my white dress and the priest hit me in the face with the microphone as I was saying my vows.

Love every minute of it and don't take it too seriously. Take in all the crazy and enjoy it as much as possible. If you laugh at it, then it becomes a great story for later.

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The cakes!!! The cake and cupcakes were made by Nirmala and she worked with me to make sure that the cake matched the decor! She hand made everything, including the fondant flowers to match the floral wedding decor. She also searched high and low for the perfect lace cupcake holders since I love lace. She also packaged the cupcakes individually so that someone couldn't accidentally cough or sneeze on the food. They looked amazing and tasted even better!

Hair & Makeup: Kanwal Batool | Cinematography: Studio KSD | Photography: Studio KSD | Ceremony Venue: Thompson Park | Floral & Decor: Haneen Festivities | Catering: Rasoi | DJ: DJ Rewind with MVP DJ's | Lettering/ Print Work: Tiffany Stewart | Cake & Treats: Nimmi's Novelty Cakes | Live Music: Sweet Harmony | Live Music: The Bailsmen