Good morning, my dears! I hope you are having a splendid Wednesday. Our filmy day has arrived with a captivating story for all of us to be inspired. Our charming shooting stars of the day, Hina & Neel, knew they were meant to be together and decided to be each other's one and only. These lovebirds knew every detail must be impeccable for such a unique wedding celebration. And to ensure this, they got in touch with The Royal Collection to task them one of the essential items for their big day, the invitations! That first detail made this event unforgettable! Maharanis, their wedding was spectacular! They started with a lovely Sangeet celebration at the Envue Hotel. The couple got everything they had ever dreamed of for their special day, including Hina's dreamy look. The Glass Slipper Wedding beautifully did her hair and makeup. They undoubtedly gave the bride's day a magical touch. Our enchanting Maharani's lengha was as marvelous as it was radiant, and ladies, she looked gorgeous! Our lovebirds, Hina and Neel, chose the magnificent venue Maritime Parc to host their reception, complementing the place's elegance with fabulous decor from Elegant Affairs. Believe me, Maharanis, the setting of this ceremony was breathtaking! Of course, this celebration of love couldn't be complete without vibrant music, and the elite crew from Luxe Event Group had everything covered. They played the best of the best for the guests to be on their feet all night long! I am sure no one wanted to leave the dance floor at any given moment! Studio KSD captured fabulous photographs for our couple to cherish during their life journey! Maharanis, I am delighted to share this story with you thanks to the impeccable work Lightyear Studio did while recording every single instant of this wedding. Sweeties, I know you will be amazed by Hina & Neel's lovely video below.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
It's a modern day romance. We met on Bumble. At the time I worked as an Emergency Medicine resident in New York City with a busy schedule and Neel was a health care consultant from north Jersey who traveled a lot. As any young professional living in the tri-state, we turned to dating apps to help us look for love as we balanced a heavy work load and busy social lives.
I knew he was the one probably 6 months into our relationship. Any one that knows Neel, knows he is pretty easy to love. He is fun, out-going, and most of all caring. He likes to take care of his friends and family. There wasn't a single moment that made me realized he was "the one". Rather, as our relationship grew, so did our love. Not to mention, I may have fallen in love with Lucky, his family dog, first.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Neel is very big on creating the “perfect” experience. So with no surprise he put all of his skills at work to create our magical moment.
Neel & I both had a vacation scheduled in the middle of the summer. I really wanted to go somewhere new, but Neel convinced me on Napa because he was already going to be in California for work.
I remember the week before our vacation, he had a work trip to PA. I didn't think anything of it because he often went there for client meetings. Little did I know this "work trip" was an actual visit to my parents' to ask for my hand in marriage.
I remember being on a slow shift in the ER, when one of my co-residents started asking me about my vacation plans. I told him I was going to Napa, and he asked, "Ohh, is Neel proposing?" "What? No!" I said, but then started secretly hoping he would. But how could he? He doesn't know what kind of ring I like. Does he even remember my size?
I arrived in San Francisco, and Neel was eagerly waiting to pick me up. We went out for dinner and got rolled ice cream for dessert. We spent the next day exploring San Francisco as it was my first time there. I thought Neel would have had the entire trip planned. However, our trip initially seemed very spontaneous. We were looking for things to do online and looking at places to eat on Yelp. We tried to get reservations to massages, but none were available last minute. No way was he prepared to propose, I thought.
The next day we drove up to Napa. We had a nice brunch and were luckily able to reserve massages for that morning. Later that afternoon we drove to a vineyard for some wine tasting. We arrived at Bennet Lane Winery where Neel had reserved a private tour. We tasted different wines, learned about their history, and toured their vineyard. Towards the end, our host recommended we go outside as there is a picturesque outlook. I got excited for the photo op, and Neel went to use the bathroom where he got secretly mic-ed up. We walked outside and saw the most scenic outlook of mountains and greenery. I saw a table with a bouquet of flowers and champagne. I asked Neel if the table was for us, when suddenly he held my hands and started rambling. I couldn't believe what was happening. He was proposing! He got down on one knee, I said yes, and that day went down in history. Looking back, Neel had chosen Napa for this trip because it was in Napa, the year before, where we had first said "I love you" to one another.
#proposalofmydreams #manofmydreams #NEELed4HINA
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 wedding was originally scheduled in Jersey City of August 2020. We had a family trip planned to India in April 2020 for wedding shopping. Both of our parents and siblings were planning to join us with much excitement. The excitement was short-lived when we got news about the first coronavirus case in New York (distinctly remember this as I was on a ER shift, and our staff was getting prepared for more cases and we were advised not to travel). Soon the city shut down, and everyone was in quarantine.
Neel and I were still hopeful that by August things would be better. However in May we made the call to postpone to 2021. Instead, we had an intimate backyard wedding on May 30, 2020 with our parents, siblings my grandma, and a few close friends via Zoom. Neel's best friend since childhood, Hiral, officiated this wedding. It was a special day. Our goal was to share our happiness with more of our loved ones exactly one year later- May 30, 2021 and keep the same anniversary!
Wedding planning is stressful to begin with, add on a pandemic and the stress triples. We were on a hunt for a new photographer, which was tough because we loved our original (priyanca rao photography); she had prior commitments to another wedding she was going to shoot. We also had to cut a 400+ guest count to 150 guests. We then realized less than 3 months before our wedding we'd have to find a new venue. Our original venue had not opened up since the beginning of the pandemic, and their opening date kept getting pushed. We made the call to get a refund and look for another venue in March 2021 to have our wedding on Memorial Day weekend, a very popular wedding weekend. We were fortunate to find Maritime Parc on such short notice as they had a cancelation on Memorial Day weekend.
Hair & Make Up- Maliha Khan, who's been in the industry for so long. She was easy to get a long with and made me look gorgeous with different looks for my Sangeet, Wedding and Reception.
Hair & Make Up for Bridal Party- Glass Slipper Wedding. I had a ton of changes through out the process in the number of people and services that were needed. They were always professional, responded to emails in a timely manner and overall very easy to work with.
Decor: Elegant Affairs. Well-experienced. Made our visions come to life. Sangeet was held at Envue Autograph hotel in Weehawken, a modern hotel and Elegant affairs delivered in giving us a modern colorful feel for the Sangeet. Ceremony mandap was beautiful and matched our theme of baby pink perfectly.
DJ BK from Luxe Entertainment- Loved working with him. He's very down to earth and made our Sangeet and Reception nights to remember. All of our guests still talk about how much fun they had partying with us. We had a very talented tabla player and violinist for our cocktail hour that wow-ed everyone. We also had a live singer who performed during a part of our first dance and did a small segment during the dance party.
Planner- Pearls Events. We worked with Chandni leading up to the wedding and she was great. She and the day-of coordinators were on top of our tight scheduled and easily fixed any bumps we ran into along the way.
Video- Lightyear Video, haven't received our video yet but we are super excited to see the highlights!
Photo: Studio KSD. I loved Tina and her team. It rained ALL weekend during our wedding. Tina was very professional. We had a few meetings with her prior to the wedding and were able to discuss what was important to us when it came to capture our day. She captured every event beautifully despite all the rain. We got our photos about two weeks ago and I still can't stop looking at them!
Caterer- Amiya from Jersey City. Loved the food for all 3 events. We wanted something unique from the usual Indian weddings and Amiya did a fantastic job. Abha was very sweet, and we enjoyed working with her.
Cake- Palermo's bakery. Neel's family has known the owners of Palermo for quite some time which made this decision a no-brainer. My aunt, Pinal, owner of Style Me Sweet Cakes is a fantastic cake decorator. I asked her to decorate our cake with fresh flowers. She designed it beautifully to match our reception decor.
Stationary- The Royal Collection Invites. We had our logo, welcome bags, welcome signs, wedding programs, and reception menus designed with Dhwani and we loved the final products. The wedding program, especially, was my favorite given we had fun facts about me and Neel on one side and it was fun to make!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Since we couldn't go to India, I started shopping locally. We came across Shilpa Gandhi Studio. Priyanka who manages the company lives in Jersey City and we were able to personally visit her and see some of the pieces they've created. We were able to discuss with Shilpa, the designer who is from Toronto, through video calls of what I was envisioning. Her team is in India who makes all the clothing.
I always knew I wanted red for my wedding outfit. After a few meetings with Priyanka and Shilpa we were able to decide on the design and create both mine and Neel's outfits for the Sangeet and Wedding. Though Covid made things challenging, we were very happy with the end results!
My reception outfit and all my jewelry (Mehendi, Sangeet, Wedding, Reception) was from Nazranaa in Iselin, NJ. Family members have bought several beautiful pieces from them and had worn them to our wedding!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Honestly, planning was really tough. Given the postponement and a lot of other issues that are typically not encountered pre-Covid, my favorite part was practicing our first dance and our Sangeet dance with Neel. I love dancing, so it was a way for me to destress this way. Neel would say otherwise, because I often yelled at him for messing up or forgetting a step. But during the stressful planning process, it was my time to dance in his arms, temporarily forgetting about all the things we still had left to do.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think everyone just loved getting together and celebrating love. With the pandemic, there was a lot of isolation and it had a been some time since all of our loved ones were together under one roof. Our family still raves about how much fun they had, and it makes our hearts full. From the food, dancing, music, and entertainment- it was all magical!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Neel and I had decided to do wedding gifts for one another for the big day. For Neel, I decided to get a customized New York Times baseball book and a cameo from Mariano Rivera, a hall of fame New York Yankee, because Neel is the self proclaimed biggest Yankees fan ever! Neel got me Venus Et Fleur forever roses and customized YSL his and her scents. One of my bridesmaid had told me to get a new scent for the big day because every time I'd wear that scent in the future, I would think back to our wedding day. It was one of the details that fell under the crack as I just didn't get the time to go shopping for it. I had told Neel about it one night weeks before our wedding, and he remembered!
The exchange of these gifts and reading our letters to one another the morning after our first look and before the wedding ceremony was a moment that constantly replays in my mind. I unexpectedly started to cry when I started to read mine. Weddings can be chaotic, especially ours with a jam-packed 4-day schedule. That moment with just me and him was perfect and one that I will cherish forever.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
It's stressful, and everything won't go exactly as planned no matter how much you stress. Try to enjoy the process as much as possible and remember that no matter what, it's going to be your day and it will be memorable.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Bridesmaids bouquet- Surina, a friend of mine kindly offered to make them the day before the ceremony.
Bridesmaid dresses- DV Custom Dresses (deevineeti.etsy.com)
Groomsmen clothes- Deen Fashion from Jersey City
My Vidhi was at The Royal Albert Palace Nilkamal Hall. The DJ for my Vidhi was DJ Jeet, a family friend from Absolute Desi Entertainment.
It truly takes a village- we are so thankful for all our family and friends to help make our dreams come true!
This is all for today, Maharanis. Keep coming back for more romantic moments!