Good morning, dears! Get ready to enjoy Priya & Ronak's wedding in today's Platinum Guide Blog.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I love Halloween (including bats), Tangled, and anything related to Japan. On a trip to Austin, Texas, Ronak took me to the Congress Bridge to watch the bat emergency at dusk, but they never came out because it was too cold! Then we walked over to Butler Metro Park, where I spotted a lantern floating into the sky. "What is that," I asked, squinting, "let's follow it!" Many more lanterns were set up on a dock overlooking a pond by Ronak's friend. At the end of the dock, Ronak got down on one knee and proposed a beautiful custom rose-gold teardrop lab diamond ring with a halo! We then ended the night at the Japanese restaurant Uchi. The proposal was the imperfectly perfect blend of all my favorite things!
What did your guests particularly love about your wedding?
Welcoming and organized feel: Shilpa Patel Events provided the most organized, smooth-running production with meticulous planning, attentive staff, and plenty of signage to guide all the guests. Our priest Dharmasetu Dasa explained everything from the ceremony in English, which was appreciated by so many of our guests. There was a breakfast and afternoon snack room for refreshments in between events and a welcome bag arranged for everyone staying at the hotel. Guests were engaged and taken care of for the whole weekend.
Personal touches: From my mom's dance with her friends at the Garba to my parents coming out on stage at the reception doing the Garba, there were several personal touches that made the wedding so special. One highlight included my last-minute choreographed dance entrance down the aisle with my "mamas" (maternal uncles). Probably the most fun personal touch was Ronak's arrival for the baraat in an open-top rickshaw from LA Rickshaw. Our reception favors were chopsticks in colorful sleeves for our love of ramen - we picked something so non-Indian, but we felt it reflected a part of us very well!
Florals: The very thick, dense flower arrangements framing the mandap courtesy of the very talented Tip Top Event Designs were one of the most impressive that our guests had ever seen. My dad surprised me by okaying in advance the jaw-droppingly beautiful peach floral Ganesh in the background of the mandap that looked like it was floating in midair; I didn't notice it until midway through the ceremony! The floral colors were very distinctly different in the evening, matching the darker theme.
And of course the food! Our food vendors truly brought their best flavors and quality, and the variety of foods was staggering. The traditional Gujarati lunch was the best some guests had ever tasted. The diversity of street food-style stalls from Indian to Mexican at the Garba kept everyone coming back for more. The Punjabi dishes by Mantra at the reception were divine. We even served the famous Cassata Slice Ice Cream by Vadilal during the ceremony and had Indian sweets from Surti Farsan to-go at the end of the night.
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.
For my Grah Shanti/Vidhi-Pithi and Mehndi, we opted for a homey feel in our family friends' backyard decorated with colorful trinkets and bright backdrops. The morning was simple and laid back, with a light lunch served. The evening was complete with song and dance, an amazing live Dosa Bar, and a tableful of sweets.
I wanted the classic, bright yellow color with the dhoti look for my Pithi. I found a modern version of what I was looking for, designed by Soman Luthria through Kynah, and added floral jewelry and a headpiece handmade in India by a family friend.
I had always wanted to wear Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika, and they had just dropped a new collection at the time I was looking for an Indo-Western look for my mehndi. I especially loved the color combination and the unique cape style.
For the Garba, we wanted to go as traditional Gujarati as possible with the aesthetics. Our decorator wowed with vibrant umbrellas, street food-style stalls, and mehndi and gift stations. I made the signs myself by tweaking existing colorful Canva templates and having them printed on foam boards. We even had one that said, "Patel-Shukla Dukaan" ("Patel-Shukla Shop") for the gift table.
I am in awe of the painstaking work that Kalpana's Creations put into my fully customized Garba choli by hand, complete with puff sleeves and an extra-large skirt circumference. A side braid and choker necklace completed the look. The most fantastic aspect of this outfit was the perfectly matching groom's kurta and vest that tied the entire color scheme and theme together.
I wanted the reception to be Tangled-inspired, just like Ronak's proposal, but with a twist of dark colors so the multitude of smaller lights really stood out. There were subtle themes of Tangled, such as lanterns and the gold sun from the movie on the cake. Then there was the obvious homage - the Tangled scene drink menus. I was inspired to find a unique version of "I See the Light" from the movie; I couldn't believe there was such a beautiful Hindi version, and we played this version while cutting the cake. After a few fun dance performances and speeches in, the party started with the huge LED screen and sparklers (glow sticks and sparklers are a must for bringing the party!). The LED screen had endless displays, including photos of the ceremony earlier in the day.
I went for a non-conventional dark-colored lehenga by Seema Gujral for my reception outfit, but it still shined because of the sequins and complemented the bold color scheme so well. I wore my hair down with striking gold eyeshadow and green and gold jewelry set to match the outfit.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Wedding ceremony decor: We decided on soft peach and green with white and gold accents for the overall color scheme of the ceremony. We had a peach rather than a white canopy to incorporate our palette in a unique way. The florals incorporated just the right amount of green leaves. I designed the programs and signage on Canva and wrote the descriptions and a blend of those provided by the priest and a cousin's previous wedding program. Finishing touches were made by Tip Top, including metal lanterns and decorative pieces.
Wedding ceremony outfit: I found Designs by Shivani by chance on Etsy after I scrolled past this floral lehenga concept that I had seen after months of scouring the internet for a unique wedding outfit. I had initially been dead-set on wearing peach (or green), but after I saw that, I asked myself when I would ever wear red like this again, I might as well feel like a real Indian bride! My mom randomly found the second magenta dupatta in a pile of spare dupattas for sale in a random shop, which was the final piece that tied the whole outfit together! The matching matte red eyeshadow was the perfect finish to the overall red look.
Bridesmaids outfits: After endless searching, I stumbled upon a bridesmaids lehenga design that I finally loved by Nazranaa, NJ, and I swapped the colors for a few pastels that were incorporated into my wedding lehenga. The outfits turned out truly flawless! My favorites to my bridesmaids and moms were Sani lounge sets which were the perfect blend of an Indian design with amazing quality and utility.
Groom sherwani and pagri: Ronak's ceremony sherwani matched the floral theme of my lehenga, and the colors were customized to our peach and green theme while still maintaining the white base for the traditional element. The peach pagri was the perfect complement to the green and gold groomsmen outfits.
Groomsmen outfits: The groomsmen kurtas were customized with Rajoo India. The deep green was a contrast to pastel bridesmaids' outfits while still incorporating the dark green shade of the leaves in the floral arrangements and in the wedding ceremony lehenga.
Loves, thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more inspiring weddings from our Maharani brides!
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