Let's continue our day with a boost of inspiration with Sunaina & Hemanth's big day. The festivities started at the exquisite Marriott San Mateo. With the talented artists from Beauty Innovations perfecting every detail of Sunaina's hair and makeup, she was an ethereal vision as she walked down the aisle. The ceremony venue was adorned by the skillful hands of Dazzling Streaks Decor, transforming the space into a dreamlike setting. Under the expert coordination of An Elegant Standard, every aspect of the wedding flowed seamlessly. Throughout the day, the mehndi artist, Kristy K Designs, adorned Sunaina's hands with intricate and symbolic henna designs. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the reception venue at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club came alive with laughter and dancing. DJ Tanveer's music filled the air, setting the perfect ambiance for their first dance as husband and wife. When it comes to capturing the essence and joy of a wedding, Lux Wedding Studios is a name that stands out among the crowd. Through their lens, the emotions and feelings from Sunaina & Hemanth's wedding were captured, creating a breathtaking collection of memories they will cherish forever. We invite you to glimpse their magical gallery. You will love it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Hemanth and I met through a quirky combination of fate, family, and food. We initially met because our moms started volunteering together and became friends. Our family’s both live in the Bay Area and often meet at family friend parties. We mostly ignored each other’s presence at these parties as we were in our high school years and interested in totally different things. We both attended UC Davis but at different times (he's a couple of years older than me). So as he graduated from college and I went through my Freshman and Sophomore years, we started to talk more at these family friend gatherings over our new common topic of UC Davis. This is how we found out a crazy coincidence (and the fate part of this story): Hemanth and his friends had lived in the exact same apartment as me 3 years before me. It was Apartment 85 at the Fountain Circle apartments. We started sharing funny college stories over our experiences living in the same (slightly rundown) apartment and that's how our real friendship started. A couple weeks after this conversation, he reached out to me saying that his group of friends were going to drive to Davis to attend the annual school party called Picnic Day. My mom gets wind of this and (being the Indian mom she is) decides to send a huge food package with him to deliver to me. Upon delivery of the food package I decided to invite his friends to my apartment's house parties for the weekend! That weekend all of our friends became friends and we ended up hanging out as a group for a couple of years even after that weekend and after we all graduated!
I guess there’s one more “f” to add to this story which is the funny part. After we got serious, Hemanth and I found out that our grandparents live so close to each other in India that it’s even closer than our family’s lived to each other in the Bay Area. And, we found out that we had many common family friends in India too! Our joke is that maybe if we hadn’t found each other, the arranged marriage god’s would have put us together anyway.
So that's the "how we met part" but how did I know he was "the one"? Well as you can imagine going from friends to dating was another story. I had graduated and moved back to the Bay and we had continued hanging out as a group. But one day, Hemanth had reached out to me and asked if we could get dinner just the two of us. I confided my confusion about the situation to my mom and apparently neither of us could believe a guy like him could be into me...so we concluded that he must have reached out because "he was bored and needed new friends". It then took him a whole 4 months to convince me that he was seriously trying to date me! In hindsight I feel bad for the guy that he had to plan date after date and wait for me to finally get the idea.
I feel so blessed that he asked me out and decided to make our friendship into a relationship! I always knew I wanted a relationship to feel effortless and like I was hanging out with my best friend. The fact that we started out as friends really helped our foundation, and to this day he remains my best friend. I knew he was "the one" when I caught myself helplessly using all of his made-up lingo, feeding his pizza obsession, and always wanting to share every story and detail of my life with him!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Hemanth made our proposal happen in my favorite city Chicago with an amazing day of details planned. For someone who doesn’t usually like to make reservations or be particular about the details, he blew me away with all of his plans! I was living in Chicago for graduate school and he was visiting me that weekend. I had an inkling that it was going to happen since we had gone ring shopping together, but he was still able to really surprise me. It was February and it was cold so we planned a day at The Art Institute of Chicago. We were walking around the museum and he kept asking me to come view this one painting by the staircase. Once I walked over there he insisted that we ask this stranger to take a picture of us. Before I knew it he was on one knee, had pulled out the ring, and the “stranger” was actually an arranged photographer who pulled out her professional camera! I was so surprised but I didn’t even give him a chance to say his speech and I immediately said yes. We spent the next hour doing a beautiful photoshoot all around Millenium Park. That photoshoot is something I will truly cherish for the rest of my life- it captures the most special moment of my life with my favorite person and my favorite city as the background.
But the surprises did not end there! He had planned a series of reservations at beautiful restaurants around the city. The first was a champagne bar to celebrate the occasion, the second was a riverside restaurant to enjoy appetizers, the third was a popular Chinese spot because that’s one of my favorite cuisines, and finally at dinner he surprised me with a chocolate cake (one of my favorite desserts) that had “Soon to be Mr. and Mrs.” written on it! The day was pure magic for us both and props to him for making such an amazing, thoughtful proposal happen!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My outfit-shopping experience was a unique one for an Indian bride! I had three major events to shop for: the sangeeth, the wedding, and the reception. I knew I wanted to do a lehenga for the sangeeth and potentially a sari for the wedding, but the reception was the big unknown for me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a lehenga or execute my vision of a fusion white dress look. I had the pleasure of planning a trip to India and shopping there. I shopped in Hyderabad and it was definitely hard to pick between all the different designers and their beautiful designs! I tried to stay within a certain budget and not get too carried away and landed upon an Aisha Rao design for my sangeeth lehenga. Their studio treated me with amazing customer service, making the lehenga to my exact measurements and getting the whole outfit together in less than a couple of weeks! I absolutely loved the embroidery work and animal/floral motifs that describe her design style. I loved the colors and motifs of my outfit so much that I even designed our sangeeth dance floor wrap around my outfit!
My reception outfit was a story of extreme luck! I hadn’t really fallen in love with any lehengas for my reception while I was in India and I had about 3-4 months left to look for a reception outfit. Panic set in and I pivoted to executing my vision of a fusion style wedding dress inspired by both eastern and western styles. I started to research middle eastern brides because I loved the elements of the embroidery in their gowns that connected the eastern and western styles a bit more. I found Turkish designer Tarik Ediz and fell in love with his designs! I knew I wanted to incorporate some sort of mermaid style gown with a train and they had exactly what I was looking for. I got extremely lucky that a popular gown shop in the Bay Area (BChic) had a similar size for me to try on and their customer service was excellent. They ordered a new gown to my size and had it rush shipped within weeks. They worked with me to add lining to the bodice and customize details that made the train easy to hold and dance with. I was absolutely obsessed with how it all turned out! Hemanth wore a cream tux to tie it all together and our pictures just speak for themselves!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The things that stood out about our wedding to our guests was how well-planned and organized it was, how much we took care of our guests, and how good the food was! What was funny to us was that we really had no clue what was going to resonate with our guests as we planned our details out, and sometimes it’s just the smallest things that they notice! I believe the details really do matter. Things as simple as providing breakfast for my bridesmaids for their early call times, providing guests with food take away boxes after the events, handing out hotel room gift bags upon check in, or handing out sweet boxes from India as take home gifts really did resonate with our guests.
We were lucky to have such fun and lively guests as well! Our crowd’s energy really made all of our events that much more enjoyable. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen and close family kept the group chat of around 30 people going for months after our wedding. Everyone was in great spirits and just there to have a great time! They brought the fun, the energy, the laughter, and especially the dance moves. I believe this also truly made our wedding so enjoyable for everyone!
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.
Our sangeet decor was jaipur and palace inspired decor. I absolutely loved the elements of all the colored lamps, the beautiful customized dance floor wrap, and the decor matching with our outfit theme! Major props to our decorator and event coordinators for making it all happen.
Our reception was at a different venue than all of our other events. We decided to do this to add variety for our guests! We held our reception at the beautiful Palo Alto Golf and Country Club. It was a stunning venue with view of San Francisco in the distance. Our cocktail hour was held over looking the sprawling golf course and during the sunset hour! Our guests absolutely loved this and we got to take beautiful outdoor pictures before our event.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Pick your battles and if that means all of the battles are your battles, then so be it! It's you and your fiance's day and you guys deserve to have everything you want! Don't let too many people tell you advice because the process is already so stressful. Keep your peace and focus on the happiness of you two as a couple!
As a bride and groom, sometimes you forget this detail - plan ahead how you guys are going to get around to your events! You don't want to get caught scrambling before your scheduled pictures, etc. This is a detail you can work out with your event planner.
For the bride- make sure you do a makeup trial! Knowing exactly what you're going to look like is really important. I do not regret paying extra to get my trail done, and I regret not organizing trials with all of my artists.
Darlings, join us in celebrating the beginning of more adventures and love. Stay tuned for more!