The story of Gayatri & Shyam’s union began not with a whisper but between the artistry and inks of a tattoo shop in Singapore. An unconventional beginning to an everlasting tale! A conversation that started by the serene waters of Clarke Quay River continued across years and miles, and their hearts, though separated by the American landscapes, beat in harmonious rhythm until words of love, spoken and heartfelt, sealed their serendipitous connection.
Their wedding planning in the hands of Elaan Events was woven with threads of mutual understanding and complementary desires. Knotting Hill Place, a castle surrounded by expansive landscapes, provided a perfect canvas for their intimate indoor setting yet felt like a grand celebration.
Guests were regaled not just by the captivating dance performances and the upbeat melodies played by DJ Riz Entertainment but also by an air of uncontainable love and joy. Every smile, every laughter, every touch bore testament to a love story that, though written in the stars, found its expression in the tangible beauty of intricate decorations, the ethereal glow of the venue, and the radiant smiles of the newlyweds.
Yet amongst the grandeur and the spectacles, it was the intimate, unuttered moments that lingered. The soft kiss shared post vows, the familial warmth encapsulated in speeches, and the unspoken promises reflected in the eyes of the bride and groom were just the preamble to a love story that will last forever, echoing through the corridors of time.
Congratulations Gayatri & Shyam!
How did you meet your Groom, and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met my Groom at a tattoo shop in Singapore 6 years ago. I know, not your generic-meet cute at a bar. We were both interning in Singapore during our summer breaks in college and happened to match on a dating app then. By the time we were ready to go on a date, Shyam had less than a week left before his flight back to the United States, and the evening he was going to get his first tattoo was the earliest we could meet, so we did.
After he got his tattoo, we went on a romantic walk by the Clarke Quay River and talked for hours. One of the conversation topics was what he wanted to name his future child and why - I knew at that moment that I wanted the same for myself. I think I hoped he was "the one" that night itself, but I didn't know for sure. At that time, I lived in Seattle, and he was in Michigan, and years of long-distance after just three dates seemed daunting. The first time he told me he loved me was when I knew for sure.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Due to the long distance and my family living in Singapore, Shyam & I were never able to be in the same place for my birthday despite having been together for four and a half years. So I knew he wanted this one to be extra special. He planned an entire weekend trip to Cancun for it and kept every activity a complete surprise. I didn’t even know which resort we would be in till we got there.
After 2 days of adventure and exploration, Shyam had one last surprise activity planned before a romantic dinner, so we dressed accordingly and went for it. As we got closer, the activity coordinators said they needed to blindfold us - which I thought was suspicious, but since Shyam was blindfolded too, I didn’t question it. Little did I know he took his off immediately and got down on one knee. I took mine off, yelled in surprise, and said, “Yes,” and the rest is history.
Pro-tip for anyone reading this who is planning to propose: I was really taken aback because when we had vaguely discussed getting married in the past, he had always hinted at proposing during a timeframe that was 6 months after when he actually proposed. Mislead your partner if you want to surprise them!
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 venue actually ended up being the first venue we ever visited! Shyam always wanted an indoor wedding (he didn’t want us to worry about wind or rain), and I always thought ballrooms were a little too closed in. That narrowed down our options to estates and villas, so when I came across Knotting Hill Place with its castle-style property, expansive landscaping, and massive ceremony hall windows, it was an instant yes!
I picked my outfit at Aso Palav Ahmedabad, and my mother-in-law knew it was the one the moment I put it on because of the spring wedding vibes it gave, which was perfect for our May wedding. I actually ended up passing out from food poisoning the day we picked my jewelry, but thankfully, my husband and our parents helped me make that decision. The decor for the wedding was meant to be simple and elegant, while our reception decor was where we really invested a ton of creativity, and we loved watching that play out on the day of. Hair & makeup was an easy decision once I realized that I wanted a reasonably priced artist who was an expert in dark skin and young and familiar with new-age makeup products; my makeup artist really made magic happen that day. We also loved our DJ Riz; he was great with uplighting and hyping up our crowd, but our favorite vendor of all time was Tommy from Thompson Studios - he was the ultimate hype man and he and our amazing photographer, Hubert, did a great job ensuring we were enjoying ourselves throughout the weekend.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
R. I always knew I wanted a red outfit with gold jewelry because that was what I felt said “bride” in our culture. The hues of red and gold I wore on our wedding day felt like armor that was painstakingly crafted by generations of aunts, moms & grandmothers who dressed the same way when they started their married lives.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The dance choreography and practice sessions! My husband was on a competitive dance team during his time at the University of Michigan and has always been an incredible choreographer. I already miss our practice sessions from when he would teach us our first dance because we would often break out into laughter and have dedicated time just to have fun in the midst of the stressful logistics that come with wedding planning.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Every guest loved the many dance performances! Besides that, I thought this guest summarized what he enjoyed best:
“The entire event was truly spectacular, and every detail was meticulously arranged. Gayatri looked absolutely radiant, and Shyam was handsomely charming. It was evident that they were deeply in love, and their happiness was contagious, filling the atmosphere with warmth and joy.
From the stunning venue to the exquisite decorations, everything was picture-perfect. The ceremony itself was a heartfelt reflection of their love and commitment to each other. It was a privilege to witness their vows and be a part of this special occasion.
I must also commend you and your family for your gracious hospitality. You ensured that every guest felt welcomed and cherished throughout the celebration. Your dedication and efforts truly made the event memorable for everyone involved.”
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
So many! I’m still very head-in-the-clouds from our wedding; all I can think about is how sweet our grandparents were, how Shyam kissed me right after I walked down the aisle, how competitive he was during the ring fishing game right after our ceremony, how much our Masi’s speeches made us cry, how cute our parents looked when dancing, how helpful our brothers were every step of the way, how funny they and our emcees were - the list goes on!
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.
Having an intimate Mehendi with our closest family and friends as the first event was so much fun. Everyone got to meet each other in a very relaxed setting in a beautiful garden.
We also loved how participative everyone was during our Garba - even guests who had never done it before! Having a big enough space for Garba is key; we had an entire hall for it instead of just a dance floor, and it was incredible to watch all our guests come together and spin in such a large space.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Keep your engagement period around 12 months if you can. Ours was a few months longer, and it was by the 12-month mark that we began to go stir-crazy and wished the wedding was already done. Having enough time to plan is key, but having too much can be frustrating in the long run!
Lastly, prepare to cry! I never thought I would, but Shyam and I shed so many tears through every speech during our Sangeet and reception.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Having dippin dots at our Wedding was a hit!! If you can get them, we highly recommend it :)
Join us in celebrating the beginning of more adventures, and may love continue to inspire us all.