Bhavika & Badal's wedding is a testament to beauty in the ethereal realm of love and union. As dawn broke, the vibrant Baraat, led by Riamu Entertainment, set the tone for a day filled with joy and splendor. Bhavika, radiant in her bridal attire, was a vision of elegance, accentuated by the artistic touch of Drea V Make Up. The Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, the chosen venue, was nothing short of a royal palace, thanks to the magical planning and design by Subham Events. Surabhi Event Decor adorned each corner of the venue with exquisite floral decor. The couple's journey to forever was captured in the timeless frames of Michael Santos's Photography, each photograph vividly portraying their emotions and the day's magnificence. As the evening descended, Riamu Entertainment's DJ infused life into the celebration, ensuring every heartbeat synchronized with the rhythm of joy. Their music transcended mere entertainment, becoming an integral part of the wedding's narrative and leaving an indelible imprint on the memories of all present. A special mention must be made of the Mehndi Artist, Mehndi by Bhavi, whose intricate designs told stories of their impending bliss. You'll love it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I officially met Badal on a dating app, but we had met a few years back when we were both at a wedding party for our friends. He was a groomsman, and I was a bridesmaid. I don't know if I ever had a "moment" that made me feel as if Badal was the one. If anything, it was a series of little interactions and conversations that made me feel more and more sure that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
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.
I'm a California native, but I moved to Maryland, where Badal lived, once we got engaged. His side of the family is primarily from New Jersey. Planning the wedding from Maryland was hard, especially as a super Type-A person. The time difference and not being able to see and do things in person was difficult, but I had a lot of support from family, friends, and our vendors, who were super easy to work with! Kavita from Subham Events made everything feel more manageable and constantly reassured me of the time we had left, even when I felt like everything had to be done immediately. I probably drove all of our vendors crazy.
I knew from the beginning that I really wanted to honor our Gujarati traditions and give our families the weddings they envisioned for us without compromising our personalities or what was important to us. While I often dreamed of my wedding from a young age, I don't think I had an actual vision for how things wanted to look until I started working with Suma at Surabhi Events and Decor. We chose a traditional mandap, which I think is less the norm these days because it allowed us to have the look and feel of a grand Indian wedding. However, I didn't go the traditional route with my lehenga - I chose green! Picking decor elements to match our style and the events was super easy with Suma, especially once I had my outfits selected. She was great at pointing out color combinations to match my clothes, showing me ideas, and working with me on ideas I had seen on Pinterest or Instagram! Suma came highly recommended by Kavita, and I can't thank both of them enough.
I knew I wanted Drea for my hair and makeup before I was even engaged. I got really lucky to have my wedding weekend when she was also available! She was so kind, so gracious, and so perfect. She went above and beyond to help me stay calm through it all, making me look and feel GORGEOUS all weekend long and giving me an opportunity to reflect on the great moments from the weekend, even if I was super stressed out. Our priest was so down-to-earth and easy to speak to. He did a great job speaking about the significance of each ritual in a way that Badal and I could both understand. He kept us engaged the entire time. Our DJ, photo, and video vendors were also extremely amazing to work with. They made the weekend so much fun for all of us and were so quick to go above and beyond for us. We felt like family working with them, and you don't get that very often, I think!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I didn't want a red dress because I was not a fan of the color. In fact, I knew growing up that I'd be expected to wear red (no one wore a different color back then) and was sad about it! Luckily, as I got closer to my wedding, I knew that I actually wanted what's called "bottle green." I had some inspirational pictures in mind when I shopped but actually found that the color was just not available as a bridal lehenga anywhere except in a velvet-like fabric - totally not what I wanted and would have been horrible at the end of June in Southern California! Luckily, after some searching, one of the shopkeepers pulled this one out, and I fell in love!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Envisioning the celebrations, knowing we'd get to celebrate with our loved ones, and knowing we'd be getting married!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
They loved how everything ran on schedule, how well-coordinated everything was, and how well-fed they were! They also had a lot of fun dancing and celebrating. To date, however, people will tell us how we planned the wedding and various accommodations in a way that made it easier to get around (we offered shuttles for events, not at the hotel) and had a HUGE stash of dry snacks and beverages (traditional and American) so that guests could stock up and not go hungry throughout the weekend in addition to offering traditional breakfast and welcome bags. This was a huge hit for those guests with kids!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Honestly, the feeling of celebration. It's not a moment, per se, but just feeling like all weekend long, we laughed, we danced, we sang, we partied, and we ate good food. What more do you need?
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 held a mix of Ganesh Pooja, Pithi, and Grah Shanti at both the bride's home and Sanatan Dharma Temple. We kept these events as traditional as possible. We held a Welcome Dinner at the Cypress Community Center so that guests could mingle, eat, and enjoy themselves before the wedding and reception. Since the majority of our guests were from out of town, this was a great way to ease into things and allow for additional time for travel. The Welcome Dinner was actually a hybrid Sangeet/Garba because I love Garba, and you can't have a Gujarati wedding without Garba!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Try to stay present and enjoy the little moments leading up to the wedding, too. Whether that's enjoying picking out elements for your wedding together, enjoying being engaged, or just enjoying shopping! Prioritize what is important to you and your groom and your families, and focus on that. The wedding weekend also flies by! It's true, a lot of couples don't feel as if they can enjoy their wedding or get a chance to eat properly, but I did the opposite. Carve out the time to eat every meal you meticulously chose for your guests. Dance around, spend time with your guests when you can, and revel in the glory that is YOUR WEDDING WEEKEND!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
We skipped a cake because we couldn't coordinate it in time, and the cost of a dummy cake was too high to justify. The "cake cutting" portion of the reception felt more like a photo-op to us, especially because we knew we didn't want to serve cake to our guests. Instead, we opted for extra desserts at our reception dinner. We're actually looking forward to celebrating our first anniversary with a cake as an alternative!
I was careful to choose wedding jewelry that suited my stature as a petite 5'0" woman. I also wanted to wear pieces that I could re-wear over and over. It's harder to wear wedding outfits, but I knew that the jewelry would be something near and dear to me for the rest of my life.
I chose the Sheraton Cerritos because they were one of the few, if not only, hotels near us that allowed an indoor fire for our ceremony. I definitely only wanted an indoor ceremony, no matter what! I also really liked that the hotel was close to my home, a few airports, and around other restaurants and attractions for our guests.
We hope you enjoy today's feature, darlings. Cheers to love and the endless possibilities it brings!