Behold all the grandeur of Bharti & Shiv's wedding in today's Platinum Guide Blog. You will love it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met in Chicago through one of the most common modern ways - over a dating app. Specifically, Coffee meets Bagel. In the first couple of months of getting to know each other, we created a strong bond of friendship that helped set the foundation for our relationship. Very early on, our relationship turned into 9 months of long distance, with lots of FaceTime dates and traveling to visit each other as I completed my medical rotations all over the country. This truly put our relationship to the test. But once I was back in Chicago, I made the decision to apply for jobs locally and be close to Shiv (my husband) as he completed medical school rather than start a fresh journey in a new city. I just knew he was the one because while we were going through our long-distance phase early on, he patiently waited for me to finish my rotations while also making an effort to keep our foundation strong.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
One of my greatest desires was a boating experience on the Chicago River. With the help of friends, Shiv (my husband) tricked me into thinking that they got a boat trip set up as a get-together. The next part of the plan was convincing me that this was a fancier occasion rather than a casual boat party. So with the help of my younger sister, I was guided to wear an outfit that I had had my eye on for a while.
Then it was finally the big day. My husband wanted all our close friends and family to be there at the proposal, so he invited his brother, his brother's girlfriend, and some of my best friends for brunch before getting on the boat. Next came the yacht. We all met at the Chicago River docking station, and finally, the yacht set off on the sunny shores of Lake Michigan. Shiv got down on one knee and popped the question with the Chicago skyline gleaming behind us. Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost! Shiv had another surprise awaiting. He took me to his family's home, where my parents, my husband's family, and more friends gathered to continue the celebration.
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.
The planning process for the wedding started about 10 months before the wedding date. We first started with finding a venue in my hometown of Detroit, MI. We wanted to keep our mehendi and haldi more intimate, so those events were planned on our own at our home. The larger events, such as the sangeet, wedding ceremony, and reception, were held at the main venue. As the bride, I was looking for something with glamour and charm. We decided on Dearborn Inn by Marriott because it has an old rustic feel with elegance. The hotel interior also made the entrance of the ballroom and lobby a spectacle to behold.
Planning our wedding was a family affair alongside our wedding planner, Tina Singh. We had a great experience using both of our families' insights and visions. We wanted to use themes for each of our wedding events and design the decor for each event accordingly. For example, the sangeet’s theme was the royal bazaar. So we went with decor that displayed a large gold swinging bench decorated with flowers, with two large life-like trees in the background. The food was set up as stations all around the entrance of the ballroom that mimicked a bazaar with bright, vibrant ethnic tents. We had a program of dances by family and friends, so we set up multicolored cots along the dance floor area for people to sit and enjoy the program. We also incorporated Punjabi and Gujarati traditions in the sangeet, so we ended the night off with traditional garba. Since this was a royal bazaar-themed event, the outfit I went with was a lehenga, which was wine purple in color with gold frame embellishments as well as peacocks and birds on the skirt. My makeup artist Cecilia (Blush Salon in Commerce township), did an amazing job by adding extensions to my hair and putting pearls into a braid to give it a unique look. She used multiple colors on my eyeshadow makeup to match sangeet vibes. She also did the makeup and hair for my sister, my mom, and my MIL’s. Everyone loved their unique touch. Shiv matched me with an Indo-western, burgundy, velvet Sherwani.
For the wedding ceremony, we wanted to use the beautiful outdoor lawn of the hotel which was decorated with greenery and fresh flowers. We set up the mandap there with fresh red, pink, and ivory flowers, and we matched our wedding outfits accordingly. Our wedding was during Labor Day weekend, and we were blessed with beautiful weather. We had so much natural scenery around us that we felt the mandap did not have to be overdone. We went with a mandap that was rustic in nature to match the outdoor scene. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen entered with matching custom sage green outfits to start the wedding ceremony, and from there, it transitioned into the traditional Hindu ceremony. Each bridesmaid carried a fresh-flower bouquet down the aisle. For the bridal entrance, my uncles and cousins walked me on a red carpet under the Phoolon ki Chadar, custom decorated by our Florists by Lama in Dearborn. My hair was put in a loose bun, while my makeup had tones of gold with a bright red lip to match my wedding lehenga. Altogether it looked stunning with the jewelry hand-picked from South Delhi Jewelers, with green and light pink beads to match the veil and gold embroiderings. Our wedding was recorded by our video team, who used multiple drones to capture the beautiful footage.
Our reception theme was all about sparkle and glamour. The color themes I chose were ivory and shades of lavender. My outfit was an all-silver, sparkly lehenga by Seema Gujural. Shiv wore a custom-designed tuxedo. For the decor, we went with gold frames on our stage, with chandeliers dangling on the sides and an ivory bench in the center. All our guest tables had fresh flowers, bouquets, and candle arrangements following the theme of ivory and lavender. We had a LED light stage in the center of the ballroom where all the performances and speeches took place. I also came up with a Photo Booth area near the entrance of the ballroom with a LED sign that said “It Was Always You,” placed on a green wall and surrounded by cherry blossom trees. Our dessert table consisted of assorted bite-size pastries decorated with a life-size white peacock with a tail made of lavender flowers. Last but not least, our DJ and photography team, Sky Films and Productions and DJ Vic did a spectacular job at all our events to capture each moment. They kept our wedding reception open dance floor flowing with energetic music so that we danced until we dropped. Even today, we keep replaying our same-day edit video and reliving our wedding each time.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I originally wanted to go with pastel colors on my lehenga. But after trying on several pieces, I decided the traditional red color looked best on me. After shopping around in New York and India, I decided on a crimson red Sabyasachi-style lehenga with gold embellishment that I found in a unique boutique in Delhi. I custom-designed a light peach veil with a wave border to match the lehenga.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part was having substantial input on how each wedding event would run and planning the decorations. My wedding planner was instrumental in helping me decide which of my ideas was realistic and reasonable to bring the themes of each wedding event to life. I took pride in knowing that each event had an original touch of my personality. I also had a significant role in choreographing all the dances I performed in. I have been dancing and choreographing for my other friends' weddings in the past, and now it was finally my turn to showcase at my own wedding.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We received numerous compliments about the high energy in the room during each of the events, how in tune and invested our guests were with the program going on, and how much detail our events were decorated. Last but not least, we received so many compliments about how AMAZING the food tasted. Our guests kept telling us how they kept going back for more.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The most special moment for me was walking down the aisle to the mandap with all the guests' eyes on me, and seeing the joyful yet somber faces of my parents, knowing that I was entering a new phase of life. That is a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
To each bride-to-be:
Planning your wedding is one of the most stressful times that you and your family can go through. At times it may seem that things are about to fall apart, and last-minute details are still not finalized. But at the end of the day, you will get to your wedding day and realize it all worked out. Trust the process and do the best you can, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Stress only causes tension in your loved ones and yourself. Enjoy each moment of planning because it always turns out beautiful, no matter what.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Venue: The Dearborn Inn by Marriott - Event Planners @ Venue: Paulette OConnell and Christie Dixon
Wedding Planner: Tina Singh (Marigold Wedding Planners)
Photography/Videography/DJ: Sky Films and Productions and DJ Vic
Reception Gown Designer: Seema Gujral (Delhi, India)
Groom's Clothing Designer: Diwan Saheb (Delhi, India)
Bridal Jewelry: South Delhi Jewelers
Hair and Makeup Artist: Cecilia Kashat (Blush Salon in Commerce Township)
Mehndi Artist: @DreaminginHenna by Sandy (Michigan)
Reception Florist/Wedding bouquets: Lama's Florist (Dearborn, MI)
Sangeet Catering: Punjab sweets and Indian Cuisine (Michigan)
Wedding Breakfast Catering: Krishna Catering and Restaurant (Michigan)
Wedding Lunch Catering: Krishna Catering and Restaurant (Michigan)
Reception Dinner Catering: Saffron (Michigan)
Getting ready for "I Do? Visit our blog tomorrow for more inspiration for your own big day!