Good morning, beautiful Maharanis! Let's get ready for the weekend by reliving Anjali & Stephen's fusion wedding festivities! It is no secret that we love fusion weddings, and one of the main reasons is because we often get to enjoy two wedding ceremonies. And today is no exception! When these lovebirds decided to unite their lives in marriage, they knew they wanted to pay homage to both their backgrounds and cultures. That is why they had not one but two wedding ceremonies! How lucky of them! Both events held at the Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury impressed and captivated everyone. And we are sure you are going to take a lot of inspiring ideas from them. Detailed Affairs Team worked their magic to create a dreamy setting for Anjali & Stephen to unite their lives in marriage, and the final result was nothing short of amazing. Thanks to the fabulous work of Wedding Design, there was beauty all around but nothing compared to our gorgeous Maharani Anjali. She looked like royalty in both ceremonies after being glamorized by Divya Bhawnani and Dawn Gomez. Either on her traditional and fashionable lengha or her beautiful white gown, this Maharani always looked flawless! After the two wedding ceremonies, it was time to celebrate this life milestone with an intimate and luxurious reception party animated by DJUSA. Hands down, this was the perfect ending for this beautiful love story. But we don't want to go without first giving a big shoutout to Lightyear Studio for sharing the fantastic shots they captured during this lovely wedding, as each image is a visual delight that we are sure you are going to love! So, make sure to check today's jaw-dropping gallery if you don't want to miss any detail of this real-life fairytale. It is worth the while!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Modern day romance at its finest. We met on the dating app Bumble and I was immediately captivated by his sense of humor. We both lived in Philadelphia and were planning to meet at a rooftop bar on the Ben Franklin Parkway, a road lined with flags of all different countries. As I was walking there, he texted to let me know he would meet me under the Swedish Flag, not knowing that I would immediately have to google what that looked like (I'm more of a science person!), and the rest is history.
Stephen is much more reserved than I am, so there was not one particular moment, but a series of them. As we got to know each other and he became more comfortable with me, I got to see what a kind, gentle, funny and smart person he was. The company you keep also speaks volumes in my mind, so after meeting his friends, who are all wonderful, I knew he was a keeper.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We got engaged at Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia, one of our favorite spots to roam around. Stephen had picked up the ring (with me completely oblivious in the car) moments before he proposed because of the time it took to get it. His grandfather had purchased his grandmother's engagement ring from a jeweler in Philadelphia when he returned from Europe after World War II and his father had purchased his mother's from the same jeweler in the 70s. Last Christmas at his family's house, Stephen's father shared the receipts and paperwork from each of the purchases with us, subtly (or not so subtly), hinting at an engagement. Since then, the jeweler had transitioned to mostly doing watches, so Stephen wrote a heartfelt letter sharing his family's story and asking if they would consider making another ring. They obviously had to say yes and Stephen worked with the owner directly to design the most perfect custom ring.
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 actually really enjoyed planning my wedding, and I think that was partially due to the fact that I didn't have a ton of expectations going in. I had a general sense of what I wanted, the style of decor, etc. but wasn't 100% set on any particular thing. We visited a ton of venues and spoke to a bunch of vendors. For me, it was most important to find the places and people that felt right. When we walked into Shadowbrook, they were still in process of renovating, but both Stephen and I were blown away and immediately knew it was where we wanted to start our forever. It was elegant, and classy and had just the right amount of glam. Picking vendors was a similar experience. We spoke to planners, decorators, etc. and shared our "general" thoughts, but the ones we went with were the ones we just clicked with. Something my sister in law told me was that these are the people you spend the most time with leading up to and on the day of your wedding, and it's so incredibly important to surround yourself with not only people who get your vision but people who you trust and can laugh with on the wedding day. On my sangeet night, I let my hair and makeup artists do what they wanted (because I trusted them fully at that point) and that look ended up being my favorite by far! I have to also say, Arun from Detailed Affairs was absolutely instrumental in helping make our wedding a success. Any time I needed help narrowing things down or making decisions, he was always able to guide me in the right direction. I really cannot stress enough how important it is to get the right team behind you and take the time to get to know them and for them to get to know you. I told our photographers early on "I don't want cheesy, overly-posed photos, that's just not our style". They insisted on taking a few and promised me they wouldn't be cheesy, and go figure, those are some of my favorites!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Since we celebrated both cultures, I really wanted something traditional, and something that looked really regal and elegant. I went with a velvet maroon lengha that I just fell in love with as soon as I put it on. I was worried it may be hot for August, but I just loved the richness of the velvet. I really couldn't have imagined myself wearing anything else. For my white dress, I picked the exact opposite of what I expected. When I put it on, I truly felt like a bride, and more importantly that this was the dress Stephen would want to see me in as I walked down the aisle.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Everything I hope! The most important thing was to make sure our guests ate, drank and had the time of their lives. We tried to highlight the most important things from both of our cultures to ensure it was just one continuous party. Many of Stephen's side had never been to an Indian wedding, so we really wanted to ensure they enjoyed themselves, particularly during the baraat. We made sure to have tons of swag including cut outs of Stephen's face, a CO2 cannon, sunglasses etc. Even though it was a HOT day in August, I can confidently say the group had the best time considering they all showed up to the ceremony sweating through their clothes but with huge smiles on their faces! Also the food was spectacular. My favorite part of 99% of weddings is cocktail hour and Shadowbrook did not disappoint, we still do not know all of the things that were served because there were THAT many!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Every single moment of every single day we spent celebrating. One of the most special things for us both was the love and joy we felt from our families. While of course the event was celebrating the two of us, everyone knows it is truly about the joining of two families. Watching Stephen and his mother dance together, listening to my father's speech, watching our brothers MC our sangeet, those are the moments that will forever replay in our minds.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don't worry about what anyone else wants or expects! Wedding planning can be stressful, and everyone has their opinion about what needs to happen, how it should happen, etc. but it's your day, do what is important to you. For example, I didn't want to do a vidai. For me, it felt like an antiquated, somber tradition, and my mother agreed, so we didn't do one! More time for cocktails if you ask me!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
All my vendors were amazing!
Enjoy your weekend! See you on Monday for more.