These two are sweet. And we say that, not just because they met in college while getting ice cream, but because along their dating path of tough exams, job interviews, successes, disappointments, and milestones, they realized they are each other’s home. The bride’s best friend and a photographer asked the pair to model for her portfolio and suddenly in the middle of posing in a variety of dips and twirls, the groom got down on one knee and popped the question. Family and friends surprised them shortly after and tears of happiness were running down their faces.
Planning a wedding in the fall of 2020 was tumultuous due to the uncertainty around the pandemic, and what began as an optimistic guest count of 400 pared down to 150 people. As difficult as it was and heartbroken we were, we made the most of it!
The couple picked their priorities and built their wedding celebration around them. At the top of their list was an outdoor ceremony and a pleasant, destination type experience for their family & guests. A minimalist mandap allowed the venue to show off it’s 360 degree view of rolling hills and trees. Rustic and simple details were immersed throughout and the couple created a unique experience that was very reflective of themselves.
The bride knew she wanted to wear a saree for the wedding because of her Kannada/Marathi background. With travel to India out of the question, she relied heavily on our relatives in India and Whatsapp video calls with designers and shops. After several early morning / late night calls she selected a dark coral saree, which sometimes showed more red or pink or orange depending on the camera and lighting! A bit stressful to say the least but when the beloved saree arrived it turned out absolutely gorgeous!
This inventive bride was adamant about DIYing the signs, pamphlets, and other stationary herself on her iPad. The effort and time were well worth it and she created her own custom wedding stationery suite. For her Garba, her creative brain took over again and perused the aisles of Home Goods finding several statement pieces giving the wedding a tailored, personalized style.
“At Haldi, my marathi family was insistent on doing a Lezim entrance for me, where all of them do a Lezim procession to welcome me into the Haldi stage. Being more of a lowkey person, I was hesitant, but am SO GLAD that I said yes. It was so fun and unique since Kunal's side is Gujarati and had never seen anything like it. They loved it so much that they had us do another Lezim processing to bring Kunal into his Grah Shantak ceremony later that day!”
Congratulations Sachi & Kunal!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Kunal our Freshman year at Virginia Tech, while both of us were in line to get ice cream at an on-campus coffee shop. Just by chance, we got to talking and hung out together with friends the rest of the night! We dated throughout college, supported each other through tough exams, job interviews, celebrated each of our successes and milestones. Some where along the way we realized that we were each other's home. He truly became my person and continues to be my biggest champion!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
My best friend, Manali, a wedding photographer by profession, reached out to me in June 2020, asking if Kunal and I would be willing to model for a styled shoot to build her portfolio - something not out of the ordinary because we had done this for her in the past. The morning of the shoot, we got ready and drove to the location to meet Manali. She had us do a few routine poses, twirls, dips, the works and then led us to a scenic place along the water and backed up for a “wide shot”. Before I knew it, Kunal got down on one knee and popped the question, to which of course I said yes! After some moments, some of our family and friends emerged from around the corner (this is precisely when I started bawling) to join in on 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.
Planning a wedding in the fall of 2020 was a little rough to say the least mainly due to the uncertainty around the pandemic, what it would mean for gathering with larger groups in a safe environment. However, we began the process with an optimistic mindset, planning for a 400 guest wedding. A few months later, we re-evaluated and for the safety of our family and friends, decided to cut our guest list down to 150 people. As difficult as it was and heartbroken we were, we made the most of it! Both of us had three priorities: an outdoor ceremony in the fresh air, a pleasant experience for us & our families, and a lot of fun for our guests. Thanks to our beautiful venues (hotel & farm), fabulous vendors and our parents, our dreams absolutely came true! Hotel Madison and On Sunny Slope Farm, our venues were especially incredibly efficient, flexible and understanding throughout the entire planning process. From the initial reach out and tour till the day we left the venue the morning after our reception, our venues were gracious, accommodating, and really strived to ensure that our weekend was absolutely perfect. We found most of our vendors though referrals from friends or Instagram and secured them within the first two months of planning. Another extremely important aspect of planning was walking through the entire weekend in painstaking detail with our parents, noting down every item that needed to be acquired, how much of it, by whom, by when, etc. Our parents were so vital to the detailed planning and were on top of the organization, labeling, delegating, while Kunal and I were more focused on confirming our vision with vendors, designing our favors, coordinating with guests and venue. It truly was a team effort and each of us played to our strengths, which is why it was a relatively stress free weekend for us and tons of fun for our guests!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted to wear a saree for the wedding because of my Kannada/Marathi background. I did not have a specific color in mind but knew I wanted it to be in the coral to dusty pink range. Due to the pandemic, we weren't able to travel to India and do shopping in person so we relied heavily on our relatives in India and Whatsapp video calls with designers and shops. My Mami had recommended a saree store called Kalanjali and after a several early morning/ late night calls and several saree viewings, I selected a dark coral (sometimes red or pink or orange) saree. It was a bit stressful because I couldn't quite make out the exact color over video so I really did not know exactly what color my saree was until it arrived a few weeks before the wedding! It turned out absolutely gorgeous, however.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think our guests enjoyed how intimate and stress free it was. Having a guest list of 150 people gave everyone the opportunity to speak with each other and become one big family. As our photographer told us after the wedding, he found it difficult to differentiate between the brides side and the grooms side because everyone was hanging out together and mingling so much!
Also, having the wedding at a "destination location", 95% of our guests had to drive 2+ hours, stay at the venue during the weekend, was key! People felt like they were on a weekend getaway, able to step away from their daily lives for a few days and enjoy with people they had not seen in a long time!
Lastly, I heard that folks really loved the wedding venue! We were determined to have an outdoor wedding and fell in love with On Sunny Slope Farm. At the mandap site, you had a 360 view of rolling hills and trees, as well as a refreshing breeze. We did very minimal mandap decoration, kept it rustic and simple - the environment itself did the rest for us! Our guests found it unique but very fitting to the type of people that Kunal and I are.
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 put in so much energy and love into planning all of our events (Haldi, Grah Shantak, Garba, Wedding & Reception) and there were special memories made at each of them. I'll just point a couple things that I'm super glad we did! At Haldi, my marathi family was insistent on doing a Lezim entrance for me, where all of them do a Lezim procession to welcome me into the Haldi stage. Being more of a lowkey person, I was hesitant, but am SO GLAD that I said yes. It was so fun and unique since Kunal's side is Gujarati and had never seen anything like it. They loved it so much that they had us do another Lezim processing to bring Kunal into his Grah Shantak ceremony later that day!
For Garba, I really loved the kitschy look and wanted to have random colorful trinkets hanging above and wanted it to be an explosion of fun color, gravitating away from the traditional brushed bronze/gold look. I worked with my decorator and a vendor in India to secure several random hanging trinkets (kites, lanterns, poofs, etc) and also perused through Home Goods many times and found several awesome statement pieces! The end result was absolutely PERFECT! The decoration was so fun and different and fitted the occasion so well.
Lastly, for all of our events, I was adamant about DIYing the signs, pamphlets, and other stationary myself on my iPad. It was so much effort and took a lot of time, but was well worth it. Our signage, welcome notes, wedding ceremony pamphlets and more were super tailored and exactly how we wanted them!