It's been a long way for Meera and Rishi since they met and finally their big day has arrived! And what a fantastic lavish wedding day this pair had! If I could summarize the entire celebration in two words, I would say luxury and detailed are the best way to describe this over the top affair. Our sweet couple shimmered through all the celebrations, specially Meera who adorned her hands and feet with a splendid mehndi design applied by pro mehndi artist Henna by Jinal! The Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel’s facilities hosted the ceremony and reception where the wedding expert Elite Events Management, LLC ensured every event was perfectly prepared and coordinated for the happy couple and their large list of guests! The mind blowing custom made setting created by Design House Decor worked perfectly well as the backdrop for Lightyear Studio to capture thousands of images featured in our Platinum Guide Blog, as well as an everlasting film with the wedding’s best memories! DJ Volcanik guaranteed the fun and had all guests up on their feet as soon as he started playing their favorite songs! That is so awesome! Grab a cup of tea, hit play and enjoy a sneak peek of this phenomenal union by Lightyear Studio.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Rishi 8 VERY long years ago at a party at Drexel. I was still in High School and Rishi was a Sophomore there. My friends and I got to Crossings (Apartments at Drexel) and we were introduced to some of the people there. Rishi awkwardly introduced himself and I acted too cool for school. We went on ignoring each other all night, up until Rishi gathered the courage to ask me.....and my friend for our numbers. Him and his friend lied to us saying that their co-op was in Bucks County where we lived and we can grab lunch one day. Thinking I was so cool I gave him my number. The next morning I received a text from Rish, asking if I got home okay, I texted back hours later saying "yes". Days, weeks, and months go by and Rish texted me every single day saying "hey, wassup?" Some days I would respond and some days I wouldn't. After months of him texting me, suddenly he stopped. Not a single text for 3 days. The fourth day I texted him asking if he wanted to hang out (BOLD MOVE) on my part. We then had our first date at CHIPOTLE! Which something we still laugh about and all of our friends and family still make fun of Rishi for.
I knew Rishi was the one when we rapped all of Notorious BIG's song Juicy to me. Not because I love that song but because I could not stop laughing, I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and couldn't catch my breath. I knew in that moment in the car that this man will always keep me laughing. It was such an insignificant moment but it was something I will never forget because it happened on a random night in the parking lot.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
There comes a time in a girl's life where she meets a guy, falls in love and gets married and has a family. However, before all that comes the proposal. Her proposal is one of the biggest moments she will have in her life. Every guys probably pulls their hair out in planning this grand surprise and making it special for the girl. My guy made mine the best day of my life. Everyone who knows Rishi knows he is not a planner. He hasn't planned much in our 8 years of dating, occasionally he surprises me with a dinner reservation or flowers. But that all changed November 19th, 2016.
My proposal was the weekend of my best friend Shannon's birthday, she flew into Philly for a birthday weekend celebration. We in turn surprised her by having her boyfriend fly out from California, for him to meet all of us for the first time! Friday night we all went out and Saturday was suppose to be a tourist day, the plan was to go to Central Park and walk around. I hated the idea of walking around a park in November. Although, I had a feeling my proposal was that weekend, so I went along with it. When they kept talking about how beautiful Central Park was I knew I would be getting engaged there. At the end of brunch, they said it was too late and too cold for Central Park. I immediately thought that Rishi messed up and didn't get the ring in time and the proposal was cancelled. I went to the bathroom and called my dad crying, he said "honey, there's always a time and a place for things". I went back upstairs and my friends said they were getting tickets to the One World Observatory. We got to the top of One World Observatory where the tour guide was showing us around, she led us by these double doors and my girlfriends pushed me in.
I walked into a private room lined with red rose petals and a song by Bruno Mars, "Marry you" was beautifully filling the room. There was a table set up with picture frames with personal messages written on the back, which I couldn't read because I was sobbing. I turn around and this amazing human being is walking towards me and starts speaking. The music was still playing, and there were still tears in my eyes. He finally gets down on one knee and asks me to be his forever. I say "yes".
After the proposal we get into a black car and it takes us to where we will be staying, I wasn't sure where he booked us a room but he knows that I love nice places so I was expecting the Waldorf. The car pulls up in front of the Baccarat Hotel. This was the hotel of my dreams, I never in a million years thought I would be staying there. We get into our beautiful room which was light up with candles and roses all over the place (compliments of my best friends). Waiting for me was this beautiful dress and shoes. He had also hired Glam Squad to give me a full glam session.
Meanwhile, there was a knock on my door and when I opened it, my parents, my uncle, aunt and my 3 best friends were all waiting for me! The tears started all over again. After a beautiful toast made by my dad, I got ready and we headed downstairs to take pictures and head out.
We arrive at Press Lounge where all of our family and friends were waiting for us to celebrate the most amazing and perfect day of my life. My amazing fiancé who never planned anything planned the most magical day of my life. He made sure that everything was perfect. He made sure that I was happy and more importantly he made sure I felt incredibly loved.
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.
Every bride knows that wedding planning is HELL! However, what they don't know is that when its done you miss every single bit of it! I was the bride who didn't know what I wanted. When my vendors would ask me I would always say "well what do you think?" BUT I knew exactly what I didn't want if that makes any sense! The top 3 things that were important to me for my wedding was my MUA, decorator, and caterer. As for my husband what he wanted was a great DJ and photographer/cinematographer. We loved working with all of our vendors because when we had our initial meetings with them we got a "warm fuzzy feeling" from them and we knew they would make sure our special day would be everything we wanted and more.
Once, we met with Design House Decor everything sort of fell into place, the look of the room, the vibe we wanted during the reception and mood we wanted to set fourth. I can't stress enough how important a good decorator is, they bring our entire event to life and your DJ will make sure the night turns into a night you and your guests will never forget.
We hired Elite Events Management to help us with our planning and day of coordination! I don't think my wedding day would be possible without Amee who was our day of coordinator. She made sure before the wedding she knew everything and every little detail she called all of our vendors and created a detailed timeline for everyone. She made sure everything was taken care of and made sure I was left in peace!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
As for my wedding dress, I had no idea what I wanted. I just knew I did not want red and green anywhere in my lengha because it just isn't me. The first lengha I saw I ended up buying because when I tried it on I started crying and my dad got teary eyed, I knew right then that this is what I wanted to walk down the aisle in. It was a beautiful ivory and gold lengha made by Sabyasachi. After I bought my wedding outfit, it was sort of a ripple effect I ended up buying my reception outfit and mendhi outfit all from Sabyasachi. After we left the store, the first song I heard was Jalte Diye, which was the song I ended up walking down to.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I think the most enjoyable part of wedding planning is the drama that comes along with it! I know it sounds so crazy but if I can tell any bride, you really do miss it! I had all my favorite vendors I knew I wanted from the beginning so working with them and creating the vision that came to light was really amazing. The drama when one thing goes wrong and you feel like its the end of the world is really really funny after its all over! I loved having my family with me every step of the way and just making sure I was happy with everything that was happening.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
My guests loved the decor about my wedding, it wasn't your average Gujarati themed wedding. We had a very modern mandap that wasn't traditional at all and we had very sleek and creative reception. It was something a lot of our guests have never seen. Which is exactly what I wanted! Another thing they loved was a vendor we had called 321 Chillz, Radhika is the owner and she creates liquid nitrogen ice cream with any flavor you want. We had 6 different flavors and our guests went crazy for it! They loved the Indian flavors that were incorporated into the ice cream and sorbets! We had a Rose which was made out of Rose champagne, we had a Mango Somrus Liquor flavor, my husband loved whiskey so we had a whiskey toffee. I love gin so she made us a fresh blueberry gin sorbet! It was really amazing and super tasty!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Oh man, all my special moments during my wedding revolve around me crying hahaha! There are 2 specific moments I will never forget and that I can't wait to share with my own kids one day. Most girls have a first look with their husbands, I had a first look with my dad first. My dad and I are very close and it was always something I wanted to share with my dad the morning of my wedding. I was waiting in my hotel room and my dad walked in and I turned around and immediately started crying. My dad who I have never seen cry was getting teary eyed and I started crying more. I will never forget what he said while wiping my tears and hugging me, he said "beta, you are my life and don't think because you are getting married, you'll never have me to look after you". That made me cry even more!
The second moment was right before walking down the aisle. My uncles held my hand as the doors opened and I was smiling from ear to ear. That did not last very long, half way down the aisle to Jalte Diye I saw my brother, mom, and dad again crying and as my dad walked to the steps of my mandap to lead me inside I hugged him for a good 2 minutes while I cried in his arms and all of our guests cried looking at us. It was honestly the most cherished moments I will have and keep forever.
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.
My makeup artist was Karuna Chani and I don't have enough words to explain how talented and amazing she is. She knows exactly what she's doing and she makes the entire stressful day the most fun she can! We were cracking jokes, drinking champagne and laughing all day! Which is exactly what a bride needs the day of her wedding. Karuna makes up this vision of what she wants you to look like and when she brings it to life you are speechless because she makes you look and feel like a princess. She is kind and she is a visionary, after my wedding I have only asked her to glam me up for any events I've had.
My decorator, I don't even know where to start with them, but holy cow they are AMAZING. I hired Design House Decor for my wedding and reception. The first meeting I had with them I knew it was a perfect fit. Azizan the owner and designer of the company is so creative, she blew me away when she created this entire theme for our wedding. I had NO IDEA what I wanted but I knew I wanted chic and simple. I'm not into gaudy things and I'm not into things that look too busy. She took my words and she put them into action, my mandap was custom acrylic with cascading orchids all around it. So it literally looked like orchids just floating in the air. My centerpieces were out of this world! She designed and custom made 3 centerpieces all with orchids and succulents. The best part of my reception decor that was the wow factor of everyone was the custom rectangular shadow box tables. We had 6 tables that had moss inside the tables with different flowers and succulents artistically placed, so when our guests were eating they could see a garden underneath. Another amazing thing that everyone loved was our custom dance floor. It was made by GoShout, it was a pink and white paint splattered dance floor that matched our custom menu cards placed at each table. Mine and Rish's sweetheart table was a moss table with a mirror top with orchids all behind us. We had square mirror top tables that that were absolutely stunning with a grand centerpiece. Each and every centerpiece and item by DHD was custom and hand selected. We had over 600 orchids, 200 succulents and 200 tulips and I can't even count the other flowers. The entire room came together so well put together that every single detail matched. We had emerald green napkins to match the succulents with pink paint splattered menu cards that matched our custom dance floor.
Design House labeled our wedding the Orchid Oasis! This whole theme wasn't something I pictured my entire life as a little girl but after Azizan drew it out and showed me what it would look like I was sold. Her and her staff are the so hardworking, when we had issues with our venue the day of Azizan and her team helped them out to get everything in order because they care that much about their clients.
I had hired DJVolcanik for DJ, MC, and lighting. I worked with Hemant through out the entire process and he literally gave me what I wanted and went above and beyond. When I had told him my decor he got so creative so fast! He wanted to do lighting on the walls so our entire room looks like a garden with fuchsia lighting to compliment our orchids. We had over 60 pin spots that hit every single centerpiece. Hemant got us custom lekos to go around our entire room, the design he made for us were different florals to bring together the whole garden look we had. Hemant hyped up the room so much that the second the dance floor opened up and closed it was jam packed.
Our caterers were amazing! We hired Moghul and they did excellent. The food was so good that after my wedding so many family members called and said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. We had asked Moghul to do a Viennese Dessert display and they had over 50 dessert items with all kinds of varieties that our guests gobbled up!
We had hotel welcome bags that were custom to our invitations along with custom coffee cups that people had during the ceremony for refreshments. In our hotel welcome bags we had asked Palav Desai who is a very talented graphic designer to make a wedding newspaper that our guests can read in the morning. It was amazing! It had an itinerary of the programs, it had the bridal party, nearby attractions, and our story of how we met and our proposal! It was something so different that our guests loved and saved!
Another nice touch we decided to have for our wedding was having Halal Guys cater our after party for all of our guests. We knew that our bridal party, family, and us wouldn't get a chance to eat and would be starving especially after drinking so we decided it would be cool to get everyone's favorite drunk food! We got chicken and rice for our non-veg eaters and falafel platters for our veg eaters, with lots and lots of white sauce! It was a really good touch at end of the night and everyone was stuffed!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
ENJOY IT ALL! The few weeks leading up to your wedding just enjoy the time you have with our family and friends. Everyone who came early and who flew in, spend time with them! Give your wedding planning binder to your sister or your maid of honor and let them take care of everything the week of the wedding and just enjoy your time!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The best thing about being married was getting dressed in Sabyasachi and getting glammed by Karuna Chani. My entire look after I bought my ivory and gold lengha was very clean and royal. I got all my wedding jewelers custom made by CN Jewelers in Baroda, Gujarat. I think my favorite part of my wedding jewelry was my elephant tusks chura that were re-made with a more modern look which were passed down by my grandmother.
My mendhi was very simple, I was forced to get it done because I can't stand the smell of it! But it was flawless, it was done by Jinal who is a very talented mendhi artist, I would recommend her to anyone! She made it very traditional but not with our average bride and groom on it. But she drew Radha and Krishna on it because I mentioned to her that my antar-pat (the sheet that covers the groom during the wedding) was a custom one made of my favorite painting of Radha and Krishna. So it was more meaningful to have that on my hands because it was personal.
We will return on Monday to navigate through more beautiful unions!