Happy Friday, Maharanis! We're ending the week with an ultra glamorous Indian wedding, filled with fabulous moments planned by the amazing team at Blue Lotus Insights! The ceremony and reception were held at the Montage Laguna Beach resort, and the day began with the cute couple getting ready; our gorgeous Indian bride got a stunning hair and makeup look done by Dolled up by Lulu, with glittering eyeshadow and a sleek updo (1:23). After a heartwarming first look session (5:01), it was time for the baraat, where Special Occasions DJ & Lighting kept the guests pumped up and dancing all throughout the procession (5:49)! Later, we loved Bloom Box's adorable floral elephant decor (8:00)! We hope to check out the details in RANDERYimagery's photo coverage soon, but for now we'll be basking in every dazzling moment in Robles Video Productions's video below!
Maharani Leela on meeting her Raja and how she knew he was "the one":
"I met Rahul thanks to an assimilation of choice and destiny. I fortunately made the choice to attend a housewarming party and destiny ensured that Rahul and I would meet that invaluable night. I immediately realized that Rahul was my 'one and only' and this was only emphasized over the days, weeks and years. I was mesmerized by his looks, voice, and demeanor. When I found out that his name is Rahul, I was inundated with memories of Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, my favorite Bollywood movie. Rahul complements me in every way. He has a commendable sense of humor. He is caring, romantic and affectionate. He teaches me about hedge funds and updates me on current events. He guides me through a game of golf and watches Indian movies with me over dahi and daal rice. He asks me about the latest developments in medicine and encourages me to be a better person everyday. He loves me for exactly who I am and makes me feel like the luckiest girl alive!"
On the proposal:
"The day he proposed, three years after we started dating, we were living in Washington D.C., and I was completely oblivious to when, where and how he’d propose. Rahul, my sister Pooja and I had a casual dinner at a friend’s place and we planned to go ice skating afterwards. I was excited to skate with Rahul for the very first time. It was a special moment for me, as Pooja and I grew up skating with our father. After consuming delicious Indian food, I went into a food coma. 'Rahul… Pooja… let’s just go home. I’m tired.' Pooja immediately said, 'No Akka (elder sister), I really want to go.' On the way to the rink, my sister was fixing my hair in the car. I thought nothing of it. 'Want some eyeliner?' she asked. Still nothing. I was clueless. We headed over to my favorite site in Washington, D.C., the Waterfront. The ice rink was surrounded by nothing less than perfection as it was the beginning of the winter holidays and numerous lights were twinkling over the Potomac River. I glanced at Rahul and said, 'See Rahul, this is so pretty. Why don’t you think of some ideas?' I was of course referring to the proposal. Little did I know, tonight was my lucky night. It was freezing outside, and I tried to put my hand in Rahul’s coat pocket. 'No! Don’t you have pockets?!' he exclaimed. Weirded out, I held his hand instead, still in oblivion.
When we got onto the ice, I realized I was not the experienced skater I used to be. I could barely stand up straight! I grasped Pooja and Rahul’s hands and we made a few rounds around the rink. Then Rahul stopped me and grabbed my waist. For some reason, I was confronted with angst and excitement. I knew something was happening – something important. Unlike me, Rahul was a commendable skater. He skated backwards, pulling me along with him to the center of the rink. He stopped and said, 'There’s actually another reason I wanted to bring you here.' I began to blush. Rahul got down on one knee… on the ice. I looked at my sister, almost as if I wanted reassurance that I was alive and this was real. She smiled at me, tears welling up in her eyes. Rahul began expressing his emotions as poetically as a man could. When I had imagined this moment, I thought that I would cry and scream and get down on my knees and embrace Rahul. Instead, I just stood there, frozen, inundated with emotions. And then it happened. My Rahul, the man who shied away from ever joining me in karaoke, the man who did not pronounce his name correctly when I first met him because 'this way is easier for people' did what he knew would mean the most to me. There was a pause, and I began to hear loud music. My heart filled with warmth because it was my favorite Indian music. Rahul sang to me in his deep, calming voice, 'Tum Hi Ho' followed by my favorite childhood song, 'Ek Ladki Koh Dekha.'
Everyone at the Waterfront was watching… literally. It was exactly as if Shahrukh Khan and Kajol themselves were shooting for a film in D.C. Rahul asked me if I would marry him, and all I could do was nod my head as I wondered if his knee was frozen. When we got off the rink, I met Rahul’s friend who happened to be photographing everything. I FaceTimed my parents and then burst into tears, realizing the meaning of this moment. I was going to marry my best friend! This was the beginning of our Bollywood story!"
On choosing her bridal outfits:
"I am blessed as I know two fashion experts very well. They happen to be my younger sister, Pooja, and my mom, Amita. When it comes to Indian clothing, they are my go to people. We would have loved to travel to India to find dresses there, but due to time constraints, we did most of our shopping in New Jersey and Los Angeles. As we all know, these are the places to shop for Indian clothes in America. My sister and mom essentially picked out lehengas and sarees, and I would wear them. In New Jersey, we were lucky enough to attend Gautam Rakha's exhibition. One of my favorite lehenga sarees, which I wore for my sangeet, was a Rabani and Rakha creation. It is almost like I got to travel to Dehli after all. My advice to all the brides-to-be out there is to get together your closest friends and family members who know all about fashion and travel with them until you find the right dress. Thanks mom and Pooji!"
On the most magical wedding moment:
"The most magical moment of my wedding was when my 93-year-old grandfather (my Abu) spoke at my wedding reception. One of the reasons we wanted to get married as soon as possible is because we wanted my grandfather to be a part of our special day. He expressed his gratitude to Ganesha that he was able to witness our union. While he did this, I did the same, thanking God for a grandfather who loves me so much. He even got up on the dance floor and danced with my sister, friends and me! I was flooded by a sense of unmatched happiness."
On their first dance:
"Rahul and I danced to one of our favorite romantic songs, "Tum Hi Ho." This was the song Rahul sang to me when he proposed. My sister, of course, choreographed the dance."
On her wedding look:
"If you live in America, especially California, Dolled up by Lulu is the best! Lulu is the most amicable individual. She called my mom 'aunty' and was loving toward my entire family. She made me feel like a princess. She simply glanced at my dresses and picked the most appropriate hairstyles and makeup shades. I didn't ask for any modifications because the outcome was perfect."
On how her family helped:
"My mom, Amita, also known as 'super woman' has been envisioning my wedding since I was a child. Although we are a middle class family, it has always been my parents' dream to put forth a dhoom-dhaam wedding for my sister and I. They saved up over the years to ensure that this would occur. My mother is the most creative individual I know. She coordinated a beautiful sangeet event on a yacht. My sister got a few of our friends together and choreographed various dances for the entertainment portion. I came in on a beautiful palanquin on the wedding day. The mandap was adorned with an assortment of red and ivory gold roses. My mother even framed pictures of my late grandparents and placed them on the mandap so my entire family could be a part of my special day. My aunt made brochures outlining and explaining the steps of the wedding and even made hundreds of goody bags with silver plates and tasty pedas to give to the guests. The reception ballroom had a marble dance floor with Rahul and Leela written in cursive. My wedding cake had miniature Leela and Rahul figurines on top of it, wearing the exact tuxedo and lehenga we were wearing for the wedding reception. These are just a few of the many details, thanks to my amazing family!"
Closing words from the bride:
"My wedding was held at the beautiful Montage resort. As a California girl, I love anything water related. To have my most special day essentially be held on the beach was such an incredible feeling. The baraat danced down a hillside right on top of the ocean. It was absolutely incredible. We were even graced by a stream of doves which were captured in my wedding video. Who said normal people can't have a Bollywood moment?"
Have an amazing weekend, Maharanis! We'll be back Monday with more wedding video magic!