Happy Friday, Maharanis! We're ending the week with a magnificent Indian fusion wedding, complete with two fabulous ceremonies! Joie de Vivre Events planned every incredible detail of this shaadi, which featured spectacular decor by Weddings InStyle! From the mandap (0:42) to the sweetheart stage (5:14), all the decorations were gorgeous! We also adored the ultra elegant wedding cake by Le Gateau (0:56), which perfectly matched Maharani Kristian's reception gown! With flawless makeup by Columbus Wedding Makeup LLC (0:49), our Maharani was absolutely stunning, and looked so beautiful in every outfit that we couldn't pick a favorite! Watch Veda Films's video below and check out all these marvelous details yourself!
Maharani Kristian on meeting her Raja and how she knew he was "the one":
"Anuj and I met while doing post-grad work as pharmacists in Portland, Oregon. At first we had a sweet friendship, bonding over our mutual love for beers, food, music and books. Our friendship turned into a relationship, which just made sense to us! We knew early on that we had something very special and shared a respect and desire to work on the relationship as a team."
On the romantic proposal:
"Anuj and I had, for a long time, wanted to try this amazing French restaurant in Columbus, OH, where we lived. It's built in an old church and is consistently ranked one of the best restaurants in the city. For my 27th birthday, Anuj took me there. We had a romantic dinner full of laughter and reminiscing. At one point, he started talking about all of our travels and the big moments in our relationship. He could barely get through his speech, he was so nervous. Before I could ask him what was wrong with him, he got down on one knee and proposed."
On her wedding style:
"I did not dream up my wedding when I was a little girl - that's never something I care about. I did dream, however, of all the people I would get to see and the memories I would make. That's what I desired from our wedding weekend at baseline. The rest was a combination of Anuj's and my tastes (high-end minimalism) and practicality. We wanted people to have fun and we wanted to be reasonable about it. When I'm at a wedding, I don't care about decor or flowers. I do, however, remember the dancing and the activity. That's where our focus (and our money) went."
On her favorite part of wedding planning:
"I really loved being able to check tasks off the list, to be honest! I also loved planning the 'artistic' side of the wedding - i.e., hiring the videographers and photographers. I took that portion very seriously since those will be the things that last forever."
On choosing her bridal lenghas:
"I spent a while on the internet looking at styles so I could determine what look I wanted. I then found KalkiFashion.com, and from there they set up Skype meetings with me to show me their dresses. I eventually picked my sangeet lengha off the rack and elected to custom-design my bridal lengha. The latter decision gave me anxiety, as it did not arrive until a month before the wedding due to its intricacy and detail."
On the most magical moment of the wedding:
"There are so many magical moments that I will remember. However, the first 'wow' moment was when my friends and family started flooding me with photos/video from Anuj's baraat. He was up on a horse and decked out in his beautiful sherwani. I had an overwhelming feeling of love and excitement looking at those pictures. I thought to myself, 'Wow, you are really the most handsome person in the world and I get to marry you.' By this time we had already been through wedding #1, but I still got butterflies.
Speaking of wedding #1 (Western wedding that morning), a lot of Anuj's family members had never been to an American wedding. Their excitement for the event was infectious. They were taking so many pictures and soaking in every minute. We also had mac n' cheese, donuts, and other breakfast foods for the wedding, so I'm sure that helped set the scene for the entire day."
On their first dance song:
"We danced to the song 'Take Care' by Beach House. I don't remember when we first listened to this song together. I know we both loved it separately. The lyrics say: 'I'll take care of you, if you ask me to.' The lyrics, to me, represent a strong marriage/relationship. In order to receive love, you have to think you deserve it and be open to it. This feeling of 'deserving love' is something that Anuj and I both admittedly struggled with when we were much younger. And we feel so lucky to be in an open and loving place with each other now."
On her hair and makeup:
"I wanted to have a high-low vibe to my hair and makeup. I knew I was going to be 'high maintenance' for my wedding, but I'm a 'low-key' person in my real life. I feel my most beautiful when I'm not trying very hard to look a certain way. I worked with my stylists to ensure that my look would be thrown together in a timely fashion (since we had such a big day full of events). But ultimately, I designed how I looked."
On how her friends and family experienced the wedding:
"I hired a wonderful wedding planner so that my family and friends could enjoy the weekend without doing much work! This was very important to me. My friends and family were able to focus on other activities, like their choreographed sangeet dance (I still watch the video every few days) and their speeches. Most importantly, they were able to focus on the beauty of this strange new wedding experience (as most had not been to an Indian wedding before)."
Closing thoughts from the bride:
"Jewelry - I borrowed my friend's Indian jewelry that she wore to her wedding. I love that small connection we now share!
Venue - They were amazing, especially the event coordinators. They did such a wonderful job with our guests. The Vue is a great event spot that allows parties to bring their own alcohol to their functions. Our guests ended up having a mini-beerfest! Anuj brought beers from microbreweries all over town.
Baraat - We had to get parade permits and hire police officers to shut down the streets near the hotel, on a Saturday, during Memorial Day weekend. People still comment how cool it was. Random passersby were taking pictures and watching the dancing.
Bouquets - We almost forgot to do this, so we arranged with a local grocery store (Kroger) to make the flowers. They ended up being very beautiful!
My dresses - I got my reception gown custom-made from Alyssa Kristin, a designer based in Chicago. I am from Chicago and love supporting women-owned businesses. It was my favorite dress of the whole weekend. It was soft, light, and most-importantly, had pockets. I also got my American bridal gown from a consignment boutique in Columbus, Luxe Redux. I almost walked out of their store after an unsuccessful search, when their staff member went into the basement and pulled this gown out of storage. I loved it immediately. I never used to believe in 'that feeling' one gets when putting on 'the dress,' but I totally felt it!
Our DJ - Masala Entertainment worked with us to create an amazing weekend. They communicated with us about our style, typical music expectations, etc. They worked very hard, were very professional, and set the scene for fun and fantastic parties. I opted for speaker reinforcements for my reception, and it was an excellent decision. The bass was thunderous and I felt like I was in the club."
Have a wonderful weekend, Maharanis! We'll be back Monday with another splendid shaadi!