Today we bring you a tale of enchantment  and surprise, filled to the brim with romance and a Prince Charming. No, this isn't another Disney fairytale, this is the love journey between Maharani Ritu and a Maharaja in his own right, Manish. The first chapter in this glittering love story stars childhood friends Ritu and Manish. One harsh, winter day, both families separated with Manish moving to Michigan and Ritu to Alabama. It wasn't until years later that Ritu and Manish finally reunited and aboard a private sailing ship on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Manish proposed to his Maharani! Ritu's big, fat Indian wedding included Ritu's Vidhi, Mehndi night, Manish's Vidhi, Raas Garba, and the wedding and reception, both held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Oak Brook. This magical journey was caught on film by Aria Films and photographed by High Dynamic Photography. Planner and Designer Zankhana Desai, took the weight of wedding planning off of Ritu's shoulder and Makeup by Sonu Patel, helmed the very important task of dazzling the bride up for her big day(s). Indian weddings are filled to the brim with color, excitement and vibrant decor, and our friends at Elegance Decor once again created the ambiance for yet another memorable Indian wedding. Guests enjoyed pastries and wedding cake from Oak Mill Bakery with Prashant Shah on the forefront crunching out the Desi beats to the jam packed dance floor! Read on as we click with the Bride on her special day! 

How did you meet your Raja and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met my Raja "again" while helping my cousin find his own bride. It so happened to be that Manish's (my Raja) sister happened to get married to my cousin which helped us reconnect from our childhood days. I knew he was the one for me from our constant good times together. We always were there for one another and supported each other throughout our entire relationship and I knew that was someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He made me feel like his forever one and only and still continues to do so. We always had a saying of "one day..." when talking about various things in our relationship. Now I can finally say I will be able to complete all those "one days" with my Raja!

Do you have a super romantic proposal story or engagement memory?
Manish and I planned a mini vacation to San Diego, California in May of 2015. He was very adamant about wanting to go whale watching and so I went along with him on a planned sighting. I was told this was a group boat tour sighting and that we would be with other couples. When we arrived, he, the captain, and the other crew members were in on the plan and told us the other couples cancelled and that we would have the entire boat to ourselves. Little did I know, Manish reserved us a private boat for just the two of us. About half way through our tour, he got on a knee on the boat deck and the rest is history! The best part is a couple months earlier, we started designing a custom engagement ring from Jewelry Row in Chicago. When we left for our trip to California, he had me convinced the ring was messed up by the maker and that it would take an additional 4-6 weeks to make. Even he was in on Manish's plan. Now I know why he was so protective of his backpack on our entire trip. It was in there the entire time! Looking back, there were so many clues I should have picked up on, but it was romantic and he pulled it off!

Tell us about your wedding style. When you sat down to really figure out how your dream wedding would look, did you start with one central color, a palette of colors, or a theme that served as your inspiration?
I always loved berry colors and wanted to stick to that particular color palette. we ended up with a majority of purple and gold with some mixed berry colors in it that really popped when put together. I spent a lot of hours on Pinterest while planning the decor and color palette to see what looked the best!

What did you enjoy most about the process of planning your dream Indian wedding?
The biggest thing I enjoyed about planning my own wedding was being able to take full control of the wedding details! I lived on etsy throughout the entire wedding planning process! The best part was my husband went along with everything!

How did you choose your lengha or lenghas? Did you work with a certain designer? Did you spend hours on the internet first?
From the beginning, knew I didn't want the traditional red/white/gold lengha for my wedding. I wanted to stick to my favorite color palette which happened to be a mix of berry, purple, and gold mixed together to create a unique lengha to my personality. My family and I along with Manish's family went to India to do all our shopping and worked with Marwadi to create my special lengha.

Looking back, was there a really special moment that you remember from your wedding that stands out as the most magical?
A special moment for us was right before the reception started. Our photographer and videographer took us outside for a few last couple shots. While they were doing their thing, we looked at each other, while holding one another, took a deep breath being exhausted all weekend so far, and said, "we're finally married!" with a sigh of relief. I knew at that moment that all the hard work of planning over the year was worth it to be standing next to the one I love.

Did you and your Raja have a special song that you danced to as your first dance? How did you choose it?
Our first dance song was "love me thoda aur." This song was chosen and was special because while driving with him on long trips, just sitting around with him on boring nights, or even when I was upset at him throughout the years, he would just always start singing it to me to make me smile. It was always our special song before while dating and we knew it was the right one for us to dance to on our special day.

How about hair and makeup? Did you already have a style in mind or did you work with a specialist to find your perfect look?
I worked with Sonu Patel in Chicago to create a special, yet perfect look for my wedding. I let her use her expertise and skills to perfect the look on my special day.

Another day, another fabulous Indian wedding. The end of the year is rapidly approaching and we still have more reporting to do Maharanis! Make sure you return to see what magnificent lengha, baraat or venue we are going to showcase next!

Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Sonu Patel | Cinematography: Aria Cinema Films | Cakes & Treats: Oak Mill Bakery | Floral & Décor: Elegance Décor | Photographer: High Dynamic Photography | Planning & Design: Zankhana Desai | Tuxedos: GQ Formalwear | Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Oak Brook | DJ: DJ Prashant | Baraat: DJ Prashant