Lucid Films brings us today an extremely beautiful and well-achieved beach wedding soiree film! Between traditions, sand and their endless love, Dhara and Parth brought together their lives and families forever! There is nothing more splendid than the cultural way of celebrating a wedding and heritages but with a large Sangeet night filled with Raas-Garba dance. Connected to their traditions, the bride and groom decided to start this way their path to their altar. Thankfully, Alfaaz Photography preserved the magic of every moment with some of the most beautiful images, all featured in our Main Blog! These lovebirds wanted to soak up the sun while getting married and opted to hold a dreamy beachfront ceremony under a round turquoise floral mandap built for the union by the creative team of House of Dipali at the fantastic Pink Shell Beach Resort! The bewitching bride and groom were completely stunning wearing gorgeous attires for their stellar evening after the ceremony and to celebrate the recent union Volcanik Entertainment owned the turntables and knew how to get everyone into the festive spirit from the newlyweds’ grand entry to the party final moments! Get settled to watch this lovely wedding film that I guarantee it will make you smile. Just hit play!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
How we met:
I met Parth at Bryant University where we both went to college. It was an exceptionally warm Friday night in October. I remember because I was wearing a white summer dress, which I had borrowed from a friend. I was outside in front of a house party with some friends, and I saw this tall guy (very easy on the eyes) smiling over at me from a little ways away. We gravitate towards each other and started talking about where we were from. Later that night, we were eating pizza and a friend accidentally spilled marinara sauce all over my dress (remember guys, it was borrowed and white!) I ran to the nearest bathroom to wash it off. Parth (the handsome stranger) rushed after me to help clean up the mess. Amongst the frantic attempts to avoid a permanent stain, I remember thinking ‘what a nice thing for a stranger to do’ and that we would be good friends, because that's something I would have done, too.
When I knew he was the ‘one’:
Parth and I ended up becoming the best of friends over the next few years as we finished our degrees. As senior year approached, Parth started to show more intimate feelings towards me. It was pretty weird, but also, I'm pretty amazing, so he has good taste :). He did everything under the sun to make me feel special. One thing he would do is hide dimes in random places for me to find...this was his way of letting me know he thought I was a perfect "10." This strange, adorable behavior became a theme in our relationship.
Parth asked me to be his girlfriend officially on October 10th, 2012 (10/10!). He hid 10 dime-shaped clues around campus for me to find on that day, with the first clue beginning at 10:10 AM. The day was full of fun riddles, memories, surprises, and treats. After our date that evening, Parth took me to our favorite dessert spot, pulled out a fortune cookie with a message inside that read “will you be my girlfriend.” It was 10:10 PM. The lucky numbers on back of the fortune were “10-10-12”. I felt like we were in one of those love stories that you see in romantic comedies. Obviously (I had to) say yes :).
I’m not sure if I really knew on October 10th at 10:10 PM that I would marry the guy. All I remember is this feeling I had that night. You know when someone just gets you? Well, Parth just really gets me. I can do or say or be as weird as I want and I know he will always love me (because he's just as weird). He's my person and I feel so lucky to call him my husband for the rest of my life! :)
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I have to say I got very lucky with Parth - he’s one of those romantic guys you only think exist in Bollywood movies. Parth planned and executed such a beautiful, thoughtful, and elaborate proposal, filled with memories and surprises. Like I mentioned earlier, Parth asked me to be his girlfriend on October 10th through a dime treasure hunt. Each year, on our anniversary, Parth recreates this treasure hunt with new clues and treasure at the end.
On October 10, 2015, it was our third dating anniversary. It was a beautiful fall day. I was excited about the treasure hunt and knew Parth had planned a photo shoot for us later that day as a fun activity, however, the surprise I got that year far exceeded any expectations. The dime clues led me all around NYC. Eventually to Roosevelt Island (this was a special place for us because we had run a race together there in the past and we fell in love with the views during our run).
As I got off the jitney, a photographer and videographer were waiting to greet me on the island. I walked with my sister, Ami, and brother in law, Sean down to the tip of the island (shoutout to them - they had just gotten married less than a week before and flown back from California to celebrate!)
As I approached the steps leading up to the Four Freedoms Park, I started to feel nervous. I could see a drone hovering overhead (in my mind I was like wtf is a drone doing here?!). I picked up a wicker basket which had my final clue of the day. The message made me laugh and tear up at the same time, as all Parth's messages do. There was also something different in the basket, which past treasure hunts didn’t have. It was a pink wooden rose with an engraved message that said "I Love You Because...." I walked up the stairs and only half knew what to expect.
To my wonder, I saw a single-file line of our friends and family (probably 50 or so people). Every single one of them was holding a similar wooden rose. Each rose was engraved with a unique reason why Parth loves me (e.g. “I love you because you’re a strong and independent woman”....hell ya I am!) I walked down the line, gathering the roses and greeting each of our loved ones, trying not to smudge my mascara.
When I finally made it to the end, Parth pulled out his own rose (it was actually a rose-shaped ring box because this guy thinks of everything), took me to where the water meets the skyline, and asked me to be his wife!
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.
Parth and I always wanted a destination wedding. We wanted our wedding weekend to feel like a vacation: a time when all our guests could be in one place, basking in the sun, and bond with each other as they witnessed two families becoming one. We took our time with the planning and figuring out where we wanted that destination to be. We had vacationed together in Puerto Rico and loved the convenience of getting there, and at the same time, the feeling that you were ‘getting away’. About a year after we got engaged, we decided to take another trip to Puerto Rico to find our perfect venue and book a wedding date. After looking at several potential venues on the island, we decided on El Conquistador Resort and Spa in Fajardo, PR. Our overall experience with this venue was incredible. Our plan was to hold the wedding ceremony on a terrace overlooking the ocean, and the cocktail reception outside at the Coqui water park. We loved every inch of the resort, from the breathtaking views to the private island, from the infinity pool to the cozy guest rooms. We were so excited to share such a special place with all the special people in our lives.
Although the venue came with a list of suggested local vendors, we had thrown a pretty extravagant engagement party and were very impressed with the work of our DJ [Volcanik Entertainment] and Decorator [House of Dipali], so decided to secure those vendors early on. My parents had used a Maharaj for my sister's wedding from MA and had a good relationship with him, as well. We decided to secure him for our wedding in PR since finding a Maharaj there was not likely. For Photography and Videography, I wanted to find someone local. However, as I took to Instagram to do my research, I found the vendors who shared my style, had experience with destination Indian weddings in the past were not necessarily located in PR. My brother in law is related to a photographer who is extremely talented - his work was very much on par with the artists I liked on Instagram. I decided to give him a call and our personalities clicked. Our videographer [Lucid Films] was recommended by the photographer [Alfaaz Photography]. Both were from Toronto, so although not local, were exceptional to work with and I figured why not? I had also initially asked Henna by Pallavi to do my bridal henna and travel to PR for my mendhi night as I couldn't find any local mendhi artists that had the talent I was looking for.
Replanning our wedding:
We had not booked any of the other vendors (e.g. Caterer, Baraat, Vidai, Hair/Makeup, etc.) when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. The damage caused to our venue after the Hurricane was too vast to hold our wedding festivities there. With our spirits crushed, we kept our attitudes high, knowing there were much larger issues in the world. So….we started the replanning process and managed to plan our perfect wedding in less than 3 months. Luckily, all of our vendors were very flexible in coming to a new location with us.
Venue & Vendors:
Since our Save the Dates had already gone out, we wanted to keep the event dates the same. We spoke to countless venues in southern Florida in search of a spot that would accommodate our needs. It took a few weeks, however, once we secured the Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa for our wedding events and the Pink Shell Beach Resort for our ceremony, things really started to fall into place. Our parents took a trip to Florida to reserve the resort for our dates and met some of the local folks who suggested vendors that we still needed.
We were grateful to find the following vendors local to Florida: 1) a Maharaj (Jitin Bhatt) to officiate our ceremony, 2) a henna artist (Henna Allure) who also specializes in hair, makeup, and draping to beautify me and my bridesmaids as well as being the artist for my Mendhi night; 3) a coach bus company (All Stars) to transport our guests from the resort to the beach and back; 4) a boat for Parth's pre Baraat celebration (Salty Sam’s); 5) a horse for Parth's Baraat (Charlene’s Carriages); 6) a boat for our Vidai farewell (Holiday Adventures); 7) a coconut company that serves fresh coconuts for guests to drink coconut water (Florida Coconut Company); 8) a delicious bakery to make our wedding cake look and taste great (Lady Cakes); 9) a caterer that went above and beyond in taste, creativity, and presentation (Tabla); and 10) our DJ ended up being local to Florida, as well, which worked out perfectly. We have nothing bad to say about any of these vendors. We were extremely satisfied with the service, the accommodation, and the attention to detail all of the vendors put into our event.
A month before our wedding, Parth and I took our own trip down to Florida to see our venues for the first time and finalize all the loose ends, food/cake tasting, and to enjoy a little vacation (Shoutout to Universal Studios for creating Hogwarts so I could fangirl all day long!). Our overall experience with the venues and vendors in Florida was very positive, and we were very grateful for everyone's help and eagerness to serve. We were more appreciative of everyone’s flexibility and understanding given all the last minute changes we were going through.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
When I envisioned my wedding dress, I thought about pastels, shades of golds/whites, and a bunch of other colors I didn't end up choosing. Tradition is very important to my family, especially my dad. I knew it would mean a lot to him if I wore red and gold, so I did keep this in mind when shopping.
My mentality when shopping was "I want to wear my wedding dresses again." I know that may sound strange to some brides, but I didn't want to spend all this energy choosing something to wear once and then store it for the rest of my life. I wanted to love it, wear it, dress it up, switch up the tops and bottoms. I wanted all my dresses to be versatile and timeless (not just trendy). I knew my bridal lengha would have to be KIND OF heavy, but I wanted to try to find something I could alter later to wear again and again.
I love Sabya Sachi design but didn’t necessarily love the price ranges I was seeing. I went to Roop Milan as a recommendation from my mom's friend, which is a small shop in Bombay. This was probably the second store I went to look for a wedding dress. My sister and brother gave me their opinions as I tried on a few lenghas. Then the store owners pulled out this Sabya Sachi design (my eyes lit up). I loved the skirt right away and was sold on the dress. I had them change the dupatta from red to gold so I could have a little more contrast in the colors and had them stitch the blouse to my specific measurements. I was pretty proud of how quickly I came to the decisions on my wedding dresses, especially my bridal lengha.
Also, another proud moment, with some minor adjustments, I can totally rock my wedding dresses again for future events :)!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
As I mentioned, we went through the venue search twice: first in Puerto Rico and second in Florida. Although the research part was quite stressful (especially the second time), the trips themselves were very enjoyable and memorable. Parth and I agreed that it was pretty awesome to check out a new location, get some "work" done while also soaking in sun rays and getting some QT with one another. I think I enjoyed our planning trip to South Florida (a month before the wedding) the most. At this point, we had almost everything locked down, which was shocking given how many changes we had to make when the hurricane hit. We even had a few days to go to Orlando and unwind!
Another enjoyable part of the planning process was having an excuse to get everyone together whether it be to help us create something unique for the wedding or plan out the timelines. Since Parth and I were engaged for over two years, we had all this time to enjoy our “bride to be” and “groom to be” status which is definitely something I’m going to miss!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests raved about our wedding weekend, which was very humbling for me. A lot of times, hard work goes unnoticed, but we had people noticing everything and appreciating it all weekend long, and even to this day.
To start, the location was definitely ideal. In January, it was freezing weather in the northeast where Parth and I (and a lot of our guests) are from. However, in FL, it was 75 and sunny on our beach wedding day, so that was hard to beat. Guests were enjoying the resort amenities and the nearby water activities all weekend long, which was what we had wanted when we set out to plan a destination wedding.
I think guests also really enjoyed the food and music - Tabla Catering and Volcanik Entertainment did an amazing job. We received a lot of compliments on the decorations (thanks to House of Dipali). Overall, the unique touches everyone was able to experience were particularly lovely for our guests (to name a few: the coconut water out of fresh coconuts on our wedding day, coquitos- Puerto Rican drinks served during the ceremony, the boat entrance and exits to and from the ceremony, our rickshaw entrance at the reception, the snow cone machine at our garba, the dessert spread at our reception).
I think our guests truly enjoyed what we had hoped for: the wedding weekend felt more like a vacation than anything else!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
For an Indian bride, I think we're lucky because there are so many special moments to choose from. Parth and I had a total of 10 wedding events (combined in NY and FL) and out of the whole week, I have a handful of small moments to hold on to.
One, in particular, was reading a letter my sister wrote to me to open right before I got married. It was part of a bridal shower time capsule gift (you know what I’m talking about). I read the letter on the way to my wedding ceremony. What made this ride more special was that my siblings and double cousins were with me (my mom's sister and dad's brother are married, so their children are my double cousins. I know, we belong in a Bollywood soap opera). These are the people I've known my entire life and I've always felt most at home with them. I read the letter out loud in the car and we laughed and I (almost) cried multiple times. It was a short drive, but it's a moment I'll always remember.
Another was during the ceremony. All my brothers and brothers-in-law carried me in on a dholi. I got to see everyone who had traveled in to see me get married all looking up and smiling at me - that was a very special moment.
One extremely special moment that I think Parth and I will always laugh about was right before our entrance, we walked down the hall to practice our first dance. We both were nervous, but we were just laughing and motivating each other along.
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.
It’s a little crazy when I think back, we had a total of 10 wedding events in a weeks time: 4 events in NY and 6 in FL.
Senior Citizen Reception:
The first event was a lunch reception at the local Senior Citizen center my in-laws volunteer at in New Hyde Park, NY. The citizens of the center organized a lunchtime program, where they welcomed us into their home as a royal couple and performed dances for us. This kicked off the wedding events and made us so excited for everything to come!
The next event was a Bhajan in honor of Parth’s late grandfather and his blessings at home, where prayers and friends from the local neighborhood filled the home.
The following day, we had a Vivah Kehl. I got my nails done with my girlfriends that morning and went to a local salon to get my hair done as well because this event was a bit fancier. Events Capture came to the house to photograph and document videos of the moments. It was fun to continue the celebrations with a different group of neighborhood guests.
Finally, we had a Ganesh Pooja to conclude our wedding events in NY. Each day, different catered food was served from local NY restaurants. On this day, we had Singas famous pizza and I was not complaining!
We then had 6 more events in FL, which were all unique in their own way. As for decoration and themes, I wanted everything to feel beachy/tropical yet elegant, classy, and timeless and that's exactly what I got! I had chosen mint and lavender for my bridesmaids and groomsmen colors while shopping in India, so I decided to do similar colors for the mandap and beach decor at the wedding, which I was very happy with. For the rest of my events, I provided more detail about the decor below!
We went to the Sanibel Island to take sunset photos on the beach. I coordinated our outfits to match the soft pink theme I was going with. We had a blast working with Anmol (Alfaaz Photography) and Amrit (Lucid Films) for the first time and posing with each other! The setting was very natural - sand, water, seashells, the sun - it was beautiful (and also extremely chilly!)
For the mendhi night, I knew the pool deck would be dark once the sun set, so I wanted a lot of string lights and uplighting. House of Dipali and Volcanik Entertainment worked together to ensure there was enough lighting. My cousin, Swati, and I had hand painted mehndi jars for her wedding a few months prior, which I repurposed for my own mendhi night. I also ordered mendhi pillows for the event to give the night a more traditional feel. The entire event took place outdoors - with a live pasta station, nachos, pizza and we had some games set up: corn hole and beer pong, as well as fire pits to keep our guests warm.
For our pithi ceremonies, the room we had reserved had beautiful windows that gave out views of the resort and ocean. I didn’t want to block any part of the view but wanted the decor to be light and airy. I had the decorators put up thin yellow curtains and a few flower gardens to set the mood for the event.
For the Garba, I had originally envisioned this event taking place in a room or space that also had a nice view. However, when I learned it would be in a ballroom, with no windows, I decided I needed to deck out the space a bit. I spent time designing the event with House of Dipali in their studio in NY, using past events and Pinterest as inspiration. I added in a Rickshaw, umbrellas, a swing, and a few statues to my original design. We also had a Churi Bazaar at the Garba, courtesy of Parth's mom and sister. Our friends and family performed a few dances for us which was really special. To see how much time and effort they put into coordinating the steps and music nearly brought me to tears.
For the reception, I wanted the whole room to look elegant in champagne/gold colors with pops of blush. I wanted the family tables to look extra special, so I added a sequence runner to the table and more flowers/candles. Parth really pushed for a white dance floor, and I designed our initials logo. My family and I created the table seating chart by spray painting wine bottles and using bottle labels to showcase who was sitting where. Our decorator added floral to make this piece really come together. Additionally, at the reception, our friends and family performed a number of dances for us which was really entertaining to watch!
My sister was my right-hand woman when it came to the personalization of all the decor. She reached out to several Etsy vendors she had used in the past to create a customized map of our resort, sunglasses with our hashtag, wedding programs in the shape of fans. One of my best friends and bridesmaid, Joann, slaved away creating flower cones that would hold flower petals at our ceremony. My brother, Ritesh, ordered personalized tags for welcome bags, the contents of the welcome bags, as well as donation cards for Puerto Rico through Vistaprint. Amazon Prime was my best friend a few weeks before the wedding. I went (a little) overboard ordering a lot of unique items such as wine bottles, bubbles, pebbles, glass markers, photo booth props, Instagram signs, parasols, fans, photo puzzle pieces, etc. to ensure each event had a personal touch to it.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
After working through all the issues in order to pull off this wedding, I definitely feel like I've gained much more wisdom than I would have, had everything gone to plan. Even though our situation was unique and not everyone will lose their venue three months before their big day, I think this still applies. My biggest piece of advice: be ok with things not going according to plan - embrace them, because as cliche as it sounds, everything works out in the end, and if it doesn't, it's not the end. Don't try to control everything, because you will not be able to.
Being a bride-chilla is so much better for your health than being a bridezilla. Don't stress the small stuff, honestly, it's not worth it. Seating charts don't matter as much as relationships do. Cake flavors will not define your marriage.
This is a special day for you and your groom, but a lot of other people (people you may not expect) will also make it about themselves as well…. let that stuff go. Get ready as quickly as you can (but still look your best - there are cameras EVERYWHERE) and spend the time being around the people who traveled to celebrate YOU. You rarely get all your loved ones in one place, so show your gratitude. Enjoy the food, the dessert, the music, the dancing. Celebrate yourselves and this big decision the two of you made together. Remember, you only get to be a bride once so embrace that opportunity, but you are a wife for the rest of your life. The first may be more glamorous, the latter is much more rewarding :).
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
All my jewelry was from Bombay. My mom helped pick all of it out with me. I customized my Tikka to my specifications from Dazzle (a jewelry store in Bombay). I also wore some bracelets that were given to me as gifts from my parents and my in-laws. I designed my Mangle Sutra and my mother in law ensured it got made properly in Ahmedabad.
I chose Henna Allure to do my Bridal Henna/ be the artist at my Mendhi Night, as well as to do my hair, makeup (airbrush), draping for all events (and my bridesmaids' makeup for the wedding). I chose this company sort of by chance. I had gotten the name from a former bride I hadn’t met, I looked at Henna Allure’s Instagram page, and had a simple phone call with Samla, the owner. I decided to take a leap of faith and signed them even before doing a trial, however, I’m so glad I did - I loved working with the team and felt stunning all weekend long! As for makeup, I was airbrushed for each of my events. This wasn’t planned, but after my “trial” on mendhi night, I really loved how quick the airbrush went on (and because of this, I was able to get ready very quickly and eat at each of my wedding events!!), how light it felt, and all the compliments I got on my look.
Parth and I chose Lady Cakes bakery after my sister made an appointment for us to have a cake tasting there. We fell in love with the melt-in-your-mouth flavors and the professionalism of the owner. I sent her photos of the types of decoration I wanted, and also shared with her that I cared more about taste than the presentation. I think she did a fine job with both!
I really love flowers, but also hate how they die so fast. I wanted my bouquet to be unique and made of more than just flowers. I asked my florist to add in seashells, which really tied together the beach theme.
Did you love this perfect Florida beach wedding? Comment below and let me know what you think!