As a perpetual motion image, the incredibly beautiful wedding film of Shyama and Shiv filmed by the talented Wedding Film Pros showcase the fascinating big “New Beginning” of their journey together! Along with the creative photo team of Yellow Bird Visuals, they captured the most appealing imagery of these soulmates. Both storytellers chronicled the most wonderful wedding weekend that started with a big Sangeet where all the ladies’ hands were decked with absolutely charming mehndi designs by Beauty You Deserve. The Fox Theatre Atlanta was infused with all the personality of a grand Indian wedding thanks to Perfect Petals Design Group who produced a magnificent scenery for the bride and groom's stellar moments! Shyama first took the center stage flaunting all her grace in a breathtaking silk saree that she later switched for a ravishing emerald gown. The dreamy reception came to life inside the Egyptian Ballroom with a fantastic wedding feast from Café Bombay Restaurant and Catering and the photo booth of MAG-nificent ensured every guest left with a personal favor of the occasion! Hit play and watch all the grandeur of this unique wedding setting!
Description of the Day
While Shiv and I met in high school, our love story really began when I was in college in Atlanta and he was close by in Athens, GA. We wanted to highlight the history and culture of Atlanta through our wedding, and we also knew we wanted to deviate from the typical hotel ballroom wedding. After a long search, we selected the Biltmore Ballrooms for our Sangeet and the Fox Theater Atlanta for our wedding and reception. We also decided to stay at the historic Georgian Terrace hotel and hosted a pre-wedding brunch at Mary Mac's Tearoom, an establishment at which movie goers used to dine before traveling down the street to the infamous "movie palace" which we now know as the Fox.
Shiv and I began our wedding weekend with our sangeet and welcome dinner in the gorgeous Imperial Ballrooms at the Biltmore Ballrooms. After a brief photo session with the talented Michaella Jelin-Till of Yellow Bird Visuals in the tree-lined courtyard, we moved into the pre-function area of the Imperial Ballroom. There, we had appetizers served by our favorite restaurant in Atlanta, Cafe Bombay, where we also celebrated Shiv's 21st birthday dinner with many of the friends who attended our wedding! Proof of the Pudding provided excellent buffet decor to add visual appeal to the mouthwatering appetizers and pan-Asian dinner prepared by Cafe Bombay. Our guests were also greeted with three signature cocktails designed by Shiv and me in honor of our relationship and wedding story: The Parisian Proposal (to represent our engagement), Doctor's Orders (to represent our second love, Medicine), and the Bora Bora punch (in honor of our honeymoon).
A soundtrack of vintage French music played as guests continued into the ballroom for "an evening in Paris." Photos of our engagement were displayed in gold baroque frames on a welcome table donning a delicate blush rosette tablecloth. The welcome table was also decorated with gold Eiffel towers and vintage luggage.
Upon stepping down from the carpeted balcony on the floor, guests were welcomed to tables with romantic Parisian themed centerpieces incorporated gold baroque framed mirrors, bell-jars, Eiffel towers, and lovely arrangements of rhodadendrons. The stage hosted two spiral topiaries in the natural inlets of the Biltmore, and trendy greenery ring hanging from the middle of the stage over soft white draping.
The lovely sisters of the bride and groom then commenced the show, in which bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and friends put on a multicultural program full of dancing, instrumental performances, and more for Shiv and I. We also got to play the "shoe game" in the middle of the sangeet, in which our sisters asked us questions while we sat back to back on stage, and we had to lift up the shoe of the person who we thought the question applied to. It was pretty entertaining to see where we agreed and diverged! Finally, we surprised our guests at the end of the show with a performance of "Nagada Sang Dhol," one of our favorite Hindi music songs. Shiv is not really a dancer, nor am I, so this was a challenge!!! We had a blast though and are so glad we made the effort. At the end of the night, our family members distributed organza bags which we had stuffed with bindis, bangles and handmade earrings to our guests. The thread earrings were handmade by a teacher from a school where I volunteer when I travel to India, and the proceeds were used to sponsor educational needs of the children who attend the school, who are all children living in the urban slums of Hyderabad, India.
The next day, Sweta Gajar and team arrived at our three-bedroom suite at the Georgian Terrace bright and early to start on hair and make-up for myself, my bridesmaids, and my mom. Sweta put so much love and care into creating exactly the look I wanted. My bridesmaids and bridesmen kept me company while we sipped chardonnay out of stemless wine glasses- we forgot the orange juice to make mimosas, oops! I loved sipping out of my bride straw while my friends kept their drinks straight by labeling them with chalkboard markers. We then went up to the rooftop of the Georgian Terrace, where there is a poolside lounge. The kind and talented Eugene Bussey of "Wedding Film Pros" took drone shots of us chilling on the roof, against the magnificent skyline of midtown Atlanta, while Michaella of YBV took our photos in our satin white, champagne, purple and blue robes.
Finally, it was time to get dressed and meet Shiv for our first look! Shiv and Zac, Michaella's husband and second shooter, waited patiently at our first look location, on the side of the Fox. However, due to the Hamilton show going on in the auditorium, they had to leave before I got there. Instead, we had our first look on the marble staircase in the Georgian Terrace lobby. Guests from the balconies of each floor looked down upon us as I slowly approached Shiv. When I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around, everyone burst out in applause and there were camera flashes everyone. While most brides like to stay concealed until the ceremony, I was so happy to spend our wedding morning surrounded by SO much affection, reminded of how lucky we are to have so much love in our lives.
After Shiv finished his Baraat and entered the Fox, guests entered the Fox where they were greeted with fresh jasmine to pin in their hair, leaves with packs of haldi+kumkum attached, and custom playbill programs with our photo printed on the front. we met the dhol player in front of the Georgian Terrace for "Bride's Baraat!" My bridesmen, cousins, and brother-in-law held a decorate scarf over my head while my bridesmaids, family members and I danced in the street with flowers, gold Moroccan-style lanterns, and ribbons wands purchased from Etsy. My bridesmaids also held colorful Indian sun-brellas from Jaipur, adding color to the festivities while protecting their hair and make-up from the moderate Atlanta sun! Finally, we reached the Fox, where the signage on the marquee read " 'The New Beginning,' Starring Shiv and Shyama, One Night Only, May 26th, 2018." After passing under our name up in lights, we strut down the red carpet in a roped off area leading to the Egyptian ballroom. By this time, guests with tickets to Hamilton were lined up and packed into the arcade. As we walked down the red carpet, those standing by the rope yelled "Congratulations!" and "Is this part of the show?" While snapping pictures of my party and me!
We stopped on the landing inside the Fox for water and a mini dance party with my bridal party and family before heading upstairs. My bridesmaids walked down the aisle to "Ore Oru Raja," Devasena's song from Bahubali 2. I chose this song to pay homage to my Telugu culture, to my grandmother whose name is Devasena, and also to pay homage to the pain character Devasena, whose warrior "yuva rani" (princess) look in the move inspired my wedding ceremony look. After our adorable flower girls scattered teal petals on the ground, I walked down the aisle to Deewani Mastani with my brother-in-law, uncle and cousins holding the scarf over my head. I was initially blown away by the gorgeous jewel tone flowers and antique gold fixtures until I saw my groom and was blown away. It was important for us to see each other as we walked down the aisle, so we asked our cousins to wait until I reached the end of the stage to lift the traditional veil which separates us for part of the ceremony. Shiv looked so regal, happy, and handsome, just like the scene in which Deepika Padukone enters the court to dance in Bajirao Mastani.
We wanted to do something unique with our mandap that would include more than just the six of us (us and our parents) while increasing visibility for our entire audience. Thus, we worked with our decorate to create a fabulous open-concept mandap, which was made up of columns of various heights hosting palm fronds, candelabras, and jewel-toned flowers. Swags from the top of the stage protruded through the drapery to connect to the columns in an intricate pattern, creating a cozy feeling. We noticed that the bridal party typically sits in the audience or his hidden on the sidelines in Indian weddings, so we decided to have them sit on the stage in full visibility with their stunning sarees and kurtas, representing a blue, green, and gold ombre color palette. A blend of North Indian and South Indian traditions, our ceremony details were outlined in Playbills which we designed and ordered on PLAYbillder.
After the ceremony, our guests were invited to have snacks in the Grand Salon and Terrace next to the Egyptian Ballroom. After a quick wardrobe change in the Georgian Terrace, Shiv and I had a 30-minute photo and video session in the main auditorium of the Fox Theater, which is designed like a Moroccan courtyard. We got a first-hand view of the set of Hamilton, all set up for that night, but unfortunately could not take pictures with the stage! We did, however, get to marvel at the opulent antique decor and the starry blue night sky above.
We then continued on to family photos in other areas around the Fox, and then met our bridal party on the balcony above the Egyptian Ballroom for more photos, and also to hide before our "big reveal!" Our guests enjoyed appetizers again in the Grand Salon and Egyptian Ballroom while auto-uploading their photos to "Veri" by the Knot so that we would have instant access to all of the memories which they captured! The cocktail hour tables donned center plated DIY'ed by me, with help from my family. I hand drew constellations, by their Hindu names, with metallic colors onto navy linen cardstock, and placed them with jewel-toned gemstones onto clay plays that I had spray painted in copper. The tables outside also donned star-finders. Our custom cocktail napkins, which read "among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars" completed our astrological-themed cocktail hour while paying homage to F. Scott Fitzerald, a contemporary of the Fox Theater. MAG-nificent was on site to take and print pictures onto custom photo magnets, with frames custom designed for us with our wedding theme in mind. Our guests also took their own photos on the MAG-nificent app, which were printed at our reception! Photos from one of our engagement shoots, at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, were on display throughout the pre-function area. Our photo guestbook, designed on artifact uprising with the help of my photographer Michaella, rested on a gold sequin tablecloth for guests to peruse and sign. Custom snapchat filters for each event took over the screens of our friends iPhone as they helped us to document the joy of our wedding weekend.
As the doors to the Egyptian ballroom opened, our guests grabbed their placecards, which were hand-painted carrera white Italian marble hexagons from a table decorated with gold sequin tablecloth and a series of monstera leaves. Our table numbers were custom made on Zazzle, with photos from our engagement. After our grand entrances and first dance (choreographed by Shane of Johnson City Ballroom ), and our father-daughter and mother-son dances (a medley of Hindi and English songs, choreographed by us), it was time for a lovely Indian dinner served by Cafe Bombay. We sat on our royal stage in white leather chairs with gold embellishments, surrounded by Palm Fronds and lanterns, with my white orchid bouquet spilling over our gold sequined table. After a series of tear-jerking speeches from our sisters, parents, and friends, it was time to cut the cake!
We had a small cutting cake on the bottom, topped by a pyramid of red velvet cake balls with white icing and our initials on top. We asked TK cake pops for a cake-ball cake rather than a traditional cake because we wanted people to be able to enjoy wedding cake without being tied to their tables and utensils after the dancefloor opened. This also helped us to decrease the amount of cake wasted overall! AlphabetCanvas, an Etsy Vendor, designed our Cake Topper, which read "Shiv and Shyama" in laser-cut gold letters. Of course, I never miss an opportunity to smear cake on Shiv's face! He was gracious enough not to mess up my make-over. After making our speeches, the dance floor was open! We wrapped several boxes with monstera wrapping paper from Zazzle and ordered dozens of gold old navy flip-flops in various sizes, to give our guests a relief for their dancing feet after a long day! Shiv was dressed in a bespoke Navy suit prepared in Phipps Plaza. I custom ordered an emerald green Gaurav Gupta gown, as I fell I love with the elegant and flattering silhouette, structured pleats, and tasteful beading and embroidery.
At the end of the night, after Shiv crowd-surfaced and we were both lifted up by our friends during several songs by Drake, I realized that the cake balls were never served. So, Shiv and I decided to throw them out to our friends and family, eagerly awaiting cake from the crowded dance floor! We then went downstairs, where our guests had lined up on the red carpet with cones full of ecofetti, which they were eager to douse us with as we ran through! As Shiv and I got together in front of the antique ticket booth to catch one last photo with the marquee, we noticed that none of our friends and family wanted to leave and that there were over 200 guests gathered in the back of our photo under the Fox's arcade! We tried to encourage people to move along to the Publik Draft House next door for our after party, but were blown away by when we realized that people were so happy, that they wanted to stick with us! This made for a really special photo. Because our cutting cake was not served, my brother-in-law carried it along to the after party with us! Our guests took home painted nut boxes, which my parents filled, and silk purses from Bangalore as wedding favors, in Kraft paper bags with blue and yellow ribbon which we custom designed with our own thank you message!
Overall, we are so blessed. No matter what went wrong or right during the weekend, we were overwhelmed with gratitude upon realizing how much effort everyone made to attend and shower us with love. I was truly happy and minimally stressed most of the weekend because all I could think about was how lucky I was to marry this man and to have a life filled with so many beautiful people. Between our venues, our families, our wedding party, and my talent stylist, there are SO many aspects of the wedding weekend that truly made me feel like I was a maharani marrying Maharaja in a grand Jaipur palace!
A sweet ending for a new beginning. See you tomorrow ladies!