How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Arjun and I formally met on September 19, 2009, during freshman year of undergrad, at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, while working a service project for our premed group. We became very good friends over the next couple of months and began dating July 10, 2010. I always knew he was someone special but I truly felt he was the one the day we officially started dating. I knew there wouldn't be anyone else who would share my love for food, put up with my crazy, and support me in my dreams as he does. He is the most caring, compassionate, loving, romantic, handsome man and I am so blessed to be his wife.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
On November 23, 2017, Arjun me when I came home from my ED shift at 5 AM with Christmas lights that read "marry me?" on the lawn below my apartment. I said, "Finally!” My parents were visiting for Thanksgiving and were sleeping in my room (but they were totally awake) and the plan was that Arjun and I would sleep in the living room. I walked to the sofa and did not find Arjun and instead found the balcony door open so I went outside and there he was all dressed up while I was still in my scrubs. Initially, I didn't see the Christmas lights on the ground because there was a dog peeing on them but then I took a second look and then saw Arjun get down on one knee. It was perfect and beautiful.
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.
We started the wedding planning process in December 2017 with a meeting between both families at my house. We attended a wedding show in Atlanta in mid-January 2018 where we met a handful of vendors. The show gave us a good idea of who we would like to work with since we got to personally met them and see their style of work. I am glad our parents were able to make it. We knew we wanted to involve our parents in all the decisions as this was such an exciting event for both families.
The wedding planning process can definitely be a stressful one. However, I can confidently say that my vendors truly cared about me as a bride and did their best to provide a stress-free process for me and my family. Chris Brock, our photographer always made me feel special by saying "whatever you want honey" and he truly lived up to that. His entire team was so fun to work with!
I knew instantly when I met Nida Khan with Red and Gold Events at the wedding show, I wanted her to be in charge of our wedding. She exhibits confidence and professionalism that has been unmatched. She is truly a boss and gets the job done flawlessly. She is always 20 steps ahead of the planning process and on the day of the wedding, she perfectly executed all of the plans.
A friend of ours had told us about Nirali Decor and when I saw her portfolio I knew she would be able to create the white forest I always imagined. Nirali is so sweet and I love all of her designs. She was so patient with me and allowed me to make many changes, even at the very last minute. She was always on time and very professional. The decor was just breathtaking and I did get my white and gold forest just like I had dreamt.
The Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel was truly a pleasure to work with. Lauren Maurin helped coordinate all of the plans for our big day. She truly took out all of the stress of wedding planning. The staff at the Riverview made sure our guests were always comfortable and knew where they were supposed to go. I cannot thank the Riverview Plaza Hotel for all their efforts in making our day so perfect. They truly went above and beyond to ensure every detail was executed from the hotel standpoint.
Our decision to have Cafe Bombay cater our wedding was a no brainer. I had tried the food earlier at various weddings and when I met Ricky Walia at the bridal show I knew we had to seal the deal. He is an absolute culinary genius who made my foodie dreams a reality.
Given that I have limited time in residency, I had to take a very short trip to India for wedding shopping. My time in India was a total of 6 days. Thankfully my aunt had recently shopped for my older 2 cousins that got married and knew where to shop. We hit up the same stores and were able to complete all of the wedding shopping in 6 days. I could not have done it without her support and her knowledge of the entire Mumbai wedding market.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I had always envisioned a tradition wedding with traditional red and gold colors. During my shopping trip to India, we headed straight to Manyaver and Mohey to purchase my wedding lengha and his sherwani. My reception gown was from Seasons. The entire staff at Manyaver and Mohey was so fun to work with! I will never forget the experience! We would spend hours joking, trying on clothes, taking pictures, and making memories.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was the time I got to spend with my mother and mother-in-law. Everything from the wedding show, to my India trip, to the get-togethers and planning meetings we would have, was very enjoyable and memorable. I feel like this process brought both of our families so much closer and everyone felt they had a big part in the process.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests really enjoyed the food by Cafe Bombay Catering, the decorations, and the grandeur of our wedding. For this scale of a wedding in Mobile, AL to occur is a little unheard of simply because there aren’t many South Asian wedding vendors. Most couples choose to have a destination wedding far away from Mobile but we were ready to tackle this challenge and all of our local guests were so proud and happy to see what we had put together.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Our first look is a memory that constantly replays in my mind. It was a very special moment in which it was just Arjun and I. The entire wedding day was very busy from start to finish, however in that moment I felt time had stood still. The way he looked at me and the way we both held each other in that moment of silence was beautiful and one that I will always remember and cherish.
I also will cherish having the lights dim throughout the entire ceremony as it made the entire event more romantic in special. I truly felt all of our guests were mentally present for our wedding. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about how romantic the dim lights felt.
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.
We kicked off wedding week with a bridal shower thrown by my family. I wanted an intimate setting and felt that our home would be the best venue. We went with a Chinese theme. My mom made flower vases out of wine bottles that held an assortment of pink carnations. We also purchased Chinese fans to go with the theme. We catered from one of my favorite restaurants, PF Changs. Our assortment of desserts included macarons, mochi ice cream, cupcakes, and two cakes. We played many bridal games and even had the aunties become brides themselves by making them create outfits from toilet paper. It was a fun time for everyone.
My mehndi ceremony was held at our home 2 days prior to the wedding. The henna artist I had hired from Atlanta had canceled last minute and thankfully amazing aunties from our community gathered together to make my mehndi ceremony a success. My aunt from India had our outfits custom made. I loved the bright colors and floral designs. I wore a fresh flower crown to go with the earthy theme. The mehndi ceremony was a small affair for our families to meet each other and spend time together.
We held the Ganesh puja at the Renaissance Riverview Hotel 1 day prior to the wedding. I wore a gold and orange lengha my mother in law had made for me. Arjun wore a custom made piece that my aunt had made to match my outfit. Following the Ganesh puja, was the haldi ceremony/pithi. Arjuna and I both changed into more comfortable colorful outfits. I wore a blue inner tunic and colorful jacket style cover-up. My earrings were also colorful to match my outfit. Arjun wore a white tunic with a yellow dhoti style pant. We played with haldi with our family and had a great time.
Our welcome dinner was held at the Renaissance Riverview Hotel. We went with an outdoor patio location. Since Mobile is the original home of Mardi Gras it was only fitting to have a Mardi Gras theme dinner. We had a Mardi Gras backdrop and props for pictures. All of our guests received Mardi Gras masks and Mardi Gras beads. Our menu was a mixture of foods but heavy on the southern theme. Café Bombay catered chicken 65 and waffles and a vegetarian option of Gobi 65 and waffles along with a masala shrimp and grits live station where guests could choose their toppings. The Renaissance Riverview Hotel provided fresh hot beignets and mini king cakes. We had fresh Moon pies from the Chattanooga Moon pie Company. Other menu items included fajita live station, Mexican street corn station, falafel, and gyros station. The weather was perfect and we let the good times roll!