We have a very special Indian wedding feature film for you today, dolls! Featuring Maharani Amy and Raja Samir. The cinematic highlight reel was created and captured by our talented friends from Studio Nine Photography who worked tirelessly to accurately portray the glam, romance, and fun of Amy and Samir's ravishing commitment. Our lovebirds chose the incredible Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown for all of their events, and it is safe to say that their choice definitely paid off. Just look at that celebration! Elegant Affairs Inc. did what they know best and spearheaded to perfection this affair and brought to life through the floral decorations, the fairy tale wedding our couple dreamed of. The over the top reception included all the guests performing and dancing like there was no tomorrow, nothing less is expected from such loving families. The music? M4U Events of course. They are our go-to party starters; and the smiles, laughter, and fun that you will see in the film, well... let's just say that they are in part the ones to blame for those, delivering for the newlyweds the best sounds all around! So, Maharanis, you know what time it is! Get inspired by this young and beautiful couple!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Samir back when we were young teens at a summer camp. That summer, we both caught each other's eye but were far too shy to actually talk to each other. Later that summer, Samir worked up the courage to reach out to me via AIM, and so our friendship began. Over the many years and summer flings, we remained good friends and kept in touch; even if it had been a long time, once we got to talking again, it was like nothing ever changed. It was this level of comfort and fun we always felt with each other that made me think there was something more here.
In 2010, Samir transferred to the University of Pittsburgh, where I was going to college. This is when we decided to give this relationship a real shot. We finished up college and went on to pursue our careers in different cities, but our relationship stayed strong thanks to Facetime and weekend trips!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Samir and I spent several years as a long distance couple. I was in Boston and planning to visit Samir in Philadelphia for the weekend to celebrate the completion of his third year of dental school. Samir chose this weekend to pop the question, as he knew I would not expect anything while he was taking exams and seeing patients.
The evening of, we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant in the city to celebrate what I thought was the end of exams for Samir. After dinner, I thought we were meeting up with some friends at a new bar on Christopher Columbus Blvd, we got dropped off there and started walking down an old railroad in the middle of the street lined by cherry blossom trees. Even after seeing a violinist and a beautiful set-up with flowers, candles, and champagne, it was when Samir started talking about how much he loved her that I realized what was happening!
After all of the happy tears and finally gathering my emotions, both of our families ran out from a nearby restaurant where they had been watching the proposal to greet us and celebrate the engagement. The surprises didn't end there. We wrapped up the night with a helicopter ride around the city followed by a night out with family and friends. It was beyond the perfect proposal I had dreamed of!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted to be a traditional Indian bride in red and gold from the start. We went to India before the wedding to get all of our wedding outfits; we only had a little over a week to get everything done - from my and my husband's outfits, our accessories and jewelry and our bridal parties outfits.
Towards the end of an unsuccessful day of shopping, my cousin called Jade in Mumbai to see if we could sneak in quickly before they closed. They run by appointment only, but she was able to convince them to let us in last minute. I walked into the showroom and instantly loved the decor and vibe. There was one outfit that my cousins picked out, but feeling defeated from that day I wasn't sure. They forced me to try it on, and when I put it on and came out of the fitting room I instantly knew that this was the outfit I was getting married in. The reaction of my mom, sister, aunt, and cousins was a nice confirmation that this was definitely the one. This was the first and only outfit I tried for the wedding - I guess when you know, you just know!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I loved how my entire family, including extended family in India, was so involved throughout the whole process; it made everything about wedding planning easier and more enjoyable. It is amazing knowing that so many people were so invested in making our wedding the perfect event. It allowed me to be carefree and truly enjoy the events without any worry about what was going on because I knew every detail was taken care of. Because of this, I can take very little credit for the wedding planning but am so thankful to everyone for their time and effort to make our weekend absolutely perfect.
Additionally, my siblings and cousins put in a lot of effort into creating a "musical" about our story to be performed at the Sangeet. Needless to say, pulling this off took a lot of effort between developing the script, the presentation slides, choosing perfectly fitting songs and learning the dances - not to mention coordinating all of this between 70+ participants! Although this was a lot of work, and at times felt like it wouldn't come together, it was so much fun working through the pieces of this together.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The decorations and the energy at the events are two big things we still hear from our guests about.
Vikram from Elegant Affairs truly took our grandiose ideas for our events and brought them to life. We had thrown around the idea of getting married in India, but when it came time to it, we felt it would be best in our hometown of Pittsburgh. Because of our original thoughts of having a wedding in Rajasthan, we wanted to bring that vibe to our Sangeet. The food stations were decorated as if they were fancy food trucks in India. When guests entered the main room, they were greeted by a life-sized floral elephant in a fun and colorful room. The rest of the events followed suit with the decor continuing to impress - every time I walked into the venue, I was amazed by how it all came together.
Our MC and DJ (M4U Events: DJ Aakash and MC Ashish) also did an amazing job with keeping the entire crowd hype throughout the weekend! Our guests still talk about how amazing the entire playlist was and there wasn't a single moment the dance floor wasn't full - on both nights! Even when the lights turned on, people kept dancing until we absolutely had to leave the venue.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
It is extremely hard to narrow it down to just one, but if I had to pick, it would be our first dance. Samir found our song and we both instantly knew it had to be our song: Electric by Alina Baraz and Khalid. We knew we wanted to do something unique with this that showcased who we were, so we decided to do a little fusion with some bhangra added in - Samir used to be part of bhangra teams and still loves it. We originally considered getting someone to help choreograph the non-bhangra parts of our dance, but with living in different cities and everything else going on, we decided to have one less thing to plan and work on it ourselves whenever we found the time. We ended up fully choreographing the entire dance ourselves and having a lot of fun with it. When it came time for our dance at the reception, I was feeling pretty nervous, but as soon as the song started it just felt right. We had so much fun doing our dance and I couldn't stop smiling!
In addition to this, we had several surprises throughout the events. I know surprises at your own wedding can seem a little scary, but these were perfect. One surprise was from a couple of my cousins who couldn't come to the US for the wedding. They sent a video with well wishes that was played during the Sangeet "musical" - there wasn't a dry eye among our family when this came on. Another was from my siblings, niece, and nephew. They had alluded to singing at our wedding a couple times, but I had no idea what that would entail. At our reception, after my sibling's speech, they proceeded to rapping/singing personalized lyrics to some well-known songs. The lyrics they created were about our relationship and the wedding; it was hilarious and we could not contain our laughter during their performance.
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.
When we were designing our invitations, we created a "logo" that we would use throughout our events to create a unifying theme. The logo was a tree with two birds on a small swing. From this, we had birds incorporated throughout all of our events - symbolizing the two of us taking flight as a married couple. At the sangeet, we had a large floral peacock and all of my jewelry was peacocks - large peacock earrings, necklace, ring, and bracelet. At the wedding, I also had peacocks on the border of my lengha. At the reception, my entire lengha had birds in the signature Falguni Shane Peacock foil work, and the dance floor wrap was created with two gold birds. There were also other small things throughout that matched the theme. Our logo was incorporated into any piece we could: menu cards, welcome bags, the bar designs, LED screens, place cards, etc. It seems like this all would have been tough to coordinate, but all of it kind of just came together on its own - many of the pieces were even chosen before we had come up with the logo/theme.
Mehndi: Casual outdoor. We had our home decorated with a beautiful floral swing for me to sit on. There was an ice cream/coffee truck and a brick oven pizza truck, along with the Indian fast food options. We had live music with a flute player who was a big hit.
Sangeet: Royal traditional. In addition to the life-sized floral elephant at the entrance, there was a floral peacock next to our gold swing. Decorations and lighting were colorful - blues, pinks, and purples. We had a colorful wrapped dance floor to go with the theme. This is where we had our family "musical" performance about our story. There was a live band from India for entertainment, to keep things different between the Sangeet and Reception.
Wedding: White, Open and Grand. We had a huge floral hanging mandap rather than anything on the floor- this kept the space very open. There was an elevated stage for the mandap and elevated aisle. The entire aisle and stage were outlined by water (like a small moat) filled with candles and flowers.
Reception: White and gold, elegant and heavenly. We kept the ceiling treatment from the mandap and it now hung over the dance floor. We had another wrapped dance floor with two gold birds to go with our overall theme. We went heavy with the table decorations and this really filled the room nicely. Our stage was beautiful with an elegant sofa, trees, flowers, candles, and chandeliers.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Stay in the moment and soak in every second of the day/weekend. It all goes by so fast, so take some time every event to just appreciate what is happening around you and take it all in!
Do not forget to keep on tuning for more glittering romance!