Hey there, dolls! Today we have a celebration that was truly blessed by the sun! Aarti & Vinay decided to celebrate their union with the roaring ocean as their witness and of course that our friends from Riant Films were there to capture all the wedding fun. R.A.G.Artistry was also there and managed to snap all the wonderful stills we admired in our previous photo feature. This gorgeous Maharani had everything under control for her big day of magic. When the Maharani is about to tie the knot she is a wedding planner herself, and ensures that every detail is taken care of! To assist the couple with the striking floral and decor, our good friends from Occasions by Shangri-la. Their undeniably skills and talent were put to the test, and as we well see for today's film, it was just magical! What was also magical was Maharani Aarti's fashion choices. She was just glowing from top to toe in every single one of the rituals and Michele Renee The Studio was in part to blame for that. She crafted her hair and makeup and the result was an Indian princess for the books! The Hilton Clearwater Beach trembled with these two! So, ladies, today's film requires some tissues because happiness tears will be on its way! Join us!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
My husband, Vinay lived in D.C., and I lived in Atlanta. I visited D.C. for my sister's birthday. We met in D.C. at Fig & Olive at Vandana’s birthday dinner. It was no love at first sight, by we immediately connected over an exchange of bad online dating experiences and interestingly, agreed to become each other’s, dating consultants. In the process of helping each other figure out how to date successfully, we found our friendship growing while spending hours on the phone together and felt connected over our love for elephants, Amazon shopping and shoes. After an amazing weekend-long date together in October 2015, we definitely knew there was something special between us. I'm not really the over-sentimental type, so I never really had a "you're the one" moment, rather many "this feels right" moments.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Vinay planned a surprise trip to Utah to go hiking in Mt. Zion. He told me that we were going to have a date night, and had me picked up in an Uber from work, which drove me to the airport. I was very confused, but he met me as the car pulled up to the departures gate. He sweetly and cleverly had packed my suitcase with everything I could possibly need. Once we reached Vegas, we drove to Utah. We went for a sunrise hike, and he proposed as the sun came up over the canyons. It was a beautiful proposal with just the two of us in sight for miles. We followed up the proposal with a few hikes in Mt. Zion and a fun day in Vegas.
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.
Being a wedding planner myself (many years ago), we didn't need too much guidance going into the initial planning. One of the first things we did, was to gather both our families for a meeting, gave each member a post-it note and asked them to write down the top 3 aspects they envisioned for or at the wedding. We wanted to incorporate the things they envisioned when we created our vision. Vinay and I really wanted to have a destination wedding, and luckily the parents' were delighted about it as well. The hardest decision was selecting the venue, cause we had no clue what state, what city we wanted be get married in. We contacted venues in San Diego, Scottsdale, Denver, Charleston, Miami, and a few beach venues on the east coast. Through a friend, Tampa got on our radar, and from there, we selected Hilton Clearwater Beach & Resort. We didn't know why it took so long for us to figure that out since we both love water, and had talked about getting married on the beach many times. Once we signed the contract with the venue, the rest just fell into place. We hired a local wedding planner, Sokha Im with Apsara Events, for mostly wedding week coordination. She was just absolutely incredible, and could not have done it without her. Food being the most important aspect for Vinay and me, we wanted a stronghold over quality. After a tasting with a restaurant in Orlando, we went with Cafe Bombay out of Atlanta. I have worked with him many times in Atlanta and knew they could deliver the quality and the variety of food styles. They brought a team of 10, and two trucks of newly bought food presentation trays and decor. They bought most of the vegetables in Tampa, and everything was cooked only hours before each event. Decor design was second important to us. We spoke with Suhaag Garden and Occasions by Shangri-La, but after many phone calls about our vision, OBS was just a better fit for us. With us loving water, and me being an outdoorsy person, the theme was easy for us. It needed to represent us, and what we love most. We went with the 5 elements of earth found in Ayurveda - Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Space. Remmel and his team executed the theme flawlessly! We loved our boho design for the Sangeet, and the simplistic mandap with wood pillars and the ocean as a backdrop, and an enchanted forest feel for the reception. Our hair and makeup team, Michelle Renee Salon, were so incredibly nice and kept our looks natural and elegant. My husband wanted to surprise our guests by learning to play the dhol, so took lessons with Sagar Patel, Dholi Saag, who also our dholi for the Sangeet and Wedding. The first vendor we signed was our photographer, Rachael Ann Gliebe with RAG Artistry, who I knew all along had to shoot our wedding. She's a magician, and definitely glammed us up! I love how flawless she made us look.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We went to India for our wedding shopping, and I knew which stores I wanted to visit. My mom owned an Indian clothing boutique in Atlanta for 8 years, so we have suppliers that we trust and love in India. I bought my wedding outfit from Frontier Heritage and knew I did not want to wear red on my wedding day since I was young. I had always wanted to wear a dark blue, but after finalizing the beach for our wedding, wanted to make sure I did not want to blend into the background water. I decided on a pastel theme and found a gorgeous 2 shaded green. My husband went with a contrast light pink tone with a design matching mine.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Without a doubt, it had to be the food tastings. We are foodies and loved making the menu, tasting all the dishes, giving notes on how we wanted it to taste, and making the final selection. Also, it was a task that the entire family got to enjoy, and we got to spend time with them.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Most of our friends and family still talk about how much they loved our wedding weekend, and it wasn't one particular moment for them, but the overall feel of the weekend. We wanted everyone to treat our wedding as a vacation, and that's exactly what they got. We had a pool party organized between the haldi and sangeet so our friends and family can all still hang out together. Even both our immediate families were there, relaxed and having a good time. We didn't want to stress our parents out at all, cause all too often weddings are mostly fun for the guests, while the parents and siblings are running around and taking care of tasks in the background. For that same reason, we didn't have bridesmaids and groomsmen so they can also relax and spend time with their significant others. As the bride and groom, we stayed extremely relaxed, didn't stress out about the small things, and got to spend quality time with our guests.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Our most favorite event was the Sangeet, cause its where we got to show our personality and incorporate our favorite things the best. Our favorite moment was definitely getting to play flip cup with our friends and family! We loved all the games we set up under the party tent. For my husband, he will never forget coming in on jetskis for his bharat with his best friends!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Oh man, I could write a 5 page paper for this question, but I think the number #1 advice would be to Just enjoy the weekend, and don't sweat the small things that don't go as planned. No matter how much planning goes into a wedding, some things still slip through the cracks. Secondly, rank the priority of vendors and set a realistic budget. We sent paperless post invites cause paper invites that everyone throws away didn't make any sense to us. We chose a free website to create our page, and did a few DIY decor projects for the wedding and gave it to Remmal. It's not a huge saving but still makes a difference.
Thanks for watching, dolls! Don't miss our next wedding film tomorrow.