Is there something greater than having your nuptials by the roaring ocean and with your loved ones by your side? Such a lavish dream! Lucky for all of us, that can be a reality thanks to our friends from Indian Destination Weddings who assisted our couple of today with their nuptials in Cancun! Neena & Ajay's sunny vision was one of grandeur and style, just the way it should be when a Maharani ties the knot! Just wait until you see the incredibly jaw-dropping saree Maharani Neena wore for the main ceremony! Such a gorgeous piece of art that definitely will be remembered here in Maharani Weddings for a long time! Both the ceremony and reception at the exclusive The Grand at Moon Palace were a total dream. When you have a dance floor pro like Magic Mike DJs curating the playlist, what can go wrong? We are so in love the vibe of these two lovebirds, totally meant to be! So, ladies, time to hit play and get enchanted by today's filmy thanks to Pixan Photography! Don't miss this reel and the amazing photography of this fabulous union!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Ajay and I met in residency in New York. While on the liver transplant service we had a common patient -- he was the surgical resident and I was the medical resident. He just pulled a chest tube and offered to update me on the results of the patient's chest x-ray -- that was his way of casually asking for my number. It was very endearing and he seemed like a down-to-earth nice guy. We had so much in common in terms of family, education, and career interests so it felt like we had known each other for a long time.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
After a hectic month of moving to Philadelphia and settling into Fellowship, Ajay casually suggested we visit Longwood Botanical Gardens and have brunch. I used to love visiting the Bronx Botanical Gardens while living in New York, and I thought this was the perfect day trip to relax after a crazy move. Little did I know he was planning on getting down on one knee and proposing that day! He even had a photographer to capture the moment.
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.
I have always wanted a small intimate wedding with close family and friends, and I knew that if I had a local wedding it would be hard to keep the party small. I also knew that I wanted something fun and enjoyable where our families could really get to know each other in a relaxed setting. I met Ateet Ahuja of Indian Destination Weddings at the DC Dream Shaadi showcase and he introduced the idea of a destination wedding. My parents deserve the credit of meeting with Ateet and picking out the perfect venue -- The Grand at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico! After choosing the resort our families traveled down to Cancun for a site visit and to meet with the local vendors. The Moon Palace is an all-inclusive resort and specializes in Indian weddings. They work with preferred vendors, offering everything from a local Hindu Pundit (who spoke English), to Mehendi services, to White Horses for the Barrat, to Indian food caterers and Decorators who provide a variety of structures for Mandaps. The only vendor we hired and flew down from the U.S. was our DJ and Dhol player -- Magic Mike DJs-- they did an incredible job.
After choosing the vendors and specific services from a brochure; my local wedding event planner, Preeti Vasudeva of Preeti Exclusive Events, worked with the on-site coordinator at the Moon Palace to ensure that all the services were booked and confirmed. Preeti and my Mother went back to Cancun for a second site visit and met with several of the vendors the December prior to our wedding. My job is very demanding and I had limited time to plan. I would not recommend a destination wedding for someone who wants to micro-manage every detail, but if you are hands-off and have limited time/energy to devote to planning (as in my case) the process of planning a destination wedding is manageable.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My mother and Nani went to India and chose all of my outfits and I was thrilled! They have fantastic taste and I couldn't be happier with their choices. I gave them a few guidelines, but apart from that, they put the outfits and jewelry together. I am very lucky that my Mom and Nani were able to make the trip out to India on my behalf -- I would have loved to join but unfortunately, I couldn't afford to take a month off. My sangeet lengha was a Ritu Kumar design and my wedding lengha was an Anita Dongre design. I am unsure of where they purchased my reception lengha but it was in stunning rose gold.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was when my Mother and Nani returned from India and I was able to try on my outfits -- that's when all the planning and prepping felt like it was coming together. My lengha blouses only needed minor adjustments and everything fit beautifully.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We had just over 100 guests attend our wedding. Some came from as far as India but most were from the East Coast and Mid-West U.S. We got married in early February so the trip out to Cancun was a warm winter get-away. Our guests truly enjoyed the Resort property and everything it had to offer -- the all-inclusive restaurants (serving a variety of cuisines including Mediterranean, Asian, American, Mexican) to the beaches, pools, day spa, and golf course. We also organized half-day group trips to Chichin Itza and Tulum for our guests -- these were big hits!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There were so many memorable moments from our wedding weekend.
1. We had our Sangeet outside on a terrace with a Tikki bar -- it started raining temporarily but everyone was having so much fun they danced through the rain. The great thing about tropics is that the rain does not last long.
2. We did our first look on the beach -- it was a lot of fun and the pictures turned out beautifully.
3. We had a wedding ceremony in an outdoor glass gazebo overlooking the beach -- it was a beautiful backdrop for such an auspicious occasion. Having our family and friends all together to celebrate our union was so incredibly heartwarming.
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.
At our Sangeet, our family organized several performances -- they were fantastic! It turned out to be an incredible talent show and a lot of fun. We also organized Fire Dancers from the Resort -- they were great and definitely added an awe factor to the night.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
My advice to brides planning their wedding is to prioritize what is important to you/your groom/your family -- you're not going to be able to please everyone with every decision you make but if you keep everyone involved informed and also let your family members have some choices/say in the planning process the whole experience will be more enjoyable. For me, it was important to have my closest family and friends together to celebrate my marriage in a relaxed, enjoyable and fun setting!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The catered food at the resort was fantastic! For the Sangeet we had a Mexican buffet. After the wedding ceremony, we had an Indian high tea by the beach and served chai, lemonade and several finger hors d'oeuvres. At the Reception we had an Indian buffet. The restaurants at the Resort are also very good -- there is a mix of formal sit-down restaurants and buffets that are offered.
Stay close if you don't want to miss the wedding reception that is coming down the road! You will love it!