Welcome back to your inspiration corner on the web, Maharanis! Time for another highlight reel and this one comes from always busy New Jersey! Today, we will follow Shefali & Sidharth on the most important day of their lives, and be sure, it was totally lavish! For events of this magnitude, you need the pros to capture everything. Lucky for our couple, Reggio Productions comes up with amazing visual treats so we have it all here! But first things first. Maharani Shefali totally stole our hearts. This gorgeous bride came out looking heavenly with a ruby toned saree with golden embroidery for the main ceremony and a totally chic white bridal gown for the reception! Seriously, no wonder why Raja Sidharth just fell for this Indian princess! Such a stunner! As we will see, the galas were to die for. Detailed Affairs Team worked tirelessly to come up with the perfect celebration and it is safe to say that their planning and design skills, truly made it happen! Kudos to them! Ladies, you can't miss this! Also, don't forget to check out the lovely picture gallery we will have in some days thanks to A.S. Nagpal Photography. In the meantime, hit play below and let yourself be enchanted!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met in our fourth year of medical school. We were introduced by a mutual friend but my mom actually met him first (she likes to tell people she arranged the marriage haha!)
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I had thrown a Halloween party the night before so we woke up on Saturday morning feeling a little ...rough. At the time we were doing long distance, so sid has planned to take me out to dinner and go somewhere else prior (this might sound suspicious but I didn’t suspect a thing because he loves to be mysterious so this wasn’t new!). It was cold and rainy so I put on a big sweater and boots. Sid is NOT the type to care about my outfit so maybe I should have been suspicious at this point because he told me that I should wear heels...but again I was not even thinking about it. I put on some heels and his surprise destination turned out to be the Adler planetarium! I was very confused because he wanted to walk to the edge of the lake ...in the cold...and rain. We stood at the edge of the lake and he kept telling me to just take in the surroundings and relax - never been my forte so of course, I started asking when we could escape the cold and go inside. Next thing I know he’s down on one knee asking me to marry him! I was so shocked I just remember saying “OMGOMGOMG”. He had the perfect speech planned and had a photographer capture all the candid moments. It was perfect.
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.
Sid and I were both physician residents at the time- I’m anesthesia and he was surgery so we did not have a lot of free time. Add to that the fact that he lived in NJ and I’m in Chicago and wedding planning seemed insurmountable in the beginning. I’m definitely a planner and took to Instagram to start saving venues, bridal looks, and everything wedding related to a personal saved Instagram wedding collection. I have planned large events in college so I sort of had an understanding of how to go about contacting vendors and venues but the wedding arena is unlike any other type of event so I did a lot of learning as I went. I found my hair and makeup artist, Makeup by Mansi, very early on and even before the makeup trial I knew I was going to go with her. Besides the fact that her Instagram portfolio was exactly what I was looking for, she was also so sweet and professional. After doing the bridal trial I was obviously sold and even had her do my mom's hair and makeup. Mansi really made us feel like we had known her forever and we still keep in touch! I actually was not physically in NJ so my parents and Sid did most of the leg work when looking for venues. We knew we wanted to have the wedding in NJ because it would be easiest for both of our families to attend. They saw a lot of places and ultimately stumbled upon the Mansion At Natirar in Peapack. Sid and I both loved the modern feel to this old mansion with so much history. When I visited the venue I was blown away by the view and knew we had to get married there. The food is all grown on-site and our taste test was such a fun experience! We wanted a mix of American and Indian cuisine so we went with Indian catering from Khyber Grill and American catering from our venue, Natirar. Because I wasn’t able to fly to NJ very frequently, I did not get the chance to taste any of the Indian food so I was completely blown away by it at the wedding! The mix of American and Indian food turned out perfectly and all our guests loved it as well. Most importantly, I have a severe nut and lentil allergy and both caterers made sure that none of the food had ingredients I could not eat. In terms of decor, I am more of a minimalist and it was challenging for me to find inspiration online because Indian weddings are typically very ornate! I took a chance and found a beautiful flower vendor on Instagram called Seablossoms Bridal. They had never done an Indian wedding before but that was ok with me because I had never been to an Indian wedding either! They did an incredible job blending Indian decor with my more modern minimalist western taste. They decorated our mandap as well and it was so beautiful people took parts of it home with them!
Finally, we had Arun Bhambri from the detailed affairs team handle our day-of wedding coordination. He was so organized and definitely made sure we stayed on track with timing. He met with us over the phone multiple times leading up to the event and he answered all our texts and emails right away!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Prior to trying on wedding lehengas, I had never worn a lehenga or sari. This probably sounds insane to most people reading this but I was so nervous at what I would look like and how I should wear it. We flew to Bombay to shop and my cousin helped me a lot by finding stores to go to and encouraging me to try different styles and colors. I thought I would end up in a baby pink/pastel color. However, we finally ended up at Anita Dongre and I knew I had found the lehenga when my mom started crying the second she saw me in it. The best part was, Anita Dongre is her favorite designer! The lehenga was a bright red with gold and blue embroidery of elephants, birds, and deer. It was so beautiful! The Anita Dongre store itself was gorgeous and the people working there were very accommodating and friendly!
I also wanted to wear a white dress for my reception and I found it at Bijou Bridal in Paramus. I am a very decisive person so I honestly had not tried on too many dresses prior to finding the one. The saleswomen were so helpful and made sure I stayed within my budget!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I truly loved it all! People find this very weird and of course, I became stressed as the date got closer. As I said before, I am definitely a planner so I was on top of everything when it came to sending out save the dates and invites, picking vendors etc. I loved finding all these different vendors that would come together to make our day so special!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests LOVED the baraat! Many of my friends had never seen one before so this was a really special experience. My bridesmaids joined in on the fun as well! Sid has a great time with the horse and there are such fun videos and photos of our families enjoying themselves. I had so much FOMO that I had my wedding coordinator FaceTime me from the baraat!!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There was a point at the wedding when Sid and I were on the mandap during the ceremony and our pundit told us all to look to the sky at Ganesh. Prior to this, the clouds had been out but the second he said those words we all looked up and the clouds parted and the sun came out! It still gives me chills, and so many people were excited about it afterward.
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.
The sangeet was a total surprise for me! I did not even know what I was wearing!! My mother in law had my outfit custom made and got the jewelry to go with it! It somehow all fit perfectly and I loved it I felt like princess jasmine (if she wore pink!). The decor was all hues of pink. My mother in law is Kashmiri and the Kashmiri family had a folk song and dance, which was so unique and fun! Finally, all 12 of my bridesmaids surprised me with a sangeet dance- the biggest surprise was when my mom joined in!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don’t let anyone tell you what to do/not to do for your wedding!! Each wedding is a unique representation of the bride and groom and your guests will love everything you choose because they love you!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Jewelry- The rose gold and diamond earrings I wore with my white dress were custom made and gifted to me by my parents. They are so beautiful and shiny!!
- Most of the jewelry worn for the ceremony was from Reemat designs- she is so easy to work with and such a wonderful person!
- The gold bangles were borrowed from my mom :)
More coming up, don't go anywhere!