Welcome back, Maharanis! Time for a brand new Indian wedding filmy and this one comes from Philadelphia! Our couple of the day? Preeti & Jerry, and this is how their happily ever after began. The Hilton Philadelphia at Penns Landing was the venue chosen for the galas and the couple couldn't have made a better choice. The exclusivity and elegance of it made it the perfect place for the bash, strikingly planned and designed by none other than Elegant Events Planning & Design. As we will see, it was filled to the brim with details and beautiful setups that had us sighing the entire time! Be sure, ladies, that lots and lots of ideas are to bee seen on this one. This cinematic experience comes to us thanks to our friends from Lightyear Studio, who as always, come up with some of the best visual treats around. So without further ado, let us get to the images! Don't miss them!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Jerry and I met at work - we were coworkers (same department, different teams) and he sat right next to me. I still recall trying to be friendly with him on his first day, answering the various questions he had, and getting him settled in. In return, he made fun of me and was extremely sassy. I distinctly remember thinking, "This new hire is ridiculous. I can't believe he has the audacity to act like that." However, we started becoming really good friends as the days and weeks went by. We had a really tight friend circle with our co-workers and would constantly hang out after work and over the weekend.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I really like escape rooms and puzzles so Jerry devised an elaborate puzzle scavenger hunt for me and said it was my birthday gift. I woke up to a dossier outside the bedroom door complete with an absurd premise (he was a secret agent and was captured by an evil organization), a time limit in which to save him, and a series of instructions (rules, clothes I should wear for the scavenger hunt, tools I'd need, and a granola bar for energy). I spent the morning running around the house, finding and solving puzzles while our housemates were secreting texting Jerry with updates on my progress. After I deciphered the clues, I learned I had to drive to the office where we originally met. When I arrived, I found Jerry - he had a GoPro attached to his head and was handcuffed to a tree (apparently the villains decided just to leave him there). He convinced me to believe I missed a clue that revealed the location of the handcuff keys so I turned my attention away from him to look for them in my car trunk. When I couldn't find it, I spun back around only to find him kneeling with a ring box in his hand. I said yes. Then I told him I had accidentally found the receipt and certificate for the ring while rummaging for clues. He was (and still is) mortified.
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.
Jerry and I essentially treated this like a project. We had weekly meetings with each other (Wedding Wednesdays), our parents, and frequent check-ins with all the vendors. We had spreadsheets, timelines, milestones, deliverables, etc. and made sure we started as soon as possible to give us enough runway to "deliver" on our Wedding. We took it upon ourselves to divvy up the work as "fairly" as possible (Jerry took food, I took decorations, etc) but we would always look to get feedback from the other before signing off on anything. There were definitely things that we struggled with - finding multiple venues large enough to host an Indian wedding, figuring out dates, hedging our bets with the weather, etc. Luckily, Jerry and I were aligned on most of the big decisions and all the partners we worked with had previously done Indian weddings (one of them also had experience with Indian/Chinese weddings). We ended up having a Chinese-themed Sangeet, Indian-themed ceremony, and western-themed reception. We wore Chinese outfits on Friday (I had a Qi Pao), traditional Indian outfits for the Ceremony, and INDO/Western during the reception. We were also very lucky that my cousin Kavan is an extremely talented designer (https://www.instagram.com/kavanshahdesignstudio/). He helped pick out the color schemes, provided guidance on our outfits, and essentially consulted us with his designer eye every step of the way. We're so grateful to have had someone like him help us out!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Every now and then, we would take a step back to a holistic view of everything. I think it was great practice as it gave us a sense of progress. The sense of accomplishment we got, seeing everything slowly coming together, was extremely gratifying. It allowed us to stop worrying about the granular details (if only for a moment!).
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
It's so hard to pick just one thing! The guests that had been to an Indian wedding were in awe of the Chinese themed decorations, party favors, and food (Sangeet was Chinese themed). Most of Jerry's side had never been to an Indian wedding and they were overwhelmed with everything that was happening. Some of his uncles and aunts keep telling us that our wedding was "the very best party they've ever had in their lives." Oh - and our priest was phenomenal! Not only was he charismatic and funny, but he also made it a point to draw parallels to other religions and cultures throughout the ceremony, while keeping it short for an Indian ceremony. We received many compliments about him even from my relatives from India!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Definitely the Ganth Bhandan (tying of the knot) - Jerry forgot that his dupatta was tied to my dupatta and almost dragged me off the stage on accident when he was moving something off the stage.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Plan early, meet often and communicate clearly. Be grateful for any support your friends and family may offer you. Speak your mind with cordial professionalism. And, above all else, remember to have fun! There will come a point where there's nothing you can do to change or control things (endgame, as my husband called it). You've planned to the best of your abilities, completed your checklists, and even prayed for gorgeous weather. Let the chips fall where they may, grab a drink, and enjoy the ride!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
All of our caters did a wonderful job - the food was amazing and it was really exciting to watch our relatives try different ethnically authentic foods for the first time (Chinese provided by Sang Kee Sangeet night, Moghul for Indian Ceremony day and 5-Chefs brought Indo-Chinese to the reception). Cesaphe Vie also provided a plethora of hors d'oeuvres for our cocktail hour. Also, our cake provided by Cesaphe was an amazing sight - it was decorated one side to have each layer represent our individual hobby while the other side was an amazing red cherry blossom. Our guests did not leave any event hungry! Everyone we worked with also did an extraordinary job - Beautiful Brides was able to provide amazing hair and makeup for me and my bridesmaids, Lightyear Studio shot stunning photos and footage, Elegant Events made our venues look amazing, DJ Ravi got the crowd pumped with Indian/Chinese/American music.
Don't go anywhere, more to come!