Good morning, loves! Time for another highlight film and this one is brought to us by the cinematic talent of Studio KSD, and that showcases the lavish days of Tulsi & Neel at The Kimmel Center. This unique performing arts center was vibing with the beautiful decors and flowers created by Royal Charms Floral and Decor, that just left me in awe! Especially for the soft color palette chosen for their elegant Hindu wedding ceremony. Maharani Tulsi was the queen of the celebrations flaunting a gorgeous maroon lehenga that matched the regal ensemble Raja Neel picked for the occasion, so amazing indeed! As we will see, our lovebirds danced along with the entertainment and musical skills of our good friends from Amplifire Entertainment during their joyful reception to celebrate their milestone. For sure, they left everyone wanting for more! Don't forget to take a closer look at this unforgettable union in Philly, hit play now ladies!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
It was a series of brief interactions over 6 months. We first locked eyes on a party bus in San Francisco in August 2014. It wasn't until my best friend's (and future maid-of-honor) birthday party did Neel finally show his interest. He bought me a couple of distilled agave beverages and we had a night of pure fun with our closest friends. We were both incredibly confused how quickly we fell into a rhythm, but within a few months we took a quick trip to Hawaii. While on a hike, I picked a banana from a tree, got a terrible stomach ache, and said, "I love you, and I may need to go to a hospital".
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Neel and I were on a 3-month sabbatical at the time. I knew a proposal was coming on the trip but didn't know when or where. In early January, we found ourselves in Chiang Mai, Thailand. When we travel, we like to take a cooking class. He splurged on a cooking class at the Four Seasons Resort. In the 3rd and final dish we were preparing, a papaya salad, I found a ring. Unfortunately, the ring sizes are measured differently internationally and I found a ring large enough to fit a man's thumb. But there was Neel, asking me to marry him, and so confused that I missed the actual question and demanded he ask it again so I could take it in. Of course, I said yes. In fact, my best friend (maid-of-honor), flew to Thailand with the ring, as a surprise.
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.
Photography - This was easy. I knew I wanted to work with KSD based on seeing their craft in action at my cousins' weddings.
Hair & Make-up - Payal MUA. She worked so well with what I was looking to achieve, a modern bride with a hint of old-school bollywood cinema
Outfits - I was able to find all of my outfits within 1 day at Asopalav, in Gujarat, India.
Decor Theme - Royal Charms. Given everything about our relationship, our reception theme was appropriately Travel themed. This included table-cards with our favorite destinations, and mini suitcases.
Venue - We didn't want a typical banquet hall. That limited our choices already. We found the Kimmel Center of Philadelphia, and I just saw the wedding happen there. It was a reach, but we made it happen!
Catering - Garces Catering, through Kimmel Center. We worked with them to create a fusion South Asian and Western meals for all events. They're so creative and they did not disappoint.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We pinned on pinterest, bookmarked on google, and talked to numerous brides. When we got to India, everything was different and our research was practically useless. I was lucky to find all of my outfits on the 3rd day of the trip, in 1 sitting, at Asopalav. When you know, you know.
Neel, my husband, did not have such luck. We went to countless stores and shops. His Sangeet was specially designed and made by Paresh Lamba in Banglore, the Wedding outfit was from Asopalav in Gujarat, and a tux made in the US to the reception.
The bridesmaids and groomsmen was also made from scratch. I had a color in mind, but under serious dehydration and exhaustion we ended up with something completely different!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
This is likely the most obvious answer, but the food-tasting. It was one of the few parts of the planning that was only Neel & I. Food is the epicenter of our relationship (refer to pain-inducing banana, and proposal papaya salad). Neel's face lights up when he eats something absolutely delicious. It was incredible.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think they enjoyed that the wedding was in city-center, Philadelphia. All of the weddings for our family and friends were at banquet halls. And if there's anything Neel & I are, its atypical to tradition. We opted to use the beautiful and historic Philadelphia skyline as our backdrop. Our guests enjoyed the backdrop as well!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Our first look, but it wasn't the romance that's memorable. I was asked to walk up to Neel, who was facing away from me, and whisper something to him that would make him smile. I took it as an opportunity to make a fart joke. He did laugh so hard that he tripped over himself as he turned around and practically fell on me. It deflated all the stress of the day, immediately.
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.
We decided not to have a wedding cake. Instead we did the following:
1. At the Sangeet, I surprised Neel with a "grooms-cake", designed by me, highlighting some of the checkpoints in our relationship. It included the costume I wore on our first date (yes, a costume), poker cards for Neel, and even basketball. We also catered vegetarian cheesesteaks from the famous Campos Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia!
2. At the Reception, we ordered popular desserts from around the US. This includes: Lauderee Macaroons (NYC), Junior's Cheesecake, Prantl's almond torte, and many many more. It was a sugary feast.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
1. Schedule moments for you and your fiance/husband during the wedding week. You may fight, you may laugh, you may even sleep - but it's so important to maintain that connection leading up to the biggest moment in your relationship.
2. It's actually ok if something goes awry. You can't control it all, though I'm sure you'll try. But those "mistakes", often make the best stories! Those are the stories you'll remember.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
It's difficult to summarize details into a few words, but I'll list my greatest hits:
5. Favorite Dance: the entire Murthy family (Neel's dance) took part in a group dance. I mean EVERYONE.
4. Favorite Food: Garces Catering (through Kimmel Center) made a coconut macaron cake. Drool.
3. Favorite Song: Our first dance was a custom-mix of Lights Down Low by Maxx with bhangra beats.
2. Favorite speech: My brother's speech was so well-received, hitting the right balance of funny and sweet.
1. Favorite Moment: The First-look. We were both so stressed from the week of events. Having a moment just centered us. It was us in our purest form.
Stick around Maharanis, more highlight reels are on it's way!