Happy Wednesday, beautiful Maharanis! If you were looking for inspiring ideas to start planning your wedding, you've come to the right place! Shelly & Bivin's wedding festivities overflow with all the things we love: elegance, joy, traditional style, and above all, lots of love. No wonder why this fabulous wedding is already featured on the blog and the pages of our Best of 2020 Magazine! Hands down, this love story is one you don't want to miss. From the Sangeet to the grand reception at The Brownstone, this event was a plethora of charm and flair. And thanks to the blockbuster film by John Martin Productions, we get to dive into it just as if we would have been there. And we have no words to describe how much we loved every bit of this wedding orchestrated by Betcy Achankunju - Nitasha Uppal, and fully decored by Legacy Events. But don't take our word! Hit the play icon below and get ready to enjoy this visual masterpiece that will make you fall in love with this beautiful young couple. Believe us; you will be amazed!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Our Story

It certainly was not your typical Bollywood beginning.

There was no music, no impending parental disagreement, and no love-at-first-sight, but our story is truly a fairy tale.

We have known each other for four years, but oddly enough, we never had a one-on-one conversation until we were on a medical mission trip in December 2018. In those years, we'd been to the same weddings, attended the same Church events, and even worked together to plan our mutual friends’ proposals. And yet we had never had a single conversation alone. Thank God that soon changed.

In December, Bivin and I ventured to Kenya to volunteer at the local Christian Hospital in a small village, called Maseno. There, in Kenya, we finally got to see into each other’s hearts. It's ironic that it took traveling halfway across the world to get to know one another in a few short days. We carried forward our relationship after coming back to America, and we soon realized how much he was the one I prayed for.

So basically, a Bollywood-obsessed girl from NJ and a sports-loving boy from the suburbs of NY learned that they needed each other more than Shah Rukh Khan needed Kajol, more than Michael needed Scottie. The thing that brought us together initially and continues to help bind us together is our faith and our commitment to service. It is no coincidence we “really met” while serving abroad, and it is no surprise that it will continue to be a pillar in our relationship. This is just the beginning of our fairy tale though, and we can’t wait to see what life has in store for us!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It’s my dream Bollywood story that came to life! The proposal was so intimate and detailed where Bivin subtly recreated the first day we hung out without me realizing it. It started off at a church in NYC and by the end of the night I was on a rooftop jasmine garden with my loved ones around and the most perfect ring on my finger

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.
We went from a 600 person wedding with a bridal party of 44 (yes 44 people!) to an intimate 42 person wedding due to Covid restrictions. The whole experience was both humbling and beautiful. Because of the ongoing pandemic and since my husband and I are both healthcare professionals we had to reschedule our wedding date which was very humbling for me and my husband. But when we decided we could not wait any longer, we decided to get married with the present restrictions in place. This wedding would not have been possible without our photographer John Martin, hair and make up artist, Maliha Khan and Anu Sarin, my mendhi artist Jinal Parmar, the Gaurav Gupta team, Henry Couture Paris, our decor provided by Legacy Events and our venue The Brownstone, which accepted us a month before the wedding when our other venue cancelled on us. Finally nothing would have happened without our priests and my Church, St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church, allowing the ceremony to happen in a safe and professional manner.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
When every country was in lockdown, my mom, who never fails to disappoint, was able to work with the wonderful staff at Gaurav Gupta boutique in New Delhi to retrieve my customized wedding lengha.

Because I am accustomed to getting allergic skin reactions to certain fabrics, I was very selective of my wedding outfit. I wanted something with embroidery and details that looks so elegant close up and shines even from afar. I wanted something comfortable that I was able to do Bhangra all night!
And specifically, I wanted something off the shoulder and I fell in love with the unique bowing design of the blouse.

I really felt like the most beautiful woman in the world that day, especially when I saw my husband's smile when he first saw me.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I’ll be honest: The pictures/video footage we received after was my favorite part of the planning process because that’s the only time my husband and I could relax and see the unveiling of our vision. The wedding planning is very stressful because not only did plans change and we had to reschedule the wedding because of Covid, but this is a wedding of two families conjoining. We had to keep a delicate balance of proudly showing our own two unique cultures (I’m Punjabi and my husband is from Kerala) while we wanted to still express our love story

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think our guests loved the intimacy of the wedding. The ceremony and reception were all in English and so everyone understood the beauty of the Sacrament and because it was only 42 of our loved ones there were no awkward moments but only laughter and joy. My father in law even remarked how surprised he was that not only did everything come together in the midst of Covid, but that everything came together so smoothly and with so much love.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Two moments from our wedding constantly play in the mind. First, the words of the priest when he told us we were now one and joined together in Holy Matrimony is a memory I never will forget. I felt like I truly belonged right there at that moment. Secondly my husband wrote a hilarious song called “I wanna be your Shah Rukh Khan” and sang it to me on our reception. I grew up watching Bollywood movies and so the lyrics of his song were so intimate to my favorite movies and I felt like a princess that night in so many ways

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.
Again because of the pandemic we weren’t allowed any formal dancing which was really tough for me since I have been dancing for as long as I can remember.

When it comes to decor, our faith is very important to us so we tried to incorporate that as much as we could through our decor and style.

Our families did such a great job in making us feel special amidst the pandemic. We had slideshow presentations from family and friends wishing us a happy married life as well as skits from family joking about my husband and my funny quirks.

As mentioned before, my husband did sing for me which is something I will always remember.

Finally we had both the ceremony and the reception live streamed so we felt the love and prayers of all our family and friends here and abroad.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I was given a unique opportunity because of the covid pandemic to really focus on the most important thing on our wedding day- being joined together with my soon to be husband. Yes, everyone should feel like a princess but it is more important to focus on the beauty within and the beauty of marriage. Meditate on the beauty within and the married life that will bloom through the seeds of sacrifice and selfless love.

Photography: John Martin Productions | Photography: John Martin Productions | Sangeet Venue: Private Home | Ceremony Venue: St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church | Reception Venue: The Brownstone | Planning & Design: Betcy Achankunju - Nitasha Uppal | Floral & Decor: Legacy Events | Hair & Makeup (Wedding and Reception): Maliha J Khan | Hair & Makeup (Sangeet): Anu Sidana | Catering: The Brownstone | DJ: Redefined Audio Visual Entertainment | Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Puneet Uppal/Nitasha Uppal | Bridal Fashions: Gaurav Gupta | Bridal Jewelry: Zarmina Khan | Cake & Treats: The Brownstone | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Mercy George and Saramma Achankunju | Event Designer: Bride & Groom | Favors: Rosy Uppal | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Wedding Wire | Lighting: Redefined Audio Visual Entertainment | Live Music: Redefined Audio Visual Entertainment | Mehndi Artist: Jinal Parmar | Registry: Wedding Wire | Transportation: A1Exotics | Tuxedos: Henry Couture Paris | Bridal Flower Decor: ZM Gajra Re | Personalized Engagement & Wedding Rings: Lazaire Diamond | Bridal Personal Shopper: Abhay Bansal | Haldi Outfit Design: Rosy Uppal | Personalized South Asian Greeting Cards: Pyarful (Etsy) | Photo Booth: Dawn Donohue and Gina