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Huntington Beach, CA South Asian Wedding by Dove Weddings

What can be more romantic than uniting your life with your significant other by the ocean? Really few things beat the deep blue sea's enchantment and today's couple understood that very well. Our filmy of the day showcases Priyanka & Pratik's day of magic and everything that went along with it. The pre-wedding celebrations, the nerve-wracking moments of the ceremony and of course, the lavish party at The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, we have it all here for your inspiration and sighing thanks to the striking talent of Dove Weddings who also crafted the lovely gallery we had here some days ago. We know that Maharanis totally glow the day of their nuptials, just look at Priyanka's stunning style! Such beauty! And what about Raja Pratik's neat approach? His reception tux from Manyavar definitely melted our gorgeous bride, I tell you that! So, without further ado, let us hit play and enjoy this beachfront gala, only here in Maharani Weddings, let's go!

 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Pratik and I were classmates while attending medical school in Kansas City, MO. We were introduced to each other by a common friend (Mauli) and spent a significant portion of our first year hanging out as a group. During our second term, he'd meet us at the library but anytime he’d sit with me I’d get up and move because I wasn’t sure what his deal was and idk it was hard to concentrate because he kept trying to talk lol! Anyways, during the Spring of our first year, Pratik asked me out to our medical school formal by singing me a medley of a few my favorite songs (omg right??). Of course, I said “yes!” After a fun evening together, we became really good friends and before we knew it, we had our first “date” at Coal Vines Pizza in Kansas City. That was the official start of our beginning.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
When I came back from work, Pratik surprised me with a new dress, a new pair of shoes, and an evening planned in downtown Indianapolis to celebrate 4 years of dating. By this time I probably should have figured it out, but I didn’t!! I actually had no idea Pratik had even talked to my parents about proposing. As we made our way towards the Indiana War Memorial, we flipped through a photo album that Pratik made which highlighted the past 4 years together. Before I knew it, he got down on one knee in the middle of a heart full of roses, pulled out a ring, and popped the question. I had no idea what was going on and I immediately burst into tears. In the heat of the moment, I’m not even sure I said yes (or so he says). I still laugh because I actually asked Pratik later on, “did you ask my parents??” still in disbelief that I was engaged!
 
After Pratik gave me the most beautiful ring (that he designed for me) our closest friends crept up from behind and surprised me! I absolutely freaked out when I saw that some of my friends from Ohio, New York, Michigan, and DC who had made the trip! A few minutes later, Pratik’s parents, grandmother, and brother start walking towards me and I’m still bawling at this point when I see them. Then, I saw my parents walk towards me from the other side of the memorial with the biggest smiles on their face (I thought I was hallucinating at first since they live in California). And last but not least my big brother Abhishek makes his entrance! We took lots of pictures together and ended the evening at this Italian restaurant in Indianapolis. It was just the most incredible day filled with lots of laughter and tears! I’ll always remember it!
 
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.
Planning a wedding in California during the middle of residency and while living in separate states, really wasn’t easy. Initially, we did a lot of research on our own regarding venues, vendors, and décor. We used Maharani Weddings to get an overall feel of which vendors to contact and how to organize our weekend. Once we found our Event Coordinator, Jen with First Pick Planning she really helped get the ball rolling. We received high recommendations for Azra Bholat with Dream Décor who was very easy and a pleasure to work with. Everything we envisioned for our big day was brought to reality.  I found Instagram super helpful when it came to finding my mehndi artist (Gopi Henna) and makeup artist (Peace Love Sakina) and from their online portfolios I knew their work was in line with what I had in mind for my look.
 
Our family was a huge support through it all. My parents live in California and were a huge help in the wedding planning process. They visited all the venues in SoCal that would accommodate our number and we all agreed that the Hilton was by far the best. Pratik’s family special ordered some Paan and Mithai from a store in Gujarat. His mom and Nani made a ton of Indian snacks that we put in our welcome bags which everyone appreciated.
 
Regarding themes, we wanted a sort of traditional Indian look with vibrant colors at our sangeet to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere for our guests. For the other events, we stuck with a more elegant look theme, incorporating my favorite colors, coral and white, into our clothing and decor. My wedding cards were also designed with roses in mind.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I tried to coordinate my bridal outfits with the decor.  For my bridal lehenga, I wanted to choose a traditional Red but also incorporate some coral details. I was able to customize my lehenga at Frontier Raas in Delhi including the colors, cut,  fabric, borders, and embroidery. They definitely worked some magic putting everything together.  You can make anything happen there – I highly recommend it for all brides.
 
I found my sangeet and reception outfits at Ritu Kumar also in New Delhi, India. RK has a huge variety and I was naturally drawn to her designs from the second I walked into the store. My sangeet outfit was colorful with brocade and the golden drape sleeves on my reception gown (special credit to my mom) added a lot of twinkles that evening.
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process is watching your family and friends get excited about your special day. It’s amazing -- you realize what a big support system you have and how everyone is working tirelessly to make that weekend perfect. Even though finding outfits can be chaotic, once you say “Yes!” it’s also pretty awesome!
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Aside from the view of the pacific ocean which was truly breathtaking, everyone complimented the decorations and food the entire weekend. Azra with Dream Decor was very easy to work with and made everything we envisioned a reality. Natraj in SoCal is absolutely the best. I still dream about the Ravioli with Makhani sauce!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
On the morning of the Sangeet, I’ll always remember how I felt when I heard that Pratik and his family landed in LA and had finally arrived to the hotel! I was beyond excited to meet them and I think that’s the moment reality set in! Also, Pratik’s expression, when he saw me for the first time at the Mandap, is something I’ll cherish for a lifetime :)
 
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.
My haldi/mehendi celebration was at home with close friends and family. My father had made a homemade mandap of marigolds which meant a lot to me, and it was a special place to have both of those ceremonies.
 
At the reception, Pratik and I wrote out some of our fondest memories and incorporated them into the centerpieces at each table. We wrote a memory about our medical school prom, Pratik’s proposal, our trip to Thailand and many many more.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I designed my bridesmaids and groomsmen’s outfits and handpicked all the material when I went to Delhi. This may sound like a lot of work, but it was a ton of fun and well worth the effort. Getting them custom made (and exactly how I wanted them) also had more meaning behind them since they were for our closest friends to wear.
 
Also, get your family and friends involved! They are there to help and sometimes they have the best ideas. Pratik's younger brother is an amazing dancer and so he choreographed several awesome dances for us that weekend which we loved!
 
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Located right on PCH, the views at the Hilton Waterfront are absolutely GORGEOUS! The mirror walls in the Breakwater ballroom are too beautiful to hide. The cocktail hour overlooked the pacific ocean sunset, and the sangeet had a cute outdoor space for cocktails and mingling. When we checked in, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Also, our Bridal suite had an incredible panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Vanessa Delp at the Waterfront was very easy to communicate with and super helpful throughout the process. She and Jen made sure our families were well taken care of and made sure they ate!
 
We chose a guava mango cake – courtesy of Keith at Tasty Temptations. It was delicious and 100% vegan! Azra added a few white flowers on top – it was beautiful!  We also had a few small bite-sized desserts (Tres leches, Tiramisu, and Chocolate Fantasy) which were a hit (and after the reception, I definitely indulged in all of the above lol).
 
Check out Shrihari Diagems in Delhi. Vinay's work is really beautiful and he actually designed a few pieces for Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani. The haath phool were my mom's at her wedding.
 
Stay for more! 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Romantic
Sangeet
season
Autumn
color
Cinematography: Dove Weddings | Men's Formalwear & Tuxedos: Manyavar | Photography: Dove Weddings | Ceremony & Reception Venues: Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort | Sangeet Venues: Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort | Planning & Design: First Pick Planning | Floral & Decor: Dream Decor | Hair & Makeup: Peace Love Sakina | Catering: Natraj Catering | DJ: VOX Djs | Baraat: Kaser Flower Dhol | Bridal Fashions (Sangeet and Reception): Ritu Kumar | Bridal Jewelry (Sangeet): Shrihari Diagems by Vinay | Cake & Treats: Tasty Temptations | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Peace Love Sakina | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Varda Cards - New Delhi | Lighting: VOX Djs | Sangeet Mehndi Artist: Unrivaled Henna | Bridal Mehndi Artist: Gopi Henna | Photo Booth: VOX Djs | Tuxedos: Hugo Boss | Hair & Makeup Mother of the Bride/Bridesmaids/ Sister-in-Law of the Bride: Enchant by Nihala | Horse for Wedding: Hardev Singh | Bride Wedding Ceremony Outfit: Frontier Raas | Grooms Sangeet Outfit: Jade Blue


Weston, FL Indian Wedding by Lightyear Studio

The middle of the week has arrived, ladies, and with it, a brand new feature film for your inspiration and sighing! Our well-known friends from Lightyear Studio were at The Bonaventure Resort & Spa to store with their cameras everything that went on for Anita & Simson's incredibly gorgeous nuptials and we have it all here! I loved Maharani Anita's dazzling white gown! The style was just so breathtaking, merging different types of trends into one beautiful piece of art. So amazing! The entire gala was filled to brim with all the elements that make for a day for the ages. Family, friends, dancing, and of course, love. All of them vibing with this couple's aura. So, ladies, want to take a glimpse of the magic? Hit play below and get those ideas going!

 

More to come, stay with us! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Autumn
color
Cinematography: Lightyear Studio | Photography: Lightyear Studio | Ceremony Venue: Bonaventure Resort & Spa | Reception Venue: Bonaventure Resort & Spa | Planning & Design: Events by Jess


Cancun, MX Indian Wedding by Dreams Gate Films

What happens when you have a stunning Indian princess, a handsome Raja and a paradisiac venue in Cancun? Magic! And that is what we have for you today, ladies, thanks to the amazing cinematic talent of Dreams Gate Films. A beachfront wedding is the ultimate dream of many of our brides. There is a lot of logistics to work on but as soon as the day arrives, everything just falls into place. If there is a venue that is gorgeous enough so the word "magical" can be used to describe it, that would have to be the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. The place was looking beautiful thanks also to the noble taste of our friends from Alquimia Events who assisted with the floral and decoration of the gala. As we will see, when wedding pros are working in their element, the sky is the limit. What about the princess of the night? Maharani Shrina, without a doubt left everyone completely stunned with her striking beauty! Seriously, this bride was just glowing and we are loving every single detail of her fashion choices. So, ladies, time to get those sarees on a press play because today's filmy is an ode to love and style, don't miss it!

 

If you haven't checked the previous feature, go and have a look here! Inspo assured! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Beach
Destination
season
Spring
color
Venues: Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun | Floral & Decor: Alquimia Events | Planning & Design: JC Castillo Weddings | Hair & Makeup: Sara Tamargo | Catering: Taste of India Cancun | DJ: MVP DJs | DJ: DJ PARTY ROD Cancun's wedding Professional DJ's | Dhol & Vintage Car: Drums in Paradise | Bridal Fashions: Sabyasachi Mukherjee | Cinematography: Dreams Gate Films | Mehndi Artist: Henna by Anki | Photography: Jorge Rodriguez Photography


Mombasa, Kenya Indian Fusion Wedding by Twogether Studios

Buckle up, ladies, because today we have a special filmy for your beautiful selves coming all the way from Africa! That's right, Kenya was the place that saw Paayal & Samir tie the knot for eternity and what an incredible way to do so! Our friends from Twogether Studios truly made magic happen with this highlight reel! So talented! We are so loving the vibrancy of the colors, lights, and everything that made this beachside flair, a truly unique feature here in Maharani Weddings. Imagine being in a gorgeous beach in Mombasa surrounded by the people you love the most and getting married to your significant other! Sounds absolutely enchanting, doesn't it? Well, that was today's couple vision and we have everything here for your delight. Also, for a wedding like this, you need invitations that can set the tone for the gala. For that, the team from Customizing Creativity. They indeed customized this gorgeous invites and believe me, they were outstanding. Hit play below for all the details! 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met at a party around 4years ago but after that one night never saw each other again…until 2016 just before Christmas. A real-life Christmas Miracle!

Samir walked into Paayal’s dad's office to have a meeting with him in whilst Paayal was rushing around to put up Christmas decorations and as she walked past him, he turned back and said ‘Hey – don’t I know you?”. Without turning around, Paayal replied a firm no – then some strange feeling made her turn back towards Samir and immediately pointed at him and said ‘Aren’t you the ‘sign guy’?!” – which of course Samir agreed to but also corrected her with “Well, I work in the advertising industry!”

 
You could say from that point on - 2.5years later, with a Civil wedding, a Hindu wedding, an Ismaili wedding and Tribal Masai Wedding done – they’re married!
 
Samir is my absolute best friend and better and crazier half! I knew he was the one when I realized he was the one person who understood me, accepted me, loved me and made me laugh like no one else could ever! And let’s be honest - Samir knew I was ‘the one’ when he realized I was the ONLY one who would laugh at his crazy jokes and his wild impersonations!
 

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting the proposal AT ALL let alone an underwater scuba diving proposal on my birthday!!

In October 2018 for my birthday Samir booked a holiday to Zanzibar – a place I love! 
Before the trip, Samir had suggested we try and create a bucket list of things to do over the year – scuba diving being on top of the list. I agreed (but with the hopes that Samir might forget it by the time October came around!) – nevertheless, the trip came around and it was a birthday
 never to be forgotten!
 
21st October 2018 – my birthday! Samir woke me up to tell me my birthday present was that they were going scuba diving!! Woohoo! So we were going to be 2 dives of the day – I was so excited to be diving on my birthday – but told Samir there was only one way I was jumping in..he was to stay at least 2 meters away from me so he doesn’t pull any of his scare pranks on me!
After a successful first dive, we decided to do the second one after our tanks and tummies were filled up again. As we swam around 14feet below sea level around a sunken dhow covered in coral and fish, one of the other “divers” called me over and signaled that he would take a photo of Samir and I underwater. It was at that moment that I turned to my right to call Samir over for the photo that he was down on his knee(s!) with a signboard in his hands saying “I found a love for me.. darling, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” 
 
Of course, I said yes, and he popped a ring onto my finger – with a hug and a high five we swam around now ENGAGED!
 
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.
Venue – we are so lucky to have had our wedding at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa – Mombasa. It was the most perfect venue and every single staff member, from top-level management of the group and that property General Manager, Food & Beverage Managers, chefs and to the guys on the ground – we had the best support and facilities so readily and happily offered to us. A big big BIG thank you shoutout to all the staff of the hotel and group for supporting us and making sure every single thing was perfect.
 
Hair & Makeup – I knew from the beginning I didn’t want anything OTT and having a beach wedding (and knowing how much I wanted to party hard at each function) – I was always keen on a light but standout makeup looks for all events. Bianca got my style completely and made sure I was happy with every single look – and she put up with me nearly passing out in the makeup chair!
 
Outfits – for a girl who loves shopping – wedding shopping was a DREAM! I went in with an open mind and enjoyed exploring the best styles for me. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have had all my wedding outfits by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry and get goosebumps every time I look at the amazing craftsmanship and styles I was able to wear for my wedding.
 
Décor Theme & curation – the briefs were not brief! Come to the wedding set up week all teams were handed THE WEDDING BIBLE – a 200page, A3, bound and laminated guide on the décor setup with all theme and stylizations explained. 
 

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?

It’s been my mum's dream to have my bridal lengha by Sabyasachi – and as expected our visit to the Mumbai – Kala Ghoda store was the only place we needed to visit as I found my perfect bridal lengha within 45minutes! 
 
As the Hindu wedding ceremony was overlooking the beach, I was keen to have a nice pastel/light coloured lengha – and the Anushka lengha colour and style was perfect and was a dream to wear.
 
As our welcome party theme was Havana Nights - Papa Don’t Preach’s electric blue jumpsuit teamed with funky Outhouse and Prerto jewelry was a winner!
 
For the Mendhi/Sangeet I had a beautiful Varun Bhal outfit made which was a mix of 2 outfits I had liked - a gorgeous blue beaded skirt and an embroidered butterfly blouse which had all the right colours and allowed me to dance the night away!
 
For our Ismaili wedding, I opted for a beautiful charmeuse silk sari from the renowned Kalaniketan.co in Mumbai - it was so elegant and had the perfect amount of sparkle for the beautiful dusk ceremony.
 
For our Reception, I had to have a stand out colour and had a custom-designed Nadine Dodhy outfit so I went her signature red shade and customized my outfit with feathers and a shoulder cape to make me feel SO glamorous and to match the Art Deco theme we had.
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Seeing my vision come to life during the setup week was the most exciting. Seeing months of hard work and many many MANY long nights sat with the Misaki Design Company – it was so magical to see my fairytale wedding come to life!
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests enjoyed the fact that we had different functions and every single function had completely different design elements and the ambiances created for each event had their own distinct look. The wedding festivities took place at the amazing Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa, Kenya so although we were in Africa – for each function we made our guests feel like they were transported to a complete world. As with all Indian weddings, we knew the food had to be spectacular and the Sarova Group made sure our guests were served with the finest cuisine hand made by their country-wide head chefs specially flown into Mombasa for all of our wedding events.
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle during the Hindu Wedding Ceremony and seeing all our family and friends there to bless us and share these special days with us and that moment before I stepped up onto the mandap, I looked to the sky to remember my grandma who I truly felt was looking down on me that very moment and showering me with her love! I’m so lucky that the awesome Twogether Studio crew was able to catch that moment and incorporate it into our wedding video.
 
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.
WELCOME NIGHT – HAVANA NIGHT
A Cuban themed night to kick start the celebrations – cigars, rum based cocktails and music that made you dance until you drop! There was no doubt in our mind that our entrance song for this event had to be none other than Cardi B – “Like it like That” which is one of our most favourite summer jams!
 
PAAYAL’S PITHI/HALDI
A traditional function with the flower, haldi, emotions and all! (Secret: instead of using the old school mix of turmeric and water paste to be applied on me I bought some amazing turmeric based face scrubs and body polishes by Forest Essentials and KAMA so I technically got a pamper session during the function!)
 
SAMIR’S PITHI/HALDI
Wow! This was a completely WILD event - after the traditional formalities were done Samir’s friends got their back on Samir with a concoction of eggs, flour, ketchup, fish juice mixed up into buckets to throw on him - then adorning him with a necklace made of fish heads!!!
 
MENDHI/SANGEET - aka PASHALAND
This funky, colourful and extraordinary event was a collaboration of ideas all rolled into one to make an epic evening - all to be enjoyed after Samir’s family gifted me with trays upon trays of beautiful outfits and Prince Charming himself gifting me with what I thought was a stack of Dominoes pizzas (my ABSOLUTE FAVE!!) - which actually turned out to be a beautiful diamond set. Amongst the colours and pumping music, we had a chai wala serving tea out of the back of his rickshaw, the Mayuri Dance Group from Russia performing high energy dances on stage and on the cosmic designed dancefloor, customised cocktails and drinks being blended, shaken and stirred by the dynamic duo and team of The Bar Factory and dozens of live food stations and flying elephants suspended from the ceiling. I don’t think words could fully describe this function but i’m glad Twogether Studios captured all of it in its multicoloured glory!
 
HINDU WEDDING
We had a dreamy pink beachfront wedding for the Hindu ceremony with over 50,000 flower stems and a mirrored mandap adorned with ivory silk ribbons and pastel pink roses with mirrored hearts hanging overhead to reflect all the love in the air!
 
A heart-shaped arch cover in peonies, hydrangeas and roses welcomed guests to the wedding canopy custom-designed to make you feel like you are floating amongst clouds and beautiful lotus flowers.
 
ISMAILI WEDDING
 
A delicate and tranquil Ismaili wedding ceremony with a stage built within one of the hotels pools was an elegant and perfect way to end the traditional wedding functions.
 
RECEPTION
Amazing Decor (pun intended!), live jazz band, oysters on tap, and all the glitz to transport you back to the roaring twenties to experience a night in the Art Deco ear. This event was perfect to the tee. With an entrance song by Jay-Z & Beyonce - Ape S**t and fireworks lighting up the walkway as we danced our way in as the new Mr & Mrs. Shah - it was an entrance not to be forgotten! This was an incredible event with never seen before decor styles to give that larger than life feel!
 
Special shoutout all our cousins and all the little nieces and nephews who were ABSOLUTELY amazing to perform dances at our Sangeet and Reception and a big thank you to all the surprise dances by my cousins for shaking your money makers up on stage!
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?

Enjoy the wedding days – the planning of the wedding will be super stressful but make the most of all the love, happiness, and party vibes on your big days.
Follow your heart – this is YOUR big day – do what makes YOU happy
Everyone will tell you this, but it is 100% true – come the day of the wedding, don’t stress the little things! Trust me, no aunties are going to realize that the champagne glasses are not at a 35degree angle to the cutlery or that the pleating of your wedding tiebacks are not equal – go with the flow and BE STRESS-FREE ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!

 Stay close, more to come! 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
Destination
Outdoor
International
season
Summer
color
Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Customizing Creativity | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sarova Whitesands Resort | Planning & Design: Golden Globe Events | Floral & Decor: Misaki Design | Hair & Makeup: Bianca Louzado | Bridal Fashions: Sabyasachi | Cinematography: Twogether Studios | Photography: Twogether Studios | Design Fabrication & Curation: The Function Empire | Bridesmaid’s gift bags: Conkrete Roses | Décor & Design Concepts (Samir’s pithi / Ismaili Wedding & Reception): Amazing Decor Rubina & Shafique | Bar Services & Drinks: Bar Factory | Sound & Lighting: Ultra Equipment


Cancun, MX Indian Wedding by Pixan Studio

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 Studio! 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! 

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Beach
International
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Winter
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DJ: Magic Mike DJs | Travel Concierge: Indian Destination Weddings | Venues: The Grand at Moon Palace | Floral & Decor: The Grand at Moon Palace | Catering: The Grand at Moon Palace | Baraat: Drums in Paradise | Cake & Treats: The Grand at Moon Palace | Cinematography: Pixan Studio | Lighting: The Grand at Moon Palace | Mehndi Artist: The Grand at Moon Palace | Photography: Pixan Studio


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