Welcome back to your Indian wedding inspiration site, ladies! Today, we take a voyage around the shores of Miami for Karishma & Preston's incredibly glamorous wedding gala and as you probably expect, it was absolutely to die for. Our film of the day thanks to the amazing team of Channa Photography showcases all the nerve-wracking moments prior to the ceremony, the nuptials, and the lavish party afterward! Just wait until you take a look at their first sight photo session on a yacht! So romantic! I am so loving the colors chosen by our bride Karishma. That tone of orange looked incredible on her, truly an Indian princess for the books! And what about the traditional Mehndi design that was done by Farahs Mehndi? We know that we can't have an Indian gala without them! So, dolls, time to get our daily dose of glam and charm! Are you ready? Hit play below for details.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Preston and Karishma met in an anatomy dissection group their first month of medical school. It was love at first conversation for Karishma but it took Preston a little longer to catch the lovebug. Soon after meeting they could often be found chit-chatting in the corner of parties and sitting next to each other in lecture. While Karishma was smitten with his gentle nature, quick-witted humor and dashing good looks, Preston seemed hesitant to start something new. Right when Karishma was about to give up, Preston asked her out on a date. They started dating 2 months after meeting and have been together for almost 6 beautiful years.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Preston and Karishma got engaged on their first trip together. Karishma had spent months planning a dream trip to Olympic National Park near Seattle, Washington; a place with landscapes ranging from mossy green trees to coastal beaches. Karishma and Preston were both swept away by the beauty of the park, spending entire days wandering through the forests and searching the tide pools along the coast for urchins and anemones. On the day they visited Crescent Lake, Karishma was completely captivated by the still blue lake framed by tall evergreen capped mountains. They started a hike along the lake – eventually, Preston asked her to sit for a bit near a log with a perfect view of the sun peeking through the clouds casting a glimmer on the lake. He pulled out his Bluetooth speaker, started playing her favorite song, looked into her eyes, and asked her to marry him.
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 did hire a wedding planner. Actually, my mother and wedding planner essentially planned the whole event as Preston and I were knee-deep in starting our first year of residency. Hiring a wedding planner was crucial for us because my mom and dad lived in Vegas while the wedding was taking place in Miami. Harley (our wedding planner) would essentially have to arrange options in advance (site visits, cake testings, makeup artist testings). Then me and mom (or often just my mom and dad) would fly in on specific weekends to try things out and make a final decision. It was such a massive event too coordinate because half of it was taking place on a moving ship that having Harley and her team there of to keep track of all the vendors, entrances, guest flow, etc was absolutely essential!
My parents live between Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas. Both are such different but gorgeous cities that we knew we wanted our Indian wedding to be in one of those two places. We did try to look into having the wedding at a few of our favorite casinos in Las Vegas but the logistics of pulling off an Indian ceremony/reception there were proving difficult. That’s when we started looking in Miami. Actually, my friend’s mother was at a conference in Miami and saw a party on the Seafair yacht. She texted my best friend about it, who texted me about it. Thinking it was a pipe dream I sent the link to my mom and said “hey, this is crazy but maybe just look into it?” My mom and dad visited the Seafair and fell in love. They knew they wanted to have their daughter’s wedding there – and who were Preston and I to say no! Preston is from Indiana and we did have a lovely church wedding there as well, planned by his mother (my super star mother in law).
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My incredible parents went to India to shop for my dress. I wanted to wear a traditional Maharashtran color/sari for the wedding ceremony. For the reception, I wanted to wear a bright red dress. I sent my parents a few pictures of dresses I liked (found on Instagram mostly). After a few days of shopping my parents called me at 2 AM my time via WhatsApp video to show me two dresses, they thought fit the bill - I chose one with beautiful gold beading on a bright red background and it was perfect!!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I had a few WOW moments:
The first was when we were at the bow of the boat with the whole wedding party taking pictures and one of the waitresses on the yacht handed me my signature drink as the yacht began to depart from the dock. I looked at this perfect glass of champagne with this amazing hibiscus flower in it (I didn’t know they would actually be able to find the hibiscus flowers with syrup I had requested!), looked at my friends and family, looked at my husband and the Miami skyline and thought, “This is more amazing than anything I could’ve possibly imagined!”
The second was during the seven rounds we took around the fire during our wedding ceremony. I’d seen this scene so many times and movies and now it was me with my life partner performing these sacred rituals. It was awesome.
The third was during the dancing when the Bollywood songs were playing and I looked around and EVERYONE – my uncles, aunts, medical school friends, cousins, Preston's family, and co-residents, were all dancing, laughing and waiving around the lit-up foam wands we had ordered. I looked to the left and there was this gorgeous full, yellow moon and looked to the right with the Miami skyline and thought, “this is the best party of our lives!!”
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.
4/18 Thursday: We had a small welcome/get to know each other dinner for whichever friends and family were in town at Miami Masala. They served an incredible spread of appetizers followed by veg and non-veg thalis fit for kings! The service delivered by Matt, Alex and Prabhu was exceptional. Everyone loved the food
4/19 Friday: We had the Haldi ceremony in my parent’s Fort Lauderdale apartment with my close friends as well as all of Preston’s family and my family that were in town. It was such a blast!! After that, we had a lunch reception in our building’s social room with music and mehndi for the guests. The centerpieces were bundles of yellow flowers in clear glass vases and the plates, silverware, napkins and serving utensils were all gold. This event was decorated by our wedding planners. It was catered by 5th Element Indian Grill and they knocked it out of the park – the food was exceptional. Channa photography was there during the Haldi ceremony and lunch capturing all of our special moments.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I was so lucky that my mother took on the whole responsibility of planning the wedding. This gave me and Preston the chance to just enjoy ourselves without having to worry about the details. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully thank her for that gift!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The baraat was almost all best hits of Daler Mehndi and it was such a hit! He has such awesome songs to dance to. For the ceremony, we did Shaadi Ki Shenai by Bismillah Khan for the guests to enter. We did not have music during the ceremony.
The groom entered the baraat by appearing at the bow of the boat! He appeared to “mehndi laga ke rakhna” and people went nuts when they looked up to see him! He then ran down to exit the boat and start dancing. The bridal party entered with the rest of the baraat.
- Our family and us entered in grand style to 30-second clips of songs we had chosen prior. Preston’s mom and dad entered to a queen song, his sister and her partner entered to “Electric Love”, my brother entered to “Welcome to Miami,” my mom and dad entered to “tere gaar ke samne” and Preston and I entered to “Money Maker” by Ludacris. It was such a blast
- The dining room was called the “window room” of the yacht with views of the skyline as we sailed. It was uplit with purple and the top deck of the yacht where the dancing was had blue hues. The centerpieces were fuschia and orange flowers to carry our ceremony themes forward into the reception
- We had two incredible signature drinks served by the yacht crew
- Preston: "Set Sail Cocktail" - Whiskey sour
- Karishma: "Spirit of the Seas" - Sparkling hibiscus consisting of Prosecco, whole hibiscus flowers and a dollop of hibiscus syrup
We played about 40 minutes of Bollywood hits ranging from 2000 to now. Then we did a mix of more R&B and pop music. Toward the end of the night, we played some country hits like “Friends in Low Places” which was so much fun because all of Preston’s family from Kentucky and my family and friends formed a big circle to sing along!
Preston and I did a surprise duet to “L.O.V.E” by Nat King Cole when we entered the dinner hall – our performance completely surprised all of our guests, including Preston’s parents! Not many people knew we sang together!
- Our duet together was probably the most personal thing we did at the wedding; Preston and I love to sing together whether it be at karaoke or just in our kitchen. Anyone who knows Preston knows he’s an excellent singer but not many people knew I could carry a tune. It was very special for us to be able to share this thing we love to do together with our friends and family.
- My wedding planning team created a gobo of our “logo” that was cast onto the side of the ship once we were docked as well as onto the dance floor which was amazing
- We also had M&Ms with our initials on them in the goody bags given to guests who stayed at our preferred hotels!
- We had a slideshow of pictures from when we were kids, then pictures of us together, playing on all the screens near the elevators around the yacht. My sister-in-law had made it.
- We had an “entertainment” floor for people to escape to if they got tired of dancing with Bollywood songs playing on one TV as well as a photobooth. I thought that was pretty cool.