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Chantilly, VA Indian Fusion Wedding by Akbar Sayed Photography

Happy Monday, Ladies! We hope you have had a fabulous weekend! Today, we have prepared something special! And you, my beautiful Maharanis, will love every moment of this fantastic fusion wedding! Today, we are double featuring this magical event. So, if the visual masterpiece by Akbar Sayed Photography is not enough, you can also take a look at beautiful shots we have compiled in today's Main Blog! Isn't that amazing, ladies? So let's begin this journey! We want to start by presenting you with all the beauty surrounding Vishaka & Harrison's fusion wedding. A celebration that not only marked us but every single guest who attended this spectacular event. Right from the start, we have to say that everyone was captived by the beauty of Vishaka, who made the right desition when choosing Styles By Swati - Salon SBS for her beauty needs and Mehndi With Heena as her Mehndi artist! And we cannot stretch how much we loved her final look. She looked ravishing! The traditional Hindu ceremony was hosted at Chinmaya Somnath, while the Christian ceremony and the wedding reception were celebrated at The Bellevue. Such perfect venues to celebrate this life milestone. And you will love how the talented crew from Shagun Weddings worked their magic to enhance the beauty of these venues. They created two different environments with well-mixed ornaments and flowers that gave a fairy tale aspect to the celebration.  So don't think twice! Click the play button down below and get ready to be inspired by all the beauty surrounding today's wedding!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met at a trivia night in Dayton, Ohio, shortly after the Air Force stationed us both here! The rest is history.
 
From the Bride:
Harrison always makes me feel safe and protected. He made me feel comfortable being my true self since day one, and before I knew it he broke my walls down and was my best friend. I never had to doubt he would stand by me and stand up for me, but also encourage me to be my best self and grow with me.
 
From the Groom:
Vishaka always puts me and my needs above her own from the first day and every day since. Her love inspires me to be my best self and I've known from the beginning that she was the woman i wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
He proposed at Disney World, during HIS birthday dinner, on the shores of the Grand Floridian resort while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks across the lake!
 
Because it was his birthday I told him he could pick any restaurant that sounded good to him and he said he would make the reservation. When I found out the time of the dinner reservation I was initially super stressed out because we would be missing the Magic Kingdom fireworks, which would start around 15 minutes after our reservation time. He apologized and said he really wanted to eat at this one restaurant and this was the only reservation available, I softened up a bit and told him that we could just watch fireworks at the park the next night. Little did I know that our dinner reservation was at a restaurant with a patio across the lake from Magic Kingdom! He had planned with the restaurant for the waitress to offer to take a photo of us because it was his birthday, at which time they brought out my ring on a platter tucked into Cinderella's slipper along with champagne! Not only did he sneakily manage to capture our big moment with photos, but we also got to watch the fireworks from the patio of the restaurant with the show's audio streamed straight to the restaurant speakers! It was a fairytale night.
 
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 our mehndi party at my parents house and kept it at an intimate 70 guests (haha!), whereas our wedding ceremony and reception sat at 200-250 guests.
 
Wedding day started off with a 3AM wakeup call to start hair and makeup for myself, my mother, and the bridal party. Although it was such an early start to the day, we enjoyed each other's company and my amazing day-of coordinator made a Starbucks run for us. (I absolutely love planning and I wanted to have a say in every detail of our big day, while being respectful of the traditions and rituals that my parents cherish and value, so finding balance was really important. We got a wedding coordinator involved fairly early in the process so that she could make sure all of our voices were heard and so she could bring my vision and planning to life on the big day while my groom, our families, our bridal party, and I were all able to truly enjoy the day. Definitely one of the best investments in wedding planning- we love Anisha from Our Day Events and are so grateful to have her team as part of our dream team!)
 
We had a tradition-meets-glamour Tamil Brahmin Hindu ceremony in the morning, followed by lunch. This was at a Hindu community center. It felt more spiritually focused than a hotel ballroom but was also a more elegant and private venue than a temple. Because it is a long ceremony and our American guests as well as many of the Indian guests don't know about the beautiful meanings behind the traditions, we did a lot of research with the help of our priest, and put together a narrative script for my cousin (who was my Maid of Honor) to read through so the guests would understand the significance of each phase of the ceremony.
 
Manju Mehta from Shagun Weddings was great to work with because she makes sure she gets to know each couple and each family to truly personalize your decor and bring your vision to life. She went through every aspect of decor with me from lighting to fabrics and layout of each event space. She also toured the venues with us to ensure that we would get what we wanted. One of the tricky things with a big ceremony like that is when close family members and the bridal party are actively involved in the ceremony it is often hard for guests to be able to watch the ceremony. We rented out special 2 feet tall risers for the whole mandap and jhoola/oonjal (Swing) so that no one would have to stand up or move around to be able to watch our ceremony.
 
The guests had a few hours of downtime to rest, and in the evening we had cocktail hour, followed by a Christian ceremony at the reception venue that led us straight into our reception. This venue was the embodiment of glamor-- marble floors, grand staircases, and huge chandeliers with an AV system that was out of this world. I really wanted cold sparks (indoor fireworks), and they were able to make that dream come true, but also able to include versatile uplighting, dance floor lighting, and fog/cloud effects for our first dance. The AV systems were incorporated into the venue, so planning for our DJ and lighting and special effects was easy because it all came part of the package!
 
The evening was basically a luxurious fairytale dream. My family is very traditional in their Hindu background and my husband's side of the family has non-denominational Christian backgrounds, so we wanted to be able to incorporate both traditions into our big day. We are both active duty Air Force officers (which is how we met in Dayton, OH) so he wore his mess dress uniform (or as I like to call it his "Prince Charming getup") for our Christian ceremony and reception.
 
The trickiest part of wedding planning is figuring out priorities and budgeting. Although parents are often as generous with their wallets as they are boundless with their love, it is important as an Indian-American woman to be able to contribute to her own wedding and minimize unnecessary expenditure when possible. Instead of getting a multi-tiered traditional wedding cake in a few flavors, we opted for a unique twist with Nothing Bundt Cakes! We got a cupcake tower from Amazon, had them place our bundt cake on the top tier, and filled the remaining tiers and our dessert table with bundtinis (their version of cupcakes) in 7 or 8 different flavors! We bought gold cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby in lieu of the dark brown standard ones the bakery uses so that they would tie into our decor theme a little better, and that small detail made a very pretty difference. We also had a variety of Indian pastries on platters, so our guests had a vast repertoire of desserts (and flavors) to indulge in. There were several things we definitely splurged on -- especially venues and photo/videography, but we wouldn't change that for the world. Our venues were beautiful, our decor was true to our vision, we had a dream-come-true day, and above all of it we have breathtaking photography and videography that artfully capture our memories.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
For our Hindu ceremony in the morning, I have been dreaming of a luxurious red kancheepuram silk saree from Chennai Silks since the moment I saw it on a commercial several years ago. It was part of their Vivaaha collection and my mom actually went to India to get it for me! I felt so elegant in that saree.
 
My favorite part was my 9-yard saree which is traditionally worn during the second half of a Hindu Brahmin wedding. I didn't want a cookie-cutter maroon one, but I wanted it to be fun and true to who I am while paying respect to our roots. I actually ended up getting a saree made straight from the silk looms of Kancheepuram with multicolored checkers and a border in my favorite colors: hot pink with gold embroidery!
 
I knew there was no way I could pull off wearing an all-white gown in front of my parents and 200 of their best friends (as all-white is often considered inauspicious), so my white gown dreams came true in the form of the most beautiful ivory lehenga I've ever laid eyes on (thanks Meenal aunty from Meenal's Indian Fashions in Herndon, VA!).
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
We scripted our Christian ceremony ourselves (as in, I did it with his help in selecting scripture readings) and a close friend of his from college (the United States Air Force Academy) also happens to be an ordained minister so we had her officiate our Christian ceremony. It was a really special and personal touch we were able to add to our day.
 
I also really enjoyed putting together the narrative for my MoH to read during our Hindu ceremony. Not only did it help our guests understand the phases of the ceremony but it also helped us better understand and appreciate the traditions that we were honoring.
 
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 DIY-ed a lot of stuff! We got blush and gold gift bags in bulk from an online outlet, designed and made our own Thank You stickers using Avery software to put on the bags, and even made our seating cards for our guests at the reception with Avery software and cardstock.
 
With the help of some of my bridesmaids, I was able to make a sign for the shoe room at the ceremony venue, welcome signs for the ceremony and reception venues, a Pinterest-style sign for free seating at the lunch, and a sign in memory of my great-grandmother for her seat at the wedding ceremony.
 
Using the Audacity app, I cut the music for several of the dance routines: our first dance, another choreographed Bollywood duet we did, a bride and maid-of-honor duet dance, as well as the music for each of the bridal party entrances and our Christian ceremony entrance! I actually counted the number of steps at our reception venue and timed the counts of music for us to make it down the stairs at the same time and meet in the middle for the ceremony. It all takes time and hard work but all the personal pieces made our day so special.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
We had an unforgettable day that still feels like a dream, and we hope it helps inspire other couples to believe you really can have all you want in your big day if you plan for it and make it happen-- no matter the different backgrounds you come from, it'll be a beautiful dreamy union of you and the person you love and choose and fought for, but also your families. Remember that the people you include in your dream team for your dream day should be the people you want and trust to make the best of the day for you.
 
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Instead of bouquets we did diyas (clay lamps) for each of the bridesmaids to carry down the aisle. We used LED candles inside the lamps and the outside of the lamps were decorated with mirrors and intricate Indian paint patterns.
 
Mehndi with Heena was an amazing decision for us. Heena aunty and her team were stellar in personalizing my Mehndi and making each woman's experience so special. She included every unique detail of my and Harrison's love story and life into my henna design, and even did a beautiful pattern on his hand with my name written in it. Fabulous genuine high-quality art which I will remain forever grateful for.

Visit us tomorrow for a new film that will inspire you! 
STYLE
GUIDE
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Traditional
Fusion
Romantic
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Autumn
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Floral & Decor: Shagun Weddings | Photography: Akbar Sayed Photography | Mehndi Artists: Mehndi With Heena | Hair & Makeup: Styles By Swati - Salon SBS | Cinematography: Akbar Sayed Photography | Ceremony Venue: Chinmaya Somnath | Reception Venue: The Bellevue | Planning & Design: Our Day Events (Anisha Ninan) | Catering: Paradise Indian Cuisine | DJ: DJ Lucky (Platinum Entertainment) | DJ: Bellevue AV Creations | Cake & Treats: Nothing Bundt Cakes | Hindu Priest for the morning ceremony: Venkatrama Sastri | Christian ceremony: Jasmine Niklas


Columbus, OH Indian Wedding by Photosaga

Happy Tuesday, Maharanis! The week is just starting and we never stop! Today we have yet another accurate representation of what Indian weddings are all about! Vinaya & Karthik decided to the knot with all the style in the world, but also, paying homage to the traditions they hold so dearly. The Bridgewater Banquet and Conference Center was the venue of choice for both ceremony and reception and we know what you are thinking! A fantastic choice, to say the least! What was also fantastic was Maharani Vinaya's fashion sense and multitasking abilities. Seriously, it is not that often that we have a bride that handles her own hair and makeup and all the decor choices! This gorgeous lady is truly a Maharani for the books! The newlyweds also wanted the best of the best for their guests. In order to do that, they recruited the fine talent of DJ Mavi Productions who brought a playlist with all the latest Bollywood hits and modern tunes! So, ladies, you can't miss this love-fueled jubilee coming to us thanks to Photosaga! Let's get to it!

 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met through our mutual friend while doing rotations in our third year of medical school. The attraction was there from the very start when first met at the dinner at our friend's place. He always says how he couldn't make eye contact with me because I was too pretty... We got to know each other in the hospital though, talking in the hallways, eating lunch together. Then we slowly realized we were seeing each other without our other friends. The attraction is basic and not difficult to find. My comfort, and a feeling of home, away from home, that feeling is hard to find and that's what we found in each other.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We did a traditional proposal at our engagement event in front of our closest family and friends in Canada with a traditional Hindu pooja.

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 both worked tight schedules and it so happened that we both were only "free" in March, so as much as I never dreamt of a winter wedding, a winter wedding is what we had with a huge storm two days prior to our big day. We picked Columbus Ohio (my husband's home town) as the wedding location since we got to have the engagement in my home town, in Canada. The venue choice was mainly based on the fact that they let us cater food from outside, as most venues within the area restricted bringing outside catered food into the venue. I decided to suit the season of winter, I would light pastels for a brighter warmer feel for our ceremony with creams and peaches and then for the night reception I choose a bold dark maroon and cream for a romantic feeling.  Hair and makeup I did myself as I dislike the feeling of wearing pounds of makeup and feeling un-like myself. I stayed true to myself and worse makeup to accentuate my existing features and kept the looks simple and wispy.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I wanted to keep my outfits very traditional with minor changes in the cuts. For my first saree, I wore a beautiful traditional red with gold detailing saree. And as I'm Malayalee and we normally wear cream silk sarees for the ceremony, for my second wedding outfit in which the mangalsutra was tied, I wore a traditional cream silk saree with the traditional Indian red trim and blouse. My husband wore the traditional dhoti. And for the reception, he wore a dark navy suit while I wore a dark cream/gold lengha with a pink shaal.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Planning was actually very hard to do seeing as my husband and I work almost 80 hours each, however, having our parents very involved and helping with the planning made it more enjoyable.

 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
They loved how traditional the ceremony was. Although it was long, the traditions performed were appreciated by most as most weddings these days no longer include such details.
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I walking down the stage during the wedding ceremony; my husband's face was covered and I wasn't able to see him as a sheet was held before him and I had all my best girlfriends and my sister walk in front of me. It was an emotional time to finally live the moment we waited for 4 years.
 
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 had my haldi celebration at the Airbnb my family and I stayed at. We kept that simple with some decorations from a department store and some prayer items from my mom's prayer room from our home. The sangeet/mehndi night we again kept simple and rented out a room in a nearby Indian restaurant.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Not everything will go right on your wedding day, but that doesn't matter because at the end of the day you get to be married to your (hopefully) best friend.

Amazing wasn't it?
STYLE
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Traditional
Romantic
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Winter
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DJ: DJ Mavi Productions | Cinematography: Photosaga | Photography: Photosaga | Sangeet Venue: Gokul | Planning & Design: Father of Groom - Ram Vedantam | Planning & Design: Décor Choices by Bride - Vinaya | Ceremony Venue: Bridgewater Banquet and Conference Center | Reception Venue: Bridgewater Banquet and Conference Center | Floral & Decor: Events 2NV | Hair & Makeup: Bride - Vinaya Shyam | Catering: Gokul | Catering: Amul India | Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Bride: Vinaya - Bride's sister: Vidhya - Friends: Vasu Jain - Sundeep Katepalli - Shivani Bista - Kruti Patel | Cakes & Treats: Cakes by Cecile


Concord, NC South Indian Wedding by Christopher Brock Photography

Welcome back, Maharanis! Today, we have a gorgeous couple that is the absolute manifestation of vibrant youth, love, and of course, style. They are Shree & Kunal, and we have thanks to Christopher Brock Photography, everything that went of for the most important day of their lives! Both the ceremony and reception were held at the magnificent Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte / Concord Golf Resort & Spa and the gala definitely was everything we love about Indian wedding bashes. Amongst the several characteristics that we adored about this wedding, for sure, the color palette that was chosen for the main ceremony truly stood out the most. The tones of copper, burnt sienna and champagne colors in both of the couple's outfits were absolutely to die for. We can quickly see those colors become a Maharani trend! So amazing. And what about the reception afterward? You can't have a grand bash if the team from Amplifire Entertainment is not involved with the music! So, ladies, time to get those sarees on, open the bottle of wine and hit play below because today's filmy, is an experience not to miss! See you on the dance floor!

 

More weddings coming up! 

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Traditional
Romantic
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Mahwah, NJ Indian Wedding by Saroj Studios

Welcome back to your Indian wedding inspiration corner, ladies! This time around, we have an extra special feature for you to get those glam ideas going. Mahwah in New Jersey was our destiny for Anvi & Nish's vision and one thing is certain, the gala was totally beaming. When the team from Tum Hi Ho Events is planning and designing your bash, no less than that is expected. So amazing! What was also amazing was the incredibly sophisticated taste of all the floral and decoration of the venue. Guess who was behind it? Abhishek Decorators, of course! Maharani taste approved! Seriously, ladies, this gala is a total knockout! We know that music and dancing are essential features of all Indian celebrations. That is why the chosen DJ is expected to shine. Amplifire Entertainment came on board with the ravishing Bollywood and western beats that made everyone show their best dancing moves! So much fun going on! So, dolls, you can't miss today's filmy thanks to the incredible visual work of Saroj Studios! We already know about their talent, so it is just a matter of sitting down, relax, and enjoy. See you on the dance floor!

More glam and glitter coming up! 

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Contemporary
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Floral & Decor: Abhishek Decorators | Planning & Design: Tum Hi Ho Events | DJ: Amplifire Entertainment | Photography: Saroj Studios | Cinematography: Saroj Studios | Ceremony Venue: Sheraton Mahwah Hotel | Reception Venue: Sheraton Mahwah Hotel | Hair & Makeup: Cinderella Bridez | Catering: Moghul Caterers | Sangeet Catering: Dimple's Bombay Talk Catering Services | Baraat-Vidaai Car Service: Jaszy Rolls Royce Limousines | Cake & Treats: A Little Cake Le Petit Gateau | Priest: Himanshu Jani


Ahmedabad, Gujarat Indian Wedding by Destination Photographers

Are you, ladies, ready for what we have today? If not, then grab a bottle of champagne, call your girlfriends and get comfortable because Steffi & Zeel's filmy is definitely a Bollywood like wedding experience for the books, I tell you that! The incredibly mystic India is our destination of the day, and what can be more exotic than that? The gala was perfectly planned by Event Tadka and was everything you want out of a royal couple. And as we will see in today's cinematic experience thanks to Destination Photographers, the word "grand" is not grand enough to describe it. Like the real Maharani princess she is, Maharani Steffi glowed like none other during her special union day with Raja Zeel! Such a romantic pair! And wait until you take a look at their fashion choices! Seriously, things can't get more amazing than this. So, dolls, movie time is here! Hit play below for details! 


How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met at my store, we had a few common friends but we never spoke/met personally. That was the first time we spoke, exchanged numbers and from that day we had that instant comfort and connection. We did not date each other, as we both were looking for a life partner during that time, so we decided to spend some time together and further decide. Once we were sure about our decision, we told our parents about and they agreed to meet. They met and said YES!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It was a mutual decision.

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.
Mehndi artist - Harin Dalal  (@harins_mehndi)
Artist performing on that day (@bhumikshahlive)
It was then followed by sangeet.
Celebrity artist :
@mohmammedirfanali
@asseskaurmusic

Bride's outfit: Falguni Shane Peacock India
Jewelry: Occasions Fine Jewellery
Grooms outfit: Manish Malhotra
Makeup & hair: Ulupi Parikh

It was followed by Haldi for bride & groom & then wedding

Bride's outfit: @sabysachiofficial, @bridesofsabysachi
Groom's outfit: @sabysachiofficial, @groomsofsabyasachi
Jewelry: KK Jewels, Ahmedabad
Makeup: Ulupi Parikh

 

Post-wedding we had a reception:


Bride outfit: Jade by Monika & Karishma
Groom outfit: Emporio Armani

Please give credits to:
Event: Event Tadka
Photographer: Destination Photographers
Stylist: vrinda.fashionstylist for our entire event

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Yes, I always wanted to get married in a red Sabya outfit,  but when I saw this unique maroon color on me, I was all down. I went for this color

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
It involved both of our families and us, and we all were synced 24 - 7, constant meet-ups, discussions, everything was super exciting. Also prepping for sangeet, Holi flash mob with friends, bethaks with friends and family.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Brij ki Holi, lunch at vintage cars display - farm, sangeet, wedding

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
My groom danced for me, and he sang a song for me

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.
It was then followed by sangeet.
Celebrity artist :
@mohmammedirfanali
@asseskaurmusic
Bride's outfit: Falguni Shane Peacock India
Jewelry: Occasions Fine Jewellery
Grooms outfit: Manish Malhotra05
Makeup & Hair: @UlupiParikh

It was followed by Haldi for bride & groom & then the wedding.

Bride's outfit: Sabyasachi Official, Brides of Sabyasachi
Groom's outfit: Sabysachiofficial, Groomsof Sabyasachi
Jewelry: KK jewels, Ahmedabad
Makeup: Ulupi Parikh

 

Post-wedding we had a reception:

Bride Outfit: Jade by Monika & Karishma
Groom Outfit: Emporio Armani

Please give credits to:

Event: Event Tadka
Photographer: Destination Photographers
Stylist: vrinda.fashionstylist. for our entire event

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Please enjoy your wedding, don’t stress about hair and makeup or outfits, because u have already given ur heart soul and energy finding for right resources, for past 6/7 months. So when u have ur d- day please enjoy, also as a bride u will always shine brighter than the crowd so be the queen u are.


More to come in a sec! Stay with us! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Romantic
International
Gujarati
season
Winter
color
Cinematography: Destination Photographers | Photography: Destination Photographers | Planning & Design: Event Tadka | Floral & Decor: Aavkar Decor | Hair & Makeup: Ulupi Parikh - Ulupi’s Salon & Spa | DJ: Vishal Soni | Bridal Fashions: Brides of Sabyasachi | Bridal Jewelry: KK Jewels | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Vrinda.fashionstylist | Lighting: LED Solutions - Vikrant Jain | Sound: Shree Jagdish Sound | Mehndi Artist: Harin Dalal | Performing Artist: Bhumik | Celebrity Artist: Mohammed Irfan | Celebrity Artist: Asees Kaur | Bride's Outfit: Peacock Bride by Falguni and Shane Peacock | Jewelry: Occasions Fine Jewelry | Groom's Outfit: Manish Malhotra | Groom's Outfit: Brides of Sabyasachi | Bride's Post Wedding Outfit: Jade by Monica & Karishma | Groom's Post Wedding Outfit: Emporio Armani


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