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Holmdel, NJ Indian Fusion Wedding by John Martin Productions

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.

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
Romantic
Outdoor
season
Summer
color
Photography: John Martin Productions | Cinematography: 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


Jodhpur, India Indian Wedding by Twogether Studios

Hello there, my lovely Maharanis! Wednesday is a beautiful day to fall in love. So let's fall for Somna & Aditya's Jodhpur Destination Wedding! After six years of a beautiful relationship, our lovebirds decided to join their lives forever at Umaid Bhawan Palace. A luxurious place where fairy tales come true! And to make sure every part of this lovely wedding went off perfectly, Rudra Events planned and designed an exclusive setting. Beauty, flowers, and emotions were present in every scene. And I love every single moment! Twogether Studios, the incredible team which showed their ability to record the most fabulous moments of the wedding, made us fall in love with the blockbuster film below. Somna and Aditya are a captivating couple, and they both represent what true love looks like. Our lovebirds decided to have Mehndi and Sangeet events; both celebrations took place in the warm December sun. It was a beautiful day to celebrate their unbreakable love! The engagement celebration took place during the night. Somna and Aditya made a grand entry with cold pyros and exchanged rings in front of their guests. They looked like a real Queen and King! Somna looked charming in a Sabyasachi lehenga, and Pavitra Rastogi complemented our Maharani's dreamy look with fabulous hair and makeup designs. If you are ready to fall in love with today's lovely couple, as I promised, please make sure to hit the play icon below. You will be amazed! 

Lovely Maharanis, don't forget to join us tomorrow for a new love story!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Destination
Romantic
season
Autumn
color
Cinematographer: Twogether Studios | Photographer: Twogether Studios | Venue: Umaid Bhawan Palace | Planning & Design: Rudra Events | Floral & Decor: Rudra Events | Hair & Makeup: Pavitra Rastogi | Catering: Rudra Events | DJ: Rudra Events | Event Designer: Rudra Events | Fireworks: Rudra Events | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Rudra Events | Lighting: Rudra Events | Photo Booths: Rudra Events | Aditya's Outfits: Manish Malhotra | Mehndi & Wedding Outfit: Rohit Bal | Engagement Outfit: Gaurav Gupta


Dallas, TX Indian Wedding by Peter Nguyen Studio

Happy Wednesday, Maharanis! The filmy time of the week is here, and it comes packed with tons of beauty, emotions, and traditional flair. Today, we have all the details surrounding Nandita & Aman's charming wedding and believe us, this is one celebration you are going to enjoy. So, without further ado, let's jump right into it! This love journey began most vibrantly and colorfully with a joyful Sangeet, which was the perfect preamble for all the amazingness that was about to come. For the big wedding day, Nandita & Aman decided to bring Peter Nguyen Studio on board. And oh boy, what a great decision it was! This fantastic studio showed all their talent and expertise, capturing every detail of the wedding events with so much delicacy that we couldn't stop seeing the blockbuster film below. The wedding ceremony officiated at the Live! By Loews was a cornucopia of beauty and flair thanks to Prashe Decor, who transformed this venue's halls into an exquisite setting, more than suitable for this solemn celebration. The traditional linens wrapped around the room and the gorgeous floral arrangements created the perfect backdrop for these lovebirds to profess their love and commitment to each other. Still, it was our gorgeous Nandita who stole all the show! She donned a  fashionable gown by Sabyasachi, draped and tied by Elegant Saree Draping. But that is not all! Ms Painted Lady complemented Nandita's dreamy look with fabulous hair and makeup designs that made her look like a goddess. And we absolutely loved this winning combo! If you can't get enough of this couple, make sure to hit the play icon below. You will be amazed!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
It was the fall of 2012 and when I was a freshman and Aman a sophomore at Duke. We literally locked eyes for the first time and met on a dance floor at a mixer. But it wasn't until the summer of 2013 when we started spending more time together watching Bollywood movies (Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani), taking summer classes at Duke, and getting to know each other. After a summer filled with endless conversations, sharing our favorite Hindi songs, and nervous laughter, Aman asked me on our first official date with a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a post-it-note with "will you be my girlfriend" attached on top.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Here is a youtube link to our proposal flash mob!

https://youtu.be/nncemfEMA7M

On August 29th, 2019 the two officially had six years of unforgettable memories with each other under their belts. One August afternoon, Nandita was getting ready for what she thought was a family friend's baby shower when the doorbell began ringing. When she came downstairs, she heard music playing at the door and saw her little nephew Neeraj peeking out the front window saying "Aman Uncle outside." When she opened the door, she saw not just Aman but also her Didi, Jijaji, Daddy, Namita, Ritu Aunty and Sanjay Uncle ALL outside. Confused, everyone came inside and started taking family pictures (at this point, Nandita wasn't sure if the proposal had already happened and she missed it, but needless to say there were many more surprises in store). Aman soon handed her an envelope with a clue that led them to a piano at Hotel Zaza where he played and sang "Pehla Nasha" for me. For their entire six year relationship Nandita used to complain that Aman was holding out on her because he would never let her hear him sing or play the piano, he always said "he was waiting for the right time." A few more stops for lunch and "fake-out proposals" during the day they arrived at her sister's house where he said she could change for dinner. However, when she walked inside she realized he was proposing right then and there in the backyard. He had an empty pint of Ben and Jerry's with the ring inside and a post it-note on top asking her to marry him, just like his first ask for her to be his girlfriend. After getting down on one knee, he got up and immediately began what she thought was an awkward "solo" dance to You are my Soniya. Within moments of him starting, suddenly 40 of their closest childhood, college, medical school and family friends rushed in to flash-mob the rest of the song. She has never been more stunned or overwhelmed and was quite literally floored by how much love they are surrounded by with their village!

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.
Pandemic shopping was difficult, growing up I always imagined going to India with my mom and sister to shop for my bridal outfits. Luckily my sister found Meha Bhargava from Styl_Inc in India who runs a personal shopping service. Without her and her team, we wouldn't have been able to get 20 custom bridesmaids sarees, 18 groomsmen outfits, and our entire family outfitted from head to toe along with all of our wedding gifts.

Without a single in person fitting, Meha and her team made sure each of my wedding outfits arrived on time and fit me perfectly. This wedding would not have happened without her!

Our wedding planning experience started in August 2019, a few months before the pandemic hit. After an unexpected hiccup with the first planner we hired we were so so blessed that Hala Snyder (Events by Hala) decided to step back into wedding planning just for our family. She planned my sister's wedding 8 years ago but had since stepped away from wedding planning. She swooped in right before the pandemic and made sure to find us the best vendors in the game. We chose the new venue, Live! By Loewe's in Arlington Texas because we wanted a hotel with a newer feel and a lot of energy -- with the AT&T stadium and an array of restaurants the venue was perfect for our wedding weekend. Jill from Live! By Loewes was also the most amazing point of contact and made sure all of our event details were seamless. Jill and Hala made sure my dream of Aman arriving in on an elephant for the baraat came true. From extensively mapping out the elephant's route to weighing the bridge the elephant would walk over, they planned out every detail! We worked with Alex from Ms Painted Lady for Hair and Makeup and from providing the most flawless makeup for my family and I, to creating hair styles based off of my descriptions alone, to being just a wonderful, hard working and amazing person she and her team made the weekend perfect and got over 20 ladies ready throughout the weekend. We were lucky to work with Prashe for our decor -- she took exactly what I described and envisioned and made it come to life each night of our wedding events. We loved our DJs from Desi Junction, they made sure our dance floor was hard to leave and from night to night everyone was there till the lights went up. DJ Channi never lost energy and is someone who made our wedding so memorable! Most importantly, our Photo and Video Team (Peter Nguyen Luxury Weddings) was a dream. They were there all week, the kindest team, the most amazing talent and took what my family and I requested (full coverage of our family and all guests) to heart and made sure they covered every aspect of our wedding. The same day edit is also amazing and captured our week so perfectly. I cannot express how lucky we are that Peter and his team came highly recommended to us by our family friends and he is definitely responsible for capturing our memories in a beautiful way.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I always grew up wanting to wear Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra for my wedding events. When it came time to pick my bridal outfit, I decided Sabysachi for their classic pink and red bridal attire. Due to COVID, their design house was unable to produce several of their lehenga designs. Despite a limited range in choices, I fell in love with a hot pink Nayantra lehenga and despite only seeing it virtually over Facetime, I trusted their designs would be stunning in person and I was so happy I was right.
For my reception outfit, I knew Manish Malhotra would be perfect. His designs are glamorous and intricate all at once. The lehenga I picked was one I had flagged from one of his earlier collections (it caught my eye well before I was engaged!). Their team was so lovely to work with and despite the pandemic, they were so happy to offer any design I found of theirs to produce. From fitting to customization, they were precise and perfect. The outfit arrived and was even more stunning in person.
Finally, for my Mehndi outfit, I always knew I wanted to wear something vibrant, bright and different than my other more classic styles. Aisha Rao seemed perfect and her royal blue designs with brightly embroidered skirts and blouses were exactly what I envisioned. Her team was also wonderful and prompt, they allowed us to customize everything from the blouse design to color and made sure everything arrived promptly! 

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was the time I was able to spend with my family dreaming up every detail. From start to finish, my Mom, Dad, Didi and Jijaji wanted to make this the wedding of my dreams and if I imagined it they made it happen. Most importantly, despite the stress of the pandemic, my family and Aman made sure I was smiling and laughing through the entire wedding planning process.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests loved the traditional aspects of the wedding -- from our Benarasi Mehndi at our Didi and Jijaji's house, to our elephant at the baraat, to the array of dances our friends and family put together for each and every event, to our midnight ceremony, we loved sharing our culture and excitement with all of our guests. Everyone also loved the chance to finally dance on a dance floor together again and we cannot thank our friends -- all amazing dancers -- for bringing so much energy. Personally, I also think everyone loved seeing Aman stay on his feet throughout the week dancing the nights away (he's definitely the dancer out of the two of us!)

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The baraat was an amazing experience. I got to watch the baraat from a balcony facing the bridge route and wave to Aman as he came in on the elephant. I also got to see all of our incoming guests on both sides and enjoyed seeing the baraatis dance. There was so much energy and after an incredibly tough year for so many it was so perfect seeing so many of our loved ones together again celebrating with us.

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.
The Mehndi was our kickoff event hosted at my Didi and Jijaji (Natasha and Rajiv Shenoy's) residence. The two of them transformed their home into a bright, completely decked out venue complete with a bangle "market," draped tents, rickshaws, fire dancers, a dessert truck and so much more. Their vendors included Lawson Rentals, Fox electric & Renee's Lighting company (who came in clutch with a completely new lighting system the night before the Mehndi when a last minute tent was installed for rain precaution!) Prashe, Celebration catering, Mehnaz Mehndi Artists, Desi Junction, and Elite Valet.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Take advantage of the fact that all of your loved ones are under one roof for your wedding day! There is no bigger joy than getting to constantly turn around and see another person who is so filled with love and excitement for you and your husband to be on your wedding day!

Don't forget to join us tomorrow for a new love story!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Summer
color
Photography: Peter Nguyen Studio | Draping/Styling: ELEGANT SAREE DRAPING | Cinematography: Peter Nguyen Studio | Ceremony Venue: Live! By Loews | Planning & Design: Events by Hala | Floral & Decor: Prashe Decor | Hair & Makeup: Ms Painted Lady | DJ: Desi Junction | Bride’s Wedding Gown: Sabyasachi | Bride’s Reception Gown: Manish Malhotra | Cake & Treats: Amy’s Crazy Cakes | Mehndi Artists: Meena's Mehndi | Rentals: Lawson Event Rentals | Bride’s Stylist and Personal Shoppers: Styl Inc. by Meha Bhargava


Roanoke, VA Indian Wedding by Halaja Productions

Wednesday is finally here and today seems to be a perfect day to relive a beautiful love story. So, let's take a second look at all the stunningness surrounding Priyanka & Tanmay's wedding festivities. I invite you to look at this gallery and start falling in love with this beautiful Maharani! Or perhaps you want first to take a look at the jaw-dropping film below; whatever you choose, there is beauty and flair guaranteed! So, wait no more, and get ready to enjoy Priyanka & Tanmay's big day! We all know that you need to find the perfect place to make your dream wedding come to life, and what better place to say "I do" than Hidden Valley Country Club? This striking venue hosted a small and fabulous family affair and witnessed Priyanka & Tanmay's first dance as newlyweds. And if you want to take your wedding to the next level, do what these lovebirds did, and get in contact with Fresh Affairs! They will help you create a memorable event for you to live your very own fairy tale. Although everything was perfect beyond words, nothing compared to the head-turning look of our gorgeous Maharani after being pampered by Erum Hussain. I tell you, once you spend some time with this studio, you will look like a queen! And if you want to add an extra touch of traditional flair to your bridal look, Jignasa Choksi is a great Mehndi artist that will shock you with her fantastic designs. Just take a look at the spectacular Mehndi she outlined for Priyanka. It is amazing! If you want to dive into this mesmerizing story, hit the play icon down below and get ready to enjoy the visual masterpiece put together by Halaja Productions, Inc. It will make your heart smile!

I think I'm in love! Aren't you? Make sure to join us tomorrow for a new love story. 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Spring
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Cinematography: Halaja Productions | Photography: Halaja Productions | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hidden Valley Country Club | Floral & Decor: Fresh Affairs | Hair & Makeup: Erum Hussain | Mehndi Artist: Jignasa Choksi


Plainsboro, NJ Sikh Wedding by Ivash Studios

Happy Wednesday, gorgeous Maharanis! We are right in the middle of the week, and we can't think of a better way to start this Wednesday than to take a look at this lovely pair celebrating their wedding, as it was breathtaking! Thanks to Ivash Studios, we can enjoy the elegance and gorgeousness of Jaspriya & Rahul's special day, as their lens was able to capture the most impressive and playful moments of this spectacular and colorful celebration. Events By Srishti took the lead in planning this dreamy wedding while Tradition and Trends took care of the decor. The final result: Unmesurable beatuy! The halls of the CJSA Gurudwara witnessed the beginning of Jaspriya & Rahul's everlasting love story, and later on, everyone celebrated the newlyweds in an intimate reception. Throughout the entire festivities, Jaspriya amazed everyone thanks to the spectacular work of hair and makeup gurus Fiza Mansoor and Amber Franks. But that is not all! Nazranaa took care of this Maharani's fashion needs, and Rita Shah Mehndi design a fabulous Mehndi, adding an extra touch of beauty and elegance to an already stunning look! If you want to take a closer look at this dazzling celebration, hit the play icon below and get ready to dive into this real-life fairytale!

Stay tuned for more!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Romantic
Luxury
season
Winter
color
Planning & Design: Events By Srishti | Cinematographer: Ivash Studios | Photographer: Ivash Studios | Ceremony Venue: CJSA Gurudwara | Reception Venue: Home | Floral & Decor: Tradition and Trends | Bridal Fashions: Nazranaa | Cake & Treats: Cakesome | Mehndi Artists: Rita Shah Mehndi | Hair: Fiza Mansoor | MUA: Amber Franks


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