Good morning, Maharanis! Our filmy day has finally arrived with Hazel & Steven's marvelous celebration. These lovebirds had all the time to enjoy themselves thanks to Red & Gold Events' fantastic team behind the scenes to plan the event. This couple went for their dream, indeed! The whole celebration turned into a fairytale with the gorgeous carriages Nottingham Shire and Carriage for Hire provided and Rebecca Biskup in charge of the artistic cake. Hazel & Steven's ceremony and reception took place at Emory University, enchanting everyone with its warm aura. Of course, the embellishment of the venue couldn't be missing, and our lovely couple trusted Divine Decor Atlanta's impeccable skills to deliver the perfect adornment for their day while Cafe Bombay Indian Bistro delighted the guests with their culinary mastery. Exclusive Entertainment Events replenished the mystical scenery with a lively ambiance and Supreme Dholis' natural musical talent to escort our couple at all times. The soft melodies were heavenly, and so was Hazel! Our Maharani looked angelic with her sparkly lengha and enchanting smile. She had Color Impressions by Saba's experts to help enhance her magnificent features and the talented Forever Beauty by Manisha to do her magic and deliver the most artistic mehndi a Maharani could imagine. Hazel's soulmate, Steven, was amazed by her while looking gorgeous himself! Staring at each other's eyes, these sweethearts tell us all we need to know about devotion; their love is clear as water at any given moment. The phenomenal team of Hakim's Studio, with their unbelievable expertise, will take us back in time to Hazel & Steven's fabulous wedding day through an enthralling film that you can find right below. Maharanis, you'll feel this couple's adoration through the magical scenes only this well-known artist could do.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Steven and I met in 2014 when we were both in the Georgia Tech Marching Band. We became good friends during our time in college, but it wasn't until after I graduated from GT in 2016 that we really reconnected. While I was pursuing my Master's at Georgia State and Steven was finishing up his degree at Georgia Tech, we spent more and more time together. We quickly realized that we were perfect for one another.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Within a few months of dating, Steven and I knew that we were going to get married one day. We had even picked out our wedding date (10.10.2020) and would get engaged sometime before then. After we both graduated in May 2018, we started more seriously thinking about our engagement. I had a very specific engagement ring in mind, so I asked my relatives in India to have it made and shipped to us. When it arrived at our house, I gave the ring to Steven and told him to do whatever we wanted with it; it was now in his hands (literally).
Steven and I would put "Date Nights" on our shared calendar and would take turns planning the events. Steven used one of the "Date Nights" to plan a day full of surprises and memories. I knew we were going to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens' 'Garden Nights, Holiday Lights' event. However, before we got there, Steven took me to one of our favorite Atlanta restaurants and to a few of our regular Atlanta hangout spots. It was a day of activities that we would be doing for the rest of our lives. While at the Gardens, we strolled through all of the beautiful scenery. When we reached the poinsettia wall, Steven got down on one knee and proposed. I barely remember what he said because I was crying and could barely see. I think he was crying a little too. I do remember saying "YES!". We left the Gardens and when we got home, Steven had gathered our parents and friends to surprise me with a celebration! It was a day full of happiness and excitement.
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 our wedding was one of the most difficult things I've done. The majority of my family lives out-of-state or out-of-country, so I did most of the planning on my own (and with Steven's help). I turned to social media for inspiration and guidance, especially Maharani Weddings. In planning and designing our wedding, I wanted to capture all of the beauty and tradition of a Hindu ceremony.
Our venue was the Emory Conference Center Hotel, and it was perfect. Because I've had a lot of bad luck with rain, I knew I wanted to have an indoor ceremony. However, I also wanted the beauty of natural light. ECCH has a stand-alone pavilion surrounded by greenery that was perfect for our ceremony location. They also had a bowling alley on the premises that we were able to use as entertainment for our guests in between the ceremony and reception.
We were fortunate to visit India in March 2020 (right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut everything down!), and did all of our clothing and jewelry shopping there with the help of my Mama and Mami. While it was difficult to have such a limited amount of time to get a lot done, it was exciting to share the experience with Steven.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
As a creative person, I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating my own style into every element of the wedding. I designed and printed our wedding invitations, created an informational guide to the ceremony, created custom signs and decor for all of our wedding events, and personalized gifts for our family members and wedding party. Steven and I worked together to add our touch to every piece of the wedding weekend, and it really made each event feel special.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Due to the pandemic-related travel restrictions, the majority of my family were unable to travel from India and England to attend the wedding. Even many of our out-of-state family members were unable to join. Consequently, our wedding was primarily attended by our (American) friends. Since many of our guests had never attended an Indian, Hindu wedding before, they were enamored with every part of it. Seeing my hands and feet covered in mehendi, covering me and Steven in the haldi paste, dancing alongside Steven while he rode on a horse, witnessing the traditions of a Hindu ceremony, enjoying the dances at the reception... everything was a hit. And if nothing else, drinking mango lassi is always a fan-favorite.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
After the toasts, Steven and I had an opportunity to thank all of our guests. Standing on the stage and looking out at our loved ones, I was in tears. I was grateful that despite all of the challenges that we’d faced in making this day come together, it was finally here and we were able to share this moment with so many of our family and friends. Even though we were missing loved ones, being surrounded by so many wonderful people truly filled our hearts. There will never be another moment where we have that many people in one room to celebrate us. It was humbling.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Steven and I actually got legally married on October 10, 2020 in an intimate ceremony with our family and closest friends. We asked a dear friend of ours to serve as the officiant, and we prepared our own vows. We had not originally planned to do this, but once the pandemic hit, we knew that we would not be able to have the big Indian wedding we dreamed of in 2020. So, we postponed the huge celebration and had a small ceremony instead. We knew our wedding date was meant to be 10.10.2020 (even before we got engaged), and the pandemic was not going to stop us. Despite a hurricane passing through Atlanta on that day (I told you I had bad luck with rain), we had a wonderful time. And then in 2021, we were able to celebrate our 1-year anniversary with all of the festivities that we originally imagined.
And that's a wrap, ladies. I'll see you soon with more happily ever afters!