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!