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Battle Road Hastings, UK Indian Wedding by Surindera Studios

We are very excited about this feature, Maharanis! Today, we ride the love plane and head overseas to the amazing and historic United Kingdom for Rutchi & Shil's beginning of their lifelong journey with a delightful invitation by Turmeric Ink! The Bannatyne Hotel and Spa Hastings housed both the ceremony and reception, and as you will witness, it definitely was the perfect place for the couple to tie the knot. The team from Dream Occasions UK Ltd brought their A-game and assisted with the enchanting floral arrangements and magical decoration that for sure fascinated all the guests attending. This feature is what I call stylish, we have a treasure in our Blog since we also featured their wedding album! Our gorgeous Maharani Rutchi was looking radiant for her big day, of course. She was dolled up beautifully by Gini Bhogal and her unmistakable talent. Glam queen in the house! Raja Shil's eyes were spinning with such beauty in front of him. After the ceremony, it was time to head down to the reception hall and start with the ravishing party that only Indian weddings are known for. DJ Narry-Calibar curated a playlist for even the most exquisite of tastes and brought the place down as the guests danced the night away in celebration of Rutchi & Shil's union. Want to see more? Hit play below and be a part of today's cinematic experience thanks to our friends from Surindera Studios! Don't miss it, ladies! 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
This may sound cliché, but our story was one of fate. I was born and brought up in England but found myself moving to Perth, Western Australia in search of new experiences, and it was here that Shil and I met for the first time; but, it was actually on a trip back home to England, visiting family and friends, that I first heard of Shil. 
 
Shil happened to be in England at the same time visiting his sister, and it turned out his brother-in-law was our mutual common ground (you know, through friends of friends, the usual 1 degree of separation between Indians!) It was through this connection one night that one of my best friends, Meenakshi, met Shil and their conversation naturally led to Perth, and me living there. My friend (the romantic matchmaker) then hounded Shil with my details, contact number and demanded he contact me. I later caught up with my friend and she tried to do the same to me - talking to me about this guy she met from Perth but that she had already taken the liberty of giving him my number anyway!
 
Back in Perth, a month or so later, I heard from Shil, and after much deliberation, we eventually met – it was a friendly encounter but non-eventful! We, however, stayed in touch, became friends and I guess naturally started spending more time together.  I believe the moment I realized he was “the one” was when my brother came to visit me and, although Shil and I were just friends at the time, he took a real interest in meeting my brother and spending time with him. That’s when it really clicked for us and we officially started ‘dating’!
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Not only were Shil and I living in one of the most isolated cities in the world, but our families were also spread across the globe. My family was in England and Shil’s parents in Mombasa, Kenya. It was getting to Christmas time and both our families wanted to spend time with us, but not only that, mine wanted to meet Shil and his wanted to meet me. Shil already had plans to head to Kenya and invited me along, but my family also wanted to see me and meet Shil, and so we decided to squeeze in a trip to both! 
 
We headed to England first where, unknown to me at the time, Shil confronted my Dad to ask for my hand in marriage! With his mind made up of proposing to me, he had the plans set and ready for once we got to Kenya. Having arrived in Mombasa, and met with his family, we then had one night booked at this beautiful resort, which I didn’t think much of at the time. Here we set sail on their famous ‘dhow’ ride for an evening on the river - eating and dancing the night away; after we headed to the in-house casino where I became engrossed in playing roulette and didn’t want to leave – Shil however complained of stomach pains and feeling sick so we decided to head back to our room. It was all still very unbeknown to me that something was going on as we walked back and into our room… firstly I spotted a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers sitting on the coffee table and then noticed some candles flickering on the balcony; as I stepped out, there was a trail of rose petals leading up to a daybed, which was also covered in rose petals, and perched next to it was an ice bucket holding my favorite bottle of champagne!  You would think that the picture was now perfectly painted, and it was obvious what was coming next, but no, not to me – I just sat down on the daybed and expressed how romantic it all was! It was then, at that moment, when Shil got down on his knee, presented me with a ring and, well the rest gets a bit blurry, but after some tears and realizing this is actually happening, I obviously said “yes!”
 
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.
 Venue: 
I simply wanted something outside of the hustle and bustle of London; a quaint countryside venue, but this proved to be quite difficult at the start.  It needed to be somewhere that could cater for not just Indian food, but also the usual Indian wedding guest numbers (and although we wanted to keep it small and intimate, we still had 250 guests!), plus it needed to be close to Kent, my family home. After many unsuccessful phone calls, viewings by my parents and far too much ‘googling,’ I finally came across the Bannatyne Spa Hotel in Hastings, East Sussex (on the border of Kent) – it was perfectly nestled away from the main roads and surrounded by some beautiful gardens; on calling them up with our requirements, and as soon as they said they could meet our arrangements, I was on the phone pronto to my parents back in England for them to get a viewing asap! Despite not having hosted an Indian wedding at their venue before, the team was amazing to work with and they assisted to our every need. What worked well was that we had the whole hotel exclusively booked out for our family and friends for the entire wedding weekend, and considering there were many guests traveling from across the UK and abroad, it made the entire experience entertaining and truly complete.
 
Décor Theme: 
I wanted a regal, traditional, rustic and antique theme; the colors of choice were navy, antique gold, magnolia and deep purple/red hues which contrasted well together; I wanted simple yet classy, with the sense of old India, and the team at Dream Occasions turned my thoughts and imagination into reality. I met with them only twice before the big day – once at the venue and then at their studios, and prior to that it was a couple of Facetime sessions from Australia; however, in what I thought would not be enough time, it was plenty for them to work their magic!
 
Catering: 
We chose Madhu’s as we had a great experience with them for my sister’s wedding and you’re guaranteed that Madhu’s will deliver with mouth-watering, exceptional cuisine. I feel that having good, high-quality food for your guests is a key part of not just your wedding day, but any celebration!
 
Hair and Make-up: 
Again, from my sister’s experience, I decided to work with Gini Bhogal, and it was a real pleasure. I am not a make-up person at all, but Gini was so calm and composed when I went to visit her for my trial, she put me at ease and I knew I could trust her on the day.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
The outfits were probably the most distressing part of the whole process. Being in Perth there are very limited Indian stores, let alone haute couture Indian bridal boutiques! I did come across some old Auntyji-style Punjabi suits though… 
 
I knew I wanted a Lengha and traditional bridal red/shades of red for the Hindu ceremony. That was all I knew - now all I needed to do was to find it; people say that you’ll know it when you see it, and that’s what happened to me. I had no luck online, but that was my only choice being in Perth; however, as luck would have it, I was back in England for our engagement party and managed to squeeze in some essential wedding shopping in London - that’s when I spotted ‘The Outfit.’ It was distinct; it was different; it had the most beautiful embroidery – unlike anything I had seen anywhere else, and I had seen plenty by this point! The choli was of a deep-red colored fabric, which was so delicately and intricately decorated with pearls and beads on the neckline, the back, and the sleeves, and the Lengha contrasted magnificently with its golden-embroidered flowers on blood-red soft cotton fabric.
 
My reception outfit was a whole other story. It was a nightmare to sort out and deal with the retailer – I had a look, an image, pictures of designs and styles for an evening cocktail gown, but liaising with the ‘team’ was an ordeal, especially as I was living in Perth, the retailer was in London and the designer in India! In the end I didn’t quite get what I wanted, but with only a week or so to go before the big day, and with a million and one other things to do, I just had to go with it; luckily, as my fabulous hair and make-up stylist said, all I need is big hair, perfect make-up and a piece of statement jewelry – and she was right!
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The food tasting! I am a complete food fanatic and tasting the exquisite dishes prepared by the marvelous Madhu’s team was not just delectable, but a real treat as I had always wanted to experience the life of a food critic – even if it was just for a day!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I’m a bit of an old soul and I love live music, especially jazz, blues, and soul genres, so hiring a saxophonist was truly special.  We picked two great tracks and the saxophonist coordinated with them well. Our grand entrance brought an exhilarating and exciting start to the night – everyone was on their feet dancing, clapping, cheering as my husband and I danced our way in – it was a remarkable moment! 
 
Then there was our first dance.  There were no particular or practiced dance moves, but it felt smooth and sophisticated as we were both just so in the moment, and then Shil embarrasses me with a looong kiss… that led to more cheers, but also some awkward comments... (so embarrassing)It’s amazing what the power of music can do to the atmosphere and the ambiance - making those moments so memorable.
 
Throughout the day there were a number of negotiations going on between the ladies and the groomsmen, but they weren’t giving anything away and Shil was being completely stubborn. It all, however, came to a head at the Vidai when we were stopped in our tracks as my ladies banded together, marched in front of our car and prevented us from leaving if the groomsmen didn't hand over some cash – eventually, and luckily, they did cough up and the whole ordeal was extremely entertaining to watch!
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
 
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
My make-up and hairstylist, Gini Bhogal, was an absolute legend – I had no jewelry whatsoever for my reception outfit, and not liking the outfit itself didn’t help either.  Luckily however Gini, on the morning of the wedding day (!), saved the night by sourcing some stunning jewelry for me to wear from the beautiful ‘Mara and Elle’ collection. The ensemble worked wonders and I am so grateful that it all came together in the end. 
 
A big thank you to all those who kept me sane and supported us – you know who you are! And a special mention to our families for their assistance in making it all happen, and to my friend Diana – she was my late-night ‘distress’ helpline and ran around performing last-minute errands for me across Australia to England, thank you!

More to come, ladies, stick around! 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
International
hindu
season
Spring
color
Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Turmeric Ink | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Bannatyne Hotel and Spa Hastings | Floral & Decor: Dream Occasions | Draping/Styling: Dream Occasions | Hair & Makeup: Gini Bhogal | Catering: Madhus | DJ: DJ Narry-Calibar | Baraat Dhol Player: Imperial Drummers | Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Imperial Drummers | Ceremony Bridal Jewelry: Red Dot | Reception Bridal Jewelry: Mara and Elle | Cake & Treats: Emily Fitter | Cinematography: Surindera Studios | Photographer: Surindera Studios | Table plan/guest name tags: Doves & Peacocks | Lighting: Calibar | Live Music -Saxophonist: Otis Lawrence | Mehndi Artist: Kiran Sahib | Rentals (Chairs): Dream Occasions | Toastmaster: James Hasler | Transportation: 1066 Wedding Cars


Philadelphia, PA Indian Wedding by Lightyear Studio

Great news, dear daydreamers! Today's featured wedding film has just arrived and we can't wait to share it with you to keep on nurturing those ravishing ideas. It comes from Philadelphia and you can definitely feel the spring/summer vibes of the spree. Flowers were blooming and the majestic trees, dress in tones of green, olive, teal, and all earthly colors. It was just meant to be that the color palette chosen by today's couple, reflected in a way, the freshness of their surroundings and the immense purity of their love. As we will witness, thanks to our friends from the visually eclectic team of Lightyear Studio, the ceremony, and reception were just something else. They were both hosted at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, and the choice couldn't have been better. The venue was looking absolutely rocking and welcomed Maharani Amy and Raja Darshan in all their newlywed glory. Partyland Sajawat Decorator understood the importance of the season accurately and came up with the enchanting floral designs that decorated our bride's path to the aisle, and the entire reception scenography. We are loving this couple and we know you will love them too! There is just one way to find out, and that is to let yourself be enchanted by the cinematic experience of what was Amy & Darshan's nuptials. Join us!   

Stay with us Maharanis, more glam and charm from our brides yet to come! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
hindu
season
Summer
color
Venues: Hilton Philadelphia at Penns Landing | Floral & Decor: Partyland Event Design Boutique | Cinematographer: Lightyear Studio | Photography: Lightyear Studio | Sangeet Venue: Indian Cultural Center of South Jersey | Planning & Design: Elite Events Management LLC | Hair & Makeup: Sonia C | Catering: Bukhara Grill | DJ: LUXE Entertainment | Cake & Treats: Bredenbeck's Bakery | Photo Booth: Philly Photo Booth | Transportation: Caliber Farms


Redlands, CA Indian Wedding by Samson Productions

Yes, it is that time again! Another featured wedding film coming our way thanks to our friends from Samson Productions, who never fail to impress with their visual creations. Today it is Aman & Steve's turn to dazzle you Maharanis with their week-long love celebrations all the way from Redlands, CA. Our couple's fine taste was definitely a highlight, combining traditional and modern Hindu elements from the rituals to the reception. They sure knew what the word celebration meant! Our beautiful Maharani looked flawless at all times, thanks to no other than Farah Manekia from My Fair Bride who did an incredible job hypnotizing Steve with Aman's beauty. A celebration cannot be without your loved ones. Guests were up for a treat after the ceremony with the delicious bites from Mantra Indian Cuisine and Porto's Bakery. And to finish the night, DJ Scorpio and his sounds lit up the place big time. So come in and take a look into Aman and Steve's celebration!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Steve completely unannounced and unexpectedly at my best friends birthday dinner. I had to leave early that night to prepare for a huge exam the next morning. When I got home, I received an friend request from him with a message to come back out. I politely refused, but wishing I could've been there. The next few weeks and months were filled with messages between us. We instantly clicked and became great friends. We met for dinner, movies, hikes, and sporadic lunches. I was beginning to realize that our time together, filled with respect, laughter, care, butterflies, and adventures, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The two weeks Steve cancelled all his plans to help me study for my boards, I knew he would be there for me through it all. I knew he was the one!
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Steve has never been good with surprises. However, this time he really got me! The weekend of my birthday, he wanted to take me out for a special dinner. We drove to Newport Beach to this amazing Spanish restaurant overlooking the marina. Upon arriving, I discovered over 30 of our closest friends waiting to surprise me with flowers, balloons, a cake, hugs, and kisses. I was completely taken by this surprise because I literally had no clue how he put all this together. After a few moments of unwinding at happy hour, Steve announced to the group that we were moving on to another location.  Everyone, including me, had no idea where the next stop was. We walked over to a private yacht that he had chartered, complete with a catered meal, open bar, and a DJ. We set off into the harbor with the beautiful September sun slowly descending. Right before sunset, Steve appeared out of nowhere in a completely different suit. I found myself surrounded by my friends, the music dimming, and the crowd hushing. Steve approached me, held my hands, looked into my eyes, and started to proclaim his love for me. He popped the question! I never felt so loved; I said Yes!
 
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 not have one bad experience. All of our vendors were completely professional, prompt, and their work exceeded out expectations. Edgar at Renaissance Banquets always picked up our calls, no matter what time of day. Vishal at KNK took his art of decor to the next level every time. DJ Scorpio worked closely with us to create a custom playlist, look, feel, and sound we needed to entertain the guests. Portos Bakery in Glendale, CA came through with the most amazing, moist, and delicious four-tier cake that our guests raved about for weeks after. 
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I had a custom light green dress made from a renowned tailor in Delhi, India. I wanted something different than the traditional white dress, or traditional colors. This dress embodied elements of a lengha was just the look I wanted; I was in love.
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Multiple trips to Michaels, moms and aunts sitting around drinking chai, gluing and creating decor, listening to wedding songs, laughing, talking and planning into the wee hours of the night will echo through our memories for decades to come. It was the coming together of family and friends, and the synergy of their efforts and love that made the planning process most enjoyable.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests loved the uniqueness and perfect blend of two countries, cultures, religions, food, and music. It was a week filled with traditions that respected and represented us and our families. The grand finale was the reception that took on modern feel with a grand ballroom filled with sound, lights, party favors, fine mediterranean cuisine, pyrotechnics, and the busiest dance floor in town that night. 
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Not only was the dance floor full for the entire 4 hours, Steve opened the dance floor with a surprise  serenade of a Punjabi love song which took my breath away.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
The journey is just as (if not more) important than the destination. Do not be so wrapped up in the end result that you forget to cherish every moment leading up to it. Slow down, enjoy, appreciate, and live in the moment. #NoBridezilla
 
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
My hair, makeup, and mehndi was done by Farah Manekia, and it was spot on. I loved every single immaculate detail! She was early on each occasion, took her time, added last minute requests, and got me looking my best, before the requested time. She was pleasant, smiling, and very caring about my particular needs. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a worry-free experience to get the perfect look.
 

Until next time here on Maharani Weddings

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
sikh
season
Spring
color
Hair & Makeup: My Fair Bride | Mehndi Artists: My Fair Bride | Draping/Styling: My Fair Bride | Catering: Mantra Indian Cuisine | Cinematography: Samson Productions | Photography: Samson Productions | Sangeet Venue: Marinaj Banquets & Events | Ceremony Venue: Redlands Adventist Church | Reception Venue: Renaissance Banquet | Planning & Design: Vishal Kumar from KNK | Floral & Decor: 4 Seasons Flowers | DJ: DJ Scorpio-Sanjay Syal | Baraat: Vishal Kumar from KNK | Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Piya ad Piyu | Bridal Fashions: Ram Kishan Fashions in Chandni Chowk | Bridal Jewelry: Raaba and Rahul | Favors: Avaisabella Designs on Etsy | Fireworks: Sparkulars by DJ Scorpio | India: Kolkatta | Lightning: DJ Scorpio | Live Music: Renaissance Banquet | Rentals: Vishal Kumar from KNK | Tuxedos: Friar Tux


Somerset, NJ Pakistani Wedding by House of Talent Studio

House of Talent Studio shared with us a beautiful overview of the ultimate Pakistani wedding with the fantastic highlight film of Komal & Humza’s weddings festivities! The large list of guests was convened to witness the union with marvelous invites from 123weddingcards at the exclusive Marigold where the bride and groom tied the knot in a traditional Muslim Nikkah ceremony captured on images by House of Talent Studio as well and featured in our Platinum Guide Blog! The unforgettable marriage needed a memorable venue to celebrate, hence Deewan Banquet provided the perfect scenario that Andaaz Weddings decorated with amazing yellow, white and teal colors! With delicious food from Shahnawaz and a complete package of entertainment from Xtensive Sound DJs, this soiree was one for the books! See the fantastic film below!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It was super traditional and sweet! Humza came with his family to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. It was followed by an intimate dinner with just our families. It was everything I could have ever asked for.
 
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.
I had a great experience with all of my vendors. Majority of them were longtime connections of my parents which made it even better. They all put their hard work into it and I couldn't be happier with the results. I would recommend each and every single one of them!
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I have always wanted to be a traditional bride so of course, red was the color in mind. Luckily, I was able to find my perfect lengha in New York rather than flying out to Pakistan like most people.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Do NOT stress on the day of! It truly is one of the most important days of your life so why stress it? Everything falls into place and one thing or another is definitely bound to go wrong. My guestbook was a Polaroid album and my little cousin forgot her Polaroid camera!
 
This was indeed a special couple! See more perfect unions on film tomorrow! 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Ballroom
Pakistani
season
Autumn
color
Photography: House of Talent Studio | Cinematography: House of Talent Studio | Ceremony Venue: Marigold | Reception Venue: Deewan Banquet | Floral & Decor: Andaaz Weddings | Hair & Makeup: Saima's Bridal | Catering: Shahnawaz | DJ: Xtensive Sound DJs | Baraat: Xtensive Sound DJs | Lighting: Xtensive Sound DJs | Photo Booth: Xtensive Sound DJs | Bridal Jewelry: Samreen Vance | Cake & Treats: Palermo's Bakery | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: 123weddingcards


Yorba Linda, CA Indian Fusion Wedding by Robles Video Productions

First off, HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY MAHARANI ALANNAH AND NEAL! Welcome back to another Indian wedding to inspire you for your big day or just help fill that wedding fun void! We had featured Maharani Alannah and Neal's outdoor wedding in the past, you can view all their wedding fun in the gallery! Today, we are going to be sharing the cinematic moments of their big day. Lin & Jirsa Photography took all the magical shots that you see in the gallery while Robles Video Productions caught all the wedding highlights on film. Allanah and Neal had a traditional Sikh wedding where Maharaj Neal arrived in style on a horse from Enchanted Carriages. The couple shared a loving exchange of vows officiated by Stephanie Ford, at the beautiful Richard Nixon Library in a venue outdoors covered in colorful floral decorations by Irises Designs. Two different ceremonies demand a great wedding planner! Lana Meadows Events fronted the task in ensuring the fusion of both weddings were seamless. Peacock Garden provided Indian cuisine at the Sikh ceremony while White House Catering and Mantra Catering set up delectable cuisine for hungry reception party goers; truly satisfying everyone’s palette. Guests had a blast on the dance floor with the latest Bollywood hits churned out by DJ Sandeep Kumar! A beautiful wedding indeed for an equally gorgeous Maharani!

Make sure you tune in tomorrow for another highlights video, we have a LOT more fun brewing here at the Maharani Headquarters and can’t wait to share them with you!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
season
Autumn
color
Hair & Makeup: Dolled up by Lulu | Venues: The Richard Nixon Library | Mehndi Artists: Hinal's Beauty Studio | DJ: 3D Sounds | Baraat: Enchanted Carriages | Photography: Lin & Jirsa Photography | Planning: Lana Meadows Events | Catering (Ceremony): Peacock Garden | Catering (Reception): White House Catering | Catering (Reception): Mantra Catering | DJ: Sandeep Kumar | MC: Raman Gulati | Live Musician: Christopher Castagne | Dance Troupe: Haseen Dance Company | Floral Design: Irises Designs | Sari Draper: Rupal Shah | Hair & Makeup (Bridesmaids): Hinal's Beauty Studio | Rentals: Create A Party Rentals | Transportation: In style Transportation | Officiant: Stephanie Ford | Dhol Player: Malinder Tooray of Dhol Nation


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