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Jacksonville, FL Fusion Wedding by Riant Films

Hello, Maharanis! Nestled amidst the sacred ambiance of the First United Methodist Church, Swetha & Melchisedek's journey began, resonating with promises of a lifetime. With each vow, the air became thicker with emotion, a testimony to the power of their love. Swetha's ethereal beauty, accentuated by the deft touches of Beauty Marked and adorned in the finest ensemble from Debra's Bridal, left everyone in awe. But, what truly dazzled were the radiant pieces from Givenchy and Nazranaa Jewels that complemented her glowing aura. The intricate Mehndi designs by Manu's Beauty Care whispered tales of ancient traditions and the bride's journey into marital bliss. The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront transformed into splendor and romance as Swetha wore attire from Nazranaa. The magnificent decor by NJP Events & Design echoed their dreams, and the lighting set by DJ XFactor illuminated the couple's happiness, creating a celestial atmosphere. Their beats and melodies resonated joyfully, setting the stage for a night of laughter and dance. Each slice of the exquisite cake from Sweet and Chic Events tasted like heaven, while Riant Films impeccably captured the enchanting moments, immortalizing them in this beautiful film. 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Melchisedek (or Jean, as most people & I call him for short) met in 2010 at the ages of 19 & 20 at the University of South Florida. Our first few encounters were in passing at the student center, thanks to our mutual friend (& later bridesmaid) Anita. Our real story begins, however, at a student event where Jean spotted me across the USF Amphitheater & asked me to dance bachata with him. I was hesitant at first, knowing that this Sri Lankan girl had no idea how to bachata, but I decided to take a chance & learn with this tall, dark, & handsome Haitian man. By the end of the night, we'd had such a great time that we exchanged numbers & continued to text through the rest of the night. Coincidentally enough, over the next few days, we realized that we were in two of the same classes. We became study partners, passing notes in class and studying together on campus. It wasn't long before our friendship grew into something bigger. Our relationship definitely stirred things up a bit; after all, an interracial couple (specifically a South Asian woman & a black man) was not the norm back then and was often considered “taboo” in both cultures. We took the negativity in stride, & it only helped us grow closer. One of the things that attracted me most to Jean was how important culture & family are to him, as both are so important to me as well. About 2 months into dating, he met my family in order to take us to the airport as we were traveling to Sri Lanka. At the time, because our relationship was so new, I introduced him as just a "friend." Regardless, he made such an effort to get to know my parents & ask about our culture. When we returned home, I felt this newfound connection to my roots, & Jean was so eager to hear all about my first time there. That's when I knew he was the one. Over the past 13 years of being together, that hasn't changed one bit & it's one of the things I love most about him. We make an active effort to learn about each other's cultures every day, never losing touch with our own roots but always eager to incorporate other cultures into our daily lives. Not to mention, he has been my biggest motivator & supporter since day one, always pushing me to be the best version of myself & cheering me on even when he can't physically be there.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It was nothing short of a dream come true, to say the least. On the eve of our 10-year anniversary, in the midst of the pandemic, & with the help of my family & friends, Jean pulled off a fairytale proposal - complete with twinkling lights, white clouds, balloons, & the song we first danced bachata to that fateful day playing in the background. At my childhood home, I walked in thinking I was going to a surprise party for my parents, & instead found a room filled entirely with balloons, twinkling lights, & fog. There, at the end of a pathway lined with flower petals & lanterns, stood my Prince Charming & our dog Aladdin, my Prince Ali, waiting with my dream ring. It was absolutely magical!

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 always knew we wanted to have two ceremonies, a Christian ceremony & a Hindu ceremony & make every effort to incorporate both of our cultures into our wedding. It was no easy feat, planning two ceremonies & two receptions over two days. Thankfully, my sister Shankeer had gotten married the year before in a similar fashion & was such a huge help. Having planned two ceremonies + two receptions the year prior, she had done a lot of the research on vendors, venues, outfits, etc., for me. I honestly don't know how I could have planned everything without her! With her help, I was able to book most of my vendors early on, which saved us a lot of stress later in the planning process. For example, we knew we wanted to book Photos by Rob Futrell, our amazing photographer, as I fell in love with his work during her wedding. We also booked Beauty Marked FL again, as they did such an incredible job with my sister's bridal hair & makeup. For our Hindu Ceremony and reception bridal & wedding party outfits, I just knew we had to go through Nazranaa again, as we loved how everything turned out with our custom outfits & jewelry in my sister's wedding; & our wedding looks turned out even more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed of!

About halfway through the planning process, I realized that there were still several moving parts I needed help with. I decided to hire a wedding planner, & it was the best decision I could have made! Big Guava Events made the planning process much less daunting - helping me book the rest of my vendors, organize my ideas, create timelines & keep everyone on track & events moving on time during the wedding weekend. I definitely would have been lost without them!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Going through Shia with Nazranaa again was such a seamless process. We flew up to NJ & chose all of our outfits (bridal lengha, groom's sherwani, bridesmaids' lenghas, groomsens' sherwanis, bride & groom's reception outfits, & all jewelry) in just one day! I had a few colors & designs in mind, & Nazranaa helped bring my ideas to life. Our theme centered around royalty & peacocks for the Hindu ceremony and reception, so Nazranaa made sure to incorporate them into our outfits.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The decor! NJP Events & Design did such an amazing job taking all of my ideas & bringing them to fruition. When I walked into our reception ballroom, I actually started crying. I was so happy that everything turned out exactly how I imagined it. Our royal & peacock theme was a big hit amongst my guests, as there were so many little details incorporated into the weekend - small gold elephants adorned the head table, peacocks sitting on swings hanging from trees with crystals & lights as centerpieces, bronze peacock statues perfect for photo ops, a large peacock fixture on the arch of the entryway to the mandap, multicolored peacock light up rings & customized glow sticks handed out to guests on the dance floor, & gold, silver & rose gold trinket boxes as favors.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?

Expect the unexpected & have multiple backup plans! Our Hindu ceremony was to be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront on their River Deck, with a beautiful view of the St. John's River & the Main Street Bridge. There was a large Navy ship that docked right outside of our venue, completely blocking our riverfront view. This ship was supposed to be moved several months prior, but the move kept getting postponed. We had finally come to terms with this giant ship being the backdrop of our ceremony & had even changed our ceremony setup to have it only obstruct a part of the riverfront view, only to find out two days prior to the wedding that they were a hosting an outdoor Christmas party, complete with a dressed up Santa, drinks, & loud music at the same time & day of our ceremony! I was panicking - how could we hold a religious ceremony with a loud party right next to us?! We ended up having to move everything to an indoor ballroom. Thankfully, our wedding planner, Big Guava Events & decor vendor, NJP Events & Design, were able to work with the Hyatt & create a magical scene for our ceremony; & although it wasn't exactly what I had imagined, it was still beautiful in its own way.

I hope you enjoy this feature. Until next time, stay in love and keep celebrating every heartbeat.

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Planning & Design: Big Guava Events | Christian Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church | Ceremony & Reception Venue / Catering: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront | Floral & Decor: NJP Events & Design | Hair & Makeup: Beauty Marked | DJ / Lighting: DJ XFactor | Cake: Sweet and Chic Events | Mehndi Artist / Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Manu's Beauty Care | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Minted | Photo Booth: Chic Booth | Chivari Chairs: LUXE Party Rentals | Christian Ceremony Guest Transportation: East Coast Transportation | Baraat Dhol Player: Sahil Nath | Hindu Ceremony Snacks: 5th Element | Bridal Jewelry Christian Ceremony: Givenchy | Bridal Jewelry Hindu Ceremony & Reception: Nazranaa Jewels | Christian Ceremony Bridal Fashion: Debra's Bridal | Christian Ceremony Bridesmaids Fashion: David's Bridal | Hindu Ceremony & Reception Bridal Fashion: Nazranaa | Christian Ceremony Groom & Groomsmen Fashion: Men's Wearhouse | Hindu Ceremony & Reception Groom Fashion: Nazranaa | Christian Ceremony Favors: Just For You By Hazel | Reception Favors: Erana Design | Photography: Photos by Rob Futrell | Cinematography: Riant Films


Washington, D.C. Engagement Session by August McCue Films

Happy Wednesday, Maharanis! We are excited to share more insights into Anshu & Danny's engagement! Love is in the air with this romantic and delightful outdoor engagement session hosted at The Watergate Hotel. It was the perfect place to portray the love of this beautiful young couple, a few moments away from taking that big step that will eventually make them become husband and wife. Anshu & Danny's faces reflected the joy and happiness they were feeling at the moment. The magnificent place, incredible decoration, and glorious landscape were the perfect scenarios for this session. And we are thrilled that August McCue Films captured this engagement session in the awesome video we share today. Do not miss today's story and enjoy the engagement.  You'll love it! 

That's a wrap for today's love story. I hope you enjoyed this engagement session! See you tomorrow.

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Cinematography: August McCue Films | Engagement Venue: The Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C.


Woodland Park, NJ Indian Wedding by Lightyear Studio

Good morning, Maharanis! I hope you are ready to be amazed by Rohini & Vatsal's lovely wedding, so let's get this entry started! Our gorgeous couple celebrated their special day with family and friends at The One and Only Westmount Country Club, where they held a spectacular ceremony and reception. This magnificent venue provides a cobblestone drive-up adorned with elegant wrought-iron gates, flowers, and old-world street lighting leading to a grand estate. The couple's dream ceremony was brought to life by Detailed Affairs Team. They are a group of talented planners and coordinators that genuinely believe in focusing on the little details that lighted up our couples' unforgettable day. Ladies, I have to mention the fantastic atmosphere courtesy of M4U Events! The music, the dance floor, and the production all came together to create an incredibly captivating experience for all. The setting was as beautiful as our bride! Rohini's lengha was perfectly complemented by her Mehndi design, done with the expertise and precision only Mehndikalogie can give. The detail and effort put into the Mehndi art were truly reflected in our Maharani and her notorious happiness throughout the wedding. Our sweet couple delighted their guests with Baonanas's cake and treats, taking flavor inspiration from the richness of its city, its people, and experiences they can connect and adapt to each client's unique taste. The lovebird's day was full of memories that could never be forgotten thanks to Lightyear Studio, who made sure to capture every moment of this grand celebration. So, wait no more and click the play icon below to be dazzled!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We first met through a set up by my sister and her friend from high school, who happened to be my now-husband's employee. They thought we would be a perfect match, and they were right! Our first date (despite several last-minute cancellations on my part) was at a speakeasy in NYC. It felt like we knew each other forever. I appreciated his corny jokes and he appreciated my sass. I don't think there was ever a moment I knew Vatsal was the one - our entire relationship felt so natural and just felt like we were always meant to be together.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We were in Morocco on a ten-day vacation. Our final stop in Morocco was the Sahara Desert. Little did I know, but Vatsal had initially made several plans including a beautiful layout and a private photographer, which were all thwarted by last-minute cancellations by the local vendors. This did not stop him, however, and the morning after our stay in the desert, he asked a local man to take our photo on his iPhone at sunrise. As the sun rose over the sand dunes, he got down on one knee, and the proposal was absolutely perfect!

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 began planning soon after our engagement and our first stop was to find the venue. The minute we set foot into Westmount Country Club, we fell in love. We felt so at home there, and could picture our wedding there. Bobby from Westmount was with us every step of the way, and even through the pandemic, was able to ease our worries. Everything fell into place after that. The rest of our vendors were chosen similarly, with intuition, and we usually went with our gut reactions. We chose vendors that we felt we meshed well with, and the vendors almost felt like friends (and really were at the end of this process!). Nate and Thanh from Lightyear studios made us feel so comfortable and are true artists - we both feel awkward in front of the camera but we knew Nate and Thanh would put us at ease! They were truly amazing, and their work speaks for itself. Pauline from Flawless by Pauline did my hair and makeup, and was able to help me achieve the clean, light on makeup look that I desired. Dhara from Mehndikalogie did an amazing job with my intricate mehndi. Matt from MDL events made beautiful floral arrangements. DJ Vik and the rest of the M4U events team produced a banging party. And finally, our day-of coordinators led by Arun from Detailed Affairs made our wedding day seamless. Despite being only a day-of coordinator, Arun was with us throughout the month leading up to our wedding, calming our nerves. All our vendors were truly outstanding, and helped us to have a perfect wedding day.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I really wanted a red lehenga, but one with pink accents to make it a little different than the typical wedding lehenga. Because of my work schedule in residency, I was unable to go to India to get my outfits, but my amazing sister looked for me (when she was conveniently getting her own!). Through 2am facetimes, I was able to choose a beautiful red and pink lehenga purchased from Delhi.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Cake tasting - because I have a huge sweet tooth!
In reality, wedding planning can be extremely stressful, but I tried to enjoy the moments I got to spend with Vatsal talking about our wedding. It was exciting to think about our future and spending the rest of our lives together.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The hype and the party! All guests were vaccinated and restrictions in NJ were just lifted, and this was the first time in over a year that many were attending an event. It was so exciting to see family and friends. DJ Vik and the M4U events team put on an amazing party, and our guests were dancing all night!

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The first look was the most special moment for me. Neither of us are criers, but we both shed (more than a few) tears when we first saw each other. It was really the only moment we had with just the two of us, and felt so intimate and personal. It was a perfect moment to start the rest of our lives.

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.
For our Mehndi night, we wanted a Moroccan themed evening since we got engaged in Morocco. Abdel Habibi Morocco NY was amazing - he brought stunning decor and even went above and beyond to set it up last minute. He made our night so special and so reminiscent of our engagement!
Our sangeet night was held at a local hotel, and was filled with performances by friends and family, and ended with a garba/raas dance that all guests joined!

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Easier said than done, but try not to stress about the small things on your wedding day! There were certainly a few things on my day that didn't go as planned, and there will be in yours too, but in the end, ZERO people noticed the things that went "wrong" and only remembered the amazing moments such as walk down the aisle, exchange of garlands, first dance, partying on the dance floor. Don't sweat the small details and try to enjoy every moment, because it's over before you know it.

This is all for today my loves, but keep coming back for more inspiration!

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Planning & Design: Detailed Affairs Team | DJ: M4U Events | Cinematography: Lightyear Studio | Cinematography: Lightyear Studio | Sangeet Venue: Hilton Hasbrouck Heights | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The One and Only Westmount Country Club | Cake & Treats: Baonanas


Perry Hall, Maryland Sikh Wedding by Virdee Films Photo-Video

Happy Wednesday, Maharanis! Are you ready to revisit one of the love stories that we loved the most? We know you are! So, let's not wait anymore and enjoy this cinematographic delight captured by Virdee Films Production. Manjeet & Harman's wedding celebration already featured in this awesome gallery, and we all loved it so much as it was a breath of fresh air during the most crucial times of the ongoing pandemic. Back in January, Maharani Manjeet planned her wedding down to the smallest detail. However, the emergence of COVID-19 called for an unexpected change of plans. Two weekends before Manjeet & Harman's, the lockdown started, and this lovely couple had two options. They could postpone the wedding until a later unknown date or make the best of an unfortunate situation and celebrate their love with an intimate wedding celebration. Thankfully, they chose the second option, and oh boy, they had a wedding to remember! Instead of postponing the wedding date, they moved it one week ahead of what they had initially planned and united their lives in marriage through an intimate ceremony hosted at the Perry Hall - Maryland. And we know that planning a wedding ceremony is not easy, let alone under the current conditions they were facing. However, RJ Best Events took the challenge and orchestrated a magical wedding that everyone loved! All of this, while still managing to comply with the safety measurements regarding social distancing. How amazing is that! Our lovely  Maharani looked drop-dead gorgeous on her big day thanks to Glow By Herneet, who took care of her beauty needs. And we were dying to share today's film with all of you as it is a celebration of love and proof that love can face all sorts of challenges and still prevail. So, make sure to click the play icon below and get ready to enjoy it. We're sure it is going to take your breath away!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
He added me on IG 2 years prior but never messaged me. Finally 2 years later he messaged me on Instagram and we finally met each other a few months after messaging/talking on the phone. After getting to know each other, we discovered so many similarities between us amd our family. I slowly fell for him without knowing it, so when he popped the question, it was a no brainer for me.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We were talking on the phone and he just asked me slickly, in the middle of a conversation, after I realized what he asked me, I of course 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.
I was avoiding planning the wedding for a month and a half but I would stress about not having it done. One Saturday morning in January I sat down and called and booked decorators, MUA, film/video, DJ. I met the DJ and videographer/photographer at the Dulhan Expo in NJ in December 2019 so that made it a little easier. Just as I thought I was in the home stretch, COVID-19 had other plans for our wedding! 2 weekends before we were supposed to get married (3/28/2020), we had to make the decision to postpone until a later unknown date, or we could make the best of an unfortunate situation. We decided to move the wedding up to 3/21/2020- one week ahead, and move the venue to my parents house. I ended up planning the whole wedding again, in 3 hours!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I always wanted our clothes to stand out- not be the typical red for the bride, and ivory for the groom. I had my magenta salwar kameez made from Punjab from a boutique. And I pushed my husband to wear a blue sherwani, which was also made in Punjab, India.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The best part was meeting the vendors! I am a very sociable person, so I loved the interactions between my family and the vendors. And although I had to make numerous phone calls to each vendor to change the plans, it was an enjoyable experience!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The 60 guests we were allowed to have at our house (gathering limitations in place due to COVID19) loved the traditional feel they got from our wedding. They loved the simplicity yet elegance of having a wedding within our own home.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The very first time I saw my husband which was when I walked down the aisle for the jai mala ceremony. Everything else is a blur!

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 bridesmaids had a dance planned, which unfortunately they couldn't perform due to the restrictions in place, I only had one of my bridesmaids at the wedding. We had to make a lot of the decor ourself as the big decorations weren't able to fit in our house, they were meant for our banquet hall.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
You can plan and plan and plan, but stuff always comes up (maybe not as big as a pandemic virus). Instead of focusing on how to get what you planned, always have a back up plan and be optimistic. Sometimes last minute plans are the best!

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
My mehndi lady was choosen a few months ahead of time and she was absolutely pleasant- Shazia in Gaithersburg, MD. Decorations were done by RJ best events in Towson, MD. My MUA was a family friend, and none other than GlowbyHerneet.

We hope you've loved today's film as much as we did. If you want to check more inspiring love stories, make sure to join us tomorrow!

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Photography: Virdee Films Photo & Cinema | Cinematography: Virdee Films Production | Planning & Design: RJ Best Events | Ceremony Venue: Perry Hall - Maryland | Sangeet Venue: Bride & Groom's House | Planning & Design: Bride & Groom | Hair & Makeup: Glow By Herneet | Catering: India Palace Maryland | Bridal Jewelry: From Punjab - India | Mehndi Artist: Henna By Shazia | Mehndi Artist: PrettyNeatBeauty


Turks and Caicos, South Asian Wedding by Bliss Wedding Films

A new highlight film is here and it only means one thing! A lavish celebration is about to be unveiled. This time our friends from Bliss Wedding Films filmed Rittika & Dhruva's Indian Wedding in the dreamy Turks and Caicos, a real paradise in the Caribbean! Beaches Resorts hosted the luxurious events, and it was undoubtedly a total bliss spree. Thankfully, the first-class wedding planners from Sandals Resorts Weddings were in charge of every detail and delivered fully with the planning of these lavish galas. Both families witnessed the unique ceremony rituals in front of the pristine turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. So beautiful! While the brilliant photo team of Lin & Jirsa Photography captured the magnificent setting, the lovebirds' unique yacht exit, and every single wedding moment that you can relive here shot by shot. As the celebrations continued, our guests laid their eyes on the striking bridal look of Maharani Rittika. From her Sabyasachi and Kresha Bajaj's lehenga designs to the romantic hair and makeup created by Appease Inc., every detail of her look was absolutely to die for! Not to mention the lavish party afterward inside the great halls of the Beaches Resorts, it was definitely a grand night to celebrate their newlywed status!   So, ladies, come and celebrate with us by hitting play below and get inspired!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!

His family has a beach house in Dana Point that was our absolute favorite place to be. It was peaceful, calming, and just amazing place with great memories. So he told me we had dinner plans down in Laguna Beach so we'd stay the night at the beach house and get ready there too. I was brought up to plan for time accordingly because it's not nice to be late for anything. So I ask Dhruva what time dinner was and he said it was at 7:30 pm. So I google mapped from dana point to Laguna Beach and got ready to account for traffic. I was ready by 6:30 pm to start heading downstairs so we could leave by 6:45 pm, or so I thought.

 

Dhruva held me hostage in that room because apparently the photographers wanted him to propose at sunset, and wanted us downstairs at 7/7:30. I found it odd that he was essentially holding me hostage in a room and got a little suspicious. Because my suspicion grew, he finally had to cave and call an audible and go down sooner than was planned. And the next thing that I found odd was he said "let's take the elevator down" which we never did, but i thought "ok maybe because we have a suitcase and I'm in heels so why not."

 

As soon as the elevator doors opened he had a runway of candles set leading to the back patio which was essentially the beach. He spoke to me the whole way down the path and got down on one knee in the sand and asked me to marry him. There were a bunch of people who started cheering from the house next door, whom I initially thought was our families, but it was actually a random family who was airbnbing the house next door and it made it feel even more like a surreal fun experience.

 

After that we drove up to a country club where our family and friends were waiting for us to celebrate. It was the perfect proposal because we both enjoy quality over quantity, and sharing special moments with those closest to us.

 

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 knew for the most part that we wanted to do a destination wedding. Again since we enjoy keeping the number of people lower in order to share every moment with the people closest to us. We looked within the U.S. and all over the world. We also were thinking of maybe doing one of the places we have already been to share with our family. And a big driver was my experience at one of my cousin's weddings in India where they rented out almost a whole location, so it was all of us waking up together and spending every moment of every experience together in one location. I was driven by wanting to find a place that would make it feel like a huge family vacation where we can all spend the whole time together without any worries.

 

I had a huge excel file with multiple venues, made all the calls, organized what they had to offer, the different prices (full buyout, rentals, room rates, etc). I needed all the facts to pitch the idea of the destination and sell it to my dad. And this is how we landed on Beaches Turks & Caicos: I would be able to do all of our functions, it was all-inclusive, kid friendly (many of my cousins have young children), had U.S. certified nannies and medical aide on site, and was affiliated with Sandals which is a renowned company, it was far enough away to be an awesome destination but close enough for those who are closest to us to be able to afford, and Turks was on our bucket list of places to go since we are both Scuba certified.

 

Beaches was extremely helpful, they give you a pre-wedding coordinator and a on-site wedding coordinator. Due to many of my intricate requests, my pre-wedding coordinator put up our wedding as a recommendation to be feature in Sandal's wedding magazine which was awesome! I then had the corporate wedding planners helping me out who went above and beyond to make all my visions come true.

 

For Hair and Makeup, I wanted someone who knew how to help me get ready for all the Indian events and worked well with Indian bridal make up. So I found an amazing makeup artist in Chicago named Carrie her company is called Appease. I was able to do a trial with her here in Chicago (which is where my husband and I have been for school), and she had a package to do mine as well as some of my bridal party's hair & makeup, and mehndi at our sangeet too! Her company had the whole package.

 

For outfits, I am a bride that prefers comfort over being too showy, especially since we were going to be in the Caribbean. The one outfit I knew, and this was LOOONNNGG before it became a new "thing" to do, was that I want a Sabyasachi outfit for my wedding day because being a Bengali myself, I have loved him as a Bengali designer from long before the trend. His original store and home are right around the corner from my mom's family's home in Kolkata. And I knew I wanted it in red because thats the color my parents wanted since it is the traditional Bengali color for wedding.

 

For decor and theme, I am not a Bride that has been planning my wedding since childhood with ideas in my head from before, so I just started going with ideas as they came to me. I wanted to make full use of all that Beaches had to offer with all the diversity it had. So I made the Sangeet a more ethnic Indian theme with lots of colors and flowers and even a beer pong/flip cup table, for the Ceremony I saw an inspiration photo for a stage and huge photo frame backdrop that was all white and looked gorgeous against the Caribbean blue so I started with that and went from there. I wanted everything to be mainly white base with just small pops of colors so that all the vibrant Indian outfits would pop against the gorgeous Caribbean blue ocean backdrop. And the Reception I just wanted to be beach elegant with shades of blue which was decided after I picked my Reception outfit.

 

The main thing was having alcohol and awesome music always available, my family and friends love having a good time.

 

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?

Working with the Sandal's corporate team and the Beaches wedding team. They were all so much fun and I still keep in touch with some of them. I am more of a laid back bride where it takes a lot to stress me out. I also enjoyed finding new ways to add personal touches and items I knew would make my guests happy and make their time enjoyable. I was brought up in a family where we always think of our guests and plan events with them in mind, not to do things for show, but to do things that will be enjoyable for them. A wedding is meant to be fun for everyone in attendance.

 

I also enjoyed shopping for my outfits because we went shopping with our friends in Mumbai, no parents so not too many opinions and it was just a lot of fun because our friends aren't as stressed out as parents can be during wedding planning so it was just a lot of joking around, eating great food, going out at nights and a fun visit. This trip we also got to go to Kolkata to my parent's family's homes and that was a lot of fun too since I come for a big family there was always just a lot of people around showering us with love.

 

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?

From what I've heard everyone loved that it was about 70 people and in the Caribbean. Everyone enjoyed being able to get to know everyone that was there, spend downtime together around the resort and have a fun family vacation feel enjoying all the amenities and events. Nothing felt too formal like attending an event, it felt like a more "oh ok we gotta chug this drink, get out of the pool, and change for a party celebrating two people we love". Everyone got along and had a blast.

 

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 a welcome dinner on Thursday night. For the youngsters, it was at a restaurant by the beach, and for the adults, it was at a rooftop overlooking the ocean. It was just a fun night to have everyone get to know each other and make it feel like the weekend of festivities had officially begun.

 

Friday morning we had our Haldi at a Gazebo area outside of one of the resort's small bars with small bites and juices available. My family has alcohol at all events, but in case anyone goes offended from the other side I strategically picked this location so anyone who wanted a beverage could go into the bar and grab one. The decor was all orange and yellow-based, very beautiful with lots of flowers and fabric. We did a joint Haldi which was a lot of fun. And then all of us young folk ran to dance practices

 

Friday night we had our Sangeet. It was at an outdoor restaurant with an Indian Buffet and Indian decor and we had all the performances this night too. The decor involved a lot of colors, i had a greenery bar to go with the greenery photo wall, and tons and tons of flowers and multi-colored fabric, mehndi lounge area, and a beer pong/ flip cup table. My mom did a beautiful performance for me despite having broken her toe right before the flight on the way to the airport! She played it off as "bruise" because she wanted to be able to help with everything and perform. We also had a friend's dance that had my childhood family friends, our close friends, myself and Dhruva as a part of it. And my cousins did a huge family dance that was awesome especially because NO ONE lives in the same city, state, or country even. We all had fun doing rehearsals and teaching dances on the resort as well. There was a flash rainstorm that delayed the sangeet, but it just gave everyone more time in the pool and swim-up bar (again why i loved this concept of smaller with everyone on a resort). And yes they stayed in the pool through the rainstorm. And my coordinators told me that my awesome parents were the first to run to the location to see how they could help with anything because of the rain. The rain passed and we partied the night away.

 

This next event has tons of special details. Saturday night was our reception by the water, we had a huge fabric divider to separate the cocktail hour from the actual reception. My coordinators surprised me with a "champagne bar" as the bar for the cocktail hour. Cocktail hour was during sunset so was beautiful. For the reception, our entrance song was Unforgettable by French Montana, and our first dance song was Wanted by Hunter Hayes. We had just a few speeches and then opened the dance floor. Our dinner menu was around the world. We had dishes from all the places we traveled to, so we had Thai, Fijian, Belizean, and Caribbean food. My reception outfit was a love story lehnga. The entire bottom had scenes stitched onto it from photos I sent: our proposal, my dog, us on an elephant in Thailand, and us scuba diving. And the entire bottom border was made up of the Chicago Skyline because Chicago is where we spent our entire engagement and a majority of our relationship. After the reception, all the guests moved over to the beach and we had a huge bonfire with s'mores and more drinks, and we had all our guests release lanterns into the sky.

 

On Sunday we had an amazing boat party on a Catamaran with all of our friends that ended up staying until Monday with an open bar and food. We took the boat to an island and browsed the island and came back and continued the party at the swim-up bar.

 

And then the following Saturday, we had a reception back in LA which was just as beautiful. We picked the Millennium Biltmore because I love Beauty and the Beast and their ballroom reminded me of the ballroom scene from that movie. And it also had just such a beautiful regal elegance to it that did not need to be touched just enhanced. We wanted a winter wedding, but that wasn't possible so we had projection mapping done thanks to the amazing Amit from 3D sounds to make it look like it was snowing outside through the windows and have winter images. And we got white carpeting done and had white and gold as the theme to go with it by the amazing Nicole from Shawna Yamamoto who made my dreams come true. and I wore an oxblood sequined gown. This was just a fun party to celebrate our wedding with extended friends and family from back home. We had a dance from our friends with just a few speeches, and our highlight video from the island played.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?

Be open-minded and hire planners/decorators based on past work so you can trust their abilities. It's good to have ideas to help narrow down options and have direction, but there will be things that may not go exactly the way you wanted, or there may be hiccups. With an open mind, and trust that your planners/decorators will come up with the best solutions, there is no need to fall into the stereotype of a "Bridezilla", and you can enjoy every moment so much more with less stress.

 

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)

My mehndi!! I loved loved loved it. I had a portrait of my dog and my two grandmas on my mehndi since they could not be with us (my dog was back in California, and my grandmas have passed). It was a definite highlight.

 

For the ceremony I had a vendor build me my own Palki that I was carried in on by all my brothers. And we did our vidaai on a decorated boat after which guests went to enjoy a private lunch.

 

I also made hangover kits as a welcome bag for all the guests with a note from me.

 

For our wedding cake on the island, the chef was amazing enough to make it out of a cake I had tried at one of their restaurants when we went for a preview visit. It was made from this delicious flourless chocolate cake that everyone loved.

More gorgeous highlight reels and breathtaking brides ideas every day! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Beach
Destination
Romantic
season
Spring
color
Hair & Makeup: Appease Inc. | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Beaches Resorts | Planning & Design: Sandals Resorts Weddings | Bridal Fashions: Sabyasachi | Bridal Fashions: Kresha Bajaj | Bridal Fashions: Troy Costa | Mehndi Artist: Wild Style Design Company | Photography: Lin & Jirsa Photography | Cinematography: Bliss Wedding Films


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