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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


Philadelphia, PA Indian Fusion Wedding by Lightyear Studio

Welcome back, Maharanis! Time for a brand new Indian wedding filmy and this one comes from Philadelphia! Our couple of the day? Preeti & Jerry, and this is how their happily ever after began. The Hilton Philadelphia at Penns Landing was the venue chosen for the galas and the couple couldn't have made a better choice. The exclusivity and elegance of it made it the perfect place for the bash, strikingly planned and designed by none other than Elegant Events Planning & Design. As we will see, it was filled to the brim with details and beautiful setups that had us sighing the entire time! Be sure, ladies, that lots and lots of ideas are to bee seen on this one. This cinematic experience comes to us thanks to our friends from Lightyear Studio, who as always, come up with some of the best visual treats around. So without further ado, let us get to the images! Don't miss them!

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Jerry and I met at work - we were coworkers (same department, different teams) and he sat right next to me. I still recall trying to be friendly with him on his first day, answering the various questions he had, and getting him settled in. In return, he made fun of me and was extremely sassy. I distinctly remember thinking, "This new hire is ridiculous. I can't believe he has the audacity to act like that." However, we started becoming really good friends as the days and weeks went by. We had a really tight friend circle with our co-workers and would constantly hang out after work and over the weekend.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I really like escape rooms and puzzles so Jerry devised an elaborate puzzle scavenger hunt for me and said it was my birthday gift. I woke up to a dossier outside the bedroom door complete with an absurd premise (he was a secret agent and was captured by an evil organization), a time limit in which to save him, and a series of instructions (rules, clothes I should wear for the scavenger hunt, tools I'd need, and a granola bar for energy). I spent the morning running around the house, finding and solving puzzles while our housemates were secreting texting Jerry with updates on my progress. After I deciphered the clues, I learned I had to drive to the office where we originally met. When I arrived, I found Jerry - he had a GoPro attached to his head and was handcuffed to a tree (apparently the villains decided just to leave him there). He convinced me to believe I missed a clue that revealed the location of the handcuff keys so I turned my attention away from him to look for them in my car trunk. When I couldn't find it, I spun back around only to find him kneeling with a ring box in his hand. I said yes. Then I told him I had accidentally found the receipt and certificate for the ring while rummaging for clues. He was (and still is) mortified.
 
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.
Jerry and I essentially treated this like a project. We had weekly meetings with each other (Wedding Wednesdays), our parents, and frequent check-ins with all the vendors. We had spreadsheets, timelines, milestones, deliverables, etc. and made sure we started as soon as possible to give us enough runway to "deliver" on our Wedding. We took it upon ourselves to divvy up the work as "fairly" as possible (Jerry took food, I took decorations, etc) but we would always look to get feedback from the other before signing off on anything. There were definitely things that we struggled with - finding multiple venues large enough to host an Indian wedding, figuring out dates, hedging our bets with the weather, etc. Luckily, Jerry and I were aligned on most of the big decisions and all the partners we worked with had previously done Indian weddings (one of them also had experience with Indian/Chinese weddings). We ended up having a Chinese-themed Sangeet, Indian-themed ceremony, and western-themed reception. We wore Chinese outfits on Friday (I had a Qi Pao), traditional Indian outfits for the Ceremony, and INDO/Western during the reception. We were also very lucky that my cousin Kavan is an extremely talented designer (https://www.instagram.com/kavanshahdesignstudio/). He helped pick out the color schemes, provided guidance on our outfits, and essentially consulted us with his designer eye every step of the way. We're so grateful to have had someone like him help us out!
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Every now and then, we would take a step back to a holistic view of everything. I think it was great practice as it gave us a sense of progress. The sense of accomplishment we got, seeing everything slowly coming together, was extremely gratifying. It allowed us to stop worrying about the granular details (if only for a moment!).
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
It's so hard to pick just one thing! The guests that had been to an Indian wedding were in awe of the Chinese themed decorations, party favors, and food (Sangeet was Chinese themed). Most of Jerry's side had never been to an Indian wedding and they were overwhelmed with everything that was happening. Some of his uncles and aunts keep telling us that our wedding was "the very best party they've ever had in their lives." Oh - and our priest was phenomenal! Not only was he charismatic and funny, but he also made it a point to draw parallels to other religions and cultures throughout the ceremony, while keeping it short for an Indian ceremony. We received many compliments about him even from my relatives from India!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Definitely the Ganth Bhandan (tying of the knot) - Jerry forgot that his dupatta was tied to my dupatta and almost dragged me off the stage on accident when he was moving something off the stage.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Plan early, meet often and communicate clearly. Be grateful for any support your friends and family may offer you. Speak your mind with cordial professionalism. And, above all else, remember to have fun! There will come a point where there's nothing you can do to change or control things (endgame, as my husband called it). You've planned to the best of your abilities, completed your checklists, and even prayed for gorgeous weather. Let the chips fall where they may, grab a drink, and enjoy the ride!
 
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
All of our caters did a wonderful job - the food was amazing and it was really exciting to watch our relatives try different ethnically authentic foods for the first time (Chinese provided by Sang Kee Sangeet night, Moghul for Indian Ceremony day and 5-Chefs brought Indo-Chinese to the reception). Cesaphe Vie also provided a plethora of hors d'oeuvres for our cocktail hour. Also, our cake provided by Cesaphe was an amazing sight - it was decorated one side to have each layer represent our individual hobby while the other side was an amazing red cherry blossom. Our guests did not leave any event hungry! Everyone we worked with also did an extraordinary job - Beautiful Brides was able to provide amazing hair and makeup for me and my bridesmaids, Lightyear Studio shot stunning photos and footage, Elegant Events made our venues look amazing, DJ Ravi got the crowd pumped with Indian/Chinese/American music.

 

Don't go anywhere, more to come! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Fusion
season
Spring
color
Venues: Hilton Philadelphia at Penns Landing | Planning & Design: Elegant Events Planning & Design | Cinematography: Lightyear Studio | Photography: Lightyear Studio | Sangeet Venue: Vie by Cescaphe | Ceremony Venue: Pen Ryn Estate | Hair & Makeup: Beautiful Brides Philly | Catering: 5ive Chefs Catering | DJ: DJ Ravi Jackson


Murfreesboro, TN Indian Wedding by WalkOnWater Productions

Friday is here, and we know exactly what you need to kick start your weekend the best way possible! Today's Indian wedding experience comes to us thanks to our friends from WalkOnWater Productions, who really left us in awe with their visual work! So talented! The couple that will embellish our screens for the day? Priya & Arpit, and in case you missed the beautiful picture gallery we had a couple of days ago, you can always double-check it here. But first things first. This gala had absolutely everything we love about Indian celebrations. Color, lots and lots of family members, music, and of course, love. Imagine that all started with a scavenger hunt at the park! Who knew that Raja Arpit would be there at the end of it proposing! So romantic! Such a beautiful engagement deserved and equally beautiful wedding and that was precisely the case with this one. The stunning floral and decor you will witness were done by none other than Red Umbrella. We already know that in terms of style and finesse, there's none better! So, ladies, are you ready for this? We know you are, so hit play below and join today's couple on the most important day of their lives!

 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Arpit and I matched on a dating app, Coffee Meets Bagel, in February 2017. For our first date, we had intended to only go out for dinner but ended up going to three different places just to make the date last longer. Over the next few weeks, we were talking multiple times a day, and the chemistry just kept getting stronger. I knew this was it when the feelings I developed for him were like none other I had ever experienced before.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It's incredibly difficult to keep secrets from me, I'm too observant. Turns out Arpit had planned my proposal by getting my cousin Shilpa involved as his sidekick. I'm always her backup plus-one for events, and she had asked me to accompany her to an engagement party for a good friend of hers. On the way to the party, she told me she had to stop by a flower shop to pick up a few things for the engagement venue. We went to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, a beautiful park in Lincoln Park Chicago and was approached by a girl who had told us the park was offering a scavenger hunt. I immediately declined since we were only there to pick up flowers (and of course, we're in evening dresses and high heels) but Shilpa said we still had plenty of time before the party. The girl handed me a canister with a scroll, which said to get ready for a journey and to search for the first clue. I looked up, and the girl was gone. I immediately thought this was a little creepy, and told Shilpa that we should go. She said she saw the second clue on a rock not too far away, and we should give it a try. Long story short, Arpit had set up clues all around the park, which led me to him standing under a bridge. He proposed, and I was definitely not expecting any of it! To make it better, the girl who had given me the first scroll was the photographer he hired to capture the proposal! :)
 
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 for 5 events (Mendhi, Grah Shanti, Sangeet, Wedding, and Reception) meant 5 itineraries, menus, outfits, decor schemes, hair and makeup looks, etc. I really had to get organized, so I made my own wedding planner book that I took to every vendor meeting and used to put inspiration in.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I really wanted to go the traditional route for my bridal lengha. I chose a bright, beautiful red with gold stitching.
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I loved that Arpit was just as excited about wedding planning as I was. We worked together on most things and I think that made it a lot more fun.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The food was definitely a hit. Also, we loved surprising our guests! During the Sangeet, Arpit and I put on a surprise dance performance, and during the reception, we surprised our guests by driving into the reception hall!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
This was a behind the scenes moment that always brings a smile to my face. After we came back from the Vidaai, I had about one hour before I had to shower and start getting hair and makeup done for the reception. We were both in Arpit's hotel room and he was in a shirt and sweatpants, and I was still in my lengha. I realized there would be no way I would be able to eat and then fully undress in time, so two of my amazing bridesmaids, Amber and Forum, came to our room and took out the dozens of bobby pins in my hair and the safety pins in my dress while I ate. We were laughing most of the time and it was one of those little moments that made a lot of the wedding stress go away.
 
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 reception was my absolute favorite. I had envisioned a starry night theme with dark colors and bright stars, and my wonderful decorator, Red Umbrella, made it all come to life. By the best moment was when everyone was facing the front doors for our entrance, but instead, we drove in the side service entrance and around the hall to the front of the dance floor.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?

Get organized and remember the bigger picture. At the end of the day, it won't matter that you ran out of a certain appetizer or that your favorite song wasn't played. This is your wedding day, have fun and don't let one little thing ruin your mood.

More to come darlings, stick around!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Ballroom
Romantic
season
Summer
color
Floral & Decor: Red Umbrella | Planning & Design: Red Umbrella | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville SE Murfreesboro | Cinematography: WalkOnWater Productions | Photography: Sapan Ahuja Photography


Whippany, NJ South Indian Wedding by Prime House Productions

Welcome back, ladies! Today, we have another gorgeous representation of what Indian weddings are all about. This time, we will be sharing Avianne & Ricky's lavish vision coming from New Jersey! Our friends from Prime House Production truly outdid themselves for this filmy so you definitely can't miss it! The Hanover Marriott was looking heavenly to house both the ceremony and reception and the couple couldn't have chosen a better venue for the gala! So majestic! What was also majestic was our lovebirds' fashion choices. Just take a moment to look at that awe-inspiring sea green and ivory saree! We are so loving that combination! Time to take notes ladies, new Maharani fashion trends are on the horizon and you definitely want to check them out! We also know that Indian jubilees are known for their colors and ravishing dancing moves. To keep everyone dancing the night away, the couple recruited the team from D&S Event Solutions who also assisted with the lighting decor! Seriously, can you ask for more? So, ladies, time to hit play below and let yourself be enchanted with today's filmy!

 

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We met during our senior year, and he won me over with magic tricks, silly pranks, and an epic scavenger hunt that led to him asking me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. He's such a charmer and great with surprises! I don't think there was ever a clear defining moment when I knew he was "the one"—as corny as it sounds, we just clicked from the moment we met. We're super silly and share the same life goals and values, but at the same time, we complement each other as opposites as well. Where I'm more emotional and sensitive, he's more thick-skinned and doesn't let stress get to him easily. Over time, we've grown together and learned so much from each other. Somewhere along the way of life's ups and downs, we just knew that we were in this for the long haul as life partners.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I thought we were crashing someone else's proposal, but it turned out to be mine! It was a chilly day in the city. I thought we were just there to spend the day with his family and meet up with his brother who came down from Boston to visit. At one point in the day, Ricky suggested we walk around Central Park. I was really grumpy because I was cold and just wanted to go somewhere indoors. Eventually, we went down a trail of stairs with petals scattered all the way down. His mom commented, "Wow! What are these?" and the cynic in me just responded, "Oh, someone probably just proposed here." At the end of the stairs, though, was Ricky down on one knee in a beautiful little gazebo by a creek. A group of our friends were also there and playing the song he played (Perfect Two by Auburn) when he asked me to be his girlfriend back in high school. My jaw dropped, and let's just say I wasn't grumpy anymore

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.

For our Wedding Ceremony, we wanted to have both a traditional and modern feel. We had a burgundy tent-style Mandap with a floating floral Ganesh and bells in the center and florals all around. We also had a raised aisle lined all the way down with candles and petals. Our DJ beautifully lit up the decor with wash lighting and uplighting and the ambiance was truly romantic. The actual wedding ceremony was a traditional Gujarati Hindu ceremony with an added Bible passage reading and Christian prayer by my father to honor my side of the family's beliefs. For our Reception, we wanted to have a classic, floral, elegant theme. Our stage had cherry blossom trees, a vintage lounge, and chandeliers, and our tables were decorated with mini cherry blossom trees, tall flower vases, and candles with orchids in them. Our DJ did an amazing job again with the uplighting and creating a dark, romantic ambiance in the room! We are so grateful to all our vendors, family, and friends who helped make our day so beautiful and effortless!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I originally thought I wanted to do a classic all-red ensemble, but when I stumbled upon the lehenga I ended up wearing, I completely changed my mind. I loved how it modernized and combined the panetar and gharchola traditionally worn by Gujarati brides. My favorite part was how the skirt had Indian Wedding motifs embroidered all around in gold thread. As a writer, I love a good story, and a lehenga that told a story just seemed fitting for me.


What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was picking out outfits and decor. I personally love designing and decorating, and who doesn't love shopping!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think guests really loved how genuine the day felt. Above all the glitz and glam, and more than anything else, we wanted the day to celebrate the magical and miraculous love that Ricky and I share. That love has transcended cultural and religious differences and overcome so much. I was so happy to see that love everywhere that day—in our silly antics, the heartfelt speeches, and the dances and fun we had with all our loved ones.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle was a really special moment of my wedding. Right before entering, I was overcome with so much emotion that I started crying! As cheesy as it sounds, I've always dreamt of the day my dad would walk me down the aisle, and seeing him next to me at that moment made me feel so blessed. My entire eight years with Ricky also flashed through my mind. Thinking of all the challenges we'd overcome, especially coming from different backgrounds, culminating to this moment, overwhelmed me with so much gratitude and joy.

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 Sangeet, we honored Ricky's Gujarati roots with a Garba night. We dreamt of a vibrant night filled with all the colors, song, and dance, and that's exactly what it was! I wore a colorful, multi-fabric lehenga, which was complemented by the decor—a colorful orange and pink backdrop with a golden swing and parasols—plus a beautiful tree in the center of the dance floor adorned by candles, a Radha-Krishna statue, and colorful pom-pom tassels. Ricky's mom and her friends did a special dance for us, as well as friends and two of Ricky's cousins. I also stepped out of my comfort zone to do a dance with my sister, joined by Ricky at the end.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
As crazy as wedding planning can get, don't lose sight of the reason for the day: the love you and your significant other share.

More glam and charm from our brides coming up!

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Traditional
Romantic
South Indian
season
Spring
color
DJ: D&S Event Solutions | Lighting: D&S Event Solutions | Venues: Hanover Marriott | Cinematography: Prime House Productions | Photography: Kumar's Photography and Film | Sangeet Venue: Royal Albert's Palace / Maharaja Hall | Planning & Design: Avianne Kharawala | Floral & Decor: Nirali Decor | Hair & Makeup: Maryam Asim Beauty | Catering: Rasoi | Baraat: Caliber Farms | Cakes & Treats: Palermo Bakery | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Maryam Asim Beauty | Event Designer: Nirali Decor | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Parekh Cards | Mehndi Artist: Deepti Patel | Tuxedos: Boss Tuxedo & Bridal Wedding and Prom Headquarters


Tampa, FL South Indian Wedding by Since 1987 Films

Welcome back, dolls! Some months ago, we had the pleasure to have Avani & Naresh's gorgeous wedding vision. In case you missed it, you can relive all the glam here. Today, it is time to get those sarees on, grab a drink, and enjoy the cinematic experience that our friends from Since 1987 Films have for us from that unforgettable day of magic! The Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore was looking at its very best for the gala and it had to be like that! We know that when a Maharani ties the knot, mountains tremble! Just look at that gorgeous fashion choices our bride Avani made for her big day! So magnetic! I also loved her makeup, and guess who was involved in it? You got that, right! Michele Renee The Studio of course! Such a grand bash needed the pros! So, ladies, there is no time to waste, let us get to the filmy we have been waiting for, only here, at Maharani Weddings!

  

How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. Our first date consisted of a shared, vegetarian Thai dinner at Thai Prime next to the hotel where their wedding took place. They then enjoyed a really fun night out in Tampa Bay’s SoHo district (where the wedding after-party was) that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. In total, we ended up visiting seven or eight different places on that first night. Our second date was the very next day at the Laxmi Narayan Mandir, where Naresh has been visiting every Sunday for yoga, meditation, and prayers. Our third date was the next day after that, at P.F. Chang's for dinner. While Naresh felt like I was his "One," after the first date, I knew a few weeks into our relationship.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Weeks before the proposal day, Naresh’s friend Santosh Govindaraju sent an email invitation for his birthday party at the top of the Aloft hotel in downtown Tampa Bay. Coincidentally, on the same day as the party, a different friend of our, Michele Renee - who runs a hair and makeup studio - invited me to participate as an "Indian model" during training for her new artists. We decided to meet at the Aloft hotel for the birthday after my beauty session.  On my way to the hotel, I received a call from Naresh telling me he had just gotten to the birthday and that a guy at the entrance would lead her to a special location for the occasion. When I arrived at the front, I found it odd to be met by a photographer. I followed the photographer up to the top floor of the hotel. As soon as I opened the door to the penthouse, I knew there was no birthday party. The room was filled with red balloons, hearts, roses, candles, and my favorite Ferrero Rocher chocolates. The photographer had me sit down to watch a video on the TV filled with sweet messages recorded by our families and photos of us together. Halfway through the video, I was confused about why I was watching this alone while the photographer was snapping pictures of my reactions. I legitimately thought Naresh was late to his own proposal. I couldn't even concentrate on the video because I kept gazing around the penthouse for him... but at the end of the video, there was Naresh, telling me to come out to the balcony. I followed a trail of roses from the TV couch to the balcony. Another pathway outside led me to Naresh, who was on one knee in a heart-shaped bed of petals bordered by candles. He said a few words about how it had been exactly 364 days from the day we first met and how his life had completely changed for the better. It was such a sweet and thoughtful proposal, and of course, I said YES! But it didn't end there... After an immediate photo session with the photographer around Tampa's Riverwalk, we returned to the penthouse, where about 30 of our close family and friends secretly gathered for a surprise engagement celebration! This was actually more of a surprise than the proposal!!! Some of our family drove or flew in from out of town. Other friends FaceTimed into the event. It was an eventful night of dinner, drinks, dessert, and love. Everyone celebrated the night and ended up at the hotel bar downstairs, which was blocked off for the group's party. Naresh, his parents, and I then spent the rest of the weekend in Orlando at a resort near Disney to keep the festivities going. 
 
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 hired a month-of coordinator and separate day-of coordinator. We recommend hiring both even if you’re looking to save a few bucks. It’s important to feel as relaxed as possible the week of the wedding and during all the festivities.
 
Naresh handled a bulk of the long-term planning, event coordination, negotiations, and programming (of course, with the consultation of me :-). Naresh owns an online and digital agency, and one of the services they offer is online special events like webinars and virtual conferences. They know what’s entertaining, what’s boring, what’s expensive, how to negotiate, etc. His company has generated more than $10 million dollars for clients over the past few years, so planning an actual physical event like a wedding was much smoother than the horror stories he was led to believe. Naresh treated our wedding #Narvani2018 just like he does his tech work. He quantified prospective vendors, digitized processes, and outsourced the labor to speed up efficiency and effectiveness.
 
Naresh identified the three cheapest venues (through an Excel spreadsheet model he created, since each venue has different variable costs) in the Tampa-St. Pete area that could accommodate more than 350 people. I visited all three and picked my favorite.
 
About 100 locals attended at least one of the events. The rest of the folks (about 250 folks) drove in from Ocala or flew in from around the world.
 
The wedding ceremony took place inside our hotel venue’s ballroom. It was on a Friday late morning. The mandap was beautiful with fresh flowers, candles, votives, entry ramp, etc.
 
The baraat got rained out, so we did the baraat inside the hotel. They had an area where we could do it. We were very fortunate that our DJ Inderjeet is a dhol player, so we were able to do a truly mobile baraat inside.
 
Everything took place in the hotel.
 
I made centerpieces for the reception. They were trees with crystals.
 
Naresh choreographed multiple jaw-dropping dances. I made a slideshow that was running throughout the reception backdrop. Naresh also gave a speech with supporting slideshow that one person called “the greatest wedding speech given by a groom in the history of weddings.” Multiple people have requested access to this video of the speech. It will release next month. All attendees under 50 years kept in touch via a private WhatsApp group. The group chat got very wild and crazy, which made the memories and new friendships even more lasting.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I went to India. I tried on a bunch of outfits and picked the dresses I liked the most. I wanted a wedding outfit to be traditional red. I wanted blush and gold as the colors for the wedding theme because those are popular colors for Indian weddings. They are pretty and "in."
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Food and cake tasting were the most enjoyable parts of the planning process. They were fun activities to do together as a family.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We were surprised at the feedback we got regarding the joint priests (Telugu and Gujurati). The two priests worked amazingly with their teams (we had an additional three or four priests reading the Shastras), the DJ, and the thavil, shehnai, and nadaswaram musicians. You could truly feel holy vibrations during the auspicious muhurtham. "I've never been to a wedding with such talented and wonderful Vedic priests. It was a privilege to witness the divine merging of two cultures, traditions, people."
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
It was very nice to see everyone - friends and family - coming from all around the world to celebrate under one roof.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I tried to do some of my own décor items, and we ended up not using them. We recommend not doing your own decorations. Spend the money to get a professional company to do it all. Don’t do anything yourself. Estimate that the liquor tab will cover your entire food and beverage minimum (assuming you’ll have liquor at your Sangeet and wedding).
Don’t get stressed out over this event. Get a good project manager and event coordinator to take on the workload and stress. The future of your marriage is far more important than your wedding weekend.

More to come, don't miss it! 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
Ballroom
Romantic
Cinematography
season
Winter
color
Hair & Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio | Photography: Since 1987 Films | Sangeet Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Ceremony Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Reception Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Day-of: Abby Hamilton | Floral & Decor: Ritti Couture | Coordination: Ritti Couture | Planning & Design: Ritti Couture | Catering: Khasiyat Orlando | DJ: B & S Music Entertainment | Cake & Treats: Goldie's Goodies Bakery | Cinematography: Since 1987 Films | Live Music: Shaadi Ki Shehnai | Mehndi Artist: Alpa Mandaliya | Priests: Aacharya Ramesh Mehta / Guru Dutt | Catering: Flames Indian Cuisine | Audio / Visual: Nima Films | Afterparty: Cheap | Registry: Zola


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