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The Platinum Guide Blog

Woodbury, NY Indian Fusion Wedding by Studio KSD

Tuesday seems to be a super romantic day to fall in love! Maharanis, today's love story belongs to Katherine & Sahil. These lovebirds said "I do" at a lovely cathedral, St Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Then, they hosted a gorgeous reception at Crest Hollow Country Club. A place where the wedding of your dreams comes to life in the most extraordinary way! Maharanis, we all know that every grand event deserves the best décor. Stylish Events and the luxurious details they offer made this wedding a heavenly fairytale. The newlyweds called the best DJ in town, DJUSA Events, to ensure the joyful dancing was present during the entire wedding reception. Everyone was astonished by their musical taste! Maharanis, it is time to mention how gorgeous and classy Katherine looked. Thanks to MakeupByGurdeep Corp. and The House of Makeup's incredible makeup and hairstyle and the exclusive bridal dresses designed by Paisley Bridal and Aaina, our lovely bride looked like the Sweet Maharani she is. Every time Sahil looked at her, he knew he had made the best decision by choosing her as his life partner! Fine Art Photography & Video recorded every moment of this wedding event and produced the most beautiful film for the couple to relive their big day. The photographs compiled in the fantastic gallery below were captured by one of the most professional teams, Studio KSD. So, don't wait any longer and go check it out! I promise you will love every shot!

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My beloved Maharanis, come back tomorrow for a new adorable love story.

 
STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Summer
color
Photography: Studio KSD | Floral & Decor: Stylish Events | Ceremony Venue: St Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Reception Venue: Crest Hollow Country Club | Hair & Makeup: MakeupByGurdeep Corp. | Hair & Makeup: The House of Makeup | DJ: DJUSA Events | Bridal Fashions: Paisley Bridal | Bridal Fashions: Aaina | Cake & Treats: Crest Hollow Country Club | Cinematography: Fine Art Photography & Video | Mehndi Artist: Henna by Inder


Chantilly, VA Sikh Wedding by Maria Fasih Studios

Tuesday, a romantic day to say "I do" to a new love story. My gorgeous Maharanis, today the protagonists are Bhavna & Siddarth. A lovely couple who decided to celebrate their love with Punjabi and Sikh Wedding Events. One of the most memorable celebrations this beautiful couple hosted was at the luxurious Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles. They know the secret to a flawless wedding is uncompromising attention to detail. So, to make the venue even more perfect, Maryam Shah - Embellish LLC put together a magical décor that made everyone feel like they were in a dream. The lovebirds wanted to make every guest feel the music to celebrate their love; that is why they called DJ Shiv - Shivish Entertainment. This team certainly played the best music selection and provided the energy to keep everyone on the dance floor! Bhavna & Siddarth couldn't be happier! The music really brought everyone together to have a well-deserved good time. As we all can agree, every grand celebration deserves the best catering. Diya Bistro prepared exclusive dishes for the big day, and let me tell you; they fascinated our lovebirds and guests. Along with a delicious dish comes the sweetest three-tier wedding cake. Sultana Sweet Delights - Tahirah Khan baked a delightful treat that I am sure our lovebirds still hear good comments from their guests. It was a cake to remember! Maharanis, let's admire the undoubtedly couple's beauty. The bride was astonishing, thanks to Bridal Elegance by Suman Khosla. They did an exceptional hair and makeup job that caught everyone's attention. They also dressed our Maharani in the perfect gown. Henna By Shazia also did an incredible Mehndi art that made our Bhavna even more charming. Ted Baker London pampered the groom with a classy tuxedo. He looked handsome! Beauty, fashion, and elegance are words that represent these newlyweds. Monika Chadda enchanted everyone with the coordination of a fantastic dance with some of the couple's friends and cousins, along with a solo performance of our Maharani's favorite Punjabi folk song, Lathe de Chadar. To relive the most significant moments of this event, Maria Fasih Studios captured a beautiful set of photographs. And we've put them all together in this charming gallery for your enjoyment. So make sure to check it out! I promise you will love it!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I’d lived in New York for several years when Sid and I matched on a popular dating app - Coffee Meets Bagel. I remember our first date vividly. We met at a quaint sushi restaurant in the Upper West Side for lunch, and instead of going off to run errands afterwards as planned, we ended up spending over six hours together! We made our way through various Upper West Side bars, talking about everything under the sun. It was like we had been friends forever and I was super excited to see him again.

Given Sid had just moved to the New Jersey to start his Endodontics residency, meeting was difficult. But we met whenever we could, and we both always left our dates feeling so comfortable and at ease...usually after sharing an amazing meal together. It was clear we had built a foundation of friendship which is so important in a relationship. But a few months later, I found out some amazing news - I was moving to California for a dream job at Google! Sid was so supportive of this, but we decided it may not be the best time do pursue a relationship, especially long distance. We did, however, decide to remain friends.  Our friendship continued with many phone calls and FaceTime calls, until  on a whim, I invited him on a work trip to Barcelona - and he said yes! It only took about one romantic meal and a glass of wine the first night for us to realize we couldn’t fight destiny any longer. That weekend was the most special weekend of my life, because I realized I was in love with my best friend. The rest we say, is history!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Sid was wrapping up his residency and I was taking a work trip to Singapore. The timing fell right around our one year dating anniversary, so we decided to make a big celebratory trip out of it! The plan was to spend a few days in Singapore after my work event and then fly out to Langkawi, Malaysia for some beach time. We arrived late on a Saturday night so we could spend some time exploring on Sunday before work kicked off for me on Monday. I woke up Sunday extremely jet lagged and cranky, but Sid suggested we go watch the sunrise at the Singapore Orchid Gardens - a UNESCO site right outside the city. The morning was a mess. I accidentally flooded my hotel bathroom when showering (long  story), Sid blew out his lower back, and I ended up realizing I needed to finish one thing for work before my event on Monday. By the time we made it out to the gardens, not only had we missed the sunrise, but it was over 90 degrees, humid, and extremely crowded. We walked around  and made the best out of it, but we both surely weren't in the best of moods. It was only as we were leaving the gardens, Sid noticed a beautiful fairway full of lush green grass and suggested we sit and take everything in after a whirlwind morning. As we finally were able to relax and chat about being together for a year and how happy we were, I was staring out at the beautiful landscape. I didn't even realize Sid was getting the engagement ring out of his pocket! It was then he popped the question, and of course I said yes. Given the time difference, we were able to just enjoy the moment and celebrate 1:1 for several hours before we made our calls to our family and friends back home, which made the moment all the more special.

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 were supposed to be married in May 2020, but the universe had a different plan for us and the many other would-be 2020 brides and grooms! I am extremely detail oriented and admittedly picky, so while I did get stressed at times, I really enjoyed the process of planning out every last detail of the wedding. Thus, when we had to cancel our wedding in 2020, we really just had to think about "lifting and shifting" the majority of our plans to a rescheduled date.

Coming from Punjabi families, we knew we wanted to have all of the traditional Punjabi and Sikh wedding events, while mixing traditional and western traditions. We held two events at my parents' house: a Chunni (engagement) ceremony for the families, and a Mehendi for all of the female guests.  I always knew I wanted to do some of my wedding events at my parents home and it really exceeded my expectations! It was extra special as my sisters and I did the design and decor on our own for the home events.

Our sangeet and wedding venue, the Westfields Marriott, was a dream. The #1 reason I wanted to have our wedding there was because of their beautiful terrace surrounded by lush greenery -  I always wanted to have an outdoor Anand Karaj (Sikh Wedding Ceremony) and the terrace was just perfect for it. I had a really clear vision for our ceremony - a simple, clean rustic theme - and ur decorator, Maryam, absolutely nailed my vision. I loved the reception hall we chose for the. massive chandelier and the huge windows. We kept the decorations simple with a same green and white motif as the ceremony.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
When I went to India (New Delhi) for my wedding shopping, I never expected to fall in love with such a traditional dress. I was laser focused on something modern and non traditional, probably in a light pink! But the second I tried my dress on, ONLY due to the insistence of my mom and Masi (aunt), I knew this was "the one."

My wedding lehenga featured a burgundy satin velvet blouse embellished with zadozi embroidery, done with dabka, nakshi, sequence and zarkan work, in intricate goodly floral jaal and dense merging grids, paired with tonal satin velvet lehenga embroidery inspired with tradionational architectureal, floral and grid patterns, coupled with tonal embroidered net dupatta with scalloped heavy border and floral jaal all over. From @frontierraas "Regalia" collection, I felt like a real life Punjabi Queen from the Mughal Empire! My outfit featured a second dupatta in a light peach net to compliment my husband's sherwani, which featured peach dabka embroidery, and our bridal party's peach and gold outfits. It was pulled together with a matching crystal tassel belt.

My beautiful kundan chooda, from @sangini_accessories in Delhi,were paired with ruby and gold kalire.

I kept my wedding jewelry fairly simple, with an antique champagne stone and ivory pearl choker, matching earrings and tikka, and a pearl embellished naath (nose ring).

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the wedding planning process was definitely pulling all of our looks together and doing wedding shopping in India. Given work constraints, we only had 8 days to shop for clothes and accessories for myself, Sid, Sid's brother, my mom, my two sisters, two nieces, two nephews, AND our bridal party of 15 (!), for 4 events total. Though stressful, it ended up being really fun to find the perfect pieces and we literally would be out from dawn to dusk each night. When we returned home each evening, we would do a show and tell for our family of the days finds. We got really lucky that we were able to stay with our family that lives in a great area for new and upcoming designers, Shahpur Jat, so I was able to find some really unique pieces.

Once we finalized our outfits, I really loved the process of figuring out "the look" for each event. Shout out to Suman Auntyji for helping me bring my vision for each event to life!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
After a year and half of being stuck in the house during a pandemic, I know our guests really loved the intimacy of a small Indian wedding (which is pretty rare) and the energy on the dance floor the sangeet and reception night. We would be remiss if we didn't give DJ Shiv a HUGE shout out for absolutely killing the music selection and providing the energy to keep everyone on the dance floor until the very last minute. He took it all in stride for some our guests favorite dance floor moments, including letting me steal the mic for impromptu raps and speeches, an impromptu limbo session during the reception, and many "naagin" (snake move) dance circles. The vibe was just perfect each night and really brought everyone together to let loose and have a well deserved good time.

We also are still hearing from our guests about our wedding cake, which was a three tier "Rasmalai Inspired Cake" from a local baker, Tahirah Khan, of Sultana Sweet Delights, as well as the Chole Bhature at the wedding lunch, which was made by our wedding caterer, Diya Bistro.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The wedding ceremony itself. I didn't expect to feel so emotional, but I was just so overwhelmed with love for Sid and our family and friends, most of whom traveled from all over the country to be there, freshly vaccinated in the midst of a pandemic. During our "lavaan" (marriage rounds) three of my best friends turned brothers - Rob, Satwant, and Gurpreet- stood at each corner, as well as my cousin brothers Vikas, Amit, and Deepak. I felt so blessed and loved having them by my side during such a milestone moment. My sister, Reena, who is a beautiful singer, sang a Shabad (Sikh Hymn), accompanied by her husband, Eran, on the keyboard. After the Anand Karaj, Sid and I exchanged our own vows, which were from the heart and brought both of us to tears. It was truly a wedding representing a union of two souls, as well as two groups of friends and families.

I should note that during our ceremony, there were tons of cicadas flying around. The 17-year cicadas  hide underground and only make their appearance every 17 years, like clockwork, in the northeastern quarter of the United States in order to mate and lay their eggs before going back underground. Remaining underground for so long gives the next generation a survival advantage when they eventually emerge again in 17 years. While they weirded out some of our guests for sure, in looking back, I find the symbolism of the cicadas being present at our wedding to be really beautiful. It's almost how we all had to quarantine for a year before the wedding and then emerged for a beautiful union and beginning :)

Also during my Sangeet, my parents surprised us with a “Punjabi tappe,” which was called “Kothe te aa Mayya.”

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.
It was awesome to have the chunni ceremony the day before formal events, as it served as a sort of "welcome dinner/meet and greet" for our extended families. For the Mehendi, my friends, who live all over the country, flew in and came straight to my house and kept me company while I was getting my mehendi done. For the official function, we sang traditional Punjabi wedding songs and also some American hits like Backstreet Boys, accompanied by the dholki!

On Saturday morning we had the choora ceremony while Sid (the groom) had his haldi ceremony with his family. It was so fun to see my kalire fall on the heads of ALL my single friends, which means they are all next to the wedding altar. That evening we had the Sangeet, hosted at the hotel, where our friends and family surprised us with a slew of singing performances and dances! Sid and I are both very much into music and I am a HUGE dance/Bollywood fan so I always dreamt of a performance-filled Sangeet. We had songs sung by cousins, friends, uncles, our siblings, and my parents, as well as speeches from Sid's best friend Prashant and my best friend, Courtney. For the dances, my best friend Monika, who is an TOP NOTCH choreographer, coordinated a huge dance with our friends and cousins, along with a solo performance of my favorite Punjabi folk song, "Lathe de Chadar." My sisters Reena and Navita, and best friends Gurpreet and Namita, also did amazing Bhangra dances. To top it off, my little niece, Iyla, and nephew, Evin, did their very first Bollywood dance, and we all melted!  Sid and I also surprised the crowd with a couple's dance to "Morni Banke." This was probably one of the most special moments, as Sid is not a dancer, and had never performed before! Just for me, he learned this choreography so we could fulfill my dream of having a true Punjabi Sangeet -- and he killed it!!!

Sunday was the big day. We kicked off with Sid's Baraat, where he chose to ride in a white Jeep Wrangler Renegade decorated with marigolds instead of the traditional white horse. Before entering the building, we had the Milni ceremony and my bridesmaids and bridesman made sure no one would enter until the groom paid up :).

The reception was the grand finale of the weekend. Sid's brother, Sunny, and his uncle and mom made very heartfelt speeches. My sister, Navita, also made a beautiful speech. I surprised Sid with a singing performance of Etta James' "At Last," to express how much he means to me. Much to our surprise, our family, friends, and nieces and nephews had more dance performances planned, the highlight being an epic performance to "Jalebi Baby," a classical performance by my sisters to "Ghar More Pardesiya," and dances by my brother in laws, Vani and Eran. The rest of the night was followed by many drinks and non-stop dancing in true Punjabi style.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Choose vendors you connect with and trust. You end up spending a year or more with these people planning, and if you have the wrong people by your side, you should trust your gut to go with someone else. There should be nothing stressful about your wedding weekend . If you feel that will be the case during your planning process, you should act accordingly.

I'd also say make sure you get your timeline for the weekend right and go over it several times with ALL of your vendors. For example, your photographer should confirm you have enough time for photos etc., your caterer should have input on when the food should be set up, etc. That synergy is key to ensuring everything runs smoothly! I'd also say have a point of contact for both families to assist with moving things along, even if you have a planner.

Maharanis, that is all for today, come back tomorrow for more!

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Contemporary
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Hair & Makeup: Bridal Elegance by Suman Khosla | Venues: Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles | Draping/Styling: Bridal Elegance by Suman Khosla | Photography: Maria Fasih Studios | Cinematography: Maria Fasih Studios | Floral & Decor: Maryam Shah - Embellish LLC | Catering: Diya Bistro | DJ: DJ Shiv - Shivish Entertainment | Baraat: Shivish Entertainment | Bridal Jewelry: Sangini Jewelers | Cake & Treats: Sultana Sweet Delights - Tahirah Khan | Event Designer: Bhavna B. Sehgal | Favors: BeJoyfulCo | Fireworks: Shivish Entertainment | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Paperless Post | Lighting: Shivish Entertainment | Mehndi Artist: Henna By Shazia | Registry: Crate & Barrel | Dhol Player: Arshdip Singh | Pagh Tying: The Pagh Life | Floor Wrap: Kundan Events | Groom Outfit (Sangeet and Wedding): Manyavar | Groom Outfit (Reception): Ted Baker London (Tuxedo) | Groom Outfit (Reception): Eton Shirts (Bowtie) | Groom Outfit (Reception): Christian Louboutin (Shoes) | Groom Outfit (Reception): Tiffany & Co (Cuff Links) | Bride Outfit (Chunni): Frontier Raas | Bride Outfit (Mehendi): Rajbinder Chahal | Bride Outfit (Chooda): Indya | Bride Outfit (Sangeet): Seema Gujral | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mishka | Choreographer for Sangeet & Reception Group Dances: Monika Chadda | Sangeet & Reception Group Dancers: Reena Batra Weerekoon / Navita Batra Bhaskar / Namita Azad / Gurpreet Manda / Courtney Jackson / Natasha Agarwal / Anika Sharma / Sumeen Maur / Shelly Gupta/Shikha Ghulati / Sirisha Vadali / Iyla Bhaskar / Evin Weerekoon / Mansi Sharma | Choreographer for Sister's Classical Dance: Yogen Bhagat | Dancers Classical Dance: Reena Batra Weerekoon/Navita Batra Bhaskar


River Vale, NJ Indian Fusion Wedding by Studio KSD

Thursday is here! Maharanis, Sundes & Marc's love story comes to get you inspired! This gorgeous couple said "I do" to a new life together and decided to host the celebration of their love at the exclusive Edgewood Country Club. Let me tell you, my dears, I think this place is fantastic to make your dreamy wedding plans become a reality! Thanks to the professionalism of Xquisit Events, every detail of this wedding excelled the couple's expectations! Along with this fantastic planning, two teams, Olivia Floral Designs and Lax States, worked together to create the perfect ambiance to make sure everyone felt like they were on a fairytale. As we all know, every magnificent event deserves excellent music. Our couple knew this, so they decided to call the award-winning M4U Events. Their passion and enthusiasm made everyone dance and put the guests' hands in the air. I am sure everyone had a blast! Maharanis, let me tell you something that called everyone's attention, Sundes Mehndi art. SakhiBeauty Salon New Jersey pampered our Maharani with a beautiful art design that made her look perfect. She caught all the attention in the room! Studio KSD was in charge of the most important detail of this wedding, the memories. This team recorded a beautiful film for the bride and groom to relive their magical moment. They also captured a beautiful set of photographs that will melt your heart. They are astonishing! Check out the gallery and see what love represents!  

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My beloved Maharanis, that is it for today! Come back tomorrow for more. 

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Fusion
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Contemporary
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Summer
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Mehndi Artists: SakhiBeauty Salon New Jersey | Planning & Design: Xquisit Events | Cinematography: Studio KSD | DJ: M4U Events | Photography: Studio KSD | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Edgewood Country Club | Floral & Decor: Olivia Floral Designs | Floral & Decor: Lax States | Hair & Makeup: Angela Serritella | Cake & Treats: Cakesome | Photo Booth: Mirror Booth | Catering: Shalimar


Playa del Carmen, MX Muslim Wedding by Pixan Photography

Happy Tuesday, my beloved Maharanis! Today is a special day to say "I do" to a Destination Wedding, Aleeza & Shane's. Fairmont Mayakoba, Mexico, was the perfect venue to host this magnificent event. Their wedding specialists have been helping couples turn their wedding dreams into reality for a long time now. Maharanis, every detail went beyond perfection thanks to the planning Canteiro Weddings did. They also made sure to put together the perfect flowery décor to combine with the ocean view. Can you imagine how perfect it was? Maharanis, let me tell you, these two lovebirds are the perfect duet, and to celebrate their love, the two families became one. This day was full of precious moments, happiness, and cultural heritage. There is nothing better than beginning life as a married couple with the person you love the most, and this was the case of Aleeza & Shane. From a lovely Welcome Event to a superb and colorful Mehndi by Loto Mehndi. Then, our couple hosted a very touching Shaadi/Walima, where every guest was treated with joy. The newlyweds called the best Bollywood Performers in Mexico, Drums in Paradise, to ensure the joyful moments were present during the entire wedding events. These artists did a very energetic and spectacular drum and acrobatic show. Everyone was amazed by their performance! Our lovely couple was all about pampering their guests. That is why a fantastic photo booth by Pyrotech and the musical talent of Musi-K Entertainment was the way to go! Special Occasions DJ & Lighting was also part of the event, and they knew how to make everyone dance! It was spectacular, my dears. It is time to mention how beautiful and elegant our Majarani looked. Thanks to Styling Trio's incredible makeup and hairstyle, an exclusive bridal dress designed by Manish Malhotra, and the stunning jewelry by Reveti, our lovely Aleeza looked like the Goddess she is. Every time Shane looked at her, he knew he had made the best decision of his life! Pixan Photography captured every moment in a beautiful film and a fantastic set of photographs compiled in a jaw-dropping gallery. Go check it out and fall in love! 

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Shane and I were both very reluctant to meet each other! I had just moved to Philadelphia to start my MBA at Wharton and he was incredibly busy as a third-year dental student at Temple University. An aunty, however, had other plans for us. While Shane and I hadn’t met before, this aunty knew both of our parents and shared with them that we should meet given that we both would be in the same city. Our parents were quite persuasive as you can imagine - they kept telling us, “what’s the harm? Worst case scenario, you have a new friend!” While there was plenty of eye rolling and resistance (Shane and I both felt we didn’t need any help from our parents in the dating department), we both acquiesced and met up for dinner. Although we both enjoyed getting to know each other, our student lives took over and we lost touch for a couple of months. At the beginning of the new year, I had this feeling that I needed to get to know him better - I felt it in my bones - we needed to meet again. Of course, as we started to reconnect, Covid hit, but it’s also how I knew Shane was the “one.”

At the beginning of March, before we truly knew what Covid was and what our world would look like during a pandemic, I had returned from a trip with classmates in Europe and fell ill. Despite Shane and I still getting to know each other, he showed up to my door with a care package of soup, granola bars, and gatorade. His dental school had just announced that it was indefinitely shutting down and I was unsure whether Wharton classes would continue for the semester. Shane told me, “I had to see you before I left for Chicago.” In that moment, when I felt my worst, I was struck by how genuine he was - with a simple gesture, you showed me exactly who you were. Just by seeing you, even for five minutes, I felt infinitely better. Maybe it was that glint in your eye or your mischievous smile, but in that moment, I knew it would be impossible to live without you.

Shane moved back to Chicago and I moved back home to Baltimore when both of our schools shut down. The rest of our relationship was virtual - we would FaceTime and Zoom for hours - sometimes 9 hours at a time. We truly got to know each other without any distractions. You know how people say, “When you know, you know?” I always thought that was a myth, but now that I’ve lived it, I know it’s the greatest blessing in the world.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The proposal was a complete surprise! Shane told me that we had to go to Chicago for his friend’s birthday - I didn’t suspect much because his group of friends is really close, and I felt that it wasn’t the craziest thing in the world that everyone was gathering together to meet in the same city. On our way to the airport, I noticed that Shane was unusually quiet - he said that he had a stomach ache. I didn’t suspect anything. When we arrived at his home, we were greeted by his maternal grandparents (who flew in from Connecticut) and his uncle, aunt, and cousin who drove in from Michigan - along with his immediate family of course. Again, I should’ve noticed that his mom’s side of the family were all in town in the middle of a pandemic! I just thought “Hm they’re all so close, they’re probably just visiting!” At one point after dinner, his grandmother even told me, “I’m looking forward to meeting your parents,” and I thought she just misspoke, meaning meeting them at some point in the future.

The next morning, I got ready for the birthday and helped myself to some breakfast. This time, I noticed that Shane’s dad was nervous - he kept offering my snacks, tea, and at one point - even a block of cheese. While I was waiting for Shane to get ready, I looked down at my nails and noticed that they weren’t painted - I decided to paint them. This is when Shane’s dad got really nervous - I had no idea at the time, but this is when he thought that I had figured out the whole plan for the proposal. Shane then came down looking incredibly dapper - we then proceeded to leave for Chicago.

As we got closer to the city, Shane told me that we needed to pick up his friend before the brunch. When we got to his friend’s place, he said his friend wasn’t ready yet, so suggested that we walk around the park, close to the Lake Michigan waterfront. As we started walking, Shane was texting the whole time! I started to get annoyed - it was a little chilly, I had to use the bathroom, and Shane wasn’t even talking to me. Again, little did I know that Shane was coordinating with his friend to take pictures of us for the big moment. We reach the water’s edge, and Shane starts pointing out random things to me - there’s a boat, some buildings, a couple of ducks...all the while, Shane’s positioning me to take pics. Then, all of a sudden, he ripped off his face mask and exclaimed, “We’re not here for Nik’s birthday! We’re here because I want to be in my favorite place in the whole world with my favorite person in the whole world.” Then he went into the proposal - I completely blacked out - I have no idea what he said. All I remember is holding his hands and waiting for him to finish talking so I could say yes!

The surprise proposal was just the beginning - Shane had scheduled a full day of surprises! We then went to his uncle’s condo where his siblings and his friends were waiting for us. After we greeted our friends, Shane surprised me with my sister and her fiance who flew in from Boston! While I was so excited to see my sister, I was a little disappointed that my parents weren’t in town too. After exploring the rooftop and taking pictures, Shane told me I had to go get ready for the next surprise. Shane had scheduled a hair appointment for me (it was his mom’s idea!). I asked him why - he said I needed to wait to see.

After getting my hair blown out, we went back to his parent’s place where all of his family and close family friends were waiting for us. He had planned a surprise engagement party for us! As soon as I walked through the doors - I saw my parents! They had been keeping the proposal a secret from me for months - they were in town all along - we all started to tear up. We had a blast for the rest of the night, dancing the night away and enjoying the time with our friends and family. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect proposal - it was so thoughtful, involving our friends and family, and somehow, was kept a surprise!

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 got engaged in April 2021 and we decided that we wanted to get married before the end of the year because we were both finishing up school and needed a weekend that could work for our families - my sister is getting married in June 2022, so we had to be cognizant of visa constraints and travel for our family living abroad. I had gone to Mayakoba with Shane’s family in January and we had fallen in love with the area - it’s romantic and the perfect balance between the jungle and beach. We just felt that it would be a complete escape for our family friends. I had always wanted to do a destination wedding, but we wanted it to be easy for our friends (i.e. direct flights, less than three hours of travel), and affordable for varying budgets. The Fairmont Mayakoba was our dream venue - with both hotel rooms and suites, the hotel could accommodate a wedding of our size (over 400 people) while providing different options for our guests. We also wanted different locations for all three of our events and the Fairmont had extensive experience doing events at their pool area, the beach, and the Isla Lawn. The Fairmont was everything we had dreamed of and more - when we came for our venue visit, they pulled out all the stops - we had the most beautiful food tasting and Patty, the wedding coordinator, made us feel like we were part of the Fairmont family. Anything we asked for, they said they could do! I’m forever grateful to Patty and the entire Fairmont staff for their hard work and amazing attitudes before, during, and after the wedding. Shout out to Rodrigo who took care of all of us during the wedding!

After reserving the venue, I discovered both our wedding planner and DJ on instagram. I wanted a local planner who really understood Mexican culture and was familiar with vendors in Mayakoba. We went with Canteiro Weddings, founded by Gabi Lavor. In addition to wedding planning, her company also does decor, florals, and rentals - with such a large, destination wedding, it was important to us to work with someone who we could trust and could negotiate on our behalf. Gabi’s designs are fresh, modern, and playful - her creativity and eye for beauty in combination with the rest of her team (Ilse and Fabi), made for the perfect match. She understood our vision immediately - we wanted our Meet & Greet to be a fiesta, our Mehndi to be a massive beach party, the vow ceremony to be romantic and peaceful, and the Reception to feel like a magical, secret garden with tropical flair. From lighting, florals, fireworks, TWO horses, lounge areas, and the dance floors - Canteiro Weddings knocked it out of the park!

In addition to the planning and decor, our next priority was the DJ. We knew that 70% of a great wedding is the music, especially given that our families love to dance. After conducting due diligence, we were lucky enough to have Special Occasions provide us with an emcee, DJ, and a dhol player. Ajay, the founder of Special Occasions, flew out from California specifically for our wedding and it wouldn’t have been the same without him - our guests couldn’t stop raving about him. He managed to get everyone on the dance floor while making sure that we stuck to our tight schedule. We decided to have an emcee in addition to a DJ because of the large group of people and the logistics around our multiple events, which I highly recommend (instead of having a random cousin emcee!). If there’s a couple of words of advice that I could give to any future brides: do not skimp on music and Ajay is the best!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Having grown up in the US with roots in Pakistan and India, I took a hybrid approach to my outfit selection. For the Meet & Greet, I was inspired by Mexican culture and decided to wear a floor-length black gown with colorful, floral embroidery, paired with an Indian jewelry set. For the Mehndi, we really leaned into our desi culture - we wanted to remind people of how beautiful our culture is. Given that we were going for a more traditional feel on the beach, I went with a colorful and geometric-inspired lehenga by Sabyasachi. I was drawn to the traditional silhouette but more modern design and colors. For the reception, while I wanted to wear a South Asian outfit, I was looking for something with Western-style embroidery and a non-traditional color. I fell in love with Manish Malhotra’s Kashmiri collection - with delicate, white embroidery and pastel colors, his outfit was exactly what I was looking for. Lastly, I changed into another dress halfway through the reception - for this dress, I wanted to look glamorous, but still be able to dance. I found a beautiful, embroidered gold dress by Jovani, which was a fun contrast to my earlier reception outfit. All of my jewelry was from a close family friend and renowned international designer, Reveti Jewelers.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Shane and I aren’t the most typical couple and our main goal was to make sure our guests had the best weekend of their lives - we wanted everyone to have fun! From the welcome bags (full of candy, Mexican snacks, and other goodies), to our churro cart on the beach, we wanted to create a lot of “moments” for guests to enjoy. Shane and I were truly raised by our villages in Chicago and Baltimore - many of our parents’ friends are like family to us and we wanted them to feel included in all of our events. We are so grateful that they came all the way to Mexico to celebrate with us and it was important to make sure they felt welcomed. Our guests also commented that it felt like Shane and I were already one family - our parents, siblings, and extended family got along so well. In fact, our families had co-planned the entire wedding for months - and people could feel that we were ONE family, which I’m so grateful for. There wasn’t a bride’s side or a groom’s side (except for the dance battle at the mehndi!) - we wanted it to feel like we were all in it together.

One of the ways we did this was by having a vow ceremony - Muslim weddings never have a vow ceremony but we wanted to do things our own way. Shane and I exchanged vows to publicly share our commitment to each other but to also have our guests learn more about our love story. We also asked dear family members to speak and share advice as we embarked on our new chapter as a married couple. For our friends, they got to know our families better and for our families, they were included in our wedding in a novel way.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
It’s hard to choose one moment, but there’s one spontaneous thing we did that I will cherish forever. While we were lucky with the weather for most of our events, we experienced torrential downpour at the end of our Meet & Greet event, which we hosted outside at the infinity pool. Frankly, the timing was perfect - just as the event was ending, it started to pour. Our guests started to race for cover under the poolside restaurant. Shane, some friends, and I decided to stay outside in the rain - we just burst out laughing and started to dance. Joe, one of Shane’s family friends, had a brilliant idea - he suggested that we all jump in the pool. Without a second thought, in all of our formal clothes, we stood at the end of the pool and got ready to jump. Our dry guests, at the restaurant, saw what was happening and started to count us down - we all jumped in! Before we knew it, we had 50 other people in the pool with us. Shane even managed to convince our dads to jump in too!

I love the moment because it’s 100% something that Shane and I would do - and it was even better than our friends and family were there with us. It was also a reminder that even with something as “serious” as a wedding, the best moments are the spontaneous ones where you just let your hair down and live in the moment.

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I would like to thank my mom and Reem aunty (Shane’s mom) for planning the wedding. They put in months of work to make sure everything was perfect - none of this would’ve been possible without them. They’re the best mothers and have spent more hours on Zoom doing wedding planning than I would ever have had the patience for! I also want to thank our siblings for all of their support during the wedding - Shamil, Samah, Amna, and Will - you are the MVPs and unsung heroes! Thank you to my dad and Sohail uncle (Shane’s dad) for their humor and unique ideas throughout the planning process (and of course their endless love and support). And lastly, thank you to all of our friends and guests who showed up ready to have a GREAT time and made our wedding so special.

My beloved Maharanis, come back tomorrow for more love stories, emotions, and great moments.

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Destination
Romantic
Outdoor
season
Autumn
color
Photography: Pixan Photography | Cinematography: Pixan Photography | Venue: Fairmont Mayakoba | Planning & Design: Canteiro Weddings | Floral & Decor: Canteiro Weddings | Hair & Makeup: Styling Trio | Catering: Fairmont Mayakoba | DJ: Special Occasions DJ & Lighting | Baraat: Drums in Paradise | Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Drums in Paradise | Bridal Fashions: Manish Malhotra | Bridal Jewelry: Reveti | Cake & Treats: Fairmont Mayakoba | Fireworks: Pyrotech | Live Music: Musi-K Entertainment | Mehndi Artist: Loto Mehndi | Photo Booth: Pyrotech


Lincolnshire, IL Indian Fusion Wedding by Claudia Jo Photography

Happy Thursday, my beloved Maharanis. A new love story comes to you to lighten your day. Get ready to write all the ideas that will come to your mind after reading today's entry. Karishma & Thomas is a young couple who decided to say "I do" and start a new life as husband and wife. They hosted an Indian Fusion Wedding at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort. A fabulous place where the elegant planning and design performed by J2R Events combined perfectly with it. Karishma, the lovely Maharani, is a nature lover. She wanted to create a lush greenery theme, and she succeeded thanks to J2R Events. The couple designed a mandap full of roses and eucalyptus that created the illusion of a magical jungle. Can you imagine how romantic it was? Every detail went beyond splendid, and I am pretty sure our lovebirds had the best time of their lives. To make sure every guest was part of the celebration of our couple's love, Do It All Entertainment made everyone dance and sing along with the newlyweds. Having the people, you love next to you on a big day like this is the best gift you could receive! Our gorgeous couple was blessed to be with their loved ones. My dears, an important detail we have to mention is the natural beauty of our lovely Karishma. The Bollywood ClosetFalguni Shane Peacock, and Star & Style Sithara dressed our Maharani with highly exclusive designs during her big day. Makeup by Giana and Hair by Jojo made our bride look like a queen. The makeup and hairstyle they did, were flawless! I adore it! The way Thomas looks at her can tell us how happy they are! This couple is meant to be! Gallardo Films produced a lovely film to make sure this memory lasts forever, and Claudia Jo Photography captured the best pictures that will melt your heart. They are the sweetest thing! Maharanis, you will be amazed by this fantastic gallery

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Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
My husband proposed to me in nature! Him knowing I love nature, so he decided to propose to me at a beautiful park in the Chicago suburbs. He had the area decorated with roses and had pictures of us all over the Gazebo and proposed to me.

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.
After doing a lot of searching on how to get started we decided to get a wedding planner. We got lucky and partnered up with J2R who held our hands throughout the whole planning. With covid, we werent sure if our venue would even be open or allow the number of guests but everything worked in our favor. Planning for outfits was hard as we wanted to go to India and shop but I got lucky again and ended up ordering my designer outfits from Atlanta and nearby store in Chicago. My mom did family shopping all from India via videoconferencing and my best friend in India shopped for my jewelry. It was so heartwarming to see all the family members and friends putting in effort preparing up to our big day!  Since this was a two states wedding, myself hailing from North India and my husband from Kerala, we had a fusion Hindu and Catholic ceremony. It was double the work and double the stress, but we made it! My in laws bought the most beautiful Kerala sarees for the ceremony from Beena Kanan and Jayalaxmi. I am a nature lover, so the theme for the wedding was lush greenery. For the hindu ceremony, I was adamant about having an outdoor location and after doing lots of research, we came across Lincolnshire Marriott Resort which had lush greenery and a lake in the back. We were able to design a mandap full of roses and eucalyptus which came out just like I wanted.However, my vision for both ceremonies and reception was to make it feel a little bit like a jungle. Thankfully, everything came to fruition, the way I wanted and even got my pup to be part of my big day.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I always wanted to go the traditional red route for the the hindu ceremony. Its a color that never goes out of style. Now, the real deal was how do we get in touch with the Sabyasachi store since we could not go to India. Upon further research, we came across The Bollywood Closet who works alongside the Sabyasachi team in India and helps brides living in the US get their Sabysachi outfits. With me being a big Sabyasachi fan, my fiance at that time drove me to Atlanta, to get my outfit and it was a dream come true!!! The moment I walked into the showroom, I knew which one I wanted. For the Catholic wedding, we opted for a beautiful silver saree and for the mantharkodi ritual, a beautiful heavy maroon saree was used. These were both brought by my in laws from Kerala. However, the search for my outfits was not over. I have been following Falguni Shane Peacock for a while and knew I had to get my hands on their magnificent pieces. I got super lucky and got in touch with Studio East. They are a multi designer store based in Chicago for Indian bridal and party wear. I got my reception piece from them and could not stop admiring the piece the moment I saw it.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning was venue shopping! This is probably one of the most important parts of the planning!!! Going to different places and imagining our big day made it exciting!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The guests loved the fusion! This wedding truly brought the two states together! It was like watching 2 states all over again. Our reception was loved by everyone specially when the boys danced to lungi
Dance. Our different cultures definitely brought its own set of challenges during the planning, however, that made it unique and everyone got to see the beauty of both cultures.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There is definitely a special moment that replays in my mind and it was during the pheras. It made both of us very emotional as we had come a very long way and our union was here. Our love story was not the easiest coming from different cultures and religion but through years of hard work, we were standing here around the holy fire and ready to be husband and wide. During the pheras, we had the same song that played during the movie 2 states, when the characters were taking pheras and thinking of their long journey. Here we were in the same spot as them. It was definitely a moment I couldnt forget.

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.
Our decor remained pretty consistent for all our events- green and lush!!!! If I could, I wouldve had my events in a jungle.

For the hindu ceremony, the grooms family came in full on south indian style. The women wore traditional kerala sarees and the men wore mundus! For the catholic ceremony, my bridesmaids wore a beautiful white/gold anarkalis.

My friends and cousins put together different dances and I did a mix of hindi/tamil/malaylam dance to surprise my husband. The groomsmen killed the dance floor and gave power packed performances. They went so hard they got some lungis stuck on the ceiling of the venue which made the guests die with laughter.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Wedding planning as you know is very stressful but remember the end goal and not get caught up in little silly things. This moment flys by, so make sure to capture those moments and not let things get to you.

Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Most of my jewelry came from India, picked specially by my best friend. We shopped for jewelry in nearby Chicago as well.

Since I am a vegan, I made sure to have vegan dishes and desserts at all events. Our cake was tiered and we had vegan/non vegan layers on the wedding cake as well!

 

That is all for today, my beloved Maharanis. Come back tomorrow for more magical love stories. 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
Romantic
Contemporary
season
Summer
color
Planning & Design: J2R Events | Ceremony Venue: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort | Ceremony Venue: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral | Floral & Decor: JD Event Design | Hair: Hair by Jojo | Makeup: Makeup by Giana | Catering: Shree Restaurant | DJ: Do It All Entertainment | Bridal Fashions: Sabyasachi | Bridal Fashions: The Bollywood Closet | Bridal Fashions: Falguni Shane Peacock | Cake & Treats: The Baking Institute | Cinematography: Gallardo Films | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Star & Style Sithara | Invitations & Wedding Stationery: Little Lines Creative | Mehndi Artist: Mita Shah | Photography: Claudia Jo Photography


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