Friends and family played a crucial role in the implementation of Maharani Samanvita’s big fat Indian wedding. Especially since the bride opted to plan the multiple day celebration herself! Welcome to Samanvita and Shamank’s royal affair held at the Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club. For her wedding theme, the lovely bride opted for a regal theme in dark tones. Her attire was breathtaking; custom designed by her mother’s friend all the way in India and was a combination of reham zari embroidery coupled with heavy stone work that was simply one of a kind. Hair and makeup by Kashish by Hina was on point with bold, burgundy lips matching her bridal lengha, taking center stage. Samanvita’s mehndi was also a gorgeous shade of deep red designed by mehndi artist KM Henna Artistry. No wedding would be complete without a wedding coordinator to ensure that all the wedding bells were in a row, and resident staff Shannon Walker at the Westin was a dream come true for this bride. After the traditional Indian wedding ceremony, the bridal party took it outdoors in the breathtaking three-tiered garden terrace for a gorgeous photo session with photographer VEK Photo. The day was picture perfect as seen in the gallery! P.S. - we caught up with the bride on all the details of the wedding down below!
Do you have a super romantic proposal story or engagement memory?
I was visiting my boyfriend in Chicago from Dallas for his birthday weekend. It was Fourth of July and his birthday on the 6th of July so I knew it was going to be a super fun weekend! He told me he had a helicopter ride booked for us on the 5th and I was SO excited as it was something I had always wanted to do! We were in downtown, hopped on the magic carpet ride (helicopter ride for this century haha) and love was in the air! I had brought a nice camera with me because I love taking pictures and the guide said he would take my camera and take pictures for us during the ride complimentary! Even better! So twenty minutes or so went by, we were overlooking the beauty of Chicago (now our home) and the pilot said Oh, its such a beautiful day. I was like yea it sure is! A few minutes later he said it again and again. We were wearing headphones so I thought maybe I was hearing things. I looked over at Shamank and he popped out the ring! I was SO shocked and I can easily say it was the best moment in my life. I could hardly believe it and never thought that was the day he would propose because hey you can't kneel down on one knee in the helicopter right? Haha! So we landed and the pilot told Shamank to make if official by kneeling down and asking me to marry him. Apparently, "its such a beautiful day" were his code words for him to pop out the ring; its crazy how much planning he did for that day to be the best proposal a girl could ask for.
Tell us about your wedding style. When you sat down to really figure out how your dream wedding would look, did you start with one central color, a palette of colors, or a theme that served as your inspiration?
A lady always has a dream wedding in mind from when she's a little girl. I do part time interior design/decor so I knew what I wanted from the outfits to the theme to the decor. I even had my outfit designs ready to go. I did want to portray something meaningful in each event and not go overboard. Having my family and friends (who served as my inspiration) there with me by my side was far more important to me than trying to impress society.
What did you enjoy most about the process of planning your dream Indian wedding?
When you look back at it, of course its a crazy stressful period. I did not have a wedding planner for our wedding (I wanted to personally take care of everything) so my family was the biggest support in helping me plan my dream Indian wedding. What I enjoyed the most about the wedding was making checklists! haha! I have been making checklists since I was like 13 years old so I was ready for the process!
How did you choose your lengha or lenghas? Did you work with a certain designer? Did you spend hours on the internet first?
I had a regal theme for my wedding outfits. I wanted something with velvet, shenille and kundan work and in this exact shade of maroon. My mom's childhood friend Ratna Jain (owner of Tantra RJ) is a well known designer in India and I knew she would bring my ideas to life. We spent lots of time texting and skyping to make them just like I wanted! When I received it and put it on for the first time, it was perfect.
Looking back, was there a really special moment that you remember from your wedding that stands out as the most magical?
The most magical moment was definitely when I was walking down the aisle to the perfect song and I could see my Raja waiting for me at the mandap. I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be looking shy but I couldn't help it and had the biggest smile on face. I remember thinking I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
Did you and your Raja have a special song that you danced to as your first dance? How did you choose it?
We sure did! It was "Pehli Nazar mein" by Atif Aslam. We love the song because it shows us to enjoy the moment, love one another and know that we will always be there for each other.
Funny Story: In our first dance, I put a rose in Shamank jacket pocket for him to pull out during a certain part of the dance. He has two left feet and we had spent so much time practicing for this. So we are performing and it comes to that part where he kneels and opens his jacket, no rose. Opens the other side, no rose. He looked at me and inside I was thinking oh my gosh that rose better show up in the next two seconds. Miraculously, someone on the head table (later we found out his mom) threw the rose across the ballroom and it happened to land right at his knee. I told him he should thank his mom for saving his life! haha! It was funny because a lot of the people watching thought it was part of the act so it worked out!
How about hair and makeup? Did you already have a style in mind or did you work with a specialist to find your perfect look?
I worked with Hina Saleem owner of Kashish Makeup & Hair. I had gone to her for a trial where she was so welcoming and loving like a big sister. I did not go crazy with my hair and make up and just wanted something elegant. In fact, for my reception I left it natural and down!
Did family or friends help out with certain special details that really added to the event?
My family and friends were the stars of the wedding! From gift packing, to dance practicing to running errands, mailing cards, to making phone calls, every detail added to make the weekend so successful!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Our cake had four different layers to it with each being a different flavor we picked out. Red velvet, strawberry, pineapple and vanilla from Natalie's Bakery-they make the most delicious cakes ever.
We return for the royal wedding reception! You don’t want to miss this! We will see you right back!