Welcome back Maharanis! In this post, we revisit Payal & Michael’s reception extravaganza, photographed by Joseph Kang Photography, with cinematography by R.E.M. Before making their grand entrance, the newlywed couple posed for some stunning moonlit portraits, with a beautiful raindrop-filled background. This resulted in some of the most striking wedding photos, teaching us that rain on your wedding day might actually end up being lucky since you’ll be able to take amazing photos like these! The reception venue, Stonegate, was transformed by blue and pink draping and glittering crystal garlands by Rami’s Mandap. Delicious food was catered by Gaylord Cuisine, with incredible music performed by DJ Krush and DJ Oz that kept guests on their feet all night long! In between dancing to the energetic beats, guests had a blast taking photos in the photo booth provided by The Photo Booth Group. Once again, Payal looked perfect in a bold, orange gown by Aso Palav, dewy makeup and hair by Diem Angie, and mehndi by Kamini's Mehandi. While we love so many aspects of Payal & Michael’s incredible weekend, we especially adored all the thoughtful wedding details sprinkled throughout the reception. Guests were asked to leave the couple advice on prescription pads, the couple’s favorite drinks “Pandya Punch” and “The Ocampoloco” were specials offered at the bar, and meaningful photos of Payal & Michael were displayed adorably on clotheslines. Click below to check out the full gallery to see all the vibrant photos from the couple's weekend! 

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one?"

Michael and I met in Boston, MA while we attended the same graduate program. He was in the class one year ahead of me and we would frequently bump into one another as we studied in the same student lobby. I couldn't help but think about what an advantage it was to befriend an upperclassman! As our friendship continued, I quickly realized that the late night study sessions and laughter we shared was something more! Michael moved back home to California and I moved back home to Chicago after completing the program. We continued our relationship and as the saying goes "distance makes the heart grow fonder.” In between all the air miles we earned traveling to see each other, the phone calls, texts and FaceTime sessions, we both came to realize that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

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.

As stressful as wedding planning was, it was equally as thrilling and exciting. Planning the wedding while continuing our long distance relationship definitely was a challenge but we made the best of the situation by frequently reminding one another that the big day was the start of an amazing life together! I researched vendors prior to committing to their services. I wanted to be sure we found vendors that we connected with and that shared our excitement with us. If that connection was lacking, I decided to continue searching.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?

I knew I wanted to follow tradition and incorporate the red, green and white color combination. We went to India to shop for the wedding. Although the choices were overwhelming, I knew which dress I wanted when I tried it on! It made me feel confident and beautiful and to see the reaction on my parent's face said it all. I didn't have a particular color in mind for the reception dress but definitely knew the style that I wanted. After shopping at several stores, I tried on a dress and when I looked in the mirror it was immediately "love at first sight!”

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?

One memory that's still so vivid is when I prepared to walk down the aisle. In that one instant, it all became so very real! Hearing the prelude play on cue, seeing the faces of all our guests looking back at me with cameras in hand ready to take pictures, seeing the faces of my parents filled with joy and happy tears, and seeing the wide and bright smiles of the bridal party will forever be a special moment.

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

Remember that the wedding day is just the beginning of your happily ever after. Enjoy the ups and downs that wedding planning consists of. Enjoy the planning process with friends and family. Prioritize and budget accordingly. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, your wedding day will be what you make of it. Most importantly, be sure to enjoy every moment on the big day as you've spent lots of time planning it. Simply live in the moment and take a few seconds to take it all in!

We'll see you tomorrow Maharanis!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stonegate | Floral & Decor: Rami’s Mandap | Hair & Makeup: Diem Angie | Catering: Gaylord Cuisine | DJ: DJ Krush | Baraat (Music or Entrance): DJ Oza | Bridal Fashion: Aso Palav | Cinematography: R.E.M. | Mehndi Artist: Kamini's Mehandi | Photo Booth: The Photo Booth Group | Photographer: Joseph Kang Photography