What should a newly engaged nature-loving duo do when there are no outdoor venues large enough for their wedding guest count? Bring the outdoors inside of course! Preea and Akin wanted their indoor ceremony at the Santee Conference Center to have the fresh feel of nature, and with Mandap World at the helm of decor and floral duties, the outdoors-in-nature theme was done perfectly. A gorgeous, halo spiral mandap, with four cherry trees taking the place of the usual mandap columns created such a modern, unforgettable staging look, and was the perfect backdrop to create beautiful memories for the lovely couple and their family. Also pairing beautifully with the decor was Maharani Preea's beautiful ceremony ensemble by Image Boutique Shop by Surinder Bedi consisting of a gold-toned skirt with flower details and beadwork with a deep emerald, raw silk blouse. Adding to the perfect surroundings was music by WeGoDisco and lighting and sounds by Indaglow Productions. The wedding celebration was the ultimate in upscale rustic, and the perfect way for this simple and elegant couple to exchange “I do’s.” Maharanis, you can check out more whimsical photos by Jamie Howell Photography in the gallery below. For more event details, we have an in-depth interview below from Maharani Preea herself!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Akin and I met when we were both out for a friend's (Nikhil) going away party. My friend, Sarika, was really good friends with Nik, and Nik is Akin's best friend. I ran into Akin the previous weekend at a store and told my girls about it. When we ran into each again at Nik's outing, I was determined to talk to him. Sarika and Nik plotted to get us to talk while we were all at Reign (RIP to best club). The mixture of the oh-so cooling fog mist and a few drinks both gave us the courage we needed to talk.
We ended up dancing the night away and the song "Feel So Close To You" by Calvin Harris was deemed our song. The next day, Akin friend requested me on Facebook and we soon began texting. A week later, we went on our first date and we've been inseparable since then.
I knew Akin was the one pretty early on in our relationship. I felt such comfort around him and was able to be myself so quickly. He became my best friend in a matter of weeks. Akin said he knew I was the one during a family trip to Europe. I was gone for about 18 days and during that time he said it just hit him.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The actual proposal was so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. Akin and I (mostly Akin for obvious reasons) planned a trip to DC for our 3rd anniversary. In true Akin fashion, he planned every detail, my only contribution was getting our room upgraded to a beautiful suite (the Melrose Georgetown Hotel was amazing). Our weekend was filled with yummy food, seeing the Smithsonian, and walking everywhere so we could get in our Fitbit steps.
On our last night, the night of our actual anniversary, we went to a fancy dinner. (Akin claims this was the only way he could get us both to dress up without being obvious.) After dinner, we took a stroll around the National Monument (definitely, a must see at night). On our way to the Lincoln Memorial, Akin began reminiscing about the past three years and what our future would be like. I, of course, thought this was a conversation, not a speech so I interrupted him a lot... oops! As we reached the end of the Reflecting Pool, Akin dropped to one knee and asked me to become his wife. There was some kissing, hugging, thoughts of "did that really just happen?!" and a hidden photographer.
"... Preea, I love you more than I ever thought was capable of me, and you mean everything to me. So, on this day, three years later, I ask you another question. Preea Ashley Bivek, will do me the honor of continuing this journey by becoming my wife?"
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.
Akin and I love the outdoors. We love to go on hikes, visit Piedmont Park, or just be outside with our dog, Jax. Because we love the outdoors so much, we really wanted to have an outdoor wedding. Unfortunately, my hometown lacked venue options that would accommodate our guest count.
When we met with Nita and Vasu (Mandap World), they were showing us some Mandap options and we came across this whimsical halo that gave us an outdoor feel for our indoor venue. When we saw it - before I could even comment on how much I loved it - my dad and Akin yelled out, "That's perfect!
After we picked our whimsical halo mandap, our color scheme was pretty easy to complement it with rich gem-tones like gold, wine, and deep emerald. The rest of our decor was simple and elegant. A phrase I hate repeating because my mom said it so many times, but it's true. Our decor was just that, simple like Akin and I.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
For our outfits, I wanted to stick with a modern and very simple design. Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity.
My original outfit was a wine color with no embroidery on it... I did have a chunky accent zipper on the back, though. My idea was to pair a simple outfit with "heavy" jewelry.
I say original outfit because that eventually changed. When Akin and I met with Surinder Bedi (Image Boutique Shop By Surinder Bedi) to discuss Akin's wedding outfit, we both fell in love with a bridal outfit she had on a mannequin. When we got in the car to leave, I looked at Akin and told him how beautiful I thought the skirt was. He responded with, "that's what I imagined you would wear on our wedding day."
Just like that, I changed my original wedding outfit.
My wedding outfit ended up being this beautiful gold-toned skirt with flower details and beadwork. The skirt tied in so well with our whimsical halo. The skirt was paired with a deep emerald, raw silk blouse.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of planning our wedding was the designing. I'm a graphic designer and I was able to design a lot of our wedding items. Items like our wedding logo, invitations and envelopes, programs, food tent cards, seating chart, and the table numbers. I loved that everything was cohesive and stylized in my design style. It was amazing to pair my passion for design with our wedding details.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We've heard a lot of people rave about the DJ (WeGoDisco) and the food. DJ Rohit B, Kishan "Koko" Patel and Dholi P (Pritul Patel) had everyone on the dancefloor all night.
Another thing people really enjoyed was how quick our ceremony was!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There are so many, but I can narrow it down to two moments.
Growing up, I always envisioned I would stand in front of my groom saying traditional American vows.. I wanted a traditional American wedding with a white dress and the whole nine yards. My mom suggested us saying our vows at our reception so we could have the best of both worlds. It really was the best of both worlds, the best part was getting to wear a white dress declaring our love for each other in front of our loved ones.
The other special moment also happened at our reception, it was hearing Akin's speech. He made me fall in love with him all over again. There wasn't a dry eye in the room and I think it's pretty amazing to capture that kind of emotion from hearing someone speak.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
My biggest advice to other brides is to be true to you and your groom. We have no regrets about the choices we made because they were true to who we are. I included Akin in every decision that was made and because when we look back at our wedding weekend, I wanted to make sure it was a little piece of both of us in all of the details.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I really want to thank everyone who helped make our wedding possible. All of our vendors were amazing and so easy to work with (WeGoDisco, Indaglow Productions, Jamie Howell Photography, WalkOnWater Productions, Wild Ivory Beauty, Image Boutique Shop by Surinder Bedi, HTCC Orangeburg, and Santee Conference Center)
Most importantly I want to thank our friends and family. I have no idea what I would have done without my mom and dad and their best friend. I can never thank them enough.
Thanks for sharing Preea! Please check back again soon Maharanis!