Sarika and Jamaal’s fusion South Asian wedding was a Parisian dream come true! This so in love couple met at a medical conference in Washington DC in 2006, and reconnected in NYC seven years later when Sarika was starting her residency. After a few months of dating, this gorg and brilliant couple knew they were meant to be. For their proposal, Jamaal planned a surprise getaway to France. As the lovebirds walked across the Ponte Alexandre III Bridge with the Eiffel Tower shining behind them, Jamaal pointed to a street artist and said, “babe, let's see what this artist is drawing.” As Sarika looked over at the artist’s easel, she was startled to note that the painting showed Jamaal proposing to her. She turned to Jamaal in confusion and saw that he was on one knee. He asked for her hand in marriage, and she tearfully accepted! Aw, such a romantic proposal. Of course, with France holding such a special place in the couple’s hearts, it made perfect sense that their ceremony was held in a Parisian chateau. Seriously Maharanis, these photos by Jaimin Shah Photography will take your breath away. The couple planned their wedding themselves and the results were spectacular! Take in all the Parisian beauty in the full gallery. When we return, we’ll take you into Sarika and Jamaal’s VA wedding reception at the Waterford Springfield, featuring hair, makeup and henna by Bridal Elegance by Suman Khosla and live baraat music by Dholi Mastana. Scroll below to read all the lovely behind the scenes deets from Maharani Sarika herself!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We initially met in 2006 at a medical conference in Washington DC. We didn't really form a friendship at that time and it wasn't until I moved to NYC for my residency in 2013 when we were reintroduced in by some mutual friends. We started dating at the end of 2014 and shortly after a few months of dating, I knew he was the one!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
He planned a surprise getaway to Paris, France under the disguise of a "belated birthday vacation". He hired a photographer that secretly followed us around that day from morning to night. At sunset, we walked across the Ponte Alexandre III bridge and at the perfect location on the bridge with the Eiffel Tower shining right behind us, he casually says "babe, let's see what this artist is drawing". There was a man sitting on the bridge painting. I looked down and it was a painting of my husband proposing to me on that bridge with the exact clothes we had on. I then looked at my husband and he was bended down on one knee, asking me to marry him. The rest is history!! My husband had painted the photo and gave it to this person as part of his 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.
We decided to have a small intimate wedding ceremony in a chateau in Paris with our close family members. We then hosted our wedding reception locally in DC where we invited all of our friends and family to celebrate with us. We did most of the planning on our own without any wedding planners. We really loved both venues, the one in Paris and the one in DC. Suman did my hair and makeup for our wedding reception and she was absolutely phenomenal. I will be using her for any major events in the future. We had our Indian wedding attire tailor made from a place in Delhi, India and we locally purchased our traditional American wedding gown and suit from vendors in the U.S.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I found some ideas on Pinterest and then made my own when we went to the store to have it personally designed. We decided on wedding colors early on in our planning.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was working with my husband on this. It was a great team building exercise.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
In Paris, our guests loved the ambience of a chateau. It felt like a fairytale wedding; getting married in a castle in a romantic city. For the reception, our guests really enjoyed the entertainment, food, colors and our custom cocktails that we personally came up with the recipe for called "The Botox" and "The Anesthetic".
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
My husband learned a song in "urdu" (a language he has never heard or spoken before) and serenaded me during our reception. The song was about a man professing his love to his wife and relating her beauty to one of the 7 wonders of the world, The Taj Mahal.
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 reception colors included turquoise, gold and white. We had a peacock theme and our wedding cake had a peacock on it with the feathers made out of cupcakes trailing down the cake and on to the table. My husband and I performed a bollywood dance to the song "Mujse Shaadi Karogi" with his twin brother. Of course my husband won in the end and I decided to marry him lol.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Take the opportunity of wedding planning as a team building exercise in which you really get to learn to work together on something that is important and meaningful to both of you. It sets a great foundation for what marriage has in store.
See you in a few moments with all of this darling couple's reception deets!