We finally arrive at Niki and Mayur’s wedding ceremony, and we’ve loving each and every special moment. The bride slipped into a velvet, red lehenga that was designed for a total queen. This bride looked like royalty with sparkling gold necklaces gracing her neck, bombshell makeup by Alexandria Knight, and a bouffant ‘do by Kimberly Pierce. The Embassy Suites Birmingham-Hoover venue had a fairytale violet and gold theme that was designed by the decor team at Crimson Bleu Events, while Mandap World spearheaded the series of events masterfully. We’re loving each and every meaningful ceremony detail, and had to ask Maharani Niki if she had any tips for brides-to-be. She told us, “Start planning as early as possible. However, also remember that you are always going to have something to do, so be willing to let go sometimes. Stay as calm as possible. When things do not go your way, do not get too upset over it. Details are important, especially the personal ones. However, stay focused on actually getting married, rather than focusing on the small details that you won’t remember. Include your family and friends in planning and executing. This event is important for you, but they are also a big part of it. The wedding is your special day, and you want everyone to celebrate with you, not just show up.” Such helpful words of wisdom. Peter Togel Photography snapped some amazing captures, so immerse yourself in this beautiful Indian wedding celebration in our full gallery. And scroll down for our interview with Niki and Mayur!
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
Coming from a strong traditional background, we wanted a wedding that reflected our culture as well as our interests. We wanted the vibe to be both elegant and homey at the same time. For this reason, we chose to do many of the decorations and catering ourselves. We let everyone be a part of it, giving tasks to everyone we felt close to. We had an overall traditional Indian wedding theme, but we tried to make each event unique in its own way.
o For the mehndi event, we wanted to portray a Bollywood style event with lots of colors and activities happening simultaneously. In addition to the traditional event of henna artists applying mehndi to guests, we had guests pick out favors in a “going to the bazaar” type fashion, couple and family games, and a live food station.
o For the vidhi events, we wanted the overwhelming feel to be that of the Swaminarayan Hindu religion, with many rituals and ceremonial necessities.
o We used the garba/raas event as a way to welcome Mayur’s side to my side, giving all the family and friends a chance to talk and mingle amongst each other before the wedding day. Our theme for this event was inspired by different cultures in India – specifically Gujarat and Rajasthan – which can be seen in all the beautiful colors used in the decorations. We had a live Indian band, Jashn, that performed with traditional songs as well as contemporary Bollywood fusion songs.
o As the main event, the wedding incorporated a lot of our culture as well as our values. We sought out guidance from our religious leaders as well as our family in order to create the perfect wedding for us. Our theme colors were gold, maroon, and lavender. Our outfits were the traditional colors of gold and red.
Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
For the mehndi, vidhi, and garba, everything was DIY! Our family and friends put in so much love and effort in trying to help us create the most beautiful events for one of the most important weekends of our lives.
Everything was meticulously planned out several months in advance. All of the decorations we used were from India and customized to our liking. For the wedding, we hired Mandap World.
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
Garlands are an important part of traditional Indian weddings, especially during the actual wedding ceremony. All of the garlands for our events were custom made by a local vendor, Suman Patel. Additionally, she provided us with the bouquets. The florals for the aisle to the altar were set up and provided by Mandap World.
Let's talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.
I had a traditional Indian outfit. The outfit itself was made out of red velvet material with all designs stitched in gold thread. The designs covered the entirety of the top and skirt with floral patterns. Mayur’s outfit was custom made based on my outfit. The outfit was gold, and the designer incorporated the red velvet into his outfit to match the bridal outfit. Both outfits had a red and gold royal theme.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met through a mutual friend. Niki first talked to me through his Facebook account and asked me a bunch of awkward questions as a joke and our friend later revealed to me that it was Niki on his account. I thought it was hilarious that she did that and I sent her a friend request. She apologized to me and we started talking from there.
The proposal was a real surprise. Our first date was supposed to be at the Georgia Aquarium but because of timing we didn’t get to go. Ever since then Niki never failed to remind me that we never went to the aquarium. When I was planning on proposing I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to do it. I called the aquarium and they set everything up for me. Her sister & her friends convinced her to go to the aquarium even though she was waiting to go with me I also told her to go. At the aquarium she got a private tour and at the end of the tour she was asked to open one of the sea-shells and inside the shell it read “Will you marry me?” She was thinking it was meant for someone else at first until she saw me walking towards her. She was so surprised and shocked. After that we went around the aquarium and celebrated.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?
Start planning as early as possible. We started a year in advance, but we were still doing things last minute. However, also remember that you are always going to have something to do, so be willing to let go sometimes. Stay as calm as possible. When things do no go your way, do not get too upset over it. It’s always nice to have at least one person in the relationship calm – like Mayur. Details are important, especially the personal ones. However, stay focused on actually getting married, rather than focusing on the small details that you won’t remember. Include your family and friends in planning and executing. They are more than willing to help, but you have to be able to let go. This event is important for you, but they are also a big part of it. The wedding is your special day, and you want everyone to celebrate with you, not just show up.
See you lovely Maharanis tomorrow!