Today we explore Dharti & Ilesh's spring love story, these sweet lovebirds joined their lives among light pastel colors and blooming flowers of New York City. Maharani Dharti unfolded her own beauty on her wedding day with her mehndi-clad hands by Henna For All NY looked and she radiated like a flower with the assistance of the beauty pro Arfana Jasar that applied her best techniques to create a beautiful natural and bright look for the ceremony. Following the same sweet color patterns groom Ilesh wore a super soft pink pale sherwani that blended beautifully with his hot pink turban. Their holy union took place indoors at the Clinton Manor where tons of flirty florals decorated the ceremony mandap stage creating a magical and picture-perfect place to exchange the couple’s vows, all this idyllic setting was arranged by Exclusive Events NY’s genius team. I’m still in awe for all the romantic deets and most notable photos of the ceremony meticulously captured by Namita Azad Photography. Go to the full gallery for more pictures!
How did you meet your Raja and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Ilesh during the infamous MySpace days. From the profile picture he looked like a family friend, so I didn’t bother exploring his page and just accepted his friend request. After some time I realized that I had added a complete stranger, who actually knew the person I thought he looked like. Creepy! Fast forward a few months we bump into each other at a temple convention, exchanged numbers and here we are. Something told me he was the one from the very beginning, but it was confirmed when I saw how well he meshed with my family.
Do you have a super romantic proposal story or engagement memory?
Yes! Today is actually our 3yr engagement anniversary (10/25/14)! My really close friend/brother Chirag shared that he was seeing someone and was finally ready to introduce her to me. We were ALL patiently waiting for this day to come, so I didn’t doubt him at all. He mentioned that she was going to fly into town in a few weeks and wanted to explore Central Park, so we planned the day out accordingly. Turned out October 25th was the day she was available, and that happened to be the Hindu New Year that year. As you can imagine it was really hectic to get away from all the relatives at home and make it to NYC on time. Anyway, somehow I managed to get to the city (~30mins late) in my basic outfit (plain top + tights). I see Chirag but his mystery woman was nowhere in sight. When I asked he said she went to see the Bethesda Fountain with a friend and that we had to meet her there. As we approached the steps leading to the fountain I saw a crowd gathered at the bottom, and assumed a flash mob was going to take place. When we got to the bottom the group turned around with banners reading “Hi Dharti, Will you marry me?”! I was SO surprised that I didn’t even think it was real! I walked closer to see the banners and realized the people holding them up were no other than my siblings and best friends! When I turned around there was Ilesh down on one knee. I said YES!
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?
Ilesh and I wanted a regal, but very clean look for our big day. Growing up I always dreamt of wearing a lavish deep red velvet lengha with kundan and polka jewelry on my wedding day; however, when the big day was in the planning I figured it would make the most sense to wear something like that for a fall or winter wedding. Our wedding date was finalized for April 16th, 2017, which also is my birthday! Spring is full bloom around this time, so Ilesh and I went with soft colors like white, beige, and pastel colors. I was nervous about how this different look would be perceived, but I was SO happy with the way it all looked. Arfana made me feel like a Queen!
What did you enjoy most about the process of planning your dream Indian wedding?
Wedding planning was really hectic because it really hard to pinpoint which vendors and products we loved most. Sounds like a very first world problem, but they’re tough decisions. The best part of planning was understanding how much of similar Ilesh and I are in terms of taste and interested. We really never conflicted over any decision; we both always narrowed down to the same choices. Aside from this shopping was hands down the BEST part of it all! Thank you, generous parents! <3
How did you choose your lengha or lenghas? Did you work with a certain designer?
Since I had dreamt of a red lengha, I actually ended up buying three different red ones very early on, but during my India shopping trip, my mom came across this beautiful white lengha with pink floral embroidery. It was perfect for our spring wedding-- I received so many compliments on my wedding day! For my reception, I wore a Sabyasachi outfit with zardozi work.
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 for me was when Ilesh put that mangalsutra and sindoor on me. That’s when it got real for me...I had goosebumps and a complete feeling in my heart.
Did you and your Raja have a special song that you danced to as your first dance? How did you choose it?
Our first dance was to the song “Tum Hi Ho” from Ashiqui 2. I think our feelings are perfectly manifested in those lyrics.
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?
This is where Arfana worked her charm! I wanted a simple, natural makeup look and an updo for the wedding, but wasn’t sure for the reception. With Arfana’s suggestion, I went with a braided updo for the evening and it was stunning!
Did family or friends help out with certain special details that really added to the event?
Our bridal party and parents were so helpful throughout the whole process. We didn’t even need a planner. I don’t think we would’ve been able to enjoy our big day without them.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Every bride fears of something going wrong on her wedding day, but I am so thankful that I am not one of them. I was blessed to be able to work with great vendors such as Arfana and HennaForAllNY, Exclusive Events, Namita Azad Photography, Nathaniel Brady Videography, DJ Sunny P, and Chocal8kiss. Their combined services have provided Ilesh and me with memories that will last us a lifetime. Thank you!