Join us today, Maharanis for a celebration of real love at Sonal & Shawn's venue of choice in New Jersey! The exclusive The Imperia received Sonal and Shawn to start their new life journey together. The unique stone patio helped Dreamline Productions LLC capture the best memories of the soulmates before their ceremony. The beaming bride in a dreamy blush pink lehenga festooned with Swarovski crystals and an impeccable hair and makeup look creation of Makeup By Anu Sarin made the gorgeous Sonal radiate glam and joy for the camera! DJ Monu Singh Entertainment joined Shawn’s baraat who led the procession up to The Cristal Ballroom. Here, the knit team of All Event Decorators customized the location with a glorious arch beautifully decorated with rose color blooms and fabrics while two pretty cherry blossom trees were incorporated to finished off the display! After the wedding rituals were completed, a delectable dinner served by Chand Palace, impressed the wedding witnesses with an incredible marriage banquet as a detail of lavish hospitality! See how lovely union in our full gallery!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Shawn and I met on an online dating website. I resided in Florida at the time and Shawn was in Oklahoma. After weeks of exchanging texts and phone calls, Shawn made a trip down to Tampa, FL in Oct 2015. From the very first time we met, I knew our relationship was special. On our first date, Shawn asked me what were the five most important things in a relationship for me and he wrote them down on a paper. Even though he told me he wasn’t a romantic, he went out of his way to do romantic gestures because he knew it made me happy. Due to the distance in our relationship, we often wrote letters to each other and exchanged care packages. Great communication is one of the keys to success in every relationship, especially long distance. Despite our busy schedules, we always made a point to talk and FaceTime every day. We had open and direct communication about everything. Our vision of life, moral values, and relationship views were so compatible. It only took three months from when we had first connected for me realize that I had finally found Mr. Right!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Dec 17, 2016, was the day of our engagement! I had visited Shawn in Tulsa for the weekend. Around Christmas time, the Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa accompanies a beautiful park which is fully decorated with Christmas lights. As we were driving to the church, it had started to snow and our car skid over the sidewalk! I mentioned to Shawn a couple of times that we should just stay in due to the snow, but he was adamant and somehow managed to convince me. Slowly, but surely, we reached the park safe and sound. It was beautiful! The entire park was decorated with Christmas lights and it was snowing! We shared hot chocolate and walked around the park. Then we walked up to a tree which overlooked the entire park and there Shawn went down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
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.
My experience has been very positive with all the vendors. I knew I wanted to get married around the Philadelphia/New Jersey area. We are fortunate to have ample vendors around the area. I was in residing in the Midwest while I was planning my wedding in New Jersey. The first priority was to book a venue. Because we were going to have a lot of guests from out of town, a hotel near a venue or a venue in the hotel itself, was imperative. We also wanted the venue to have different ballrooms since we wanted to do three events at the same venue. Ultimately, we decided on a venue in Somerset NJ called The Imperia as it matched everything we were seeking.
With all the other vendors, I would extensively research on Maharani weddings, the knot and the vendor’s individual websites. Due to my inability to visit vendors every so often, I usually spoke to them over the phone and received different quotes on email. I visited back home to Pennsylvania every six weeks so I could meet the top two or three vendors in each wedding department. Approximately six months before the wedding, almost all of our vendors were booked. And four months before the wedding, I visited India for wedding shopping!!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I went to New Delhi India for the wedding shopping. For my bridal lengha, I wanted to go with a blush pink shade. We must have seen over 500 lenghas before I saw the one! The lengha I chose was a blush pink silk lengha with net overlay that had lacework, pearls, and Swarovski crystals. And just like that, I said yes to the dress! For my bridal jewelry, I went with a more contemporary diamond neck piece and matching earrings with a ruby pendant.
As for my reception outfit, I wanted to go with a dark blue and gold outfit. I had an idea in my mind and designer Esha Koul was able to custom design the outfit and bring it to life! For the reception jewelry, I went with a beautiful gold and bronze kundan set from Amrapali Jewels.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was visiting India for the wedding shopping. It is literally an experience of a lifetime. My mom, massi (mom’s sister) and I made an awesome team and together we were able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. We had some really great memories of running around New Delhi going from places to places for wedding shopping, visiting the families and eating amazing food all day long! Though the trip was hectic due to the extensive list of errands, we did manage to complete everything. The credit goes to my amazing mom and massi! The trip was over in a blink of an eye, but it was the most memorable two weeks of the entire wedding planning process.
All along the wedding planning, my relationship with my parents deepened tremendously. They were there by my side every step of the way and I cannot thank them enough for it! I often miss that time of us bonding and visiting Jersey for wedding planning. Those moments were indeed very special.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
My husband Shawn is a fireball of energy! He is a Punjabi at heart who loves to dance and bring everyone to the dance floor! His energy is contagious and everyone loved him and his friends who brought so much magic to the dance floor the entire time!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle and seeing Shawn at the other end is a memory that often replays in my mind. It was truly a magical moment for me!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
The most important thing is to remember that your marriage is much more important than your wedding. Often times, during the planning we tend to get so detail oriented into the intricate web of wedding planning. So, brides take a step back and breathe and remember even if every detail isn't perfect and things are not going according to timeline, that the most important thing is the love for you and your husband. Sounds cliché but I totally mean it! Wedding can be as grand or as simple as you like, but we much rather have a happy marriage that we feel blessed every day to have found that special someone and get a chance to live every day with them for the rest of our lives. That being said, here are some other tips that may help you start organizing your special day!
1. In my belief, it is important to talk about budget with both families. I believe both parties should discuss expectations, events, and budget before any wedding planning.
2. Once, you have an idea of your overall budget, think about events that you would want to plan.
3. It is hard to know how much a wedding may cost right off the bat. Therefore, speak to many different vendors and receive quotes from them. As a general rule, try to have all your vendors booked about three months before the big day.
4. Timeline! It helps organize everyone and you to make sure you have allocated enough time for everything on your big day. Take all your time and generate a REALISTIC timeline for you, your family and your vendors. I did not have a wedding planner. It was really important that everything runs on time and especially the photographer gets enough time to photograph not only me and Shawn but also our family portraits. If you are aware that your family is always late, hire a wedding coordinator to make sure everyone is ready on time.
5. Last but not least, people are going to enjoy a wedding no matter what. As long as the food is good, the DJ is playing great music and there is booze, everyone will be happy! How grand or simple you would want the wedding is completely up to you. I think it is best to make a list of things and rank them in order of the most important to the least which can help one to allocate more time and money towards the top priorities.
Wait for the spectacular soiree in our next feature!
DJ: DJ Monu Singh Entertainment | Catering: Chand Palace | Lighting: DJ Monu Singh Entertainment | Photography: Dreamline Productions LLC | Hair & Makeup: Makeup By Anu Sarin | Baraat: DJ Monu Singh Entertainment | Photo Booths: Dreamline Productions LLC | Lighting: Dreamline Productions LLC | Cinematography: Dreamline Productions LLC | Draping/Styling: Makeup By Anu Sarin | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Imperia | Sangeet Venue: The Imperia | Planning & Design: Bride - Sonal | Floral & Decor: All Event Decorators | Mehndi Artist: Malika | Catering - Reception: Bukhara Gril | Bridal Fashion: Manyavar - Esha Koul (Designer) | Bridal Jewelry: Amrapali Jewels | Cake & Treats: Palermo Bakery