After the incredible contemporary fusion wedding ceremony, the newlyweds and guests moved to the reception hall of The Sterling to start the joyous bash Sofia & Gaurav had prepared. The place was looking magical to greet everyone and was also set to give an experience of almost being in both India and Costa Rica. So creative! Maharani Sofia didn't even need extra touch-ups after all the emotion of the ceremony. Not a gram of glam was lost and that was also thanks to the amazing work of Looks by Jassy who assisted with her hair and makeup look! Seriously, our bride knew she needed the best so she got the best. After all the choreographies and dancing that went on, the guests were needing a sugar rush to keep on dancing and having an amazing time. Lucky for all, the team from Francesco Bakery know their game to perfection and brought the sweet wonders that make them, the go-to pastry shop. Fun was assured all night long! Want to see the rest of the spree? Check the full gallery thanks to Vivid Capture Studio and get that inspo going!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met in college in New York while studying for our Master's Degree.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We had spoken to our parents on Diwali 2017 and they both were incredibly happy to hear that we wanted to be together and gave us their blessings. Our official proposal happened on our Ring Ceremony in India! On February 2018 in front of both our sets of parents, his brothers, wife and fiance and extended family, he bent the knee! And put a ring on it and I put a ring on him as well!
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.
I went to a couple of Dulhan Expo's in New Jersey and that's where I met Neha from Ask Neha Now. I met several other wedding planners but something just clicked with her; especially the part where she is incredibly attentive to details and organized. Once we decided on the package, I set out to look for venues while my fiance was "stuck" in India. I went to a couple of places that I really liked but they weren't suited for the type of function that we wanted to do. I emailed another place and almost canceled the appointment but I'm so glad that I didn't as it was The Sterling and the place just blew my mind; the best part was that their packages included decoration, DJ, Video & Photo, and the food. My fiance and I had a fun time going to The Sterling several times for food tasting and decor picking.
Our Sangeet place was another one of my initial choices for the wedding but for us, it was better suited in terms of Sangeet. The people at Bellozino were very attentive and we got a great package as well with decoration, photo, video, and food. We were so lucky to find two high-quality venues which included most of the vendors; that really saved us time.
In terms of makeup, I was referred to Jassi of Looks by Jassi by Neha; I was hesitant to make the trek out to Staten Island but it was oh so worth it! I consider Jassi my wedding's fairy godmother; she was so kind and listened to what I wanted and she even held the phone so I could facetime my mom during the makeup trial. She's a true artist, a professional and a warm-hearted person. She was also able to contact the person who did the hair for my Mother in Law and Sister in Law.
I got the saree for the Sangeet at Manyavar & Mohey as well; one of my favorite colors is turquoise and I knew I just had to have this gold and turquoise saree for my Chunni ceremony. My Mom was amazing at helping materialize what we wanted in terms of gift bags for the favors; she met with different vendors in Costa Rica until she found "Mas Que Bordados"; Vanessa was incredibly patient; she created different logos and gave us thread color options and patiently opened each jute bag to add the logo. Mom also coordinated with Cafe Britt the shipment of Costarrican coffee for the favors and the chocolate covered fruit and coffee treats for the Sangeet.
She also spoke with "Munecas de Trapo Raquel" to create felt dolls of me and my Groom; mine had the typical Costa Rican attire and his had a Nehru vest with the Groom turban and spoke with a wood carver to create 2 toucans representing us to be displayed at the Sangeet. The "Carnival Hour" is something that happens in Latin American weddings; this is where people get masks and necklaces and whistles and we all go around doing like a conga line; we decided that this would be a fun addition and a surprise to our Indian guests so my mom purchased the masks and whistles, I got the necklaces online and got our special masks for me and my Groom.
As an additional fun touch on the Sangeet night, I purchased temporary tattoos of the Costarrican and Indian flags. We also reached out to wedding cake topper on Etsy & Instagram for our elephant cake topper; We boh love elephants; she was able to customize the flower and bowtie with my choli color. The cake was made by Francesco's bakery; we wanted a classic Italian romantic style cake with peonies as for Latin Americans peonies are auspicious.
Both our "save the date" and invitations were made with plantable paper from ForeverFiances; we chose the Ganeshji design for the Invitation and a peacock feather for the save the date. The red tape that the groom cut and the Dulhan Ke Saheli pins that the bridesmaids wore were purchased after I did extensive research on decoration and details and I got them from DesignTukTuk. I also reached out to Apoorva from LittleIndia Etsy who created our wedding program. We got a rough draft from the Pundit; I rewrote the program, added a few details and Apoorva created the images next to each step. In terms of color scheme, I chose orange for the bridesmaids and bridesmen! The ladies wore orange sarees and the lads wore Nehru jackets in orange color. For my mom, I knew I wanted her to wear a silk saree so we went with a color that wouldn't clash and for y dad, I got a Nehru jacket with a red detail similar to my lehenga.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I was leaning towards blue in the beginning, even ordered some fabric from India but it didn't appeal to me as it didn't make me feel like a Bride. We went to Manyavar & Mohey in New Jersey and I saw this beautiful gold lehenga with embroidery and a few accents in red and I just fell in love. I didn't want to wear a completely red outfit or a completely gold outfit. I tried a couple and face timed my mom from the store. Once she saw me in the one I had originally liked she started crying and I knew that was the ONE.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Sharing the planning with my fiancee. He was incredibly involved, giving his opinion and suggestions and we were able to truly put our stamp in the wedding.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We had guests from many different places in the world and I have to say that they all enjoyed how we brought our cultures together; despite it being a Hindu religious ceremony we had Costarrican touches throughout the Sangeet and the Reception. The coffee lovers enjoyed the coffee; everyone was gushing about our wedding favor bags which contained a guava candy from Costa Rica, a small bag of coffee and 2 Ladoo. They had so much fun at the "Carnival Hour" My very picky Indian friends loved the food And I think everyone enjoyed the special dance I did after our Couple's Dance which was fun but we botched it a bit.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
When the chapel doors opened and I was about to begin walking towards the mandap and I saw my fiance wiping tears from his eyes.
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.
For our Sangeet Night, we had a loveseat and two small stools next to it. We chose gold and red to be the backdrop colors even though those are not the "Traditional sangeet colors" but such is our aesthetic. The signature look of this decorator is a red sphere inside an oval jewelry looking metal shape.
We had 3 dances prepared for that night. Since I used to be in Bollywood dance lessons with a few of the ladies I asked 2 of the bridesmaids to join my 3 dancing friends into doing a dance, they danced to Eena Meena Dika, Mere Hathon and Rangilo Maro Dolna (the choreography was created by Shachi Phene founder of Noor Dance Academy in NYC and I tweaked a few things to make it easier for the non-dancers. The second dance was by a friend and her daughter they danced to Mahi Ve and Nagada Sang Dhol. The third dance was with me and my dancing friends; we danced to Kala Chashma and Banno; we used sunglasses as props on Kala Chasma it was very fun!. We had a Mehndi artist @sabrinahenna doing mehndi for the guests. We also had at the entrance a table with the chocolate covered fruit and coffee beans, the flag stickers, the toucan and the ragdoll couple.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Be relaxed and assertive but make sure you have a clear direction of what needs to be done so that you aren't running at the last minute. Enjoy the process as much as you can, make sure your voice is heard and don't worry about ruffling a few feathers; it's your day after all!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I purchased bouquets for the bridesmaids at Home Depot :) Peonies. The chaadar was built with roses and carnations, this was done by Pooja of The Sterling. The malas were made of light pink and coral roses and my bouquet was made with real Peonies as well. My Bridal mehndi was done by @SabrinaHenna and it incorporated the elephants as well. In terms of jewelry, I wanted good quality jewelry and did some research; finally, I began my communication with Akanksha, the owner of Naiyrah @nayirahofficial, where I purchased my entire bridal set. I was so happy with the quality of the products that I agreed to them doing a spread on me in their Instagram so my photos are there together with a few Bollywood Celebrities I thought that was a fun fact :) My lovely bridesmaids purchased the Kalire for me and my parents got the choora as well.
See you in a bit for more glam and charm from our brides!