Hey there, dolls! Weddings keep on coming, they never stop, so why should we? This time around, we have a series of celebrations that just took my breath away. This enchanting South Indian bride tied the knot with her Gujarati prince and as you can probably expect, the festivities were absolutely unique and grand. This lovely couple wanted to pay homage to both of their backgrounds so they had a Gujarati ceremony in Phoenix and then a South Indian ceremony in Bangalore, India. So romantic indeed! Our super talented friends from Kismet Event Design are a well-known team in the wedding community, so their planning and design skills were absolutely shining for this gala. Ladies, we know for a fact that Maharani Akila's style is just going to dazzle your senses, so get ready for today's gallery thanks to the amazing visual talent from Ushna Khan Photography.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Amit when he was in pharmacy school and I was in undergrad at the University of Arizona. We had a lot of the same friends, yet we somehow never actually managed to hang out! Four years later, we both happened to attend the wedding of one our close mutual friends and we were sat at tables right next to each other. When they started serving cake, I grabbed two pieces (because DUH!) and he came over to me, grabbed my second piece of cake and started eating it (bold move but it worked!). The rest as they say, is history :) I knew he was "the one" when I saw how important his family was to him, and how that carried over into his relationship with my family. We share so many of the same core values, and although our personalities are pretty different, it’s those values that keep us anchored to each other.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Amit popped the question on November 3rd, 2017. We had been dating for a little over two years at that point and my parents were visiting from India at the time. Amit's sister-in-law, Ruchi texted me earlier during the week letting me know she was throwing a birthday dinner for Amit's brother at the Phoenician Resort (the same place where we officially began our relationship) that Friday. Little did I know, that was a total lie and Amit had orchestrated the entire thing. He picked me up from my apartment and took me to the resort. We walked down to a private lawn and when I turned the corner there was a giant waterfall with a bridge overflowing water, decorated with rose petals and candles, a private table with champagne and a heart made of rose petals on the lawn. I immediately froze! I was in complete disbelief and the only way I can describe it is: I felt like I was floating. He led me out to the lawn, into the middle of the heart, pulled out a speaker and played our favorite song. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! After a romantic dinner (and maybe a little too much champagne) we went back to his condo where he had gathered all of our family and friends to surprise me and celebrate with us all night.
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 took a couple months to let everything soak in and enjoy being engaged without the stress of planning for a little while (which if you can do, I highly recommend!). I was also really lucky because Amit actually did SO much of the planning so he was a huge help. We started by picking our venue, it was really important to both of us that the place spoke to us and resonated with who we both are and the theme we wanted to stick to. We also planned the whole wedding on our own-which was great because that meant every aspect of the wedding had a major piece of us incorporated into it. Once the venue was picked we focused on all our other vendors. A lot of our friends had gotten married a year or two before, so they were a big help in terms of vendor recommendations. We looked at a lot of online reviews and talked to people who had worked with some of our vendors before to make sure everything was a good fit. I will say your relationships with your vendors is SO important, particularly if you don't hire a planner until closer to the wedding day. Our overall experience with all our vendors was fantastic. Special shout out to Skypoint Productions (video), Ushna Khan Photography, Hasan from Kismet Events (decor), Prince (Desi Junction DJs) and Mehul from Jhakaas Entertainment (production) for their incredible work! We worked with so many great people who were so supportive and went above and beyond to help us ensure our day was exactly what we wanted it to be.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We flew to India the summer before our wedding (during monsoon season might I add) to do all of our shopping. We spent a week in Mumbai and a week in Bangalore picking outfits, jewelry, etc. I knew I wanted to stick to traditional colors and I was definitely influenced by a lot of Indian designers (i.e Sabyasachi and Falguni Shane Peacock). Researching their collections online helped me narrow down my choices for each event. One piece of advice I do have for brides, is that shopping for outfits can be really overwhelming-especially if you're like me and absolutely cannot make quick decisions. It helps to have a general idea of what you want, but keep an open mind because you never know what you'll actually end up finding and loving!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was DEFINITELY the little touches. It was a way for Amit and I to make our wedding a unique experience and to add our own flare to it. We wanted every part of our wedding to be true to who we are and to make sure that really came through to all our guests.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves all weekend and we wanted it to be a giant party celebrating our love with the people who matter most to us. The two main things we always hear from people is how much they loved our vows to each other during the ceremony, as well as how much love they felt all weekend, and how much they appreciated all the details and planning we put into our wedding. These were the little things Amit and I spent a lot of time thinking about and enjoyed doing the most. I'm just really glad it resonated with everyone who was there!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
We got married on New Year’s Eve and it ended up being an overcast day with a few showers here and there. Despite the unexpected weather, the cloudy skies and cold somehow made the afternoon so much more romantic. The particular memory that always replays in my mind is when I was walking down the aisle with my parents I looked up at Amit who was getting emotional and choked up. I was suddenly so overwhelmed by love and I felt like there was no one else in the world but me and him. It was the happiest day of our lives :)
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.
We wanted the decor for our sangeet to be pretty colorful and lively so our decorator put up plenty of colorful backdrops for Mehendi artists and dance performances, as well as for various food stations. The venue we chose was a re-furbished fruit warehouse in downtown Phoenix. We loved the industrial look it had so we wanted to leave that untouched as much as possible. We had yard games, beer pong and a dosa station in the open-air courtyard which provided a free-flowing outdoor/indoor vibe for the event. Amit and I both love to dance so we had a lot of dance performances during our sangeet from cousins, bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as some Garba/dandiya and an open dance floor at the end. Amit’s brother Ankur is known amongst our friend group as the music master and he did an amazing job DJ’ing for the night! For our reception, we wanted a really elegant theme. We wanted our guests to feel like they were being transported into a whimsical garden or forest and our decor team really delivered! Kismet Events absolutely brought our vision to life with blooms, candles, and greens at every table with a giant candle wall behind our stage. The focal point of the room was the massive 40’ by 40’ ceiling install consisting of greens, wisteria, flowers and chandeliers over the large white, monogrammed dance floor. We added a lot of our own details throughout the weekend as well. We custom made our welcome bags with items that represented us and our relationship, we placed snacks on our ceremony chairs, macaroons on all our chargers, passed out coconut water served in coconuts and handed out shawls that my mom had hand beaded all summer. With an NYE reception we knew we wanted to have a pretty epic countdown to close out the weekend’s festivities. The hotel passed out champagne flutes to all of our guests and Amit and I got on stage with huge confetti guns in hand to lead the countdown. As the clock struck midnight, we had CO2 cannons, indoor sparklers, and confetti all go off simultaneously—it was an incredible way to ring in the new year with all of our family and friends.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don't stress out about things that are not in your control. It took me a while to come to terms with this, but it’s true! It takes so much hard work to plan a wedding and you put so much of yourself into it that it can be disappointing when not EVERYTHING goes exactly according to plan. Just remember, things are bound to go wrong but there are SO many things that will go right and be perfect. Your guests will have an amazing time no matter what, and at the end of the day it’s not about your venue or your vendors or your outfits. It’s about you and your husband/wife and celebrating your love for each other. It was truly so heartwarming the amount of love and joy we felt from all those who were there. Enjoy your day and remember to have a great time no matter what :)
Stick around for part two, dolls!