Hey there, beauty queens! Today we have something special for your beautiful selves. Most of our brides spend weeks trying to find the saree of their dreams. All details matter. The fabric, color, and design are just some of the aspects to take into consideration to choose one. For this feature, we have a truly talented and beautiful Maharani that single-handedly designed her attires for the ceremonies. She is Aveena, and we are so in love with her style. As we will see, the pink tones of the saree used for the main ceremony were just amazing. She was absolutely glowing! No wonder why the handsome Raja Kayur fell head over heels for this princess. So much to see and absorb, ladies! To get those ideas going, our friends from House of Talent Studio were kind enough to share with us the lovely picture gallery of everything that went on at The Lansdowne Resort and Spa. Are you ready?
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Kayur was my best friend in our medical residency even though I was not his (hard to compete with Alexey). We laughed, went shopping, went to dinner, and made the 3 years of long work hours fun and full of laughter.
Months after residency, Kayur asked if I would go on a date with him. I laughed at the idea but then quickly realized he was being serious. I had heard rumors that he had a crush on me, but then again, he had a crush on every girl that walked by.
We went out to dinner (as we had done a million times), but this time I was nervous! Those nerves quickly flew out the door of Lavo when we took silly pictures together just like any other time. Then, after dinner, there was an unexpected surprise - a trip to the top of the world (or at least in New York it is) to the top of the Empire State Building. That was the beginning of our love story.
I met Aveena during my medical residency. We were in the same graduating class, but it was not until the middle of our intern year that we became friends. Two of my best friends during residency were Aveena and my dear friend, Alexey. Over the next three years of residency, Aveena and I became the best of friends. We both had our ups and downs during residency and like any good friendship, we had our fair share of arguments and fights in the stressful setting of grueling medical training.
As time went by, I got to know the type of person Aveena truly was. I was grateful to have a friend like Aveena by my side. She was sweet, caring, funny, intelligent, had a good head on her shoulders, and was always there for you.
When it comes to finding a potential partner in life, every individual has their checklist. Like most people, I had my mental checklist of what I was looking for in a wife. Aveena fulfilled that checklist.
Then, one day, the stars aligned. I was encouraged by most of my friends to ask Aveena out. We already had an amazing friendship and everyone knew I secretly liked her, so I finally asked her out months after the residency ended and after she moved back to Virginia (talk about bad timing on my part).
We dated and dated some more. We became even better friends. This time around, the girl was perfect; the girl met my checklist, and my date was able to fill the shoes of Aveena Kochar. My friends were happy for me and some were even shocked that I was mature enough to settle down and not be girl crazy for once. I had never felt this way about any girl in my entire life. I fell in love with my best friend. Now, I get to marry my best friend.
Our story speaks for itself; those that were along for the ride have seen our love grow and mature into something words cannot explain.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
The proposal was truly a surprise. I had no idea that Kayur was going to propose, but apparently everyone around me did! It was my birthday week (and Kayur knows this is the most important week of the year). My actual birthday was on a Wednesday, so I was excited to celebrate my birthday that weekend and was eager for a Saturday brunch with family and friends. I thought I had it all figured out and was convinced that Kayur was going to surprise me with a helicopter ride followed by a brunch at Meat Packing District's famous party brunch spot, Bagatelle. Kayur did a great job of playing along and gleefully admitted to the helicopter ride and Bagatelle brunch. However, he did say that he had one more surprise in the morning prior to the already known events. It was around 10:30 am on Saturday, December 16, 2017, when we left our apartment. Before we left (in true Kayur fashion), he fussed about how I needed to change my coat and wear a different beanie. He then went on to tuck my hair behind my ear (so that it wouldn't block my face for the surprise photographer) and complained that I was making us late (again).
I asked Kayur where we were going, but he would not share that information. However, as we proceeded to walk to the downtown 6 train station, I guessed that we were going to the Brooklyn Bridge, and he had no choice but to say "yes." Meanwhile, on the train, I had a mini panic attack and randomly said to Kayur, "I hope you're not proposing to me today. Are you proposing to me? Tell me you're not proposing. I am not ready to get married. Is the ring in this pocket?" Believe it or not, he was calm at this point and silent, though he was probably having a major panic attack within. Anyone that knows Kayur knows that he was probably spazzing out internally. Calmly, he said, "why would you think that?" and then said, "no, it is in this pocket, but it is not a ring; I'll show it to you when we get off the train."
We finally got off the train and began our walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. He finally pulled out whatever he was hiding in his right coat pocket; it happened to be a thick red permanent Sharpie marker! He then asked me if I could guess what activity we were doing on the bridge with this marker. To his satisfaction (as he had predicted months before), I had no clue and did not know what the point of the Sharpie was. After a few minutes of walking, I was still puzzled. Eventually, I figured it out! Excitedly, I said, "love locks!" He smiled and nodded his head. The very first thing he did after was to gloat and rub in the fact that he was right when he predicted that I was not going to guess what the marker was for. He then told me that he got a special lock, which he was going to reveal later. At this point, I was only thinking about the lock and eager to go on the helicopter ride.
We continued walking on the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge when Kayur suddenly stopped. I turned my head slightly to the left and saw a photographer taking pictures. I said, "Kayur, there is someone taking pictures of us." Kayur replied, "I know; Aveena, there is no helicopter ride or brunch." Kayur turned me sideways (so that the photographer got the right angle), and got down on one knee.
After a heartfelt speech, a beautiful photoshoot, and a freezing walk across the bridge, the two of us enjoyed lunch at the River Cafe followed by yet another surprising celebration with our closest family and friends at our apartment which was covered with countless pictures of the two of us and rose petals. We popped champagne, had dessert, and continued the celebration through the evening/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.
Wedding planning was rather a very challenging process for my husband and I. We were the wedding planners and then we hired a wedding day-of coordinator to execute our vision. Both my husband and I are extremely busy physicians with busy schedules. We are both perfectionists and wanted the wedding to be memorable, and thus, we wanted to plan every detail of our wedding ourselves. What made the wedding planning even more difficult is the fact that we lived in New York City and our wedding took place in Virginia. So, planning a wedding in another state was another challenge. However, we could not have wanted it any other way. We carefully selected our vendors after countless hours of phone calls, emails, and research to see who the best vendors in the area were and which vendors would execute our vision. This was not easy, but after going through an organized planning process and vetting each vendor, we found our venue and hired our vendors. Each of the vendors and the overall venues definitely fit our style/personalities. The vendor that was the most difficult to decide on was the "Day of Coordinator." We spoke to at least 15 different wedding planners/coordinators across the northeast part of the U.S. We wanted someone that was easy going, understanding, and respected our vision and plan, and Christine Godsey truly delivered! Given our busy schedules and living in New York, we had to be organized, disciplined, and efficient to execute a perfect wedding.
If we had one word to describe what we wanted our wedding day to be like, it would be MEMORABLE. We wanted our guests to fondly remember the fun memories that they made during "Aveena and Kayur’s" wedding weekend. We wanted the wedding to be unique, not traditionally Indian, and individualized to cater to our guests and represent our personalities. We wanted to do things that other couples haven’t done before to stand out and be remembered in our guests’ minds, so we personalized every little detail. We strived for perfection and our goal was for a guest to see “Aveena” and “Kayur” everywhere they looked. We personalized everything from signage to décor to cocktail napkins to food. That was the key. We wanted a laid back yet elegant feel to the weekend and wanted our guests to feel loved, comfortable, and relaxed. Indian weddings can be stressful and overwhelming for guests, but we wanted to make sure they had time to themselves to enjoy the resort as well!
Our Friday event ("Welcome Soiree / Dinner")was at Fleetwood Farm and Winery which is a relatively new winery in the Northern Virginia area and is about 4 years old. We wanted Friday to be different from a traditional Sangeet or Garba that is common for Punjabi and Gujarati weddings, respectively. Fleetwood has a beautiful traditional house with a tasting room that we used for our cocktail hour with an outdoor patio, a large lawn great for lawn games like cornhole and Jenga, and a large indoor/outdoor pavilion where dinner, speeches, and dancing occurred. We loved taking pictures in the vineyards, the archway, and multiple different areas around the property prior to our event. Our overall experience with Fleetwood Winery was amazing. They were exceptional and the venue was everything we had hoped for.
Lansdowne Resort and Spa is a beautiful resort and spa in Leesburg, Virginia. For our wedding, we wanted our guests to relax, enjoy some fresh Virginia air, and enjoy a weekend getaway. Lansdowne offers several pools, a golf course, a spa, and many other amenities all while being conveniently located near Dulles International Airport and Washington, D.C. for our many guests traveling from out of town. The resort offered both indoor and outdoor spaces which allowed us to have a beautiful and intimate outdoor wedding ceremony, a combined indoor/outdoor cocktail hour, and an elegant, classy indoor wedding reception in their largest ballroom. We wanted our guests to have the convenience of being able to walk from their rooms to the events located around Lansdowne, and with majority of our guests staying at the resort, it was wonderful to see both sides of our families and our friends meeting each other at various places around the resort-like mingling by the pool, chatting in the lobby, or drinking at the hotel bar together. We LOVED Lansdowne and everything turned out perfectly.
My overall experience with the Hair & Makeup was very positive. I could not have asked for a better Hair & Makeup Artist, Caitlyn Meyer (https://www.caitlynmeyer.com/). I received several compliments from friends and family and the hair and makeup were done the way I had imagined it. I later found out that Caitlyn Meyer has also done makeup for various celebrities including Eva Longoria!
I feel that my biggest accomplishment, however, was selecting our decorator. I wanted something different and something unique, memorable, and not traditional. I wanted our decor to be classy and elegant, and Geteey Omar from Platinum Wedding & Décor (http://platinumweddingsva.com/) delivered just that. Our wedding ceremony and reception decor left my husband and me along with our guests speechless. The decor was beyond classy and beautiful and will be unforgettable.
We didn’t have a specific color scheme. Our decorations were mostly white, light pink, with some gold. We wanted a fresh and clean look with a bit of bedazzle. The unique centerpieces had a mixture of fresh orchids, roses, and greens.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
My wedding and reception outfits were custom designed by myself and created by my tailor in New Delhi, India.
For our Friday pre-wedding Welcome Soiree, I wore a floral, net midi-dress with a strappy back and strappy shoes.
For the wedding ceremony, I wore a high-low, light pink suit which was atypical from the traditional red worn by Indian brides.
For the wedding reception, I wore a unique, self-designed three-tiered Lengha bottom with a long-cape sleeve choli top (with gold tassels) paired with Valentino sandals.
Welcome Dinner: Giuseppe Zanotti
Wedding Ceremony: Badgley Mischka
Wedding Reception: Valentino
My wedding reception jewelry was a gift from my parents and worn by my mom at her own wedding.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests loved MANY things about our wedding, but the top things they loved and the top compliments we continue to receive are as follows:
1. Décor! This has by far been the number one compliment we have received. Some say guests remember the food and music, but our guests have been talking about our décor. Our guests have told us that they were speechless when they saw our décor in the main reception ballroom. Honestly, we were speechless when we saw it. Our decorator did an incredible job from start to finish. From the ceremony florals to the ceremony aisle décor to the centerpieces at the reception to the entrance table to the fresh flowers on our wedding cake to the bride/groom stage, the décor was left everyone speechless. The décor definitely exemplified the elegance and classy personality of the bride and groom.
2. Our guests loved how well organized our wedding weekend was with most guests stating that this was the most organized and timely fashioned wedding they had ever been to.
3. Our guests LOVED our pre-wedding event, which took place at a local Winery! The event was not a traditional Sangeet or Garba, but was a more relaxed and fun Welcome Soiree/Dinner!
4. The CAKE and food! Guests could not stop talking about how delicious the cake was and the food that was served the entire weekend! Our food selection for both days was creative, fun, and tasty.
5. Our Emcees! Our guest loved the reception program and emcees who did an amazing job hosting the reception program and kept the crowd entertained for the entire duration with old pictures/videos of the bride and groom and jokes/stories about the bride and groom.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The Emcees and the first dance! The Emcees (bride’s brother and groom’s best friend) put on an incredible show and kept the crowd entertained and hosted a well thought out program from emotional speeches to dances and jokes about the bride and groom! The first dance was memorable because it is exactly how we pictured it and planned it. It was sweet, slow, and personal in the beginning, and then transitioned into an upbeat party song which transitioned into the opening of the dance floor with all the guests coming to join the couple on the dance floor to dance/party.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Enjoy wedding planning! It is a very difficult and stressful time in a couple’s life (especially if the bride and groom are planning every detail of the big day), but try to enjoy wedding planning and make it fun regardless of how hard it is. We planned our wedding down to a “T” in a state we do not live in and it ended up being spectacular. Wedding planning included months of stress, arguments, and frequent travel down to Virginia where the wedding was going to take place. It was not easy planning a wedding from another state, but we never gave up and we made sure every aspect/detail of the wedding was accounted for. The bride and groom are both perfectionists and wanted to throw a memorable party for their guests. However, try to enjoy wedding planning because it should be fun (easier said than done)!
Another piece of advice is to know that your wedding will never be perfect despite how hard you plan and how hard your vendors try. There will always be imperfections but know that those imperfections will only be known to you and not your guests. No wedding is perfect and things may go wrong, but we learned to embrace the imperfections and our wedding weekend still ended up being pure and perfect in our own eyes. Make the most of your wedding planning process and wedding day because it goes by FAST.
We think that the most important lesson we learned is that even after all of the superficial and materialistic details that go into the creation of a beautiful wedding weekend, the only thing that matters is the end result, that we married each other. The goal of a wedding is to marry the person you love and everything else (décor, entertainment, food, music, and dancing) is second. At the end of the day, you married the person you fell in love with in front of your closest friends and family members and that lesson is priceless.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
While we tried to respect tradition, we also individualized and personalized our wedding to a “T.” Our welcome bags included a welcome message, Kayur and Aveena’s favorite snacks, a “nutrition facts” card to explain all the items, an itinerary, and a list of phone numbers for our guests’ convenience. For our pre-wedding event, we opted for a “Welcome Soiree” at a winery instead of a traditional Garba or Sangeet.
Additionally, I joined the Groom’s Baraat which is a new and slowly upcoming trend in modern-day Indian weddings (also known as a Bridal Baraat). I entered on a golf cart with bubble guns and performed a surprise dance with Kayur’s groomsmen. Each of the groomsmen also had a bubble gun. We had never seen bubble guns used before during a Baraat, so that was new for us and our guests. Usually, colored powder guns are commonplace, but bubble guns were definitely a new, fun, and creative idea!
We had a traditional Sikh ceremony, but it was outside at the resort with a Mandap and a beautiful scenic backdrop of the mountains in the middle of the afternoon which is very different from the traditional morning Sikh wedding in the Gurudwara. Traditionally, there is a long break between the wedding and the reception, but we only had 3 hours between them.
Lastly, we made our first and main entrance into the cocktail hour which we had not seen at any other wedding before as the bride and groom typically are very busy and never end up making it to cocktail hour. However, this was very important to us and we wanted to make a special appearance and dramatic entrance into cocktail hour to greet and mingle with our guests before the start of the formal reception!
What made our day/weekend unique was the degree of personalization. We tried to incorporate new ideas and personalize traditional ones. We have never seen a Caricature Artist in any of the weddings we have ever been to in our life, so we thought this would be creative and unique, and also a nice memento/favor for our guests at the Welcome Dinner. Furthermore, Indian Weddings usually have a traditional Sangeet/Garba the day before the wedding. In our case, we had a Welcome Soiree Dinner the day before our wedding.
Our guestbook was a Birthday Calendar (instead of a traditional guestbook) so that guests could write/sign their names on their actual birthday!
Many Baraats have colored guns, but we chose to have bubble guns instead during our Baraat.
The two most special considerations we want to share are our Welcome Bags and Cocktail Napkins (pictures will need to be added). First, we had personalized cocktail napkins. Now, you may think that every couple does this, which is very true, but we liked ours because we had 6 different cocktail napkin designs. We had 5 different colored cocktail napkins with creative wedding quotes/phrases that represented us (“Love,” “YAY!”, “Best Day Ever,” etc.) in addition to our names or initials with our wedding date below each quote (“Aveena and Kayur July 27, 2019,” “#AveKay 7.27.19,” “A & K est. 7/27/19”). The most creative cocktail napkin we had was our sixth design, which was “Cheers to the Bride & Groom” with our Bitmoji pictures! We thought it would be cute and creative to depict our animated selves so that guests could talk about it.
We had a 4-tiered cake with three different flavors: Pina Colada (cake infused with pineapples and coconut pieces), Vanilla Cake with Toasted Coconut and Rasberry filling, Carmelicious (butterscotch cake with caramel cream cheese).
Our Friday Soiree was American food with an Indian influence. The hors d’oeuvres included items like chicken tikka masala wraps, spicy lamb sliders, mini shrimp tacos, avocado toast bites, and mini masala dosas paired with signature cocktails which were a Frose topped with lemon sorbet and melon lemonade. Dinner consisted of American with an Indian influenced entrée (“Thali”).
The wedding reception food started with a cocktail hour which included a unique Aam Palak Chaat station, Bhel Puri served in cones, Pani Puri shots, Tandoori shrimp with mango salsa, chili paneer, and lamb chops. The dinner included traditional Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala and dal makhani paired with a unique Shaam Savera paneer dish and Nilgiri lamb.
During the wedding reception, we had an assortment of Indian and American desserts. In addition to our popular cake, we had traditional Indian desserts such as Gulab Jamun, Ras Malai, and Kulfi Ice Cream with Falooda. We also had Chocolate Mousse cups and chocolate tulips.
During our Welcome Soiree, we had an epic Ice Cream Truck, Wonderment Bakeshop, and Creamery, come to the Winery and deliver different flavored ice cream cookie sandwiches to our guests! Guests enjoyed dessert by going up to the ice cream truck and picking out whatever flavor they liked. Our flavors included:
1. Vanilla Bean with chocolate chip cookies
2. Mint chocolate chip with chocolate cookies
3. Blueberry ice cream with lemon sugar cookies
4. Cookie dough with chocolate chip cookies
5. Tiramisu with chocolate cookies
6. Toasted coconut with sugar cookies
Stick around, the reception is coming!