Such an amazing and heartfelt ceremony deserved an equally grand reception. The Loews Philadelphia Hotel being all things glamorous as we know it is, welcomed the reception gala with all the style and sophistication you can think of. Minal & Ravi were totally glowing and as we will see in today's gallery thanks to Banga Studios, their energy was just so contagious that all guests were definitely able to feel it and party along with it. I am so in love with Maharani Minal's style! So elegant but also youthful and vibrant at the same time. And what about Raja Ravi's neat look? Now we know why Maharani Minal just fell head over heels for him! So, ladies, you definitely don't want to miss this gorgeous and love-fueled jubilee that will surely put a smile and inspiration in those faces. Shall we take a look?
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met in college over nearly 12 years ago through common friends. I knew he was "the one" when he studied abroad for about five months and I was sad every day without him. We started dating as soon as he returned (I was a junior and he was a senior) from his time abroad in Spain and the rest is history :)
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
My now-husband, Ravi, knocked it out of the park when it came to popping the question - instead of being one singular moment, he planned a whole weekend filled with love and memories for a lifetime. It all started on a Thursday night when we were getting ready for what I assumed was a typical date night with some of our best friends. When the time came to head out, I got a text from my friend saying she was running late. I was a little surprised because usually, I’m the one who’s running late! Nonetheless, Ravi suggested we go for a walk by the lake around the corner to kill some time. Despite the fact it was November, chilly & rainy outside, the lake is nostalgic for us and I figured, why not. As we got to the dock, I noticed someone there taking photos, which seemed a little out of place for a cold November night (I later learned that person was there for us) - but I shrugged it off. The scenery was truly picturesque - there were birds flying by, and the water was so still it looked like glass. I was already swept up in the moment when all of a sudden I turned around and Ravi was on one-knee. The rest is a bit of a blur, but the next thing I remember is seeing our family and friends pop out! It was the most special moment of my life -and I didn’t think the engagement could get any better….but then it did! The next day we flew to Miami to go see Jay-Z (As much as I’d love to give Ravi credit for planning a surprise trip to Miami, that was something we already had on the books :)). When we arrive at the air B&B, I opened the door only to be met with “SURPRISE” from even more of our friends and family. It’s hard to articulate how incredible this weekend was, but I’m thankful every day that I have a partner who put so much love and care into making this moment unforgettable.
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 started with the big things and worked our way down. So we knew we wanted a hotel in Philadelphia so that our guests did not have to leave the hotel during the wedding weekend. We visited nearly 10 hotels before visiting the Loews Hotel but fell in love with the venue right when we walked in. Once we had the venue selected we worked with our planner to select decor and theme. She had us meet with a variety of decorators who gave us their ideas. We eventually used ideas from all of the visits in our actual decor so talking to more than one decorator was really helpful. As far as outfits, Ravi and I actually took a trip to India with our parents several months before our big day and designed and order our invitations, shopped for clothes for ourselves and family (after MANY stores and time in the dressing room :)) and ordered jute bags for our welcome gifts. I cannot explain how much I loved my hair and makeup throughout my wedding weekend. I really only looked at several Instagram profiles and after one trial, I am so glad I worked with Karishma (makeup by.karishma).
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted to wear a shade of red but I did not know which shade. I also knew I wanted something elegant and not too heavy. With these criteria in mind, I went to Mumbai for a few weeks and went to what felt like 100 stores. I tried on a lot of lenghas and eventually picked the perfect one. It was such a relief to finally pick one!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I would say the food tasting. It was something we could do together with our parents which was really fun. It was also helpful to get our moms to weigh in on the food. We knew if both moms signed off on the food then it had to be good.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Everyone loved the food! Especially at the Sangeet. For the sangeet, we had 8 live stations ranging from chaat to the Mediterranean with plenty of traditional Indian and American dishes in between. Our guests loved being able to go from live station to live station trying all the different foods.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Walking down the aisle and seeing the emotion on Ravi's face. I am not going to lie, I was very nervous before the wedding. I think it was a combination of the magnitude of the day and also worrying about all the little details. But once I saw Ravi and the love in his eyes for me, nothing else mattered. I could not wait to marry him.
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 went somewhat light on the sangeet decor. Our theme was Turkish so we had some hookahs, lamps, and some other props to help with setting the theme. We could not have been happier about the decision. The ceremony and reception were where we spent most of our decor budget which worked out well.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Try to have fun. It is undoubtedly going to be a stressful process, but remember that it is after all your big day and you should do what you and your soon-to-be husband want. The day/weekend FLIES by so as cliche as it sounds and how hard it actually is you have to be in the moment as much as possible.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The Loews Philadelphia hotel has one ballroom which is perfect for any event in my mind. It has high ceilings and windows all around. It was the perfect spot for our first main event of the weekend and especially our wedding ceremony. My mehndi artists were also amazing and I would highly recommend them. My mehndi night (or evening rather) was one of my favorite times. It kicked off the weekend and though I love my HUGE family; it was nice to spend time with a select few close family members, my parents, Ravi and his mom, and a few local friends from the Philadelphia area. It was all in my suite and pretty intimate. I had heavy appetizers spread out including Philly pretzel bites, fresh cookies, and my favorite wines. I started around 4:00 in the afternoon but we hung out through the night and it was the perfect start to our incredible weekend.
Sorry, a few edits:
Wedding hashtag: #toastingthetolanis
Small detail: I also was fortunate enough to design my own mehndi outfit and wedding (second) dupatta. Thanks to Sameeha Kulkarni (@ssamieha)
We also met with 1 DJ but immediately knew he was the one and LOVED working with DJ Sunny. He was talented and very sweet and understanding.
All this to say, we could have been as successful in wedding planning and stress free without the amazing Shivani and her team (Shayosa Events). She put us in touch with all of our vendors and we could not have been happier.
More weddings coming up!