What a gorgeous ceremony that was! The long-awaited day finally came, and Anita & Kristof tied the knot forever. Such a milestone deserved an equally grand celebration. The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort Hotel was looking at its very best to house the newlyweds and their guests, and as you probably imagine, the party was one for the books. Just wait until you take a look at Maharani Anita's reception fashion! The gorgeous white gown with silver embroidery totally suited her and her skin tone, such beauty! If that wasn't enough to daydream about, the party was as lively as ever with VOX DJs playlists! They made every single guest jumped out of their seats and start dancing. So, ladies, more of today's fairytale thanks to Andy Shah Photography is coming up in the fabulous gallery!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Kristof and I met through a dating app and I knew about 3 months after meeting him that he was the one. Right from our first date, we were finishing each other's sentences! We came from such different backgrounds but at the same time, the connection was immediate.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
I had surprised Kristof with a weekend trip to New York last year to watch a Yankees game (he is a die-hard fan, I mean serious die-hard fan!). The next day we went for a hike near his hometown of Suffern and it was an overcast day. Along the hike, he kept saying he wished the day was more "sparkly". In the moment, I thought it was an odd choice of words but Kristof is a bit weird :) so I didn't concern myself with it. When we got to the top of the mountain, we were sitting and enjoying the morning. He asked me what I was doing tomorrow, the next day, etc. He was sitting behind me and he came around and got on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of his life with him. Although we knew we wanted to get married, I was stunned in the moment and wanted to remember his face that I forgot to answer him. He told me I had to answer his question and of course, I said yes!
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 have spent my career as a project manager in the design industry so planning was right up my alley and I was looking forward to the process! I did a lot of research into how to plan a wedding and got a lot of advice from friends. Although my husband is Caucasian, he was completely on board with having an Indian wedding. We planned a trip to India to do all the clothing shopping and so Kristof could meet the extended family- I think it was a bit of a culture shock but he was a trooper and he got along great with everyone! I am a planner by nature so I was methodical about reaching out to multiple vendors to get design ideas, schedules, and costs. I also got recommendations from friend and family. Because we started planning early, we could be thinking about what we wanted. For both of us, one of our biggest goals was to have fun...for both of us as well as the guests. Most of Kristof's family had never been to an Indian wedding (including the Groom) so we did a lot of prep in letting them know about the different events and traditions. Kristof was also very involved in all of the decisions and the process. He went to every meeting with me and I loved how involved he wanted to be. I knew our marriage was starting off on the right foot by being a team. We wanted to have the wedding near the beach because we lived in Southern California and knew we had a lot of guests that would be traveling. We asked a lot of questions of the vendors and we were lucky enough to have selected a great venue that was super responsive and wanted to make sure that we had the best day and that was very valuable to us.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I bought my wedding outfit in India and wanted the traditional red and white bridal lengha. We went to so many stores in Mumbai but there wasn't anything that really caught my eye or that I fell in love with. My aunt had suggested getting my dress custom made and she knew someone who did that. We met with her and she sketched a few things and I knew immediately that she was the right person for the job. She made a dress that was perfect and fit so well. She made all of the bridesmaid's dresses as well. For the reception, I wanted a gown that was comfortable but still pretty and princessy. I typically would have worn something in jewel tones and my mom suggested that I try on this silver dress. I will admit I was skeptical but when I wore it, it was surprisingly gorgeous!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
My personality lends itself to being a planner/ detail-oriented so it was that much more personal because it was my wedding. I had control of every element (but I am not a control freak...okay maybe a little bit :)) and because I was an older bride, I wanted to be much more thoughtful in the details because I finally met the man I was supposed to be with. I wanted the wedding to be a reflection of who we are as a couple.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Most of the feedback I got from the guests was how much fun the wedding was. They said it was full of love, sincerity for one another and still had elements of fun. We got a lot of compliments for how beautiful the venue and decor was.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There were so many but the morning of the wedding was a whirlwind getting ready and a lot of people bustling in and out and I had a few moments of being overwhelmed by the whole process. When we got to the first look photographs and I saw Kristof, I was overcome by a feeling of being calm and at peace and I knew everything was going to be okay. Another moment was when we were reciting our vows. I had this feeling that we were the only 2 people in the room and only talking to each other. I totally forgot that there 165 people watching us but grateful we had so many people to share the moment.
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 had a Baraat and Kristof was completely excited about riding in on a horse and I wanted to make sure he was the center of attention for the event. All of the guests really got into it and I was so thrilled to see his excitement. Many of the guests had never attended a baraat and they thoroughly enjoyed it and it was something so bright, festive and unique to them. I had to work with the DJ to make sure the mix of music was high energy as I wanted it to set the tone for the rest of the day and he did an amazing job!
We had a Mendhi party the day before and many of the female guests had never been so I was happy to be able to share some great Indian wedding traditions. Since we were in Southern California, we had a taco bar for lunch to bring some local authenticity for the guests and the food was delicious. We did blend the party with some traditional bridal shower games and great 80's music.
We both had a Grah Shanti and Pithi ceremonies at each of our homes and enjoyed launching the wedding festivities with blessings from friends and family. Kristof decided to have one at his house too because he thought we should maximize the blessings and auspiciousness of our marriage. His family was great at supporting him and participating in the Pithi.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I cannot emphasize enough to a bride to make sure she enjoys the wedding and has fun. There is so much time and energy that goes into planning a wedding that we sometimes can forget to cherish the actual moments. I got this advice from a friend and I made a conscious effort to remember it the day of and it made a world of difference.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
For our first dance, we both didn't want to just do an "eighth-grade dance" of swaying back and forth. We decided to take professional lessons and worked hard at a routine that our instructor came up with. We would practice (not often enough) but felt comfortable by the wedding date. We started off the routine perfectly but about halfway through, we both kind of forgot the steps and just winged it! Most of the guests told us we looked great and didn't know any different.
More weds every day!