The ceremony was to absolutely die for! Such a stunning couple with a style sensibility that definitely left us in awe, I tell you that! As we saw on part one, all celebrations going from the lavish Baraat thanks to Enchanted Carriages, to the reception at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach were a stunning representation of what Indian weddings are all about. Now, we will be having a glimpse of the party that came afterward and if you happen to follow Maharani Weddings, you will know that there is nothing like an Indian Wedding reception party! For this special moment, Maharani Zuri decided to wear this peach toned lehenga with silver embroidery that I can quickly see become a trend! Raja Shesang, on the other hand, rocked a navy blue tux that definitely reminded us why the bride chose him as her life partner. Elegance at its finest! So, ladies, today we have ourselves a treat so head down to the gallery brought to us by Lin & Jirsa Photography and get enchanted!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
The day started with me on the verge of tears from not getting into the chemistry class I wanted. Desperate and frantic, I walked into a random Physics class and put all my focus into impressing the professor to let me in. During the third class they had us pick a lab partner and not having paid attention to anyone else in class, I turned to the closest person around and asked Shesang to be my lab partner. I immediately regretted my decision. I had managed to pair myself up with a guy who spent his time calculating how many questions he didn't have to answer on the exam in order get a B. As the semester went on, we fell into a routine of me doing all the work and in exchange, Shesang would feed me chips from the vending machine. At the end of the semester, I managed to get him his B, and it was then he told me, he was transferring to UCSD. Before he left, he asked me on a date - I said no. While flattered, I was confident that we'd loose contact since Shesang was moving away and didn't think much of it. To my surprise, we talked every day and all day. We went on like this for about a year, and wouldn’t you know it I ended up transferring to UCSD. The summer before I moved to San Diego, Shesang came down for a weekend. That weekend we went to the Orange County Fair. At one of the game booths, Shesang turned to me and said that if he won me one of those prizes (and they had the cutest stuffed animal monkey prizes at the fair!), I would have to go on a date with him. Being the pessimist I am, I said he would never win one, so the bet was on! Of course, Shesang won, handed me this giant stuffed monkey, and followed with "So where do you want to go?" From lab partners, university, pharmacy school and 4 different cities later - We cannot tell you how happy we are I didn't get into chemistry.
In terms of knowing if he was the one, my grandma was the first person to tell me I was going to marry him. We weren't dating at the time but he had come over to work on a project and he had been respectful and said hi to my whole family and ate some dinner. After he left my grandma said, "I like this boy, you will marry him." Didn't believe her told her she was crazy just for her to tell me I told you so on my wedding day. But as for me I knew he was the one when we were college students and had the most fun together going to Denny's and only ordering from the 2 and 4 dollar menu because thats all we were willing to afford. Sometimes we will still go to Denny's and refuse to look at the other menu just because it reminds us of our puppy love and how far we have come.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
During the course of our relationship we have taken many trips together and the moment we found out Shesang had 5 days off we jumped at the opportunity to take a quick trip to Cabo before I had to start working full time. I thought this would be like any other trip and had no clue what was coming. The Thursday we arrived in Cabo was the first day of sunshine they had all week and the hotel staff encouraged us to enjoy it as much as possible. Being the couple we are we went straight to the room and ordered a plate of pasta and continued to watch our unfinished Harry Potter movie from the flight. Once the movie was over Shesang recommended we go for a nice dinner and take advantage of the sunset since the weather didn't seem that great the rest of the weekend. We made our way onto the beach and he was adamant of taking a picture near a set of rocks he saw online (not unusual for him to look up picture locations). There we found an empty beach and a breath taking view of the ocean. At sunset he got down on one knee and I got swept away (literally a wave took me out) but not without me saying YES first!
P.S. That rainy forecast ended up being sunshine all weekend!
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.
Like any modern bride I took to instagram for all my vendor finding needs. I knew the first thing I needed was my venue because then accordingly I could tell my other vendors what they are dealing with. When picking the venue it was particularly important to find a place that was accommodating to outside food and has dealt with an Indian wedding before. I always liked that winery look but unfortunately its really hard to cater to our needs in terms of having an Indian wedding. I came across the Long Beach Hyatt after watching countless hours of other peoples' wedding videos on youtube and became obsessed with the venue. I saw how they transformed it into so many different themes and knew it would be able to have a rustic vibe depending how I decorated. The team was great and dealing with Robin in particular was one of the best parts of my wedding.
For hair and make up my choice was really easy. I've known Lishma for years and her portfolio speaks for itself. It was just a plus that she is an amazing human being! I scrolled through various people's make up instagrams but just knowing who Lishma is I knew I could count on her to make my day amazing and easy as possible. On top of all of this she does mehndi too! She personalized it to my wants and added little personal touches that I didn't even think of until she did them!
For decor I just knew I wanted flowers and Kumba and Classics delivered. I have known about Classics flowers and confections for a long time now. They are a florist shop in Cypress, Ca where I grew up and I loved everything she did. Rosa worked so hard and went with every change I threw at her. She was reasonable and definitely went above and beyond what I was expecting. People talked about the flower crowns she made my bridesmaids and my bouquet all night! She also knows about my deep love for flowers and made me a special hair piece for my reception that matched my outfit perfectly. I have no words to describe how wonderful Hetal at Kumba was to work with. Everything I would ask for the answer was always "I can do that". I gave him full creative freedom after I gave him my basic idea of "flowers and crystals" and he made it into something I couldn't even imagine. I had looked at other decorators online but no one was as nice and responsive as Hetal.
For my coordinator I spoke to countless people in the area and hadn't had much luck with connecting with someone enough where I would trust them with the responsibility of my wedding day. That is until I spoke to Shilpa Patel. She was so nice and understanding and always willing to talk to me around my work schedule (its really random somedays i'm home at 5 others not till 11). She also had a love for doing things on time and wasn't afraid to make a guest angry as long as I was happy. Her team on my wedding day went above and beyond and the amount of people who came up to me saying they appreciated how on time my wedding was overwhelming. (crazy the things people notice)
At this point if you haven't noticed I hired all my vendors based on how nice they were and pleasant they were to talk to.
As for our photographer my husband gets all the credit for that. He said pictures are the only things we will have left after our wedding is over...and he was right. From what he as told me he googled "best photographers in orange county" and Lin and Jirsa Photagraphy appeared multiple times. They were the most detail oriented and had taking pictures at indian weddings down to a science. We definitely wanted people who had taken pictures at Indian weddings before because there are so many significant things and we didn't want to miss any of them.
The food was chosen by my mom. Even though Hyatt had a preferred list of vendors my mom would not have it. She wanted Dilliwala from the beginning and that was what she was going to get and it really paid off.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Just like many Indian brides I went to India. I am blessed to have family there who was willing to shop for me before I had even gotten there. I went there with an open mind and ready to try anything. Shesang's favorite color is red so my only request was that I have an all red wedding outfit for him. The day I landed there my parents had already picked out a few of their favorites but didn't want to sway me in any direction. My wedding skirt was the first piece of clothing I tried while shopping and I could not stop comparing others to it so I knew that was the outfit for me.
As for my reception outfit I wanted to match my flowers with a blush besides the color I was open to anything.
For my sangeet, Shesang had picked out a pretty unique piece for himself and I just wanted to compliment him so once I found the skirt in India I had Mansha designs in Pioneer,CA make a matching blouse.
Only thing I got out of this whole experience is that once you like something get it don't keep shopping around and confusing yourself! My husband did that and he didn't pick his wedding outfit till a month before our wedding!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was the people! Almost every vendor I talked to whether I went with them or not was so pleasant. They understood the stresses of wedding planning and really tried to make your life easier. I was also a very easy going bride and gave a lot of my vedors creative freedom and because of that they brought ideas to the table I would have never thought of myself.
I don't think this would count has a planning process but seeing all the different parts coming together was amazing! I never in a million years imagined that it would turn out the way it did and it was so great to see.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
It's hard to say what people liked. I had a lot of people text or call me later saying that they really liked the ambience and vibe of the whole wedding. They really liked the look of everything from me to the dance floor. My decorator and florist did a great job and making the venue feel warm and welcoming. Lishma did a great job of making sure my looks went with the whole vibe of our wedding.
Another compliment we got was on our food from all our events which is always nice to hear because it is usually the first thing people complain about.
The most unusual thing people loved was how on time we were about everything and how it was well organized. All that credit goes to Shilpa, her team and the giant excel sheet.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
In the middle of the reception the photography team pulled us aside to have a few pictures outside. The walk from the reception ballroom to the bridge they wanted us to go to was pretty far. I was able to make it there and take pictures in my heels but didn't think I would make it back with my shoes on. So hubby to the rescue! He took my heels off for me because my skirt was so big and gave me his shoes to walk in and he walked back to the hotel in socks. It wasn't the first time in our 9 years together he had to do that but it was just cute that he helped his dysfunctional wife on their wedding day and didn't complain once.
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.
I wanted to have my haldi in my house with the just my close family and friends to kick things off. I am a big home body and I have lived in that house my whole life and wanted to incorporate it into my big day. It was very simple with flowers everywhere (from our own garden). It was also a way for me to have my dogs be part of something as well. The jewelry I wore that day was from my mom's mom's wedding day and it was a way of having her there with me.
For my sangeet my look was created solely by Lishma. She picked flowers from my backyard and put them in my hair so I had a piece of my childhood with me. She knows I'm not big on make up but my outfit was too fun not to match it in my make up! She added colors to me but did it in a way where it was still very much me.
My Sangeet was done in the community center of my home town. We went with a Moroccan vibe with pillows everywhere and little food stations. We didn't want to do a formal dinner because people would be doing that the next night. Hetal brought up the idea of pillows and benches so it could create a comfortable sitting area and utilize more space so people could enjoy the dances and henna stations.
A lot of our dances were a surprise, to me at least. My cousins decided not only to do a surprise speech but a dance to all my favorite backstreet boys jams. My brother and my best friend did an amazing dance with each other and Shesang's younger nieces and nephews were such a joy to watch. Me being a dancer growing up asked my dance teacher Nakul Dev Mahajan to choreograph a dance for me to surprise everyone. He did such a wonderful job but unfortunately the moment I saw Shesang watching me I blanked for the first 15 seconds. People said they didn't noticed so I'll go with that.
For our reception we didn't want any dances except the usual ones you see at weddings. We wanted more speeches and we are so glad we did. Our friends and family say the darnest things and we are so glad to have those on video forever.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Hire people that are pleasant to work with. I had spoken to many many many many different vendors and ended up with the people who were just nice. Some vendors have great work but I just couldn't make a connection with them. I knew if I didn't get a long with them or feel comfortable enough with them I wouldn't get the results I wanted. I gave all my vendors a rough idea of what I wanted and asked all of them for their ideas after. I'm glad I had an open mind or I would have never come up with what they did.
I got told a lot to enjoy the planning process and just laughed at them but now I kinda miss it.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
My mehndi had a batman in it because Shesang loves batman and the symbol for a pharmacist because we are both pharmacists.
My parents also surprised us with two ice sculptures one of a beautiful Ganesh and the other of a bride and groom on an elephant. My dad is also aware of Shesang's batman obsession so asked the ice sculpture guy to put a batman symbol on the groom's back of the sculpture.
More to come, don't go anywhere!