Good morning, Maharanis! It is a pleasure to with you and show you the beauty that surrounded Meera & Avinash's wedding festivities. On this first installment, we will take a look at their beautiful Hindu wedding ceremony. The fantastic rituals took place outdoors, specifically at the lovely gardens of The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, where a stunning mandap decorated with roses, orchids, and hydrangeas by Myar Decor, was built for our lovely duo to promise eternal love to each other! Of course, behind such a great event there was a planning pro team, Amina Events that delivered fully! For these celebrations! Meera, our Maharani, was so ravishing and looked so glamorous while walking down the aisle with a dazzling pink lehenga that stole a tear from us. For this event, She made the right choice by trusting her beauty needs to Glam by Richa who was a fantastic glam team. If you want to relive this phenomenal moment, you can visit our today's gallery thanks to the talent from Akbar Sayed Photography. And if this is not enough, you can enjoy their highlight film created by Regal Palette Studio that we are also featuring today, here. You will love it.

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
At first, we met briefly through mutual friends when he visited Marquette for our ISA cultural show. And of course I was captured by his handsomeness; but our story actually began 2 years after this, when we crossed paths again during a friend's birthday celebration. For whatever reason, everyone had cleared out for a while and Nash & I were the only two remaining in the room. So naturally, I took this opportunity to get to know him better and it was during this conversation that I recognized my counterpart. Little details, like our birthdays being one day apart, our challenges with having to be the younger sibling in our families of 4, and each of us considering ourselves "chameleons" because of our adaptability throughout life--he was so unique, honest, and refreshing. I had a feeling right away that this guy was going to be way more impactful in my life that I had initially thought.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Nash and I were taking a weekend roadtrip to Michigan on our own, without our dog. Saturday morning Nash had planned a wine tour at this amazing castle in Charlevoix. We were in the gift shop after the tour & the cashier recommended that we stroll by the pond area because we could go & feed birds. As we were walking over to the pond, I saw a man jogging with a dog and remember saying to Nash, "Man! We should have brought ours. We didn't we research the dog policy?"
He was just nervously laughing at this point and once we were close enough, I realized that the dog I had seen was our sweet boy Thor! And he was waiting on a bridge for us, surrounded by flowers, wine, and the cutest little sign. I was sobbing in tears at the disbelief of what was happening. Nash proposed on the bridge, and we got to capture these unbelievable moments with our pup right beside us.
We drove 6 hours back to Chicago right away, and Nash suggested that we stop by to wish our friends happy anniversary before heading home. Turns out it was a surprise party with every single one of my closest friends, even from out of town, along with our parents. The next day, he had planned a surprise brunch with one group of friends, a surprise lunch with another, followed by an evening with the rest of my immediate family members to bring the most surreal weekend to a close. I am still in awe that Nash was able to pull off 5+ surprises for me without me finding out.

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 had always dreamed of getting married outdoors near the water. Our two pieces of criteria when venue searching was that it would be along the water, and that having our dog would be able to be in all of our events. Once we visited the Ritz-Carlton resort in Amelia Island, FL it was a no-brainer.
Although we had 5 wedding events, I had a total of 8 outfits throughout the course of our wedding weekend. Every single piece was customized for me in Mumbai, except for what I wore the morning of my Grah Shanti, which was my mom's wedding sari that she had carefully preserved.
@GlamByRicha has been a close family friend of mine for years, so when it came to hair & makeup I knew I didn't want anyone else. She is so gifted at her art and she made me feel so beautiful with every look that she created. Myar Decor provided all of our florals and decor services; I wasn't a bride who had very specific visions in regards to decor but Mital worked with me so diligently, making sure no option went overlooked, and that I was comfortable with what she and her team were producing for us.
When I first met DesiBel Entertainment, our DJ team, at a wedding in Cancun in 2016 I promised myself that I wouldn't get married without them. Their saxophonist, Harshal Dave, is hands-down one of the most unique individuals I have ever met. Lastly, I cannot rave about Akbar Sayed Photography and Regal Palette Studio enough. Their work speaks for themselves and the amount of creativity and care that they put into their work is overwhelming. Nash and I were very blessed to be surrounded by teams of people with so much skill & patience.

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Nash and I knew from the beginning that we were not a couple destined to wear the traditional red. One of the things I learned about Nash very early on is that one of his favorite colors is actually pink! Knowing that our wedding ceremony would be held outdoors, we envisioned pink & white as the perfect combination for our special day. At the same time, I wanted the embroidery of my dress to still be traditional and not overwhelmingly heavy, simply because of the fact that I knew I was going to be outdoors all morning. I also wanted the opportunity to re-purpose my wedding outfit and wear it to other functions, rather than have it hanging in my closet for the rest of my life.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
During the 11 months of wedding planning, trying to plan my dream wedding while also respecting my parents wishes was certainly a challenge. However, when I reflect on the was also the most enjoyable component. I got to spend so much time with them, learn so much about their innermost thoughts and visions, strengthen our communication, and really just become so much closer to them--something I didn't think was possible after having been living with them for the majority of my life. Many people would rather have their parents on the sidelines, without any interference or input from them. But I consider myself so lucky to have had the privilege to overcome these barriers together and find a united outcome with them. Having the chance to figure out how to be on the same team before moving out: that was the most enjoyable part of planning for me.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our wedding was nearly 4 months ago; but to this day, we are still hearing from our guests about how phenomenal their Ritz-Carlton experience was throughout our wedding weekend. The most exquisite factor that we continue to hear about was the food! The concoction of dishes, the presentation of each item, and the uniqueness of the menu for each of the 5 events. We are so lucky to have met Chef Jayshri of Ritz-Carlton and have her lead the culinary experience for our wedding guests.

Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Absolutely. Our vidaai was the most memorable part of the entire weekend for me. Nash and I had decided on a 2-person scooter for our departure after the wedding. We knew this would be met with a lot of surprise as its not very traditional; but what we did not anticipate was how liberating our vidaai would really feel for us. Amelia Island is so unique, as it is surrounded by tunnels of trees as well as water....getting to drive off after the wedding, wrapped up around my new husband, wind in our faces with no one else around us, and being surrounded by this kind of beauty. It was truly the definition of "bliss".

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
If it won't matter 10 years from now, then don't waste time dwelling on it.

Don't miss the fabulous ending of this love story. So come back for it!

Photography: Akbar Sayed Photography | Planning & Design: Amina Events | Ceremony Venue / Reception Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island | Floral & Decor: Myar Decor | Hair & Makeup: Glam by Richa | DJ: DesiBel Entertainment | Cinematography: Regal Palette Studio