Full of fun, traditions, and rituals, Monica and Gopi's South Indian wedding was simply a dream! Today's couple wedding put a lot of effort looking the perfect team of vendors, and all their hard work paid off. The talented Santiago Almada documented their joyous wedding and kindly shared with us a real feast for the eyes. All images transmit the bliss of all traditional events that included a lovely Mehndi party. During this event, Henna by Purvi elaborated an enchanting bridal design that included a beautiful sketch of the bride and groom for Maharani Monica that is absolutely adorable. How radiant does Maharani Monica looked draped in that orange silk saree! She gave us a serious wow moment looking as real queen for her big moment thanks to her magnificent outfit, hairdo and makeup, all creation of the renowned Makiaj Beauty. This bride's look is totally steal-worthy. Wedding experts Apropos Creations planned to perfection a series of celebrations that took place pre and post-nuptials at Chateau Luxe. Amidst the natural and calm environment offered by this exclusive venue, Festive Event Rentals' decor team beautified the ceremony stage with red drapes, flowy floral blooms, and foliage that added a royal vibe to the entire ceremony set. The creative crew also curated the romantic white theme decor for their reception party, which was perfectly complemented by Divinity Event Lighting's professional lights. I love this wedding because it's a great example of how a couple can stay authentic to their roots yet celebrating in the most modern way! Keep perusing our complete gallery by Santiago Almada Photography and explore all the great traditions of the South!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Gopi at a common friend's engagement party. He was sitting at a table with his friends when I walked in, and I noticed him immediately. I introduced myself to him and that night, we talked about anything and everything. I remember how easy it was to talk to him, and it honestly felt like I had known him forever. We hit it off from there, and the rest is history! When we reminisce about that night now, he tells me that he fell in love with me right then and there. And I completely believe it because I honestly fell for him that same night too.

When it comes to knowing that someone is the “one”, it can often seem difficult, but for me it always came down to the little things which he did which made me feel loved, cared for, and always left me feeling like I was the most important thing in his life. He would take time to hear me vent about my long day, even when he had a long day too. He would always be there for me on my toughest days, and would make me feel like a queen with everything he did for me. And most importantly, he became my best friend, the person I wanted to share everything with, and the person I depended on the most. As a long distance couple both in medical school we both have very demanding careers and don’t get to spend a lot of time together. But no matter what, we were there for each other. At a certain point, it became clear to me that I could not spend another second of my life without him by my side. Three years later we got married!

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
One day Gopi unexpectedly told me that we would be going on a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Arizona desert the following day. I love adventures and it was my first time on a hot air balloon, so I was super excited to spend the day with him overlooking the gorgeous landscape. I had no idea that he had planned for much more that day. When we got to the place where the hot air balloon would be taking off from, he surprised me with a beautiful heirloom emerald ring, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! It was one of the best moments of my life, but it was also the best surprise! I’ll never forget looking out at the clouds over the desert with the most beautiful ring in the world on my hand. I could truly not have imagined a more romantic proposal. It was perfect in every way! We got engaged on 11/27/19 and got married exactly one year later on 11/27/20.

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 both wanted more of a traditional style wedding but also wanted to celebrate our families and close friends. Family in Hyderabad helped us shop for all of my sarees and lenghas as well as Gopi’s sherwanis. Shopping for outfits was more special to me because everyone was involved! For my sarees I chose bold off-beat colors like pista green, baby blue and magenta. In addition, I opted for saree a with thick gold zari borders and mainly wore my mother and grandmother’s vintage jewelry. I wanted those unique jewelry pieces to shine!

I wanted to get married in a scenic open air location, so we chose a beautiful venue with mountains on all sides of the manadp. We decided on keeping the manado theme simple but traditional with gold and red. We wanted fresh florals everywhere - jasmine, marigold, orchids and roses were our favorites and each event had different flowers. For the evening events we wanted fairy lights everywhere as well as a canopy of lights and sparkler firework entry. Our venue was decorated beautifully for both the morning and evening events, and wedding planner Jo Ann from Apropros Creations was such a huge help and thought of fun ways to involve the guests in everything! During the ceremony we could all look out at the mountains surrounding the venue. The wedding was magical!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Growing up, I had always envisioned myself wearing a darker color lengha like a deep blue or red. I wanted to wear lenghas that would showcase my jewelry! I had selected green chandbali earrings for my haldi so I opted for a yellow lengha to let my earrings shine. I think it really suited the outdoor decor as well. For my mehendi I opted for a baby pink flowy lengha designed by Mishru, a Hyderabad based designer.

For my reception I chose a Mishru ink blue lengha paired with a diamond set, and I could not be happier with how the lehnga looked on me! I had actually seen the lengha in a bridal magazine when Gopi and I first met, and I loved wearing a lengha in the color I had imagined myself in for a long time! For our ceremony I wore a traditional madhuparkam plain white saree with a red and gold zari border. I paired each outfit with matching intricately decorated bangles and anklets. I focused on the small details of accessories and jewelry to make each outfit perfect!

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests truly appreciated the effort we put into making events interactive and fun. Having a dance floor during the reception and allowing for flexible seating so individuals could sit next to other people they knew, and an open stage for singing and dancing performances allowed our guests to understand that they were an integral part of our very special day. Finally, having personalized gift baskets allowed for a personal touch that the guests greatly appreciated. The guests at our wedding were family and friends who greatly impacted us positively, and we both committed to showing them that as much as possible during our wedding events.

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.
The haldi and mehendi events took place in my backyard the day before the wedding. We had a stone grinder so people there could grind the turmeric into powder before applying it which made the haldi fun. Aunties sang songs that were sung at their own weddings. We decorated the trees with umbrellas and paper flowers that we had made the day before. We stacked decorative pots that guests could use to pour water. We also had a ton of white roses and jasmine! Our photographer Santiago was incredible and captured the emotions behind each event! I also got my bridal henna done by Purvi, and we decided a bride on one hand and a groom on the other. Gopi’s name was hidden on the grooms side and people had fun finding it during the wedding.

With everyone being busy around the world it was so wonderful to have our families and friends come out to support us and celebrate with us. We felt so loved! Friends and family worked together to make all the props for the events. Our families also put together the cutest dance montage for our reception. The theme was our love story and our cousins, uncles and aunts danced to different songs that depicted different stages of our relationship. Our DJ Issac was amazing and took requests to play songs everyone loved!

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Enjoy every single moment! It’s so easy to get caught up in all the planning, but don’t forget that this time is meant to be your time to celebrate your love with your significant other! These moments are priceless and the start of your new life together! It’s okay to step away from the planning to unwind and relax. Wedding planning can be really stressful, but every single detail doesn’t have to be perfect as long as the big picture is ❤️. The little love-filled moments of the planning and wedding are the ones I look back on the most!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day, Maharanis. Please join us tomorrow for another great love story.

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Mehndi Artists: Henna by Purvi | Planning & Design: Apropos Creations | Event Designer: Apropos Creations | Ceremony Venue: Chateau Luxe | Reception Venue: Chateau Luxe | Floral & Decor: Festive Event Rentals | Hair and Makeup: Makiaj Beauty | Catering: Chateau Luxe | DJ: Hyper Production DJ's | Catering: Chateau Luxe | Cinematography: Vinu Jacob Videography | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Bridal by Deena | Lighting: Divinity Event Lighting | Rentals: Inner Space Design | Photography: Santiago Almada Photography