Happy Thursday, Maharanis. I need to ask you an important question. Are you ready to fall in love with a couple that began their love over nine years ago? I hope you answered positively, as this story will take your breath away! My dears, from a dance floor at a mixer to watching Bollywood movies together. From a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a post-it-note with the question every girl wants to read, "Will you be my girlfriend?" to a pint of Ben and Jerry's with a captivating ring inside and a post-it-note on top asking her to marry him. The romance of Nandita & Aman's journey is incomparable! Our couple decided to say "I do" before their family and friends and celebrate their new life as a married couple at the magical Live! By Loews. Events by Hala perfectly executed the planning of this significant event! Plus, Prashe Decor was also a part of this wedding! They decorated the venue as a magical scene of a fairytale! I know every guest was impressed by this gorgeous décor. Now that I've mentioned impressive details, noting the natural beauty of our Maharani is imperative. Ms Painted Lady did a flawless makeup and hairstyle that was worth a standing ovation! Nandita looked perfect on every gown she chose from ELEGANT SAREE DRAPING, Manish Malhotra, and Sabyasachi. Our Newlywed looked phenomenal! Can you imagine what Ankush thought to himself when he saw the love of his life right before his eyes? I bet the handsome groom fell in love even more with the enchanting Maharani! The bride decided to get a captivating Mehndi design by Meena's Mehndi to add an extraordinary touch of traditional flair. The result was simply astonishing! My dears, if you can't get enough of these lovebirds, don't worry! Peter Nguyen Studio captured the most incredible pictures that will make you feel a part of Nandita & Aman's big day! An entire gallery is available exclusively for you. So wait no more and get ready to enjoy!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
It was the fall of 2012 and when I was a freshman and Aman a sophomore at Duke. We literally locked eyes for the first time and met on a dance floor at a mixer. But it wasn't until the summer of 2013 when we started spending more time together watching Bollywood movies (Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani), taking summer classes at Duke, and getting to know each other. After a summer filled with endless conversations, sharing our favorite Hindi songs, and nervous laughter, Aman asked me on our first official date with a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a post-it-note with "will you be my girlfriend" attached on top.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Here is a youtube link to our proposal flash mob!
On August 29th, 2019 the two officially had six years of unforgettable memories with each other under their belts. One August afternoon, Nandita was getting ready for what she thought was a family friend's baby shower when the doorbell began ringing. When she came downstairs, she heard music playing at the door and saw her little nephew Neeraj peeking out the front window saying "Aman Uncle outside." When she opened the door, she saw not just Aman but also her Didi, Jijaji, Daddy, Namita, Ritu Aunty and Sanjay Uncle ALL outside. Confused, everyone came inside and started taking family pictures (at this point, Nandita wasn't sure if the proposal had already happened and she missed it, but needless to say there were many more surprises in store). Aman soon handed her an envelope with a clue that led them to a piano at Hotel Zaza where he played and sang "Pehla Nasha" for me. For their entire six year relationship Nandita used to complain that Aman was holding out on her because he would never let her hear him sing or play the piano, he always said "he was waiting for the right time." A few more stops for lunch and "fake-out proposals" during the day they arrived at her sister's house where he said she could change for dinner. However, when she walked inside she realized he was proposing right then and there in the backyard. He had an empty pint of Ben and Jerry's with the ring inside and a post it-note on top asking her to marry him, just like his first ask for her to be his girlfriend. After getting down on one knee, he got up and immediately began what she thought was an awkward "solo" dance to You are my Soniya. Within moments of him starting, suddenly 40 of their closest childhood, college, medical school and family friends rushed in to flash-mob the rest of the song. She has never been more stunned or overwhelmed and was quite literally floored by how much love they are surrounded by with their village!
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.
Pandemic shopping was difficult, growing up I always imagined going to India with my mom and sister to shop for my bridal outfits. Luckily my sister found Meha Bhargava from Styl_Inc in India who runs a personal shopping service. Without her and her team, we wouldn't have been able to get 20 custom bridesmaids sarees, 18 groomsmen outfits, and our entire family outfitted from head to toe along with all of our wedding gifts.
Without a single in person fitting, Meha and her team made sure each of my wedding outfits arrived on time and fit me perfectly. This wedding would not have happened without her!
Our wedding planning experience started in August 2019, a few months before the pandemic hit. After an unexpected hiccup with the first planner we hired we were so so blessed that Hala Snyder (Events by Hala) decided to step back into wedding planning just for our family. She planned my sister's wedding 8 years ago but had since stepped away from wedding planning. She swooped in right before the pandemic and made sure to find us the best vendors in the game. We chose the new venue, Live! By Loewe's in Arlington Texas because we wanted a hotel with a newer feel and a lot of energy -- with the AT&T stadium and an array of restaurants the venue was perfect for our wedding weekend. Jill from Live! By Loewes was also the most amazing point of contact and made sure all of our event details were seamless. Jill and Hala made sure my dream of Aman arriving in on an elephant for the baraat came true. From extensively mapping out the elephant's route to weighing the bridge the elephant would walk over, they planned out every detail! We worked with Alex from Ms Painted Lady for Hair and Makeup and from providing the most flawless makeup for my family and I, to creating hair styles based off of my descriptions alone, to being just a wonderful, hard working and amazing person she and her team made the weekend perfect and got over 20 ladies ready throughout the weekend. We were lucky to work with Prashe for our decor -- she took exactly what I described and envisioned and made it come to life each night of our wedding events. We loved our DJs from Desi Junction, they made sure our dance floor was hard to leave and from night to night everyone was there till the lights went up. DJ Channi never lost energy and is someone who made our wedding so memorable! Most importantly, our Photo and Video Team (Peter Nguyen Luxury Weddings) was a dream. They were there all week, the kindest team, the most amazing talent and took what my family and I requested (full coverage of our family and all guests) to heart and made sure they covered every aspect of our wedding. The same day edit is also amazing and captured our week so perfectly. I cannot express how lucky we are that Peter and his team came highly recommended to us by our family friends and he is definitely responsible for capturing our memories in a beautiful way.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I always grew up wanting to wear Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra for my wedding events. When it came time to pick my bridal outfit, I decided Sabysachi for their classic pink and red bridal attire. Due to COVID, their design house was unable to produce several of their lehenga designs. Despite a limited range in choices, I fell in love with a hot pink Nayantra lehenga and despite only seeing it virtually over Facetime, I trusted their designs would be stunning in person and I was so happy I was right.
For my reception outfit, I knew Manish Malhotra would be perfect. His designs are glamorous and intricate all at once. The lehenga I picked was one I had flagged from one of his earlier collections (it caught my eye well before I was engaged!). Their team was so lovely to work with and despite the pandemic, they were so happy to offer any design I found of theirs to produce. From fitting to customization, they were precise and perfect. The outfit arrived and was even more stunning in person.
Finally, for my Mehndi outfit, I always knew I wanted to wear something vibrant, bright and different than my other more classic styles. Aisha Rao seemed perfect and her royal blue designs with brightly embroidered skirts and blouses were exactly what I envisioned. Her team was also wonderful and prompt, they allowed us to customize everything from the blouse design to color and made sure everything arrived promptly!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was the time I was able to spend with my family dreaming up every detail. From start to finish, my Mom, Dad, Didi and Jijaji wanted to make this the wedding of my dreams and if I imagined it they made it happen. Most importantly, despite the stress of the pandemic, my family and Aman made sure I was smiling and laughing through the entire wedding planning process.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests loved the traditional aspects of the wedding -- from our Benarasi Mehndi at our Didi and Jijaji's house, to our elephant at the baraat, to the array of dances our friends and family put together for each and every event, to our midnight ceremony, we loved sharing our culture and excitement with all of our guests. Everyone also loved the chance to finally dance on a dance floor together again and we cannot thank our friends -- all amazing dancers -- for bringing so much energy. Personally, I also think everyone loved seeing Aman stay on his feet throughout the week dancing the nights away (he's definitely the dancer out of the two of us!)
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
The baraat was an amazing experience. I got to watch the baraat from a balcony facing the bridge route and wave to Aman as he came in on the elephant. I also got to see all of our incoming guests on both sides and enjoyed seeing the baraatis dance. There was so much energy and after an incredibly tough year for so many it was so perfect seeing so many of our loved ones together again celebrating with us.
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 Mehndi was our kickoff event hosted at my Didi and Jijaji (Natasha and Rajiv Shenoy's) residence. The two of them transformed their home into a bright, completely decked out venue complete with a bangle "market," draped tents, rickshaws, fire dancers, a dessert truck and so much more. Their vendors included Lawson Rentals, Fox electric & Renee's Lighting company (who came in clutch with a completely new lighting system the night before the Mehndi when a last minute tent was installed for rain precaution!) Prashe, Celebration catering, Mehnaz Mehndi Artists, Desi Junction, and Elite Valet.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Take advantage of the fact that all of your loved ones are under one roof for your wedding day! There is no bigger joy than getting to constantly turn around and see another person who is so filled with love and excitement for you and your husband to be on your wedding day!
Don't forget to join us tomorrow for a new love story!