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Detroit, MI Fusion Wedding by GaganHarnav Photography

Welcome to Aakruti & Ravisher's wedding, a celebration of love, tradition, and culture. As soon as you step into the Motor City Casino Hotel and Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center, you'll feel the warmth and joy that radiates from the couple and their loved ones. The Baraat was lively, thanks to the talented dholi, Pally SinghMarigold Wedding Planners did an outstanding job with the planning and design of Aakruti & Ravisher's wedding. The team ensured that every detail was carefully thought out, from the stunning floral arrangements to the intricate decor. The beautiful mandap was adorned with fresh flowers creating a breathtaking backdrop for the couple's nuptials. The reception was equally impressive, combining candles and light installations, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The attention to detail by Marigold Wedding Planners truly made this wedding a dream come true for the couple and their guests. Aakruti looked stunning in her Anita Dongre and Falguni Shane Peacock bridal ensembles, complemented by the intricate jewelry from Sunita ShekhawatKrupa Thomas did a fantastic job with the bridal mehndi, and Simona Vigh and Jahura Hobby created the bride's perfect hair and makeup look. Sky Films and Productions' lighting design was vital in creating the ideal ambiance for Aakruti & Ravisher's reception. The lighting design elevated the decor and highlighted every aspect of the wedding, from the intricate mandap to the stunning centerpieces. The warm hues created a romantic and intimate atmosphere, while the subtle lighting effects enhanced the beats from DJ Kingh. The catering by India House was delicious, and GaganHarnav Photography captured all the beautiful moments of the wedding perfectly. As you browse through the wedding gallery, you'll notice the love and happiness that these lovebirds share. It overflows with beauty and inspiring ideas you don't want to miss. So enjoy today's feature!

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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Ravi & I matched on Hinge towards the beginning of lockdown in 2020. We talked consistently and decided to meet up in May after both of us had negative Covid test...I know, romance at it's height! Honestly i dont know when Ravi became "the one", but everything with Ravi felt right. Our relationship started and it felt like we had been together for years! It's hard to believe this May we are approaching 3 years of being together.

Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Haha, our proposal! The funny thing is Ravi & I had our Roka/Rupiyo July of 2021...this was a whole year before Ravi even proposed to me! Ravi tried his hardest to surprise me with the proposal but I love a good mystery so when it seems like he is up to something I turn on my thinking cap and figure it out. Regardless of me guessing the day he was going to finally propose he still made everything special. Our day started with Ravi and I taking a helicopter tour of Downtown Detroit, i knew he wasnt going to propose at this point because he left the ring in the car console haha. After this we went to Brunch and stopped a cute boutique hotel to change into my second outfit. We ended up having a couple drinks here because is set up crew (sisters) were running a bit behind schedule haha. From here he drove us to this beautiful park and we walked to this lovely water fountain area. Ravi started acting nervous so i knew the moment was coming up. Then all of a sudden i hear old hindi songs and i start getting excited! I saw a camera set up so i knew the spot we needed to reach but because of Ravi's nerves he took me the "long route" and i saw his sisters hiding behind trees haha, He eventually got us to the sweet spot and dropped down to one knee and proposed. I wont give all the details of what he said because some things are meant to be between just us...but obviously i said YES! Then we went to the next part of our surprise. We went to paint pottery while we waited for our dinner reso. My parents and brother drove up to surprise me but when i called to show them the ring my dad was like "oh nice, we will see it soon..we are 1 hour away" hahaha. We ended that night getting picked up in a limo with both our families inside wait to celebrate with us. Went to dinner and it was the perfect end to the perfect proposal!

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 think like majority of the girls out there i knew what i wanted for my wedding, but being that im Gujarati and Ravi is Punjabi we ended up having 2 wedding ceremonies as well as our Sangeet & Reception. It was important for us to make sure both sides of the families felt involved. I am my parents only daughter and Ravi is the only son of his siblings so the weddings were a big deal on both side. I did all of our outfit shopping in India. I worked with Tina Singh of Marigold Weddings here in Michigan for wedding planning. She and her team were great! I told her what i wanted and envisioned and she delivered where she could and found me solutions to what we couldnt do. Both my hair and makeup girls were local to michigan as well. Simona Vigh did my hair and i personally think he crushed every look. We did a half up do for the Sangeet, 2 different type of low buns for both Weddings and a high ponytail for the Reception. My MUA was JHobby. Jahura was amazing! We picked eyes or lips to make the focal point and explored different looks! All in all wedding planning wasnt stressful and i enjoyed it. It definitely had it's ups and downs but the end results were absolutely worth it!

How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Most of my outfits where made by a designer friends in India, Pooja & Keyur. My Hindu wedding outfit was Anita Dongre and Reception was Falguni Shane Peacock. Originally i wanted to do a non traditional hindu wedding outfit. I wanted to do a soft pastels color for that ceremony. When my mom, masi & i reached Anita Dongre we started looking and trying things on. I fell in love with their Pichhwai paint work lengha. I picked a magenta one that i really liked! My mom wanted to see me in red so i tried it on and when i saw her eyes light up i knew i had to wear red! Im the type of person where I think i look good in all colors so colors werent as important for me, it was how i felt in the outfit.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
You would have to ask my guests haha! Mostly people loved our food, desserts, dj & party favor. Our food was catered by India House in Chicago, our desserts display was HUGE. Ravi and i both love a good dessert so we wanted to have varieties. We had like 4 cake flavors and so many mini desserts! Our desserts were traditional as well as a few fusion styles. Reva Constantine-Smith did our desserts and i highly recommend her to anyone who asks! We also had to go boxes at the end of the evening at the reception, both for desserts and for the late night snacks we provided. So many people told me they loved being able to take some fries and pizza with them after a long night of drinking & dancing. Our DJ kept everyone entertained and hyped on the dance floor. DJKingh for San Fran!

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Take it one day at a time. There will be ups and downs regardless of the style or type of wedding you do. Make sure you and your to be spouse dont lose yourself in the planning. Be open and honest about needs vs wants. It's hard to get everything exactly your way and usually with desi weddings both families are heavily opinionated and involved. You and your partner need to be united and remember the whole weekend is about you guys and your love. Just celebrate your love to the fullest.

See you tomorrow, loves! We have many more Indian wedding stories for you to enjoy.

Planning & Design: Marigold Wedding Planners | Floral & Decor: Marigold Wedding Planners | Event Designer: Marigold Wedding Planners | Lighting: Sky Films and Productions | Sangeet Venue: Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center | Ceremony Venue: Motor City Casino Hotel & Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center | Reception Venue: Motor City Casino Hotel & Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center | Hair & Makeup: Simona Vigh | Hair & Makeup: Jahura Hobby | Catering: India House | DJ: Kingh | Dholi for Baraat: Pally Singh | Bridal Fashions: Anita Dongre | Bridal Fashions: Falguni Shane Peacock | Bridal Fashions: Pooja Keyur | Customized Bridal Jewelry: Sunita Shekhawat | Cake & Treats: Reva Constantine-Smith | Cinematography: Harnav Bir Singh & Gagan Kaur | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Tejasvi | Mehndi Artist: Krupa Thomas for Bridal Mehndi | Photographer: GaganHarnav Photography

Valencia, Spain Fusion Wedding by Paula G. Furió

Hello, ladies! Are you ready for a new and exciting adventure? If so, get your luggage and travel documents because we will take you on a trip to Valencia, Spain, to join Andrea & Pratik at their wedding celebration. Although Ciutat de les Arts i Ciències is rarely used as a wedding venue, our love birds were so captivated by the incredible architecture that they couldn't say no to this venue. P&P Singular Events was in charge of the planning, and oh boy, they did a great job since their ceremony stage was floating over the water of one of the reflecting pools. Pirotecnia Vulcano surprised guests with massive fireworks showing over the water when the sun went down. Their guests were blown away by the show's length, scale, and quality. Andrea knew that she wanted her outfits to have vibrantly bright colors. Thanks to her mother-in-law and Mala and Kinnary India, she managed to impress all the guests with a traditional and fashionable look that can inspire future brides! Cristina  CrespoPaula AliciaSalon Barey, and The Art of Hair create a delicate and elegant look for this special day. The color palette used to praise this Maharani's natural beauty was simply spectacular! Since our love birds wanted to make this moment even more special and unique, they had Soni Choreography, the best choreographer, helping them with their dances and making the experience super enjoyable and well planned so guests from all over could practice their dances remotely as needed. And we want to give a special shoutout to the talented Mr. Diamond DJ, who significantly contributed to taking this event to the next level. He made everyone dance and enjoy non-stopping until Huerto de Santa MaríaCocotte Catering, and Taj Mahal Restaurant Valencia amaze everyone with their delicious food. Sweeties, if you can't get enough of this wedding celebration, don't miss today's gallery brought you thanks to Paula G. Furió and Gonzalo Moreno

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Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Pratik proposed while on vacation in the Maldives. He knew I wanted an intimate proposal, just the two of us and he knows I am happiest in the sun on a warm beach. He was able to capture the moment with his camera on a tripod with a clicker, and the images are so beautiful. One of the perks of marrying a guy with many talents, one of which includes photography! He then arranged for both of our families to meet in India for an intimate Roka ceremony at his father's childhood home in Pune before returning home to NYC.
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 got married in Valencia, Spain, which is where I grew up. We chose this location for that reason and also because my grandparents are too old to travel and we didn’t want to celebrate this big moment without them. It turned out to be a perfectly central location for family and friends to meet from Europe, India and the USA and the perfect sunny spot for a Mediterranean destination wedding. Everyone was happy with the location choice; it just made planning abroad from NYC a lot harder. We had to make multiple wedding planning trips to visit venues and find vendors. Covid certainly didn’t help the planning either. We actually had to delay our wedding twice. Initially, it was planned for June 2020, then we postponed 1 year to June 2021, and one final time to June 2022 when we were finally able to celebrate with the full original plans and everyone in attendance!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We had 4 Indian events/ looks (Haldi, Welcome dinner, ceremony, and Sangeet/reception) and a 5th look for our Spanish wedding ceremony and reception. My mother-in-law had all my Indian bridal outfits made for me as a gift to India. I looked at major bridal trends for inspiration and then worked with a designer to customize my looks entirely. I knew that, being blonde and fair-skinned, I wanted my outfits to have vibrantly bright colors. Our wedding venue was also a very stark white futuristic Calatrava structure, and I wanted to wear bright colors that would really pop against the white. Pink is my favorite color, so I went with hot pink and gold for my reception look for the ceremony. I wanted to respect tradition with a modern twist, so I went with the bridal red look but chose a bright blood red and skilled the gold. I was very happy with how both turned out, with just the right amount of sparkle introduced via hand-embroidered details and beading. Each outfit was a miniature work of art. I wore a coral and gold silk saree for the welcome ceremony, also hand embroidered. And it’s not pictured, but for the haldi, I wore a very modern and comfortable bright yellow wide pant set with a matching top and dupatta.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Although planning was logistically very hard, the best part was incorporating our favorite elements and traditions from each of our cultures. Both of our families embraced this mixed celebration and came together as one beautifully. Indian and Spanish families have very similar views on family and are very warm and enjoy celebrating, so the events were very meaningful and fun! We had both an Indian ceremony and a Spanish ceremony, and they were very different from each other but his love and shared values shined through. Everyone was touched and appreciative to be a part of them. It was very special for Pratik and me to see our families mesh so well together, even with language and cultural barriers. The important feelings and values were shared and clearly communicated by all.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
I think the venues, probably. We had our Indian ceremony at the city of arts and sciences, the most important tourist destination in the city of Valencia, rarely used as a wedding venue. It is composed of a series of modern structures designed by renowned architect Calatrava (Oculus) spread out along the bed of the river Turia (dried up for many years now) in the center of the city. Each structure houses something different: the opera house, the science museum, the aquarium, etc. our ceremony took place on the outer ring and terrace of a building called El Hemisferic, which underground is a functioning Imax theatre and built in the shape of a human eye surrounded by shallow pools of water that reflect the bottom half of the eye completing the illusion. The structure even opens and closes like an eyelid but takes around 30 minutes to open/close. Our ceremony stage was floating over the water of one of the reflecting pools. We also surprised guests with a huge fireworks show over the water when the sun went down. Valencia is the fireworks capital of the world. Our guests (and us!) were blown away by the length, scale, and quality of the show.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Try to enjoy the planning process. If you are not, then consider simplifying. The wedding goes by quickly and you remember a lot of the planning. I especially remember dance practices for our Sangeet dances. We had the best choreographer helping us and made the experience super enjoyable and well-planned so guests from all over could practice their dances remotely as needed.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Catering: @cocottecatering
Lighting and Sound: @alkilaudio
Flowers and decor: @eltallerdeclo
Furniture rental: @alquilereskava
Fireworks/Pirotécnica: @pirotecnia.vulcano
Photography: @paulagfurio @gonzalomorenofotografia
Videography: @mozovideo
DJ: @djtarry
Hair: @salonbarey @t.a.o.h
MUP: @cristinacrespomakeup @paulaliciart
Nails: @estetica_isabel_benicassim
Lehenga/Sherwani: @malaandkinnaryofficial
Jewels: @naharexports @nahar_jewelry
Transport: @exclusive_viptransfer
Choreography: @choreographedbysoni
Dhol Player: @mr.diamond4dj

What a lovely wedding! If you want to see more content like this one, make sure to join us tomorrow. 

Bollywood Performers & Instructors: Soni Choreography | Sangeet Venue: Ciutat de les Arts i Ciències | Ceremony Venue: Ciutat de les Arts i Ciències | Ceremony Venue: Huerto de Santa María | Reception Venue: Huerto de Santa María | Planning & Design: P&P Singular Events | Floral & Decor: El Taller De Clo | Hair & Makeup: Cristina Crespo | Hair & Makeup: Paula Alicia | Catering: Cocotte Catering | Catering: Huerto de Santa María | Catering: Taj Mahal Restaurant Valencia | DJ: DJ Tarry | Baraat: Mr. Diamond DJ | Bridal Fashions: Mala and Kinnary India | Bridal Fashions: Pronovias | Bridal Fashions: Prada | Bridal Jewelry: Nahar Exports | Bridal Jewelry: Tanishq | Bridal Jewelry: CaratLane | Cinematography: Carlos Mozo | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Monika Sancheti | Favors: CLARINS USA | Favors: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) | Fireworks: Pirotecnia Vulcano | Lighting: ALKILAUDIO | Live Music: Mr. Diamond DJ | Rentals: Kava | Transportation: Exclusive Cars | Ceremony Officiant: Ramon V. Pascual | Accesories: Manolo Blahnik | Accesories: Valentino | Accesories: Hugo Boss | Accesories: Rolex | Accesories: Canali | Skin Care: Clarins USA | Skin Care: Everlasting Haven Spa | Nails: Isabel Centro | Hair: Salon Barey | Hair: The Art of Hair | Photography: Paula G. Furió | Photography: Gonzalo Moreno

Austin, TX Fusion Wedding by Bhuvana Dhinesh Photography

Hello Maharanis! I can't think of a better way to start the day than with this lovely wedding! Thanks to the incredible Bhuvana Dhinesh Photography, we are able to enjoy the elegance and gorgeousness of this lovebirds' special day, as their lens was able to capture the most amazing and playful moments of this breathtaking and colorful celebration. This time, Canyonwood Ridge hosted an event that was full of energy, laughs, and emotions. Maneesha & Clayton were having the time of their lives while they were sharing with their family and friends. You can see how these lovebirds had their first dance as husband and wife while the great Nachle DJ Entertainment - DJ JAG played the perfect melody to sweeten up this moment. Definitely, a versatile DJ that was able to keep up with the different activities that were taking place at the reception. All of this was delightfully complemented by the elegant and stylish decoration that Divine Decor of Dallas prepared. The colors, the dim lights, the fancy chandeliers, and the overall decoration helped in making this a memorable event. The grandeur of the occasion was reflected in the couple´s breathtaking looks that were echoed in Maneesha's delicate and stylish lehenga, very well complemented with the flawless makeup and hairstyle designed by Threading Bar Salon and the beautiful Mehndi outlined by none other than the talented Nipa Desai. And we love every bit of this marvelous and fashionable look! If you want to relive all the magic and emotions of this ceremony, make sure to visit today's gallery. You will love it!

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And that is a wrap, dear ladies! Do not forget to come back soon to enjoy more love stories and tips. 

DJ: Nachle DJ Entertainment | Photography: Bhuvana Dhinesh Photography | Ceremony Venue: Canyonwood Ridge | Reception Venue: Canyonwood Ridge | Floral & Decor: Divine Decor of Dallas | Hair & Makeup: Threading Bar Salon | Baraat: Dholi Anuradha | Mehndi Artist: Nipa Desai

Punta Cana, DR South Indian Destination Wedding by Photo Cine Art

Lakshmi and Manoj found the ideal locale in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; they knew it was the right place to tie the knot! The couple experienced everything the Dominican Republic had to offer, thanks to  Indian Destination Wedding. The travel concierge experts assisted the pair in creating their perfect Caribbean destination wedding and helped the couple book the fabulous Hard Rock Punta Cana! They put together a vivid open-air Sangeet bash to kick off the wedding spree. It was a big celebration under the stars that included Luau dancers and a fun limbo dance! In addition to the warm string lights, the Sangeet scenery showcased large marquee AMOR (love in Spanish) letters that lit up the venue even more! Lakshmi & Manoj wanted a tropical motif for their ceremony and reception events. They chose a palette of bright colors such as pink, fuchsia, purple blossoms, and green palm leaves that evokes a botanical paradise! Mercaflor recreated the Island's flora inside the Hard Rock Punta Cana's ballroom, and I must confess I love the bridal entry under a bougainvillea Phoolon ki chadar. What a beautiful entrance! While Manoj went classy for his Baraat and entered the cermeony in a vintage car! Premier bridal hair and makeup agency Styling Trio beautified Lakshmi with natural makeup and a classic southern floral Jada hairstyle for her ceremony. She finished the look with an enchanting Radhika Jewelers' jewels set. She was indeed the ultimate Southern Indian Maharani! World-class Indian DJ Mohnish Tandon ensured the wedding reception was a success, playing the best Bollywood beats. While a two-tiered fondant cake adorned with bright florals standing in an acrylic base also decorated with bright blooms and foliage was the final touch to an already tasty menu provided by Pranama! Artistic Punta Cana wedding photographer Photo Cine Art watched Lakshmi and Manoj promise each other a forever together and captured all elements that made this a unique destination union! The decorations, dances, and how all guests had the whole Punta Cana experience! Check our full gallery and unveil all snaps of this charming South Indian wedding in the Dominican Republic.

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Remember to leave your thoughts on this beautiful destination soiree!

South Indian
Travel Concierge: Indian Destination Wedding | Sangeet Venue: Hard Rock Punta Cana | Ceremony Venue: Hard Rock Punta Cana | Reception Venue: Hard Rock Punta Cana | Floral & Decor: Mercaflor | Hair & Makeup: Styling Trio | Catering: Pranama | DJ: Mohnish Tandon | Bridal Fashions: Santhana Silks | Bridal Fashions: Tijore | Bridal Jewelry: Radhika Jewelers | Cinematography: Photo Cine Art | Live Music: Hots Productions | Photography: Photo Cine Art

Ypsilanti, MI Indian Wedding by Ray Anthony Photography

Happy Tuesday, darlings! Today, we are delighted to share Ahimsa & Rishi's wedding celebration with all of you. And believe us, there is so much beauty, and flair packed into this intimate event celebrated during COVID that it seemed taken out from the pages of an Indian fairytale. Everything surrounding this celebration hosted at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest had perfection written all over the place. Utsav Planners, Inc. took care of the planning and decor, while Michael B. Anthony took care of the spectacular floral arrangements. This winning combination created the perfect setting for this life-changing event, and the final result was nothing less than exceptional! Although everything was mesmerizing, nothing compared to Ahimsa's royalty look. So big kudos to Kim Quraishi and Amanie Mokdad for the glamorous hairstyle and makeup designed for our lovely Maharani. And we cannot talk about beauty and royalty looks without mentioning the artistic Mehndi designed by Ekta Kansara. It was amazing! After the ceremony, this wedding transitioned into a reception party enlivened by DJ Ice & Fresh Productions. In between dances, emotional speeches, and the delicious treats prepared by Sweet Heather Anne, this festive night got to an end. But if you can't get enough of this lovely couple, don't miss today's jaw-dropping gallery by Ray Anthony Photography. It will make your heart melt, and you will get tons of inspiring ideas for your wedding!

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Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Rishi pulled a fast one! He and I were slated to vacation in Thailand in mid-September. Leading up to the proposal, Rishi and our friends began dropping obvious, but ultimately untrue hints that the proposal was happening in Thailand. It did the trick because I was super confused and primed for the actual proposal. During Labor Day weekend, Rishi flew from San Francisco to DC to visit. On the proposal day, Rishi first took me for brunch to Ted’s Bulletin in Eastern Market. The spot has a special significance for us because it’s where our close, mutual friend Ronak introduced us on a snowy night over chocolate under the pretext of a low-key hangout. After brunch we headed to a health policy lecture across town near the iconic Meridian Hill Park. The talk was a ruse. Right before we got to the “talk,” Rishi made up an excuse to see a friend at the park. As soon as we arrived, and he asked me to stand near the fountain, it finally hit me that he was about to propose. As I anxiously walked to where he was, he first delivered a beautiful speech, got down on one knee, and proposed. When I called my parents to tell them the news, I suddenly saw them there, along with Rishi’s parents and Ronak all running over to congratulate us! I was in complete shock and overwhelmed by all the love. Later that night, Rishi planned a surprise dinner with our close friends and family at a restaurant in Georgetown, and we ended the night dancing near the Georgetown harbor.

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 didn’t plan one wedding, but actually three. Once COVID-19 hit, after much deliberation and carefully tracking the COVID-19 restrictions, we chose the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti Eagle Crest in Michigan for our venue. The hotel had a beautiful outdoor area nestled amidst a breathtaking scene of pine trees, a golf course, and a lake where the wedding would be held. The hotel also offered a great backup option in case of inclement weather. Although autumn weather in Michigan is unpredictable, we were lucky with a gorgeous sunrise and sunny, blue skies for the entire duration of the wedding.

For our decorator and wedding planner, we chose Utsav Planners. They were our life savers and incredibly supportive as we went through the various options and the inevitable stress surrounding trying to plan a wedding in the midst of a global pandemic. Because they had experience in this realm, they were knowledgeable about precautions to take and came up with unique ideas for our décor and wedding. Their attention to detail, dedication to our wedding vision, and flawless execution the day of our wedding helped us be present to really enjoy our wedding festivities.

Rishi and I were committed to ensuring the safety of our guests during the pandemic. We requested (more like demanded!) that they and our vendors get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of attending our wedding. We emphasized physical distancing protocols throughout the wedding and ordered colorful, décor-consistent filtered masks for our guests. We were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate our love during the pandemic.

I chose a unique color scheme of green, orange, purple, and blush for the wedding because they encompassed and reflected autumn undertones and beautifully complemented the fall colors. Given our respective cultural backgrounds, I also incorporated two underlying themes of traditional South Indian and North Indian décor for the wedding luncheon. Because both of us are drawn to Indian classical music, we included music-related themes intertwined with fragrant, bright flowers for the table centerpieces. Our cake decorator (Sweet Heather Anne) designed various Indian instruments on our cake to tie the theme together. My goal for the overall wedding aesthetic was vibrant, elegant, and timeless.

I was also keen on bringing an extra personal touch to our wedding and many of our friends were able to bring their personal touch to our wedding. Prior to the wedding, my close friends and family from around the world created a compilation of bhajans (devotional songs) which we played throughout the wedding festivities. Many of my friends were able to participate in the Milni ceremony (joining of the families). My uncle and three close friends walked me down the aisle under a vibrant phoolon ki chaadar (blanket of flowers). My family friend, Supriya (www.supriyakharod.com) designed our beautiful wedding programs, which we also electronically sent to our guests who were watching our wedding live on YouTube. My childhood friend Asha (www.instaetchstudio.com) designed lovely navy wood coasters adorned with sitar, tabla, mridangam, nadaswaram and thavil engravings as wedding favors.

Our two close friends checked all our guests’ temperatures before the wedding, handled other wedding logistics, and helped to prevent any technical glitches for our family and friends watching our wedding virtually. Our close friends played classical music throughout the entire wedding to help set the mood and tone of the wedding. Our family friends also helped immensely by organizing the priest’s items for the mandap (altar) and gauri puja (prayer to Goddess Parvati), and taking care of some wedding logistics. My friends and family brilliantly collaborated together to successfully steal Rishi’s shoes (#operationhappyfeet). And last but not least, our family and friends collaborated to bring us personalized wedding messages and dances that we watched as a virtual celebration in the evening.

Our caterer Suvai delivered traditional and mouth-watering South Indian breakfasts on the morning of the wedding while restaurant Rangoli created a beautiful array of North Indian appetizers and entrees for our wedding luncheon.

Because we were unable to go shopping in India for our wedding attire, I selected a traditional two-tone kanchivaram sari from Hyderabad after countless Whatsapp calls and pictures. Rishi also purchased his gold sherwani (suit) with a purple pagri (turban) and dupatta (stole) from Bangalore and Delhi. For my mehendi (henna) event, I selected a vibrant-colored lehenga from a store in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to have the best of the makeup, hair, mehendi, and sari tying artists in the Detroit metro area. Amanie Mokdad did the bridal party’s makeup, Kim Quraishi did the bridal party’s hair, and Ekta Shah Kansara did my mehendi and tied saris for the bridal party. DJ Ice and Fresh was our DJ, who absolutely rocked Rishi’s baraat and our wedding. Ray Anthony was our photographer, and District Media was our videographer. Michael B. Anthony and Aishwarya Flowers were our florists, and we got our cake from Sweet Heather Anne.

We planned our wedding across the country living in California under COVID-19 restrictions, and it was an intense wedding planning process. Our parents’ endless support and involvement combined with Rishi and my dad’s strong negotiation skills helped us execute the wedding plan. I learned a lot more than I ever needed to know about contracts, how to search for the right vendors based on our vision for the wedding, and planning sufficient numbers of backup options. It really helped that all of our vendors were talented, incredible to work with, supportive, and made our wedding planning process smooth.

What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
I enjoyed planning the wedding with Rishi and I think we got a chance to better understand each other through this process and grow even stronger together as a couple. The profound love, guidance, and encouragement we received from our family and friends, from making the decision to get married in October, to being on call and helping us with every small wedding detail, made the experience much more enjoyable and easier to surpass.

What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The best compliments we got after the wedding were about the ambiance, sophisticated décor and delicious food. But I think what blew everyone away the most is that we ran the entire program on time…perhaps a first for an Indian wedding!

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 hosted a 20-25-person nalangu and mehendi ceremony the Thursday before the wedding in my backyard. We used fresh marigolds, mango leaves, banana trees, and rangoli as traditional décor for the nalangu on our patio in the morning. The mehendi color scheme was orange, green, yellow, and red to create a colorful and fun ambiance. We used a vibrant backdrop with multi-colored pillows, urlis, and umbrellas as décor. The mehendi was in a tent with outdoor seating in the vicinity. Krishna Catering & Restaurant catered our lunch and Suvai catered our dinner which included different types of chaat and various types of dosa with all the condiments, and dessert. Ekta Kansara did my beautifully designed mehendi and hair and Amanie was my fabulous makeup artist. It was an exciting kickoff to the wedding festivities!

Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don’t fight what’s beyond your control. Know that you did everything you could for your wedding and surrender the rest. Remember to enjoy the festivities and be present for the entire wedding celebration.

Planning a wedding during a pandemic can be difficult and frustrating, but know that virtually all couples face the same set of challenges. Do not hesitate to reach out for help. Having friends and family as a support system is also incredibly helpful to help you stay sane during the wedding process and wedding. Oh, and make sure you actually eat on your wedding day!

We are preparing something special for you, so make sure to join us tomorrow for more!

Planning & Design: Utsav Planners,Inc. | Planning & Design: Utsav Planners,Inc. | DJ: DJ Ice & Fresh Productions | Venues: Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest | Florist: Michael B. Anthony | Garland & Hair Flowers: Aiswarya Flowers | Welcome Sign & Wedding Party Favor Coasters: InstaEtch Studio | Priest: Shastriji Giriswami | Hair: Kim Quraishi | Makeup: Amanie Mokdad | Catering (Mehendi): Taste of India Suvai | Catering (Wedding): Rangoli Indian Cuisine | Cake & Treats: Sweet Heather Anne | Cinematography: Media District | Draping/Styling: Ekta Kansara | Mehndi Artist: Ekta Kansara | Wedding Programs: Supriya Kharod | Wedding Favors (Chocolates): Corden Chocolates | Photography: Ray Anthony Photography


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