It is Monday, ladies, and to kick start the week with our batteries fully charged, we have a Gujurati wedding for the ages! This time around we head down to New Jersey for Sonal & Amol's vision and as you probably expect, it was as incredible as ever! Our friends from Ishan Fotografi were there with all their talent to capture every detail of this wonderful gala, so be sure that in today's gallery, inspiration is assured. Just take a look at the design of it all! The team behind all the planning? Ring to Aisle Events, of course! You know your wedding will go as smooth as butter if those folks are involved! Amazing job, indeed! And what about Maharani Sonal's fashion sense? A true Maharani glows on her wedding day and this beauty was no exception! So, ladies, let us get to the images and get those ideas moving!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Amol and I met when we were in college, at the University of Maryland. We were on the same Garba Raas team, UMD EntouRAAS, for two years before becoming co-captains. While we were co-captains we got to know each other better and got very close while spending long hours at practice, creating the dance, and at competitions. We started dating at the end of that year and have never looked back!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
On our fifth anniversary, he planned a full day date in New York City. The plan was to first have lunch near Central Park, then go for a boat ride in the middle of Central Park. He told me we had ballroom dancing lessons and dinner on the Upper Eastside lined up. Little did I know that halfway through, he would propose! After lunch, we walked through Central Park to the Loeb boathouse where we both climbed into a two-person rowboat. He rowed me into the middle of the lake, got down on one knee and proposed! Our closest friends and our siblings were hiding nearby watching the whole thing and after I said yes, they all started to cheer! A few of our close friends also were taking photos and videos and we had a photoshoot through the park. Afterward, we went to my house where our parents, grandparents, and friends had all gathered for a surprise engagement party!
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.
This was the first thing we started to plan. We wanted a venue that was big enough to have all of our guests, was beautiful, was relatively close to home and had accommodation - as the majority of our guests would be flying in to attend. We looked in both Maryland and New Jersey, where Amol and my families are from, respectively and we found the perfect place at the Sheraton Parsippany! We chose the Marriott Hanover for our Garba as it had a beautiful ballroom and was in close proximity to the Sheraton.
We decided that we wanted a day-of-coordinator to help us plan our wedding and coordinate on the wedding day so it would run smoothly and we could just focus on enjoying. Our wedding planner was Neeti with Ring to Aisle Events. She did a wonderful job helping us with a lot of the planning leading up to the big day, and on the day of our wedding, she and her team helped run everything smoothly and efficiently.
Hair & Makeup:
We reached out to many of our friends and family members for hair and makeup suggestions, and many of them had recommended Anita Shah. After looking at some of her work on Instagram, I reached out and booked her! She was wonderful to work with and created beautiful, elegant looks for all of my events!
We wanted a mix of classy, vibrant, and traditional for our decor. For the Garba, we wanted bright colors that reflected the festivity of the event. For our ceremony, we wanted red, pink, white as our main color palette. We knew we wanted a circular mandap with pillars since we liked the look and felt it would give good visibility to our guests. For our reception, we wanted an elegant look and Nirali Decor worked with us closely to bring our vision to life!
This was one of our final vendors that we decided on as we spent a lot of time researching to find vendors with the style that matched what we wanted. We were lucky to find Ishan/Preeti with Ishan Fotografi and Peter with My Wedding Maker. They were both amazing to work with, made us feel natural during photoshoots, captured some very special moments, and both added artistry to their photos and videos.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted a traditional red- and gold-coloured lengha for the wedding ceremony and a blush pink colour for the reception. We went to India for our outfits and on the first day, I landed, my family and I went to Asopalav in Ahmedabad and I found both my wedding and reception outfits that day!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part was working together as a couple during the planning process, and also having our families being very involved and supportive. It felt like the process as a whole brought us closer as a couple, and it also brought our families closer. We also really enjoyed being able to bring to life what we both value for our special day.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests gave us great feedback regarding food, decor, etc. However, what everyone told us that they loved was the energy of the weekend! They said that every event was full of life, excitement, and love!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There were a few really special moments that stick out in my mind whenever I think of the wedding. The first look on the morning of the wedding day was a beautiful, intimate, and very emotional moment for us as we saw each other for the first time on that special day! Walking down the aisle was a truly memorable experience, I was nervous walking into the room full of people but when the doors open and I saw Amol looking back at me from under the mandap, I felt an overwhelming sense of calmness and joy!
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.
Mehndi: We wanted a warm atmosphere, which Nirali decor helped us create with a rich-colored backdrop, table overlays, and festive cushions at the foot of the stage. During the first half of the evening, our guests mingled enjoyed dinner and had their mehndi done. For the second half, many of our close friends and family members performed beautiful and meaningful songs. Our siblings surprised us with a heartfelt and moving song, which was one of the true highlights of the evening!
Garba: Since we met on a Garba/Raas team, this event was very special to us. We wanted a traditional and vibrant atmosphere, with a decorated hichko on one end of the hall and a brightly colored backdrop on the other. We had a beautiful Radha Krishna murti placed in the center of the hall. After doing aarti, we all did Garba and then Raas. During the intermission, Amol and I did a dance together, after which our Raas teammates joined us for a fun and nostalgic dance compiled of segments from our old dance routines!
Reception: The reception started with memorable entrances from our parents and siblings. Then Amol and I entered and did our first dance to a special song that was played on the piano by my brother. We then had some sweet and hilarious speeches from our siblings and parents along with some amazing dances from our friends. After we had dinner, we had a fantastic night dancing with all of our guests!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Wedding planning can definitely be stressful, but it is always important to keep perspective on how special and meaningful this day will be to you and your husband! Take every effort to enjoy and make the most of each moment of your special day/weekend!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
It was great working with all of our other vendors that worked tirelessly to make our wedding so memorable, including our mehndi artist, Henna by Riddhi; our caterers, Moghul, Amiya, and Ganesh Divine; our DJ, MVPDJs; our wedding cake vendor, Palermo Bakery; and our florists, Denville Florist and Patel Flowers!
Part two of this love-fueled bash coming up!