Get ready to enjoy because we're taking you on a love journey through Chandni & Paras' wedding, celebrated at the imposing Chicago Marriott Schaumburg! During COVID chaos, to say this couple had a stress-free, magical big fat wedding is an anomaly! But, this wedding was filled with the perfect combination of Hindu and Jain traditions with a mix of modern entertainment. This lovely couple trusted JD Eventz for the wedding to take care of the planning and execution and Dream Occasions to take care of the decor. And what a great decision it was, as they delivered nothing but perfection! There was so much beauty all over the place, but nothing compared to Chandni's gorgeous look with the incredible outfit by no other than the great Custumise. The lovely details on this Maharni's lengha are every bride's dream, and she bursts into the scene looking like a princess. Her hairstyle and makeup were designed by Makeup by Sonu Patel and SKM Artistry, whereas Henna Tattoo Chicago designed the artistic Mehndi. After the ceremony, Holly Bolly Unlimited live music, and Shakti Queen Beats choreography enlivened an intimate reception party. Everyone danced the night away, creating endless memories that will be reminiscing over and over with their loved ones for decades to come! Chandni & Paras' main goal was to have a wedding that all family and friends could attend without worrying about a random task, and with all the help of these fantastic vendors, not only did they reach this goal, but managed to have a very timely Indian wedding, which is unheard of. Luckily for us, Alfaaz Photography was there to capture every moment of this lovely celebration. If you want to look at this amazing celebration, head into our gallery for more!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
On June 21, 2016, we matched on a dating site. After three days of chatting, Chandni was impressed. So, as any diligent attorney would do, Chandni added Paras on Facebook for investigatory purposes. Impressed by her courage, Paras asked Chandni out on a date.
On June 28, 2016, we had our first date. Paras spent many hours planning and organizing the perfect first date. It was a nice summer day, so the date had to have a good balance of being outdoor and indoor with a good conversing environment. Thinking he was stood up, Paras sat at the table at Raised rooftop alone for eighteen minutes. Turned out, Chandni was (and still is) bad at following Google maps. After eating some small plates and appetizers at Raised rooftop, we walked across the Chicago Riverwalk for dinner reservations at Davanti Enoteca. This was Chandni's first time at this restaurant, so naturally, Paras ordered a large variety of dishes for her to try, but Chandni barely had five bites because she was "nervous." After giving our untouched food to the homeless, we made our way to Three Dots and a Dash for post-dinner drinks. After we realized that one of us was too full to eat or drink anything and the other was too "nervous," we decided to walk around and enjoy the weather.
Throughout the date, we shared many laughs and interesting conversations. In particular, for every one thing Chandni would learn about Paras, Paras would learn fives things about her. For anyone that knows both of our personalities, this is a great balance. Jokes aside, the date lasted thirteen hours on a random Tuesday. The rest is history.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Each year for Chandni's birthday, Paras would surprise her with a birthday trip, and so, it would be the perfect time to pop the question without Chandni being suspicious. Before executing a plan, there were a few important considerations that Paras had to account for that Chandni was adamant on: (1) she did not want to be proposed to without our families there; (2) she was always insistent on having the perfect manicure on the day she is proposed to; and (3) no hot air balloon rides.
Chandni had just started a new job, so the first task was to secretly figure out potential dates that would work with her work schedule. After narrowing down a few dates, Paras checked with all the family members to check for any conflicts. And there we have it - August 31, 2019 was the chosen date! Although this date worked with everyone's schedule, it was difficult planning because Chandni's birthday was still two weeks away. Paras had to work with Chandni's work to make her believe that the last weekend in August was the only weekend that would work for her to take off. Although Chandni did not like the idea of celebrating her "birthday" two weeks early, she soon came around to the idea after she was informed about a potential trip. The selected destination was San Diego, California because both of us absolutely love San Diego and California has always been Chandni's favorite State. After the location was decided, the actually planning began!
The Dress: About seven weeks before the proposal date, Paras bought Chandni a dress as a gift for an unrelated celebration. During those seven weeks, Paras asked Chandni to wear the dress to various events multiple times just to throw her off. Of course, she would respond by saying she is not wearing such a nice dress to random events and places. With a few white lies and the power of persuasion, Paras managed to get Chandni to wear the dress on the special day!
The Flights: Paras worked with each family member to schedule departures and arrivals to make sure the proposal goes smoothly. Paras and Chandni landed in San Diego Friday afternoon. Knowing that Chandni's parents would not be flying out until Saturday afternoon, Paras arranged a FaceTime call between Chandni and her mom Saturday morning so she could see that her parents were still at home. Just another trick to clear out any suspicions. By Saturday afternoon, all the family members had made their way to San Diego.
The Cruise: The 3-hour cruise was absolutely perfect. We set sail into the Pacific ocean spending the first hour and twenty minutes chasing the sunset and jamming to a "birthday" playlist that Paras created with all of Chandni's favorite songs. Once a good sunset location was found, we docked in the middle of the ocean. As Chandni was facing the water enjoying the view, Paras quickly dropped down on one knee. As Chandni turned around, Paras popped open the ring box and proposed. Of course, Chandni did not hear the proposal because she was crying so much, but she did manage to say yes! The entire proposal was captured by pictures and drone footage, which can be seen below. After the proposal, Chandni and Paras enjoyed some champagne as they returned to the dock.
The Dock & Dinner: On the way back to the dock, Chandni was really upset that the family members were not there especially because she saw that her parents were home earlier that day. Paras, of course, played along. The waterworks continued once Chandni noticed the family members waiting for us at the dock. We were greeted with each person holding a decorated poster with a designated letter. The first sign read "CONGRATS!" and the second sign on the backside read "GAMEOVER!" We all enjoyed a toast on the dock and took plenty of pictures. After the celebrations on the dock, we went to our dinner reservations where we all stuffed our face with delicious food.
Accommodations & Transportation: Paras booked an AirBnB and transportation for the two families to enjoy after the dinner. The family members were able to gain access to the AirBnB upon arriving to San Diego. They all spent a considerable amount of time decorating the AirBnB, which was a great surprise when Chandni and Paras walked in for the first time! And so, the celebrations continued!
The Day-After: Paras planned for the two families to spend the day together with some quality time. Paras made shirts for each family member themed after Chandni's all-time favorite show, Friends. The shirts read, "The One Where Chandni Said Yes!" and "The One Where Paras Asked!" We all wore the shirts all day as we enjoyed brunch and a mini road trip from San Diego to Los Angeles.
The Finale: Monday morning, Chandni and Paras head to the airport, and just as Chandni thought there could not be any more surprises, she learned that we were now going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Paras and Chandni enjoyed their first trip as an engaged couple in Mexico with swimming with the dolphins, bargain shopping, street elotes, and many other unforgettable experiences.
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 were very proactive about wedding planning. To start, we both wanted to be very involved with the decision making and did not want to stress out family members. So, we actually planned our entire wedding. We knew we wanted to have the wedding in our hometowns (the Chicagoland area). We also knew that we wanted to have the wedding at a modern venue that does not have red carpet or weird wallpaper and lights. It took us about two months of venue shopping and negotiating until we both were extremely happy.
After days and days of research, we found the perfect decorator, photographer, and videographer that matched our personalities very well as well as the excellent attention to detail. Food was probably the most difficult because both of us and our families are foodies and quite picky. We tried almost every single indian caterer, but in the end we decided to go with a newer restaurant to the Chicagoland area. We knew the quality was excellent and they were very talented with the range of cuisines and display. However, we wanted to spread out some catering and snacks so we also went with some local favorites that we knew would deliver great food (build your own pizza food truck, nothing bundt cakes, south indian, and gujarati).
Unfortunately, due to COVID, we had to postpone our wedding because of restrictions. Even worse, we had limited weekends to choose from with our venue because so many events were being rescheduled. We only had two weekends from the rest of the year to choose from, and one of those was over Christmas weekend, so we went with the other weekend, which ended up being Diwali and a great weekend to get family and friends together! Changing the date worked well, but we ended up losing our Videographer because they were already booked for another wedding that weekend. So we went back to the drawing board and spent endless hours looking at trailers and videos until we found the perfect fit.
Clothes shopping was difficult because we couldn't travel to India. We did everything virtually and handpicked many of the designs. Custumise really made the process special for us and the fits were perfect even though we were halfway across the globe. This was probably the easiest part of the process. The only stress here was shipping because of COVID-19, but even this worked out!
The overall process took a lot of patience and hardwork and communication, but we kept our spirits up and went with our gut feeling much of the way. Everything worked out how it was suppose to and we have no regrets.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Finding the perfect wedding dress came amidst a time of COVID when traveling to India was very difficult. It was during this time that I found Custumise and knew they would be the perfect company to create my dream wedding outfit. I always thought I wanted the famous red and gold lengha that I admired whenever I looked at wedding posts. But I soon then realized I wanted to add a unique flare to my outfit while still staying traditional. I knew I wanted all of the traditional colors such as white, red, green, gold but in a modern yet traditional look. I was able to create the perfect look I dreamt of with the help of my mom and the Custumise team!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Hands down the most enjoyable part of the planning process was creating our outfits. I never knew how enjoyable it would be to watch a masterpiece be created that is built off of your unique vision. It is not everyday that you get a chance to have every single one of your outfits be personalized! Watching the Custumise team make this vision into reality was simply amazing.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
All the guests complimented the food all weekend long along with our wedding decorations and how fun dancing the night away until 2:00 am at our reception. Suprisingly, for an Indian wedding, from start to finish, every single celebration and ceremony was on time, which our family and closest friends really appreciated because it left more down time to rest a little!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
For Paras, the one moment that keeps replaying in his mind is when Chandni performed her solo dance. She looked majestic and like a true bride. The song choice, steps, and emotions were perfect to represent our relationship.
For Chandni, the moment that keeps replaying in her mind was the look on Paras' face during our first look. The emotions that genuinely filled his eyes said it all. On top of that, when I walked down the aisle, even after already have seen me, tears filled his eyes once again. That was the moment that I knew, I was certainly marrying my best friend.
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 had five events: Haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet, Wedding and Reception. For each event we carefully planned out unique decorations that fit our vision for that event. We had a joint mehndi event which we absolutely loved. This was the event that kicked off the whole weekend. The concept behind having our first event joint was also the ability to treat it as a gathering for both sides of the family to meet. After all, this event is bringing two families together, what better way than to allow everyone the opportunity to get to know one another from day one! Our sangeet event was very special to us because we had a chance to really incorporate some of our family decoration and food preferences that evening. We had food from all around the world which our guests very much enjoyed. Most of our performances were also this night which allowed us more time to enjoy the dance floor and open bar during our reception! Our concept around the reception was set up as a production. Our performances were intertwined to be an enjoyable experience for our guests which led into a night filled with hours of dancing and partying!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Enjoy the moment and let go of all expectations the weekend of. Without any hesitation, I can say I enjoyed every single second of our wedding. When I look back at our wedding weekend, we have nothing but positive and happy memories. When the weekend comes, most things are out of your hands at that point. Focus on being surrounded by your loved ones, enjoying the food, dancing to the music! It truly is such a special time and it goes by so quickly.
Ladies, I hope you have enjoyed today's story as much as I did. Do not forget to come back for more!