Monica and Naren decided to start a wonderful journey together and their wedding bucked tradition from the beginning! Peter Nguyen Studio bring us this breathtaking South Indian wedding celebration and the striking images are ready to leave you in complete awe! Shilpa Patel Events made sure to produced and bring to life the grand ceremony in the lush outdoors of the Renaissance Newport Beach hotel! Ethnic Essence Couture Events designed a dreamy scenario with the perfect neutral colors, magnificent tents that harbored the union and were combined flawlessly with the fresh colorful flower arrays and traditional finery! This south Indian bride looks fabulous as she flaunted an exquisite bridal Marathi ensemble and paired it with her family heirlooms and we can’t get enough of her beautiful bridal bouquet! The spellbinding change of vows was unforgettable and I can’t wait to show the details of reception that was nothing less than extraordinary but first visit our gallery for more amazing photos!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met back on Thanksgiving 2012, when I studied for 3 months in D.C for undergrad. This was the first time I was meeting the Sridhar's. The parents had a hidden agenda for the evening, which included setting up my older sister with Naren's older brother. Safe to say, that didn't work out. I instantly felt a spark upon meeting Naren, but was dating someone else at the time. The evening and weekend were filled with a ton of local beer, home-cooked food, and sightseeing in D.C.
A month later, I was in San Francisco and ended up having a tourist day with Naren and his brother. This is the weekend where the true magic happened. After a trip to a local speakeasy, I made the first move and grabbed Naren's hand while crossing the busy streets of San Francisco. That's when we knew that the feelings were mutual.
After a congenial couple of emails between family friends, we slowly started texting every day. We stayed up for hours on end, sending silly pictures and emojis to each other. We got to know each other better, virtually, over the next few months. In my last year of college, I went through a terrible roommate situation, and Naren ended up being there, by phone, through it all – whether it was to listen to me vent or to make me laugh.
Later in June 2013, Naren was in Southern CA for his best friends wedding and asked me to accompany him to the wedding, as friends. We took silly photo booth pictures, danced the night away to Spice Girls, and had an amazing time together. We eventually went outside to catch the Disneyland firework show, for which we missed it since they were on the wrong side of the building. We ended up talking outside for some time, at which time Naren asked me out.
In my mind, I always felt like Naren was the one for me. We have similar interests, are comfortable enough to be a little quirky, and even with the distance, every time we got to see each other, it didn't feel like we were starting anew.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
In April 2017, Naren started actively shopping for an engagement ring.
He already knew what shape the ring was going to be, from a text of a bus advertisement he received a few months prior. In July 2017, he had finally found the perfect ring, while shopping with his mom and brother, Navin, in Seattle.
Naren had thought about proposing at various points throughout July & August 2017, but none of them seemed like the perfect moment. Due to the fact that I'm really into food, Naren knew the perfect location to propose would be one of my favorite local restaurants - on a totally random Wednesday night! It was just like another weeknight, Naren's dad was making a surprise trip to Seattle for work and wanted to have dinner with us. Little did I know, that was all a setup and a perfect one at that.
We got seated at the best seat in the house, the Chef's table. Shortly after being seated, Naren purposefully left his wallet in the car, so he could sneak away from the table to go retrieve it. Eventually, Naren came back to the restaurant while finishing up a call with his dad on the phone. Naren abruptly walks into the restaurant, and says, "Sorry. My dad isn't coming to the restaurant", at which point I gave him a very concerned look on my face. At that point, I knew this was all staged!
With the biggest cheek to cheek smiles on both of our faces, Naren got down on one knee to propose to me. The whole restaurant, with a mere 28 seats, waited in anticipation for my answer. I, of course, said yes, but with all the noise in the restaurant and my soft voice, Naren didn't hear me. Naren promptly got off his knee, and handed me the entire ring box, without putting the ring on my finger (he blames the adrenaline). Caught in the moment, Naren eventually did put the ring on my finger, only after I requested it. :)
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.
The planning of our dream wedding was such a group effort! We had a WhatsApp group called "Team Narmony" where we discussed everything from what we were going to wear, to vendors, to who is staying in which hotel. There were many nights of family conference calls as well - which was a challenge when dealing with people in different time zones.
My mom was crucial in tapping into her network to secure the most amazing hair & makeup artists, outfits, decorator, and photographer/videographer. Both of our families worked so hard to make this the wedding we always wanted, while also making it an effortless experience for friends and family. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
We had our Big Day in Southern California but currently live in Seattle, WA. Seattle holds a special place in my heart and I have so many vendors and restaurants I love in this city. I loved finding unique ways to incorporate this wonderful city into my SoCal wedding. Some examples of how I incorporated were: bridal robes, Welcome sign, Reception Guest Book, Table Numbers, and Reception Party Favors. I even had the Seattle skyline drawn into my bridal henna.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
My first look with my now-husband was so special, but the one that I constantly look back at is the first look with my dad. I was wearing my paternal grandmother's wedding jewelry and was decked out in a traditional Paithani (Marathi) sari. We did our first look on a secluded balcony of the hotel, and the moment my dad turned around, we both starting tearing up. I'll never forget the way my dad looked at me, so proudly and admiration. My dad and I haven't lived in the same house for over 10 years, but I've always been very close to my dad. It was just the feeling of daddy's little girl really growing up and moving on. It really hit me at that point that I was getting married, but I knew that my dad was always going to be the first man I loved.
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.
For the reception, we didn't have a wedding party and didn't do the traditional entrance with bride and grooms, mom and dad. We changed it up and allowed the mom's, dad's, and sibling to enter together. Each pair could pick their own song, which led to some fun entrances and music choices. To us, it really portrayed the melding of our families.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
You have got to get through it! There will be disagreements, tears, and so much more - but I promise you it is so worth it in the end!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
We didn't have a cake at our wedding. We instead did freshly baked cookies from a local Orange County company and had some delicious Indian ice cream from Saffron Spot. The dinner was so decadent, that it was nice to have something simple for dessert.
Get ready ladies! The most beautiful reception moments, coming up next!