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All posts with Season "Winter"

Phoenix, AZ Indian Wedding by Ushna Khan Photography

Welcome back, beautiful ones! This past New Year's Eve celebration was definitely one to remember for eternity for these two lovebirds. As the entire world welcomed the new year, Akila & Amit also welcomed their new life together! What more can you ask for? So romantic! After the outdoor ceremony, it was time for the cocktail hour and of course, Maharani Akila just stole the show. Have you ever seen such a beautiful gown? It's been a while since our jaws have dropped, and with this South Indian beauty, that was exactly the case. That, plus her gorgeous Mehndi design done by the incredible Henna by Purvi, gave her an unexpected flair. The team from Ushna Khan Photography definitely rank high in my books because of their amazing talent with the lenses, proof of that is here, in our complete gallery of today. So, what are you waiting, dolls, this celebration is something else! Don't miss it! 

indian bride,indian groom,reception photo session
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding decor,chandelier
indian wedding decor,table,tableware,flowers
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding decor,flowers,table decor
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding cake,cake decor
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
indian wedding reception,dj,music
indian wedding reception,indian wedding guests
indian wedding reception,indian bride,indian groom
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Amit when he was in pharmacy school and I was in undergrad at the University of Arizona. We had a lot of the same friends, yet we somehow never actually managed to hang out! Four years later, we both happened to attend the wedding of one our close mutual friends and we were sat at tables right next to each other. When they started serving cake, I grabbed two pieces (because DUH!) and he came over to me, grabbed my second piece of cake and started eating it (bold move but it worked!). The rest as they say, is history :) I knew he was "the one" when I saw how important his family was to him, and how that carried over into his relationship with my family. We share so many of the same core values, and although our personalities are pretty different, it’s those values that keep us anchored to each other.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Amit popped the question on November 3rd, 2017. We had been dating for a little over two years at that point and my parents were visiting from India at the time. Amit's sister-in-law, Ruchi texted me earlier during the week letting me know she was throwing a birthday dinner for Amit's brother at the Phoenician Resort (the same place where we officially began our relationship) that Friday. Little did I know, that was a total lie and Amit had orchestrated the entire thing. He picked me up from my apartment and took me to the resort. We walked down to a private lawn and when I turned the corner there was a giant waterfall with a bridge overflowing water, decorated with rose petals and candles, a private table with champagne and a heart made of rose petals on the lawn. I immediately froze! I was in complete disbelief and the only way I can describe it is: I felt like I was floating. He led me out to the lawn, into the middle of the heart, pulled out a speaker and played our favorite song. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! After a romantic dinner (and maybe a little too much champagne) we went back to his condo where he had gathered all of our family and friends to surprise me and celebrate with us all night.
 
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 took a couple months to let everything soak in and enjoy being engaged without the stress of planning for a little while (which if you can do, I highly recommend!). I was also really lucky because Amit actually did SO much of the planning so he was a huge help. We started by picking our venue, it was really important to both of us that the place spoke to us and resonated with who we both are and the theme we wanted to stick to. We also planned the whole wedding on our own-which was great because that meant every aspect of the wedding had a major piece of us incorporated into it. Once the venue was picked we focused on all our other vendors. A lot of our friends had gotten married a year or two before, so they were a big help in terms of vendor recommendations. We looked at a lot of online reviews and talked to people who had worked with some of our vendors before to make sure everything was a good fit. I will say your relationships with your vendors is SO important, particularly if you don't hire a planner until closer to the wedding day. Our overall experience with all our vendors was fantastic. Special shout out to Skypoint Productions (video), Ushna Khan Photography, Hasan from Kismet Events (decor), Prince (Desi Junction DJs) and Mehul from Jhakaas Entertainment (production) for their incredible work! We worked with so many great people who were so supportive and went above and beyond to help us ensure our day was exactly what we wanted it to be.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We flew to India the summer before our wedding (during monsoon season might I add) to do all of our shopping. We spent a week in Mumbai and a week in Bangalore picking outfits, jewelry, etc. I knew I wanted to stick to traditional colors and I was definitely influenced by a lot of Indian designers (i.e Sabyasachi and Falguni Shane Peacock). Researching their collections online helped me narrow down my choices for each event. One piece of advice I do have for brides, is that shopping for outfits can be really overwhelming-especially if you're like me and absolutely cannot make quick decisions. It helps to have a general idea of what you want, but keep an open mind because you never know what you'll actually end up finding and loving!
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was DEFINITELY the little touches. It was a way for Amit and I to make our wedding a unique experience and to add our own flare to it. We wanted every part of our wedding to be true to who we are and to make sure that really came through to all our guests.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves all weekend and we wanted it to be a giant party celebrating our love with the people who matter most to us. The two main things we always hear from people is how much they loved our vows to each other during the ceremony, as well as how much love they felt all weekend, and how much they appreciated all the details and planning we put into our wedding. These were the little things Amit and I spent a lot of time thinking about and enjoyed doing the most. I'm just really glad it resonated with everyone who was there!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
We got married on New Year’s Eve and it ended up being an overcast day with a few showers here and there. Despite the unexpected weather, the cloudy skies and cold somehow made the afternoon so much more romantic. The particular memory that always replays in my mind is when I was walking down the aisle with my parents I looked up at Amit who was getting emotional and choked up. I was suddenly so overwhelmed by love and I felt like there was no one else in the world but me and him. It was the happiest day of our lives :)
 
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 wanted the decor for our sangeet to be pretty colorful and lively so our decorator put up plenty of colorful backdrops for Mehendi artists and dance performances, as well as for various food stations. The venue we chose was a re-furbished fruit warehouse in downtown Phoenix. We loved the industrial look it had so we wanted to leave that untouched as much as possible. We had yard games, beer pong and a dosa station in the open-air courtyard which provided a free-flowing outdoor/indoor vibe for the event. Amit and I both love to dance so we had a lot of dance performances during our sangeet from cousins, bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as some Garba/dandiya and an open dance floor at the end. Amit’s brother Ankur is known amongst our friend group as the music master and he did an amazing job DJ’ing for the night! For our reception, we wanted a really elegant theme. We wanted our guests to feel like they were being transported into a whimsical garden or forest and our decor team really delivered! Kismet Events absolutely brought our vision to life with blooms, candles, and greens at every table with a giant candle wall behind our stage. The focal point of the room was the massive 40’ by 40’ ceiling install consisting of greens, wisteria, flowers and chandeliers over the large white, monogrammed dance floor. We added a lot of our own details throughout the weekend as well. We custom made our welcome bags with items that represented us and our relationship, we placed snacks on our ceremony chairs, macaroons on all our chargers, passed out coconut water served in coconuts and handed out shawls that my mom had hand beaded all summer. With an NYE reception we knew we wanted to have a pretty epic countdown to close out the weekend’s festivities. The hotel passed out champagne flutes to all of our guests and Amit and I got on stage with huge confetti guns in hand to lead the countdown. As the clock struck midnight, we had CO2 cannons, indoor sparklers, and confetti all go off simultaneously—it was an incredible way to ring in the new year with all of our family and friends.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don't stress out about things that are not in your control. It took me a while to come to terms with this, but it’s true! It takes so much hard work to plan a wedding and you put so much of yourself into it that it can be disappointing when not EVERYTHING goes exactly according to plan. Just remember, things are bound to go wrong but there are SO many things that will go right and be perfect. Your guests will have an amazing time no matter what, and at the end of the day it’s not about your venue or your vendors or your outfits. It’s about you and your husband/wife and celebrating your love for each other. It was truly so heartwarming the amount of love and joy we felt from all those who were there. Enjoy your day and remember to have a great time no matter what :)
 

More to come, tomorrow ladies! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Romantic
Luxury
season
Winter
color
Mehndi Artists: Henna by Purvi | Floral & Decor: Kismet Event Design | Planning & Design: Kismet Event Design | Photography: Ushna Khan Photography | Sangeet Venue: Events on Jackson | Ceremony Venue: Golf Island at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa | Reception Venue: Grand Ballroom at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa | Hair & Makeup: Makiaj Beauty | Catering: Om Bistro | Catering: India Palace | DJ: Desi Junction DJs | Baraat: Desi Junction DJs | Bridal Fashions: Kalki Fashion | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Bride's Mother | Favors: Bride and Groom | Lighting: Jhakaas Entertainment | Audio Visual: Jhakaas Entertainment | Registry: Zola | Rentals: A to Z Party Rentals | Rentals: You Can't Beat This | Baraat Smoke Bombs: Amazon


Phoenix, AZ Indian Wedding by Ushna Khan Photography

Hey there, dolls! Weddings keep on coming, they never stop, so why should we? This time around, we have a series of celebrations that just took my breath away. This enchanting South Indian bride tied the knot with her Gujarati prince and as you can probably expect, the festivities were absolutely unique and grand. This lovely couple wanted to pay homage to both of their backgrounds so they had a Gujarati ceremony in Phoenix and then a South Indian ceremony in Bangalore, India. So romantic indeed! Our super talented friends from Kismet Event Design are a well-known team in the wedding community, so their planning and design skills were absolutely shining for this gala. Ladies, we know for a fact that Maharani Akila's style is just going to dazzle your senses, so get ready for today's gallery thanks to the amazing visual talent from Ushna Khan Photography.      

indian bride,indian wedding ceremony fashion
maharani,indian bridesmaids
maharani jewelry,chooras,kundan set
maharani,rajah,photo session
indian wedding ceremony,maharani,rajah,antarpat
indian bride,indian groom,photo session
indian wedding ceremony,maharani
indian wedding ceremony,maharani,rajah
indian wedding ceremony,maharani,rajah
indian wedding ceremony,maharani,rajah
indian wedding decorations,mandap decor
indian wedding ceremony,maharani,rajah
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Amit when he was in pharmacy school and I was in undergrad at the University of Arizona. We had a lot of the same friends, yet we somehow never actually managed to hang out! Four years later, we both happened to attend the wedding of one our close mutual friends and we were sat at tables right next to each other. When they started serving cake, I grabbed two pieces (because DUH!) and he came over to me, grabbed my second piece of cake and started eating it (bold move but it worked!). The rest as they say, is history :) I knew he was "the one" when I saw how important his family was to him, and how that carried over into his relationship with my family. We share so many of the same core values, and although our personalities are pretty different, it’s those values that keep us anchored to each other.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Amit popped the question on November 3rd, 2017. We had been dating for a little over two years at that point and my parents were visiting from India at the time. Amit's sister-in-law, Ruchi texted me earlier during the week letting me know she was throwing a birthday dinner for Amit's brother at the Phoenician Resort (the same place where we officially began our relationship) that Friday. Little did I know, that was a total lie and Amit had orchestrated the entire thing. He picked me up from my apartment and took me to the resort. We walked down to a private lawn and when I turned the corner there was a giant waterfall with a bridge overflowing water, decorated with rose petals and candles, a private table with champagne and a heart made of rose petals on the lawn. I immediately froze! I was in complete disbelief and the only way I can describe it is: I felt like I was floating. He led me out to the lawn, into the middle of the heart, pulled out a speaker and played our favorite song. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! After a romantic dinner (and maybe a little too much champagne) we went back to his condo where he had gathered all of our family and friends to surprise me and celebrate with us all night.
 
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 took a couple months to let everything soak in and enjoy being engaged without the stress of planning for a little while (which if you can do, I highly recommend!). I was also really lucky because Amit actually did SO much of the planning so he was a huge help. We started by picking our venue, it was really important to both of us that the place spoke to us and resonated with who we both are and the theme we wanted to stick to. We also planned the whole wedding on our own-which was great because that meant every aspect of the wedding had a major piece of us incorporated into it. Once the venue was picked we focused on all our other vendors. A lot of our friends had gotten married a year or two before, so they were a big help in terms of vendor recommendations. We looked at a lot of online reviews and talked to people who had worked with some of our vendors before to make sure everything was a good fit. I will say your relationships with your vendors is SO important, particularly if you don't hire a planner until closer to the wedding day. Our overall experience with all our vendors was fantastic. Special shout out to Skypoint Productions (video), Ushna Khan Photography, Hasan from Kismet Events (decor), Prince (Desi Junction DJs) and Mehul from Jhakaas Entertainment (production) for their incredible work! We worked with so many great people who were so supportive and went above and beyond to help us ensure our day was exactly what we wanted it to be.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
We flew to India the summer before our wedding (during monsoon season might I add) to do all of our shopping. We spent a week in Mumbai and a week in Bangalore picking outfits, jewelry, etc. I knew I wanted to stick to traditional colors and I was definitely influenced by a lot of Indian designers (i.e Sabyasachi and Falguni Shane Peacock). Researching their collections online helped me narrow down my choices for each event. One piece of advice I do have for brides, is that shopping for outfits can be really overwhelming-especially if you're like me and absolutely cannot make quick decisions. It helps to have a general idea of what you want, but keep an open mind because you never know what you'll actually end up finding and loving!
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The most enjoyable part of the planning process was DEFINITELY the little touches. It was a way for Amit and I to make our wedding a unique experience and to add our own flare to it. We wanted every part of our wedding to be true to who we are and to make sure that really came through to all our guests.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves all weekend and we wanted it to be a giant party celebrating our love with the people who matter most to us. The two main things we always hear from people is how much they loved our vows to each other during the ceremony, as well as how much love they felt all weekend, and how much they appreciated all the details and planning we put into our wedding. These were the little things Amit and I spent a lot of time thinking about and enjoyed doing the most. I'm just really glad it resonated with everyone who was there!
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
We got married on New Year’s Eve and it ended up being an overcast day with a few showers here and there. Despite the unexpected weather, the cloudy skies and cold somehow made the afternoon so much more romantic. The particular memory that always replays in my mind is when I was walking down the aisle with my parents I looked up at Amit who was getting emotional and choked up. I was suddenly so overwhelmed by love and I felt like there was no one else in the world but me and him. It was the happiest day of our lives :)
 
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 wanted the decor for our sangeet to be pretty colorful and lively so our decorator put up plenty of colorful backdrops for Mehendi artists and dance performances, as well as for various food stations. The venue we chose was a re-furbished fruit warehouse in downtown Phoenix. We loved the industrial look it had so we wanted to leave that untouched as much as possible. We had yard games, beer pong and a dosa station in the open-air courtyard which provided a free-flowing outdoor/indoor vibe for the event. Amit and I both love to dance so we had a lot of dance performances during our sangeet from cousins, bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as some Garba/dandiya and an open dance floor at the end. Amit’s brother Ankur is known amongst our friend group as the music master and he did an amazing job DJ’ing for the night! For our reception, we wanted a really elegant theme. We wanted our guests to feel like they were being transported into a whimsical garden or forest and our decor team really delivered! Kismet Events absolutely brought our vision to life with blooms, candles, and greens at every table with a giant candle wall behind our stage. The focal point of the room was the massive 40’ by 40’ ceiling install consisting of greens, wisteria, flowers and chandeliers over the large white, monogrammed dance floor. We added a lot of our own details throughout the weekend as well. We custom made our welcome bags with items that represented us and our relationship, we placed snacks on our ceremony chairs, macaroons on all our chargers, passed out coconut water served in coconuts and handed out shawls that my mom had hand beaded all summer. With an NYE reception we knew we wanted to have a pretty epic countdown to close out the weekend’s festivities. The hotel passed out champagne flutes to all of our guests and Amit and I got on stage with huge confetti guns in hand to lead the countdown. As the clock struck midnight, we had CO2 cannons, indoor sparklers, and confetti all go off simultaneously—it was an incredible way to ring in the new year with all of our family and friends.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Don't stress out about things that are not in your control. It took me a while to come to terms with this, but it’s true! It takes so much hard work to plan a wedding and you put so much of yourself into it that it can be disappointing when not EVERYTHING goes exactly according to plan. Just remember, things are bound to go wrong but there are SO many things that will go right and be perfect. Your guests will have an amazing time no matter what, and at the end of the day it’s not about your venue or your vendors or your outfits. It’s about you and your husband/wife and celebrating your love for each other. It was truly so heartwarming the amount of love and joy we felt from all those who were there. Enjoy your day and remember to have a great time no matter what :)
 

Stick around for part two, dolls! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Romantic
Luxury
season
Winter
color
Mehndi Artists: Henna by Purvi | Floral & Decor: Kismet Event Design | Planning & Design: Kismet Event Design | Photography: Ushna Khan Photography | Sangeet Venue: Events on Jackson | Ceremony Venue: Golf Island at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa | Reception Venue: Grand Ballroom at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa | Hair & Makeup: Makiaj Beauty | Catering: Om Bistro | Catering: India Palace | DJ: Desi Junction DJs | Baraat: Desi Junction DJs | Bridal Fashions: Kalki Fashion | Bridal Draping/Sari Tying & Styling: Bride's Mother | Favors: Bride and Groom | Lighting: Jhakaas Entertainment | Audio Visual: Jhakaas Entertainment | Registry: Zola | Rentals: A to Z Party Rentals | Rentals: You Can't Beat This | Baraat Smoke Bombs: Amazon


North Haledon, NJ Indian Fusion Wedding by Raj Photo Video

Prerna & Kevin's outdoor ceremony left me totally sighing. The gorgeous pictures taken by Raj Photo Video for today's gallery, truly display in all of its glory, the depth and sincerity of their love. So romantic! After the union, the couple and their guests moved to the reception hall of The Tides Estate to start with the lavish celebration and it couldn't have been more amazing. The enchanting choreographies gave it that Bollywood flick kind of energy that we so adore. The team from Luxe Event Entertainment was in charge of the sweet sounds of music that carried Maharani Prerna and Raj Kevin to their happily ever after and let me tell you, magic was the absolute guest of honor. Today, be our guest of honor and join us as we daydream one more time with Prerna & Kevin's gorgeous Indian wedding gala and don't forget to check out the complete gallery

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Weds keep on coming, ladies, don't miss all the glam! 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
Romantic
season
Winter
color
Venues: The Tides Estate | Photography: Raj Photo Video | Planning & Design: Posh Kreations Events | Floral & Decor: Nirali Decor | Hair & Makeup: Cinderella Bridez | DJ: Luxe Event Entertainment | Baraat: Equishare Baraat Horses | Bridal Fashions: Sajda By Suman | Cake & Treats: Palermo Bakery | Cinematography: Raj Photo Video | Mehndi Artist: Henna by Meghna | Officiant/Priest: Dev Ketu


North Haledon, NJ Indian Fusion Wedding by Raj Photo Video

When we reach the middle of the week, it is imperative for us to share the most lavish Indian weddings around. To keep our energies up and running, today, we head down to North Haledon in New Jersey for the nuptials of a Maharani that is just oh so gorgeous! She is Prerna and I am absolutely loving her style, which displays influences from both, the east and west. Her hair and makeup? A total bliss! Cinderella Bridez always delivering like the true pros they are! So alluring! The outdoor ceremony at the exclusive The Tides Estate was also to die for. Love was flying all around and the vibe was certainly caught by our friends from Raj Photo Video for today's gallery. We can't forget about the person who swept our bride from her feet. Raja Kevin, that for the main ceremony, came out rocking the Indian noblesse style with this amazing champagne sherwani that turned him into the prince our Maharani had dreamed of. We know that some serious glittery ideas will be bursting into the surface with this gala, ladies, so don't miss it! 

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Part two is ready to be featured in any time! Don't go anywhere. 

STYLE
GUIDE
style
Fusion
Romantic
season
Winter
color
Venues: The Tides Estate | Photography: Raj Photo Video | Planning & Design: Posh Kreations Events | Floral & Decor: Nirali Decor | Hair & Makeup: Cinderella Bridez | DJ: Luxe Event Entertainment | Baraat: Equishare Baraat Horses | Bridal Fashions: Sajda By Suman | Cake & Treats: Palermo Bakery | Cinematography: Raj Photo Video | Mehndi Artist: Henna by Meghna | Officiant/Priest: Dev Ketu


Tampa, FL South Indian Wedding by Since 1987 Films

Monday is here, ladies! And as you already know, it is time for another jaw-dropping celebration feature! When it comes to the planning and design of the most important day of your life, a lot needs to be taken into consideration, but this couple knew exactly what they wanted and how they wanted it. Raja Naresh's organizational and techy skills made the process even easier for Maharani Avani to chose all the details and glitter. What a team! Our friends from Since 1987 Films were at Tampa to document with their cameras everything that went on at the grand Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. Our gallery of today totally screens accurately Avani & Naresh's grand vision. The spree was this beautiful ode to taste and of course, our couple was looking absolutely rocking. No less is expected when a Maharani ties the knot and our dear Michele Renee The Studio and her dolling up skills know about that! I am so excited for this, ladies, I am absolutely certain that you are just going to adore this pair. So enough with words and let us get to the images.     

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couple,venue,details,maharani
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How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. Our first date consisted of a shared, vegetarian Thai dinner at Thai Prime next to the hotel where their wedding took place. They then enjoyed a really fun night out in Tampa Bay’s SoHo district (where the wedding after-party was) that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. In total, we ended up visiting seven or eight different places on that first night. Our second date was the very next day at the Laxmi Narayan Mandir, where Naresh has been visiting every Sunday for yoga, meditation, and prayers. Our third date was the next day after that, at P.F. Chang's for dinner. While Naresh felt like I was his "One," after the first date, I knew a few weeks into our relationship.
 
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Weeks before the proposal day, Naresh’s friend Santosh Govindaraju sent an email invitation for his birthday party at the top of the Aloft hotel in downtown Tampa Bay. Coincidentally, on the same day as the party, a different friend of our, Michele Renee - who runs a hair and makeup studio - invited me to participate as an "Indian model" during training for her new artists. We decided to meet at the Aloft hotel for the birthday after my beauty session.  On my way to the hotel, I received a call from Naresh telling me he had just gotten to the birthday and that a guy at the entrance would lead her to a special location for the occasion. When I arrived at the front, I found it odd to be met by a photographer. I followed the photographer up to the top floor of the hotel. As soon as I opened the door to the penthouse, I knew there was no birthday party. The room was filled with red balloons, hearts, roses, candles, and my favorite Ferrero Rocher chocolates. The photographer had me sit down to watch a video on the TV filled with sweet messages recorded by our families and photos of us together. Halfway through the video, I was confused about why I was watching this alone while the photographer was snapping pictures of my reactions. I legitimately thought Naresh was late to his own proposal. I couldn't even concentrate on the video because I kept gazing around the penthouse for him... but at the end of the video, there was Naresh, telling me to come out to the balcony. I followed a trail of roses from the TV couch to the balcony. Another pathway outside led me to Naresh, who was on one knee in a heart-shaped bed of petals bordered by candles. He said a few words about how it had been exactly 364 days from the day we first met and how his life had completely changed for the better. It was such a sweet and thoughtful proposal, and of course, I said YES! But it didn't end there... After an immediate photo session with the photographer around Tampa's Riverwalk, we returned to the penthouse, where about 30 of our close family and friends secretly gathered for a surprise engagement celebration! This was actually more of a surprise than the proposal!!! Some of our family drove or flew in from out of town. Other friends FaceTimed into the event. It was an eventful night of dinner, drinks, dessert, and love. Everyone celebrated the night and ended up at the hotel bar downstairs, which was blocked off for the group's party. Naresh, his parents, and I then spent the rest of the weekend in Orlando at a resort near Disney to keep the festivities going. 
 
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 hired a month-of coordinator and separate day-of coordinator. We recommend hiring both even if you’re looking to save a few bucks. It’s important to feel as relaxed as possible the week of the wedding and during all the festivities.
 
Naresh handled a bulk of the long-term planning, event coordination, negotiations, and programming (of course, with the consultation of me :-). Naresh owns an online and digital agency, and one of the services they offer is online special events like webinars and virtual conferences. They know what’s entertaining, what’s boring, what’s expensive, how to negotiate, etc. His company has generated more than $10 million dollars for clients over the past few years, so planning an actual physical event like a wedding was much smoother than the horror stories he was led to believe. Naresh treated our wedding #Narvani2018 just like he does his tech work. He quantified prospective vendors, digitized processes, and outsourced the labor to speed up efficiency and effectiveness.
 
Naresh identified the three cheapest venues (through an Excel spreadsheet model he created, since each venue has different variable costs) in the Tampa-St. Pete area that could accommodate more than 350 people. I visited all three and picked my favorite.
 
About 100 locals attended at least one of the events. The rest of the folks (about 250 folks) drove in from Ocala or flew in from around the world.
 
The wedding ceremony took place inside our hotel venue’s ballroom. It was on a Friday late morning. The mandap was beautiful with fresh flowers, candles, votives, entry ramp, etc.
 
The baraat got rained out, so we did the baraat inside the hotel. They had an area where we could do it. We were very fortunate that our DJ Inderjeet is a dhol player, so we were able to do a truly mobile baraat inside.
 
Everything took place in the hotel.
 
I made centerpieces for the reception. They were trees with crystals.
 
Naresh choreographed multiple jaw-dropping dances. I made a slideshow that was running throughout the reception backdrop. Naresh also gave a speech with supporting slideshow that one person called “the greatest wedding speech given by a groom in the history of weddings.” Multiple people have requested access to this video of the speech. It will release next month. All attendees under 50 years kept in touch via a private WhatsApp group. The group chat got very wild and crazy, which made the memories and new friendships even more lasting.
 
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I went to India. I tried on a bunch of outfits and picked the dresses I liked the most. I wanted a wedding outfit to be traditional red. I wanted blush and gold as the colors for the wedding theme because those are popular colors for Indian weddings. They are pretty and "in."
 
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Food and cake tasting were the most enjoyable parts of the planning process. They were fun activities to do together as a family.
 
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We were surprised at the feedback we got regarding the joint priests (Telugu and Gujurati). The two priests worked amazingly with their teams (we had an additional three or four priests reading the Shastras), the DJ, and the thavil, shehnai, and nadaswaram musicians. You could truly feel holy vibrations during the auspicious muhurtham. "I've never been to a wedding with such talented and wonderful Vedic priests. It was a privilege to witness the divine merging of two cultures, traditions, people."
 
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
It was very nice to see everyone - friends and family - coming from all around the world to celebrate under one roof.
 
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
I tried to do some of my own décor items, and we ended up not using them. We recommend not doing your own decorations. Spend the money to get a professional company to do it all. Don’t do anything yourself. Estimate that the liquor tab will cover your entire food and beverage minimum (assuming you’ll have liquor at your Sangeet and wedding).
Don’t get stressed out over this event. Get a good project manager and event coordinator to take on the workload and stress. The future of your marriage is far more important than your wedding weekend.

Stick around for more, ladies! 
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Hair & Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio | Photography: Since 1987 Films | Sangeet Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Ceremony Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Reception Venue: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore | Day-of: Abby Hamilton | Floral & Decor: Ritti Couture | Coordination: Ritti Couture | Planning & Design: Ritti Couture | Catering: Khasiyat Orlando | DJ: B & S Music Entertainment | Cake & Treats: Goldie's Goodies Bakery | Cinematography: Since 1987 Films | Live Music: Shaadi Ki Shehnai | Mehndi Artist: Alpa Mandaliya | Priests: Aacharya Ramesh Mehta / Guru Dutt | Catering: Flames Indian Cuisine | Audio / Visual: Nima Films | Afterparty: Cheap | Registry: Zola


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