Sweeties, imagine the sun setting softly over the verdant sprawls of the Orange Tree Golf Resort & Golf Club, casting a golden hue upon every leaf and blade of grass. Every inch of their celebration whispered romance, from the meticulous planning & design of Desert North Event Planning to the enchanting floral arrangements by Kori & Ana Flower Shop. Ciara's hair was styled with elegance by KBGlam, and her makeup, a portrait of grace by Makeup by Nadia, perfectly complemented the bridal gowns she donned - one a modern masterpiece by Pronovias and the other, a traditional ode from Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal Heritage Saree House. Remember the gleaming jewelry that adorned her, all thanks to the exquisite collection from P.C. Chandra Jewellers—the evening resonated with foot-tapping melodies courtesy of AZ Mix Masters. Between dances and heartfelt toasts, the guests were treated to an enticing culinary journey by Twisted Curry Cuisine. As night draped the venue, the shimmering lights seemed to dance in tandem with the love in the air, a spectacle beautifully captured by Santiago Almada Photography. Each click of Santiago's camera tells a tale, an intimate whisper of joy, love, or a fleeting second of pure serendipity. Delve into today's gallery and enjoy!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Matt and I met when we had class together, during our second year of law school. One day in the library, I finally worked up the courage to ask the cute guy in my immigration class the homework assignment as an excuse to strike up conversation. He gave me the assignment but didn't take the bait on any further conversation so I walked away, thinking, "At least I can say I tried!". As law school went on, we got to know each other better, became friends, and we both ended up moving to Phoenix after graduation. We became closer and closer and our friends would often ask us over the years why we weren't together. I think they knew before we did! The perfect timing proved crucial, because once we decided to give dating a chance, the rest was history!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Matt and I took a road trip up the California coast, stopping along scenic overlooks on the Pacific Coast Highway. It's a road that hugs the ocean and is breathtakingly beautiful. We rented a convertible and enjoyed each other's company on the long drive up, stopping at smaller coastal towns. We ended up in Napa, where Matt had worked with a proposal planner at Castello de Amorosa (Castle of Love) Winery to plan the perfect proposal!
We started the day with a private tour of the grounds, and of the castle. We did some tastings, and afterwards were led to a tower that overlooks the vineyard. As we climbed the steps up, I realized there was a trail of rose petals, a bouquet of flowers and sparkling wine chilling in a bucket. I thought to myself: this would be the perfect place to propose! There was a wall that would have been a great place for a photographer to hide. Knowing that Matt had recently asked my parents permission to marry me (which was gladly granted), I looked over the wall but didn't see anyone. It wasn't until Matt got down on one knee that I knew the set up was for MY proposal. Matt had a speech written and I vividly remember the shutter of the camera from the photographer who was indeed behind that very wall (but did a great job of hiding!). There were happy tears, and the easiest "yes" I've ever said!
Matt proposed with a gorgeous custom designed ring, working closely with the jewelers to create a classic ring. It was the best surprise!
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 had always dreamt of a timeless, romantic wedding. It was important to me that I could look back at the photos and feel they were not dated, so I drew a lot of my inspiration from Old Bollywood and Old Hollywood. I wanted a classic look for my "white dress" wedding, so I went with pearls, and an A-line satin Pronovias gown. With sideswept Hollywood waves, I felt like a vintage starlet. I paired the gown with a cathedral lace edged veil, and a cascading bouquet. I had served on the board of the Phoenix Symphony Young Professionals so music for the moment was really important to me. It was a dream come true to have Symphony members comprise of the string quartet, and as I walked down the aisle, and the music swelled, there wasn't a dry eye (including from the groom!) in the audience. It was perfect!
For my Bengali wedding, I chose a classic vermillion and gold silk Banarasi sari, that I found with the help of the bridal concierge at Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal Heritage Saree House., one of the oldest bridal saree boutiques in Kolkata. I was going for "Devdas" old Bollywood glam vibes, and it was so special to me to wear custom vintage P.C. Chandra gold jewelry. It was a family heirloom set; the same golden set my mother wore to her wedding. On my wrists, I wore vintage golden bangles gifted by both my grandmothers and aunts, as a special way to honor them, since they could not travel to be there. A Bengali bride is not complete without the classic wedding bun, and I had real (super fragrant!) jasmine flowers hand carried all the way from New Jersey (where I grew up) to put in my hair. I was carried in on a pallanquin to shennai music, escorted by my brother and friends.
For my vendors, I really did have the dream team! Nadia, the lead makeup artist for Phoenix Fashion week, transformed me both days and captured the soft romantic vibe I was going for my American wedding and the dramatic Bollywood looks I wanted for both the ceremony and reception.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Maybe I'm a more traditional bride, but I couldn't imagine my wedding day without a classic red and gold lehenga and sari.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
The big day! Seeing it all come together after a lifetime of collecting inspiration, and over a year of intensive planning and waiting through COVID, the wedding weekend was an absolute dream come true. Our venue, Orange Tree Resort, was an oasis in the Arizona desert, complete with a gorgeous water fountain and lake, and made for a picturesque backdrop for both our ceremonies and reception.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The food was a big hit! We found a Bengali caterer that cooked traditional wedding fare you can only find back in Kolkata. Our guests raved about the food, and the handmade Bengali desserts.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I absolutely loved our first dance! For our grand entrance into the reception and first dance, I wore a red ballgown with elbow length white satin gloves, and Matt looked so handsome in his tuxedo. Matt and I both play the piano, so it was fitting we chose a piano cover of a waltz. Duet Dance Studio even trained me, the girl with two left feet, how to gracefully float across the ballroom in the arms of my groom! There's a moment in the song when Matt lifts me in the air, and I remember wanting that moment to last forever!
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 our haldi ceremony (or as we call it in Bengali, our "gaye holud" ceremony), we had both sides of the family wear yellow as they smeared us with turmeric. It made for the best pictures, and I loved that both sides of our families looked so festive and cohesive in traditional Indian garb! It was especially meaningful that my mom had handpicked the outfits for everyone on a recent trip to India. My in-laws all got "tothos" or gifts of their sarees and pyjama/punjabis laid out individually on trays marked especially for them. It was a beautiful way to honor the Bengali tradition of tothos and help us get ready for the big day with all the turmeric fun!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
The details are what make your wedding truly yours. Add your personality to the events, in small ways like custom cocktails (like we did) to honor your love story. Hire a dream team of vendors that will help you execute your vision. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Indian weddings are a full production and there's no way a bride can do it all herself. Similarly, when offered help, graciously accept it. Then, plan until you can't plan anymore and then cut yourself off, and commit to having a good time! Mindset is everything and remember, everyone is there to celebrate you and the groom! Remember to breathe, have fun and take it all in! It really does go by so quickly!
Today's journey is over, but the love story is just beginning! Don't miss our coming events here!