After a ceremony for the ages, it was time for the incredible reception that Shikha & Janak prepared for their guests. The rollercoaster of emotions from the nuptials demanded a planner that our couple could trust. Lucky for them Chic Events by Sonia was there and the influence can definitely be felt! Such a talented planner and designer, indeed! The newlyweds arrived at The Chandni Grand with all the Indian noblesse flair that definitely gave a new meaning to the word style. So much going on for this gala that we strongly suggest you browse through today's gallery fully, ladies! A loving shout out to the team from Plum Pictures who were kind enough to share them with us! So, let's get to it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
How did we meet:
It's true when they say, your perfect soul mate comes when you least expect it. Janak was introduced to me when I was at a strange point of my life, through a friend. I was finishing up my undergrad, trying to determine what best to do with my life afterwards, unsure what would happen or where life would take me - the typical undergrad crisis. A friend introduced me to Janak who I avoided speaking to for months. Finally, I gave in and met him for our first date (bubble tea at Sweet Dreams Tea Shop in Waterloo) for some bubble tea and Jenga. The moment we met, I knew he was the one. What sweetened the deal was that he did not let me win at Jenga (and still doesn't), but I still won.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
After dating for almost 4 years, Janak popped the question on a cold February afternoon (-23 degrees). We walked around our favourite hangout spot (Port Credit in Missisauga) by the water, where he asked me to marry him - just as two beautiful swans swam by!
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.
Since Janak and I are two different cultures (I'm Punjabi, he's Rajasthani), we had to find a medium that would work with both cultures. We both have fairly large families, so we needed a venue that would accommodate. Janak and I started playing golf together, so we felt that having our ceremony at a golf course only fit! Our decor style was very royal and Rajasthani palace-esque, beautifully designed by Karma Design Studio, with reds and golds as our main colours. I walked in under a beautifully made floral canopy made by BloomenBrides that caught a lot of eyes and added to the royal feel of my entrance.
For our reception, we took a midnight palace stance, with whites and florals.
We wanted to emulate the royal feel throughout, so ensured that every accent piece (from cake, to floor wrap, to stationary/signage) met that feel.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted to wear red. When else in your life are you EVER going to wear a red lengha? I flew to India and found my perfect outfit on my first day shopping in Chandni Chowk, New Dehli, from Om Parkash (https://www.instagram.com/omparkashjawaharlal/?hl=en) in a reddish/pinky tone with accents of mint green and peach.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
CAKE TASTING! We chose Fine Cakes by Zehra for our cake vendor, who not only made our cake a visible work of art, but the flavours were amazing! We chose Skor and Strawberry Shortcake to serve and Ferro Rocher to save for ourselves.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Our guests loved our ceremony, especially our venue. There was an indoor mandap, and a beautiful outdoor back patio that overlooked the golf course that our guests loved taking pictures on. The food, from The Host, was enjoyed and complimented thoroughly. They also appreciated the little touches of personalization we provided. Every male from the bride's side wore a red stool, and the groom's side wore a red Rajasthani turban. Our ceremony programs walked through everything about the ceremony, and the priest through in some light humour to make the actual prayers enjoyable.
During my mehndi night, we asked everyone to wear yellow or green and provided floral jewelry to each woman attending.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Our first look at the wedding ceremony is something that replays all the time. I had no idea what Janak's look would be, and he had no idea what mine was. We were both blown away when we saw each other for the first time, and I still remember the smile on his face.
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.
Sangeet - keeping performances at the sangeet made that function more enjoyable as it tends to be more close family. I chose to wear a silk lengha, and go big and fun with my make-up. I used BombayHair extensions and went for large Hollywood curls, with pinky/purple eye make-up.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
1. Find a way to be apart of the cocktail hour at the reception! I don't recall seeing 75% of guests at the reception because it all happens so quickly! The cocktail hour is a great way to see EVERYONE and thank them for coming in a personal way.
2. Have a planner. It is SO crucial to have someone solely responsible for the schedule of events and all the small items that are required throughout the ceremony.
3. Work with vendors that go above and beyond for you. If you aren't vibing with them from the start, find someone else. If your gut is telling you this vendor isn't the right choice, find someone else. You don't have the time, nor should you take on the stress, of dealing with a difficult vendor during your wedding.
4. Start early! This way, you can evaluate multiple vendors and plan ahead. My goal was to be hands off for the entire month leading into the wedding because that's when the family was coming into town. Spend time with them instead of worrying about final details before your wedding date because once the wedding events start, everything happens so quickly.
5. Don't go back to work right away. Even if you don't want to go on a honeymoon, you and your partner need some time to relax and rejuvenate after the wedding. It took me one week to recover.
6. Don't push your grooms to do something they don't enjoy. Instead, loop them into things they will so they actually enjoy the planning process (cake tasting, food tasting, etc.) The last thing you want to deal with is a grumpy groom.
6. Ask for help!! There are a lot of things you can delegate off to family and friends. USE THEM! Don't feel like you have to do things on your own.
7. Follow all your vendors on Instagram. It makes for easier consults, and they all post their work on their feed and stories. This is a great way to stay up to date on what's trending, their work style, and see other vendors.
8. Keep some things a surprise from EVERYONE. It's amazing to see people's reactions when they don't know what to expect. :) I didn't tell anyone about my decor, nor my outfits for the wedding and reception.
9. Book your mom with you for MUAH. She will appreciate the private bonding moments with you, especially since the wedding festivities get busy!
10. Have a bridesmaid, sister, friend, whomever, help you get changed after the ceremony and reception. You may be looking for some private, romantic moments with your new husband, but having him spend an hour helping you get out of the heaviest outfit, take off your jewelry and help with all your bobby pins isn't as romantic as one would think :)
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Mehndi - HennaByDivya spent 7 hours designing beautiful henna on my hands that added very beautiful personal touches throughout (a Rajasthani Bride and Groom, Groom holding a basketball, the Toronto Skyline, a mini rendition of my tattoo).
IAMALLTALK - We hired a professional MC for our reception who kept the crowd energized and engaged the entire night
Chic Events by Sonia - Having a planner was key to help keep everything organized!
We streamed the Raptors game during the reception as we knew our guests would be watching that instead of enjoying anyways.
BloomenBrides - Jasmine hairpieces, floral canopy, bridesmaids bouquets - all beautiful touches to add an extra layer to your wedding.
CanvasMUAH - going above and beyond helping me with 3 different looks for my big 3 events.
Mehndi night - I went for a short lengha, so I could enjoy singing and dancing with my family while they were all dressed up, without ruining my own outfit.
Fine Cakes by Zehra - delicious cake and so beautifully designed, I did NOT want to cut it!!
Plum Pictures - loved working with them as they were readily available, easy to work with, and let Janak (who is a bit camera shy) be the most comfortable.
Jewelry - I wanted to go all out for my wedding look, like a typical traditional bride. Matapati, nose ring, big earrings, double necklace, everything! I chose a contrast of dark green to go with my red lengha.
Stick around for more!