Love! What an amazing feeling. Whoever has felt it knows how mysterious and beautiful it is. For that reason, we love to share love stories that give you inspiration, ladies, not only for the celebration but also about love itself. Today, we have an enchanting pair that we are so loving because of their style and taste. They are Anokhi & Pratik and they come from beautiful Illinois. Their ceremony was a traditional flair with all the contemporary elements that make our weddings shine. Color, family, dancing, all of it there to celebrate the milestone! If there is one thing that totally moved me, that was Maharani Anokhi's gorgeous fashion sense. Just look at that beautiful mehndi design by Henna Moments! So perfect for her! So much going on, ladies, be sure not to miss all the details in today's gallery thanks to Rush Photography & Video Productions.
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Pratik and I “met” in a group chat with mutual friends on AOL Instant Messenger in 2005. His AIM screen name was “the1nonly90” and I can still picture our conversations with his red font and black background. Given how young we were and that he was from the East Coast and I was in the Midwest, we never met in person. Neither of us quite remembers why, but as we got busier with high school and AIM lost its charm, we stopped keeping in touch with one another. We both went on our own separate ways to college and entered the working world.
Flash forward to 2016. Pratik adds me on Snapchat. I don’t think much of it, I add him back. One day he posts a Latin song on his Snapchat story. Without even realizing who had posted it, I immediately respond “What song is this? I need to have it!”. He responded and shared his Spotify playlist. We began Snapchatting and Snap-texting more frequently — eventually one day Pratik said “Why don’t you just text me? Here’ s my number”. It was then when I went to enter the phone number into my iPhone that I realized I had his number in my phone all along. Since 2005 it has been transferred over to every new phone I’ve ever used!
I texted him almost immediately - maybe I should have let him sweat it out a little, haha! That begins our hundreds of texts a day, which ultimately led to phone calls, video chats, and to me being absolutely smitten.
A couple of months later, I was going to Philly for a work conference and we’d talked about trying to get together since that was the closest I’d get to DC in the near future. Pratik said he really wanted to meet up, but he wouldn’t be able to because of work. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but I also understood. I got to my hotel and in a matter of moments, he texted me to ask if I’d gotten to my room okay. He followed this with “Since I couldn’t be there in person, I sent something to the lobby for you - it should be there now if you want to go get it”. With my heart racing and full of excitement, I hurried down the hallway and into the elevator. As soon as I stepped into the lobby, I saw Pratik - it was in that moment that I knew he was absolutely “the1nonly” one for me — “the one”. Cliche, but he made me believe in love at first sight.
We ended up having a wonderful dinner (he’d made reservations already, I was impressed!) and chatting as we walked around the city. He asked me to describe my ideal date. I responded with “I just went on it” and the rest is history!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Pratik is a planner. I mean, one of the most organized people you will ever meet in your life. So it won’t surprise any of our friends to know he had a multi-page document outlining exactly how the proposal would go.
He had planned out every little detail. For weeks, everyone had been talking about this party we were all supposed to attend. Pratik conveniently had to run errands prior to the party, so one of my best friends offered to pick me up along the way. He even planned out an “impromptu” stop for the two of us to pick up some last-minute things for this “party”.
When we got to the party location, my friend suggested checking out a historic bridge right around the corner. We walked onto the bridge and stopped in the middle, where the view overlooks the water. Before I could comprehend what was happening, she was walking away and I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around to find Pratik on one knee - I was overwhelmed to see the man of my dreams kneeling before me with a ring in his hand. He used the next few moments to describe our journey and the adventures yet to come. I don’t know that I even let him finish asking the question before I exclaimed “yes!”. He placed the beautifully selected ring on my shaking hand as I wiped away my happy tears. This moment was everything I could have ever dreamt of and more.
Like I said earlier, Pratik is a planner. So, he had arranged for a photographer to capture these memories as well as take additional pictures on the beautiful bridge and areas around it. It did not surprise me one bit when Pratik suggested we head to another location to take a few more photos before wrapping up.
We pulled up to our neighborhood clubhouse to take a few pictures inside. As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with a joyous “SURPRISE!” from a large group of our closest family and friends. Pratik, being the thoughtful man he is, had even reached out to some of my college friends who live in the area to attend. We celebrated with all of my favorite things - our family and friends, pizza, and cupcakes and cookies specially designed for our engagement by one of our talented friends. It truly was a day and night to remember!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
Selecting our outfits was quite the task. Pratik and I had talked about what sort of look we were going for — I wanted a dark maroon outfit with just the right amount of bling and Pratik wanted something that looked regal. Pratik was planning on getting his outfit custom made after I selected mine, so we spent the first few days in India looking at all of my options. Pastel colors were in during the time we were shopping, so I was starting to lose faith in finding an outfit that I loved and felt like a bride in. On our fifth day, Pratik and I went to the shops alone. We were looking at some wedding outfits when Pratik saw the dress. I instantly tried it on and did not want to take it off. That’s when I knew this dress was the dress - it was the right color, had the royal look we were going for, shined just right in the light, and was the perfect piece to compliment Pratik’s custom outfit.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Based on the compliments we’ve been getting, there are a few things guests really appreciated during our wedding weekend.
First, everything was on time! It’s amazing how much planning goes into a wedding - we made a few changes to accommodate the schedule as things came up, but we made sure not to cause any disruption in the guest experience.
Second, the hospitality. We had to book two different hotel blocks due to the number of guests - but made sure that every guest had everything they needed, especially lots of snacks! There were even to-go containers at breakfast and snack time for those who needed to take things up to their rooms or for their kids.
Lastly, the entire vibe of the weekend. It was clear that Pratik and I had taken the time to plan every detail so that we could enjoy the festivities and focus on us and our marriage - not just the wedding. We had a TON of fun with a lot of dancing involved - many guests told us they were impressed with the amount of energy and zeal Pratik and I exhibited all weekend despite the few hours of sleep we got. We had been planning for this weekend for a long time, so it was an absolute blast celebrating - as you can see by the smiles on our faces!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
My words of wisdom came from my dad as we were nearing the beginning of our wedding weekend. He said to me: “Let things go and just enjoy it now!”. It was the perfect advice. No matter what little detail inevitably gets missed, no one else will really notice — and by the time you notice, it might be too late to change it anyway. Instead of getting worked up about it, just let it go and ENJOY. In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter. What will matter is that you are marrying the love of your life surrounded by all of the people who care about you. They are all there to celebrate your love, so let your love be the aura that fills the room - not the perfectly placed candle or rosette tablecloth. If you struggle with this, like I do (ha!) - try your best to delegate. Delegate to your best friend(s), siblings, literally anyone you trust to make decisions on your behalf during your big weekend. It will help ease your mind so you can soak it all in and enjoy it!
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
I love wedding cake. I often joke with my friends that I’m only attending their wedding receptions for cake (I’m mostly joking!). As you can imagine, I was extremely excited to choose our wedding cake - both the decorations and the flavors. We tasted some delightful cakes at the Baking Institute and ended up choosing two flavors: white with lemon French custard filling and chocolate with vanilla Bavarian cream. For the decor, we wanted to go with a simple, yet royal look. We opted for an all-white cake with gold accents. Instead of a topper, we asked the bakery to create our logo in gold fondant. In between the layers with clean-cut designs, we asked for them to write out our wedding date in Roman Numerals, also in gold. When I got to the reception, I was in awe of how perfect the cake turned out - it was beautiful! I know not all people are cake people, so in addition to the cake, we selected a variety of pastries for our guests to enjoy. Both the cake and pastries were a hit at the reception - we still have people coming up to us telling us how good the dessert was!
Second installment coming in no time!