In November 2014 I had the lovely experience of visiting India to prepare for our wedding. As you know, the bridal market in Mumbai is off the charts and it definitely upheld its reputation! We embarked on a week long, shop until you drop trip to pick out everything from mine and Gaurav’s wedding outfits, to our parents and close family members Indian ceremony clothing, along with all our jewelry. I even met with our invitation designer and worked closely with him on creating our invites. The meeting was one for the books – I would speak in English, he would speak in Hindi and my father-in-law & sister-in-law would translate on both ends in Gujarati and English! Communication was difficult but worth it all in the end.

Our journey to India was vivid and intense. It was an unbelievable learning experience that I cannot thank Gaurav’s family enough for squeezing into our hectic schedules. Even though there was little down time, we were able to sneak away to temples and to meet and visit with Gaurav’s family who cooked us the most elaborate feast that I will never forget. I loved the shopping experience and will fondly remember the storekeepers greeting us to sit down with masala tea and the best street food while they showcased their latest collections. And jewelry shopping… I feel like I can honestly write a New York Times best seller based on that experience alone.

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We had 230 guests from all over the world travel to Riviera Nayarit, Mexico for the weekend. As one of our thank you’s to our guests booked by a certain date, we took care of a portion of their rooming cost.

March 6, 2015 (Catholic Wedding)
The Catholic Ceremony was held under the resort’s magnificent archway structures overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Sierra Madre mountains. Cocktails and a private candlelight dinner reception followed the Catholic ceremony on the beach, under the stars.
We had a flamenco band during cocktail hour and our DJ turned the party up on the dance floor later on. We are music feens and very particular about what we like, so we flew our DJ in from Chicago (Al Okyne, Okyne Medialab). Al was fantastic!
After dinner we entertained with professional salsa dancers and then later surprised our guests at the end of the night with a fireworks show!!!

March 7, 2015 (Hindu Wedding)
To start the day, the Hindu Baraat led our guests with music and dancing from the entrance of the resort (with Gaurav on a white horse) to the Hindu ceremony which was held in the resort garden overlooking the Pacific ocean. We had our florist build a massive ornate tent (+ mandap) to keep our guests cool along with providing them with refreshments. Our massive mandap was adorned with thousands of yellow & white roses, hydrangea and green orchids.

Guests sipped signature cocktails during cocktail hour at sunset and our reception followed in the hotel’s Grand Marissa Ballroom.

During the reception my girlfriends and I surprised our guests with a choreographed bollywood dance routine. Earlier in January we took formal dance lessons and learned a choreographed routine from Bollywood Groove in Chicago. It was a ton of fun and our Indian guests were actually impressed with the level of complexity in our dance.

Along with Gaurav’s Mom singing us a beautiful Indian song, there were many other surprise performances from family members during the reception and we ended up extending our reception not once, but twice!

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As an Event Planner for the past 10 years, I was excited to plan my own wedding. I loved the complexities with the multicultural and destination aspects.

Leading up to our nuptials, we would gather with both of our parents to work on incorporating elements that they wanted in our weddings. This also allowed everyone to gain cultural and religious insight throughout which was extremely important. (Lots of wine was involved too!) We feel so fortunate because our families get along so fantastically.  — Brianne

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