The Love Story

We met on our college dance team and falling in love was effortless. Every month of our first year together, Neal would surprise me with roses. On our six month anniversary, Neal gave me the first bouquet of red roses and said that “he would stop loving me the day these roses all die”. I didn’t give this much thought and went back to my dorm to put the bouquet into a vase. A couple weeks went by, and the roses started to wither. When it was time to discard them, I realized that one rose was still looking as good as new. It turns out that Neal put one artificial rose into the bouquet to let me know that he would never stop loving me.

The Bride’s Haldi

I always knew I wanted to host my Haldi at my home. It’s the place where I grew up; I wanted to be surrounded by all my childhood memories as I started this new journey in life. I went for a pink lotus theme. Everything from the guest dress code to the cocktail napkins had to be pink! I imagined a lotus pond for me to sit in for the ceremony itself. We filled the pond with fresh flowers and candles. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking through the water to take my seat surrounded by all of my loved ones. I opted for an ivory dhoti saree that I designed with Pooja Rajgarhia Gupta and used pearl clusters in my jewelry to evoke the feeling of floral jewelry. For the traditional ceremonies, I wore my Mom’s wedding lehenga. Their marriage is the epitome of love and dedication; I wanted to honor that story. I created a new dupatta to wear with Mom’s lehenga. On the border of the dupatta I included the names of all the powerful women in my life that made me who I am today. The overall look made me feel connected to my roots and excited for the next big step in life. My favorite detail of the event was the custom jewelry bar – guests were able to select either a bracelet or a ring and it was engraved with whatever they wanted. There was also a scrunchie bar (all pink, of course) for guests to find their favorite scrunchie to take home. The night ended with ice cream from the UConn Dairy Bar – Neal and I ate so much of it while we were in college and I had to have some for the wedding celebrations. 

The Groom’s Haldi

Two years before the wedding we walked past a historic ship while on a date in Philadelphia. Reeva and I knew that we had to make this ship a part of our celebrations. Built by William Hamilton & Co. in Glasgow, Scotland in 1904, Moshulu was the perfect setting to host all my family and friends. A yellow dress code and yellow roses brought a traditional feel to the nautical location. Chef Rajesh Thakur created a dazzling menu including Basil Pesto Paneer and Edamame Tikki. Each guest received a custom velvet clutch with their name embroidered on it with matching earrings. The mimosas were flowing and the dance floor was roaring, it was definitely the perfect kickoff for the wedding week.

The Mehndi

We chose designers and outfits that really spoke to us. As we traveled around India for one month, we curated pieces and decided to mix and match jewelry while putting together each look. For the mehndi, Reeva really wanted something unique – she imagined a lehenga with a slit to show off the mehndi on her legs. The team at Rianta’s created a new silhouette and used our color palette to create something really out of the box for her. Neal decided to let his shoes do the talking with green and white chunky stone work. The garden themed mehndi night was romantic and playful with a champagne bar featuring lavender dream and blackberry-thyme cocktails. As the sun set, string lights and hand painted taper candles created a beautiful atmosphere. Some highlights of the evening included a pani puri eating competition and live guest watercolor portraits.

Garba Night

We were inspired by Cirque du Soleil and wanted to push the boundaries of a traditional garba night. With the help of Abhishek Decorators, we were able to design a space that was immersive and experiential. The neon arches and vibrant, color blocked blooms set the scene for the aerial acrobatics by In the Dark Circus Acts. Reeva wore an intricate mirror work lehenga by Seema Gujaral. We matched it with a sherwani by Siddhesh Chauhan for Neal. Some of our menu favorites were Paneer Bao Buns and Parle-G Ice Cream Sandwiches –  after hours of non-stop dancing, we ended the festivities with a late night maggi bar. However, the best part of the evening has to be reenacting the same dance routine we performed all over the country on our college dance team for all of our friends and family.

The Ceremony

We are huge bollywood fans and our wedding day aesthetic was an ode to that part of our love story. The wedding ceremony was  inspired by the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies. He uses color to tell a story in every scene of his movies – we chose red to tell ours. Two peacocks made with luscious red florals sat at the front of the aisle lined with venetian candles and more red roses. It was the dreamist setting to take our pheras. The day started with Neal arriving on a boat with all his groomsmen for his baraat. Guests were welcomed with custom monogrammed pendas and a variety of snacks before heading into the ballroom. Reeva entered with an 18 foot veil and it was by far the best moment of the weekend. We saw over 30 options before finally finding her wedding outfit at Aashni Design Co. – we wanted something that celebrated our Indian heritage but with a modern silhouette.  For Neal, we selected a sherwani with incredible bead work from Gujralsons and paired it with a heavy custom necklace. The ceremony meant a lot to us and we met with our priest multiple times to make sure we had a ceremony that represented our relationship. 

The Reception

Red was the color of the day and we wanted to make sure to leave no corner untouched. The room was adorned with crystal candelabras and red taper candles. We selected red velvet napkins and linen so that guests felt immersed in a romantic red atmosphere. Reeva instantly fell in love with a couture piece by Suneet Varma. We debated a contrast color for Reeva’s reception outfit but Suneet Varma’s team worked with us to select the most amazing shade of deep red that would stand out amongst the crimson red in the room. Neal wore a classic black tuxedo but brought in a touch of red with Christian Louboutin loafers. The dinner started with a watermelon and cracked black pepper amuse bouche and ended with a motichoor-ladoo-cheesecake parfait. Watching fireworks was the most magical part of the evening. It felt like a full circle moment as we had watched fireworks when Neal proposed. 

 

 

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