How did you two meet?

Call it a technology glitch or fate, but we matched online despite living multiple states apart and setting our distance preferences to local. It was during the height of Covid, so the long distance physically just felt like a part of the distance everyone was forced to keep from each other, and knowing that, we didn’t feel the effects of the distance between as much.

The proposal(details) when?  Where ?

3/5/2022 Clearwater Beach, FL

Dhaivat worked with Puja’s friends in order to get her to dress up and drive 45 minutes (with a manicure) – thinking she was attending her friend’s ‘glamorous birthday party on the beach’. Dhaivat arrived earlier in the day, having been in communication with hotel staff – they were all excited and wanted to be in on the act to direct Puja to ‘the birthday party’ – they even knew the name of the friend that was having the fake party. At the same time, Dhaivat had enlisted the help of a sand artist to create a work of sand art in the form of a treasure chest that held a handwritten letter in a bottle, surrounded by candles. Puja arrived, and was ushered to the sand castle on the beach, she walked up to the sand castle confused, pulled the hand written letter in the bottle. After reading the letter it became clear what was happening. Dhaivat had made his way quietly behind her while she was reading, and got down on one knee and proposed.

The vision for the wedding, where ?why? when?

We envisioned a wedding celebration with as many of our friends and loved ones as possible, creating a multi-day function where each event and backdrop was unique from one another. Adding to that, we were looking for a locale that can offer more to our guests beyond our wedding, as we knew we were asking a lot of our friends and family to travel and take the time. It was  a specific property that would be able to check the boxes, and after reviewing 30+ venues virtually, and 10 venues in person – we landed at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort. Given it was in Florida, we needed a window of time where the weather would be comfortable – which is how we ended up with the May date.

The vendor selection process

We had an extensive vendor selection process where we casted a wide net at first, and as we saw more proposals for each vendor – we began to understand what we really wanted, bringing ideas from various proposals as well as our own inspiration together.

Why did you pick your venue?

We were looking for a location that was easy to travel to for our guests that also offered different styles of venue options to pick from. We both ended up working remotely for a week in Orlando and toured about ten different hotels/venues. We ended up with the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort because it offered different landscapes & backdrops for us to use for our events and wedding photos. It also allowed our guests to relax in one spot and spend time together in between a packed events timeline.

How Many events did you have and what was the vision for each event?

There were a total of five events that spanned across three days, we even opted to have our mehndi and haldi ceremonies at the hotel. These ceremonies are traditionally performed at home, however it was important for us to have all of our family present at all the events since they were flying in from afar. We had family come in from Australia, India, London, and all across the US. We wanted them all to feel like they were truly a part of all of the ceremonies and rituals.

Welcome Dinner – we were going for an outdoor evening event where we knew the temperature would be a bit cooler than the day. We were shooting for a spring casual matinee/evening event with traditional colorful decor as backdrop, with a family get together happy hour feel before sunset turning into a more lively party/dance vibe to close out the night.

Vidhi – Puja and Dhaivat held these events separately, but at the same time. This event was more intimate, traditional and religious with immediate family. An event where both rooms were filled with love and blessings of those happiest for us, and remembering those that were thinking of us from afar and the beyond. Knowing that haldi would follow right after, dress and decor created a palette of yellows, pastel yellows, whites and creams.

Haldi – This is where Puja and Dhaivat came together after the vidhis in front of a floral back drop. This event is meant to balance the somber reflection from the morning to a more fun, loud, and upbeat event with both sides together. Puja and Dhaivat were both covered in turmeric paste to make sure they were glowing for the big day – let’s say Dhaivat’s family did not the waste the opportunity.

Garba/Sangeet – This night was colorful and traditional, with a mix of indian and mexican street food served from carts around the room. From the decor to dress, the idea was to create a burst of color to match the traditional dancing that would follow. The guests and decor did not disappoint.

Wedding – We were shooting for a clean, elegant look on the mandap combining pinks, cream, wisteria, and baby’s breath that did everything possible make Puja in her vibrant red lengha stand out. The entrance and the looks on everyone’s face confirmed that we got the desired effect.

Reception – One word we wanted to have guests describe this event was uniquely glamorous. We combined the elegance of the venue, lighting, decor with unique accents and themes that made it a bespoke event for Puja and Dhaivat. Emphasizing love for travel, the guest book was a globe, luggage tags guided guests to their tables, which were named after cities that held a special place for both Puja and Dhaivat. The dance floor welcomed a fusion of carefully curated music from bollywood, western, and eventually turning into an all out rave.

Your favorite event and Why.

The reception was our favorite event because we were officially married and were able to finally party with our guests!

Our pictures came out great, the decor was stunning, the performances and speeches left an indelible mark in our memory and our hearts. Finally, the dance floor felt like a euphoria – seeing everyone we were close to from all different parts of our lives smiling and celebrating – it truly was memorable.

Favorite outfits, jewelry.

We both loved our mehndi night outfits- we were going for a sleek but eclectic vibe. The bride opted for a purple lehenga by Papa Don’t Preach by Shumika that had a fun tulle style bottom with geometric sequinned designs. The groom opted for a sleek indowestern style blazer from Manyavar that had hints of both purple and blue.

The wedding shopping experience.

We both ended up going our separate ways (literally) for shopping. Puja did most of her shopping in California and online, while Dhaivat made a trip to India. We had a vision of what each event would look like, so Puja started her shopping early (about 10 months before the wedding). She ended up going with Kynah and Manshaa for a majority of her outfit selections, both were recommended by family and friends. Both stores made the process of ordering seamless and timely- I was able to have all of my lehengas in hand before Dhaivat made his trip to India. We both wanted to showcase our individual style, while being in the same color palette so Puja ended up sending her dupattas with Dhaivat. Most of Dhaivat shopping was done at Manyavar in Rajkot, with the a bespoke tuxedo for the reception made by Zegna.

Honeymoon plans.

2023 left little time for a honeymoon, as we had to help celebrate 5 other couples at their wedding- so we opted for a mini-moon to Puerto Rico immediately after the wedding – with a proper honeymoon for our 1 year anniversary in Greece/Cyclades Islands!

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