It was a fairytale romance for investment banker Sanoma Contractor, 28 and anesthesiologist Anuj Patel, 28, who met in 2013, after Sanoma moved back to New York City upon completing her MBA at Duke University. While Anuj was completing residency at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, Sanoma was working 90+ hours/week on Wall Street. Even with demanding careers, they quickly became inseparable, constantly trying to make the most of life in a city that fulfills dreams.
Wedding planning began shortly after a proposal on South Beach in Miami in March 2014. A million dollar, 400 guests, 4 day wedding ceremony is no easy celebration to plan. Their colorful wedding theme was inspired by the national bird of India, the peacock. Sanoma and her mother took several trips to India through multiple cities. Their search involved finding an artistic guru to blueprint the wedding invitation which was uniquely enclosed in a silk cloth keepsake with a Ganesh blessing. After tireless searching, perfect custom outfits from Shyamal Bhumika were carefully designed for both the bride and groom.
Multiple events followed the first week of May 2015 including a Pithi for both, a Mehndi event, the wedding followed by a musical reception, all ultimately culminating with the grand finale at Cipriani. A flawless execution of the wedding day included continuation of the peacock theme by using turquoise drapes to decorate the Mandap at the Venetian Yacht Club.
The groom made sure no one would forget his grand entry. Anuj and baraat sailed on a 67-foot private chartered boat from Fire Island, then made his true maharaja-style entry on a horse and carriage to greet the Contractor family. The bride, bedecked in precious gold and diamond jewelry, gloriously arrived in a Doli carriage suspended mid-air, lifted by her brothers and uncles. Upon the ocean front mandap, a magnificent wedding ceremony ensued while waves gently rolled and the aerial drone-cam flew sky high to capture the magical “I do’s.” After tying the knot, the couple left the procession together during their vidhai in a luxurious white Rolls Royce Ghost II.
A sunset cocktail hour preluded a night of dancing, performances, and celebrations during a musical reception. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Anuj and Sanoma’s friends and family performed choreographed dances, sang songs, and gave speeches toasting, and roasting, the couple. There was even a live actress dressed as a peacock sitting in the center of the table seating assignment!
Finally, their wedding festivities concluded on Saturday with a formal black-tie reception at Cipriani on Wall Street. The jaw-dropping venue featuring a 70-foot ceiling was elegantly decorated to be the pinnacle of a wedding procession meant for royalty. A red carpet entrance led to a spotlighted backdrop that would make Hollywood jealous. And everything from the magnificent venue to the high-profile guests, including daughter of Infosys cofounder SD Shibulal, made this wedding a truly lavish affair. A moment of shock ensued for guests as they entered to incredible lighting schemes and giant monograms shining brightly on the sides of the mezzanine. One guest said, “I thought I was at an awards show.” Over 100 waiters dressed in white tuxedos provided unparalleled service for the event. Another stated, “Before I even finished half my cocktail, it was replaced with a full one!”
During the dance portion, internationally acclaimed ‘Bubble Boy’ gave an electric performance by blowing up a human-sized balloon, climbing in, captivating the crowd with an explosion of confetti, and handing our newly married couple a heart shaped balloon. Following him, a stilt violinist electrified the audience and kept the attendants of the Wall Street venue awestruck.
It’s no surprise the menu won star of the evening. Think outlandish appetizers from paneer dumplings to juicy lamb skewers. Catering with over 50 diverse dishes from across the globe, Viennese dessert displays, and giant fruit carvings all topped off by 18 year aged Macallan single malt whiskey highlighted Cipriani. If menu won star, décor won best features. Oversized centerpieces of Eiffel Tower in thick gold mount adorned with silk white Phalaenopsis, transformed this grand and glamorous reception.
As expected, it was a ‘larger than life’ finale on Wall Street. Sanoma put it perfectly, “After hundreds of hours of preparations, our dream came true. Cipriani is the epitome of grandeur.” After a fairytale wedding, it was only fitting that the newlyweds jetsetted the next morning on a luxury trip-of-a-lifetime spanning 5 countries across South and East Africa for their honeymoon.