Reena Dhawan, a Product Manager and savvy Realtor, united her love with Zach Watts, a Web Developer extraordinaire. Their wedding? Nothing short of spectacular, packed with happiness, love, and surprises! They spiced things up by blending traditions from different cultures, making the celebration as unique as their love story. Their crew of close friends and family were there, cheering on their love. Read it unfold here!
How They Met
Every love story finds its spark in a unique moment—for Zach and Reena, this spark flickered on a seemingly ordinary day, October 15th, 2018, amidst the noise of a work training in Milford, Ohio. What began as a routine work event was soon to evolve into a love tale of extraordinary beauty. Zach’s rebellious charisma caught Reena’s eye, and their connection came to life during a “Wine Wednesday” soiree. As they hugged to celebrate the night with their friends, that embrace lingered a beat longer, and an unspoken connection was made.
Eventually the work training ended and Reena went back to California and Zach was asked to stay in Ohio. They bravely faced the hurdles of a long-distance relationship, never giving up. In the end, love won. Zach closed the gap by moving to California, and their hearts found each other, beating as one.
Skip ahead a few years to September 2021, and their love story took a magical turn at Walt Disney World. With the colorful Moroccan Pavilion as the backdrop, Zach popped the question, in the bustling crowd. Overwhelmed with emotion, Reena said ‘yes,’ and their love was sealed with a promise. Looking back, Reena says, “That moment, forever stamped on my heart, was made even more special by the cheers and applause of the crowd, all of them joining in to celebrate our love and yes, I did ugly cry.”
Juggling their bustling careers with wedding planning wasn’t easy, yet the joy was in the details. They were ecstatic in choosing unique themes for each event and selecting dream venues – the beautiful Randhawa Ranch and the enchanting Europa Village vineyard in Temecula. The choice of the ranch, known for its philanthropic efforts in rare diseases, mirrored their own desire to make a positive impact in the world.
During their wedding planning, they encountered numerous obstacles, for instance, county laws in Temecula nearly led them to cancel their ranch wedding twice. Personal adversities such as cross-country relocations, a family health crisis, and a personal loss also added to their challenges.
Challenges aside, they curated a wedding reflecting their love for food, travel, Disney, and the one another. Each detail was personal, uniquely theirs, and designed to keep their loved ones close. Their special day unfolded into an enchanting celebration, surpassing their wildest dreams, and standing as a beautiful testament to their enduring love.
While the bride was the visionary behind the wedding, the meticulous coordination of every detail was entrusted to the skilled team at High Touch Events. The gifted Shiv Reddy encapsulated their cherished moments in timeless photographs, while the Team at Symboll artfully crafted a captivating wedding video that embodied their love story.
The wedding week began with a special Henna night, a cozy gathering where Reena’s henna was applied, and close family members joined in. The evening was a cool vineyard night and featured delicious local favorites, like Phil’s BBQ. Reena looked graceful in a vibrant ensemble by Mrunalini Rao, and Zach matched her elegance with a pastel floral kurta.
During the henna application, their shared interests came to life. Reena’s arm transformed into a Disneyland wonder, complete with an enchanting castle. Meanwhile, her other arm came alive with a fierce dragon design, showcasing Zach’s love for magic and myth. They played a fun game of finding Zach’s name which Jessica from Gopi Henna cleverly hid within the henna, the clock ticking 4 minutes. Not to be left out, Zach sported a henna design featuring Reena’s name. Despite his best efforts to hide it, Reena discovered her name in a jiffy. Their laughter filled the air, painting yet another delightful memory on their shared canvas of love.
The wedding fun rolled into a lively Palm Springs-themed Haldi event the next day. Kicked off with a playful scavenger hunt, the day was packed with excitement. Guests sipped on fun Indian-inspired mocktails like ‘DDLJ,’ ‘Summer in Amber Palace,’ ‘Sweet SRK,’ and ‘Passion Pataka,’ adding zest to the Fourth of July weekend crafted by Sip Sip Mobile Bar. Lunch featured bite-sized Indian treats and California’s classic In-N-Out burgers.
When the Haldi ceremony started, Reena shone in a yellow Rahul Mishra outfit with floral jewelry from The Vintage Snob, while Zach rocked a crisp white kurta. What began as a calming pre-wedding ritual quickly turned into a water balloon fight, leaving everyone soaked, laughing, and unforgettable memories made. Cozy shell pools and palm-tree pink backdrops added to the event’s unique charm.
The Sensory Feast: Our Mediterranean Inspired Sangeet
Since Zach proposed at the Moroccan Pavilion in Walt Disney World, the Sangeet night was imagined with a Mediterranean theme. Guests were treated to delectable Mediterranean flavors with the spread of savory gyro meats, crispy fries, creamy hummus, and refreshing Greek salads, while a selection of curated drinks featuring a “Santorini Mule” and “Moroccan Mojito” were served by Horse to Water in a vibrant red vintage horse trailer, not to mention the endless dessert station where guests indulged in the couple’s favorite sweets.
Everyone immersed themselves in a bustling market filled with playful currency featuring the beaming faces of Reena and Zach. The ingenious “RACH” money added an extra dash of excitement, allowing guests to purchase unique keepsakes while celebrating the couple’s love.The dance floor was adorned with beautiful blue and yellow artistic tiles, whimsical hanging blue frills, and centerpieces featuring lemon and olive leaves—an idyllic setting designed to match Reena’s vision. The night was full of energy from loved ones, taking the stage with unforgettable performances that left hearts full.
The day of the wedding dawned beautifully over the ranch. As morning fog lifted to reveal a vista of sweeping lands, a mix of traditional and modern themes infused the air. It was an emotional moment for Reena, stepping out of her parents’ protective wing and into a new chapter of her life.
The day began with a heartwarming ‘first look’ moment between the beaming couple. Amidst the rustic charm of a barn, Reena arrived in style on a golf cart, adding a touch of playfulness to the emotional encounter. As the barn door slid open, their eyes met, and their hearts soared with joy. Zach looked dashing in his Mahavir Sherwani and red mala, while Reena was a vision of grace in her custom-designed crimson red lehenga by Ridhima Bhasin, accentuated by stunning jewelry from Anaqa Jewelers.
Their chosen venue was nothing short of breathtaking—a picturesque landscape with sweeping views of the mountains. The aisle adorned with roses led to a magnificent mandap, surrounded by a cascade of flowers, creating a fairytale setting. French-inspired chairs and sun umbrellas added a touch of sophistication, while thoughtful goody bags filled with snacks and refreshing lassi ensured the guests felt pampered. Zach raved in his ‘baraat’ with friends and family, making his entrance in a sleek white ride, while Reena made her way down the flower accented aisle, veiled in a four-meter train, supported by her bridesmaids.
During the traditional game of ‘who sits first,’ an unexpected mishap unfolded, sending Zach off the mandap and towards the distant hills. Gasps of shock filled the air, and a chilling sense of fear swept over the gathering. But in that heart-stopping moment, Zach experienced a strange calmness, as if his late grandmother’s presence was shielding him from harm. As he fell, a protective embrace seemed to cradle him, a comforting feeling that defied explanation. “Even as I was falling,” Zach later recalled, “I felt an inexplicable sense of safety. It was like my grandma was watching over me, keeping me from harm’s way, even in this perilous situation.”
After the heart-stopping moment, the wedding celebration continued with an abundance of happiness and joy. Every detail was thoughtfully curated to reflect the couple’s unique taste. Guests were treated to a live dosa station, staple Indian dishes, including Reena’s favorite goat biryani, and a coffee cart with custom summer inspired iced drinks leaving taste buds dancing with delight. It was a day of joy, laughter, and love, etching a lasting memory in the hearts of all present.
Sealing Our Love: The Western Ceremony Amidst European Elegance
Choosing an entirely different setting for the Western ceremony, Zach and Reena found themselves captivated by the charm of Europa Village, a neighboring vineyard brimming with European elegance. They couldn’t resist the allure of its unique setup that promised a picturesque backdrop for their vows.
Maintaining an air of classic European sophistication, they orchestrated a harmonious ambiance with a trio of musicians serenading guests with melodious aisle songs. The couple refrained from a first look, cherishing the anticipation of their first shared glance at the altar.
Zach, the picture of refinement in a classic tuxedo and bow tie, and Reena, a radiant sunshine in a timeless white gown, pledged their eternal love to each other amidst raw emotions from their loved ones. Their vows, a sincere testament to their love, resonated through the venue, leaving their guests in tears. Their selection of Bethel as their officiant was no coincidence; her personable demeanor and talent for crafting unique, intimate moments ensured the ceremony was a reflection of their shared journey and love story.
Adding a final touch of glamor to the evening, Reena transitioned into a final ensemble – a glittering lehenga by Seema Gujral, shining bright like a diamond. The evening pulsed with an array of unforgettable moments. Heartfelt first dances twirled under the shimmering canopy of an artistically designed fig tree dance floor. Each memory was a testament to the depth of their love, illuminating the night with its resplendent glow.
Delighting their guests, the couple served a custom menu that included cherished classics like succulent demi-glace short rib with a mouthwatering paella. Adding a sweet touch for dessert, a local favorite, Doh Creamery, dished up delicious ice cream accompanied by edible cookie dough. The celebrations concluded back at the ranch with a cozy after-party, allowing everyone to indulge in the joy of married life.
As the sun set on this unforgettable wedding, memories were woven together like a tapestry of love, each thread representing a cherished moment that would forever hold a special place in their hearts. Reena and Zach’s wedding was a testament to the power of love and the beauty of sharing these treasured moments with the ones who matter most.
Just remember “A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.”
- Planning + Design@bingingnomad
- Venue@randhawaranch @europavillage
- Attire Henna @mrunalinirao
- Attire Haldi@rahulmishra_7
- Attire Sangeet @aisharaoofficial
- Attire Indian Ceremony @ridhimabhasinofficial
- Attire Western Ceremony @luv_bridal
- Attire Reception @seemagujraldesign