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THE ANNUAL ISSUE 2017 print/digital

the ROYAL

COLLECTIVE THE BIG ANNUAL EDITION


www . frontierheritage . com

(562) 653-9396 // (905) 796-0600


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I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all those who contribute to help create South Asian Bride Magazine. The brilliant event coordinators, designers, decorators, florists, lighting specialists and of course the photographers. Thank you to all the brides and grooms who support us, share their memories with us and use SAB as their guide in their wedding planning process. We strive to live up to your expectations each and every time. --Sadaf H. Kherani, Publisher | Editor in Chief Credit: RAGartistry, | www.ragartistry.com, Make-up: Nalani Bott, Location: Biltmore Ballrooms

photography // D uke P hotography decor+design // K ismet E vents hair + makeup // A rpi N azaryan , A rsineh G hazarian wardrobe // A rchana V ig , M anshaa models // S amantha C ordera , A manda S ingh venue // C astle green , P asadena

SOUTH ASIAN BRIDE MAGAZINE, INC. info@southasianbridemagazine.com

ADVERTISING: 404.591.4142 | 888.956.6661 Copyright South Asian Magazine, Inc. No material herein or portions thereof may be reprinted without the consent of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Views/Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the paper and no liability is assumed by the publisher thereof. Advertising copy and artwork are the sole responsibility of individual advertisers.

SHOP AT: www.southasianbridemagazine.com


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For an unforgettable wedding, choose Chicago’s gem. Your wedding day deserves the most iconic room in the city. The Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier is steeped in Chicago history and has hosted some of the most luxurious weddings in the past 100 years. With its 80-foot domed ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan and the city skyline, and impeccable cuisine customized by the team behind Phil Stefani’s restaurants, your wedding day will be one to remember for you and your guests.

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TR ADITIONAL TASTE E LEVATE D EXECUTION

Trust Wolfgang Puck to make your next celebration an unforgettable affair whether in the comfort of your own home or staged in the grandeur of a historic venue. Wolfgang’s skilled team of chefs will customize menus to tell your story through food in any setting. From the vegetable-centric delicacies of your grandmother’s kitchen to the fusion of His and Her cultures, Wolfgang Puck Catering will create flavorful memories for you and your guests.

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VENUE

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Surrounded by the breathtaking views of the East Tennessee mountains and offering picturesque backdrops any direction you look, Castleton Farms is the ideal venue for the most romantic day of your life- your wedding.

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865.376.9040 Photos by Finch Photo

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IMPECCABLE DESIGNS


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Specializing in South Asian Wedding & Event Planning

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803.729.7899 info@sonaaevents.com


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THE PERFECT SPACE FOR THOUSANDS OF WEDDING GUESTS. Better space. Better service. Better value. They can all be found at Cobb Galleria Centre. When you consider our convenient location, large ballroom space, and reputation for culinary excellence, there’s really no better place to have your wedding. For more information, contact one of our wedding planners at 770-955-8000 or visit cobbgalleria.com.


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Creative Cuisine F U L L S E R V I C E O F F P R E M I S E C AT E R E D E V E N TS O F A L L S I Z E S Our attention to the quality and authenticity satisfy the most discerning tastes. In House Private Dining . (up to 100 people) FINEST FULL SERVICE CATERING AVAILABLE Our professional staff is committed to the success of your event Call 404-702-8301 to plan your Event Menu today!

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Photo by: L’Atelier Lumiere International Photographie

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Elegant. Timeless. Creative. Andy Shah is a professional wedding, engagement, lifestyle and fashion photographer for 15 years and counting. Photography is not only his profession, it’s his burning passion.

Email. andy@andyshahphotography.com Call. (714) 926-2588 Explore. www.andyshahphotography.com

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Event Design Center and Gallery

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S T U N N I N G 10 , 0 0 0 S Q U A R E - F O O T B A L L R O O M CUS T OM MENU, DIS TINCTIVE DEC OR F U L L S E R V I C E W E D D I N G PAC K AG E S CERTIFIED WEDDING PLANNER P R E F F E R E D W E D D I N G C AT E R E R S W E L C O M E

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DECOR FIT FOR A PR


photography // G aciel S antana P hotography decor // U topian E vents venue // R enaissance O rlando at S ea W orld

RINCESS

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the golden era photography // D ean P ictures // www . deanpicturesweddings . com // @ deanpictures hair, makeup // S apphire S tudio // @ sapphirestudioltd floral // E nchanting F loral // @ enchantingfloral decor // T op W edding D ecor C algary // @ topweddingdecorcalgary wardrobe + jewelry // D eepali F ashions // @ deepalifashions models // H arinder S ohal , T anya L ombsar , J uhi P rajapati

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Beauty & the Beast photography // S ona P hotography decor/floral // O ccasions by S hangri - la coordination // E ventrics W edding venue // G aylord P alms R esort cake // R ose H ill C akes stationary // D ogwood B lossom hair and makeup // M ichele R enee the S tudio henna and nails // E na , T he H enna S tudio wardrobe // L e T rend B outique jewelry // Z arq J ewelry cinematogrphy // R iant F ilms

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TARANG + ALKA PHOENIX, AZ // USHNA KHAN PHOTOGRAPHY + TRU ELEGANCE Tarang and Alka met at a Young Jains of America conference in Stamford, Connecticut in 2006. Tarang was the cool and popular social events coordinator and Alka was the social butterfly meeting new people and gathering AIM screen names. Tarang spotted Alka at one of the evening’s mixers and had a friend introduce the two. They had similar personalities and interests so they exchanged contact information with promises to keep in touch. After the weekend convention they both parted their separate ways-Alka was from Phoenix and Tarang from Boston, so they gradually began a yearlong courtship of late night instant-messenger conversations, texts, phone, and Skype calls. After about a year and a half, Tarang decided to have Alka fly out to Boston and meet up again in real life. Alka agreed. And so it began... 6 years later, Tarang decided that Alka was definitely “the one”. He planned an impeccably detailed proposal, remembering little details like making sure Alka had hair/nails appointments as well as ensuring that my make up artist had waterproof mascara for when Alka inevitably cried her eyes out. It was set up as a journey through NYC with stops for DryBar, Starbucks, Nail Salon, Rent the Runway, and Olive & Ivy with Alka’s closest friends and family meeting her along the way. A rooftop proposal and the most beautiful ring sealed the deal on October 18, 2014. They decided to set the picturesque Sheraton Grand in Chandler, AZ as their wedding destination as that was Alka’s hometown. Since the majority of their wedding guests would be travelling from out of town, they really wanted to give a true “Arizonan” experience by having the wedding set on a Native American reservation amidst the stunning desert and mountain landscape. Huge shout out to their wedding coordinators from TruElegance for being angels-in-disguise, getting background details corrected before anyone thought to ask and getting their hands dirty whenever any guest or vendor needed help. Photography and videography ensured that they have beautiful memories for a lifetime of the most perfect weekend, thank you UshnaKhan Photography and Skypoint Productions! It’s true that vendors make the ultimate difference when planning a large-scale wedding and they are very thankful to have had such talented help throughout the process. Needless to say, large South Asian weddings aren’t easy to plan, especially long-distance from NYC! It is a family process and a huge thank you to Tarang and Alka’s parents and siblings for dealing with the flaring tempers and silly requests and laughing it off in the end. It was so worth it, right?! Lastly, Tarang and Alka want to say thank you to all of our friends and family for the immense and undying love you showed throughout the weekend. Thank you for being a part of our lives and supporting us in our next chapter as Bug and Buggy.

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v e n d o r s

photographer // U shn a K han P hotography planner // S har vil and P riya @ T r u E legance decor // D ecorations by L upe catering // J ay B hara MUA/hair // A hseia L ahel video // S kypoint P roductions venue // S heraton G rand at W ild H orse P ass sound/lighting // D ivinity E vents and L ighting tabla/dhol // S hobhit B anwait M usic music // P remier E ntertainment , DJ I nsomnia

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UCHITAÂ + AASHISH ROCKLEIGH, NJ // STAK STUDIOS + DESIGN HOUSE DECOR T Close your eyes and imagine a the most perfect Fall setting in Central Park. Take that, bring it inside a ballroom with dreamy, top of the line lighting, and a hand full of designers embellishing that scene with romantic candles, vibrant gold elements, and the most luxe crystal chandeliers. This all leads you into Uchita & Aashish's Fall Garden wedding. You can open your eyes now, it actually happened. We, and a handful of our head designers took on the challenge to bring our couple's vision and dream to life for the most important day in their life, by completely transforming the ballroom at the Rockleigh Club. With their vibrant and rich culture and heritage in mind, our designers crafted a space so elegantly balanced with the sophisticated and dreamy look of your ultimate fall garden, with a nod to their roots. Done within a 24 hour span, the space was transformed to one that celebrated and echoed the love they have for each other, the luxury and enchantment that they wanted their families and guests to feel, the excitement they wanted to share with their loved ones, and created a vision to please the eyes and the senses. One never to be forgotten. We connected with the couple as soon as we started communicating with them. We always beleive that the chemistry between the couple and us is so important for the whole process to flow smoothly. The positivity and happiness that Uchita, Aashish and their loved ones expressed was felt throughout the planning and creative process, and of course this effects that total feel of the final set up. They are such a light hearted couple that we really wanted to bring that positivity, cheerfulness, and love into the set up, and wanted to make sure that is reflected in their environment for their special day! Aashish and Uchita met at a mutual friends birthday party. A compliment by Aashish on Uchita's dance moves led the two on their first date shortly after. Being a diehard Knicks fan, the two had their first date enjoying watching their favorite team play on the court. However leaving early to head home and enjoy traditional home cooked food, was where the real bonding happened as they talked into the early hours of the morning, and that is when they knew they shared the same values and love for their families. For both the ceremony and the reception, the bride knew exactly the feeling she wanted, but she left the creativity and the details up to us. This meant that we could use our experience as well as new ideas to bring her vision to life. For the ceremony she wanted a fall garden with lots of trees and leaves. Our team designed life size trees that were hand made on the day, and paired them beautifully with crystal chandelier, to still allude to the luxe wedding feel. Gold elements and romantic candles brought the overall set up to life with these vibrant touches. The feeling in the room completely captured the love and excitement of the couple and their families. For the reception Uchita wanted something dark and bold, and so we took on the challenge to design a wedding that was deep in color but still bright in its feel. Bringing together custom linens, modern table lamps, and glamorous gold elements, we created a feel that was warm yet not overwhelming. The sangeet was a completely unique set up with fun colorful lounge furniture and decor complete with some mirror and metallic elements and top of the line lighting that created the perfect party atmosphere for their pre wedding festivities. The couples personalities were felt throughout the three events, the expression on Uchita's face on the day said it all. The feeling and set up she dreamed of having was brought to life, and the rest of the elements were handled so well, she and her families were able to the celebrate the union, stress free and relaxed. Being so selfless Uchita wanted to make sure her families were able to have fun and not worry about their guests, and they were able to do just that with the best vendors they were able to partner up with!

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v e n d o r s

photographer // S tak S tudios design+decor // D esign H ouse D ecor planner // P remini E vents hair, makeup // K ar un a C hani & L uxe B eauty B ar lighting // A ion  E ntertainment DJ // DJ I nsomnia  catering // M oghul C atering ( wedding ), B omb ay T alk ( sangeet ) video // N ayeem V ohra F ilms venue // T he R ockleigh ( wedding , reception ), T he I mperial ( sangeet ) southasianbridemagazine.com 73


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MEENA + NIMESH LOS ANGELES, CA // LIN & JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY + SHAWNA YAMAMOTO EVENT DESIGN It was a Friday night, one year after I moved to New York to start my career, and I met up with a coworker for dinner, with the hopes of meeting new people and making new friends. Afterwards, we met up with his high school friends for a night out. The moment Nimesh opened the door to the apartment everyone was hanging out at, I was hit with a feeling that I couldn't explain...deep down, I knew that there was something special about this guy. Little did I know what the future had in store for us! We soon discovered our mutual love for food, wine, and travel, which propelled our relationship through the years, from spending time with each other's families on either coast to discovering new places and cuisines and friendships. In this spirit of adventure, after 4 blissful years of dating, we decided to move in together and take our relationship to Brooklyn. One afternoon in early Fall of 2015, when we were hosting my family in our new apartment, Nimesh suggested that we all spend the afternoon in Central Park- my favorite sanctuary in the city. As we sipped on cocktails at the Loeb Boathouse in the Park, Nimesh suggested we take a rowboat ride on the lake. I said sure- thinking this lovely offer would only come once! After he took me on a ride around the lake, we came back in sight of the Boathouse and I heard 'Congrats' yelled from the open terrace. I was confused and ecstatic, finally realizing what was happening. Nimesh proposed on a little rowboat in the middle of the lake in Central Park, with the sun shining and all of our family and friends watching. Of course, I said yes! The night continued with dinner under the stars, followed by a cocktail party with all of our friends, and squeezed in there, Nimesh even managed to surprise me with an engagement-moon to Paris and the South of France. Over the next year, we set out on the crazy journey that is planning a wedding. We knew we wanted to get married in California, and on the third venue finding trip, on our very last appointment before we had to head home, we walked into the magnificent lobby of The Resort at Pelican Hill. Just like I knew something was special about Nimesh the night I first met him, I instantly knew that The Resort at Pelican Hill was the perfect backdrop for our wedding- the Italian inspired resort, with the ocean glistening in the background contrasted with the deep emerald of the sprawling lawns, made it easy to bring all of our design dreams to life. But of course, we could not have executed our vision without the help of our incredible planner Michelle Weita of Details Details. Nimesh and I were close to every step of the planning process, from designing our own invite and paper goods suite with East Six, to envisioning every design element of each of our three wedding events with Shawna Yamamoto, to picking our first song with 3D Sounds, to working with Lin & Jirsa to capture it all. Michelle facilitated it between both coasts, and was a friend, a consultant, a negotiator, and everything in between. With four trips to LA over 10 months and many conference calls over several time zones, we planned our dream wedding. Our wedding weekend was a joyous whirlwind, filled with the glamorous elegance we hoped for and intimate moments with our loved ones. The Sangeet, with the billowing white tents accented with bright orange mums, and a street-food inspired menu, brought to life my bazaar concept and nodded to Nimesh’s culture with a Garba. The Wedding, was defined by the white florals and beautiful greenery popping against the pastel gray skies and crisp notes of the flutist wafting through the morning air. The Mango lassis may have run out, but the South Indian Dosa station made up for it! And the Reception- from our rose gold placecards on a hedge wall, to the jazz band during dinner, to Nimesh’s favorite cigar bar- put the perfect finishing touch on the best weekend of our lives. Looking back, my most vivid memory is walking down the aisle, seeing all my loved ones emerging on the lawn, and being overcome with happiness that at the end of it my perfect future was waiting for me!

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v e n d o r s

photographer // L in & J irsa P hotography planner // D etails D etails floral+decor // S hawn a Y amamoto E vent D esign DJ // 3D S ounds MUA+hair // D olled U p by L ul u henna+draping // B eauty by R achan a lighting // A mber E vent P roduction cigars // C ub an C igar F actory donuts // F ry G irl  venue // T he R esort at P elican H ill

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RUHI + NEIL MUMBAI, INDIA // SANJAY THAKKAR PHOTOGRAPHY + NITIN DESAI & TEAM Prem Ratan Dhan Payo translates to “finding the gem of love.” Some people spend a lifetime trying to find their gem of love. For Neil and Ruhi Bhatt, it was love that found them. Their story goes back to their university days. They both attended The University of California, Davis and lived in the same apartment complex, without ever meeting. After graduation, a mutual family friend proposed the idea of the two meeting multiple times, but Neil and Ruhi’s schedules never aligned. Neil spent most of his weekends traveling spontaneously with friends, while Ruhi spent most of her weekends at fashion events. Months would go by until one spring day destiny decided to wave her magic wand and bring them together over lunch. This lunch continued through dinner and the rest is history. Several months later, on Ruhi’s birthday, Neil invited her to the same restaurant where they had their first kiss and popped the big question. Ruhi had always dreamed of a grand wedding in India. When searching for a venue, she had two concerns: (1) She wanted a wedding that was not only a destination for their guests, but also an experience, and (2) She wanted to fulfill her lifelong dream of getting married in a palace. With the help of her family, they found the renowned Prem Ratan Dhan Payo film set at ND Studios, Mumbai. The couple met with Bollywood director, Nitin Desai, and set the details for their big day. Before they knew it, December 2016 had arrived and both families were on their way to India. The couple commenced their wedding by inviting deities to bless them. “Our Mata Ki Chowki was beyond anything I had ever experienced - everyone was dancing, singing, and so in tune with each other,” said Ruhi. “I could just feel the positive energy that surrounded us that night.” The next morning was Ruhi’s Haldi event, where her face was bare and her head adorned with a jeweled flower crown. “The Haldi is usually exclusive to the bride’s family, but I wanted to have my in-laws come bless me,” she said. “Looking back at the photos, it makes me so happy to see that I have that kind of support.” Later that evening was the highly anticipated Mehndi, an event she had been looking forward to since the planning. “I have always loved getting my Mehndi done, so naturally this was an event I was really excited for. When I was wedding shopping, my Mehndi Lengha was the first one I picked out”. The outfit was also one of Neil’s top favorites. “The best part of her entire look was the beautiful five-foot long, fresh flower veil she had on. There isn’t a single word that I have to describe how she looked; all I can say is she looked beyond amazing.” Following the Mehndi was the Sangeet, where Ruhi’s parents invited Sufi singer Bhavin Shastri. Ruhi explained, “the Sangeet was such a fun event and definitely the pre-party of the wedding. We had an open bar, over twelve counters of delicious fusion food, and lots of dancing.” After the pre-wedding events, the big day had finally arrived. On the morning of December 23, 2016, both families drove out to ND Studios, Mumbai. “The venue was two hours out of the city, so we had to leave early. Hair and makeup were waiting for me in Salman Khan’s chalet.” The families got ready for the big day and the Baraat began at 5 PM. “I got a phone call from Neil’s best man saying the Baraat was about to begin. In that moment, my tummy began flipping in every which a way. I was so excited to see Neil as my groom and finally be married to him,” she said. Once the Baraat had entered the palace, it was time for Ruhi’s big entrance. “I was escorted to the top of the palace where this beautiful hand-crafted Cinderella ball was hanging, so I could be lowered into the palace”, she continued, “the entire thing was so magical, especially with Bhanu Vora singing his iconic melodies as I came down.” Ruhi’s entrance was vividly remembered by Neil. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment I saw her coming down into the palace”, he explained. “I could feel the entire room starring at her, but somehow her and I were so connected in that moment. Seeing her calmed my nerves down and after that, I was just excited to finally be married to the love of my life.” Following her entrance, Ruhi walked down the aisle with her parents and younger brother by her side. After the ceremony, guests were escorted to dinner on the palace gardens. The couple made their first debut as Mr. and Mrs. Bhatt with a magnificent fireworks display. Neil and Ruhi’s wedding series concluded with their American-style wedding reception in San Ramon, California on January 28, 2017. Article featuring Ruhi Thakker (Eat Pray Style Blog www.eatpraystyle.com) southasianbridemagazine.com 81


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v e n d o r s

photographer // S anj ay T hakkar P hotography planner // N itin D esai and T eam hair, makeup // A nwar A gha and T eam caterer // G ala C aterers  wardrobe // S ari P alace venue // ND S tudios , M umb ai

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CLASSICAL

romance photography // R upi K ainth , S tudio O range P hotography makeup // G lamour D olls S tudio decor // U niversal D ecor

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LOUNGE LIKE A GODDESS robes/styling // P ajama S utra // www . thepajamasutra . com photography // B raja M andala // www . brajamandala . com hair, makeup // B eauty B y L ishma // www . beautybylishma . com florals // J ennifer C ole F lorals // www . jennifercoleflorals . com decor // K umba E vents // www . kumba . com jewelry // J as and P al // www . jasandpal . com models // M aryam Z olghadr , M elissa S ingh

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The Element of Passion.

DESTINATION WEDDING PACKAGES DESIGNED FOR YOU. Beautiful landscapes frame the most awaited moments. Our Shaadi Royal Bliss Package offers authentic details, personalized ceremonies, fabulous food, and endless options. Exclusively designed by renowned wedding planner Karen Bussen and set against your choice of spectacular settings. Here you’ll fi nd your element, from romantic venues to all-inclusive accommodations. This is Weddings by Palladium – South Asian style. To discover us or book your travel, contact your preferred travel provider, visit PalladiumWeddings.com or call 888-442-3127.

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the new

ROYALS

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planning & styling direction P urvee P atel at A jita C hopra E vents photography M atei H orvath P hotography K yles C ollection U.K L aunching

in

jewelry L os A ngeles

wardrobe B A nu D esigns , A nu B atra D rea

makeup and hair V M akeup ,  A ndrea  V laovich

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NATASHA + KUSH LOS ANGELES, CA // ANDRENA PHOTOGRAPHY + ACE OF EVENTS The story of Natasha and Kush began with a text. A friend sent a note to Kush and said, “Hey, there’s a cool girl in Kentucky that you should meet.” Kush ended up texting Natasha, who responded with “LOL, I’m so embarrassed, I can’t believe my friend gave you my number!” Kush replied, “Challenge accepted.” And from there, the two got to know each other, eventually falling in love. Their eventual engagement came as a complete surprise to Natasha. A friend who was soon to be married asked Natasha and a few other friends to accompany her to a Charlotte, North Carolina, location to see if it might be nice for engagement photos. All the friends were dressed up, though, so Natasha kept asking herself, “What’s going on? I know my friends are fancy, but this is too much.” When they arrived at Romare Bearden Park, Kush was standing there in a suit, ready to propose. When Natasha turned around, 25 of their friends from home were there to help share in their joy. Natasha asked Kush if he had told her parents, and he said he hadn’t, so Natasha was a bit dismayed. But after they climbed into a limo and went to his house, it turned out he was pulling her leg, as her parents had flown in for the occasion and a surprise party at Kush’s parents’ house. The evening ended at Basil Thai Restaurant, which had been the site of their first date. Kush had rented out the entire restaurant to end his proposal to Natasha in a perfect way. When it came time to plan their big day, Natasha’s goal was to create an elegant, clean and timeless wedding for her friends and family members to enjoy. “I wanted to be able to look back on my wedding in 20 years and still think it was elegant and timeless.” With this in mind, Natasha set out to find the perfect collection of wedding professionals to help her realize her vision. The first vendor she hired was the event planner. She ended up meeting with coordinators on both coasts, but chose Ani Sandhu at Ace of Events because he treated her like a friend and really listened to her ideas. Natasha says she felt a personal connection with Ani and just went with her gut. He and his team then planned the event effortlessly. Natasha and Kush knew that they wanted an outside destination wedding. Though Ani provided the couple with 50 different destination wedding locations as options, the couple felt that Southern California was an easy choice and began looking at the luxury venues in the area. “I ultimately chose Pelican Hill because when you walk in, you feel like it’s heaven on earth. We thought it was more exclusive than some of the bigger hotels, as other guests wouldn’t be watching the ceremony, and we would be the only couple getting married that day.” Though Natasha spoke with several floral designers, she knew that she’d found her florist after meeting with David at Square Root Designs. “David gave things to me in real terms and didn’t make false promises. I told him what I wanted, and he told me how I was going to get the maximum. He was honest and real, and I felt like he truly created a personal relationship with me, which I really appreciated.” Natasha chose a pale palette for her ceremony décor, as she thought white would look beautiful against the ocean view at Pelican Hill. For the reception, the couple chose cream and gold. “I think white and cream are very elegant, and I wanted something that screamed elegance. How can you get more elegant than cream and white?” Natasha laughs. Another huge focus for the couple was the quality of the food. Avid foodies, both Natasha and Kush are world travelers who love Asian cuisine. “We wanted to make an effort to have a different type of food at every event. We also made a conscious effort not to do Indian food at every event. For our welcome dinner, we had Italian. For our wedding luncheon, we had a wide range of food styles. And for our reception, we had a Thai buffet as well as an Indian buffet. It doesn’t only matter how beautiful everything is. Good food makes a great wedding. Pelican definitely delivered on that.” For the reception, the couple knew they wanted to bring a nightclub vibe to Pelican Hill, and to infuse their party with lasers, smoke, dramatic lighting and pumping music. Amit Kotecha at 3D Sounds was able to meet all their lighting and music expectations, delivering a true club vibe that kept the guests dancing into the wee small hours. When Natasha first began thinking about her wedding outfits, she knew she wanted something more traditional for the ceremony and more elegant for the reception. Natasha had a dream of being a Sabyasachi bride, so that was her choice for the ceremony. For the reception, she chose Manish Malhotra. Natasha actually got to meet both designers in person while she was in their respective showrooms. Looking back on her wedding, Natasha recalls that her primary goal as a bride was just to enjoy the day. “I didn’t want to be stressed. I wanted it to be personal and to be able to say hi to everyone.” Reflecting on her union with Kush, Natasha sums up her wedding with one simple phrase: “It was magical.” southasianbridemagazine.com 105


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photographer // D in a D ouglass & Y oshi M orimoto / A ndren a P hotography planner // A ce of E vents florals // S qu are R oot D esigns video // I mpressive C reations dj+lighting // 3D S ounds henna // N eha A ssar hair+mua // D olled U p by L ul u venue // T he R esort at P elican H ill  wedding lehnga // S abyasachi reception lehnga // M anish M alhotra

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SAM + NINA NEW JERSEY, NY // BRAJA MANDALA PHOTOGRAPHY + PREMINI EVENTS It all started 12 years ago when Sam and I met. He secretly whispered to his friend “I’ve met my future wife” and 12 years later we were getting married in our dream venue. It took two full years of planning, as we selected each vendor carefully to ensure our dream vision would come to life. We chose vendors from all over the states: our caterer and decor from NJ, wedding planner, makeup artist and DJ from NY, photographer from CA and videographer from TX. The day of was absolutely magical; Sam and I knew all of our planning was put into the right hands and everything would come together smoothly. Our wedding day was themed, “You are the spark of my life” for multiple reasons. Sparks blossomed when we first met, they flourish every time we see each other and as time goes on, our sparks become even stronger. Our wedding day consisted of 500 guests from all over the world. Family and friends traveled from India, Europe and the States to our venue, The Venetian, in New Jersey. The morning of the wedding started around 4:30 for myself, as I headed to the venue to get my hair and makeup done by the very talented Susmita Patel. The morning hours flew by in the blink of an eye and before I knew it Braja Mandala Photography and A&A Video Productions were capturing every detail of my outfit, makeup and hair. After the photos were captured, I headed towards our ballroom only to have my mind blown away by the décor and flowers, composed so beautifully by Elegant Affairs. As I stood in the middle of the mandap and marinated in the excitement I was feeling, I saw Sam make his way down the aisle (blindfolded) and when it was taken off his expressions said everything. After being together for so long, everything felt like it was meant to be the second we locked eyes. It was such a fairy-tale moment and quite honestly, one of the only clear moments we both remember in the blur of it all. We did a mix of a traditional Indian wedding but also incorporated the American culture by having 8 groomsmen and 8 bridesmaids - including one best man and one maid of honor. The entrances started off with Sam's nephew, bearing the rings, followed by my younger cousins who were the flower girls. Following them, the groomsmen, immediate family and Sam entered on the mandap with "Watch Me Whip" playing in the background. The guests were totally thrown off to a traditional entrance and they loved every moment of it. After Sam's entrance, the bridesmaids entered holding a thali with flowers and a diya. It was then I made my entrance down a set of stairs, meeting my parents and two brothers at the end, as they walked me up to my groom. It was such a special moment because at that time, both families are joining as one and you can feel the room so thick with love. The moment was even more special for me because my grandfather is a pundit and was marrying Sam and I. The actual wedding went by so quickly - or at least felt like it for us. Before we knew it we were walking around the havan, feeling flower petals raining from the sky and guests cheering us on as we officially became one. During our planning process, it was important for us to focus on the guests and make the wedding experience about them. We decided to offer 100+ different foods served at cocktail hour, along with special “his” and “hers” drinks and two grand ice sculptures. After the cocktail hour, guests proceeded into the hallway where they were greeted with a large orchid tree, which hung their place cards with their names and table number. Behind the orchid tree was the Palazzo ballroom, magnificently decorated with blush and white tone flowers, filled with giant crystal table pieces and a mirrored DJ booth that had a bar on either side for the convenience of the guest while they were on the dance floor. The reception was our favorite part; it’s where Sam and I greeted the guests behind the ballroom’s curtains, made our entrance down the grand staircase and danced to our bridal party while playing “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay. Our first dance followed our grand entrance, as we danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” with snowflakes falling from the ceiling. Post dinner, DJ Suhel opened up the dance floor for all of the guests. It was so amazing to experience their excitement with them and we danced the night away to our favorite songs. About an hour and a half before the night ended, a dessert flame show was presented on the dance floor to announce the opening of the dessert room. The Viennese dessert hour consisted of 200+ different types of Italian desserts. As the guests exited the venue, they were also greeted with a late nightcap of homemade fresh donuts and Starbucks coffee. Looking back on our wedding day, it was everything Sam and I could have imagined and more. I still remember the feeling while making my thank-you speech and wanting to freeze time; having all of our loved ones in one room for that one moment meant the world to both of us. We wanted our wedding day to be more about the guest’s experience and less about us. My father once told me, “It’s not about the wedding day, but it’s about the marriage”. Our wedding day was perfect, but the marriage that we have created and will continue to create is something that is invaluable. We are so lucky and grateful to have had everything go according to plan. It was the perfect kick-off event to a wonderful “Patwani” life ahead. southasianbridemagazine.com 111


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NIRALI + NIMIT LOS ANGELES, CA // LIN & JIRSA PHOTOGRAPHY + PLANNING ELEGANCE We met in San Francisco. Nimit had just moved from Philadelphia for work and I moved from New York for law school. Our cousins introduced us initially as friends (secretly hoping/planning for us to become more than just friends). Our first real encounter was at a bar on Polk Street for my 25th birthday. I learned he was from New York and proceeded to have a heated discussion about which late night eatery was best in New York...Kati Roll or Masala Times. I was a huge proponent for Masala Times and he was rooting for Kati Roll. He intrigued me because he reminded me of New York, because I was nostalgic about the city. He had a certain charm to him that I couldn't resist including the way he would wink at me. The Proposal was Memorial Day weekend. It was supposed to be a girls weekend with Nirali's cousins in Big Sur at Post Ranch Inn. The girls got up early to head out from San Francisco on their 3-hour drive to Big Sur. The weather was not the warmest that weekend, but Pritee and Ushma convinced Nirali it was a good idea to get dressed up so they could stop along the way to take pictures along the coast. When they arrived to Post Ranch Inn, they decided to have lunch first on the property before heading to the spa. The waiter gave the girls three menus. However, Nirali noticed there was something particularly odd about the names of the dishes on the menu. It wasn't too long after that she realized Nimit had chronicled their relationship into dishes on the menu. Under the last course was the dessert - "Big Sur Suffle" and the words "Will You Marry Me?" Nirali went out to the terrace and there Nimit was on one knee with the Pacific Ocean as the background. The surprise didn't end there, Nirali's closest friends and family were waiting back in San Francisco at an amazing Engagement Party thrown by Nimit. We planned for a little over a year and it was done from San Francisco. Our goal was to pick a ocean side venue. We looked at the St. Regis, Ritz Carlton and Pelican Hill, but there was no place that could match the luxury and location of Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Nirali handled the big picture items by choosing the vendors and working with them on decor and aesthetics whereas Nimit dealt with logistics and negotiations. It was a picture perfect southern california day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The weather was warm. Everybody was pumped for the baraat and to see Tai the elephant in action. Our wedding party was 26 people large with 13 bridesmaids and 13 groomsmen. The decor took people's breathe away. The mandap was filled with white flowers topped with a venetian shapes hunter green dome. During cocktail hour we had Penn Masala singing with the sunset in the background. The decor at the reception included hanging white and green floral. As soon as you entered you can see the grandness of the ballroom and the clean crisp look. There was an array of food with a beautifully assorted desert bar. Penn Masala sang our first dance, Sanjana by A.R. Rahman. We flew out world renowned DJ Sharad from DJ USA all the way from New York to get everyone out on the dance floor. He initiated a west coast vs. east coast dance off (since the bride is from california and the groom was from New Jersey/New York). Aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandfathers were on the dance floor dancing with the bride and groom. The groom crowd surfed through the masses of family and friends on the dance floor. The party didn't end until 2am. We felt blessed to have people from all parts of the world come out to celebrate us. It was a fairy tale wedding for us as we saw our vision come true in real life.

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stationer y // I nvite I nk cake // V anilla B ake S hop catering // J ay B harat , N atraj C atering dj // DJ S harad baraat // H ave T r unk W ill T ravel live music // P enn M asala venues // L os V erdes G olf C ourse , T errenea R esort video // I mpressive C reations southasianbridemagazine.com 121


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MODERN

maharani photography // T eam JSP makeup + hair // G litz n G lamour /P reet wardrobe + jewelry // B-A nu D esigns /A nu B atra model // M anpreet T oor

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Victorian affinity

“Victorian Affinity” is inspired by the outstanding Victorian era in England and its parallel phase in france, “Le Belle Epoque”. These periods were characterized by changes and innovations in various fields, such as the Industrial Revolution. In this context, we dedicate this collection to Jeanne Margaine Lacroix, a designer who challenged the victorian style, in it’s era and made a change of how we perceive femininity. We put great emphasis on games of volume in one garment, creating a chimeric silhouettes and endless trains. The color palette is of soft porcelain ivory, dusted silver, washed pinks, smoky blush and cream that completes the touch of this collection. To add our touch of romance and admiration to the feminine body we used delicate textured laces, deep colored backgrounds and paid careful attention to details (such as detachable elements and a lot of crystals), alongside varied Victorian motifs of high collars. A bridal gown should be treated and fitted with love and care, as carried on a bride in her wedding day, and so we bring you our perception of it. Our Victorian affinity. We were lucky enough to work with these amazing talents Des ig n e r s : G al i a L ah av an d Sh aro n Se ve r Ph otog r ap h e r : Gre g Swal e s @g re g s wal e s ar t Sty lis t: Ab r ah am Gu ti e r re z @ab r ah am g u i e te re z Mod e l : Zh e n y a K atava @z h e n y ak atava Prod uc tion c o m p an y : Stu d i o C o r te s @s tu d i o _ c o r te s HM UA: K ath r in a f ro m th e B l o u d Ag e n c y @b l o u d o f f i c i al V id e og r ap h e r : Ju an j o S Mar ti n e z @j u an j o s m ar

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PRIYA + BRIAN UDAIPUR, INDIA // DEVASYAH STUDIOS As fate would have it, Brian and I were born a mere nine days apart, Brian in New London, CT and Priya in London, England, worlds apart. Our story began when we met as twenty-one year old juniors at the University of Miami. My roommate, who had been friends with Brian since freshman year, introduced the two of us, when we ran into Brian and his friends at a popular spot across campus. After seeing each other around campus and spending time with one another's mutual friends, Brian asked me to dinner and the rest is history. After meeting my family and extended family, and gaining the approval of my parents and grandparents, Brian proposed to me in October 2014. At this point in our lives I lived in Florida and Brian lived in Texas. Over the years we created and shared a memory box filled with sentimental items that evoked a sense of nostalgia. After cooking me my favorite meal, Brian suggested we revisit the box and look through the items we had collected over the years. Being a lover of all things old and nostalgic, I happily obliged a trip down memory lane. After looking at ticket stubs to events, pictures, handwritten notes, dried flower petals from bouquets past and many other things, I came across what looked like ball of rumpled newspaper. I opened it to find a classic Tiffany ring box with a handwritten proposal letter. I happily said yes while wiping away happy tears. Eight years after we met, in August 2015, we got married and in between we experienced the highs, lows, tragedies, triumphs and joys of life. Our wedding at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, was a blend of East and West; a unique blend of my childhood in England and America with Brian's New England roots. Our wedding weekend kicked off with a sangeet at Jacksonville Golf and Country Club, where I wore an Anushree Reddy lengha and we were serenaded with dances by our mom, aunts, cousins and friends. Indulging in delicious Indian street food and dancing under the stars with our friends and family is something we will never forget. The next morning we had a traditional Saagi, Mandap Muhurat, Ganesh Sthapna, Grah Shanti, and Pithi ceremony, attended by close family and friends, in the intimacy of my parent’s home. Later that evening, forgoing a traditional garba and raas, we opted for a welcome reception, with an around the world tapas theme, to welcome guests to Amelia Island. I wore a unique sari-pant style by Tarun Tahiliani, accented with a diamond headpiece, as I took it all in the night before the wedding. The day of the wedding I made my grand bridal entrance in a traditional palki, held up by my mamas and uncles. I will always cherish being escorted down the aisle by my mum and dad, wearing a stunning traditional Sabyasachi lengha, and my “something old” wearing my grandmother’s ruby ring and my great-grandmother’s ivory bangles that were gifted to her by my great-great-grandmother on her wedding day. Once the antarpat came down my nerves turned into sheer bliss and joy as I saw the love of my life smiling at me. After the ceremony and cocktail hour we enjoyed a sophisticated and elegantly styled black tie reception with plenty of fresh flowers. After changing into a YSA Makino couture beaded white wedding gown we made our entrance as husband and wife and after cutting the cake, moving speeches, and dances by family and friends, we danced the night away. We enjoyed dinner, live dessert stations, and a photo booth, complete with a sparkler exit and an after party into the morning hours. Our belated honeymoon was spent traveling through Rajasthan, India, where we indulged in our love of Mughal history and reveled in the eternal love stories of centuries past. While in Udaipur, we partook in a one year anniversary royal themed photo shoot, around City Palace and Lake Pichola. Together, with our rescue dog, Amelia, we currently reside in Houston, Texas.

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Boho princess

photography // P eter N guyen designer // F arzana J acksi M anekia jewelry // L e T rend B outique stylist // T as E vents & D esign hair, mua // M ichele R enee T he S tudio  models // J ully P atel


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the ROYAL

COLLECTIVE photography // D uke P hotography , L os A ngeles decor+design // K ismet E vents , L os A ngeles makeup // A rpi N azaryan hair // A rsineh G hazarian clothing+accessories // A rchana V ig , M anshaa C ollection talent manager // M averick A gency models // S amantha C ordera , A manda S ingh venue // C astle G reen , P asadena

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SAMEER + MONICA CHARLOT TE, NC // BANGA STUDIOS + UTOPIAN EVENTS Fate really did play a part in Sameer and Monica's story. They both were born and raised in Charlotte, NC. They both went to college in NC; Monica at NC State and Sameer down the road at rival UNC Chapel hill. The two had countless mutual friends, and even attended a number of social events, but somehow never met. Their first introduction was when Monica was accepted to Tufts Dental School, where Sameer was currently starting his second year, and were connected via a mutual friend who asked if Sameer could help Monica with her apartment search and introduce her to the city of Boston. The two became fast friends. Sameer finally worked up the courage to ask Monica on a date within a few weeks of first meeting. Monica was skeptical because he chose a Mongolian hot pot restaurant for dinner—which was way out of her comfort zone at the time—but it ended up becoming their favorite go to restaurant that they frequented often throughout dental school. Monica and Sameer both always tell everyone that they wouldn't have made it through dental school without the other, the constant support and encouragement really did play a huge part in strengthening their relationship through the years. It was definitely put to the test when Sameer moved to Arizona for a residency program after graduation while Monica stayed in Boston to finish her final year of school. But, plenty of red eye flights and FaceTime dates later, they came out of that year apart closer and more in love than ever. Sameer proposed while both Monica and him were home for the holidays in 2015, and, although he was super nervous before the proposal and gave away the surprise, Monica still said yes! When the wedding planning began, Monica and Sameer both knew they wanted an outdoor venue that was close to home and that would give them the freedom to add personal touches that all their family and friends would enjoy. They chose the Pavilion at the Dale Earnhardt Estate and, after months of planning—most of which Monica took the lead on—they were married on October 15, 2016 in a stunning setting surrounded by all their loved ones. live and practice in Charlotte, and couldn't be more excited for what is to come in married life.

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POONAM + JORDAN TORONTO, CANADA // L'ATELIER LUMIÈRE INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIE + BIJI PLANNERS

Just like Journey’s song goes, I was a small town girl and he was a city boy living in South Detroit. Jordan and I met in dental school while we were attending Western University, in London, ON. When I first met him I thought he was the weirdest human being I had ever encountered. As our friendship grew, I started to embrace his uniqueness, and my feelings for him blossomed. When he proposed to me, it was one of the happiest days of my life! But soon after the proposal the rush of planning our wedding day began. Despite Jordan being of European ethnicity, we decided on having a traditional Sikh wedding. And so, began the process of planning a multiday wedding, a concept completely foreign to Jordan. From trips to India to endless meetings with vendors, Jordan was there by my side each step of the way. I think without his dedication, our day couldn’t have been as perfect as it was. During one of our vendor meetings, by fluke we decided to go through a photo album while we waited. We absolutely fell in love with the photographs and quickly got connected with our future wedding photographers, and from there all the other pieces started to fall into place. We learned very quickly that to create our dream wedding, it was very important for our personalities to mesh with our vendors and that’s exactly what happen! In fact, by our wedding day we had all become friends. Each one of vendors played an intricate role in making our vision become reality. Finally, the week our wedding had arrived, which was both very exciting but also stressful. I remember arriving to our sangeet hall wearing the top for my sangeet outfit and bottoms from a morning event, because yes, I was changing in the car. My hair and make-up artist looked at me and just started laughing, as I ran in carrying my giant bag of necessities. Once the sangeet began the adrenaline rushed in and everyone sang and danced their hearts out. I even discovered that Jordan had some great Bhangra moves! The day of the wedding started a bit hectic as it does for any bride and groom, and being an Indian wedding it started super early, 3am! One of my most memorable moments of our wedding day was when I arrived at the ceremony site, I felt something divine, it was a surreal moment. I have never felt such a calm overcome me ever in my life. The outdoor air in combination with the birds chirping while prayers were being sung, and sitting next to my soulmate is a feeling I will never forget. You could feel the love in the air, the love Jordan and I have for each other and our family and friends had for both of us. I can still see that moment when I close my eyes. On the other hand, the most stressful moment of the day came when rain was forecasted during our outdoor ceremony. But to add to the magic, not a single drop fell from the sky during the ceremony, it literally started trickling during my dholi, the timing could not have been any more perfect. People always say it is good luck to have rain on your wedding day! We had a marathon wedding, where the reception was the same day, so after the dholi came the rush of getting to the reception venue to get ready. I remember walking in to our reception hall and both of our jaws just dropped, everything looked breathtaking. We were running around like two kids in a candy store, we didn’t know where to focus our eyes, while our wedding coordinator was in the background telling us to hurry up and get upstairs. While I sat there getting ready, I started to think that all the hard work Jordan and I had done for months, all the meetings, phone calls, emails, were totally worth it! Our reception was exactly the party we wanted to throw for our family and friends to celebrate the joining of our love. And in true Bollywood fashion, no Indian wedding is complete without a performance. Jordan and his groomsmen surprised everyone with a Bollywood dance, which was the highlight of the night! Our wedding truly represented who we are as a couple and showed the love we have for each other. Both of us could not have asked for any more of a magical day!

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photographer // L'A telier L umière I ntern ation al P hotographie design+decor // D ream P arty D ecor planner // B iji P lanners dj // D j NRKE harpist // J o ann a J ordan floral // D and D flowers  hair + mua // S hirley W u cake // F ine C akes B y Z ehra  catering // R omy J olly C atering  venues // M iller L ash H ouse ,  L iberty G rand

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PRITTI + SEENA NEW YORK, NY // DAY OF BLISS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY + BRIDAL ARTS AND EVENTS

Seena and I first met in November of 2011 at a work conference in Chicago. He and I had friends in common that introduced us at a dinner event.  We chatted for a bit that evening, but the vibe seemed friendly rather than romantic.  We exchanged phone numbers that evening, but since we lived in different cities (he lived in Atlanta, I lived in NYC), we communicated only sporadically over text.  A year later, Seena happened to be in NYC for a job interview, and he contacted me about meeting for a drink.  We had a great time, and even met up again the following evening.  But the long distance was still an issue, and so Seena and I remained only friends, and unfortunately lost contact for nearly a year when I changed my phone number.  He eventually tracked me down, and told me had been thinking about me that whole time...So we started talking regularly on the phone, sometimes for hours every night, and began visiting each other.  Less than a year later, we got engaged on Thanksgiving in his hometown, with friends and family there to celebrate with us.  A few months later, Seena changed jobs and moved to NYC to be with me.  Seena and I bonded over our parents' immigrant backgrounds -- his family is Persian, mine is Indian (Punjabi).  We loved our cultures' history, traditions, food, and music, and we wanted our wedding to showcase these.  But we also wanted our wedding to be romantic and intimate, and with a little bit of a vintage vibe that reflected our personal style.  We chose the historic venue Monteverde at Oldstone for its beautiful old mansion (dating back to 1760, with the original antique furnishings) and for its Hudson waterfront location.  We had two ceremonies to acknowledge both of our families' cultures, but we wrote the scripts entirely ourselves and asked our close friends to officiate.  Our ceremonies were both outdoors, as I've always loved nature and specifically the upstate NY landscape.  The mandap was a customized flower-and-vine creation that was inspired by old English wisteria gardens -- it looked amazing with the Hudson River backdrop.  The Persian ceremony was held in an old stone arbor with hanging grape vines, and we had a beautiful sofreh table (a tradition at Persian weddings, decorated with flowers, candles, and sweets) designed to match the mandap.  We stuck with the "old English" vintage look for our reception decor, specifically with the floral arrangements and customized antique-style paper design.  The food menu was Indian and Persian-influenced, but for the music, we went for an old-fashioned Motown/jazz band, who played a wonderful old Ella Fitzgerald jazz song for our first dance, and then mixed in some Indian and Persian tunes.  We opted not to do reception stage seating, but instead sat at a long rustic farm table so that we could eat with our families.  Finally, we exited our reception on a golf cart, then hopped on a historic Hudson trolley to attend our afterparty at the local pub. 

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photography // B iyani P hotography planner // KIS C ubed E vents H ouston decor // M andap C reations wardrobe // A nokhi A da hair, makeup and styling // B ridal E lements by N irjary D esai venue // S ans S ouci W edding V enue & B allroom


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ALISHA + KANHAI SANTA BARBARA, CA // DUKE PHOTOGRAPHY + ELEGANT EVENTS BY NUTAN Kanhai and I first met on a ski trip when we were six years old. Our dads were close friends so they always planned trips together. We then met again at the age of ten on a cruise ship. After that we never saw each other or spoke for a long time. Ten years later we reconnected at a wedding and from that moment we both had an eye on each other. After the wedding, a group of our friends decided to go to Vegas. We really bonded and enjoyed each others company. We felt really connected. After the trip, Kanhai went all the way back to Belgium-where he resides--and I went back to college in La. We spoke constantly over the next month and Kanhai decided to come up to LA to see me. We spent a week together and got to know each other so much, we grew even closer! We really fell in love with each other after that trip and decided to start officially dating. We knew we wanted to get married over looking the water and Bacara Resort was the perfect space for our destination wedding. We left our full planning and design to the genius that is Nutan Shah of Elegant Events and White Lilac. They came up with an incredible design, beyond our imaginations. They did a complete transformation of the ballroom for our reception and we couldn't have been happier.

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JENNIFER + SHEKHAR HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA // BRAJA MANDALA PHOTOGRAPHY + AJITA CHOPRA EVENTS In many ways our story had clichéd elements of every romantic Indian movie, minus the wardrobe changes and Shah Rukh Khan’s exhausting monologues. Act I: East Village, NYC (July 31, 2010) When I first saw Jennifer seated at café table next to mine, I knew I had to somehow talk to her. With the help of my cousin, some friends, and a few hours of chatting we got her to join our table. When the evening concluded I asked Jen for her phone number, and she flatly replied “You know my name, so you can look me up in the yellow pages.” This was an odd response on several levels, the least of which being that the yellow pages are a business directory; she really meant the white pages. Ridiculous. Act II: Mid-town, NYC (August 14, 2010) We met again a few weeks later in a setting which, bluntly speaking, was rather easy for me to appear cool. One of my friends at the aforementioned café gathering invited Jen for their rooftop birthday party, that yours truly would be DJ’ing. After mixing for 7 hours I suavely played 4 slow songs in a row to end the night, the last of which resulted in our first dance together. Act III: Union Square, NYC (December 28, 2013) Jennifer is a city girl at heart, being born and raised in New York. While I had worked there since 2000, I grew up in Southern California. After dating for three years a big change was coming - I was on the verge of accepting a job offer that would take me back to L.A. She knew the job process was in place, but when I told her that I received an offer, the ramifications fully hit both of us. There’s nothing more enjoyable than telling the person you love, “Hey, this is great, but let’s try making it long distance!” Jen’s first and last thoughts were of happiness and support for me. “Just give me a year to get settled,” I said at dinner that night, “and I promise the distance will be temporary.” It was semi-quasi-promise-proposal at a loud restaurant; no ring, but great ramen! Our long distance odyssey began 5 months later when I would move back to L.A. Act IV: Paris (October 18, 2015) The first painting I ever fell in love with Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day.” It’s an oil painting of a bustling street scene from 1877 that I saw on display while at college at the University of Chicago. Jen knew how much I loved it and had a strong appreciation of it herself, being an art history major from Fordham University. Over the years I’ve proudly seen her match wits with random museum curators in our travels from Berlin to LA. So for a proposal site I tracked down the present-day location of the cobble stoned Parisian street intersection from the painting. Sentimentality aside, was it the most romantic location in the city? Nope. But hey, it’s Paris, I’m sure even their DMV has seen a proposal or two. On a dewy Sunday at 6am I bent down on one knee and proposed. Jen cried, said yes, and promptly asked if I had received her parents’ permission. Then before the locals and tourists awoke, we sat on a park bench underneath the Eiffel Tower, excitedly talking about the life ahead of us. Act V: Huntington Beach, CA (November 11, 2016) Six years after initially meeting with the support of our parents, families, and friends, we had our dream wedding in my hometown. The Pasea Hotel, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was the destination for loved ones who traveled from India and South Africa to New York and Florida. Some even made the dreaded commute down the 405 from Los Angeles. But unlike some of them, I get to use the carpool lane now. Special Thanks to our wedding coordinators Ajita Chopra, assisted by Purvee Patel, who perfectly executed our vision. We’d also like to thank: event design by Shawna Yamamoto, videography by Avec Lumiere, photography by Braja Mandala, sound and lighting by 3D Sounds, food by Natraj, cake by Sweet n’ Saucy, hair and makeup by Dolled Up by Lulu, mehndi by Hinal Mehta. southasianbridemagazine.com 191


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ROSHNI + MUHAMMAD SAN FRANCISCO, CA // HARDY WILSON WEDDINGS + ANAIS EVENTS Roshni Mehra and Dr. Muhammad Nouh’s wedding was a multi-day cross-cultural affair over Memorial Day weekend in 2016. Kicking off with an outdoor mehendi party at an upscale country club to a civil ceremony at San Francisco City Hall followed by a Nikaah ceremony at the mosque, the celebrations concluded at the glamorous Fairmont Hotel San Francisco She works in Stanford donor relations and he is a Sports Medicine Physician. They met while in college at UC Irvine through mutual friends and were just friends for 4 years before they started dating. Roshni and Mu were had known each other almost 6 years by the time of the wedding. For the two of them, the most important aspect was to have their friends and family be there to celebrate with them. A meaningful ceremony, and a fun party. They wanted their guests to walk away having had a wonderful time. Self-described ‘dessert-ies’, they have a soft spot for the sweet stuff! A decadent dessert station was at the top of the must-have list, along with having close family and friends from all over the world be a part of the day and hearing their stories/ speeches. Here’s their love story in the bride’s own words: “Mu and I met in college at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. At first we didn't think anything of each other but quickly went from acquaintances to friends to best friends in just the first couple years and by the end of college we were practically inseparable. Although we were still just friends at that time! It wasn't until I graduated, moved back up to Northern California, and went on a family trip to Japan that Mu realized he had feelings for me. And strong ones at that! I returned from our trip to multiple voicemails of him saying he never realized how much he loved me until then and wanted me to be his girlfriend. I kind of brushed it off for a while and tried to tell him he had no idea what he was talking about and probably just missed me as a friend. Then I got a job that brought me back to Southern California and he was still going on telling me how much he loved me and would regularly ask me to be his girlfriend to which I would consistently laugh a no to. Until finally one day I got really sick and he was there to take such great care of me and melted my heart, so the next morning when he predictably asked me out, I agreed. Then fast forward 6 years later and we're married! And yes, him asking me to marry him was almost exactly the same process of him asking me to his his girlfriend; a lot of asking until finally I felt ready (he was telling everyone he was going to marry me from the second he asked me to be his girlfriend). Poor guy, he's definitely the most patient person I know. Our favorite part of the wedding planning process was most definitely the food selection (and specifically the dessert and cake selection for me)! We were also pretty excited to have our two families combine into one with the long weekend full of events. It was also a huge relief to know we were in good hands with the best planner in the business (Amrit), because we were the first in our family friend group to get married here so no one really knew what the protocol and details associated with putting together an Indian wedding in California looked like. Having Amrit's guidance through the various steps in the planning process was absolutely invaluable!’

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photographer // H ardy W ilson W eddings planner+florals // A n ais E vents music+enter tainment // W icked E ntertainment hair, makeup // GLAMA ngelique henna // N eeta S harma , M ehndi D esigner  favors // J ohn B owman invitations // F errous D esigns video // D avid S achs dance // H indu S wing , N amita K apoor catering, hospitality // F airmont H otel S an F rancisco venue // F airmont S an F rancisco southasianbridemagazine.com 201


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NADIA + ZAFAR LOS ANGELES, CA // SAMSON PRODUCTIONS + BRIDAL AND EVENT LOUNGE It really is a small world knowing how many near misses Zafar and Nadia have had. Their extended families had known each other for over thirty years but somehow they had never crossed paths. It was not until four years ago when Zafar’s cousin, Zena, hired Nadia to provide beauty services for an event, that she finally met Zafar. After the event, Zena and her brother Kabir decided to play matchmaker by telling Zafar to help carrying her makeup and hair case downstairs. It was in that moment something sparked between the two and that’s where their story began! We all wonder, how do you know he or she is “The One”? Nadia knew he was “The One”, when she thinks back to the day she had just gotten off work doing makeup and hair for a bride early in the morning and decided to wake Zafar up to join her for breakfast at IHOP. Being a software engineer he needed his sleep but decided to take the chance to see her. “I am not sure what it is about that morning, we just talked for hours long after breakfast was over, but when I left I just knew it was he I wanted to share all my stories with for the rest of my life”, she says. As for Zafar, it was not just one moment when he knew but a culmination of moments over time. “I can listen to her for hours talking nonstop about everything under the sun and I just sit there and listen, the smile I get from her at the end of those one-way conversations is priceless to me and makes it all worth it. Nothing is ever dull through her eyes”. The two agree that while being polar opposites and from two different cultures, Nadia a Pakistani and Zafar an Indian, they are a perfect fit for each other. While Nadia brings chaos and excitement into Zafar’s life, he brings stability and consistency into hers. Nadia’s work is a huge part of her lifestyle; being a beautician in California she almost never has a steady schedule and is always in a different place everyday despite her Studio location in Cerritos, CA. Even though Zafar had plenty of time to engineer her engagement ring, it made is hard for him to find the right time to propose to her in a memorable way. Only once before Nadia assumed Zafar was going to propose but that was a fluke, therefore when he decided to fulfill his promise and take her to Catalina Island she thought nothing of it. After a day full of activities such as Zip lining, Snubaing, and Ocean Kayaking, towards the end of the evening, he planned a romantic drive to a garden at Lover’s Peak. Taking the chance, Zafar got down on one knee and proposed to Nadia. According to him, it was a very “nice and private moment”. According to Nadia “ I still don’t know how to describe that moment and what I felt but it was unexpected and perfect” Atrina Mirza and Morgan Harris at Bridal and Event Lounge brought Nadia and Zafars vision to life! BEL handled all the production and coordination of their culturally fusion wedding! The Mehndi/Sangeet was Moroccan Inspired. The event was brought to life with pops of bright and exciting colors! From the gorgeous cabanas, to her Moroccan themed centerpieces, the event was flooded with vibrant and glowing hues of Purple, Gold, Orange, and Green. The Nikkah was all about class and elegance. Candlelight surrounded the entire room and the romantic feel was something you can only picture in movies. Pairing all decoration with a silver tone gave a very luxe feel to the ballroom. Nadia's vision came to life with her pops of cobalt blue draping and submerged floral centerpieces. Ceiling Draping & String Lighting provided the room with the perfect touch of airiness. The last day had finally arrived, now it's time to party and let loose to celebrate the amazing union of Zafar & Nadia. For the Reception the venue was incredibly gorgeous on its own completely draped with white linen and a LED dance floor, and we did not want to overpower the elegant and stunning decor. To bring in pops of color, tall black tower vases with cascading purple orchids were paired with the venue's existing. Simplicity was the way to go with this event, and the final product was flawless! While being opposites and from two different cultural backgrounds, Nadia and Zafar managed to bring a fun, loving atmosphere to their Indian/Pakistani wedding. These two merged their families together in a new relationship from the friendship it held for over 30 years. southasianbridemagazine.com 203


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photographer+video // S amson P roductions planner+dÊcor+rentals // B ridal and E vent L ounge dj // S pecial O ccasions LA makeup // N adia A li , H enn a D il S e henna // H enn a D il S e  hair // H air by F arah desser t // S angam P aan cake // S tacies S weet D esserts bride's reception wardrobe // A anchal venues // K not ts B erry F arm H otel (M ehndi S angeet ) C atelin a R oom R edondo B each (N ikkah ) R oyal B anquet H all (V alima )

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A MULTICULTURAL BRIDE Weddings are what every girl dreams of since they are young. We grow through so many fashion trends and style changes, but we eventually come across a fashion trend or wedding style that suits us. Every bride should be able to create her desired looks with meaning and have it all come together harmonically. A wedding can be a beautiful thing with your ideas and your beauty teams creativity to create something timeless, whether it is modern or traditional. Each look can express your heritage, using your family heirlooms and culture and making them come together. With the help of your beautician, you can create the perfect look though attire, makeup, hair and henna to honor all sentimental values that go into one’s wedding. Nadia Ali, owner of Henna Dil Se, did just that for her multicultural wedding. As a beautician for over 8 years, she has come across several brides who struggle to find a perfect balance between their culture and their fiancé’s. Whether it is an American/ Indian wedding or a Pakistani/Indian wedding, like hers, there are so many cultural clashes that each bride and groom need to work through to have a successful and fun event. Nadia’s fusion wedding had a unique element of its own which allowed her to create five very diverse styles of fashion for each of her major events; Arab, Panjabi, Afghan/Pashtun, Pakistani/Indian and Western/Modern. An Arab theme was used for her first wedding event, a Milaad. A prayer held to bring blessings on the bride and groom to be as well as their families. This theme was appropriate given the religious aspect of the event and the fact that her in-laws lived

in the Middle East for many years. Nadia chose a blue Moroccan Kaftan with a white head veil. A kaftan is a standard form of attire in the Middle East, which made it appropriate for this event. Her makeup style was kept bold and dazzling. While bringing depth and definition to her skin with subtle contour and bronzing to contrast the blue of her dress, she kept her face matte. She drew attention to her look with the use of bold black eyeliner and couture lashes, since Arab makeup is all about the eyes. She kept a natural colored gloss for her lips to work with the understated colors of her blush and highlighter. Since the hair is typically hidden under the Hijab, and she doesn’t wear one, curling it loosely with beach waves and allowing it to peek out from the veil and in the front of her face completed this sultry look. It was fitting for Nadia to incorporate a Panjabi theme for her Dholki since her mother’s side of the family is primarily Panjabi and her grandmother hosted this event. Panjabi bridal looks are rich and colorful therefore, Nadia chose a bright pink Anarkali with elaborate gold work with stones. Since the outfit was so vibrant in color, she kept her makeup glamorous yet soft with glittery golds and pinks. For this look she focused on creating a thick intricate braid with pearls. Instead of inserting individual pearls and hairpins to the braid, she used her mothers pearl necklace, which she had kept since childhood, and braided it into her hair. The jewelry she wore was also sentimental since her aunt made a custom floral set with artificial flowers matching her dress, providing a keepsake from this special event that will last forever. The Mehndi/Sangeet event is the most anticipated event of the

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wedding festivities and it was the most important to Nadia. Her event was a tribute to her father’s Pashtun culture. Her makeup was made up of dark, vibrant colors, which created a contrast against the several colors in her attire and décor. She opted for a dark purple smokey eye, accentuating the bottom eyeliner, and a wispy set of lashes. To create a glow from within she coupled a natural highlighter in both liquid form and powder on her cheekbones. Instead of a bold lip she preferred a matte peachy lip color. Like traditional Pashtun bride she wanted to have individual braids. Her hairstylist, Farah Shaikh and she agreed to have big voluminous curls with the strands of individual braids framing her face, crafting a modern yet traditional style. Pashtun clothing, also known as Gand-E-Afghan, is a colorful three-piece dress with a semi long a-line top, loose pants and a veil. They usually consist of 5 colors; gold or silver thread work and a lot of mirrors. She designed a lehnga that had 5 colors with the traditional Pashtun embroidery work and several mirrors on the top, skirt and veil. To bring this entire ensemble together, Nadia wore traditional Pashtun metal jewelry called Kuchi jewelry, completing her most favorite wedding look. On the day of the wedding nothing should be less than perfect! Nadia immediately expressed her dislike of a bold red lipstick on herself and how that was a struggle for her during her Pakistani bridal look. She found a middle ground by lining her lips with a deep red color and adding a nude-pink gloss over it. Doing this allowed her to still look like herself and not overdone. For the big wedding day she wore a bright red, Pakistani style maxi dress with a skirt that was adorned with swarvoski crystals and 3 shades of gold embroidery. Her jewelry, which was designed by her mother, included a tikka (center head piece) as well as a jummar (side head piece). Farah took into consideration the bridal jewelry creating a hairstyle. She created an intricate up-do, teasing it in the right areas for the heavy veil setting, as well as allowing the jewelry to be visible. Nadia and Farah both strongly suggest keeping your updo in the center-top of your head and not low or near the nape of the neck. You want the veil to look event and not feel heavy. A red dress, gold jewelry and a glowing appearance are all staples in every Desi wedding. At last the reception event is here and after all that hard work and many days of beauty makeovers, this is the day where Nadia implemented a modern concept to her ensemble! Her mother in law always wanted to see her daughter in law wearing white on the wedding day. Since Nadia chose a traditional red dress for the wedding, this gave her the perfect opportunity to honor her mother in laws desire. They chose a one-piece beaded gown in white with cutouts in the arms and a medium length train. It was

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the perfect combination of a timeless yet modern style, which turned out to be the most elegant of her wedding dresses. She chose to have a trendier style of makeup for this grand event and went for a silver cut-crease with baby pink lips. Because the dress was white it was important to use more color for the makeup. Farah mastered a beautiful updo, keeping few strands loose in the front; she pulled back the hair creating a cascading ponytail with body and curls that lasted all night long. Nadia wore an elegant diamond set and, for her headpiece, she selected a swarvoski crystal headband. She completed her attire with a fullbodied crinoline under the dress, which not only helped with the weight but also provided a ball gown effect making her feel like a princess all night long. Besides the perfect ensemble, brides often struggle with their henna and nails. Each henna design should be created and chosen with the idea of complimenting your hands and it should be meaningful. Being a henna expert who has decorated hundreds of hands and feet for brides, it was a challenge to for Nadia to create her own pattern and was something she dwelled on for months. Her wedding was the first time she was going to have henna applied on her feet and legs which made it all that more stressful, yet rewarding. She concentrated on creating a design that was going to elongate her hands but more importantly would highlight her hand jewelry. Her hand jewelry was a creation of the first ring her father gave her mother modified with a chain taken from the necklace her grandfather gave her mother turning it into a delicate ring-bracelet. With a dark henna stain and hand jewelry it is wise to be mindful of the color you use on your nails to avoid an unattractive combination. She wanted something timeless and class and decided to apply a ombre French tip to balance all of the beauty styles and colors of her wedding, effortlessly. Of course, every woman has been dreaming about her perfect wedding since she was a little girl. A wedding is the single most important day in a woman’s life. However, sometimes it is hard to get the wedding you want when you have to keep in mind not only your desires but also the desires of your parents and fiancé. As a woman from multiple cultural backgrounds, Nadia had to research a lot in order to find the perfect looks for her. As a beautician in the South Asian Wedding Industry and the owner of Henna Dil Se, She has had the honor to help many brides create their picture perfect wedding look by incorporating their culture, fashion, preference in style, and anything else that they want! As a bride who was able to attain the perfect wedding, she continues helping other brides achieve diversity and beauty in their picture perfect bridal ensemble.

photography // DSA P hotography by D eepicka M ehta hair // H air by F arahs makeup // N adia A li , H enn a D il S e nails // T he N ail S hop decor // L uxxed E vents venue // C rowne P laza R edondo B each

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KINGS & QUEENS photography // JSK P hotography wardrobe // W ellgroomed D esigns I nc henna // N eeta S harma , M ehndi D esigner hair, makeup // R ukhsana ' s B eauty P alace jewelry // T he L ost B angle models // M ahip , M anvir , R aghbir , T risha southasianbridemagazine.com 213


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A PRINCESS

Tea Party photography // L'A telier L umière I nternational P hotographie planner // B iji P lanners decor+floral // GPS D ecors hair, makeup // B eauty C oncept by S hirley W u cake // F ine C akes by Z ehra stationary // T he P aper B outique wardrobe // W ell G roomed I nc graphics & floor // D esigner D ance F loors venue // E mbassy G rand C onvention C entre model // P uneet G ill


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RANITI CARDS

Custom Invites . Boxed Invites . Laser Cut Invites Acrylic invites . Table Cards . Place Cards Sweet Boxes . Ceremony Programs . Menu cards

www.RANITI.com info@raniti.com 331.472.4979 / 574.520.9801


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SETTING THE SCENE Location scouting Venue management SETTING THE FLOW Vendor management Event timelines Budget management SETTING THE ATMOSPHERE Design & Decor Entertainment Invitations & Stationery

Phone: 484-707-8307 | Email: info@shayosaevents.com | @ShayosaEvents


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photography // S hoot M e S tudios gowns // SVE legance jewelry // A merican D iamonds hair, makeup // L esonne B ridal models // A nnie ( red ) and H umberly ( gold )

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photography // P ooja A huja hair, makeup, stylist // T imsi M alhotra lehnga // S atya P aul emerald jewelry // T aal B outique topaz ring // D avid Y urman model // S heena M undra  228 southasianbridemagazine.com


photography // T ej D P hotography event design // P ink L ane E vents outfit // R amp R eady hair, makeup // V anity B ox B eauty S alon models // S abrina M ann , A nna D hillon

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photography // V elvet C heeks P hotography hair, makeup // R anjana P andey wardrobe // T hree S ons C ollections jewelry // S arini ' s C reations model // E smeralda C ampos


T he D estiny

photography // C astaldo S tudio P hoto & V ideo hair, makeup // & L ight H air and M akeup G roup by P riscilla M arie


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photography // S ana Z ulfiqar , A S mall S hut ter hair, makeup // K anchan K apadne , M eri S akhi C reations jewelry // S hailly G upta , T he S aloni C ollection outfit // R enuka R ajagopal , R iiti fashions venue // D olce H ayes M ansion 234 southasianbridemagazine.com


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photography // A noop B rar hair, makeup // S apphire S tudio jewelry // S imply P osh outfit // A man C outure decor // T op W edding D ecor C algary model // J asmine MK

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photography // M otion 8 films (D hiraj V erma & P reeti B ains ) makeup // H mbyharpreet (H arpreet C hima ) hair // SKM A rtistry (S avenna M ann ) wardrobe // T he S ilk K not (S usan N ijjar ) henna // M ehndidesigner (N eeta S harma ) jewelry // I ndiatrend decor // S ai D ecor (R avi B hade ) model // G agan M ahl 236 southasianbridemagazine.com


#PERFECTINGYOURDAY

Whether you're planning an intimate affair or a lavish wedding, Reema's unique eye and passion promises innovative concepts and flawless execution for your event. Providing the planning and coordination support you need and desire is truly our passion.   We offer an exclusive array of personalized services to deliver an invaluable peace of mind.  


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SWETA + SUKETU FLORHAM PARK, NJ // G+H PHOTOGRAPHY + ELEGANT AFFAIRS

”When you look for the right person, you always end up with the wrong one. But when you just sit by the corner and wait, he comes along and shares the corner with you.” It took Suketu and me two years to go on our first date despite living blocks away from each other. When he first asked me out for dinner I remember telling my best friend I was not sure about Suketu because he looked like any other handsome college frat boy. I answered no when he asked me out but soon changed my mind and called him. Our first date was one of the best nights I've ever had. He was completely opposite from what I expected and we connected right away. A week of dating and we knew we were going to end up together. We both immediately were in love but we held back as long as we could from saying it too soon. That didn't last very long and it didn't take much longer before our conversations started being about planning our future. Our emotions were moving so fast we tried to catch up by introducing each other to friends and family. That only brought us closer together and got us ready for our wedding! I found a new best friend who not only brings out the best in me but also inspires me to be the best version of myself. "Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite." Planning my wedding was an experience since I felt every emotion possible. It was difficult at times due to time restraints but the result was phenomenal. It took us 6 months to plan the wedding and every vendor we hired was exceptional. I always wanted an outdoor wedding and we visited close to 20 venues. I fell in love with Brooklake Country Club the minute I walked through the doors. The setting for a beautiful mandap with the lake in the background was exactly like I envisioned. The staff at Brooklake made sure the day was about me.  G&H were the best decision we made for wedding photography. We contacted 35-40 photographers and looked at approximately 5000 thousand pictures. It took us months to find a photographer since this was the most important vendor for us. G+H photography was recommended by a friend and we instantly loved all their pictures. Every wedding album by G+H was consistent with beautiful pictures. It took us 3 months to find her but we hired her the same day we saw their pictures. Outfits: Sabyasachi is one of my favorite designers and I knew instantly I wanted his lehenga for the ceremony. I wore Sabyasachi outfits for both my ceremony and reception. Each lehenga weighed close to 10 pounds but the best outfits I have ever worn. Hair and Makeup: Style by Susmita was recommended by my cousins who did her hair and makeup for her wedding 10 years ago. Susmita helped me select my outfits and jewelry for all my events. I met her 3 times before the wedding and she made me try on all my outfits to make sure they are perfectly fitted I receive endless compliments even to this day for my hair, makeup and outfits. Kevin is known as the best South Asian Wedding Videographer and now I know why. Kevin and Susmita took us to a park for aconcept shoot prior to us Sangeet and even after our wedding day. They made every attempt possible to deliver the best video. I recommend Kevin to every bride planning her wedding. You cannot hair a better videographer than Kevin.  Floral and Décor: Elegant affairs had an amazing eye for detail and understood our vision. They brought our dreams to life. We requested a huge madap so our bridesmaids, grooms men and immediate family can sit on the mandap with us. They made this possible with a huge pentagon mandap with the lake as our back drop.  As a bride, my vendors made sure I felt like I was a princess. When I walked into my reception, I was the happiest person alive. My wedding day will always be the most memorable and best day of my life.  southasianbridemagazine.com 239


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photographer // G+H photography decor+floral // E legant A ffairs wedding planner // A votre S er vices makeup+hair // S tyle by S usmita wedding/reception outfit // S abyasachi baraat // E quishare B aarat H orses venue // B rooklake C ountry C l ub video // P acific P ictures southasianbridemagazine.com 243


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CRYSTAL + ERIC BOCA RATON, FL // GACIEL SANTANA PHOTOGRAPHY + SUHAAG GARDEN INC.

Eric and Crystal’s meeting was not a chance encounter. And, it certainly was not love at first sight. Well that depends who you ask. They say the best things are made with patience and persistence. Neither Crystal nor Eric knew it at the time, but they were about to blossom into a beautiful relationship, to be one with each other, a sense of completeness. With a lot of patience and persistence, they have built a strong foundation. Love is a different beast, one that cannot be tamed, but when two people love each other, nothing can stand in their way. Their paths become clear, the oceans part and the world opens unto itself. From the moment Eric laid eyes on Crystal he knew that his destiny lay with her. However she took some more convincing. Patience and persistence laid the foundations, but love cemented their relationship together. For about the first year of their dating, Crystal kept saying “have you met me?!” He did. And he loved every bit of it. He loved her for her crazy ways. She was bold and fearless. She spoke her mind and expected at some point, this has got to scare him off. And when it didn’t, well the pictures speak for themselves. Every picturesque wedding needs a picture perfect proposal, however Eric wanted it to be a private moment that only the two of them would share. For weeks he had been conditioning Crystal to wake up early and go for sunrise walks on the beach. Finally the date he had chosen was here. October 10th, 2015. Crystal, however had other plans, sleeping in that morning...His plans were stopped in their tracks! As such in life things do not always work out as intended, but nevertheless always for the best. The next morning, they woke up early and began their walk down the beach. A short ways down a white altar had been set up. Upon reaching this Eric asked Crystal to jokingly come join him, before getting down on one knee and making the most important decision of his life. He proposed to her on October 11th, 2015, underneath a white altar on the beach. Although intended to be private, the universe had other plans, and a random passerby captured their moment on her cell phone, a sweet gesture by an excited turtle volunteer! The wedding speaks a lot about Eric and Crystal. It was both It was simple and chaotic all at the same time. From the first time she went on a cruise with her family at 15, Crystal made the decision that she's going to get married on a boat. She had no idea who she was going to marry, or what she wanted, but she knew she wanted to have her wedding on a boat. The basis from which Crystal and Eric made their decisions were very simple, family. They were creating a celebration for their families. They knew how important this wedding was to each other and each other’s families and created such an agenda that resonated just that. It became a celebration of their respective cultures, food, music, every essence. Mehndi Night could have just as easily been dubbed Music Night as it featured music and performances lovingly performed by friends and family of the two. It featured eastern classical performed by Crystal’s Aunt, Uncle and their family who founded the East Indian Music Academy in Queens, NY and western folk by Eric’s Dad, sister and good friend. Crystal and Eric chose to perform their wedding - twice - because, well, why not? And, again, family. They came from two awesome families and wanted to perform the ceremony that was tradition to both. Having been raised Hindu and Bollywood, Crystal chose not to follow any trends and went traditional garb for the Hindu Ceremony and full Bollywood afterwards with the music, entertainment and food. The next night they cemented their vows again with a Jewish ceremony. Complete with handwritten vows to make the occasion unique and personal to them. They had the best of both worlds. And of course to make Crystal’s night complete, a party on a boat!

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photographer // G aciel S antan a P hotography decor+floral // S uhaag G arden I nc . wedding planner // T op N otch E vents & M an agement C ompany tents+rentals // S&J T ents & E vent R entals makeup+hair // B ewitched B eauty henna // H enn a by R eshmee djs // DJ W ild C hild , DJ R avi catering // M adras C afe , L ucky C ity I sland C uisines video // O rtiz F ilms venues // B oca R aton R esort & C l ub , G rand F loridian , C harter O ne Y achts southasianbridemagazine.com 249


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VIBHA + DAVID HOUSTON, TX // SASSANI PHOTOGRAPHY + ELECTRIC KARMA

David and I actually grew up down the street from each other, and went to the same elementary, middle and high school--we even rode the same bus for many years! However, we didn't actually meet until we went to a mutual friend's birthday party in College Station in 2011. The first thing I noticed about David was his sense of humor (those green eyes didn't hurt either), and we chatted for much of that evening. When we ran into each other in Austin a few months later, David thankfully did not let this chance occurrence go to waste. He took me out to dinner that weekend, and we've been dating ever since! Vibha grew up in Clear Lake just a street over from where I lived. Vibha quickly became pretty involved with tennis in middle school and high school, and continues to play as a hobby to this day. She attended the University of Texas for undergrad followed by UTMB for medical school in Galveston, TX and is going to be at Baylor in Houston for her pediatrics residency this year. When she's not saving lives or beating me at tennis, you can find Vibha trying new foods (mostly just sweet ones), at a local concert or napping. David grew up in Houston, TX with a fondness for video games and running cross country. Though he picked an average school in College Station to attend college (Hook ‘em) he then came to UTMB in Galveston for medical school and is now going to be at Baylor as well for Internal Medicine! David has lots of hobbies, including watching every random movie on Netflix, and a recent bout of whittling. He has even read over 50 books this year, just for fun. I decided to do it in Hermann Park in Houston, as the winter was mild and the weather was beautiful that week. On the Monday, December 28, I told Vibha that we were going to go and have lunch with our friends. As Vibha and I left her house that morning, you could tell there was an extra glow about her parents, as they were in on it and already excited. Vibha was thus far oblivious. As we headed to "lunch" I got a call supposedly telling me that lunch would have to be delayed as our friends were running late. I casually asked Vibha what she'd like to do for an hour. She suggested the Galleria, but I told her it would be too busy. Then she fortuitously suggested Hermann Park. After we parked, Vibha spotted some bikes and suggested a ride. At this point I think she began to get slightly suspicious as I vetoed the bikes and we continued the walk. As we walked up, I had a set of 10 pictures set out that each highlighted a moment or joke from our relationship. At this point Vibha began giggling uncontrollably and ignored most of my heartfelt and endearing commentary about each of the moments. As I finished, I got down on one knee and proposed. She said yes, after fighting through her continuing laughter. So many people tell you that your wedding will go by in a blur, and we had always doubted that at least to some degree, but our experience really felt like a whirlwind, despite preconceived notions. It started a full week before our actual wedding day with a small prayer ceremony at home. Friends and family gathered to bless us for our upcoming celebration. Thursday of the week kicked off with an at-home Mehndi where our extended families were able to meet for the first time, and the excitement for the weekend grew as people conversed and stories were shared. Our Sangeet on Friday night was absolutely amazing, with a Tuscan villa theme and many performances from close friends and family. We had a beautiful ceremony on Saturday morning with a baraat beforehand. David and the guests danced up a storm while our DJ kept up the hype despite the Houston heat. The reception was a perfect capstone to an amazing week. Our wedding would not have been what it was without our vendors, from the photographer and videographer, to the DJ, caterers and wedding planner, and to the décor and makeup artists who made the weekend so beautiful. We were so lucky to celebrate our marriage with family and friends and are beyond excited to begin our life together—starting with a honeymoon adventure to Spain and France! ​ southasianbridemagazine.com 251


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photographer // S assani P hotography planner // E lectric K arma dj+lighting // K arma DJ decor // M andap C reations makeup+hair // B l ush and G low henna // A nkita & U rmila horse // H ouston W edding H orse video // T all P roductions venues // C itadel , O mni southasianbridemagazine.com 255


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LEIDY + MICHAEL LOS ANGELES, CA // GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHY + NEETU EVENT DESIGNS

The happy couple met in December 2005 when Leidy came to visit Los Angeles for the first time. Michael had just finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Denver. He was back in Bradbury for the Holidays before he had to go back to work in San Diego. During that week, Michael showed her around and even watched "King Kong" with her, which was the blockbuster movie at that time. They became friends and would constantly keep in touch through MySpace, where Michael would steal all of Leidy’s reggaeton songs. Whenever Michael travelled to Philadelphia or New York to play Hockey, or visit friends, he would always spend time with Leidy. Every chance they had to meet up they would. In 2008 Leidy competed in Nuestra Belleza Latina and she and her girlfriend decided to move to Los Angeles. They said they were moving to LA for the weather but to this day Michael believes she moved to LA to be near him as he was in the Graduate program at USC. They officially started dating on August 3rd, 2008 while celebrating Leidy’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas.   Their strong bond has been forged through their many shared interests. Michael’s love of sports and Leidy’s fondness for travel has allowed them to explore the world together and be present at many exciting sporting events, including 2 World Cups, 2 Stanley Cups (Go Kings!) and The Summer Olympics in London. It is very important to both of them to experience different cultures and have adventures on their journeys together. You will not find them lying on the beach! Whether it was: •    Climbing the steps of the Great Wall of China •    Swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas •    Going on Safari in South Africa •    Snow-skiing at the indoor Mall of Dubai •    Walking back to the hotel in the rain through the streets of Paris •    Yachting around the Adriatic Seas  •    Dancing the Ibiza nights away •    Trying the different herbs and spices in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains •    Full Moon parties in Thailand .  Gorilla tracking in Rwanda     All these years of travel and adventure has strengthened their bond as a couple and increased their love for each other.  They are now ready for their biggest adventure of all- starting a family! Six and a half years of being together cumulated to one sunset in Krabi, Thailand. Michael snuck the engagement ring into his backpack as they headed off to Thailand, where it remained for 7 days. On January 5, 2015, they started their day at the beautiful resort at Rayavadee. They then travelled to the enchanting Phi Phi Islands where they experienced dramatic cliffs, emerald green water and white sand beaches. They spent the day cruising, they swam and snorkeled, and relaxed on the beach on beautiful Bamboo Island with a picnic. After returning back to the hotel Michael had set up a sunset dinner at The Grotto. The restaurant is nestled under an ancient limestone Cliff in the Phra Nang Beach. With Candles and flowers surrounding them, it was here that Michael dropped to one knee and proposed. Leidy unaware what was going on was in shock and couldn't believe after 6 and half years the relationship was ready for their next Journey.   southasianbridemagazine.com 257


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photographer // Y ogi P atel - G lob al P hotography design, planning & coordination // N eetu E vent D esigns decor+floral // R evelry event design , W ildflower L inens hair+makeup // O lga L ucia R odriguez lighting // A mbiance AV dj // DJ S corpio dancers // K armagraphy venue // F our S easons W estlake V illage video // I mpressive creations southasianbridemagazine.com 261


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Royal Romance

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photography // C esar C havez P hotography designer // S heri A utry planner // P ea to T ree makeup+hair // M ichele R enee T he S tudio jewelry // A lisha ' s C reations linens+tableware // G abriela B ueno calligraphy // S arah B ubar D esigns floral // I ndigo Z ebra D esigns , A1 F oliage venue // K apok S pecial E vents C enter & G ardens model // A diti , J anecia , M onica

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THE

GARDEN PRINCESS photography // R ob F utrell P hotography planning+design // A nokhi E vents  makeup // T iesha V A rtistry hair // B eauty by A nh  florals // J uli V aughn D esigns  dresses // F ormally Y ours  cake // C onfections P erfections chairs+tables // S and K D ecor  venue // S wan H ouse 

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TheMuse photography+production // H ershey , M emories S tudio design // W edding D esign bridalwear // C harisma D esigners S tudio groomswear // R ivesse by I shan S anghvi hair+mua // P ayal MUA  jewelry // U rban R ang B y E kta  stylist // C harishma P atel  models // P arminder , B ryan

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SADIA + MOIZ ORLANDO, FL // NSPG MEDIA + DREAMS TO REALITY FL This wedding turned out to be one of the best days of this young couple's life. This young couple love story starts at a Social gathering where a close family friend to both families introduces them to each other. Following that party, they quickly realized that they wanted to be in each other’s lives forever. With the blessings of both families, the couple started planning their dream wedding. After much planning and many trips, the final day came where the Groom & his family traveled from Orlando FL. to Pakistan for the wedding. With all the details set in place, The Brides family made sure everything ran smoothly. Seeing all their loved ones together in one place, celebrating in their native land of Pakistan was one of the most amazing moments for them. The design and detail of everything truly highlighted the love felt by the couple. Following the Ceremony, everyone traveled back to Orlando, where the bride Dream Come true valima event (Wedding reception) took place. Hosted at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, this was an evening no one will forget in quite some time. This venue gave the perfect backdrop. With the formalities of the wedding ceremony complete, it was time to truly relax and enjoy the Sunny skies of Florida and finalize the details for this unforgettable occasion. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress was the perfect backdrop for this majestic and royal event. Designer Mahjabeen Memon from Dreams To Reality styled the ballroom with an exquisite Red couch and fabulous designer wall, creating the perfect stage for Sadia & Moiz. Sadia anxiously prepared herself for the final night of her dream wedding.  Sadia stunning makeup was perfectly applied by Lea Montes. Her look was complete once she slipped into her gown. With The trend of Pakistani valima Dresses for brides is facing many changes. Sadia decision came down to getting a dress that made her feel like a queen, and that exactly what she felt when she put on her blush pink with gold accent dress and Navy blue trimming.  Moiz’s chose to wear a fitted charcoal gray suit with a silk charcoal gray bowtie. “Sizler” a local Indian & Pakistani restaurant catered the event. The guests enjoyed every minute of this valima.  "Event is Me" looked over all the last minute detail of the event working closely with Designer Mahjabeen to create this couple's dream come true reception. “We will relive this magic moment in heart forever Sadia & Moiz”. southasianbridemagazine.com 279


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photographer // NSPG MEDIA design+decor // M ahj abeen M emon , D reams to R eality FL day of coordination // E vent is M e makeup // L ea M ontes caterer // S abri , C hicago video // NSPG MEDIA venue // H yat t R egency G rand C ypress

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HARVEEN + RAMAN LOS ANGELES, CA // SHIVALRY PHOTOGRAPHY + KISMET EVENT DESIGN I met Raman about 7 years ago at the gurdwara. At the time, I didn't think much about it. About 3 years later Raman and I reconnected over social media. Raman being in LA and me being in NY, it seemed like my fascination would be limited to his Instagram account, though I found him adorable! One day Raman was in NY so we decided to meet up for what was supposed to be a casual dinner! Our conversation was endless and we were ushered out of the restaurant upon closing. From that one dinner, I knew I found my Prince Charming! If I had to describe Raman it would be one of a kind. I'm blessed to be able to call him mine forever! In the four years till our wedding, we had a long-distance relationship, which was challenging in its own accord. Raman and I spoke all the time over the phone and any chance that either of us got we would fly to see each other. Going back between NY and California was always an adventure. The both of us had talked about getting married often. Both Raman and I are traditional. So, when it came to get down to business our elders were very involved. Raman’s mom came to NY and asked for my hand in marriage from my family and a date was set for our Roka, February 13. Once the date was set for our Roka, Raman decided to propose. He had planned on surprising me for the proposal, but made one little mistake. Instead of texting the Photographer to set up a time and place to meet for the proposal, which he flew to NY for, he texted me. Believe me when I say I was shocked when I read the text, he quickly followed up with a phone call and apologized and told me he was doing his friend a favor and tried to find him a photographer for his engagement shoot. That was also the moment where he decided he need to move up the proposal. On January 28th, a beautifully chilly day in NY, Raman Proposed. With me living in NY and Raman in California. Our wedding was a coast to coast celebration. The Wedding events quickly followed, with the Roka, Sangeet and wedding ceremony all in NY. Followed by the Wonderful reception in Los Angeles. Raman’s mom and Geetika were well acquainted from before, and aunty brought on Geetika Judge as the coordinator. She was nothing but amazing and really guided Raman and his family through the quick planning process. They picked the Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey as the Venue. The venue was a beautiful place and a perfect backdrop for the Reception and could not be beat. With Ballroom overlooking the Beautiful Pacific Ocean, the scene was set for a romantic evening that no one could forget. Geetika also introduced Raman to Kismet Event Design. Saadia Kibriya, was the head designer and truly helped us bring the vision that. Although Saadia and I had never met, Saadia truly grasped my vision for the Reception and helped bring it to life. As the guests stepped foot onto oversized dancefloor with the Planked with beautiful gold chandelier tables and a stage that dripped with crystal chandeliers and falling rose heads, it took my breath away. No detail was overlooked. The centerpieces, were amazing, with accents of cherry blossoms, which meant a lot to us as a couple since we Honeymooned in Japan. Saadia and Geetika came up with a unique table layout. The tables even had hanging chandeliers, with roses. Raman and I had a huge sweet tooth, so we decided to end the night with a dessert ROOM, forget a table. We included desserts like cakes, pastries and nitrogen Ice Cream and gelato. This reception was everything I could think of and more. We would love to thank all our vendors, especially Geetika Judge and Saadia Kibriya of Kismet Events for making my wedding one out of my dreams. It was all beyond perfect. southasianbridemagazine.com 283


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photographer // S hivalry P hotography decor+floral // K ismet E vent D esign planner // G eetika J udge dj+lighting // 3D sounds makeup // A ngelique T urner bridal outfit // F rontier D ehli rentals // P alace party rentals video // I mpressive C reations singer // A mar S andhu venue // T he R itz C arlton , M arin a del R ey southasianbridemagazine.com 285


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SHELLY + SUNNY GREENVILLE, SC // DEREK WINTERMUTE PHOTOGRAPHY + ENVI EVENT PLANNING Sunny and I met ten years ago in Atlanta while he was visiting from California at a Bombay Lounge Party. We instantly had chemistry but I never thought this would be the man I would marry one day. We became close friends over the years although we were miles and miles apart. Eventually Sunny ended up moving to Atlanta and I was one happy gal! Of course, until the day he had to move back for a better job opportunity. I was pretty devastated as I didn't really know what would happen with our relationship. On April 9, 2016 I threw sunny a going away party. Little did I know, this would be the day Sunny asked me to be his wife! I was overwhelmed with joy, a little nervous of course but my heart told me yes! Immediately the day after came the wedding planning! Sunny was in California and therefore the entire wedding planning process was different than most couples and we planned our wedding in six months. However being that my sister has her own wedding planning company called Envi Event Planning and I was her sidekick for nine years, it was a breeze. I did not have to go for cake or food tastings, searching for photographers, djs, decorators, etc. I knew exactly who I wanted and called them right away to save the date.. Luckily, every vendor was available. Our theme for our wedding was LOVE and the theme song was Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay. Our main vision was to create a memorable and fun weekend for our family and friends. We chose to get married in Greenville, South Carolina at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Greenville. It was the perfect hotel and Jennifer was awesome to work with and so accommodating to all our needs. Being that ninety-five percent of our guests were traveling from out of town, our main goal was to have everyone stay at the hotel so no one had to commute. Our guests had restaurants, shops, entertainment and a beautiful waterfall within walking distance to the Hyatt. Marigold invites created fun welcome bags for our guest with key card holders and door hangers. Friday night was our mandvo/mehndi and we went for a moroccan theme. Ragini with Weddings InStyle created a teal dance floor, assortment of lanterns, fancy lounge area, beautiful umbrella with yellow dainty flowers and a candle lit backdrop. It was breathtaking and exactly what we imagined. Being surrounded by our families on this day and having them give us their blessings during the traditional ceremony was so special. We Go Disco had our guests on the dancefloor the whole evening along with Dholi P with old school bollywood and hip hop tunes. Thali had several live food stations going with fresh pizzas, dosas, fajitas and much more. Last but not least, the mendhi by Nikki was unique and beautiful. Saturday was a fairy tale in our eyes. Starting with my dream dress created by Image Boutique Shop. Surinder Aunty was so receptive to my vision and although I did not see my dress until the week of the wedding, I knew it would be over the top because of her. Samantha with Gunn Glamour and I had a blast while she did my hair and makeup! We were dancing and just having the best time ever! Derek with Derek Wintermute Photography was so patient and kind throughout the wedding weekend. He captured every special moment and we absolutely adore our pictures. Our videographer Stephen with Elevate Creations became such a close friend throughout the process and even helped out with other parts of the planning process. We had a live saxophone player performing the most romantic Bollywood classics and some of our other favorite songs to our wedding entrance and again during cocktail hour. Ragini with Weddings InStyle created the most simple yet elegant decor that we dreamed of for the wedding and reception. Our blended Christian/Ismaili ceremony left our guests speechless. Our reception was magical and we did not want our wedding weekend to end. From the delicious food by Thali and Dinesh Catering, an assortment of amazing six hundred desserts made by Picasso Cakes by Celso, the music and lighting by Prime DJ's, the party favors by Robot Photobooth, everything about our ceremony and reception was beyond perfect. Every moment was so magical that we just didn’t want the festivities to end. Sunny and I are so thankful to our parents for their support during the process and so thankful for having so many family and friends travel from near and far to share in our big day. Thank you to my big sister Nadira for helping me keep everything organized and having the Envi Team there the day of to make sure everything was on time and going smoothly. southasianbridemagazine.com 287


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photographer // D erek W intermute P hotography planning // E nvi E vent P lanning decor // W eddings I n S tyle by R agini P atel planner // E nvi E vent P lanning dj sangeet // W e G o D isco | R ohit B. dj ceremony, reception // P rime DJ' s | S ahil K hair+mua // G unn G lamour

henna // B eauty Y ou D eser ve by N ikki invitations+stationar y // M arigold I nvites wedding jewelr y // K iian J ewelers bride and bridesmaids outfits // I mage B outique S hop by S urinder B edi cake // P icasso C akes by C elso video // E levate C reations catering // D inesh C atering , T hali R estaurant venue // H yat t R egency D owntown G reenville

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photography // P eter N guyen P hotography planning // W edding S tore 24 styling+execution // P lanning E legance wardrobe // M anshaa & JJ V alaya hair+mua // B eauty B y L ishma  jewelry // J as & P al   models // A mi R awal D esai , J aanu P atel , M ichelle K hare


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sparkling *glittering photography // R ahul R ana P hotography planning+coordination // E vents by C decor // Y aadein W eddings makeup+hair // S tyles by S wati white gown // G lobal B ridal G allery jewelry // B angle B ox model // A nkita P atni venue // T he M ayflower H otel , W ashington DC


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THE BOHEMIAN SUNSET photography // MP S ingh P hotography hair + makeup // L illy ' s B eauty W orld designer // S ara D esign S tudio by R ashi models // S ukhpreet S hergill , L ena G hamrawi

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ADIHA + WASI HOUSTON, TX // NADIA D. PHOTOGRAPHY + ELITE EVENTZ Noor Aag. The combination of two uniquely powerful energies. A kingdom created from light and fire. With planning our wedding, I always dreamt of creating a story. I love creative writing and all that passion for creation was alive in my wedding as I created my unique story. In this story, I made my husband a representation of light. When I first met Wasi, he spoke a lot about the power of light, the spiritual light of the heavens - he aimed to inspire and enlighten others. “Every inch of him mesmerized her, sparkling, shimmering, illuminating newfound truths.” I’ve always been intrigued by fire. Ironically, when Wasi first met me he felt like I brought an edge - a fire - into his life. “Her body was a dazzling blaze of orange and red and gold. All the flames surged synchronously, hypnotizing him entirely.” As we sat down with our wedding planner, Erica Gordon, to get started with finding our wedding “theme,” Noor Aag came to the surface because together it represents not only our combination of energies, but also the name of the envisioned empire in our story. Our royal kingdom in real life ended up being our wedding venue, the San Luis Resort in Galveston, TX. Our Mehndi reception took place in the large Galveston Convention Center. The Mehndi night was ironically also my birthday and it became a powerful celebration of the Aag (fire) component of our duo. We welcomed guests into our ‘Wings of Fire in the Night of Aag’ that evening. One of the most dramatic ways to create impact with the fire theme was primarily through décor. I had a really strong vision for the Mehndi décor that was difficult to communicate because it strayed away from traditional South Asian styles. Thankfully, Sheila Burki was able to take on my unconventional vision and help bring it to life. We created a fiery winged backdrop for our stage and kept the expansive hall dark during my entrance with expansive candle work lining the runner passageway. Live fire torches lined the passageway for my dramatic entrance; the visual effect of this in the dark with my entrance to “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys was mesmerizing. Tables were also arranged into long staggered rows with brilliant candle rows, to make multiple “long rows of fire.” I chose clothing of a vibrant orange with a flaring design and Wasi wore a fiery red to be reminiscent of our fire theme. Clothing and jewelry were custom designed by Zahida Khalid of Bridals N’ More. I actually employed a special effects designer, Kelly Hofer, for my dress to create an LED belt that could be worn under my dress to give it a “girl on fire” effect. My mom sewed LED candles also over the top of a dupatta to give me as much fire as possible as it was carried over me during my entrance. In addition to that, my parents surprised me with a fire dancer as part of the entertainment during the night of fire. One of the most beautiful ways the fire theme worked into our wedding was through photo/video with the incredible duo of Jose Ortiz Cinematography and Nadia D Photography. They found an empty massive dark hall before the Mehndi event commenced and created a visually stunning and dramatic fire concept shoot, complete with a fire dancer. The second day we celebrated the Ceremony and the Wedding Reception with Noor (light) and welcomed guests into our ‘Enchanted Forest in the Night of Noor’. For décor we relied heavily on nature, creating a starlit forest with sparkling lights, trees and candles in the Grand Ballroom of the San Luis. The ceremony was perhaps my favorite of them all because it overlooked the everlasting shimmering ocean. What better way to celebrate light than by looking out at a sparkling ocean near sunset? All clothing and jewelry was custom designed by Zahida Khalid. My Shaadi outfit was light gold and covered with intricate crystal work. My husband’s clothing was sewn from the same fabric, and our outfits were reminiscent of the royal Mughal era, transforming us into the king and queen of our own kingdom of Noor Aag. To emphasize the theme of light, I had our designer use a fiber optic fabric from the company Lumigram to create a glowing trail to my dress. We also employed special effects and pyro during our reception with the Phoenix design group. Some of our indoor fireworks were coordinated to go off while I sang for Wasi my version of “Run” by Snow Patrol during the phrase “Light up, light up…” near the end of the reception. Without my parents and their support I know none of the creative visions my husband and I had for the wedding could have ever come to life. With their support , the support of our amazing vendors and with my unconventional theme, we were able to create a celebration that made my fictional story into a vivid, living, radiant reality. There are so many more details about our special weekend I would love to share, so if you would like to learn more about our story please visit http://wasikiadiha.ontrapages.com to follow us and be the first to find out when we go live. southasianbridemagazine.com 305


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photographer // N adia D. P hotography planner // E lite E ventz decor // S heila B urkhi D esign and D ĂŠcor video // J ose O rtiz F ilms makeup+hair+henna // B erkha R K hokhar , A sma H aq , F ashion F ace T eam cake // C akes by G in a dj // DJ M asti caterer // C hef AJ and T eam at T he S an L uis R esort venue // T he S an L uis R esort

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LISHA + ROMY CHICAGO, IL // R.A.G ARTISTRY + ELEGANCE DECOR Romy and I met in Philly while I was on a rotation and he was completing graduate school. A mutual friend introduced us since I was moving to this new city and didn’t know anyone there. Our relationship started off as a friendship which helped us create a strong base and allowed us to really get to know each other.  I ended up moving back to Chicago and we both had to start a long distance relationship, something we had never done before. Although it really tested our relationship for a while, in the end it made us stronger. Before we knew it, we were meeting each other’s parents and talking a whole lot about our future together.   In May of 2015, we took a trip to Turks and Caicos. He proposed on the beach as we were watching the sun set. At first I wasn’t really expecting anything since we would try to take a trip every year to spend some time together so this was just our annual trip. However, I could tell he was just a little on edge this time. He ended up proposing a couple days earlier than he had planned because he was so anxious! Needless to say, it ended up being the most memorable trip we ever took! The wedding planning process was definitely difficult as Romy was in another state and couldn’t make it back for most of my vendor meetings. I ended up going to a lot of the meetings alone or with my close friends.   Choosing Elegance Décor was the best decision I ever made. More than anything I think it’s important to find vendors who you can trust. I knew that this wasn’t just a job for them, it was their passion. There were so many times they would go above and beyond my expectations, doing things even before I asked them to do it.  In terms of décor, they turned our venue into a place that only exists in fairytales! For the sangeet, we wanted to keep it fun and lively, yet still traditional. We had mirrored elephants and umbrellas, as well as multicolored backdrop and tablecloths. For the wedding I wanted an ethereal feel and I was blown away by the GORGEOUS flowers, especially the fresh floral chandelier hanging from the ceiling of our mandap! All of our guests were in awe as they entered the ballroom. I wanted a romantic feel with lots of candles for the reception. Elegance Décor custom made a tree which would hold hundreds of candles and it was the center of a lot of our guests’ pictures.   Romy is really into photography so naturally the job of picking our photographer was given to him. Immediately, he knew he wanted Rachael with RAG artistry. It's no surprise that she is one of the most creative and talented photographers, but what we loved the most about her was how down to earth and fun it was to work with her. I was especially worried about Romy who is very shy in these situations, but she made us both feel very comfortable and calm even though we were on like 1 hour of sleep! We are in love with our photos and can't wait to decorate our house with them!   Knowing our family’s love for food, picking our caterer was an important decision. We were thrilled to work with Gaylord Cuisine as they weren’t afraid of new suggestions and ideas. At the tasting, we were able to modify each dish to our tastes and even modify to how we wanted each dish to be presented. Til this day, we still have guests raving about how much they enjoyed the food!   Our multi-event wedding couldn’t have been planned without the help of our dream team of vendors. All of our vendors put in a lot of hard work and delivered more than we had imagined, from our event coordinator Sayira who helped run the wedding effortlessly to Mirar video who created our beautiful same day edit film to our DJ Sunny Singh who kept 650 people dancing all night long! Last but not least, we cannot thank our family enough for their help throughout this process. Their love and support enabled us to fulfill all our wishes and have the wedding of our DREAMS! southasianbridemagazine.com 311


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photographer // RAG artistry decor // E legance D ecor planner // S ayira K hokhar dj // S unny S ingh hair+makeup // H iral V yas cake // B aking I nstitute caterer // G aylord F ine I ndian C uisine video // M irar productions

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ANKIT + PREKSHA NEW YORK, NY // JAY SETH PHOTOGRAPHY + RB EVENT DESIGN

A long long time ago, in the far away land of Queens, NY, a boy named Ankit and girl named Preksha walked into the same 6th grade home room class not knowing that their childhood friendship would turn into so much more. It all started in social studies class when they were tasked to do a project about the ancient Egyptians. Ankit turned around and looked right into Preksha's big geeky glasses and asked her if she would want to do the project with him. At first she thought that he would make her do all the work while he goofed around but it turned out he put in just as much effort as she did. Preksha brought her two least favorite Barbie and Ken so they could mummify them and Ankit brought all the supplies to make it happen. As there middle school years went on they enjoyed going to movies, ice skating, playing at the park with their friends and each other. As time went out they realized that their friendship wasn't like the ones they had with their other friends - it was different. At that age they were too young to realize the depth of love. You just have crushes at that age. Middle school graduation came quickly and they both parted ways to different high schools. Preksha started to feel that she really missed seeing Ankit every day. On days when it snowed she ironically missed Ankit chasing her with snowballs and on summer days she missed him soaking her with water bottles. They kept it touch but it wasn't like before, they were true teenagers now. They would still see each other and hang out with friends but it wasn't like before. Like middle school, high school flew by quickly and it was time for prom. Preksha decided with her friends that they would all go as friends and enjoy the night. Only two weeks prior to prom - Preksha got a call from Ankit who explained to her that he wasn't going to his prom. She told him she was going to hers but with her friends. He said great I'll come with you. After graduations things changed. The distance grew more and more. You see all fairy tales take time. Years passed and they were both growing and learning about themselves. Almost 5 years passed and they were apart. They would always remember each other - whether it was random phone call or purposely seeing each other to catch up. As they became adults they realized that being apart was not an option. They were 28 now - everything had changed except for one thing and that thing was their bond. As someone once said "Distance is to love as wind is to fire, it extinguishes the small and kindles the great. It was a warm summer night Ankit invited Preksha over to have a glass on wine on the roof of his building. She hesitated - thinking how could they after all these years have anything in common, but something in her always gravitated towards him and she agreed. Summer turned into fall and fall turned into winter. That one date turned into hanging out 2 or 3 times a week to moving in together and traveling the world in a short 8 months. They realized they had so much in common still. They both loved to travel, find yummy eats, and discuss anything under the sun. A year passed, full of fun and laughter. It was their anniversary and Ankit knew how much they both loved to be on the water so he reserved 2 tickets to Bateaux dinner cruise in NYC. After a delicious dinner Ankit asked Preksha if she wanted to go out to the deck of the yacht, she agreed and they both stepped out to the desk. It was a clear September night and all of the nyc skyline was lit. The boat started to turn to go back to the pier and as she looked up she saw a huge lit up sign that said "will you marry me?� She was in shock it couldn't be for her - they hadn't even talked about a ring! But there he was down on one knew with a beautiful sparkling ring. The proposal was magical and Preksha soon realized that it was all their friends and family holding up the "will you marry me?" sign. They ended that night dancing the night away at Park lounge. Ankit didn't spare anytime, the next morning he asked Preksha "So when and where do you want to get married?". And so it started... The only venue they liked had only one date available and that was only 8 months away. As many of you know 8 months is short when you have to plan a 350 person wedding but with the help of their talented wedding planner, RB event design they were able to have their dream wedding. Their venue was the beautiful Hyatt on the Hudson with a backdrop of the New York skyline. That morning Preksha came out to her balcony and could see all the preparations being made for the ceremony. The mandap was full of soft pink and white roses, it was truly enchanted. Since the 6th grade she was looking forward to her wedding day. Everything was exactly how she dreamed it to be, she was marrying her soulmate with a backdrop of the city they grew up in, surrounded by all their family and friends. That day on May 21st, 2016m could not have been any more perfect. southasianbridemagazine.com 317


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photographer // J ay S eth P hotography floral+decor // E legant A ffairs planner // RB E vent D esign hair+mua // K anwal B atool dj // BWD E vents (B ollywood DJ s ) caterer // B ukhara G rill video // WTR F ilms 

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KAMELA + RICHARD PUNTA CANA, DR // I ALAM PHOTOGRAPHY + I DO DESTINATION WEDDINGS

In May 2001, we were both hired at CNA Insurance (now The Hartford) and we were in the same training class. We became friends and remained friends for years, until we started dating in December 2012. One day Rick said he was planning a surprise weekend getaway, but told me to come over Thursday (June 18, 2015) evening as he made dinner plans. I arrived at his home and we left for the restaurant, 4th Street Bar and Grill. He said we were early so we had time to walk around. As we walked, he then stopped by the water and went down on one knee. He was nervous but sincere as he told me how he felt and what he wanted. He proposed and I said yes! He then said let’s enjoy dinner before we announce it and start texting family and friends. I agreed and we walked to the restaurant. As we headed to our table, I saw both our parents standing there with big smiles. This was the first time our parents met each other. Our engagement dinner with our parents was very special to me and will always be a favorite memory. I was leaning toward a destination wedding but I also wanted to have a Hindu Ceremony. In a bridal show I met Gyna Herrera from I DO Destination Weddings and Noelia Gisbert from Proficient Travel. My mom and I sat with Gyna for 30 minutes and that’s when I knew a destination wedding was the right decision. Gyna worked with me from that day forward. Based on what I was looking for, Gyna recommended a few locations that are experienced in Hindu Ceremonies. Rick and I selected Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana as our venue for our destination wedding and it was perfect, we couldn’t have selected a better location. We had a White Welcome Party the night before the Hindu Ceremony. All the guests wore white. We had the henna artist setup in a corner, while others mingled over cocktails, appetizers, and hookah and dance the night out to 80’s, 90’s, Top 40, Old School Reggae and Soca music. Everyone received a welcome bag that included an itinerary of events for the wedding ceremonies. The Hindu Ceremony took place on the beach at 3pm. The mandap was elevated on a white stage and decorated with red, orange and pink fabric, with gold tiffany chairs for the parents and white lounge chairs for us. Red aisle runner was in the middle leading to the mandap. We also had 2 white/pink tents over the guest seats. Red fans were placed on each seat which described the different steps in the wedding ceremony. We also had a bar setup for water, fresh juice, and soda. During the ceremony we played Indian Wedding instrumental and Classic Bollywood. The following day was the Symbolic Ceremony which took place at the Garden. Our ceremony décor was as follows: White 3 fold ceremony structure with curtains of sparkling tear drops hanging from each panel, white chiavari chairs with white cushions, white colored ceremony podium with a champagne colored cylinder vase filled with Calla Lilies and a smaller champagne colored square vase filled with football mums, white columns lining the aisle with a floral sphere of football mums and an Ivory colored aisle runner. We had a violinist played before and after the ceremony. Following the Symbolic ceremony, we had a Reception Dinner at a rooftop location outdoors. Our reception tables décor was as follows: White chiavari chairs with ivory cushions and gold caps, gold table cloths , 3-piece floral centerpiece per table 1 large champagne colored square vase with 15 Roses and 2 champagne colored square vases with 1 floating Rose, white napkins with a brown beaded napkin rings, pewter colored charger plates and votive candles. We also had a stage with lighted dance floor for dancing. For our first dance we danced to: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. For our Father/Daughter & Mother/Son we danced to Count on you by Bruno Mars and the Last Dance​w as Party Done by Angela Hunte & Machel Montano. Every event was beautiful and looked better than I could imagine. Every detail was taken care of with the help of our onsite wedding coordinator and staff at Hard Rock. Our wedding was absolutely beautiful from start to finish and everything went smoothly thanks to our wedding planner, our travel agent, our onsite wedding coordinator and all the staff at Hard Rock. We highly recommend anyone considering a destination wedding to look into Hard Rock, where dream weddings come true. We feel that a destination wedding is the way to go! It was much easier to plan, less work, less stressful and more fun. One of the most precious thing about a destination wedding is the fact that all of our guests – bride and groom’s friends and family are all on the same resort for a few days allowing both parties to mingle, really get to know each other and bond. southasianbridemagazine.com 321


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v e n d o r s

photographer // I A lam P hotography floral+decor+catering // H ard R ock H otel & C asino P unta C an a , DR planner // I DO D estin ation W eddings travel agency // P roficient T ravel I nc . hair+mua // R ema G opal , A sh K umar henna // N avi J haj , A sh K umar invitations // W edding P aper D ivas venue // H ard R ock H otel & C asino P unta C an a , DRÂ

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www.landmarkresidences.com

Luxury Destination Wedding Management + DesignÂ

Photo by Salwa Photography 324 southasianbridemagazine.com

Contact:Â 612.877.0897

www.manimela.com


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photo credits: alik photography and marcin moka photography.

Experience Exceptional 2 7 0 0 AU D L E Y R D. N O RT H , A J A X , O N L 1 Z 1 T 7 ( 9 0 5 ) 4 2 7 - 7 7 3 7 E X T: 3 0 0 • E V E N T S D E E R C R E E K . C O M southasianbridemagazine.com 327


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DAYDREAMING OF A DESTINATION WEDDING?

Call your Destination Wedding Specialists at Working Brides.

888.858.2326

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Image courtesy of Inbal More Photography


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The Annual Edition 2017  

South Asian Bride Magazine

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