Charming Marathi-Kerala Country Wedding

Vruchi & Shankar

Snapshot

With surprise proposal planned to the tee, a graphics designer bride and a couple who love trying new things, Vruchi and Shankar’s country wedding was destined to be a little different. The celebrations kicked off a with a boho-chic Hai Chai (we love the name!) with an Indian country twist. The setup transported guests to a typical Indian village with a cafe setting brought to life with filmy one-liners in bright Indian kitsch artwork, quirky painted bottles, kites, auto-rickshaw cutouts and our favourite – khatiya seating for that authentic touch. The couple brought their rockstar game to the event with their glamorous-bohemian outfits in elecrtifying colours. For their pre-wedding events, Vruchi and Shankar payed homage to their cultural roots. We then travel to Sydney’s Southern Highlands for an intimate traditional Hindu wedding ceremony set among the country charm of Bendooley Estate. A chic reception followed at the estate’s iconic Book Barn where Vruchi and Shankar dined and danced the night away with their closest friends and family. Each event celebrated their personality through personalised DIY touches with an authentic Indian edge that will leave you wanting for more.

About The Couple

How we met

Shankar: We were both part of an Indian club at university. We became friends through a few of the theatrical, and dance performances we did together. We used to drop each other home after rehearsals since we lived nearby. After a few years of knowing each other well, as they say – friendship turned into love.

How we are as a couple

Shankar: We are crazy – we are absolutely crazy! We make fun of each other, have silly nicknames, and always love each other’s company. We enjoy simple things like a nice coffee, exploring, and venturing out and oh garlic sauce from Al Azeels! We love food! The way I am with Vruchi is how I am when I am by myself – I can be myself around her, and she loves me anyway. Score! We are both really family-oriented, and we do just about anything for our friends.

Vruchi: We said our ‘I love you’s’ on our very second date. This tells you we are cheesy, super romantic and absolutely adore each other. That doesn’t mean to say we don’t fight or that we don’t have our own strong opinions though. If there was an overarching theme to us as a couple, it would be ‘exploring’. We are mesmerized by new places, we love to try new cuisines and restaurants. We aren’t afraid of trying something that is out of our comfort zones.

What marriage means to us

Shankar: Getting to spend the rest of my life with the person that makes me the happiest.

Vruchi: Being married means that no matter what, even if we are wrong, especially when we are wrong, we have each other, every time.  And that if he’s hurt, I’m strong, and if I’m sick, he’s well. When he’s made us lose the way, I’ll find a way out and when I’m sad, he’ll save the day.

The engagement ring

Shankar: Vruchi wasn’t ever subtle in letting me know what ring she wanted. She had given me numerous hints that she loves a princess cut ring. So I had a good starting (and an end) point to work with. I took my best friend’s help for this since he had recently proposed to his girlfriend (now wife). I started the process by visiting some retail stores to get an idea for the styles on offer. I also took a keen interest in really understanding diamonds – the 4Cs, and what they mean and how to tell apart a good diamond from a not-so-good one.

I ended up purchasing the ring from Affinity Diamonds. I highly recommend them. They did our wedding bands as well. I was able to choose the stone I wanted; design the particulars of the ring; customize it exactly how I wanted and how I knew Vruchi would love.

The Details

The Proposal

Vruchi: He took his sweet time! We had been dating for almost five and a half years by the time he got around to it.

Shankar: Even though we knew it was an all-okay from the parents; the first step for me was to ask for permission from Vruchi’s parents. I think it is an important step, and it creates a very special bond between you and the in-laws. Once I got their yes (tears and hugs included), I went ring shopping and started planning the proposal. I always knew I wanted to have the proposal photographed. This was one of the best days of my life and I love that we have photographs of ‘The moment’ to look back on.

Vruchi: I am the planner in the relationship. The organizer of everything. I love organizing fun dates to simple dinners, to maintaining our social calendar. Except for two days – our anniversary and my birthday. This is when he takes over completely. So in my head, it was always going to be likely that Shankar would propose on one of these days. However, one weekend in April, he casually mentioned if we wanted to double date with one of his friends. Being a double date, I, of course, I didn’t suspect anything.

Shankar: Everything was planned for the double date. Two weekends prior to the date, my best friends and I were driving around all of Sydney and beyond to find the perfect spot. We had to consider wet-weather options, places to hide and take photos, places that weren’t too obvious for Vruchi to guess or crowded. We even decided on code words to use on the day to let our friends know how far we would be from the proposal spot. We even went as far as doing a mock proposal to see if the photo angles would turn out to be OK.

Vruchi: The night before the alleged double date, his friends called us, saying they needed to cancel – something had come up, etc. It all seemed so genuine, unrehearsed, and normal, so I didn’t think anything of it.

Shankar: I was at this point counting on the fact that Vruchi as she usually does, will suggest that we go out anyway.

Vruchi: That’s exactly what I said, “We should go out anyway”!

Shankar: So I casually mentioned a brunch place I had been to at the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. She was keen and, boom! The bait was set, she was hooked. All I needed to do was reel her in.

Vruchi: At this point, it felt like I’d arranged the date given it was my suggestion that we go out. So again, who would think I’d get proposed on a date I’ve organized!

Anyway, he drove me to Botanical Gardens in the city, we walked through the park and he took me to a gazebo. As soon as I walked inside the gazebo, music started to play – one of our favorite songs, (A song that I later chose as my bridal entrance on the aisle) and I knew this wasn’t any ordinary day. I walked further, and all across the garden, he had laid out some of our photos, all enlarged on canvases.

He had also laid out ‘Will you marry me’ in individual wooden letters from Typo. There were steps leading down to the garden, and on those steps, in the middle of the gazebo in Botanical Gardens, Shankar went down on his knees and popped the question. Everything was absolutely perfect, and I will never ever forget that day!

Shankar: By the way, she didn’t say yes straight away. For a good ten minutes, she just cried while I just sat there perched on my knee! Haha.

Wedding Planning

PLANNING DURATION

The wedding planning took a total of nine months. After the proposal at the end of April, but we took one month just to bask in the new found ‘fiancé’ glory. We knew the times ahead were going to be hectic, so we really spent that first month enjoying just being engaged. Mind you, I had my Pinterest theme boards all ready to go for almost a year.

APPROACH

Vruchi: When we started wedding planning, the first thing we both agreed to was that we wanted our wedding to be different. We wanted it to reflect everything we are as a couple, and to not do things just for the sake of doing them. I’ve seen lots of couples start off with this idea, but when it came to executing it, they fell into the same trap of “my friends used this supplier, I’ll just go with them” or “this venue is too far for our guests” etc. But we were hell-bent on making sure we never compromised in making sure we remained true to ourselves in every aspect of the celebration.

Firstly, we consulted our pundit (priest) for dates. We didn’t go with the traditional ‘muhrat’ (auspicious) time because that could have been on a Wednesday at 3:00 AM which would make things very impractical.

Our pundit was absolutely fabulous in that he understood that living in a modern world we need to realign the scriptures to make them relevant. He gave us a general guide to certain good months in the following year but basically said we could pick any date we wanted to and it would be auspicious if our ‘karma’ (actions), ‘dharma’ (beliefs) and ‘kama’ (thoughts) were pure. This helped a lot because now we weren’t bound by certain dates and months and it opened a wider variety of venue and weekend dates to choose from.

Shankar: Another must-have for us was having the events spread out across two weekends, and having the big events on Saturdays. We felt that having all your events on one weekend would mean we would have to cram everything. It wouldn’t give our guests time to go home, breathe, and would make us as the bride and groom too tired to enjoy everything properly. There are pros and cons to this. If you have people coming from overseas they need to stay for two weeks, but they can always travel during the week in between. Having the events on a Saturday is often more expensive in terms of venues, but it means you can have an extended dance floor and people are more likely to relax and stay longer.

We then set out a general budget we wanted to stick to with the flexibility to move up or down as required. After we locked down the main venues (Sangeet & Wedding), things got easier. We secured photography and cinematography, not long after. Everything else after that was fairly straight-forward in terms of wedding professionals.

The other things we had to organize were our trip to India for shopping, a pre-wedding shoot, and wedding styling and theme.

Key Professionals

PHOTOGRAPHY

We chose DC Images for our Pre-Wedding Shoot, Wedding Ceremony, and Reception events. We were initially concerned that it was only a solo photographer and more expensive compared to other photographers out there. We ended up choosing him mainly because we got along with Dale really well. Our first half-hour meeting extended for two hours over coffee and endless chit-chatting. He is extremely easy going, and if you are going to be with a wedding professional for more than 15 hours on your wedding day, you want to make sure you like them. Plus it helps that he has won numerous wedding awards, and has been in the industry since the times of analog photography, and not someone that has just learned to use a DSLR camera. On the day, Dale was absolutely amazing – he was very professional and we are happy that we had him for our events. The photos we received were phenomenal.

For the pre-wedding functions, such as our High Chai and the home events, we worked with Pannila Photography. They were also the second photographer for the Wedding ceremony and Reception. Pasan from Pannila Photography completely blew our minds and exceeded our expectations. The quality of his work was amazing and our photographs have turned out absolutely beautiful. He didn’t miss a single moment, and every single photo received from him is worth enlarging and framing. More so, Pasan was an absolute gem. He was super friendly, eager to learn and extremely talented. All our friends got along with Pasan and his team. We recommend him far and beyond!

CINEMATOGRAPHY

We went with Marry Me MoviesWe loved their portfolio and loved chatting with them in our meeting. They had never shot an Indian wedding before and were keen to have an opportunity with us. Being their first Indian wedding, they were super excited and showed great enthusiasm for learning and understanding about our culture. We got along with them really well, and they allowed us control in the editing process.

They shot all our events including all our home functions, and we have really really grown to like them as people. They were friendly with all our guests and often stayed back after they had clocked off to mingle with our guests and just ‘hang out’. They were with us throughout the week but they never once complained or had any issues. They were always so polite and always smiling.

TIPS

  • Don’t go with the big names just because your friends have employed them in the past.
  • Do your research, and there’s no need to research for Indian photographers/videographers.
  • Widen your search; you may just end up getting a better supplier for half the price!

Wedding Shopping

SHOPPING AREAS

Vruchi: Wedding shopping was chaotic! We did our wedding shopping in India in Mumbai. I am originally from there, and I also have friends living there, so that helped me out.

Shankar: I did my wedding shopping with Vruchi (although I didn’t see her wedding lehenga prior to the day – I wanted it to be to left it as a surprise). Since Vruchi is from Mumbai, it was a tad easier for me. I was in Mumbai for five days, and I got my Indian outfits from Manyavar.

APPROACH

Vruchi: I knew from the outset I didn’t want a top-tier designer lehenga. Those things cost an arm and a leg and I would rather put that money into traveling and visit a quaint little town and eat delicious food rather than spend it all on one lehenga. I also knew that I wanted:

  • a funky Sangeet outfit to match our High Chai theme.
  • a really traditional wedding lehenga.
  • something western for my reception.

Other than that, I went with an open mind and made sure I visited smaller boutiques as well as larger franchises in Mumbai. I did my shopping for four events in five days. Absolutely chaotic, but I loved every bit of it. In the end, I went with the following vendors:

Shankar: One thing that I absolutely did not want was a gold, cream, and red sherwani. 99% of grooms choose to wear that color. There’s nothing wrong with it and it does look fabulous but we wanted something different.

SHOPPING TIPS

  1. Don’t be afraid to try out new styles, and funky outfits that go with your personality.
  2. Designer lehengas are all the rage, but try boutique stores – you’ll get a rather unique outfit for half the price!
  3. If you are doing your shopping overseas, think about logistics and contingencies. Most outfits take a month to make. Do you need to consider things like Who’s going to bring it back? Are they going to ship it? Do you have a backup?
  4.  If you are buying from overseas, make sure you get a working Whatsapp contact number of the salesperson to be in touch with them while your outfits are made and delivered. My wedding blouse arrived a mere 6 days prior to the event! Stressful times, having said that, the staff at Roopkala were absolutely wonderful and communicated with me almost daily to give me updates.

Wedding Events

WEDDING DURATION

One and a half weeks, over two weekends in summer.

WEDDING THEME / STYLE

Cause a little bit of summer, makes a lot of history’. This lyric is from our favourite song and artist, so we had it etched on our wedding invitations and had it printed on a canvas for the wedding day.

It is safe to say that our whole wedding was DIY. Because I am a graphics designer, I had no intention of getting other people to do things that I could do myself. I designed our monogram, wedding invitations, canvas artworks with lyrics that reflected our summer theme for the wedding.

EVENTS

  1. High Chai (Sangeet), Saturday PM, Urban Tadka, Sydney.
  2. Haldi, following Thursday AM, Bride’s Home, Sydney.
  3. Mehndi, Thursday PM, Bride’s Home, Sydney.
  4. Ayinoon, Thursday PM, Groom’s Home, Sydney.
  5. Wedding Ceremony, Saturday AM, Bendooley Estate, Berrima, NSW.
  6. Wedding Reception, Saturday PM, Bendooley Estate, Berrima, NSW.

High Chai - Overview

THEME: High Chai, Indian Village, bright funky colors, and casual cocktail.

VENUE: Urban Tadka150 guests. We knew we wanted it to be in the morning (again, to be different and to reflect our theme). We love Urban Tadka as a restaurant, its delicious modern Indian cuisine, and its impeccable presentation. We also loved that they had a rustic outdoor area, complete with bamboo walls, wrought iron bar and a wooden carriage – completely in line with our theme.

OVERVIEW: The High Chai started with a bang – a dance medley by practically everyone that was invited. Cousins from overseas, all our friends, and our parents, nephews– everyone had their little moment in the light as they introduced themselves through dancing for the rest of the guests. We had musical performances by the Vishwaas Band, dance performances, surprise items for the bride by the groom, lip sync battle between the bride and the groom, a skit making fun of us, and a high energy dance floor to finish the crazy event! The food was cocktail style and branded with the couple’s monogram. The biryani boxes had S&V stickers.

High Chai - Décor and Unique Details

APPROACH: We wanted our décor to reflect the High Chai theme. We wanted it to be funky, different, relaxed and laid back. Being a designer, I started with narrowing down our color scheme that suited the overall event, with pink, orange, and yellow as the core colors. To complement the bright color palette, we used blue as a secondary color.

DECOR DETAILS: The event was styled by my company URLBar Designs and Pretty Little Things. The decor elements were sourced from URLBar Designs and Décor-a-Shaan. Some of my favorite elements include:

  • Setting: To bring the theme to life, we had ivy trails all around the walls, and bought Indian kites on the ceiling sourced through URLBar Designs.
  • Stage backdrop: To complete the theme, we had a brilliant village themed backdrop to our stage sourced from Décor-a-Shaan.
  • Bollywood pillows: We bought around 20 pillows from Yash Raj Films E-Store with Bollywood actors, memorable scenes from old Hindi movie classics, and cute dialogues and sayings like ‘You are the chutney to my samosa’.
  • Table decor: Tables around the venue had various Indian kitsch artwork to create a typical Indian cafe theme including illustrations of Kurkure packet (popular Indian snack), a stylized ‘Bro’ sign, Bollywood movie posters, dialogues all created by URLBar Designs.
  • Indian teapots: We had aluminum Indian teapots as props around the guest tables. Natalia from Pretty Little Things hand-painted them in beautiful bright colors. They were also used to serve masala chai to our guests.
  • Fans: Since it was the middle of summer, the guest tables had bright yellow hand fans with a sign that said ‘Keep cool bro’ sourced from URLBar Designs.
  • Bar decor: The outdoor bar was adorned with hand-painted wine bottles that depicted funky Indian portraits and designs sourced from URLBar Designs.
  • Rickshaw prop: We had a near life-sized rickshaw as a photo booth prop sourced through URLBar Designs.

High Chai - The Look

VRUCHI’S OUTFIT: I wanted a funky Moroccan themed outfit to complement the theme and decor. I wore a Navy blue embroidered lehenga with a white choli, and to go with it an orange-colored dupatta, custom-designed by Archana Kochhar.

JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: All sourced from Sia Art Jewellery in Mumbai. I wore pearl and kundan large chandbali (moon-shaped) earrings, a Radha-Krishna statement necklace, and bangles. I also wore Ray Ban sunglasses for a funky, summer look.

SHOES: Nine West.

HAIR & MAKEUP: MakeupGuru by Shakereen Chowdhury.

SHANKAR’S LOOK: We wanted to go for bright, funky, regal look for him. For inspiration, we used pataudi and polo club outfits and Saif Ali Khan. He wore a kurta set from Manyavar, Mumbai.

ACCESSORIES: Ray-Ban sunglasses.

SHOES: Khussa mojdi style shoes (traditional Indian shoes) custom made from India.

Haldi - Overview

THEME: Yellow.

VENUE: Bride’s home, 50 guests.

OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS: The event is a chance to put haldi (turmeric paste) on the bride. The event started with a small puja (religious offering), and then all the ladies took turns to apply sandalwood paste (I’m allergic to turmeric) on me. In the end, we ended up playing holi with the paste and water. Guests were served home-cooked Indian food.

VRUCHI’S OUTFIT: I kept the look simple, elegant and demure. I wore my mother’s yellow saree.

JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Heirloom jewellery.

HAIR & MAKEUP: My own.

DECOR & UNIQUE DETAILS: We decorated the house with yellow and red marigolds. We decorated the wooden swing in our backyard with flowers. All the guests were asked to wear yellow. Since this event was held during the day, all the shades of yellow really brightened up the event.

Mehendi - Overview

THEME: Maharashtrian to celebrate my Marathi heritage.

VENUE: The Bride’s home, 50 guests.

OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS: All the female guests and I wore the traditional Marathi nauvari (nine-yard) saree. All the ladies had an opportunity to get their henna done. We had delicious home-cooked Marathi cuisine for food and made sure there was plenty of dancing throughout the night thanks to DJ BTrix.

VRUCHI’S OUTFIT: I wore a traditional Marathi nine-yard saree. It was custom made in India.  

JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES:  Heirloom jewellery.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Chanel Charity from Makeup by Chanel.

HENNA: Shakreen from MakeupGuru by Shakereen Chowdhury did my mehndi and Mehndi by Minal did the henna for the guests.

Ayinoon - Overview

THEME: Kerala to celebrate Shankar’s heritage.

VENUE: The Groom’s home, 50 guests.

OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS: All the guests including Shankar wore the white mundu (lungi). The function started off with the groom seeking blessings from all his elders. He was then adorned with a crown made out of tulsi leaves and asked to carry a traditional umbrella made of dried banana and bamboo leaves. Guests were served traditional Keralan cuisine by Saravana Bhavan Sydney on a banana leaf.

SHANKAR’S OUTFIT: White mundu, a Kerala style white lungi.

Wedding Ceremony - Overview

THEME: Summer country wedding.

VENUE: Bendooley Estate, Berrima, 130 guests. It’s one of the best venues in the Southern Highlands when it comes to a country/rustic wedding destination. Famous for its Book Barn, and home-grown vineyard, we absolutely fell in love with this place. As soon as we drove in, we knew it was the one. The venue perfectly reflected who we are as a couple and could picture ourselves getting married there. After negotiations, we locked Bendooley Estate as our Wedding and Reception venue.

OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS: We tried to maximize the venue’s beautiful setting. Shankar’s baraat procession was through a forest pathway, leading up to a clearing with the luxurious homestead cottage at the end. For the ceremony, the bridesmaids danced down the aisle to Say Na Say Na from the movie Bluffmaster. I entered to I’ll Be by Edwin McCain (Boyce Avenue cover) – the same song Shankar played during the proposal. The Hindu ceremony carried out by priest Pandit Ram Sivan took place against a lakeside backdrop and lush gardens that spanned across acres. Afterward, guests enjoyed modern Indian cuisine and drinks catered by the venue at the gorgeous Pavillion. We used the opportunity to take photos among the beautiful grasslands, mountains, sheds, and a water jetty over the lake.

KEY PROFESSIONALS: Wedding garlands by Garlands by Mala.

Wedding Ceremony - Décor

APPROACH: With such a beautiful venue for the event, we wanted the decor to be simple, elegant, and minimalistic. All the ideas, theming and styling was by URLBar Designs and the decor elements sourced from Decor-a-Shaan.

DECOR & UNIQUE DETAILS:

  • Mandap: We had a traditional haveli mandap to go with our looks. We had elegant white chairs paired with subtle red and blue pillows to go with our outfit colors. We chose Decor-a-Shaan for the mandap setup, as it was a better fit for our budget. We had some issues on the day with them, and they didn’t deliver some of the items we agreed on. We provided them the feedback, and they took it on positively. They ended up refund a percentage of our booking amount.
  • Signage: We had various signs around the venue including ‘Welcome’ signs on the gate, signs that showed guests where to go and where to assemble, such as ‘Team Shankar Baraat Starts here’, and ‘Team Vruchi, follow the path’. We also had our favorite lyrics in the same design style guide to the rest of the décor. These were created by URLBar Designs.
  • Stationery: We had wedding programs for guests that matched the rest of the signage created by URLBar Designs.
  • Wishing well: We had a large wishing well, covered with green ivy to go with the outdoor setting.

Wedding Ceremony - The Look

VRUCHI’S LOOK: I wore a traditional red and gold lehenga by RoopkalaMumbai.

JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: I wore a custom made choker set and bangles from Sia Art Jewellery in Mumbai.

SHOES: Gold heels from Aldo.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Gather and Stitch Beauty.

SHANKAR’S LOOK: Shankar went for a deep blue sherwani from Manyavar, Mumbai. The blue really stood out on the day and complemented Vruchi’s crimson red lehenga.

ACCESSORIES: Pagdi (turban) from Manyavar, Mumbai.

SHOES: Blue mojdi shoes, custom made from India.

Bridal Party Look

I’m a Maharashtrian from Mumbai and Shankar a Malayalee from Kerala. To showcase the merging of two very distinct cultures, we thought it would be fantastic if we could have our bridal party wear the traditional outfits from each state. The bridesmaids had a traditional Kerelan look while the groomsmen wore Marathi attire – the swap truly showed a celebration of both the cultures.

BRIDESMAIDS OUTFIT: White and gold Kerala saree accompanied by gold blouses. Custom made from India.

JEWELLERY: Their own.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Neha and Shakereen from MakeupGuru by Shakereen Chowdhury.

GROOMSMEN OUTFITS: White kurta and gold Marathi dhoti and dupatta, all custom made from India.

Reception - Overview

THEME: Rustic, simple, laid back.

VENUE: Book Barn at the Bendooley Estate.

OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS: After a traditional ceremony, we wanted a simple, laid back reception instead of formal reception. We wanted all our guests to be able to let their hair down and have fun. Our (relatively) small guest numbers meant that we could have a semi-intimate gathering where people weren’t afraid to say a few things casually when the MCs went around the room. We entered the reception to Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay and cut the cake to Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein. Our first dance was to Stand by Me by Ben E. King. Guests were served modern Indian food by Bendooley Estate. We danced the night away to the mixes by DJ BTrix. We had a sparkler exit to finish off our day.

Reception - Décor & Unique Details

APPROACH: We wanted to work with the Book Barn’s rustic country theme. URLBar Designs provided the concept and themeing for the event while Pretty Little Things and Decor-a-Shaan provided decor styling assistance on the day.

DECOR & UNIQUE DETAILS:

  • Book wall: The venue had an elegant library styled walls adorned with books from floor to ceiling.
  • Ivy leaves: We had gorgeous fresh ivy sourced from Little Bird Bloom dropping from the venue’s candle chandeliers.
  • Seating chart: The seating chart was designed by URLBar Designs, and hung on a ladder.
  • Seating arrangement: We had four long tables instead of the traditional small circular tables.
  • Table names: We decided that we would ‘name’ our tables instead of numbering them. We had a sign outside the room that said “We go together like…” with table names labeled “ Strawberry & Cream”, “Wine & Cheese”, “Gin & Tonic” and “Salt & Pepper” with a sign outside the barn, that said, “ We go together like”. All the signage was designed by URLBar Designs.
  • Table centerpieces: These were created by us. We had mason jars, and flowers that we cut and arranged the day before.
  • Guest book alternative: Instead of a guest book, we sourced an old working typewriter on which guests could leave notes for us. Our guests had a great time with the vintage feature and it fits beautifully with our rustic theme of the Book Barn.
  • Wedding favors: These were designed by URLBar Designs. We are coffee lovers – so we sourced (a lot) of our favorite coffee blend and put them into little red and brown jute pouches. The pouches had craft paper tags to write the guests’ names. We made sure that we wrote the names that we call our guests and not their formal names. i.e we had nicknames on our tags and the elders in the room had an ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’ beside their name. We hand wrote each tag for that extra personal and intimate touch. Inside each pouch, there was also card that said: “We cannot espresso how much you mean to us”.
  • Sparkler table: Since we had a sparkler exit, we had a beautiful wooden table that showcased the sparklers in a bunch and a hand made sign designed by URLBar Designs that said “Sky Full of Stars” to tie in with our Reception entrance song. The table was decorated with vintage bottles and a vintage camera.
  • Cake: We had a beautiful naked cake by Cake Arcade.

Reception - The Look

VRUCHI’S OUTFIT: I wore a blue gown with a grand/modern feel, which was a nice contrast to the décor. It was custom designed by Kalki Fashions, Mumbai.

JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Diamond set, which was a family heirloom.

SHOES: Manolo Blahnik.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Gather and Stitch Beauty.

SHANKAR’S OUTFIT: A classic Hugo Boss suit.

ACCESSORIES: Bow tie and suspenders from Hugo Boss.

SHOES: Florsheim.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

  1. Explore and do your own research. Don’t settle for the same venues and the same suppliers just because it is easier, convenient or your friends have given you great recommendations. There is an abundance of unique venues, and talented suppliers. You just need to take chances and go outside your comfort zone. It will be totally worth it!
  2. Try to find small boutiques that have unique lehengas for your functions. Don’t get too tempted by big designer labels so easily. You can create wonderful looks that are completely unique to you by avoiding big designer names that usually have a similar style of lehengas, and you will definitely end up saving some big bucks.
  3. Make sure you have a list of people you want to take photos with all different combinations (you with parents, you with parents and in-laws, you with cousins, etc) all written down for the photographer. During the event, you will be crazy busy either enjoying the show or actually getting married. You will have a million photos of just you and the groom, but make sure you take out five minutes with the entire family at each event and take quick photos with everyone. Yes, the candid ones are the ones you will post up on Instagram, but the portraits are the ones your parents will frame and put on their mantle.
  4. When you are creating your run sheets for every event, make sure you add five minutes buffer time after each act! This ensures that you don’t overpack your event and that if delayed your event would still be running on time.
  5. You and your groom are a team. You and your groom should work out differences of opinions, selection of various options and come to conclusions of what you both want together. Don’t involve parents too early in the conversation. Six heads deciding the color of the backdrop is pointless. Figure out what you want as a couple and then ask your parents what they think of your joint decision. It is really easy to get overwhelmed with the constant stresses of the wedding. This makes sure you both are always on the same side!

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