Glamorous Sikh Ballroom Wedding

Keerat & Simran

Snapshot

Keerat and Simran’s epic wedding in Australia and India was a colourful and grand affair that celebrated their Punjabi culture with plenty of dancing, singing and fun with family and friends from around the world. The events ranged from small, intimate affairs at home to large scale celebrations at unique venues in Chandigarh, Amritsar as well as Sydney. Highlights included a tastefully decorated orange and white themed open air wedding ceremony venue in Chandigarh and the glamorous new Clarence House for their Sydney reception. We also loved that bride Keerat was especially hands-on in designing each of her wedding outfits, making her looks at each event unique and true to her personal style.

Planning a wedding in India whilst living abroad is never an easy task so no doubt Keerat’s helpful references, tips and insights will help future brides-to-be planning their own celebrations.

About The Couple

How we met

Ours is a classic tale of opposites attract. Our parents are part of a small group of Punjab Agricultural University Alumni settled in Sydney, so we knew of each other but we had never had the chance to meet. We only properly met through close friends.

When we first met, we would talk for ages. Our conversations would go on and on, not because we were so into each other, but mostly because we could never agree on anything! Somewhere along the way, I guess we started enjoying being together, and the day wouldn’t be complete without speaking to each other. Funnily enough, our differences brought us closer as our different perspectives brought some balance to each other’s lives. The guy I could never imagine myself being with suddenly became the person I couldn’t be without.

How we are as a couple

Let’s just say we share an admittedly lame sense of humor. We are forever in competition to be funnier than each other.

How he proposed

After a number of failed proposal attempts, Simran got my friends in on the plan. I was supposed to be meeting my friends for dinner at Circular Quay and had been patiently waiting for about half an hour when there was a tap on my shoulder. I was surprised to see that it was Simran. Soon after I got over my shock, he asked me to marry him. I have conveniently omitted the fact that by this stage our families had met and we were in the midst of setting dates for the wedding. The important fact was that the guy who didn’t believe in proposals and formalities had stepped out of his comfort zone because he knew I was all about romance and touching gestures.

What marriage means to us

Being able to share your life with the person you love. A companionship.

The Details

Wedding Planning

LOCATION: We have family all over the world, and so decided to head to India for our wedding. I was born and raised in Chandigarh, so that was an easy choice for me.

VISION: We just wanted to have fun and make sure our guests had a memorable time and got involved in our events. Dancing is a huge part of a Punjabi wedding and I also love it myself, so it was definitely a central part of the wedding.

PLANNING: We had a never-ending sequence of events leading up to and directly after our wedding. Luckily for us, we have the most amazing set of family and friends who did the majority of the organization for us.

The hardest part was planning the Indian leg of our wedding.  We relied heavily on blogs, Facebook and Instagram to find and finalize our vendors. Simran and I did not get to India until two weeks before the wedding, so most of our planning was done remotely or with the help of our parents, who went there much earlier than us.

We were very lucky to have our family and friends travel to India and be a part of our celebrations. The days leading up the wedding were filled with testing out different food joints and celebrating late into the night. I had a fairytale wedding despite the struggles of organizing a wedding remotely from Sydney.

Wedding Shopping

I found it really tough to decide on my outfits for the wedding. I did not have a chance to go to India to do my shopping and in the end, I designed all my outfits and got them made through a trusted karigar (workshops) in India. It was a constant exchange of messages, colour threads, fabric samples and phone calls, but definitely worth it!

I learnt so much about fabrics, embroidery and colour combinations through this process. Designing all these looks was a lot of fun and I have started doing it for my friends and family and hope to expand it in the future.

Wedding Events

We had an engagement in July 2014. The Sydney celebrations kicked off at the end of November 2014 with a Sangeet. The Destination wedding events were held a month later over a few days at the end of December 2014 / start of January 2015. We had a Reception back in Sydney at the end of February 2015. The full schedule of events including:

  1. Engagement – Saturday PM, Roma Function Centre, Sydney, 200 guests.
  2. Sangeet – Saturday PM, Bowman Hall, Sydney, 400 guests.
  3. Mehendi – Wednesday PM, Bride’s Family Home, Chandigarh, India, 40 guests.
  4. Groom’s Shagun – Wednesday PM, Hotel Royal Castle Amritsar, 200 guests.
  5. Bride’s Shagun – Thursday PM, Bride’s Family Home, Chandigarh, 100 guests.
  6. Wedding – Friday AM, Oasis BanquetsChandigarh, 350 guests.
  7. India Reception – Saturday PM, Golden Galaxy Resort Amritsar, Amritsar, 350 guests.
  8. Sydney Reception – Clarence House, Sydney, 350 guests.

PHOTOGRAPHY: MJ Photography covered the Engagement, Adiz Photography covered the wedding events in Australia and Shri Gurudev Photography covered the India events.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Parv Dandona covered the Engagement, Perfect Media covered the events in Australia and Shri Gurudev Photography covered the events in India.

Engagement

We had our nearest and dearest present to celebrate the start of our journey. Our friends put together a number of thoughtful performances, including a very entertaining skit of our love story.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I designed a rani pink and royal blue crepe lehenga for the engagement party. The embroidery was inspired by Madhuri Dixit’s ‘Didi Tera Devar Dewana’ outfit.

JEWELLERY: I styled my outfit with a statement kundan tikka.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Fareha Bridal Studio.

SIMRAN’S OUTFIT: Three-piece grey suit from Creaters Villa and a striking purple Thomas Pink tie.

Sangeet

The night started with traditional Punjabi folk songs and ended with some serious dancing. We organised a boys versus girls theme for the night which included an antakshari and dance competition. Due to the summer heat, I went with a cooler colour scheme of creams, pastel peaches, blues and greens for the decor.  

DECOR: We made menu cards for each table with our photographs and messages for our guests for all our events. We also made cute hand-held fans with the program printed on them to keep our guests cool during our summer Sangeet.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I am glad I took a risk and decided on a sharara with a cream kurti and delicate peacock hand embroidery.

JEWELLERY: I styled the sharara with a pearl and navrattan jhoomer and choker.

SHOES: I am all about comfort when it comes to heels. There’s nothing worse than not being able to dance the night away because your feet hurt. I was keeping a lookout for the perfect pair of heels since my engagement and opted for a classic pair of gold heels from Nine West, which was perfect.

HAIR & MAKEUP: I had my hair and makeup was done by Fareha’s Bridal Studio for all my Sydney events. She has done my make up for stage shows before and so I had complete faith in her for my wedding events. Fareha is amazing and I highly recommend her work.

SIMRAN’S OUTFIT: Simran went for an Indian look and opted for a kurta and Nehru jacket from Mr Button.

Mehendi

The wedding events in India kicked off with mehendi celebrations at our family home in Chandigarh.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I was gifted a beautiful lehenga by my amazing dance family at the Indian Dance Centre. It was a vibrant tricolor piece featuring a burnt orange lehenga, parrot green choli, and yellow dupatta.

JEWELLERY: A simple maang tikka.

HAIR & MAKEUP: I found a suitable hair and makeup artist after hours of research on the internet and decided on Rabia who travels between Melbourne and Chandigarh for work. I really liked her natural makeup style.

Wedding Ceremony

We wanted an outdoor setting for our wedding and I found the perfect venue on the outskirts of Chandigarh while browsing Pinterest. Our parents went and physically approved the venue on their trip to India.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I went traditional with a blood-red lehenga which I ordered through Walia Jones in Sydney.

JEWELLERY: I styled it with an antique gold set with emerald drops and my massi’s gorgeous nose ring.

SHOES: Nine West.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Rabia.

SIMRAN’S OUTFIT: We unanimously agreed on a classic sherwani from Creaters Villa.

BRIDESMAIDS: We chose a simple and elegant, orange silk pantsuit for the bridesmaids. I customized a Rajasthani inspired headpiece to add a bit of spunk to the bridesmaids’ outfits and they opted for a loose side-bun to complement the elegant look.

GROOMSMEN: The groomsmen wore orange and green ties to match the bridesmaids. All my brothers, cousins and friends had orange roses and baby’s breath attached to their coats to keep with the theme.

India Reception

Our reception in India was a grand affair and I finally got my wish of making an entry on a funky rickshaw. For us, the night was not only a celebration of our union but a celebration of the hard work that our family and friends had put into making each detail so perfect.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I chose a blush pink blouse and maroon raw silk lehenga, which was inspired by the beautiful work and blouse cut of an Anju Modi lehenga I had seen at a fashion show. I wanted to wear maroon/ wine-colored lipstick and so I worked backward from that to work out my color palette.

SHOES: Nine West.

SIMRAN’S OUTFIT: A bandhgala suit from Vavci.

Sydney Reception

We were looking for an elegant setting to end our celebrations with a bang. We took a big risk and booked Clarence House based on the blueprints as the place was still under construction. It was completed in December and we were lucky enough to be one of the first couples to have our event at the gorgeous venue.

KEERAT’S OUTFIT: I designed a blush pink and maroon raw silk lehenga with the perfect amount of zardozi and gold threadwork. It was an unusual combination that ended up being just perfect for an evening event.

JEWELLERY: I wore this lehenga with a gorgeous kundan set given to me by my in-laws.

SHOES: Nine West.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Fareha Bridal Studio.

SIMRAN’S OUTFIT: Navy blue suit from Vavci and a maroon polka dot bow tie.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

  1. Create an emergency kit for all your events and include items such as bandaids, Panadol, safety pins, bobby pins, sewing kit, moisturiser, lipstick, wet wipes, mints, compact, tweezers etc. Give this kit to a trusted bridesmaid.
  2. Share the wedding planning tasks with your friends and family. Everyone feels involved  this way and you can enjoy your events much more.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes or at least use heel cushions. You will already be weighed down with heavy clothes and jewellery and the best thing you can do is wear comfortable footwear in order to dance the night away.

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