Luxurious Indian Vineyard Wedding

Neha & Zoheb

Snapshot

Neha and Zoheb’s love transcended nations and cultures. A love story Nicolas Sparks would be proud to have penned. Their wedding, of course, had to be just as grand as their romance. The two-day wedding took place at breathtaking venues nestled in Poukawa Valley of New Zealand’s beautiful Hawkes Bay wine region. The celebrations commenced with a Rajasthani-Moroccan themed Sangeet night under the stars at a lavish country home. A civil Wedding Ceremony by the lake was the preamble to a grand Reception. It was an intimate fiesta celebrating, love, color, and of course, the lucky couple. They found the right balance between restraint and no holds barred; every detail painstakingly considered, and artfully executed. The laissez-faire nature of this glamourous, eclectic wedding would surprise you at every turn with its dulcet tones, rustic elements, contemporary interpretations of everything classical, and tons of chutzpah. An unforgettable wedding for an impeccable couple.

About The Couple

How did we meet?

Zoheb and I have known each other for around six years. I grew up in Fiji and moved to Sydney for university. After graduating, and working there for two years I met Zoheb when I was visiting my family during the Christmas holiday. Zoheb happened to be there for work. We were in a long-distance relationship. Zoheb visited me in Sydney every couple of months until I moved back to Fiji with him.

How we are as a couple?

We love good food, traveling, and Fiji beaches! We spend a lot of time in the outdoors, enjoy working out, and fishing.

What marriage means to us?

We do want a white picket fence, and kids 2.0. We just want to build it on a solid foundation of trust, support, love, and honesty.

How he proposed?

We planned a long weekend getaway to Wakaya Private Island Resort in Fiji on the 7th of November 2014. We stayed in a Bure. I made an effort to book us in for a massage or to go scuba diving on arrival, however, he relented. Zoheb has always been full of surprises; while I was settling in, a lady approached me and asked me to follow her to the spa. It was peculiar how everyone knew me, and greeted me. It was just mind-boggling. I was oblivious to his plans to propose, but Zoheb had spent months devising a plan and everyone on the island had been involved. I returned to my room to find two dresses with a note that asked me to inform the staff when I was dressed. He had a chauffeur on stand by to escort me to the spa. He was all dressed up for the private dinner he had organized; we had an amazing view. I was dumbstruck. Over champagne, I told him, “I am seriously the happiest person right now.” In the flash of an instant, he got down on his knee to pop the big question.

The engagement ring?

He worked with Partridge Jewelers in Auckland to bring in an Ashoka diamond from the US, which was then designed by the jewellers with input from Zoheb. Brilliant round cut diamonds surrounded the Ashoka-cut solitaire.

The Details

Destination Wedding - Planning & Theme

Wedding Planning: We live in Fiji and we really wanted a destination wedding. I looked at wedding locations all around the world. I really wanted it to be New Zealand because Zoheb grew up in Auckland, and it wasn’t too far from Fiji. We looked at Waiheke and Queenstown but most of the venues couldn’t accommodate our rather large wedding party. I chanced upon Hawkes Bay, so I booked a trip. I completely fell in love with it and I was determined to get married there.

I had a hard time looking for a good wedding stylist/planner. Everyone I came across did simple rustic weddings. So, I got my florist to style my wedding event, and my cousin to style the Sangeet. I gave them concept images of exactly what I wanted. Hawkes Bay had a very limited number of wedding professionals available so we also had a lot of the supplies shipped from overseas and hired a few things from Auckland.

I created three-dimensional images of both the venues to illustrate my ideas in the easiest way possible. Both the venues were amazing; we didn’t need to dress them up too much. I wanted an elegant, simple yet luxurious fair.

Wedding Shopping: I made two trips to Mumbai in March and October. I was certain about my outfits for Sangeet, Wedding, and Reception. I found them in a magazine. I liaised with the staff at Sabyasachi in Mumbai. I requested three select outfits at the boutique for my appointment. I ended up settling on two of them.
My welcome night outfit was from Jade by Monica & Karishma, I follow them on Instagram because I admire their design sensibility. With luck, I found an Indian inspired gown. I didn’t want anything too traditional.

Wedding Events & Highlights

Wedding Events: Our summer wedding was over three days in New Zealand. Our main events were:

  1. Welcome Night, Sunday, Top of The Park – Alexandra Park, Auckland.
  2. Sangeet Night, Wednesday, Mana Lodge, Hawkes Bay.
  3. Wedding and Reception, Thursday, Craggy Range Vineyard, Hawkes Bay.

Invitations & Stationery: I personally designed the stationery with a company in Mumbai. We decided on an ivory and gold foil theme. Our invitations were embossed ivory hardcover booklets with our names laser-cut in gold metal on the cover with the program on four individual cards. We also incorporated a personalized wedding monogram as part of the invitations and all our stationery at the events.

Guest Accommodation: Guests stayed at various accommodations around the venue including East Pier Hotel, Crown Hotel, Craggy Range, and Black Barn Retreat.

Guest Gift Packs: We wanted to give thank you gifts to our guests as they had traveled so far to be present on our special day. We created a gift pack of my favorite facial products from Forest Essentials which was designed and shipped from India. These products are handmade with its foundations in the ancient science of Ayurveda. Inside each gift pack had a small thank you cards in gold foil. The gifts were packed in salmon pink, and gold foil which complimented my wedding theme. All our thank you gifts were placed on the guests’ beds along with an information card before they checked in.

Sangeet - Overview

Venue: Mana Lodge, Hawkes Bay. 172 guests.

Event Theme: Bollywood glamour.

Catering/Cuisine: Orton Catering graciously hired an Indian chef to create an authentic Indian dinner.

Highlights: A pathway surrounded by lavender gardens led to the venue, it made for a really beautiful entrance. Since it was a cocktail party, we stuck to drinks and canapés. My brother, sister in law, and the bridesmaids performed. My bridesmaids surprised me with a special Polynesian performance. Dinner, celebrations, and dancing followed.

Sangeet - Décor

It was colorful, Rajasthani themed event with signature Bollywood glamour, the color scheme was a combination of gold, vivid pink, and purple. Some of the other unique decor details:

  • Tents and furniture: We hired tents and furniture by Raj Tent Club (based in Auckland) who are the only suppliers of traditional Indian decor, and drapes in the region. These were a perfect fit for the event because they helped set the theme. I accessorized with ottomans in gold metallic finishes for some glamour.
  • Lanterns: Since I couldn’t find a supplier for lanterns in Hawkes Bay, so I imported a large number from India.
  • Hookah: We had two hookahs set up to add just the right amount of quirk.
  • Signage: All signage at the event was provided by Fox and Fallow.
  • Table decor and setting: Magenta, and bright orange roses along with purple lisianthus constituted our large centerpieces in gold vases. I imported the table settings myself and dotted them with gold candlesticks with magenta and gold candles.
  • Dance floor initials: We projected our wedding monogram onto the dance floor at the Sangeet and the Reception.

Sangeet - The Look

Neha’s Outfit: Couture ivory lehenga from the Ferozabad collection by Sabyasachi. The outfit embodied a sense of old-world glamour in a very contemporary style. It was made with canvas fabric adorned with beads, crystals, and hand embroidery and weighed 10 kilos (well worth it!).

Jewellery/Accessories: Custom made Kundan jewellery including a hand-chain, maangtika (headpiece), and earrings.

ShoesJimmy Choo.

Hair & Make-upMissy Mu.

Zoheb’s Outfit: Couture black sherwani with gold embroidery and buttons by Shantanu & Nikhil.

Zoheb’s Shoes: Tasselled loafers in black suede by Christian Louboutin.

Wedding Ceremony & Reception - Overview

Venue: Craggy Range Vineyard, nestled in the foreground of Te Mata Peak. 172 guests.

Event Theme: Simple, elegant, and glamorous.

Catering/Cuisine: A three-course menu paired with an excellent selection of wine provided by Craggy Range Vineyard.

Highlights: The wedding ceremony was held by a lake on the vineyard property. We wanted to make a bit of a grand entrance so Zoheb arrived in his Lamborghini Aventador, and I arrived in a vintage car hired from Hooters Vintage & Classic Car Hire. Walking the aisle with all my loved ones in attendance, and Zoheb waiting for me were definitely the highlights of the Wedding Ceremony. It was nerve-wracking but amazing at the same time. It was also very special to have my father give me away. We said our vows under a floral pergola set against the spectacular backdrop of the lake and the Te Mata Peak. Afterward, the guests enjoyed drinks and canapés while an acoustic guitarist and singer performed. The reception followed in a marquee at the vineyard. We danced the night away and organized a bus to East Pier Hotel for an after-party

Music: We included some special songs as part of the Ceremony and Reception –

  • Our mothers walked down the aisle to Miracle by Coldplay.
  • The bridesmaids and I along with my father walked down the aisle to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
  • For our registry, we had Hold Back The River by James Bay and
  • For our ceremony exit, we walked back down the aisle to I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.
  • Our first dance was Hero by Enrique Iglesias.
  • The bridal party entered the Reception to Klingande by Jubel as this is Zoheb and my favorite song.

Wedding Ceremony - Décor & Unique Details

I added lots of personalized details for the Wedding, and Reception. I think that was what made it quite special. In order to achieve what I wanted, I sourced a lot of the elements myself and worked with professionals to help put it together on the day. Some of my favorite details from the Wedding included:

  • For guests: As the ceremony was held outdoors, we wanted to ensure our guests would be comfortable. On arrival, all guests received a wedding paper parasols and Fiji water.
  • On the seats: Each guest chair had paper fans and tied our wedding monogram tags embossed in gold foil using a white satin ribbon. We also provided everyone with linen bags full of rose petals for our exit. We screen printed the bags with ‘Throw me – Neha & Zoheb’.
  • Ceremony setup: We kept the setup quite minimal and tried to incorporate the venue’s natural setting through the décor. The feature was a 2.4m tall pergola dressed with drapes and foliage by Magdalen Hill. For a touch of glamour, we added a large crystal chandelier to the pergola and placed two white Victorian chairs and a signing table from Maddisons Party Hire from Auckland. I loved the setup! It ended up being a pseudo photo booth backdrop for guests afterward. White garden chairs (also from Maddisons Party Hirefaced the setup and two large ivory stone urns from A Touch of Elegance NZ with flowers and foliage marked the entrance to the aisle.

Reception - Décor & Unique Details

My favorite décor of the whole wedding was the reception set up. Some details:

  • Marquee: We had a large silk draped marquee installed by Mardi Gras Event Hire. The marquee was set up among the vineyard with rows of vines separating the table seating which made it quite unique.
  • Chandeliers: We added four large 1m x 1m chandeliers to add some glamour to space.
  • Feature wall: We had a green wall with our initials ‘N + Z’  in white wood built by Flower & Barrow from Hawkes Bay. It served as the backdrop for our bar.
  • Table decor: I sourced 200 sets of cutlery in champagne gold and sets of clear service plates with gold bead trims. The stationery for the table was prepared by our invitations provider – a company based in India.
  • Signage: Welcome signs and table list signage was provided by Fox and Fallow.
  • Cake: We had a three-tiered cake layered with white fondant and topped with a bouquet of roses in muted tones by The Pretty Little Details & Co. It was almost sculptural, quite simple and elegant. The top tier was red velvet, filled and coated with white chocolate truffle and left plain. The middle tier was a passionfruit sponge filled with passionfruit curd and vanilla cream cheese buttercream. It was decorated in gold leaf with geometric camellia roses stenciled in white all over the tier. The bottom tier was a chocolate caramel cake, filled and coated with chocolate ganache and was also left plain.
  • Champagne: Zoheb’s mum was kind enough to gift us a set of Swarovski champagne flutes, we opened a bottle of Ace of Spades Rosé along with the cake.
  • Wedding favors: We placed mini boxes of Koko Back truffles, Zoheb, and my favorite chocolates. They were freshly made and delivered from Melbourne the day before our wedding. We also made sure the guests left with small bottles of Möet & Chandon Brut at the end of the night.

Wedding Ceremony & Reception - The Look

Neha’s Outfit: I wore a couture pink lehenga by Sabyasachi from his Ferozabad collection. The piece was hand-embroidered with a mix of threadwork and beading and a touch of turquoise handprinted floral details. I loved how the overall look was understated, elegant and not so traditional. My favorite part of the outfit was the sash which served as the dupatta. It was part net, partly printed with embroidery printed through the belt. I only wore the belt for the Reception.

Jewellery / Accessories: Custom made string diamond necklace, and diamond studs for earrings.

Shoes: Christian Louboutin x Swarovski.

Hair & Makeup: Mary Estelle.

Zoheb’s Outfit: Midnight blue tuxedo in a subtilely patterned fabric, with black silk detailing by RJB Design.

Accessories: Silk bow tie, Ray-Ban wayfarers, and Hublot watch in rose gold.

Shoes: Patent leather Christian Louboutin.

Bridal Party Look

Bridesmaids Outfit: Couture salmon pink sarees with silver trimmings.

Jewellery/Accessories: Crystal headpiece and a bracelet.

Hair & Makeup: Mary Estelle.

Groomsmen Outfit: Navy tux with a white shirt from RJB Design.

Accessories: Black Silk Bow tie, and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

1. The to-do lists pile up, so have a tactical plan in place. Time zips by, and planning a wedding is really time-consuming.

2. Make the venue, photographer and videographer priority number one or you’ll miss out on the best ones.

3. The seasonal nature of flora can be frustrating so plan B is a good idea.

4. If your honeymoon is a bit in the future, plan a quick short getaway near your wedding destination to unwind from the wedding. Trust me- it’ll practically be a necessity!

Featured Pros