Rakesh & Chandni's Wedding in Phuket, Thailand
Rakesh and Chandni's wedding saw a Vintage Garden Theme and Arabian Night theme in the Land of Smiles, Phuket, and made us realize what every dream wedding should look like!
How we met:
Both my sister and Rakesh’s two sisters have been friends for over 10 years, so we’ve known each for quite some time now. On a night out, during my brother and sister’s 21st birthday celebrations, Rakesh stole my phone and fed his number into it. We started off as friends and went through a whirlwind of highs and lows. Our feelings continued to grow year by year and by the end of it, we were confident that we wanted to be with one another, so here we are now!
The wedding planning process was stressful, but so worth it in the end! Both our families were extremely involved and, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to plan and coordinate any event. I had been taking inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest for about a year before we got engaged. I had folders in my phone where I would store all my inspiration including outfits, trends, décor and unique ideas. During wedding planning, this folder became my go-to as I already had themes and décor ideas in mind for each event. Seeing our vision for each event pan out exactly how we wanted was the most incredible feeling ever! I can’t believe it’s all over now, though!
Feelings on the Big Day:
During all 3 days of the wedding functions, I was more happy and excited than I was nervous or scared. Most of our guests were international, travelling from the UK, USA, South Africa, India, Australia, so I was all the more excited to have my friends and family all in one place to share the whole experience with. We were so excited that all our planning had come to an end and we had the chance to relax and watch it all unfold.
I completed my wedding shopping in Mumbai with the help of my mum, sister, brother, sister-in-law, and Rakesh. We both found it really difficult to find outfits we liked in Mumbai. Everything ‘bridal’ was too gaudy, sparkly and busy for our taste. I’m a very simple and ‘sober’ bride, as they like to call it. I prefer unique, tasteful, subtle pieces with minimal shine. I had a look at all the customary stores including Manish Malhotra, Benzer, Sabyasachi, Seasons, Anita Dongre, Jade, Aza, Kalki, Fuel, Chamee & Palak and more, with no luck. Luckily, a close family friend of ours (Nipa Badiani) is a designer; we were able to collaborate and design my Sangeet, Wedding and Reception outfits. Each item of clothing was exactly how I wanted it to be and I was so happy with the end result and overall look of each outfit!
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
Day 1 – Evening:
Welcome Dinner: White/ Purple/ Unique Seating – Vintage Outdoor Theme
Chandni: White one shoulder dress by Maurie & Eve. Heels by Tony Bianco
Rakesh: Dark Blue chinos, boat shoes, White shirt and checked Blazer from M.J. Bale
Day 2 – Morning:
Mandvo: Minimalistic decor
Chandni: Grey/ Powder Blue brocade Lehenga by Seasons
Rakesh: Salmon Pink raw silk Kurta from Kora
Day 2 – Evening:
Sangeet: Pink/ Gold – Arabian Theme
Chandni: Bottle Green velvet Skirt with Bronze scalloped border, embroidered off-shoulder blouse and sequined bronze dupatta with scalloped edges – custom made by Nipa Badiani Designs. Jewelry – custom made from Gewels by Mona Shah
Rakesh: Royal Blue raw silk Kurta and Waistcoat from Kora
Day 3 – Morning:
Wedding: Peach/ White/ Lace – Romantic Theme
Chandni: Red and Gold embroidered skirt and blouse with two different colored dupattas – custom made by Nipa Badiani Designs. Jewelry – custom made by Gewels by Mona Shah
Rakesh: Cream embroidered Sherwani from Benzer.
Day 3 – Evening:
Reception: White/ Greenery/ Wood – Rustic Garden Theme
Chandni: White embroidered skirt with pearl and gold borders, pearl off-shoulder blouse, custom oval shape dupatta with train – custom made by Nipa Badiani Designs. Jewelry – custom made by Sia, Mumbai
Rakesh: Bespoke White Shirt by Germanicos Bespoke Tailors and bespoke Black Suit by Wisco
Rakesh and I knew we wanted a destination wedding. We love Thailand and we both love Thai food! We researched resorts and hotels and stumbled upon JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. After making a trip to meet potential resorts in Phuket, we met Minelli Di Kretzer, the Director of Group & Sales of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. She won us over with her hospitality during our stay and for treating us as if we were family. I knew I wanted a resort that had different venues for each function, great hospitality, and a food/ drinks menu to die for and JW Marriott Phuket ticked all those boxes!
Performers and Performances:
We had a traditional Thai fire dance in the middle of a pond to start off our Welcome Dinner and give everyone a taste of the Thai culture. During the Welcome Dinner, we also had a solo saxophone player who played romantic music whilst the guests walked into the venue. For our Sangeet we had four dances – I choreographed 3 of 4 songs and asked my sister and sister-in-law to choreograph Rakesh’s boys’ dance. Our siblings, parents and friends worked tirelessly for 3 months prior to the wedding to ensure I wasn’t disappointed on the day! Each dance absolutely nailed it and the crowd loved the energy they all brought to the Sangeet. During the Reception, there was a father-daughter dance which led into mine and Rakesh’s first dance.
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist and DJ:
Colomono was hired for my brother’s wedding in Bali and I fell in love with their professionalism, passion for their job and, most of all, their incredible photos and videos. I knew from then that I wanted Colomono to be a part of my wedding, too. They absolutely went above and beyond to cater to us and the use of their drone to capture videos and photos was incredible. My make-up artist Simran Thakkar was outstanding. She was calm, patient and understanding and ensured she was there for any touch-ups that were required throughout each day. Our DJ knew the exact type of music I wanted for each event and he did not fail to keep the crowd energetic and entertained!
Advice for to-be-weds (one or two sentences):
Make sure that during the days of the celebrations, you take a back seat and appoint a few family members as key contacts for the venue team, wedding planners and any other vendors involved. This is so that you are not stressed during the functions and so that you actually have time to mingle with guests and just be present at each and every function! Also, during your Reception, block out time during dinner to take a photo with each table to ensure you have at least one photo of each guest that attended the celebrations. Unfortunately, Rakesh and I lost track of time during dinner and we regret not having a formal photo with each family/couple/table.
Photography/Videography: Colomono, Malaysia
Wedding Planner: Wizkim
Make-up Artist: Simran Takkar – Ablaze by Simran
Hair Stylist: Sawitree Thongkham
Henna Artist: IndySu Henna Artist
DJ: DJ Yaths
Venue: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa