How we met:
Hitesh and I started university at the same time and were doing the same major. Since most of our classes were together, we became good friends. He was done with university 6 months before the rest of us, as he had done a few extra summers. We lost touch after university since he was busy working. Around 2 years after we graduated, a common friend hosted her birthday party where we met again. That’s when we became friends again and got talking.
A month before our engagement, Hitesh proposed on my birthday. For the longest time, he made me believe that he wasn’t filmy at all and won’t be doing anything even close to a proposal, but all that was said just to make sure that I was actually surprised. It was exactly the way I wanted – a few of our friends were present, there were purple candles all around, and he went down on one knee with ‘Tum Hi Ho’ playing in the background.
I had been planning the wedding for the longest time like most brides usually do. I collected ideas from other weddings, movies, Pinterest and a lot of things around me. I had created a board on Pinterest long before Hitesh and I were even together. Initially, it was stressful as everything was all over the place, but once we confirmed our vendors, it got a lot easier.
Both of us were extremely particular about what we wanted, and did things till the very end. The engagement was planned in 3 months, after which we took a break from planning the wedding. After 2 months, we got down to plan our wedding. We were involved in every aspect of planning the décor, menu, give-aways wherever possible, and themes.
Apart from the religious functions, each event theme was linked to a particular city that we planned to visit for our honeymoon. Masquerade Ball was Parisian; to give it the perfect look, we had an Eiffel tower structure at the entrance. The brunch was Swiss, which got its feel with the snow park and our Reception was a Winter in London. For this, we had the cityscape of London as our stage backdrop.
I started market research for my wedding outfits 2 months after our engagement. Since we were spoilt with options, it was important to know what was available in the market, and which ones would fit the theme.
I got all my outfits, jewelry and accessories from Bombay. Personally, I feel that is the best place to shop for any function, and there are so many options to choose from..
My mom helped me with the entire shopping process since she knows my choice and was of great help whenever I was confused. If it wasn’t for her, shopping would have been super stressful!
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
Mata ki Chowki: Groom – Tarun Tahiliani; Bride – Sabyasachi
Pheras: Groom – Manish Malhotra; Bride – Sabyasachi
Masquerade: Groom – Vistar; Bride – Cheri D
Brunch: Groom – Vistar; Bride – Shikha Hemdev
Reception: Groom – Manish Malhotra; Bride – Manish Malhotra
Since our wedding took place in winter, I was sure that I wanted at least one of the venues to be outdoors. We started looking for outdoor venues around Dubai for our dates, and hunted for those that could accommodate our guest list. The search for venues was a tedious and time-consuming task which took almost 3 months.
Since childhood, I always wanted to have a Gurudwara wedding. There were no two ways about it! Getting married in the Gurudwara was so peaceful and calming, especially because whoever attended the function had no distractions and was there just for us.
St. Regis had a royal ballroom, and that was the idea we had in mind for our masquerade. Westin had a huge ballroom, which was a requirement for our Reception.
Closer to the wedding, we were a little skeptical about the weather, since rain was predicted during those three days. We had one outdoor function everyday (Mata ki Chowki was in the lawn of Montgomery, Baraat was outdoors and the Brunch was at the lawn of Ritz) but it all worked out just fine.
The day of the brunch, it started pouring just as the brunch ended!
Performers and Performances:
For the masquerade, we had Loud Street Girls, a band of 5 drummers who had a lot of energy and pumped up the party.
The brunch entertainment was Paris House Addict who were quite entertaining as well. This group went perfectly with our theme.
Since the Reception was a formal event, we wanted a good singer who kept the crowd entertained while we greeted all our guests. Jasleen Royal was exceptionally good at this, and everyone loved her performance!
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist, bartenders and DJ:
Wedding Planner: Red Velvet Events
This wedding would not have been possible without the help of a group of friends and family members as well. During this time we became aware of how important it is to have good and helpful people around you.
They were very good to work with. They made the pre-wedding shoot and all the couple photos so easy for us. The entire team was friendly and hardworking. Would definitely recommend them to any couple who wants to enjoy the journey.
Makeup Artist: Natasha Moor – She gave me and my mum different looks for every function. For someone who doesn’t like using a lot of makeup, she made me feel really comfortable. If there was a particular look that I did not like, she would modify it to ensure I’m happy with my look before leaving the room. Even the hair extensions and lashes that she used felt so good! In the past, whenever I had attempted to wear lashes, it had been a disaster! Unlike what I had heard about other makeup artists, she understood what a bride wants and is really quick at doing a good, fresh and different look each time.
Bartender: Red Velvet – Very creative with presentation and service style.
DJ: DJ Manoj – Kept the party on till 4 am every night! The guests had a great time dancing away to his music.
Packing: Wrapping Dreams (Bombay) – Aesha was extremely creative and friendly. Working with her for the trousseau and give-away packing was a pleasure. Once you give her a list of everything to be done, she comes up with great ideas which look pretty and are user-friendly as well. There was a point where I thought we were done with everything, but she felt it was too repetitive so didn’t stop till she found something different. Her style of working was unique and she was a great help at every step.
Designing: Ideas by Riddhi C Gala – For our wedding, we decided to have electronic invites rather than printed ones. Riddhi had done some great work in the past for my friends and looking at that we decided to go ahead with her for our wedding as well. Initially, what started of as just the wedding invite, turned out to be an order for the entire wedding stationery. She was prompt with making changes and didn’t have any issues in making as many changes as required. She understood the reason behind the unending changes perfectly well: because so many people were involved, and everyone had a different feedback.
Advice for to-be-weds:
Having an event planner is a must, but do not rely completely on anyone else. The bride and groom should be involved in every aspect of planning the wedding. This helps to strengthen the relationship and also looks like they’re wedding. Keep a wedding journal to ensure none of the important aspects are missed out, and the journal helps to plan the schedule to avoid overlapping commitments.
Photography/Videography: Imprint Studio, Dubai
Wedding Planner/Bartender: Red Velvet Events, Dubai
Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist: Natasha Moor, Hong Kong
Henna Artist: Mira Dubal
DJ: DJ Manoj, Dubai
Venues: Berana – Vaswani residence | Mehndi – Vaswani residence | Mata ki chowki – Address Montgomerie | Pheras – Jebel Ali Gurudwara | Parisian Masquerade Ball – The St. Regis Dubai | Enchanted Swiss Garden Brunch – The Ritz Carlton JBR | English Winter Reception – The Westin Dubai
Outfits: Mata ki Chowki: Groom – Tarun Tahiliani, Bride – Sabyasachi | Pheras: Groom – Manish Malhotra, Bride – Sabyasachi | Masquerade: Groom – Vistar, Bride – Cheri D | Brunch: Groom – Vistar, Bride – Shikha Hemdev | Reception: Groom – Manish Malhotra, Bride – Manish Malhotra
Jewellery: Satyani’s, Square Gems & Lista Jewels
Trousseau packing: Wrapping Dreams, Mumbai
E-vites: Riddhi Gala, Mumbai