Pallavi writes about her Wedding in Khajuraho.
Rohan and I met in a typical boy-meets-girl scene during our Masters Program at an Ivy League University in the US. We currently live and work in the US and our families are in Delhi.
We always wanted our wedding to be very intimate and 'hatke'. We were clear that it shouldn't be stamped as 'The Big Fat Indian Wedding'.
World Heritage Site
We chose Khajuraho because no one had explored it as a 'wedding destination', despite it being a World Heritage site. It truly epitomizes the excellence and glory in the art of sculpturing. It harbors one of the most exotic and aesthetic temple complexes in the world. Also we didnt want the journey to be exhaustive for our guests. Khajuraho met the criteria as it is connected to Delhi via an overnight train journey and is about 8 hours by road. Another reason we chose this venue was that we were completely touched by the warmth, enthusiasm, helpfulness and genuineness exhibited by the locals when we visited the place earlier, and we wanted our guests to experience this hospitality.
Other destinations we had in mind were Goa and Kerala. They didn't work out because of one reason or another. I'm glad we finally chose Khajuraho!
Like every girl, I wanted a Perfect Wedding
We did not hire a wedding planner. Like every girl, I had always wanted a perfect wedding. I had always imagined myself planning my own wedding and paying utmost attention to even the smallest details to make it a very personal affair. Doing it oneself ensured that everything carried a hint of my style. Rohan, my parents and my in-laws were extremely supportive and we were able to make this 'hatke' destination wedding a big success. I wouldn't change anything even if I were to go over the entire process again.
Engagement & Sangeet (Delhi)
Decor: Colors of fire yellow, orange, gold and red
What I wore: Kundan work net saree in pistachhio green embellished with pearl (from Meena Bazaar)
Welcome Dinner in Khajuraho
Theme: An evening in Wilderness
I believe the essence of a destination wedding is to bring family and friends together to celebrate and to give them a taste of the destination itself. We wanted to make sure our guests could experience what it is like to be in the lush forests of Madhya Pradesh. After several short-lists we agreed that one of the events had to be in the middle of an actual forest. What could be better than the location itself being the highlight of the decor. To suit the theme, we wanted an Afro-Jungle kind of a music, and we organized a live musical evening by the GG Collective band (found them after an intensive online research) so our guests could imbibe themselves in this unique backdrop and get to know the 'other' family. Thanks to the owners of the venue for taking care of the menu, decor and other arrangements, together, we created an unforgettable night of music, mystique and masti.
For this evening I wore a dress by Brijesh Dahiya. The dress was designed keeping in mind the jungle theme. The groom's outfit was inspired by Indiana Jones and I was his bounty!
Wedding in Khajuraho
Theme: Dreams come true White with shades of light pink
We had imagined our wedding to be set against the backdrop of the artistic Khajuraho temples. We found a property in Khajuraho with panoramic views of the temple complex. My mother was in awe from the moment she saw the lush, well manicured lawns and the temple shikharas of the Western Group in clear and direct view. The decision was made quickly and the venue finalized.
Wedding memories are cherished for life. I wanted these memories to be bright and vibrant; true to life. The daylight brings out the true colors in a photograph so we opted for a day ceremony. The decor had to be dreamy and cheerful. Playing with white and light pink shades would bring out this effect. The fabric used for vedi decorations was light and airy in white and pink. It was draped loosely around the pillars so that it appeared to be part of the blue sky. The floral arrangements were simple and elegant to add a pop of color. To bring the traditional flavor, four statues of deities with diyas were placed against each pillar of the vedi.
The menu was created around the popular local cuisine of Madhya Pradesh.
I was very particular that I did not want a red bridal lehenga, though red is the wedding color and popular amongst most brides. Since it was my day I wanted to be dressed in my favorite color - pink. After spending about a month looking for my "perfect pink" outfit, I decided it was time to approach a designer who could translate my ideas. I was referred to Annu Dang in Delhi who is known for creating beautiful custom lehengas for the bride. She designed a gorgeous lehenga for me in pink ombre georgette fabric. The mughal-era inspired motifs were hand-crafted by her and were embellished with real diamontes, dull gold and antique goldwork. Beige and dull gold brocade fabric was used for a short, stylish, modern choli design embroidered with intricate resham thread work and studded with diamontes. The best I could ask for! I've seen many brides fatigue under the weight of a heavy dupatta and not being able to enjoy their day. For me, a light dupatta was the way to go. A dupatta was made in fine net fabric with some work from both the lehenga and the choli to tie the look together.
Post- Wedding Dinner
Since this was the finale event we wanted everyone to relax and capture as many beautiful memories of this beautiful occasion. The theme for this event was inspired by the American Wedding Dinners where the Bride and the Groom perform their first dance. It was a sit-down formal event. Our dear friends had scripted and prepared a small act for the audience where they enacted a hypothetical version of the journey of our lives so far. Vikas Gautam and his group played the saxophone to make the evening more romantic.
The decor colors were on the lines of the theme of Romance- red and white. We also used lots of dim lights and candles to create a romantic atmosphere.
My one shouldered, empire-waist, beige gown by Brijesh Dahiya was inspired by his interpretation of a modern day princess. The fabric used was flowy and light in weight to impart volume. There was an inherent sheen in the fabric for a classy and formal look. The top of the dress was pleated and adorned with different sized crystals to create a flowing pattern from being very busy at the top to scattered at the bottom. The look was completed by tying my hair in a low-rise bun on the side.
- I would highly recommend Ankit Singh as a wedding photographer, to capture those precious candid shots. We were more than happy with his work. Every time we browse through our wedding pictures we relive those moments.
- Studio Red developed our wedding albums and they did a fabulous job. Whenever someone flips through our albums they can't resist complementing the layouts and designs.
- We hired local decorators in Khajuraho to get some local flavor in the decor. Initially we were quite apprehensive but a little discussion with these vendors changed our minds and we were ready to trust them. They exceeded our expectations and went out of their way to deliver what we had asked for. So, don't shy away from hiring the local artists when planning your wedding.