How we met
My husband, Neal Panchmatia, is a Gujarati investment banker while I’m a Punjabi doctor. We got acquainted with each other when I was eighteen and he was nineteen. Our respective best friends had started seeing each other and his friend invited him to our prom.
We’d known each other for a long time but we started dating only in 2014 when the same friends who introduced us to each other decided to set us up! Needless to say, the two of them were the groomsman and bridesmaid at our civil wedding ceremony.
The formal proposal took place in June 2016 after I completed my medical degree and turned 25. Neal told me he was taking me on holiday to celebrate and surprised me with a trip to Santorini, Greece. On the second night, he proposed on a private balcony with a captivating view at the Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel! The gesture was so romantic and the experience so exquisite, it’s definitely a memory I will cherish forever!
The pre-wedding shoot took place in Dubai when we were on our way to Mumbai for our wedding shopping. The shoot was a gift from my in-laws and took place in various locations. We started at the Jumeirah Beach where we had a lovely view of the Burj Al Arab, we moved on to shoot on a private yacht from Xclusive Yachts at Dubai Marina and then we hired a private tour guide who took us to the sand dunes where we had our final picture series shot against the expansive golden desert and the fiery sunset. All this was captured by Studio K a company based in Dubai.
We were the first from our close friends to get married so we had no one to go to for ideas. Therefore most of our inspiration came from social media and WeddingSutra! We didn’t have a particular theme in mind but we did have an idea of the general aesthetic. We coordinated our clothes and on the day of the shoot, I had my hair done at Nstyle Beauty Lounge at The Walk, Dubai.
Shooting at the Jumeirah beach was quite an experience, the pristine waters, silky white sands and the clear blue sky came together to create pictures that looked like they belonged on a postcard. The biggest challenge, however, was working with my hair that refused to stop blowing into my face every few minutes whether we were on the beach, the yacht or the dunes. Nonetheless, it was an incredibly fun day out! We also found it funny to be told to “look at each other lovingly” while being filmed by a crew of five people and having my in-laws watching in the background. However, we found a way to laugh through it all.
Another special part of the shoot was having the sand dunes all to ourselves. We were very lucky with the time we had chosen to shoot at. It was such an exhilarating experience being able to run along the dunes with no one (apart from the crew) around for miles! The yacht was also super-luxurious and once the filming was over we sat back, enjoyed ice-cold champagne and blasted our favorite Bollywood songs!
At our reception, we previewed the shoot photos and videos for all our guests.
Props: Wed in Style
Photography and Videography: Studio K, Dubai