Tanishq NRI Bride’s Diary- Aditi Parmar (Seattle, USA), Smeet Gala (New York, USA) and Nadia Louzado (Raleigh, North Carolina)
As part of our fortnightly feature ‘Tanishq NRI Bride’s Diary’, we speak to brides-to-be to hear about their wedding preps, where they’re e-shopping, their India visit plans and more!
Aditi Parmar (Seattle, USA)
My fiancé and I are both based in Seattle, United States. I work for one of the Big Four Consulting firms and Umang Someshwar works with a Seattle-based software giant. We both met in Chicago when I was doing my Masters and Umang was visiting a common friend. After dating for nearly two years, we decided to tie the knot. We are getting married in mid-December 2014 in Mumbai.
Since a good part of Umang’s family live in Mumbai, they chose the ‘City of big dreams’ to save on travel time. My family is spread out with my brothers living in Melbourne (Australia) and Chicago (US), and my parents in Orissa. We will be having our Sangeet and Wedding in Mumbai, followed by the Reception in Rourkela (Orissa).
Ever since the wedding dates were finalized, I started looking for everything and anything that would aid in my wedding preps – from websites for stylish traditional outfits, jewellery, makeup artists, candid photographers to wedding cards, décor etc. I must say WeddingSutra has done an incredible job in helping us get these inputs and making it easy for to-be-brides like me who live abroad. Some of the websites I visited for outfits were Indian Fabric Emporium, Jiva couture and Pernias popupshop.
I will be in India two weeks before the wedding and I plan to visit stores both in Mumbai and Kolkata, for my Sangeet lehenga and Reception gown. I am a bit relaxed since my wedding saree (white and red panetar and a red chunari) has already been taken care of by my mother and mother-in-law! I would love to wear my mother’s choice for the wedding and I’ve given her complete control over getting the saree designed by a designer (Mita Shah) based out of Kolkata. The two stores in Mumbai which I am looking forward to visit are S&S in Bandra and Mamta Khatwani (Chembur-based designer). They are recommended by my cousins and I have heard good reviews about them.
As photographs are the only source of keeping the memories forever, booking the photographer was one of the first things we did. Both Umang and I wanted to be sure of what we were getting into (no posing and made up pictures!), so we got in touch with Manasvi and Ketan from Into Candid Photography. We liked their work and have booked them. For make-up I have booked Maya Mehta whose work I have seen on WeddingSutra and who has also been recommended by my sister-in-law. I am not into too much of make-up, so the brief I have given her is simple, ‘keep it elegant and natural’.
Smeet Gala (New York, USA)
I met my fiancé Anshul Shah in New York City, where we completed our Master’s in the same course. We are both health economics researchers, and we’re currently working in a small, yet growing pharmaceutical consulting company in New Jersey. It doesn’t happen often in the work culture here, but we are working in the same department in the same company!
Since I am from Mumbai and Anshul is from Ahmedabad, we will be celebrating our wedding in both cities. The wedding is in January 2015. The traditional Jain ceremony (pheras) will be held in Mumbai followed by an evening Reception. And we have another Reception in Ahmedabad.
I have spent a lot of time online but I am not too comfortable with making purchases online. The main reason is the trust factor- I am not sure if I can buy anything without being concerned about delivery, sizes, colors, design, patterns… the list goes on. However, some of the websites I visit just to window-shop are Mirraw.com, Craftsvilla.com and Utsavfashion.com. I often research on social boards like Pinterest to look for current designs and fashion, and check a lot of designers’ and stores’ Facebook pages as well. I won’t be e-shopping from any US websites either, as I am pretty sure I can find more reasonable options in India.
I will be arriving in India just a week before my wedding and all my shopping will be pending till then! It may seem too last-minute but thanks to my family who are currently doing all their research in Mumbai, and have shortlisted the stores to visit, I am confident I can quickly find what I like. I would not like to splurge on an expensive outfit which I may never wear again. Hence, they have been forbidden to suggest anything that is too outrageous in price.
The Wedding To-do’s
Our venues have been decided and booked, the wedding invitations are designed, my morning saree (panetar) is chosen and our photographer is booked. What is pending is shopping for more functions and finalising on the caterer, make-up artist and of course personally distributing the wedding cards. Since Anshul and I are from different cities, it’s been a little cumbersome to coordinate. There are always a lot of calls back home, and saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to a design/ idea/ concept is a daily occurrence. However, we love our parents for taking care of it all, without us being there to help them.
Nadia Louzado (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Leslie and I met through a common friend in Charlotte, North Carolina and we got engaged in July 2013. Since our families live all over the world we decided to have our wedding in India, to get everybody down during Christmas- something that doesn’t happen too often and so it is- December wedding in Bangalore.
I have lived most of my life in Vancouver so it’s been tough trying to put together a wedding while living in another country. I have spent a lot of time online and have taken decisions based on ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendations. For our big day, we’re working with some young and talented entrepreneurs from Bangalore:
– The Wedding Planner is Sowmya Crasta of ‘Purple Rings’ (www.purplerings.net/). She has helped me understand the wedding market in Bangalore much better.
– Our cake is getting done by ‘That’s my cake’ (https://www.facebook.com/ThatsMyCake.).Namitha, an at-home cake artist came with a great reference and I heard she makes amazing cakes.
– My bridesmaids’ dresses are being done by a top Bangalore-based Elan Design Studio (www.elandesignstudio.in/) and the seamstress Asha Fernandes has been amazing in managing it all.
– The bridesmaids’ jewellery has been ordered from Avisha of ‘Rosebelle Treasures’. I have been seeing her work online, she has some amazing pieces, and she has been able to customize the jewellery to match my colours and themes.
– The real highlight of my hunt was finding a photographer/videographer. That ended when I was introduced to Neil (www.neil.dj), I felt his work is brilliant and unique and what I really liked about him is that he’s extremely honest and upfront about what he can do and where his expertise is.
– I’m getting a few Indian outfits made by Prerna who runs ‘Fashion-Era’ (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fashion-Era/244725558984523). She is based in New Delhi but ships clothes all around India.
I will be in Bangalore a month prior to my wedding. During this month, I’m going to be meeting with all of the above mentioned vendors, and I’ll try to find new vendors who can make a difference to the wedding organizing experience. Living in Vancouver, I’ve seen some small weddings of 50 people to larger weddings of 150 people but to now organize and experience a 350 person wedding is going to be exciting, nerve-wracking and oh so fun!
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