This lockdown wedding at an adventure resort in Lonavla was an intimate affair with just 50 guests
The families had to downsize their wedding guest list from 180 people to just 50 due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. However, this intimate group ensured that Pooja and Somil’s nuptials held at Della Resorts in beautiful Lonavla was high on fun, joy and bonhomie, just as the couple had originally planned. Every candid moment of the festivities were captured in gorgeous frames by WeddingSutra Favorite – The Photo Lab. Bride Pooja shares some highlights here.
Medical professionals Pooja and Somil first crossed paths in university and became close friends over study sessions and shared college experiences. Pooja shares, “I knew Somil wanted to take our friendship to the next level, but I initially thought it was best not to take it forward as I was going back to London after my studies. However, when the time came to part ways, we just couldn’t say goodbye and started a long-distance relationship. Over the numerous trips that followed, we fell deeper in love as he got to know my friends and family, with him eventually popping the question on Halloween! After I said ‘Yes,’ we broke the news to my family and we celebrated with champagne.”
Talking about choosing their wedding venues she shares, “I always envisioned my wedding to be a cozy, intimate affair with minimalistic decor in a gorgeous spot, and chose Della Resorts in Lonavala for the ‘Grah Shanti,’ ‘mandap mahurat’ and ‘Pithi’ functions. I had also always wanted to get married from ‘home,’ so we hosted a mehndi function at my uncle’s holiday home in Khandala”
The initial wedding plans with around 180 guests finally saw a guest list of around 50 due to the COVID-19 Restrictions. The festivities kicked off with a homely mehndi function. The decor was kept simple yet elegant, and everyone had a lot of fun singing and dancing. The bride sported a pale mauve kurta and jacket set with “Dulhan” earrings for a laidback, quirky look as she got her hands painted with henna. Photos of her childhood were hung around the house for a personalized decor touch.
Next came the ‘Grah Shanti Pooja’ and ‘Pithi’ functions, Pooja wore a rich green silk saree and Somil picked a white shirt respectively for this function where they were smeared with turmeric paste and then doused with milk. The charming pictures of everyone playing with turmeric and water spell nothing but fun and love.
The original plans for a poolside sangeet were changed and moved indoors due to the new restrictions Benches, teepees and rustic-style beds were arranged for people to sit on around the dance floor, where everyone enjoyed a kathak performance, followed by dances by the couple, their siblings, and cousins. The bride wore a slate blue lehenga and the groom complemented her in his ink blue kurta and bandi jacket.
The elegant wedding ceremony was held indoors with minimalistic decor and a pretty pink mandap setup. The wedding priest recited the mantras in Sanskrit and translated them into Hindi for everyone to understand. Somil wore a stunning olive green sherwani while Pooja opted for a quintessential bridal red ensemble. The bridesmaids entered carrying candles engraved with the words ‘Peace,’ ‘Love’ and ‘Joy,’ which added a charming touch. The bride shares, “Even though many of the wedding details did not go as per our initial vision, it was the most special day of our lives. The only regret we both have is that two of our best friends could not be a part of the day, as well as his mum and my grandfather who couldn’t be there.”
The wedding was followed by a lovely cocktail reception with twinkling lights, classy wooden and floral decor and lots of cheer. The night saw several heartfelt speeches by the couple and their family members, and the function ended with an enchanting sky lantern display that the couple and their guests lit and released into the night sky.
Pooja and Somil share advice for other couples planning their big day, “Do not include elements just for their glam factor, or for your guests. Focus on the details that truly excite you, and don’t get bogged down by things that don’t happen the way you envisioned. Your loved ones will have happy tears in their eyes for you, not the decor that didn’t turn out as planned.”
The Wedding Makers