Wedding Venue Hot Spots: Swati Recommends Shutters (Santa Monica) and Tote on the Turf (Mumbai)

Swati and Adam live and work in Dubai. Swati grew up in Dubai, and Adam moved there four years ago from California. Swati is a Lawyer, and a mutual friend from work introduced both of them when Adam needed legal advice. A couple of months later they met again, and since then they’ve never looked back.

Swati writes about about their wedding festivities in California, Dubai and Mumbai:

Wedding Venue
We wanted to get married outside Dubai so we decided to host it in California, where Adam grew up. We chose a beautiful boutique hotel called Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. The place was perfect, as the hotel was right on the beach of the Santa Monica pier. We held a Reception dinner at Shutters immediately after.

After this, we had two post-wedding receptions, one was held in Dubai where my family resides, and the second and our finale event was in Mumbai, so I could celebrate with my cousins, relatives and friends who live in Mumbai and within India.

Post Wedding Celebration in Mumbai
In Mumbai, we hosted our Reception in Tote on the Turf. I had been to Tote on previous visits to Mumbai, and absolutely loved it, so I didn’t consider any other venue. Adam had never been to Mumbai, but he too loved the venue when he saw it a few days prior to the event.

My friend Hemal Solanki Bhagwat who runs Mumbai-based Weddings by Mercury helped by pointing me towards the right photographer and getting the initial venue information, and that bit of early planning helped a lot.

Wedding Planning
In the US, the hotel needed me to have an on-the-day planner. I picked Dianne Greenberg who used to work for Shutters and retired from there. She was invaluable. While I was picking and talking to vendors myself, I did it all from Dubai, and it was very useful to have someone on the ground to make a phone call or clarify something if required. Amy Sparks and Imelda, who both work together, did my make-up & hair. The cake was from Jamica’s Cakes, and the flowers from Ninfa’s Flowers. The DJ was Red Con from Scratch Weddings. I had two photographers- Salvatore Soria of Soria Weddings for the main event and Christina Lopez who covered the Wedding and Reception too.

Overall, I found it very easy to find and manage all the vendors in the US. Responses were usually quick, and all questions were answered. Planning a wedding from so far away and arriving in LA the week before was daunting but things were extremely smooth.

We didn’t hire a planner in Mumbai, because we were hosting one function only. However, coordinating with the venue in Mumbai wasn’t as smooth as it was in the US. Luckily, my friends helped by stepping in, but it was a lot of back and forth. I would recommend having a good planner for a wedding in India, even if it is a small celebration.

Advice for To-Be-Weds
– Don’t believe all the hype. Your wedding doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s. Be true to what you want and like, and that will go a long way in making it the happiest day of your life.
– Ask your friends and family who are in the same city, it makes things easier.
– Most importantly, have fun! And eat!

Wedding Details
Makeup & Hair- Amy Sparks and Imelda (California), Ojas Rajani (Mumbai)
Cake- Jamica’s Cakes
Flowers- Ninfa’s Flowers
DJ- Red Con (Scratch Weddings)
Photos Courtesy- Goldfish Photography, Salvatore Soria and Christina Lopez (California) and Shreya Sen (Mumbai)

Our blog post series ‘Wedding Venue Hot Spots’ features Real Couples and their search for the perfect venue. If you got married recently and would like to be featured here please email us a few wedding photos along with the details below. Our Editors will review the same and get in touch with you for a more detailed interview:

– Your Names and where you live
– The Wedding Functions, Date(s) and Venue & City–

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