Actress, Model and former VJ Raageshwari Loomba wed Sudhanshu Swaroop, a Human Rights Barrister based in UK. The duo was introduced by parents and friends via email and their friendship grew over Skype. Their wedding celebrations were a simple and elegant affair, held between two hotels, ITC Grand Central and Four Seasons, both a few kilometres away from her home in Sion, Mumbai.
When we entered the ITC Grand Central on her wedding day, we couldn't help admire how calm and graceful the bride looked as she warmly greeted her dear friends. Her make-up was simple and flawless and she looked pretty as a picture in a pink ensemble before she changed into a rich red saree. The decor by her friends Poonam Bijlani and Surendra Gurbaxani was traditional yet not opulent, and the scent of jasmine and melody of shehnai filled the air. The groom Sudhanshu Swaroop arrived on a white ghodi, with his band and baja. After the var-mala at the Courtyard the wedding party moved up to the Terrace Gardens on the first floor where the Reception preceded the Nuptials. Both Raageshwari and Sudhanshu didn't stand on a stage but moved around informally to interact with the guests who enjoyed the signature Indian delicacies prepared by ITC's kitchen. Post the wedding celebrations WeddingSutra spoke to 'Raagz' as she is popularly known to share her experiences with Wedding Planning.
Do whatever makes you happy
Have a wonderful set of friends and trusted people around you- and you'll be stress free. Yes, a lot of people give lots of advice to brides-to-be but I feel the best thing is to be around people who have been your friends for long. Interestingly, almost all the people who were part of my wedding are my dear friends-- the make-up artists (Pappu and Vandana tai) have dressed me for years, my designer friends (Annie Nimboo and Neeta Lulla) designed my wedding wear, my brother Rishabh Loomba designed the wedding card and Pradeep Gidwani my friend helped me with all the wedding-related shopping and last minute coordination. I didn't really have a Wedding Planner, because ours was a fairly simple wedding and the venues were close to home, so with a lot of help from family and friends, we managed just fine. Of course, everything was not 'perfect' we had our last minute tensions, but that will always be the case no matter how much you plan, or how many experts you have on board.
Give your spouse freedom and space
Since the wedding was in Mumbai I was more involved with the wedding preps than Sudhanshu who is based in London. But for all major decisions, I would check with Sudhanshu even if he would always say 'go ahead'. It felt nice that he trusted me, but I made the effort to go on asking him what he wanted. One thing he really wanted was a sporty event where both sides could meet and bond. So on day two, just after the Sangeet and before the Wedding, we had a cricket match 'Mumbai Tigers' versus 'London Lions' which was a fun filled day. And after the match, the guests savoured the feast put together by Jaffer Bhai.
A Western dance ceremony and Traditional Indian wedding
Since the wedding was a traditional Indian affair, we wanted the pre-wedding party cum Sangeet to be quite different. So it was a Western style function themed- Eat, Pray and Dance. And the Four Seasons chefs laid out a fantastic combination of Oriental, Japanese and Burmese food.
I wanted the wedding to be simple and traditional, and the brief I gave the decor team was not to put crystals or orchids. I wanted the guests to 'smell' India as they entered, and that's exactly what it was. And I explained to Neeta Lulla to embroider my saree with the lightest elements so I could move around easily and not feel weighed down. And I was so happy both of us could meet and interact with almost all the guests who were with us on our special day.
Venues- Four Seasons (Pre wedding party) and ITC Grand Central (Wedding)
Decor- Poonam Bijlani and Suren Gurbaxani (Bombay Decorators)
Bride's wear by Troy Costa, Annie Nimboo and Neeta Lulla
Bride's makeup and hairstyling by Pappu and Vandana Tai
Grooms wear by Troy Costa
Entertainment (Pre wedding party)- Live retro band and DJ Amyth
Photos Courtesy : Shreya Sen Photography