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Love conquers all, including distance… and we’ve found, with a little trust and patience, the journey to marital bliss can start at the opposite ends of the earth. Shilpa and Deepak’s story bridges continents. Here, the wedding planning whizzes, F5 Weddings, share the highlights of their clients’ celebrations at The Leela, Kovalam, Kerala.

About the couple
Founder and CEO of Bangalore start-up Lookup, Deepak is a striking entrepreneur from Trissur, Kerala. Shilpa is a multi-faceted gorgeous Sindhi girl, born and brought up in the San Francisco Bay Area. A global technology attorney, she has a flair for singing and has live performances and a music video to her credit.

They first met in Bangalore in 2012, and started dating at the beginning of 2013. After a romantic Venetian proposal and a Californian engagement, the couple chose God’s Own Country to say ‘I do’.

Wedding Planning
F5 Weddings’ expertise was called upon. Their reputation for creative nuance and professionalism preceded them. In a nod to the multi-culti couple, they officially titled the wedding, “Keralafornia”.

Ajay Modgil, CEO F5 Weddings, was personally involved throughout the wedding. He says, “We had to evoke the essence of the two cultures in this fusion wedding. Shilpa was expecting guests from around the globe and Deepak has his parents and family settled in India. Our objective was to cater to both genres of guests. Since the couple was looking for a surreal beach wedding in the south, The Leela at Kovalam was an easy decision to make. Its proximity to the airport is an added bonus."

Wedding Functions
A dedicated desk marked Keralafornia was created to welcome the guests. Welcome kits, complete with thoughtful goodie bags were placed in each rooms along with a quirky itinerary card, giving details of the venues and event flow.

The opening ceremony was a football match faceoff between Team Bride aka “REAL CA” versus Team Groom aka “Cheetah United” in the soccer field of The Leela. The bride sang the Indian National Anthem and the game was followed by a dinner party.

The Mehendi party happened by the pool, the next day. Fusion artwork, neon drapes, canopies and a colourful DJ console amidst vibrant coloured windmills made up the decor. The dress code was ‘chic resort wear’ and meant to steer guests towards the poolside. After a brief Ganesh-pooja, the DJ took over.

The Sangeet was a total Bollywood-ishtyle dance fest with royal red dominating the décor. A massive LOVE sign got everyone’s attention and there were plenty of outstanding performances by the bride, the groom and their families and friends.

The wedding day itself was a never-to-forget Malayali wedding experience in the great outdoors. Nandita from F5 Weddings elaborates, “This was a first visit to Kerala for a lot of guests and we thought we’d provide them a visual extravaganza!” Inspired by the traditions of the state, the groom arrived on an elephant with a panchvadyam (Kerala’s traditional orchestra comprising of 5 instruments) in attendance.

The smiles on the groom’s family’s faces grew even wider when the entire bride’s family walked in wearing traditional Kerala attire. The scent of jasmine filled the air as the women, wearing white Kasavy sarees made their way in front of the serene backdrop that is Kovalam beach.

It all came beautifully together to make this a dream cross-cultural destination wedding. The ceremony was followed by a Sadhya lunch, Kerala’s traditional banquet served on banana leaves.

That evening, F5 weddings took the festivities up a notch with a romantic beach reception. Huge cutouts of the couple’s initials were placed within an isle of paper lanterns that led to the stunning stage. There was a guestbook and twine which guests were encouraged to use to write wedding advice and funny messages for the couple.

As the couple entered, guests welcomed them with sparklers. There followed a series of emotional moments… a surprise dedication to the groom, speeches by friends and family and the cutting of the wedding cake. The party then kicked off properly led by Mohit Lalwani of Indian Idol. The celebrations continued into the wee hours of the morning!

True to the brief, the “Keralafornia” wedding was a memorable affair. A thrilled Shilpa says,” We would highly recommend F5 Weddings to anyone. Ajay and his team are truly professional dream makers. We thank them for making our dream destination wedding a reality!"

The Wedding Makers
Wedding Planners- F5 Weddings, Mumbai
Makeup – Varsha Gidwani, Mumbai
Hair – Seema Mane
Choreographer extraordinaire – Charles Ma (Bangalore)
Music Band Entertainment for Reception night – Mohit Lalwani & Team
DJ – DJ Sidd (Mumbai)

Photos courtesy- Happily Ever After

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