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How we Met
Fashion designer Anoli Shah was introduced to businessman Arjun Udani through an arranged marriage setting. She shares, “An aunt of ours kept insisting that Arjun and I meet. Since both of us were busy traveling, it kept getting delayed but I am glad we finally did. Arjun came to Ahmedabad to meet me during the Makar Sankranti festival. After having lunch, I took him to a friend’s terrace so he could also experience the traditional kite flying practice in Gujarat. It is funny - and maybe nobody would believe us - but by the end of the day, in our heads, it was a ‘yes’ from the both of us. Following that, we met a few times in Mumbai and Ahmedabad and felt like we had known each other for ages. The whole journey felt absolutely effortless. We just fit together perfectly, and soon after he proposed and we decided to tie the knot.”

Anoli and Arjun

The proposal
“Arjun shuttles between Mumbai, Dubai and Nigeria because of work. He had planned the proposal with my friend and had asked me to accompany him to a sundowner yacht party. It was only when we reached the Dubai Marina Yacht Club that I saw him go down on one knee, in front of the iconic Burj Al Arab, with a ring and ask me to marry him!”

Wedding Venue
“Both of us wanted a place that would be convenient for all the guests and elders in our families. When we visited the The Ananta hotel in Udaipur, we instantly fell in love with the beautiful property. It’s located on a hill, had enough rooms to accommodate all our guests and also satisfied my lifelong wish of getting married amidst the hills!”

Wedding Décor
“Being a designer myself, I was very conscious about the look and décor for every function. Everything from the sangeet to the wedding had a very minimal yet creative feel to it. Designer Krutika Bolaki did the entire décor primarily in pastel and bright colors with vintage brass utensils and pots which were resplendent of traditional aesthetics.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Haldi
“The haldi ceremony was a private affair with only close family and friends invited. Since it is typically a fun event, my friends and I enjoyed spending quality time together and celebrated the ritual to the fullest.”

Anoli and Arjun

Qawwali Night
“Even though we had a separate sangeet night, we decided to host a traditional Qawwali night with special performances by professional Sufi singers. The décor was done entirely in orange and gold with special illuminated tents for guests to sit back and enjoy the soulful music. I chose to wear a midnight blue embroidered salwar by Rahul Mishra, while Arjun chose a classic black Shantanu and Nikhil ‘bandh gala’ jacket which complemented the bright décor really well.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Sangeet
“We both wore Shantanu and Nikhil creations for this event, but decided to go for contrasting colors. I opted for a gorgeous wine colored embroidered lehenga with minimal makeup by Claire Marrinan. Arjun wore a muted coffee-colored sherwani kurta for the function. We had a fully illuminated indoor hall and a checkered floor which gave a very kitschy yet fun vibe to our sangeet function.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Wedding
"I wore a self-designed red and gold zardozi lehenga for my big day. I've always wanted my wedding outfit to be of the traditional red color. My lehenga was inspired by the arches of the different palaces in Rajasthan, and featured key elements that are also very Rajasthani like the elephant, royal garden, peacocks and lotuses, among others. I wanted my lehenga to be a celebration of the different rich embroideries from diverse parts of India that I have loved and used in different collections of mine over the last few years. Every motif in my wedding lehenga was done using a different embroidery technique such as Marodi, aari and pita, among others.”

Arjun wore a chic white dhoti-kurta set by Rohit Bal, and a dark brown safa (turban).

Ojas Rajani did my makeup and really helped me accentuate my natural features with matte face and bold lips. Since we had a day wedding, the mandap was beautifully decorated with lots of garlands and hanging golden bells which gave it a very traditional feel.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Reception
“I love Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s creations and wanted to adorn it in at least one of my wedding functions. I color coordinated the golden theme of the décor with a beautiful Sabysachi royal blue lehenga which had intricate zari embroidery on it. My makeup was done by ace makeup artist Kapil Bhalla who gave me beautiful smoky eyes and an overall sculpted look that complemented the rest of the attire.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Ballroom Dinner
“Our ballroom dinner had an elegant Victorian theme wherein I wore a beautiful pastel green Shantanu and Nikhil gown and Arjun wore a dapper suit designed by SS Homme. Since it was a proper sit-down dinner, the décor reflected a very calming green and white floral theme with an illuminated entrance that made the setting look very chic and glamorous.”

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Anoli and Arjun

Experience with The Photo Diary
"Both of us always wanted someone who's not a conventional wedding photographer and never wanted clichés because that's just who we are. We instantly clicked very well with Monisha and she really understood the fun carefree vibe we wanted for the coverage of the wedding and no-one would’ve done a better job at it then what they have."

Advice for Couples to Wed
“Do not micro-manage things and kill yourself over small things! It is very important for couples to have a good time and enjoy their wedding. Delegate and let family members or professionals take care of your dream wedding - all the stress can be totally avoidable then.”

The Wedding Makers
Location: The Ananta, Udaipur
Wedding planner: 7X weddings Ahmedabad
Decor Designer: Krutika Bolaki
Bridal Trousseau: Shantanu & Nikhil (Sangeet & Ballroom Dinner), Rahul Misra (Qawwali Night), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Mumbai Reception), Anoli Shah (Wedding)
Makeup: Claire Marrinan (Sangeet), Ojas Rajani (Qawwali Night & Wedding), Kapil Bhalla (Mumbai Reception)
Groom’s Trousseau: Shantanu & Nikhil (Sangeet & Qawwali Night), Rohit Bal (Wedding)

Photos Courtesy: The Photo Diary

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