Barkha and Manish, Baku, Azerbaijan
A wedding in Baku meant a series of sophisticated events in breathtaking venues.
A simple birthday wish to Barkha from Manish opened up a new realm in their casual acquaintance. A conversation that began just refused to end and the two fell in love and got married.
The Dubai based couple’s destination wedding was held in Azerbaijan, a country that sits culturally and geographically on the cusp between Europe and Asia with a heady Russian influence. A remarkable stage for any love story, for Manish and Barkha, the Land of Fire let sparks fly.
The bride tells us all about their wedding.
How They Met
“Manish and I had crossed paths a number of times since 2006. But the year he wished me on my birthday, we really got talking. One message turned into a long conversation that went on for days and nights. Eventually, we knew that we were meant to be together forever.”
“As a coincidence, my brother and I had visited Baku, Azerbaijan for a holiday, exactly a year before. We’d fallen in love with the city and when we began planning for the wedding, he suggested the country.
Early on, it seemed far fetched – the destination is new to the Indian wedding industry and we anticipated several challenges. However, Manish was of the opinion that we host the wedding at an uncommon location. So we began our wedding planning.
Our wedding was set for May – which in Dubai is not at all salubrious. However, in Baku, the average temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius, which was very pleasant. Baku also made sense because it provides e-visas to almost all nationalities. This was a priority for us since our guest list looked like a UN conference with all the different nationalities. Azerbaijan’s connectivity from Dubai also made it super convenient for us to take trips there during the planning process.
Bilgah Beach Hotel was the most stunning property. I don’t think we’ve seen a more perfect wedding venue elsewhere. With ample number of rooms, multiple event venues, beautiful views as well as cooperative and welcoming staff; they had it all.”
“Our wedding was planned and managed by Weddings by SS and the emcee for our events was Vishaal Rasquinha. He has great stage presence and did a wonderful job at making our functions more engaging.”
“We had a Caspian Sea Sundowner and the venue was one of the most unusual. The Pier Grill is a wooden pier in the middle of the Caspian Sea and affords the most stunning views of the sea and of course, the sunset. It was so beautiful that even though it began to rain and the weather turned a bit cold, everyone just let the party morph into a rain dance! It was heartwarming to see how no one cared about their clothes or hair and just wanted to celebrate with us. The night continued at the after-party unrolled at the Yuukai Sky Lounge, the hotel’s club.”
“After the rain on the previous day, the weather turned absolutely magnificent. Our ring ceremony turned out to be a glorious affair. Most of our guests expressed their awe at how stunning the function was.
The event was hosted at the Buddha-Bar Beach – a seaside venue and the décor had a rustic romance to it with blue and white as a palette along with large floral elements. The bright, beautiful day with clear blue skies just added to the magic.”
“That same evening the Bilgah Ballroom saw a scintillating sangeet. Contemporary elegance was created with lots of candles and sleek golden elements.. While the set up was minimalist, the grand stage had a huge LED backdrop in contrast. Our loved ones presented so many wonderful performances and the entire vibe was very upbeat. We also had a traditional Azeri dance performance arranged for our guests to give them a taste of the local culture.”
“We hosted the wedding outdoors at the Pool Terrace which was decked in white and yellow flowers. Our mandap was circular and stood at one end of the venue, smothered in blooms. There was an acrylic Ganesha cutout also decorated in flowers as the backdrop. I was escorted to the venue by some of my nearest and dearest, walking under a phoolon ki chadar. Manish arrived in a vintage car with his baraat.”
“Our reception was a grand affair. We had a palette of white and gold. As you walked in, your first sight would be of the stage, opposite, a backdrop of white flowers with golden accents. Crystal candelabras were the centerpieces on every table, while the chairs were pristine white. The dance floor in the center of the room had a large chandelier suspended over it. We began the evening with our first dance as man and wife and then, our guests were invited on to the floor following which everyone grooved to some power-packed performances by Ash King.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Bilgah Beach Hotel, Azerbaijan
Wedding Planner: Weddings by SS
Bride’s Outfits: Nachiket Barve (Mehendi), Hasan Mardash, Dubai (Ring Ceremony), Nadine Dhody (Sangeet), Anita Dongre (Wedding), Amit Agarwal (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Rohit Bal (Mehendi), Bespoke suit by Parmar, Dubai (Ring Ceremony), SVA by Sonam and Paras Modi (Sangeet), Vavci (Wedding), Bespoke Tuxedo by Parmar, Dubai (Reception)
Jewellery: Satyani Fine Jewels
Makeup and Hairstyling: Alexandra Poslavaskaya
Mehendi: Mira (Dubai)
Entertainment: Rahul Jain (Mehendi), Walter Scalzone (Ring Ceremony and Sangeet), Ash King (Reception)
DJ: DJ Nitesh, DJ Hani
Emcee: Vishaal Rasquinha