Divya and Shaan, Cebu, Philippines
Sports enthusiasts Divya and Shaan’s wedding at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa spanned four seasons and saw their very own Olympics!
With an eye on getting married in as beautiful a setting as they could imagine with every single loved one present at all times, Divya and Shaan chose the Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu for their wedding.
The bride shares with us the highlights of their wedding.
How We Met
Our parents were friends so we’ve known each other for years but just as acquaintances. Then in 2013 I moved back to home after university and found we had a couple of mutual friends. We used to hang out but it wasn’t until two years ago that we started talking on our nights out and realized we had a strong connection. We began dating early 2016 and as they say, it all happens when the time is right.
10 months into dating him, Shaan planned the cutest proposal at my favorite hotel in Hong Kong – The Upper House. We’d planned a chilled out date night post work but he took me to a suite where a guitarist was singing ‘All Of Me’ and on the floor, it said, “Will you marry me?” Our friends and family joined us soon after, making this a night even more special and truly one to remember.
We wanted a destination wedding close to Hong Kong and Shangri-La‘s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu seemed perfect considering the size of the hotel and the variety of locations available to host our functions. We had quite a few events and it worked out perfectly. Moreover, the hotel staff was so friendly, helpful and warm that it really helped create a good feeling for all our guests.
We had two wedding planning teams taking care of our wedding! Even though they’d never worked in tandem, everything ran smoothly and we credit Stanz Catalan of Grupo Weddings and Events from Cebu and the Innaz of Innaz Communique from Jakarta.
I was also really happy with my makeup artist Natasha Moor and my hairstylist Mudy Lee. They really made me look and feel like a princess. The whole process of getting ready was seamless and fun.
Janya and Ghari Pooja
The décor was inspired by tropical rainforests so we worked with a palette of white and green. A mandap stood in the center of the ballroom with crystals as the main decor element. Shaan’s family wore matching outfits and they fashioned my attire in a similar manner too. All our outfits were from Manzar.
Janya was followed by high tea and we moved on to the ghari ceremonies which were held individually one after the other by both families.
Later that night, we had a welcome dinner at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant, by the sea. Guests were welcomed by fire dancers and once inside, were privy to a springtime wonderland created with fairy lights and pastel colours. DJ Manoj at the console kept the party going till six in the morning.
I wore an outfit by Namrata Joshpuri.
At our civil ceremony the following day, 16 pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen preceded us down the aisle followed by pageboys and flower-girls (my nieces and nephews) who strew the path with petals. My father walked me in and then Shaan and I took our vows and exchanged rings as my niece sang a song for us. The decor was white and I wore a white Gaurav Gupta gown.
We’re both sporty so we had a ShaaDi Olympics party which was very personal and so much fun! Everyone dressed in haute-athleisure and the ballroom was decorated with sports motifs. A running track led into the ballroom and inside we had the LED dance floor kept changing morphing: one moment a swimming pool, then a football pitch, a netball court etc. This was the event that we possibly enjoyed the most.
The next morning, our summer themed mehndi had a carnival atmosphere with a big dose of Miami Beach vibes. There were flamingos, lots of stalls with activities like tarot card reading, bracelet making and more. We also had a hat station, outdoor food stalls and a massage corner. The highlight of the decor was our stage set on the pool.
I wore a pink gown by Manish Malhotra.
That evening, our sangeet was celebrated at the marquee of the hotel. I wore a gorgeous lehenga by Manish Malhotra and Shaan opted for an achkan from Manzar.
The setup was meant to evoke autumn and the stage used several wooden elements and candles along with dry leaves and chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. The decor highlight was the huge round bar in the center with a tall tree. I performed a dance to Bole Choodiyan with my brother while Shaan danced with his football team in his football jersey. He even performed with both his grandmothers which I thought was very cute. Once our friends and family had showcased their talent, Sukhbir Singh took to the stage to entertain our guests. That night we had DJ Kevin who played groovy songs and had everyone dancing till 9 a.m.!
Shaan rode a Harley Davidson at his baraat and his parents were on the truck with the DJ playing music. I entered in a doli carried by my brothers and cousins. Our pheras were held on the hotel lawn where a rectangular white mandap was set up. Pink and white flowers were used to decorate the mandap and an ‘Om’ in red was the focal point of the backdrop.
My father-in-law had planned a surprise for us. Near the end of the pheras ceremony, suddenly the Hawaii Five-O theme song started to play and two drones flew across the lawn and brought our garlands to us. This was a brilliant idea and was a real hit. Shan and I wore outfits by Sabyasachi to this ceremony.
For our reception we used blue and silver to create visuals that evoked images of a white winter. A 12-metre chandelier hung above the main table and a white castle made for the stage backdrop. What made this feature interesting was that it also served as the entrance for Shaan and myself. I wore a creation by Gaurav Gupta and Shaan opted for a Dolce & Gabbana suit.
The night saw speeches and performances by our family and friends and a father-daughter dance to a song sung by Shaan’s father. After this DJ Kevin and DJ Rahul took over and the party, once again, continued till 9 the next morning.
Advice for Couples
The wedding celebrations come and go in a heartbeat after what feels like an eternity of planning. So make sure to enjoy it to the fullest and live in the moment. After all, everyone has come to celebrate both of you! Don’t get caught up in the little details that didn’t go perfectly and cherish each moment – because you will miss it!
Venue: Shangri-La‘s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu
Wedding Planner: Innaz Communique (Jakarta)and Stanz Weddings (Cebu)
Bride’s Outfits: Manzar, (Janya and Ghari, and After Party), Namrata Joshpuri (PreWelcome Dinner), Gaurav Gupta (Civil Ceremony and Reception), Manish Malhotra (Mehndi and Sangeet), Sabyasachi (Pheras)
Groom’s Outfits: Manzar ((Janya and Ghari, and Sangeet), Sabyasachi (Pheras), Dolce and Gabbana (Reception)
Jewellery: Diamantina, Butani, Rosentiques
Makeup: Natasha Moor (Hong Kong)
Hairstylist: Mudy Lee, (Hong Kong)
Entertainer: Sukhbir Singer (Sangeet)
DJ: DJ Manoj (Dubai), DJ Kevin (Singapore), Rahul Idnani (Hong Kong)
Choreographer: Paras & Yuvraj (Hong Kong)
Caterers: Queen’s Tandoor (Jakarta)
Pundit: Maharaj Jai Sharma (Hong Kong)
Photography and Videography: Blacktie Projects (Philippines) and Ali Ghorbani (Hong Kong)