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Dolly and Rajiv pulled off an Indian wedding in the beautiful environs of Cebu island in the Philippines. Here, the bride shares highlights of the celebrations that included gorgeous themes and fun events.

Dolly and Rajiv

How We Met
“Rajiv and I had known each other for years but had never spoken. On my 22nd birthday, he saw me in a club in Manila and messaged me. After months of acting coy, I gave in and went out with him for kebabs! Just like our palate, our relationship flourished. We dated for 18 months and got engaged in early 2017 at the Antonios restaurant in Tagaytay. Rajiv asked me to marry him; I said ‘Yes’ and we celebrated in the midst of family and friends.”

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Wedding Venue
“Rajiv and I are both from the Philippines, so hosting our wedding in Manila seemed like the more convenient choice. However, we wanted a destination wedding which would be intimate and where we could celebrate our love with people who meant the most to us. Cebu seemed like the easiest, most accessible destination for us. We visited Shangri La’s Mactan Resort & Spa there and fell in love with it. Plus, knowing that they had immense experience when it came to hosting Indian weddings made our decision a no-brainer.”

Wedding Functions

Engagement & Mehendi
“We wanted to start our wedding with a vibrant garden party. We wanted it to be a relaxing affair as it was the first occasion in our three-day wedding extravaganza. The decor consisted of a white canvas with flowers for all the photos. An oversized wreath formed the main backdrop, and we scattered picnic tables around the hall. We also had a bubbly station, a coffee bar and all our desserts had a piece of chocolate with our logo painted on it. For our party favors, we gave out printed shawls and individual bags of coffee beans for all our guests to take home and brew themselves. The beans were provided by Yardstick. Our range of cocktails was aligned to our theme as well.”

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Sangeet
“We wanted a big stage and amazing lights for the sangeet, so we focused on that. We exhausted all our efforts to make sure the sangeet was just like a concert! We wanted it to be a rave nobody forgot. Our main decor highlight at this event was going to be a bar. So we made a truck frame to match our theme. We placed gold lamps as our centerpieces. We got Bollywood rapper Badshah to perform for all our guests who had flown in from all over the world.”

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Ghari Puja
“We wanted this function to be a simple one as we knew everyone would be exhausted from the sangeet night. We had an enormous vegetarian selection of food, and we served all things needed to get you ready for the night - coconut ice cream, Third Wave coffee and artisanal beer - you name it!”

Dolly and Rajiv

Mexican Fiesta
“The resort has an amazing restaurant by the water called Cowrie Cove which we wanted to use for one function. So we planned a Mexican fiesta. We asked all our guests to come in slippers and shorts as we wanted it to be a casual affair. Rajiv and I entered the function via a boat. For the decor, we hung banderitas (triangular fiesta banners). We also flew in musicians from Manila to set the mood, as well as arranged for fire dancers and fireworks to keep our guests entertained. All our cocktails were Mexican/Spanish inspired. Rajiv also had to break a three-foot pineapple piñata before midnight as we had to have an early night. That proved to be a crowd favorite, and everyone who brought their kids had to participate. The waves of the ocean, the salty air, and the exciting ambiance made our Mexican Fiesta a memorable affair.”

Pheras
“Rajiv and I wanted something minimalist yet pretty. We hosted our pheras ceremony at the resort's Ocean Pavilion, which is a striking glass and wood structure facing the blue waters. Its indoor space was perfect as Rajiv and I hate the heat. We hung white flowers from the ceiling instead of making a dome. We also added some flamingos at the entrance as we all know they are love birds. We made flamingo chairs for our ceremony wherein their heads made a heart shape. I walked into the hall under a ‘phoolon ka chaadar’ (floral canopy), and my six friends who I have known for more than a decade escorted me in their matching saris.”

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Chic White Reception
“I love the elegance and softness of the color white. Rajiv and I wanted an incredibly chic reception which would be like a formal black tie affair. Rajiv got his tuxedo from Tinos, and I wore a Francis Libiran gown. He is one of the leading couture bridal designers in the Philippines. My experience wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but the outcome of my reception gown was exactly how I imagined.”

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Dolly and Rajiv

Advice for Couples
“Divide the wedding work between you and your partner so that you don’t meddle in each other’s departments. Trust and open communication are keys to planning a wedding that goes smoothly. Almost everything will not go as envisaged, so learn to let go of the small things and enjoy the celebrations.”

The Wedding Makers
Venue: Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, Philippines
Wedding Planner: Stanz Catalan
Bride’s Outfits: Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor (Mehendi), Disha Patil (Sangeet), Anita Dongre (Ghari Puja), Charina Sarte (Mexican Fiesta), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Pheras), Francis Libiran (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Sarab Khanijou (Mehendi, Sangeet, and Pheras), Tino (Mexican Fiesta and Reception)
Makeup Artist: Owen Sarmiento
Hairstylist: Merly Dabuit and Danny Isagani
Mehendi: Barbie Ima
Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Moor Designs
Catering: Royal Indian Curry House & Shangri-la Hotel
Entertainment: DJ Kevin, Badshah, Stefan and Alvin Cornista (Musicians), Paul-Dhol
Photographers: Ali Ghorbani and Nelwin Uy

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