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The salubrious environs of the stunning The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun resort in Mexico were lit with Bollywood tracks, dance performances and gorgeous decor as Hema and Vedant’s quintessentially colorful Indian wedding got underway. Here, bride Hema shares how they pulled off such a fun extravaganza.

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Proposal
One Saturday Vedant and I left for what I thought was a family visit. However, little did I know that he had an elaborate surprise in store. On our way, he took an unexpected exit off the highway to reach a skydiving facility. That day we took the plunge both physically and figuratively. We jumped from 18,000 feet above the ground and as soon as we landed, he dropped to one knee and proposed marriage! I was thrilled and I said yes immediately. After this we made our way to what I assumed was a romantic dinner for two but he had plans to blow my mind for the second time in the same day. We reached the hotel and the staff there opened the doors to reveal a ballroom of our loved ones from around the country shouting congratulatory greetings amidst a shower of confetti!

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Wedding Venue
Hema and Vedant’s nuptials took place at the The Grand At Moon Palace Cancun in Mexico. This sprawling resort facing the Caribbean Sea hosted the interesting wedding celebrations where members of the bride's family wore ensembles with matching floral motifs and the couple washed off their 'haldi' (turmeric) by jumping in the Caribbean Sea! Here, bride Hema shares some highlights.

Wedding Planning
“We wanted the wedding to have an elegant feel while reflecting our personalities, which meant infusing elements of fun, goofiness, and adventure into the details (Vedant did propose while we were skydiving, after all!). Our welcome bags were beach totes, printed with ‘Adventure Awaits’ and filled with snacks, luggage tags, and personalized sunglasses with our hashtag #vclaimshems. A talented friend of ours designed caricatures for us, which were featured throughout on all our wedding stationery. We also wanted to give the utmost importance and respect to our family, especially our elders. My ‘nani’ (maternal grandmother) was at the front and center of all the events and ‘Dadu & Dadi’ (paternal grandparents), who are in New Delhi and couldn’t attend in person, were with us via FaceTime during all the functions.”

Wedding Functions

Welcome Dinner
“With friends and family flying in from all over the world, we wanted to make sure we had a kick-off event for them to get to know each other. That night was when it really hit me that we were getting married! All of our favorite people were in one place enjoying themselves. We were surprised when family members put us on the spot to play the shoe game, which I’d say we totally crushed.”

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Haldi
“While the ‘haldi’ (turmeric application) ceremony traditionally takes place in two separate locations; we set ours up so that we were sitting back-to-back with a leaf wall dividing us. That way, family, and friends didn’t need to pick a side and were able to smear us both with haldi. Our friends and family did not hold back. Since the event took place at a beachside, we took an impromptu dip in the ocean to clean off!”

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Sangeet
“The decor—gem-colored pillows, bright floral centerpieces, floral photo corner, under a canopy of Edison bulbs—was meant for an outdoor beachside venue but unfortunately, had to be moved indoors due to rain. There were a number of performances, including a skit about our love story. I ended the performances with a surprise dance to a remix of ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ and ‘Jehri Kuri’. I wore a custom-made hot pink and orange lehenga inspired by a Christian Siriano gown, and Vedant wore a black kurta pajama with a fitted orange vest. At the end of the night, we led guests outside for a surprise fireworks show!”

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Wedding
“As soon as we decided on Cancun, Mexico, for our destination wedding, I knew I wanted a pastel color palette that would complement the beach tones. My lehenga was a dusty rose and Vedant's turban and stole matched my ensemble. I wanted the ladies on my side of the family to be in sync with my look, yet showcase their own style. Each told me what she wanted (such as a saree, lehenga or an anarkali suit), and I chose an embroidered floral print that was infused into each outfit. I love the way they turned out. The designer, Poonam Nanda, even made sure my nieces matched! Vedant’s family wore dull gold and teal, which complemented the pink and purple tones on my side. Vedant’s entrance was epic. He walked into this Indian rendition of the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme track. My nephew Veer was Vedant’s ‘sarbala’ (companion of the groom) and also led my procession, which started with an emotional version of ‘Din Shagna Da’ but transitioned to the upbeat ‘Paalkhi Mein Hoke Sawar Chali Re.’ Tears of joy morphed into roars of laughter as I walked in. It was perfect.”

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Reception
“A long time ago in a city far far away, Vedant first asked me out over hot chocolate. So we wanted to ensure we infused that into the wedding somehow. My sister-in-law, Divya, made hundreds of incredible hot chocolate favors by hand, which were positioned in the center of each place setting. I picked decor in an ivory, rose gold, and champagne color palette to achieve an aesthetic that felt luxurious, and romantic. Vedant wore a navy blue tuxedo, and I donned a navy blue and gold gown that was custom-made by designers Rahul & Nigel. Our outfits were inspired by Disney, specifically ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ It was fitting that Vedant and my first dance started off with a ballroom dance to ‘Tale as Old as Time!’ Then came some really emotional speeches from both sets of parents and a semi-roast/toast by my brother, Tarun. Friends came together to surprise us with a performance that blew our minds! Guests kept the party going with dance and laughter until the wee hours of the morning.”

 

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Hema and Vedant, Mexico

Wedding Makers
Venue: The Grand At Moon Palace Cancun, (Mexico)
Wedding Planner: Blue Petal Weddings (British Columbia, Canada)
Decor: Zuniga (Cancun, Mexico)
Bride’s Outfits:Aari by Poonam Nanda (Sangeet), Rahul & Nigel (Reception)
Bridesmaids' Outfits: Aari by Poonam Nanda (Wedding)
Makeup and Hairstyle: Nida Gazi (California, USA)
DJ and Emcee: Premier DJ USA (New Jersey, USA)
Caricatures: Ryan Hernandez (California, USA)

Photography: Dmitri Markine (Toronto, Canada)
Videography: Blue Kite Cinema

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