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London based investment banker Karan Puri married beauty blogger Jasmina Bharwani in a lavish wedding celebration in her hometown Madrid. Beautifully captured by Spain-based photographer El Marco Rojo, here are all the details of their festivities.

How we met

We met almost ten years ago, when Karan was my senior at university. He saw me at a university party and spent the best part of the next day looking for me on Facebook despite not knowing my name or whether we had any friends in common. Eventually he found me, got in touch and the first time he called me on the phone, we clicked the second we spoke and we chatted for over an hour.

We met in person and eventually Karan wanted to take this a step further but the timing wasn’t right. We stayed friends, keeping in touch on and off, but no matter how much time passed with no word from the other, there was always something that brought us back together.

After three years, we decided to give it a shot and see what happened. The rest is history. We knew we would get married two years into a relationship that is now seven years old. We just had to find the right moment and in July last year, we took the plunge.

We both worked in investment banking in London. However, Karan'€™s family is in India and we had a wedding to plan in Spain with us in London, it was going to be really difficult so I decided to move back home until we got married and took a break to plan our big, fat Indian wedding in the summer of 2014.

I'€™ve also finally decided to pursue my real passion and have started a blog www.jasminabharwani.com and a YouTube channel where I do beauty tutorials, give styling tips and review products. Karan still works in investment banking.

Wedding Venue

Deciding on the wedding location took the most amount of time. We have friends and relatives around the world so while we considered locations in India and Thailand, we realized for some of our friends coming over from the US it would be a long journey. We finally settled for my hometown, Madrid. My in-laws and parents knew it would be a dream come true for me to have a big, fat, Indian wedding there and I will be forever grateful to both of them for making this come true so perfectly.

We wanted to give our guests a real taste of the city, given that so many, especially my husband’s side of the family had travelled so far to share this special moment with us. So we spread the functions over 4 different venues: guests stayed at the Intercontinental,we had our first function in one of the trendiest venues in Madrid, Ramses, we celebrated our Mehendi and Sangeet at the iconic Ritz Hotel and the wedding itself took place at the Villa Magna Hotel, a celebrity favourite where even Madonna comes to stay.

Wedding Functions

Considering it was a destination wedding with four big functions and a few smaller ones, we wanted to make sure guests were taken care of at all times. So lunch was hosted everyday at the Intercontinental Hotel and we organized sightseeing tours for any guest coming from abroad.

DAY 1 - Welcome Dinner (Ramses)

We wanted to set the party mood so we chose a trendy, quirky venue. Ramses is a bar/club/restaurant designed by the legendary Philippe Starck who used a mix of styles incorporating areas of exposed brick offset by baroque tables and lots of candles. We wanted to let this opulence come through and so we added orchids, lighting in shades of purple and lots of candles and baroque style candelabras. This was the most relaxed event of all.

DAY 2 - Ibiza Themed Brunch (Intercontinental Hotel)

We wanted this morning event to be relaxed so guests could conserve their energy for the long night ahead. The inspiration for this brunch was '€˜Ibiza' so the dress code was white linen and breezy beach-dresses. With the venue being both indoors and outdoors, we kept the decoration fresh with white floral arrangements and ice sculptures around our extensive circular buffet that included sushi and crepes. There was a beautiful fountain and a wonderful Latin jazz band played live.

Mehendi & Sangeet (Ritz Hotel)

That evening, we hosted the mehendi at the Ritz which then evolved into the sangeet evening. The floral arrangements were a mix of roses, carnations and orchis in soft pink, white and pale green. The lighting was amber and gold, again lots of candles and glass. We custom designed a bar in mirror work with our initials engraved into it in gold. The sit-down dinner was held in one of the most iconic ballrooms at the Ritz; it has a 17th century French aristocratic feel, tables set with linen tablecloths and silver tableware. The placeholders were designed in glass, with our logo in gold. On the tables we placed a mix of florals and baroque candelabras.

The entertainment that evening featured a contemporary flamenco ballet performance and then family and friends did some Bollywood numbers. DJ Kushi played into the early hours.

DAY 3 - Pheras & Reception (Villa Magna Hotel)

We had our pheras quite late in the evening, perfect given that it was very hot in Madrid at that time. The baraat left the Intercontinental and was buzzing with the bhangra crew we had flown in from India.

The groom drove a vintage 1920s convertible to the venue, the space outside the Villa Magna Hotel that we had converted into a dreamy garden with a lawn and a huge wall of roses, lilies and hortensias in white, soft pink, salmon and green instead of the traditional mandap. We went French provencal style for the decor, white seating, fairy lights and candles around the fountain and trees for romance.

At the reception, we went classic-contemporary with candles, florals in peach and while and a custom made cake which matched the decor.

Wedding Shopping

I did all my shopping at Sabyasachi, Delhi. I’d browsed through the inventories of a number of designers but that regal Sabyasachi feel couldn’t be replicated. I wore soft pastel colours to all the functions given that it was a summer wedding.

My welcome dinner outfit was a gota-work white anarkali with gold and silver embroidery. At the sangeet I wore a couture piece with a custom designed choli and dupatta.

For the wedding, my outfit glittered with heavy sequin work.

The service at Sabya is absolutely amazing! Living abroad, my concern was there wouldn'€™t be time for alterations once I went for a final fitting. Fortunately, the fit was almost perfect in the first go! I wanted to give each outfit a different feel so I decided to mix it up with the jewellery. I wore a diamonds, emeralds and traditional polki set, purchased from both HongKong and Delhi.

My husband got all his outfits from Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, as he wanted a subtle elegance.

For shoes and handbags, I went with Jimmy Choo; their sparkly sequin designs matched my outfits perfectly. Also, the fact they had small heel heights on party shoes was the selling point for me. I didn't want to wear very high heels you could barely see under my lehengas and end up with aching feet. My husband wore lace ups from Dior as he wanted to give his sherwanis a contemporary edge.

The Wedding Makers

Wedding Planning- Planning a wedding abroad was never going to be easy and doing it in a non-English-speaking country proved harder than we had anticipated. We hired a team in Spain who had done a lot of high profile events but unfortunately never an Indian wedding of this scale. They needed a lot of guidance from us. I am a perfectionist and was heavily involved in every single planning aspect, but if I had to give one piece of advice it would be to delegate some work. Doing everything myself meant I was being asked questions and running around till the last minute rather than focusing on myself.

We also hired a team of planners in Delhi who did the artist management and accommodation arrangements in tandem with the Spanish team. The two teams were unable to communicate effectively due to the language barrier which meant we had to be there at every stage of the process, from deciding the decor and entertainment to handling the production of banners and logo t-shirts for staff, etc. Both our families and myself found it absolutely exhausting.

Photo & Video- We picked a team called El Marco Rojo as our photographer and videographers and they were absolutely the best suppliers I worked with. Super professional, diligent, they made our lives easy. Karan and I wanted artistic photographs and video, not the traditional posed styles. All ex-journalists, this team really knew how to capture moments and their creativity and artistry really won us over. They needed a little help with the video post-production. We wanted some Indian elements and they had never done an Indian wedding before but they were super open to suggestions and the final product was stunning!

Makeup Artist- My make-up artist was a disaster. I decided to go with someone based in Madrid thinking it would be easy to do trials but I regret it. Despite being a celebrity make-up artist, he was unprofessional, ditched me on my wedding day and sent in a replacement who I didn’t like. I did my own make up which thankfully was not too much of a problem, given I am trained in make-up myself, but it did make for a stressful situation. I’d recommend Indian make-up artists who can help with dupatta draping etc which obviously mine was unable to do.

Pre-wedding rituals- As part of my pre-wedding beauty regimen, I did monthly facials and a mix of oxygen, hydrating and microexfoliant treatments. I also did some radio frequency skin-tightening treatments a couple of weeks before the wedding. I made sure I maintained a healthy diet, minimal saturated fat, lots of fruit and vegetables and kept a consistent gym routine for a whole year before the wedding, focusing on muscle toning. I incorporated e-fitness into my routine once a week for the last four months that really helped with toning.

Photos courtesy: El Marco Rojo, Spain

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