Joyreeta and Aseem, The Palayana Hua Hin, Thailand
Joy and Aseem's Thailand wedding incorporated beautiful Punjabi customs.
From a traditional ceremony in Imphal to merry celebrations in Thailand, Aseem and Joyreeta – called Joy by loved ones – planned a beautiful showcase of Manipuri and Punjabi marriage customs. Held the The Palayana, in Hua Hin, the wedding, planned by WeddingSutra Favorite – Foreign Wedding Planners – saw lots of action and emotions which were captured by another WeddingSutra Favorite – Infinite Memories.
How They Met
Aseem shares, “I hail from Ambala, in Punjab, while Joyreeta grew up in Imphal, in Manipur We both came to the US for higher studies and then stayed on to work. We met in 2014 on an online dating website, and bonded over our shared love of travelling, exploring different cultures and food. I used to live in San Diego and she in LA, and we would travel over the weekends to see each other. It was a challenge but we both knew we had found something worth keeping, and didn’t want to give up.”
“We had been dating for over years, living in different cities in California and travelling to meet each other. Joy and I both enjoyed many magical trips together to unforgettable destinations like Alaska, Mexico, Canada and Thailand. We knew, however, that we would make it official only when we could live in the same city. In 2018, when we both shifted to the San Francisco Bay Area, I knew the moment had come. During a vacation to Japan the same year, I popped the question in Kyoto”.
“We wanted to do both styles of wedding – traditional Manipuri as well as Punjabi”. After researching online, Joy and Aseem picked Neha Mehrotra’s Foreign Wedding Planners to bring their dream wedding to life, and booked Infinite Memories for capturing the precious memories of their Manipur as well as Thailand wedding.
Makeup artist Paveena Rathour gave Joy a glowing visage and elegant looks for the wedding celebrations which also matched her ensembles perfectly.
Joy and Aseem wanted to have an intimate, destination wedding in Thailand with not more than a 100 guests, and after much research they fixated on The Palayana. Even though it is smaller compared to other properties in Hua Hin, the couple found this boutique beach resort to be the perfect fit. They booked out the whole resort for two days so that they could have it to all to themselves and their celebrations.
“We planned for a Manipuri wedding first in Joy’s hometown, Imphal, and then a Punjabi ceremony in Thailand later in the week. We did a pre-wedding photo shoot in the Sangaithel forest in Imphal, as well as the Pranburi forest park in Hua Hin”.
For the traditional Manipuri wedding called Luhongba, Aseem wore a white dhoti kurta with a traditional turban, and Joy wore a traditional Manipuri bridal dress. They had a reception lunch, called Mangani Chakouba, comprising traditional Manipuri dishes of various kinds that included cooked/fermented fish, vegetables and rice. They functions were all held at Joy’s parent’s home.
Mehendi and Pool Party
Keeping outfits and entertainment low-key for their first event, Joy and Aseem wanted their mehendi to be a casual and intimate affair. This was followed by everyone changing into their swimming costumes and leaping into the pool for a fun bash before the sangeet.
Starting with a shoot in the gardens of the resort on the way to the sangeet, the couple first exchanged rings before an evening of fun yet competitive dance performances by them and their loved ones. The bride’s orange lehenga with gold detailing created a fresh contrast with her pista-green blouse that perfectly matched the groom’s outfit.
With music and dancing, swings, and a “make your own perfume” counter, the baldi ceremony was a fun-filled event. After getting completely smeared with haldi from head to toe, the couple along with their friends and family ran across the beach and jumped into the sea.
The pinks and peaches of the mandap against the azure seas were a sight to behold, and so were Joy and Aseem. The afternoon was windy and turned stormy with light showers, but thanks to the decor team’s sound planning, the situation did not disrupt the mandap and the guests could enjoy the lovely wedding under the canopies. Joy’s gorgeous white and peach lehenga and polki jewelry, along with her understated makeup made her look angelic, while Aseem looked regal in his sherwani and turban, and both exchanged garlands of yellow roses.
For the reception, they opted for a glamorous yet rustic decor with long farmhouse-style tables, green leaves and white flowers. The groom wore a navy suit and the bride wore a flowy floral gown. They kicked off the evening with their first dance, followed by a special performance by professional salsa dancers and the Tiffany Cabaret girls. There were heartfelt speeches from the groom’s brother and friend, as well as by the bride’s sister, that moved many to tears. The merriment continued at a ‘neon glow’ themed after party that continued till the wee hours of the morning.
Advice For Couples
“A lot of planning is needed for a destination wedding – from the nuptials website, invitations, room and seating assignments, food planning, travel arrangements, gift bags, posters and practicing dances. Even with a good wedding planner, don’t underestimate the amount of work, and start planning early. Secondly, it’s very important to space out your events. We had three events in one day and spent all our time getting ready instead of enjoying spending time with our family and friends”.
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Imphal, Manipur, India; The Palayana, Hua Hin, Thailand
Wedding Planner: Foreign Wedding Planners
Bride’s Outfits: Anita Dongre (Sangeet), Roopkala (Wedding)
Groom’s Outfits: Telon, Breach Candy (Sangeet, Wedding)
Make up Artist: Paveena Rathour
Photography and Videography: Infinite Memories