Kamali and Nikhil – Bangkok, Thailand
From a retro British Raj vibe to regal peacocks and floral fiestas, Nikhil and Kamali’s wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok included memorable themes
Nikhil and Kamali were part of the same Sindhi community in Hong Kong. “Nikhil and I grew up together in Hong Kong. It is a small place where everyone knows each other. We went to the same kindergarten, primary and secondary school, but it was only after Nikhil left for university – and I was still in secondary school – that we started dating,” shares Kamali.
When Nikhil came back to Hong Kong for Christmas holidays, they both attended a big Sindhi function. “I recognised him from school so I approached him and we started talking. Before this, we were never really friends. We became quite close after some time to the point where Nikhil told me he was interested in me. It wasn’t the right time, but a few months later we started dating,” recalls Kamali.
The couple have been together for seven years and during this time, Nikhil successfully followed his dream to be a commercial airline pilot, and Kamali works with her parents in their diamond jewellery business.
Bangkok was the destination of choice for Kamali and Nikhil who wanted a destination wedding, but not at a beach resort. “Nikhil hates beaches so we didn’t want to do a typical resort. We thought a city wedding would be more appropriate. My dad’s sister is married to my mom’s brother, so they are like a second set of parents to me, and they live in Thailand. My grandmother also lives in Thailand and I used to go to there every year for holidays. I speak Thai and know Bangkok very well so holding our wedding there was a logical decision.” The couple chose the stunning Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok for the wedding. Situated along the Chao Phraya River, it offered fantastic water views especially at night. The hotel’s spacious indoor and outdoor venues were perfect for this event which had multiple imaginative themes.
The first event to kickstart the #nikamali wedding proceedings was a welcome dinner. “We had a ‘Cirque De La Lune’ circus theme for the welcome dinner. The dress code was ‘Crazy Colourful’. I wore a multi-coloured gown by Suneet Varma for this event and Nikhil’s outfit was from Manzar Couture,” shares Kamali. There were vibrant marquees akin to a real-life circus at the venue. Multi-coloured fans, danglers, ceiling drapes, mime artists, dramatic ‘alive’ statues, a carousel and dancers floating down from above – all these elements created a memorable first impression on the gathering.
Kamali in a pink Suneet Varma creation and Nikhil in a fringed shimmery ensemble by Manzar Couture
For the mehndi ceremony, the décor followed a ‘Petals & Paisley’ theme, while the dress code was ‘Floral Fantasy’. A beaming Kamali donned an ornate salmon pink gown with white sequin flowers all over the skirt which was designed by India’s designer to the stars – Manish Malhotra. The couple sat on an impressive ‘floral sofa’ embedded with blooms against a bright multi-patterned backdrop.
Nikhil made a desi entry for the mehndi in a floral jacket and kurta by Manzar Couture
Kamali twirled pretty in a salmon pink floral gown by Manish Malhotra
The sangeet ceremony had a rich Indian vibe with a peacock theme. The dress code was ‘Imperial Indian’ and guests came dressed in beautiful regalia. Popular singer Mika entertained the crowd with his foot-tapping numbers. Kamali and Nikhil beautifully coordinated their outfits – she wore a bespoke deep blue anarkali by Manish Malhotra, while Nikhil chose a blue sherwani with gold threadwork by Manav Gangwani. The décor for the event included a stunning giant peacock installation at the entrance and pretty peackock feathers and candle jars as accents atop dining tables. There were also high arches with peacock feather motifs which were studded at the base with matching purple and blue blooms.
Kamali wore a stunning creation by Manish Malhotra and Nikhil complimented her in a blue sherwani by Manav Gangwani
The wedding had a British Raj theme and was given the name ‘Palatial Promise’. The dress code for this do was ‘Elegant Indian’ – and Kamali looked every inch a classy princess in her custom-made ornate ‘Hyderabadi’ lehenga by Sabyasachi. The gorgeous ‘booti’ work on her short-sleeved blouse paired well with the red and green ensemble which had silver and gold threadwork. Nikhil’s sherwani by Sabyasachi was a white sherwani with intricate threadwork and a maroon stole which grabbed as much attention as did his regal red ‘safa’. The mandap had beautiful garlands of red roses strung from the ceilings.
Kamali’s gorgeous phera lehenga in red and green by Sabyasachi Mukherjee
The couple pose away in their Sabyasachi Mukherjee creations
The reception had a vintage vibe and was titled ‘A Night of Nostalgia’. The décor included dusty typewriters, artistic faded bouquets, a gramophone, retro luggage, a radio dating back to decades ago and an antique phone. One of the highlights here was a vintage green car that made for a perfect photo backdrop.
Kamali and Nikhil made a grand entry to their reception in a polished grey vintage convertible adorned with floral bouquets as guests in the ‘Black Tie Formal’ dress code whipped out their smartphones to capture the moment. A stunning pearl-white seven-tier cake was one of the highlights of the reception which saw popular singer Kanika Kapoor serenade the gathering with her peppy numbers. Kamali again opted for a custom-made pearl-white gown with beaded short sleeves by Manav Gangwani which she paired with delicate jewellery. Nikhil donned a sharply tailored tuxedo from House of Launganis.
Kamali chose a glamorous ivory gown by Manav Gamgwani and Nikhil sported a tailored suit by House of Launganis
The massive seven tier wedding cake and the champagne tower
Bridal Trousseau: Suneet Varma (welcome dinner), Manish Malhotra (mehndi & sangeet), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (wedding) and Manav Gangwani (reception).
Groom’s Trousseau: Manzar Couture (welcome dinner & mehndi), Manav Gangwani (sangeet), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (wedding) and House of Launganis (reception)
Location: Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Thailand
Wedding Planners: I Do Etc., Bangkok
Décor & Production: Ktitidech (Worapot)/ Oriental Events Group, Thailand
Audio & Lighting: AVL Wizard
Wedding Coordinator: Revel Events (Harry & Rani Moriani), Hong Kong
Entertainment: Mika Singh, Kanika Kapoor, Paris House Addict (PHA)
Music: DJ Zubair, Dubai
Harpist at Wedding: Chiara Capobianco
Band at Reception: Cheryl Hayes Jazz Band
Bride’s Make-up: Ojas Rajani, Mumbai
Mehndi artist: Harin’s Bridal Mehandi
Officiating Priest: Maharaj Jai Sharma, Hong Kong
Family Photographer: Ali Ghorbani, Hong Kong
Photos Courtesy: Picture Perfect India