“We come from the opposite sides of the globe - Manish is from Mumbai and I am from Guyana in South America. We met seven years ago at our cousin’s wedding in Singapore and had very little conversation initially. But this lead to us being Facebook friends and destiny took control of the rest.”
“I am a makeup artist and he is a jeweler. We lived in continents that had an approximate nine-hour time difference, but we decided to give our long-distance relationship a shot, and after dating for some time, we knew we wanted to get married.”
“Manish proposed to me three times in different ways and I said ‘Yes’ every time. My favorite proposal came the day of our “Kachi Misri” event, which is a pre-engagement ceremony that took place in Bangalore on February 18th, 2016. We got engaged in a gurudwara, and the plan for the evening was to have dinner with both families. Prior to dinner, he asked me to meet him for a coffee so we could have some private time with each other. When we would discuss marriage, I would always talk about how wonderful it would be to have the engagement ring while you were engaged, since it isn’t the custom to do so in our culture. We were relaxing by the poolside and just talking, when he asked me if I felt engaged as yet, to which I replied, “Not really”. We have been friends for so long that the transition in our relationship felt normal and not so different yet. He then said, “Let me make you feel engaged” and pulled out this gorgeous engagement ring which left me stunned. It was such a huge deal to me to know he did this just for me, breaking away from what was customary.”
“We began searching for venues the day after the engagement as everyone advised us to start as soon as possible as all the best places get booked very quickly. We were expecting about 350 guests and our priority was to find a hotel that could accommodate all, was not too far from the airport, had amenities to make our guests comfortable, served yummy multi-cuisine food, was open to Indian weddings and that had multiple beautiful spaces to host the various events. We searched over six cities and over 35 plus hotels but couldn't find what we were looking for. Then we were told about Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort in Thailand’s capital city, and when we visited the property, it had everything we needed. WeddingSutra's microsite was most helpful to plan my Thailand wedding.
To our surprise, the Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel (which was in the process of completion) and Anantara Riverside Resort are two hotels on the same property in Bangkok. They are both run by the same management and both matched all our requirements. Avani is chic, modern and brand new. Ours was the first in-house wedding for the hotel which had an amazing infinity pool and rooftop bar, a gorgeous high-ceilinged ballroom and higher floor rooms with an amazing view from every room. Anantara had more of a resort feel with the gorgeous riverside which felt more natural. Both hotels dished up amazing food, and since they also had an in-house Indian chef we could customize the menu to our liking. The hotels’ general manager and wedding coordinator were very hands-on, friendly and familiar with Indian weddings. The hotels were about an hour’s distance from the airport and Avani hotel even had a mall in the lobby. Plus, there was Asiatique – a night market – nearby.”
“When it came to themes and décor, we knew we wanted everything to be minimal and beautiful. Our biggest focus for the wedding was to enable our guests to have a great time. We told our planner and decorator what we wanted and then trusted that they would execute it as perfectly as possible.”
“We worked with Fascinate by Jessy in Bangkok to come up with ideas we liked and ensuring that the entire space for an event was utilized. The main theme for the entire wedding was ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ which was also printed on our wedding card. We did these large signs in lights that stated the same and placed them in the ballroom for the night functions. We held the day functions outdoors and kept the ambiance light and floral.”
“We wanted all our wedding functions to be easy and fun for everyone and planned them accordingly.”
Welcome lunch & Mehendi
“We had a ‘Bohemian’ theme for the welcome lunch, mehendi and ‘sagri’ ceremonies. The functions were held at the Trader Vic restaurant’s lush, green garden at Anantara Riverside.”
Karishma wore a multi-colored skirt with a yellow off-shoulder top by Neha Aggarwal from Aza Fashions. Her skirt featured lotus blossom motifs and the blouse had colorful panels at the bodice and bottom. Manish wore a short blue kurta with an open sleeveless jacket and cream trousers. The couple looked resplendent in their colorful floral garlands – and Karishma even sported floral jewelry in the shape of arm bands, earrings and finger rings.
“The theme for the sangeet was ‘It’s Written In The Stars,’ and it was held at the grand ballroom at the Avani Riverside hotel.”
The couple made a grand entrance to the beat of ‘dhol’ players, and the décor included a picture-perfect stage backdrop with a moon motif and glittering crystal strings that gave the look of stars. Family members from both sides performed at the function.
Karishma looked stunning in a deep green Gaurav Gupta gown that featured an interesting rust gold design across the bodice and a flowing stole on the left side. Manish wore a royal blue bandh-gala jacket with black trousers.
The ‘navgraha puja’ for both families were held at the Thonburi and Charoennakorn ballrooms, and the main décor here comprised traditional marigold flowers.
The outdoor mandap was pastel pinkish-peach in color and featured matching drapes along the pillars and ceiling. Held at the Grand Sala (raised terrace) at Anantara Riverside which overlooked the calm waters, the venue was resplendent with beautiful fat garlands of pink and orange blossoms that were gracefully fixed all across the mandap and around the pillars.
Karishma, clad in a red lehenga with heavy zari work by Sangeeta Creations, came to the wedding pheras in a traditional wooden boat – and made a stunning picture as she glided down the river for the most significant occasion in her life. Manish went the pastel route for his ensemble and chose to wear an elegant peach sherwani which featured classy dull gold thread embroidery and matching light brown churidaar pyjamas with dark brown mojris (traditional shoes).
“We had a Masquerade theme for the reception. The drinks had interesting names like ‘Masked Margarita’, ‘Bloody Marry Me’, ‘Sparkly Ever After’ and more. There was a beautiful six-tiered wedding cake along with cupcakes that bore our initials. We checked Google, Instagram and Pinterest for ideas prior to the wedding and then shared our ideas with those of our decorator to customize elements according to our taste.”
Experience with the Wedding vendors
“We were so lucky to have found the perfect team of people to plan and execute our wedding. Vikram Mehta and his team from Mumbai-based Mpire Events became like family, and we built a wonderful rapport with him and his team during the process of planning the wedding. They worked nonstop during the wedding, and no matter what our issue was, they could find a solution. This made all the difference, and we found them to be professional and efficient wedding planners.”
“We can’t praise the team at The Wedding Story enough! The team was so professional and their work was flawless. We bonded with them from the moment we met them and they made shooting the whole wedding process fun and effortless.”
Advice for Couples to Wed
“Speak to friends and family for guidance but follow your instincts when booking vendors. If you have good vendors, pulling off a wedding can be a little easier. Speak to them and clarify all doubts before booking them. Be patient and understand that your wedding isn’t the only one they are handling and trust some of their advice as well.”
“Focus on spending time with your friends and family during the wedding. Everyone has to come to celebrate with you and you will cherish these moments forever. Make your friends and family feel welcome and wanted - this makes all the difference to the vibe of the wedding. For example, we would wake up at 8 am even after sleeping at 6 am just to have breakfast with everyone.”
“When planning your wedding outfits keep comfort in mind. The days are long and nights are longer, between hair, makeup and thousands of pictures you need to ensure you aren’t exhausted because of the weight of your clothes.”
“Eat and hydrate yourself before all functions as you will never get time to enjoy all that yummy food during functions. Our hotel was amazing enough to send us food to our room prior to the functions while we were dressing. This way, you don’t miss out and your energy is up when it’s time to party.” “Read all contracts thoroughly - you don’t realize how little things can go wrong and cause confusion later.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel, Thailand
Wedding Planners: Mpire Events & team, Mumbai
Bridal Trousseau: Neha Agarwal of Aza Fashions (mehendi), Gaurav Gupta (sangeet), Sangeeta Creations (wedding) and Terani Couture (reception)
Groom’s Trousseau: AQube by Amber (Pheras and Sangeet), Masculine-Kunal Rohira (Reception) and Kunal Tanna (Mehendi)
Makeup & Hair: Zorain Khaleeli of Zorain’s Studio, Bangalore
Logistics: Mpire Events, Mumbai & GG Voyages, Bangkok
Props, Décor and Sets: Fascinate by Jessy
Catering: Chef Rawat Karan Gadwali & team AT Avani Riverside Hotel & Anantara Riverside Resort, Bangkok.
Bartenders: Dr. Mixology & team
Music: DJ Clement Dsouza & DJ Shine
Lights & Sound: Sajan Singh
Photos courtesy: The Wedding Story
To plan your destination wedding in stunning locales of Thailand, click here