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Neeta always knew that she wanted a destination wedding, somewhere away from England. She and her husband Ravi Saxena are both born and brought up in London. Neeta works as a legal professional in the city whilst Ravi is an accountant for the Central Government. After being together for several years they decided to tie the knot in November 2012.

Beach wedding in Goa 

After the couple got engaged, with just 8 months left to plan the grand wedding they wanted, they decided to get married in India as this was the central hub for both their families. "Having attended a few weddings in Goa, I always knew that this was my dream destination. Ravi was also keen to have a 'different' kind of wedding (in comparison to one in the UK which would have most likely been indoors)", shares Neeta. They shortlisted a few destinations like Delhi and Jaipur but were ultimately swayed by the backdrop of sun, sea and sand and finally decided on Goa.

Holiday Inn Resort 

During Neeta and Ravi's first trip to Goa they visited many beautiful hotels in South Goa but instantly fell in love with the stunning Holiday Inn Resort on Mobor beach. Neeta says, "It was a spacious resort located in tropical gardens with direct access to a picturesque white sandy beach - we couldn't really ask for more! What really stood out about the Holiday Inn in comparison to the other hotels was the outstanding quality of food that we experienced at food tastings. Let's face it, isn't that the most important part of any Indian wedding? Overall, we found the venue ideal for our 200+ guests and above all the staff was very accommodating to our needs."

The Wedding Planner

 "We decided to hire a wedding planner to take care of the finer details and to co-ordinate the events so that Ravi and I could relax and enjoy the festivities", says Neeta. "A common friend recommended Ankit Bhargava from Regal Weddings. Ankit is based in Udaipur but he has managed many destination weddings in Goa and Kerala, and Rajasthan. After a few interactions I instantly knew I wanted to work with him. He understood our requirements straightaway and we agreed on a proposal in a few weeks."

'Arabian Nights' theme Mehendi and Sangeet 

The venue for the mehendi and sangeet celebrations was the outdoor lawns. The theme for the event was Arabian nights. The decor consisted of mehendi cabanas, shisha, mirror chains, a decorated jhula and palm tree lighting. Close family and friends performed followed by an aerial fireworks display and amazing food. Neeta wore a stunning lehenga by Mumbai based designer Avesh Dadlani.

Traditional Hindu Beach Wedding

Neeta and Ravi decided to have the wedding ceremony late afternoon so that their photographers could capture some good photographs during sunset. Following the true Indian style, Ravi led his baraat on a decorated ghodi and a 10 member band. The couple met each other on the beach and walked into the mandap together in line with Sindhi customs. The bamboo mandap decorated with red and orange flowers looked absolutely breathtaking.

Winter Wonderland Reception

The final event was the reception in the evening which followed the Hindu wedding ceremony. "We were completely overwhelmed with the amazing transformation of the banqueting hall by our wedding planners," exclaims Neeta. The decor theme for the evening was winter wonderland. The centerpieces, stage and backdrop were carefully selected to compliment the theme. The whole look and feel of the reception was magical. The fun filled evening began with music from a live band, followed by a traditional Kathak performance by the talented Rupal Gandhi, the cake cutting, speeches, a gala dinner and of course more dancing which continued till the early hours of the morning.

Neeta says: "We wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to both parents and siblings for their tremendous help and support throughout the stressful planning stages. Ravi and I would also like to show our appreciation to friends and family; many of whom travelled across the globe to share this special day with us - it just wouldn't have been complete without you! A special mention must be given to my make-up artist Berzin Irani. You really did work your magic on me. I loved your make up style for all three events and highly recommend you to all prospective brides.

A question I am often asked is 'would you like to do it all over again?' The answer is 'yes, definitely!' I loved every minute from planning to execution. We had the most incredible time and it was definitely worth every penny. A parting thought to leave you with is that it is true what they say about your wedding day, it does go by in a blink of an eye so remember to take a step back to enjoy the occasion and more importantly spend it with the people you love."

Photographs Courtesy- Sephi Bergerson Photography, Sunny Pariani and Asif Raj. 

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