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Payal and Karan broke all norms when they ditched dating and decided to get married when they were just friends! The bride tells us about their unique love story and shares with us pictures from their wedding that were shot by WeddingSutra Favorite Shades.

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

How We Met
Karan is a restaurateur in Dubai and I met him in 2015 when I was celebrating my birthday at his restaurant. The meeting was brief but we had many common friends and when we bumped into each other again, we got talking. We traded numbers and stayed in touch.

I thought he was interesting and genuine and loved chatting with him. I sensed he was interested too. We did develop a very strong bond in a very short time but I had no clue he’d propose just three months after we met! Still, I couldn’t have been happier about him popping the question!

The Proposal
In the three months of knowing each other we’d only met three times. So when Karan proposed, we were still just friends and the proposal was a conversation over a coffee table, a drive with some flowers and chocolates. He didn’t want to overwhelm me or make me uncomfortable. Now of course I tease him saying he didn’t put any effort into it because it would have been a waste if I said ‘no’.

When he took the leap of faith and asked me to marry him I was so surprised because it was rather unexpected. We weren’t dating. We’d never spoken of us as a couple. But when he proposed everything was so genuine and he was so certain about spending the rest of his life with me that I said ‘yes’.

Wedding Venue
Since we’re both Dubai, born and raised, there’s no better place to get married than home.

The first event was an inter-family cricket match – entirely Karan’s idea. He wanted our sides to do battle! The venue for this was The Sevens Stadium, the best cricket stadium in the whole of Dubai.

Our Cocktail Party and Ring Ceremony was hosted at W Dubai Al Habtoor City, while the wedding took place at The St. Regis Dubai. The reception was held at The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City.

The hotels are in the same neighborhood, run by the same management. We not only fell in love with the properties but also the coordinator who manages the events across these three hotels, and so our locations were finalized.

The management was very supportive of our requirements and managed all events very well. The head chef and wedding coordinator, helped us set three different menus that met our requirements and we got really amazing feedback about the food and hotel staff from all guests at the wedding.

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Wedding Planning
While researching wedding planners in Dubai when we came across Rimjhim Events and Weddings and we were fascinated by their work. Once we had seen the pictures of their past projects, we knew we were going to sign them up for our nuptials even before we had met the team!

Rimjhim has been in the business for so long and her impeccable work speaks for itself. She is passionate about what she does and looking at her enthusiasm, we knew that she is going to make this wedding as amazing as we wanted it to be. We started planning the wedding with her six months in advance and during that time her team became like a family. She catered to all our requirements and made our big day so memorable for us.

As a bride I had always had a picture in my mind of what my big day would look like and Rimjhim. Her team truly brought that to life and even made it bigger and better! Thanks to them I thoroughly enjoyed my wedding.

There would be no compromising on photographers since pictures are the memories you have left after the big day is over. So we knew we had to get the best. We had two teams for our big day - Shades and Pooja Studio Dubai.

I’d started planning my wedding the day Karan proposed to me and I’d seen Shades on Instagram and was so amazed by their work. I told Karan that there was no way that they were not going to be a part of our celebration! I reached out to them seven months before and booked them when barely anything about the wedding had been finalized. That’s how sure I was about bringing them on board.

Ashwin and Jhalak, the amazing founder duo, were so accommodating and wanted to know exactly what we were expecting the pictures to be like. After seeing the photographs, we can say that they gave us exactly what we wanted. The photo sessions were so much fun and they were always looking for interesting ways to capture us. They thought through all the photographs and made sure that they clicked every kind of picture we could ever want be it couple and individual portraits, family shots, candid shots, etc. We loved working with them. Our pictures were so stunning and we can’t thank them enough for that.

When it comes to wedding videography Pooja Studio is on top of the list in Dubai! We couldn’t imagine anyone better for our wedding. The team was very professional and collaborated well with Shades to ensure we got the best results. The entire wedding was shot so beautifully. It’s a movie I can keep watching!

Anqelique Turner my makeup artist is a sweet, fun and motivating person that right after my trial with her, I told her I need someone just like her on my big day when I would have butterflies in my stomach. She is an expert with both makeup and hair and works in sync with what the bride wants for her big day. I wanted to look like myself at my wedding so she ensured that my makeup that was not very bold or overpowering. I had her take care of my look during my pre-wedding shoot as well and that’s when I was confident that I had made the right choice.

She is Australian but due to her deep understanding of the nuances of Indian skin tones, she was able to make me look just the way I wanted to. Another thing about her that I must mention was that while I wanted to look young and fresh on all three days, I also wanted the makeup to look different at each function and she managed to pull that off! Everyone complimented me on the makeup and hair! I truly loved working with her and have recommended her to so many brides-to-be.

Wedding Functions

Cricket Match
This event flagged off the wedding celebrations. The groom’s side dressed in blue and the bride’s side in red. The decor also used both these colors. We had lots of flags with a ‘KP’ logo all around the stadium. To really help our guests get into the mood and pump in the team spirit, we got them t-shirts with our logos printed on them. With a DJ, cheerleaders to enliven the atmosphere and a professional commentator this was nothing less than an actual cricket match!

Cocktail Party and Ring Ceremony
Our ring ceremony had a neon theme and the lighting was the perfect match. We had glow in the dark props and sp,e with lights on them. Karan and I exchanged rings in an elevated pod and there were performances that followed. This night was all about drinking and dancing!

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Wedding
For our wedding, we wanted elegance so we stuck to soft tones; shades of pink, white and a few silver accents. We had flower arrangements in birdcages as our centerpieces and a board with a quirky line at the entrance.

For the wedding, Karan and I went matchy-matchy in blush. While I wore a lehenga, he opted for a sherwani.

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Reception
This was a truly royal affair with decor in red and gold. A row of chandeliers led to the entrance where Rimjhim created a colossal entryway using white flowers. Inside the venue bright red roses were arranged as centerpieces and the space was bathed in a soft golden light.

For this function, Karan and I went with western ensembles. I wore a red gown while he opted for a tuxedo with a waistcoat and bowtie in red.

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Paayel and Karan, Dubai

Advice for Couples
Wedding planning is a stressful process but, in the end, you will find that everything is worth it. It is very important to get a wedding planner and start in advance. Planners make everything so much more organized and take care of most of your stress!

Pictures and videos are all you will be left with once the celebrations are over. So don’t compromise on getting a good photographer. It is one of the biggest days of your life, so leave all the stress behind and just enjoy the functions! These days make for some the best memories and you should make the most of the opportunity!

Wedding Makers
Venues: The Sevens Stadium (Cricket Match), W Dubai Al Habtoor City (Cocktail Party and Ring Ceremony), The St. Regis Dubai (Wedding), Dubai, Al Habtoor City (Reception)
Wedding Planner:
Rimjhim Events and Weddings
Makeup and Hairstylist:
Anqelique Turner
Photography: Shades

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