Poonam Jeswani and Suresh Minhas – Bangkok, Thailand
While they visited over 7 or 8 hotels in Bangkok, The Grand Hyatt Erawan won them over with their persistence and great service!
Poonam and Suresh met at an F1 brunch event in Singapore two years ago where they were introduced by a mutual friend. Both based in Singapore, they dated for over a year and half before deciding to make it official! Their story almost didn’t happen as Suresh wasn’t supposed to come to the event that day however as the story goes, some people are just meant to be together!
On planning the surprise proposal, Suresh looped in both sets of parents and picked a day, telling Poonam they were to attend his friend’s wedding reception! The venue he proposed at was one of her favourite restaurants situated in a beautiful black and white colonial style bungalow in Singapore called Tamarind Hill.
Poonam writes about the wedding planning journey and their three day wedding celebrations in Bangkok.
While discussing wedding thoughts, we had always dreamt of a destination wedding and so with that in mind, we started with researching venues in various cities including Bangkok, Phuket, Bali and Cebu! We eventually decided on Bangkok as a main consideration for us to ensure we have a Gurdwara in the vicinity so that we could have our Anand Karaj!
While we visited over 7 or 8 hotels in Bangkok, The Grand Hyatt Erawan won us over with their persistence and great service! We are so thrilled with our decision because at every stage from the time we signed the contract till start and end of the celebrations, their team’s support was tremendous and service impeccable!
Suresh and I made a few trips to Bangkok to interview a few wedding planners and decided to go with Kiran Baweja and Meghna Mirpuri. At our first meeting, we met with Meghna Mirpuri and a casual chat turned into a session around exchanging fresh ideas and thoughts around wedding planning – that was when we decided to sign on the team!
The most fun and memorable part of wedding planning was designing all the visual communication- from the website (www.sureshandpoonam.com), to details like save the date cards, invitation cards, welcome kits and hospitality booklets! Suresh and I worked on every element with a friend who runs a Graphic design firm based in Philippines. Designing the decor and working on the themes with our wedding planners was an amazing experience too!
Some of the most stressful elements were working on the guest list, managing RSVP’s and hotel reservations for our guests as well as transport, all of which had to be perfect! Thankfully we had several teams in place and had tremendous support from my brother who did on-ground coordination with the planners ensuring that the Suresh and I were stress free!
We worked closely with Meghna on the various themes with a goal to ensure that every event remained different from the rest! Day 1 was the Welcome Dinner followed by a Youngsters event and a ‘Young at Heart’ event for parents! Day 2 was a Mehndi lunch with a Carnival Cruise on the Chao Praya River and Day 3 was our Anand Karaj followed by the Reception/Sangeet.
Our welcome dinner followed a Moroccan theme with decor that was done up in tones and prints of aqua blue and yellow!
We had beautiful Moroccan lamps, and a 7 meter bar served by the Flaming Trio bartenders who did a great job with getting our party started every night! The night carried on to our ‘Electric dreams’ youngsters event where we used LED balloons, neon glow in the dark ribbons, paints and hair sprays and street art focused bar backdrop in psychedelic colours!
The next day, our Mehndi lunch was everything delicate, soft and traditional with reams of pink chiffon fabric draping. Our favourite detail from this day is the personalized pink macaroons with our event logo especially created for us by our hotel’s F&B team!
Day 2 progressed on to our evening event, a carnival cruise which was decorated in hues of orange and black!
Our wedding day kicked off with a traditional Punjabi baraat with bhangra dancers, dhol players and the groom on a white horse!
The Anand Karaj was a traditional affair in peach and coral colours.
We ended the three day festivities with our ‘Indian Baroque’ themed Reception/Sangeet along with a beautifully sculpted elephant cake to complement our theme.
We were quite clear about wanting our sangeet dances to take place on the last day, because in our experience the Receptions we have attended have always included a multitude of speeches and videos – which is exciting for families, but sometimes tiresome for the guests! So our thought was to end our events with a bang, with our dances building up to a grand finale!
Over the few days of our wedding celebrations, we flew in a few entertainers including Aashish Thadani for our young at heart party on Day 1 and to sing at the Mehndi lunch. Dhol Federation Malaysia Bhangra troupe welcomed our guests and performed at the Mehndi lunch and the baarat!
Our planners arranged to have a dance troupe perform beautiful belly dancing at our Welcome, then interactive dancing at our Youngsters, and another dance troupe for our carnival cruise.
Divya Jain and Aneesh Khanna worked with our planners to have Emcee Sid Sood perform at our Cruise event as well as the Reception. Raghav Sachar performed at our Reception, he was a hit with our guests and got our parents and their friends going till the wee hours of the morning after which DJ Manoj from Dubai took over and kept our friends on their feet till dawn!
My mum and I bought my outfits over a few separate trips to India. My welcome dinner outfit was by Manish Malhotra and for the after-party I wore a creation by Gauri & Nainika. My outfit for the Mehndi lunch was by Sabyasachi, while my carnival cruise outfit was a gown I picked from a local designer.
For the wedding ceremony, I selected a lehenga by Manish Malhotra at the Vogue Bridal Show. I had the opportunity to attend this amazing event and later speak with the designer himself. The moment I saw this lehenga, I knew I had to have it! It is a one of a kind creation and a part of the Mijwan collection featuring delicate hand embroidered chikankari work done by the women of the region! After doing some research, I learnt more about the goal of this collaboration and knew I had to be a part of the larger initiative and in my small way contribute to it!
The reception outfit was a part of Sabyasachi’s Opium collection. In the recent years, many receptions I’ve attended tend to have a western dress code; for our Reception I was clear I wanted an Indian look, so we played around with our decor and theme and came up with ‘Indian Baroque’ for our reception, which featured rich hues of red, blue and gold! My outfit, jewellery and complete bridal look matched the theme of the event.
All my wedding jewellery was picked from Anmol, Satyani and Dedia Jewellers based in Mumbai. My accessories were picked up over my travels while planning my trousseau and featured various labels- both designer and non-designer! The most nostalgic part of dressing up had to have been on the wedding day, when my mother handed me a diamond bindi she had been saving for over 20 years for my wedding!
Advice for to-be weds
Brides- Know your style, what works for you and really push for what you want! It’s a stressful time but it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity so make the most of it. I would also suggest visiting some good bridal shows like Vogue Wedding Shows (VWS). I went for VWS which usually takes place in Delhi around August every year and found it to be an amazing experience!
Groom- A couple of days before the wedding try and get time off work. Take the few days to recharge and be mentally prepared for the fun and super hectic times! During the wedding, keep reminding yourself that this is a once in a lifetime experience, everyone will be looking at you so enjoy the attention, laugh and smile. And if your bride gets stressed sometimes, tell her to stay calm, and ensure both of you have a blast.
Wedding Planners: Weddings by Keeran (Bangkok)
Entertainment Managers for Raghav & Emcee Sid: Divya Jain & Aneesh Khanna (Hong Kong) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photography & Videography Team: Colomono (Wedding video-http://vimeo.com/115596248)
Make Up Artist: Ojas Rajani (Mumbai)
Bartenders: Flaming Trio Thailand (Bangkok)
Graphic Design Team: Krista Victorio and the team of dsgnlb (Philippines and Hong Kong) (www.dsgnlb.com)