Ramya Mishra and Bhavin Jariwala – Pune, India
Ramya and Bhavin's fairytale wedding at JadhavGadh Fort, Pune was meticulously planned by Ramya's mother and her aunt.
Ramya and Bhavin first met at an Indian Student Association meeting at the Colorado School of Mines in 2006 where Ramya was doing her undergraduate studies and Bhavin was doing his doctorate. The meeting was to figure out some dance performances for an upcoming International day and they were the ones who were most eager to participate. They connected instantly.
Seven years later, Bhavin planned a perfect proposal for Ramya. “He surprised me with a jet airplane circling my parents’ home in Colorado with the words ‘Ramya, Will you marry me?’ trailing in the banner behind it. Then he got down on one knee, and proposed formally”, recalls Ramya.
Since both the families had their relatives in India, they decided to have their wedding at JadhavGadh Fort, Pune. It was the brainchild of Ramya’s mother, Deepa Mishra and her sister, Shilpa Sinha who scouted the locations and found JadhavGadh Fort perfect for the wedding celebration. Deepa Mishra who is based in the US says, “My sister had visited the fort and she couldn’t stop gushing about it. It is a heritage palace on a quaint hilltop, with the right mix of tradition and modernity. Ramya is our princess so we wanted to give her a fantasy wedding, a fairytale to begin her new life. We wanted a venue close to Mumbai as Bhavin’s parents had a base there and it turned out to be the perfect choice.”
Both Ramya and Bhavin being big Bollywood fans, her mother made sure everyone got an ample dose of dance and music at every event. The theme for every event was designed keeping in mind Ramya’s outfits. Interestingly, the mother did the entire trousseau shopping for her daughter. “I had full confidence in my mom’s sartorial choices”, says Ramya. Adds Deepa: “No wonder, she looked stunning, adorned in love and trust.”
Ramya had her mehndi function in the afternoon by the poolside. Says Deepa: “The weather was gorgeous in December so we organized the mehndi by poolside. As Ramya was wearing a mehndi green saree for the event, we planned the theme around it. Green and white drapes were used everywhere. We used lot of crystals and white flowers to make the color combination come out perfectly. Colourful bolsters were used in the area where the mehndi was being applied. We sang our traditional songs and added the mandatory dose of Bollywood. The dholwala matched us beat to beat as we danced and made merry till late afternoon. We hired Nikhil Ahuja as our wedding planner and he did a fantastic job for all the events.”
The Sangeet was organized in Paitha restaurant in the palace with the theme ‘mystic purple’. Ramya says, “The stage was lit up with purple and white lights. Purple and white drapes were used everywhere right from chairs to railings with traditional lamps adding the authentic Indian vibe. The Paithan gate was lit up with purple hues. My aunt, Shilpa emceed the event. She created a story around which the whole event revolved. My brother had prepared a slide show, talking about my and Bhavin’s childhood, how we met and fell in love.” Adds Deepa: “Ramya being a trained Hindustani classical music singer sang for us. I and four of my close friends, who had flown in from the US, performed a medley of Hindi film songs and later, my husband joined in. It was a night full of fun and charisma.”
The wedding was organized in front of the Ganesh temple inside the premises. The whole mandap was decorated with flowers, jasmine and orchids, to give a very serene feel. Deepa says, “The rain has a mind of its own in Pune. Nikhil, our wedding planner, had suggested using canopies to avoid any last minute mishaps. But we were clear that we wanted to have an open air mandap with just flowers. We took the chance and by God’s grace, it paid off. With the temple in the backdrop, the whole scene was ethereal. Bhavin arrived on elephant to take my daughter away. There were traditional nagadas and large trumpets to welcome the baraat. Though in our culture fathers don’t bring in the bride, Ramya was insistent that she wanted her father to accompany her when she would walk down to the mandap. And so he did. It was a heartening moment.”
They also designed and printed brochures for the wedding day, with all the details of the rituals and folk songs being sung by the ladies in the background so that the guests could feel involved, an innovative idea which the guests really appreciated.
The love story culminated beautifully in a wedding by twilight and proceeded effortlessly into a fun-filled reception. Deepa says, “We kept the theme of the night blue with hints of fuchsia as those were the colours of Ramya’s outfit. We did a Western style sit down reception. The fireworks lit the sky. There was a wall of fire through which Ramya and Bhavin walked in. It was followed by some really classy performances to enrich the mood of the night and Ramya and Bhavin too performed in true Bollywood style.”
Deepa did her research when it came to hiring a candid photographer and finally she found Pune based Navdeep Soni. She says, “Navdeep was the best find. He captured the moments, emotions and fun so vividly that we relive the whole wedding every time we see the photographs. He did an incredible job with the film too.”