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Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Malaysia

Arrun and Vimmi were searching for a new luxurious resort for their destination wedding; they fell in love with Shangri-La, Kota Kinabalu as soon as they walked in.

Arrun and Vimmi were born and brought up in the Philippines, but only crossed paths five years ago when they met at a wedding. Vimmi was then completing her masters in the UK while Arrun was busy travelling for work, but that didn't keep them from getting to know each other better. Before they knew it, they had been dating for four years and Arrun popped the question, rather dramatically we might add.

The proposal
On a misty July evening last year, Arrun brought together the couple's family at the Manila Polo Club to share a very special moment. Of course, it was a surprise for Vimmi.

It was the perfect proposal - the grand kind that is seen in the movies, and the kind that Vimmi had always dreamt of. Arrun had gone all out to put forth the four most wonderful words that would change Vimmi's world. As Arrun led Vimmi to the field, a banner in white bold lettering displayed at one end of the field, posed the query... 'Will you marry me?'

Vimmi was thrilled, when much to her surprise a helicopter appeared with a diamond ring hanging down from it. Arrun went down on his knee with it, and Vimmi nodded.

The Wedding Venue
Arrun and Vimmi were keen to find a new luxurious resort that would be spacious and entertaining for their family and friends.

Arrun's sister had tied the knot in Bali, Indonesia, and Vimmi's brother got married in Phuket, Thailand. So Vimmi and Arrun scouted for resorts for a month - googling some, taking a few trips around, until they walked into Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. "The moment we entered the property of Rasa Ria, we both fell in love with it- the grand drive to the lobby, the golf course and club, the 3km beach, the amazing view from each bedroom, the various restaurants and activities available for guests. It definitely was love at first sight," recalls Vimmi Badlani. "To top it all, the hospitality of the staff was outstanding. They made us felt welcome and confident that everything will fall into place perfectly."

The Wedding Events
Arrun and Vimmi put a lot of thought into the themes for each of their wedding events as they wanted it to reflect their personalities. While their celebrations had one basic theme of timeless love in all its grandeur, each event had its own element of romance. The themes, colours and location changed with each ceremony, given that Rasa Ria offers many large spaces.

The three day journey began with an afternoon engagement and the mehendi ceremony on the first day, followed by a welcome dinner on the beach.

At noon the next day, the groom's and bride's family separately held the ghari, a Sindhi prayer ritual, followed by the 'Playa Del Sol' lunch at the TepiLaut restaurant. The theme for the sangeet ceremony that night was the Mughal Interlude with Indian Royale as the dress code. Guests were entertained by performers such as the Vyas Brothers from Mumbai, Entourage from UK and Ashish Thadani from Jakarta.

The following afternoon, a turbaned dancing entourage clad in purple invaded the lobby driveway. The baraat had arrived in all fanfare with Arrun in a Tarun Tahiliani creation, perched on a mare as per traditional Indian customs. They proceeded to the Lobby Lounge where they were welcomed by the bride's family. Maharaj Washdev from Singapore solemnized all the wedding rituals. The pheras then took place in the sprawling green lawns of the Rasa Ria.

And then it was time for the post-wedding celebration. The reception was a formal black-tie affair at the Grand Ballroom. In keeping with the Masquerade Regale theme, everyone had donned masks to go with their formal outfits. Arrun annd Vimmi's first dance was with their respective masks on, reminiscent of yesteryear romance films. This was something Arrun always wanted... a unique feel to his first dance with his wife.

The Wedding Couture
Vimmi loves contemporary fashion, but chose the classic timeless look for her outfits and jewellery. She wanted to explore a different designer for each event. So she researched and narrowed down three Indian designers and three designers from the Philippines.

For the Mehendi and engagement ceremonies on the first day, Vimmi decided on using soft pastels that brought out the demure bride in her. She wore a soft pink saree by Ecru with floral motifs in keeping with the Garden Couture theme of the mehendi ceremony.

The dress code for the engagement that evening was chic beachwear. Inspired by the theme luxe beach, Vimmi chose the colour of the sea for her gown. Designed by Boom Sason, the light blue gown was detailed with lace and pearls and had a detachable trail.

On Day Two, Vimmi wanted her outfits to make her feel classy and capture the fun of these memorable moments. For the casual Playa Del Sol lunch, she wore a wraparound silk skirt with a sexy one-sided swim suit. She wanted the flexibility of dancing as well as enjoying the beach in the sun. This outfit was made by Martin Bautista.

The theme for the sangeet was Mughal Interlude. Vimmi wore a dark emerald outfit with Kashmiri embroidery and mirror work, designed by Manish Malhotra. This was the first outfit she had chosen in her trousseau. She had fallen in love instantly.

Day three was D day, the day Vimmi would officially become part of the Bhavnani family. Vimmi's approach was traditional in her choice of design and colour.

For the Pheras, she wore a rich red velvet lehenga choli by Shyamal and Bhumika, with a touch of emerald in the dupatta to match the kurtas worn by her brother and father. She wanted to underline her close connection with both men into her wedding attire. A six-strand diamond neckpiece with emerald studs perfectly complemented the outfit.

For the wedding reception a few hours later, Vimmi chose a two-tone champagne-coloured gown in a heavy Italian fabric by designer Jun Escario. She complemented it with a chandelier diamond necklace. To go with the masquerade ball theme, Vimmi wore a one-sided mask with feathers. The jewellery was all custom-made by Tiysa Jewellers.

Details
Wedding Planners & Decor: Shehnaiyan Wedding Management Services, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Performing Artists: Vyas Brothers, Mumbai | Entourage, UK | Ashish Thadani, Jakarta

Music: DJ Kevin, Singapore | DJ Kai, Hong Kong | DJ Euric, Manila

Reception Band: Fingerstyle, Sabah

Makeup Artist: Ojas Rajani, Mumbai

Mehendi: Revathi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Designers: Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra, Shyamal and Bhumika, Ecru, Boom Sason, Martin Bautista, Jun Escario
Jewellery: Tiysa Jewellers

Photos Courtesy: Picture Perfect India

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