This was not a simple destination wedding - rather, it was a multiple destinations wedding for Dubai-based Adel and Sana who boarded a luxurious cruise liner with 1500 of their close family and friends. Europe's hottest spots, fantasy decor, beautiful fashions, chart-topping music, spectacular performances and celebrity guests all mingled wonderfully at this wedding (which everyone is still talking about) that packed in as much thrills and excitement as an adventure on the high seas.
How They Met
Adel and Sana first met at a fashion show while they were still in high school. However, love blossomed between them almost six years later when they met again during the holy occasion of Ramadan. Adel proposed to Sana soon after at a private beach, and this was followed by a glitzy engagement at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi
The Concordia-Class Costa Fascinosa cruise ship was fully decorated by Wedniksha, the event executors hired for this lavish wedding. The luxurious cruise liner sailed from the sunny beaches of Barcelona to dreamy Marseilles and Cannes in France, and ended in Savona, in Italy. Each wedding function had a special theme that reflected the playful personality of the couple. From a retro-style welcome dinner to the sophisticated ballroom reception, each event was the epitome of style, grandeur and meticulous planning. To kick-start the wedding spirit and welcome aboard the guests, Wedniksha prepared customized #DilDhadakneDo (a popular Bollywood film directed by Zoya Akhtar) Harrods hampers which contained delectable English treats such as shortbread miniatures, Harrods lemon curd, almond biscuits, wine and chocolates.
The retro-style welcome dinner at this lavish destination wedding includes dance performances by professionals. Sana and Adel also shook a leg to popular Bollywood hits. She wore a glittery 1920’s inspired gold embellished flapper dress that complemented the glamorous décor, lighting and ambience of the event. She accessorized it with diamond earrings and a charming vintage-style finger curl hairstyle.
The sangeet was organized to look like a live concert and included some thoughtful speeches by loved ones and breathtaking dance and acrobatic acts by professionals. There was a special ‘jugalbandi’ (duet) performance between popular singer and rapper Badshah and musicians Vishal and Shekhar that kept everyone entertained. Sana’s embellished green and gold Neeta Lulla lehenga with an attached tulle green cape made her look every bit of a royal princess. She accessorized her ensemble with antique stacked necklaces, a ‘maang tikka’ (forehead ornament) and ‘jhumkas’ (dangling ethnic earrings).
The starry wedding was attended by the who’s who of Bollywood, as well as the business and corporate worlds. The mammoth member guest list included friends and family members from both sides of the families, and celebrities such as Gauhar Khan, Hussain Kuwajerwala, Malaika Arora Khan, Gurmeet Choudhary and wife Debina, Rohit Roy and wife Manasi, Shilpa and Shamita Shetty, Dia Mirza, rapper Badshah, the Meet Brothers and composing duo Vishal and Shekhar, among others. The wedding followed a traditional theme and the various decks of the ship were decorated to reflect the charm of Indian rituals and customs. The ‘baraat’ (groom’s procession) ceremony had Adel and his family escort Sana through a special synchronized parade towards the upper deck of the ship.
For the wedding ceremony, ace designer Neeta Lulla created a flowing tulle off-shoulder blue lehenga with 3D floral embellishments that perfectly suited the onboard fantasy themed cruise wedding. Adel wore an eye-catching sherwani with blue, aqua, turquoise and green pattern with a dark blue stole and matching pyjamas. It was refreshing to see the couple opt for colours others than the regular reds, maroons and browns so common in weddings.
The reception was planned around an English ballroom theme. Hosted on the upper deck of the ship which was resplendent with white florals, the event saw celebrities such as Gauhar Khan and Sushmita Sen share emotional insights and tidbits through their speeches. Neeta Lulla’s iridescent white Elsa-inspired gown accessorized with a statement diamond necklace and earrings made Sana look like a beautiful ‘princess bride.’ Adel wore a white tuxedo with black lapels and a bow tie. They made a pretty picture as they posed together to cut the towering white cake, said to be around 10 or 12 layers tall with a floral wreath unfurling beautifully along one side.
Photography: Knotty Affair by Namit and Vipul