Shirin and Mohit, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali
The functions at Shirin and Mohit’s Bali wedding had cool showbiz themes – from a ‘Bae Watch’ pool party to 'Eat, Pray, Love' themed pheras and a retro 'Casablanca' reception
“My name is Shirin Vasandani and I married Mohit Vasandani. As luck would have it, we have the same last name. It is not that common in our Sindhi community to find someone with the same surname who is not your relative, but coincidentally I did.”
“We met at a family friend’s wedding in New York when I was 9 and he was 11. I later found out that he pointed at me at this wedding and told his mother “This is the girl I will marry someday”. And 15 years later, he was right! After that initial meeting, we started chatting in 2010 when I was studying in London, and we became good friends. Mohit was quite determined to push the relationship beyond that and was very persistent. After a year of persuasion, I finally agreed to go out with him, and he proposed after a year. Mohit has a few textile stores in Indonesia, and I used to work in consulting. Currently, I’m helping him in his business.”.
“Mohit proposed to me on August 10 last year. He disguised the proposal as a ‘cooking class’ in an Italian restaurant. We were greeted by Chef Marco, who turned out to be pretty ‘forgetful’ with the ingredients. He asked my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to fetch items from the stock room such as parsley. When he realized he had forgotten the chili flakes, it was my turn to go to the stock room. When I walked into the room, I saw rose petals on the floor and a very romantic table setting. Then Mohit entered the room and pointed towards a wall which had balloons that spelled out ‘Will you marry me?’”.
“Our wedding took place from 18th to 21st August at The Ritz-Carlton in Nusa Dua, Bali, and we had seven functions spread over four days. We wanted a venue not many people had used before, a ballroom that could fit around 500 guests, alongside lots of open spaces and scenic views – and the hotel met all our requirements.”
“We had a whole year to plan the wedding and include themes that our guests would find interesting. We hired Innaz Communique to plan this destination event, and they helped transform our dreams into reality. Every few weeks, both sides of the family would sit together and discuss wedding details, contact the vendors and then Innaz Communique would follow up with them. Having a pool of ideas allowed us to see which worked and which did not. We would also sit with Butterfly Event Styling to discuss décor ideas, and whatever we envisioned was laid out beautifully by Robert, the head of the creative team.”
“Our wedding functions all had movie themes, starting from our invitation cards that were designed like movie tickets. My sister-in-law and I designed a rough copy and then passed it to Jakarta-based Kens Collection which is a specialist invitation card company to make it more presentable and print it.”
Misri / Engagement
“The first day started with prayers from Mohit’s side, also known as ‘bochini prayers’. The evening event was called ‘Rules of Engagement’ since it was our ‘misri’ or engagement.”
‘Ghari Prayers’ & Welcome Dinner
“The next day we had the ‘ghari prayers’ where both sets of parents get remarried. Our welcome dinner that night had the theme ‘A Spanish Affair’. Our décor was all red and black, and our guests also had to wear outfits with the two colors. The dinner had a Spanish feel with lots of fairy lights, oriental fans hanging from tree branches, cocktails such as ‘Shibby’s Sangria’ and ‘Momo’s Mohito’, and a bar that had Spanish mosaic printed on it. This was followed by a ‘pajama party’ inside the ballroom with a bedroom theme. We had a bed inside the ballroom which we used as a photo booth. The passageway leading to the ballroom was decorated with pillows and had feathers hanging from the ceiling, as did the ballroom. The DJ booth was shaped like a bed frame and the dancefloor had a montage of pillows and blankets.”
‘Bae Watch’ Pool Party
The next day we had a ‘Bae Watch’ themed mehndi pool party. The color theme was red and yellow, and we hired Caucasian servers and dressed them as lifeguards. I personally bought swimsuits with ‘Bae-Watch’ logos for the women servers. For this carnival-style party, we hired a giant human foosball setup, dunk tanks, and beer pong tables. Guests relaxed on red and yellow bean bags strewn around. Even our drinks related to the theme. One was a ‘Shark Attack’ shot created by mixologists hired from Potato Head Beach Club Bali. Even the DJ booth was shaped like a lifeguard station.”
“Our sangeet night had a ‘Mughal E Moshi’ theme and featured Sabyasachi-style décor with chandeliers, floral fabrics, rich ceiling drapes and Mughal portraits. We had tents set up in the garden area of the ballroom and used the ballroom for the after party. More than 90 air conditioners ensured guests felt cool and as if they were indoors. We had a Japanese whiskey bar inside the tented area that served drinks like Yamazaki, Yoichi, Hakushu and Hibiki. Female servers were dressed up like geisha girls, and the bar had a samurai feel with bonsai and other accents. Mohit’s dad and mine both love whiskey, so we had more than 15 types of premium whiskey at the event alongside other spirits. Every half an hour we had a ‘Shot A Clock’. We would have a time stamp on the LED panel and everyone would count down until the time reached 00.00 for specially created shots to be passed out to everyone.”
The ‘pheras’ were held the following day, and had an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ theme. This included fresh flowers décor on the beach and soft colors over the ‘mandap’ for that dreamy vibe. Mohit came in a red Mini Cooper convertible for the ‘baraat’ and picked me from my villa.”
“We held the reception at night in the hotel’s ballroom, and this event had a ‘Casablanca’ theme. Everything had a retro feel – such as black and white photos, pink and gray fabrics outside the tent area and a Single Malt bar. The stage was adapted from Casablanca movie with the major colors being black and white. A huge rectangular LED panel for the dances formed the main part of the décor. Our first dance – also our entrance song – was ‘Perfect Strangers’ by Jonas Blue. We chose this song as we wanted to steer away from the slow dance, and have a more upbeat dance.”
Some highlights of Shirin’s bridal trousseau included a self-designed silver grey mermaid gown created with exquisite fabric bought from Mohit’s sister’s store ‘Keren Textile’ in Jakarta for the welcome dinner. For the pool party, she wore a jumpsuit with a ‘Baywatch’ vibe designed by herself in collaboration with her sister-in-law. The sequin fabric was purchased from Mohit’s store ‘Dress Up Textile’ in Jakarta. Her shoes were custom-made from iheartsolehouse in New Delhi. For the reception, Shirin’s couture gown was custom made by an Indonesian designer named Hian Tjen. It took one year to make the dress be prepared due to the intricate details. For more details of Mohit and Shirin’s trousseau, see credits below.
Experience with the Wedding Vendors
“Our photographer and videographer were AXIOO, an Indonesian photo company based in Bali, Indonesia. My makeup artist was an Indonesian, who has a lot of experience with Indian brides. I had tested her during my engagement party last year, and loved how my makeup looked.”
“Innaz Communique turned our dreams into reality. They were very professional and tackled any challenges coming their way in a very proficient manner. They also provided ‘a shadow’ for the bride, groom, bride’s mom, groom’s mom, and groom’s sister (since she was pregnant). A ‘shadow’ is basically someone who is by your side 24/7, they would help you with whatever you need during the four days. It definitely made all of us enjoy every moment of the wedding and relieved us of all the wedding stress.”
“Our wedding cake was very unique. To go with our movie theme, we got a customized black and white cake which featured photos from our pre-wedding photoshoot . It turned out amazing and blended so well with the theme décor.”
“One of my favorite moments was the grand entrance we did at the welcome dinner. Mohit and I entered with pyro techniques behind us. Another favorite moment was after the ‘pheras’ when my father-in-law surprised me with a spectacle of fireworks. The show ended with two arrows shooting a board to light up the words “Welcome Home My Daughter”. Reading that message immediately after becoming bound to the man I love was a very touching moment for me.”
Advice to couples to wed
“No wedding can be 100 per cent perfect and some things will be just beyond your control, but you should not stress about it. Just go with the flow and continue with your other events. One advice for brides is to have a lookbook for each day, which has the outfit you’re wearing, what hairstyle you would like to have, and the jewellery you would be wearing. Don’t leave that to the last minute.”
Wedding Planners: Innaz Communique, Jakarta, Indonesia
Décor: Butterfly Event Styling, Jakarta, Indonesia
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Bali
Bridal Trousseau: Nitya Bajaj (engagement), Manish Arora (‘ghari prayers’), Keren Textile Store fabric mermaid gown (welcome dinner), custom-made shoes from iheartsolehouse, New Delhi, self-designed jumpsuit (pool party), Anjali Mahtani Couture, Jakarta (after party), Manish Malhotra (sangeet), Manish Malhotra &shoes by Charlotte Olympia (‘pheras’), Hian Tjen (reception)
Groom’s Trousseau: Ermenegildo Zegna (engagement), Abhishek Gupta (‘ghari prayers’), Shantanu & Nikhil (welcome dinner), Sabyasachi and custom made shoes by Misura by Lehen (sangeet), Sabyasachi (‘pheras’), Manish Malhotra (‘pheras’), Tom Ford (reception)
Bridal Jewellery: Butani Jewellers & Royal Enterprises (Hong Kong), Anmol Jewellers (Mumbai)
DJs & Music: DJ Danny Dandit Inc (Jakarta), DJ Gioli (Milan), DJ Lemon (Mumbai), Jonita Gandhi (sangeet).
Photos Courtesy: AXIOO, Indonesia