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Shwetambari and James’ decade long relationship was worthy of a grand wedding and that’s exactly how the couple celebrated. Their vows and nuptials at the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace was the perfect prelude to the rest of their lives.

The bride shares with us the highlights from their big day.

Shwetambari and James

How We Met
“I moved from Mumbai to New York about 15 years ago to pursue a career in fashion. I met James, a local New Yorker, ten years ago via a common friend. We became friends instantly and began dating two years into meeting. He proposed in 2017.”

Proposal
“I was away on a cruise to the Baltics with my entire family for my uncle’s 60th birthday. I came back to our sparse new apartment (no furniture, just the NYC skyline as backdrop) to find James on one knee, surrounded by flowers and candles, holding his grandmother’s pre-WWII engagement ring. It was a very personal and private proposal. He made it impossible for me to say no!”

Wedding Venue
“In all honesty, all credit goes to my family not just for the venue, but for everything. They were very keen for us to host the wedding at Umaid Bhawan Palace. I had not even seen the venue until it was finalized and of course as soon as James and I saw the palace we were completely in love with it! How could you not be?”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Wedding Planning
“We were very fortunate to work with Natasha Katgara and Amrita Bhanji from Divinity Weddings. They came highly recommended by my mother’s friends. As I mentioned, my family really took the reins with the planning and they worked with my parents and sisters and gave us the most beautiful dream wedding anyone could imagine. After this experience, Natasha and Amrita have become like family.

My makeup was done by Kapil Bhalla and hair by Shagufta. They were so easy to work with and what I loved most was that they really took my personal style into consideration.

I would also like to give a special shout out to Tanaz Davar and her team from Davar Decorators. They have been working with my family since my sister’s wedding 10 years ago and really put their heart and soul into everything that they do.

As a designer about to launch her own luxury line, I decided to design the invitations and the digitally printed scarves and pocket squares given as gifts. We worked with Kermin of Carmma Cards who executed my vision for the invites.

Wedding Day by Atul Pratap Chauhan were our photographers. Our pre-wedding photoshoot was done by Atul and we loved his energy and commitment to his work. We then met him at a wedding in Delhi where he spent 3 hours with my mother, sister and me showing us pictures of the latest wedding he'd photographed. Once we saw those we knew he was the right man for the job. Working with Atul and his team was a real pleasure and a great experience. The best part was that they were there to capture every moment of our wedding. What my family and I really liked about the team was the attitude. They didn’t have any demands and were there from the crack of dawn into the wee hours.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James
Shwetambari and James
 

Wedding Functions

Haldi
“The ceremony started with a pooja after which the haldi began. The function took place at my house and the setup made use of a lot of marigolds. It was a lighthearted event and had some rather funny moments especially because some of our guests mistook my brother-in-law for James and started applying haldi on him!”

Shwetambari and James

Mehndi
“I wanted a very chilled and relaxed mehndi with our close friends and families, as majority of the guests were arriving the next day for the welcome lunch. We chose the poolside at the Umaid Bhawan Palace as our venue and left the décor very simple. To this event, I wore an outfit by Tarun Tahiliani while James wore a chikkankari kurta.”

Welcome Lunch
“We wanted this function at the poolside of the to pack a punch! Our entire guest list from all over the world had arrived in Jodhpur and we wanted to show them what Rajasthani culture is all about. The décor was totally kitschy. It looked really beautiful and fun.

I wore an Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla ensemble for this event while James went with a kurta and pair of well-fitted trousers.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James
Shwetambari and James
 

Wedding
“The wedding, for me, had to be the showstopper. I wanted a very Indian look that highlighted the beauty of Umaid Bhawan Palace. Tanaz and I thought having shamadans and diyas across the venue would create the desired look.

As for my wedding lehenga – it was the first outfit I had picked for the wedding. As soon as I saw the Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla collection, I’d fallen in love with it. James’ off-white sherwani was the perfect complement to my off-white and gold lehenga.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Reception

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Polo Match and Brunch
“The polo match was the most unique event we had. Most of our guests had never been to a polo match before. The décor was inspired by the Italian Riviera, specifically Capri and we served Limoncello from Italy! The Wedding Bar Tenders even made limoncello popsicles.

I wanted my polo look to be very light, airy and slightly retro and opted for an orange J Mendel dress with a hat while James looked very dapper in a pink bandhgala and white trousers.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Sangeet
“This function was on our last night in Jodhpur. On the front lawn of Umaid Bhawan Palace with the palace as the backdrop, we had Jeffrey Iqbal perform. We really wanted someone who could combine both our cultures and appeal to a more international audience and Jeffrey was the right choice. For the décor, my only brief was that I wanted a starry night and what was created was pure magic. It was a truly unforgettable night for us and all our friends and family.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Mumbai Reception
“As a designer/artist I have been inspired by Yayoi Kusama and for the reception, I really wanted to pay homage to the great artist. I showed Tanaz images of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room exhibit with the mirrors and lights and asked her to create something spectacular – and she absolutely did! It was very different compared to what most receptions are like.”

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Shwetambari and James

Advice For Couples
“Have a solid team you can rely on, and as the bride, ensure that you’re working on only the aspects that you enjoy focussing on. Most importantly, do not forget that once the madness is over it is just the two of you at the end of it all. Enjoy your wedding and treat it like one gigantic party!”

The Wedding makers
Venues: Umaid Bhawan Palace (Mehndi, Wedding, and Sangeet), Taj Hari Mahal (Welcome Lunch), Polo Grounds, Jodhpur (Polo Match and Brunch), The St. Regis Mumbai (Reception)
Wedding Planner: Divinity Weddings
Décor: Davar Decorators
Bride’s Outfits: Anamika Khanna (Haldi), Tarun Tahiliani (Mehndi, Sangeet, and Reception) Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (Welcome Lunch and Wedding), J Mendel (Polo Match and Brunch)
Groom’s Outfits: Tarun Tahiliani (Wedding)
Makeup Artist: Kapil Bhalla
Hairstylist: Shagufta
Entertainment: Jeffrey Iqbal (Sangeet)
Wedding Invitations: Carmma Cards (Execution Only)
Bar: The Wedding Bartenders
Photography: Wedding Day by Atul Pratap Chauhan

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