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"Me and Amrit always wanted a beach wedding. Shangri-La Cebu surrounded by clear water made for the perfect venue", writes Sneha about her three day, fun-filled wedding

Amrit and I live in Dubai. Amrit has his own business in Construction and Marine Equipment, and I used to work in Advertising. We met at a nightclub for the first time and after chatting for a few minutes we figured a common connection. His cousin Rashmi was my brother Kunal's fiance. This got us talking and in a few days we got to know each other better; soon, together we were planning Rashmi and Kunal's wedding that took place in Thailand (click here) to read about the wedding. Amrit was in-charge of the skit from Rashmi's side and I was in-charge of Kunal's. We got to know each other even better during the whole process and around a year later we were engaged

Wedding Venue
It isn't easy choosing an overseas location for a Destination Wedding which can meet all your and your family's needs, and at the same time be convenient for all guests. After looking at various hotels in Thailand, Malaysia and India, we finally chose to host our wedding at Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, Philippines. The destination was new for both of us, and for most of our guests too. Shangri-la Mactan Resort & Spa blew us away! It is surrounded by clear water, has a number of beautiful locations to host different functions at, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the rooms have a stunning beach view.

Wedding Planning
Since this was one of the biggest Indian weddings taking place in Cebu, planning was not very easy. From food, decor, lighting, music, to every little detail, Amrit and I were involved in all communication and planning and we took the help of Philippines-based Wedding Planner Stanz Catalan for execution. Stanz is a Filipino but she did a fine job of managing our Indian wedding, and she executed everything as per our imagination and plans. She also helped us get the best of suppliers in Cebu, and worked closely with the Shangri-La team who were extremely co-operative, so overall we were comfortable closer to the wedding day 

We also hired the services of Dubai-based Rimjhim Bhagchandani as our Wedding Consultant as she knows our families, with her added help, the Planner and Hotel ensured everything went off the way we wanted it to be.

Wedding Events
The wedding festivities took place over 3 days. We had 8 functions, and each one of them had a different theme, and were held at different locations within the property.

15th February, Welcome Dinner, Cowrie Cove- As this was the first event and a new destination for most guests, the Welcome dinner gave a feel of the Filipino culture. We used royal blue and white as the main colors for the decor, that was embellished with local elements such as capiz shells. The other highlight of the evening was a performance by Shobna Chandramohan, the popular wedding singer from Dubai.

16th February night, Engagement- The theme was 'Winter Wonderland', so we chose colors like white and silver for decor. The entire ballroom was draped in white cloth, and we used winter trees and snowflakes to reflect the theme. Our main entertainer for the night was a Violinist from the Philippines named Juleus. We entered alongside him, and he continued playing some amazing commercial tracks.

16th February night, Youngsters party and Ghazal night, Cowrie Cove and Ocean Pavilion- After the Engagement, we had a Youngsters and Ghazal party planned at two different venues. For the Youngsters, we chose 'Pirates of the Caribbean' as the theme, because the venue was a deck surrounded by the ocean. Our entry for this event was on a speedboat, which I should say, stunned most guests! The decor elements included ship sails, skeleton scarves and pirate patches as props. We had DJ Manoj from Dubai and local Filipino dancers for this night, who performed to different Bollywood tracks. We also setup a photo-booth so guests could get some fun pictures on the spot. 

The Ghazal night was of course a quieter event. Themed 'Jashn-E-Bahaar', a singer from Jakarta alongwith Shobna Chandramohan, kept the guests entertained with old Bollywood hits.

17th February afternoon, Pool Party- The Spanish inspiration theme 'Sangria under the Sun' was the most fun event of our wedding. We used colors like red, orange and yellow to create the Spanish feel, and me and Amrit entered the venue with Spanish flamingos. Sangria and other cocktails were served by Bombay Bartenders 'Flaming Trio', and it turned out to be a fun-filled, activity-packed event with barbecues, relaxing massages and DJ Manoj playing some great upbeat tracks.

17th February night, Sangeet, The Marquee- Our Sangeet later in the evening was themed 'Turkish- Ottoman Empire'. For the decor we used colors such as blue and green, with a touch of gold. The event featured performances from our family and friends, LED Dhol players and DJ Manoj spinning music till the wee hours of the morning.

18th February afternoon, Wedding Ceremony- As Amrit and I always wanted a beach wedding, we had our Mandap set up by the beach. It was quite large and accommodated around 20 people. We entered alongside our cousin brothers holding a flowerbed above us. We chose colors such as pink, red and gold for the decor, to reflect the classic colors of the ceremony.

18th February night, Wedding Reception, Mactan Ballroom- The Theme was 'The Grand Ball', and the ballroom was decorated with crystals and bling, and designed in colors of lavender and white. We felt like 'VVIPs' as we entered the grand function accompanied by 20 Philippine Military cadets blowing trumpets and performing a march. Wedding speeches by family and friends, cake cutting, photo and video highlights cherishing the 3-day wedding were the highlights of this Grand Finale event.

Sneha in a customized lehenga by Designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil

Wedding Details

Wedding Planner- Stanz Catalan, Cebu, Philippines
Wedding Consultant- Rimjhim Bhagchandani , Dubai, UAE
Makeup and Hair- Ojas Rajani
Photography- Rock Paper Scissors, Cebu and Benjie Tiongco, Manila, Philippines
Videography- Doodle Studio, Malaysia

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