Soniya Dembla and Akshay Balwani, Angsana Laguna, Phuket Thailand
A confluence of eclectic themes, riveting couture, and unforgettable moments, this incredible Thailand wedding is sure to leave you dreaming of your own!
Owner of WeddingSutra Favorite – Camera Crew, Soniya Dembla tied the knot with her long-time beau Akshay Balwani in a dreamy beachside celebration in Thailand. The intimate destination getaway to Angsana Laguna Phuket saw the best of natural beauty, entertainment, and relaxation, every moment of which was captured in breathtaking beauty by her team. Watch it unfold below.
How they Met
Wedding photographer Soniya and Akshay, who works in the Food Industry and runs a few QSR brands met through mutual friends at a bar a few years ago. Having both returned to India after studying abroad, the two instantly hit it off and soon went out on their first date, and there was no looking back. As two headstrong individuals, they were drawn to each other’s honesty and straightforwardness, empowering and relying on each other as equal partners. Coming from families with remarkable love stories of their own, they bonded over their shared view of family values and love and knew they had found their partner for life.
Akshay shares, “From the beginning we always knew that this is it for us and that it was just a matter of time. We had spoken about spending our lives together many times, and whenever I joked about getting married Soniya always said the time will come. She’s the rock star in our relationship, never shying away from taking the first step. She was the one who added me on Facebook that first day that started our whole journey, and she was the one who proposed to me 4 years later. What’s funny is the day I told my parents that I wanted to plan a proposal for Soniya was the same day she decided to pop the question herself, with my parents being in on the plan. My parents and I were on our way to Alibaug for what I thought was a business meeting, while in reality, the surprise proposal was waiting for me at the beach with all our loved ones already present. As we walked down the beach and towards the house, I saw her and couldn’t hold back my tears. It was the most amazing experience”.
Soniya adds, “Akshay once told me he wanted to be there for me not only through the good times but also the bad. That day I knew I wanted to spend my life with him. Somehow I always felt like I needed more time to be ready for marriage until one day I realized that I don’t have any reason to wait to start our lives together.”
The couple had always dreamt of a destination beach wedding and found perfection in the iconic property of Angsana Laguna Phuket. Marrying natural beauty with luxury and pristine vistas, the beachside property in Thailand perfectly framed their special moments.
As a wedding photographer herself, the bride brought on board her work family at Camera Crew to capture the essence of their love and celebration. Shedding light on their work, the team tells us, “We approach wedding photography and filmmaking with the intent of making something timeless in a way that real heartfelt emotions, magic, and love are preserved. Our team holds the passion to capture as well as understand the importance of every poignant experience and emotion of the day. Our goal is simple: to understand what’s important to the bride and groom and how they would like to look back at their wedding day. We move ahead from photojournalism to storytelling to give organic photos and videos that you will look back on years after your marriage as a reminder of the love that brought you together on your special day. With the continuously evolving wedding industry where brides and grooms are making their own traditions, we are carefully crafting wedding stories to blend the traditional with the modern. On your wedding day, we become part of your family, and this helps us to capture all the emotions of the day – the serious, the silly, and the poetic. To bring you the best wedding experience to life, we then carefully craft and document your memories, pack them with love, and filter them through layers and layers of careful examination.”
Soniya adds, “We always knew we wanted an intimate wedding with those who are close to us, and we wanted it to be our version of what we believe in and what’s important to us. We are not scared of breaking tradition but we also want to cherish what we have been taught by our family and our lives and that’s exactly how we also planned our wedding. We paid attention to setting the mood right with different themes and finding the right entertainment. Mostly we both wanted to have a great time with our families celebrating the love we share. And we loved every minute of it!”
The 3-day festivities kicked off with an intimate haldi soiree full of fun and family love. The Tuscan-themed occasion saw the refreshing decor of sunflowers, foliage, and lemons, as everyone gathered around the couple to smear them with haldi and shower them with petals and water. The bride looked radiant in a yellow co-ord set and floral jewelry, while the groom stood out in a stylish ombre yellow and white kurta jacket set.
Giving boho a sleek black edge, the sundowner function took over the evening. The simple, yet elegant event saw music, dancing, and dinner as everyone let their hair down and had fun. Both the bride and groom dressed in stylish black cocktail attire for the occasion.
The next day kicked everyone’s spirits into high gear with a fun-filled Thai Carnival! Exotic blooms, bold 3D flowers, colorful drapes, and more set the tone for the event, where delicious food, games, foot massages, and more were enjoyed by all guests. Dressed in bright tropical colors, the bride and groom made a rocking entry amidst smoke bombs.
The quirky vibrance of the day gave way to some glitz and glam for the Sangeet night! After being welcomed by a champagne wall as they entered, the guests were treated to a night of dazzling performances, music, dancing, and non-stop entertainment. The bride wore a shimmering gold couture gown while the groom sported a suave velvet green tuxedo, both of which matched the exotic color palette of the decor and canopy of disco balls and foliage.
Held at sunset, the beach wedding exuded an ethereal feel with the dreamy gardenia-themed decor in soft floral hues like periwinkle and rose. The mandap was simply two trees with the beautiful sun setting into the ocean as the couple’s backdrop. The bride looked breathtaking in a rose pink and gold lehenga while the groom opted to be fashion-forward in a couture sherwani as they tied the knot. The ceremony was followed by a formal dinner and cake-cutting where everyone celebrated the newlyweds.
Bringing the destination wedding to a spectacular close was the elegant Reception evening. Glitzy gold and red decor set a decadent ambiance, while everyone dressed in dazzling cocktail ensembles for the night. The bride rocked a ravishing red lehenga while the groom wore a chic black achkan.
Advice for Couples
“Enjoy your wedding to the fullest. Even though everything you plan doesn’t pan out exactly the way you want, just remember that it’s a celebration of your love for one another, because, at the end of the day, the happiest couples make the prettiest bride and groom.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Angsana Laguna Phuket, Thailand
Wedding Planner: Divine Events, Bangkok
Decor: Pavarit & Co, Bangkok
Groom’s Outfits: Vridhi Somaani (Haldi), Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna (Sundowner, Wedding), BOBO Calcutta (Thai Carnival), Govinda Mehta (Sangeet, Reception)
Bride’s Outfits: Vridhi Somaani (Haldi), Tarun Tahiliani (Sundowner), BOBO Calcutta (Thai Carnival), Dolly J (Sangeet), Jade by MK (Wedding), Cherie D (Reception)
Makeup: Drama Queen Makeup by Marisa
Wedding Music: Daastan, Camera Crew original track by Adarsh Rao
DJ: DJ Dev
Photography and Videography: Camera Crew