Vanessa and Kishore – Mexico
Every theme at Vanessa and Kishore’s wedding in Mexico’s Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Hotel was inspired by their real-life experiences
How we Met
Kishore, a software salesman originally from Atlanta, and Vanessa, a digital marketer originally from the Philippines, met on Cinco de Mayo (a celebration celebrating the courage of the Mexicans during the Battle of Puebla in 1862) at a Mexican bar in New York after seven years of missed connections. His opening line to her was “I’m moving to India next month.” Their love for travel and adventure brought the couple to Mumbai, and they fell for each other over harrowing bike rides across Goa, a cruise in a hot air balloon in Turkey, adrenalin-fuelled rides in the Mykonos hills on their ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) – and a pact made under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. “I knew he was ‘the one’ when he moved back to NYC for me,” shares Vanessa.
Explaining the choice of Mexico for their destination wedding, she says, “Since we met on Cinco de Mayo, we figured it was only appropriate to bring our family and friends to Mexico to celebrate our special day. Our theme for the wedding was ‘Vintage Travel’ and this was carried through our engagement photos (which were shot at a vintage plane museum!), wedding logo, invitations and decor. Our event themes centered on our unique experiences as a couple.”
The wedding ceremonies of the #kishessa do started with the Welcome Dinner and After Party. The theme for this event was ‘Bright Lights, Big City’. “This was inspired by our love for house music concerts,” shares Vanessa. After all, the couple’s second date included a Kaskade concert in New York. The dress code for this event was ‘Magnificent Metallics’ for the Jeswanis (Vanessa’s side of the family) and ‘Bright Blues’ for the Vasnani (Kishore’s side of the family). Vanessa looked every inch an urban beauty in her fitted short sparkly dress from Jovani and loose flowing locks, while Kishore donned a white dinner jacket over a blue shirt. The welcome dinner also included a riveting outdoor performance of a native dance by Mexican warrior-performers resplendent in their ethnic headgear, body paint and spears.
“The day after the welcome dinner we held a beach party with ‘A Mykonos Hangover’ theme. The beach party included light snacks, beach cocktails and a water balloon fight. The theme inspiration for this event was the time when we and our close friends took an epic trip to Greece in the summer of 2012… I guess some are still recovering from their hangovers,” explains Vanessa with a smile. The dress code was ‘Casual Beachwear’. There was a giant white cutout of ‘K’ and ‘V’ in the sand under the palm trees, and the blue of Kishore’s tee shirt was perfectly matched by the brilliant blue of the ocean nearby. Vanessa kept it simple and elegant in a white tank top and a long sarong-style skirt paired with wedges.
That evening, guests put on their dancing shoes for the sangeet that had ‘A Beat Heard Around the World’ theme. In the early days, Kishore and Vanessa lived half way around the world so it was their mutual love for travel that sparked their relationship. Bollywood beats reverberated through the luxury resort as couples showcased their dance performances. The dress code here was ‘Vibrant Indian and Cocktail’ and Vanessa wore a gorgeous pink and green lehenga by Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor while Kishore donned white trousers, a turquoise shirt and dark blue jacket with gold thread embroidery on the collar, cuffs and shoulders from Samaira New York.
The wedding and ‘pheras’ had an ‘East Meets West’ theme and the inspiration was the fact that Vanessa grew up in Asia, and Kishore in the US. “We continue to meet in the middle,” shares Vanessa, adding “We wanted to be surrounded by family and friends as we walked around the sacred fire and recited personal vows to signify our commitment to spend the rest of our lives together in wedded bliss.”
She looked like a modern princess in her stunning gown with a low back, a bodice with all-over gold embroidery in floral motifs and silver-hued jewellery. Designed by MischB, a Jakarta-based design studio, this ensemble also included a light pink sash which gave it the appearance of a lehenga. Kishore, clad in a cream sherwani with embroidered accents and ‘safa’ from Samaira New York made a dramatic entry on a macho bike as he was cheered on by his boys’ squad and family members. The mandap on the beach was decorated with pink drapes and garlands of rosy blooms, and Vanessa walked down a petals-strewn ‘aisle’ escorted by her proud parents.
The reception had a ‘Senors and Senoritas at the Final Fiesta’ theme, and Vanessa says the inspiration was Barcelona, one of the couple’s favourite cities. Plus,Kishore lived in Barcelona for a few months and knows Spanish. The dress code was ‘Formal’ for this final bash and Kishore wore a formal black suit while Vanessalooked lithe and lustrous in a sparkly strapless gown from Jovani.
She shares how she put together all her ensembles for the wedding, as well as inspired guests. “As I was planning my wedding, l was obsessed with using Pinterest for inspiration like many modern brides. I even provided our guests with outfit inspiration boards for each event! For my wedding ceremony outfit, I worked with MischB, a design house in Jakarta, to create an Indo-American gown with a daringly low back. For the sangeet, I went with the Le Rosh Boutique, a multi-designer Indian fashion house in Jakarta, to select a pink and pistachio green lehenga from Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor. I did a quick trip to Jakarta to get measured, however everything else was done remotely!”
Wedding Planning challenges
Pulling off an Indian destination wedding in faraway Mexico meant extra challenges when it came to logistics. So how did she do it? Vanessa says, “I am an obsessive planner so I pulled everything together with the help of my fiance (now husband!), family and friends without whom I could not have survived the wedding planning process.” And her planning paid off as every event was meticulously organised and creatively crafted.
The Wedding Makers
If anyone is getting married in Mexico, Vanessa highly recommends the following vendors she worked with:
Venue: Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Mexico
Décor: Latin Asia Weddings
Hair & Make-up: Styling Trio
Bride’s outfits: Jovani (Welcome Dinner and Reception), Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor (Sangeet), MischB Design Studio (Wedding)
Groom’s outfits: Samaira, New York (Sangeet and Wedding)
Indian Food Catering: Curry Omm
Photos Courtesy: Doodle Studio, Malaysia