Aabidah and Macsha, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai
From a shiny carriage to a wishing tree for guests, this couple's wedding unfolded like a modern fairytale.
Aabidah and Macsha first met at a family friend’s wedding and love blossomed as they started spending more time together along with the newlyweds. Slowly and steadily, their relationship deepened and even overcame a four-year long-distance relationship, after which they decided to get married. For their nikkah at the palatial ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, they hired WeddingSutra Favorite – The Bridal March & Co. whose team conceptualized standout decor ideas. Bride Aabidah shares more details of the festivities here.
How They Met
Aabidah shares, “Macsha and I first met at my best friend’s sister’s wedding where we started hanging out together quite frequently. Over the course of a few days, we got to know each other well and grew close. And, within three weeks, we were committed to each other! However, we did have to maintain a long-distance relationship for four long years since he’s based in Chennai and I’m from Singapore. But, honestly, I feel the distance only made our love sweeter as every time I was scheduled to go to Chennai, we would be very excited! But soon, we realized that we couldn’t stay apart for long and sought our parents’ permission for the marriage. At first, our parents were unsure about how serious we were, but once they recognized the love we felt for each other, their decision was made!”
“Since our wedding was already on the cards, I wasn’t really expecting a proposal from Macsha’s end. However, he completely surprised me by popping the question at a really cute cafe just 20 days before the wedding. Our original plan was to meet up with our wedding photographers at the cafe and little did I know that they were in on the plan as well! So, while I was conversing with them, one of their team members was shooting me the whole time. And as everyone got up, I turned around and saw him on his knees holding a beautiful ring while wearing a shirt that I’d bought him a few years ago. To make things sweeter, we also had this video added to our wedding film.”
“Chennai is my second home as I travel there at least twice a year to visit my grandparents and relatives. And, whenever I’m there, I stay for a month at least. In the year 2011, I remember, ITC Grand Chola opened up and my decision was made! It’s a beautiful ‘palace-like’ hotel which was perfect for my vision. And, I was incredibly impressed by their impeccable hospitality and well-designed interiors from the first visit itself.
And, as for the sangeet and mehndi night, I’d imagined a carnival theme and The Leela Palace Chennai fit the bill perfectly.”
“We didn’t have a wedding planner in particular as I handled everything on my own. Being an ardent Pinterest user, everything was filed and organized extremely well.” On the decor front, the duo placed their trust on The Bridal March & Co. who impressed her with their creativity. “From the first meeting itself, The Bridal March & Co. were extremely particular about the details I’d given them and understood my vision perfectly. There were also times when they went out of their way to make sure we only got the best!”
Adding to the team were photographers Studio A, emcee Christabel Bensam, makeup artists Leimi Phinao, hairstylist Seetha Anantha Krishnan and invitation designer Kaelodos.
“My sisters-in-law and bridesmaids threw me a bridal shower in Singapore itself before the celebrations began in Chennai. Following an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme, the decor was beautifully done, and even the gown I was wearing for the event was a surprise from them. The dessert spread was incredibly delicious and all of us had immense fun indulging our sweet tooth. Magicians and caricaturists were also present at the event to keep everyone entertained.”
A homebound function, the haldi was a fairly simple affair with a few close friends in attendance who smeared the bride with turmeric to get her pre-wedding glow on.
Sangeet & Mehndi
Following a ‘Desi Carnival’ theme, the dual sangeet and mehndi event was an absolute hit amongst the guests. The bride shares, “The mehndi was held under a beautiful cabana like structure with a printed runway that had mirrors and bulbs around it. A rickshaw and a cutout of a truck served as a photo booth, and beautiful Rajasthani umbrellas added color to the venue. Additionally, the team also came up with the idea of me sitting on a swing against a stage replete with bright marigolds. As a surprise, they also set up a separate hall with tons of details and pictures of me and my husband. It definitely tied up everything together!”
“For the nikkah, we zeroed in on a fairytale theme and I was insistent upon having a life-size carriage on which Macsha and I could sit after the ceremony. To reflect the theme in the decor, we added elements like a wishing tree where guests could jot down their wishes on paper and tie them to the tree along with a fairytale book that served as a backdrop and a photo-op for the guests. I’m happy to say that everything was customized exactly as I had envisioned it! It was an extremely magical event filled to the brim with fresh flowers and joy as the golden gates glinted beautifully under the glimmering lights. And, to keep the spirits high, we’d also arranged for a pianist who played haunting tunes under a colossal cabana which was strategically placed right in the center of the room.”
“Held at the groom’s side, the pandhal function witnessed everyone in a boisterous mood as they hosted games for us to play which also worked as an ice breaker for both our families. Some games also included friends and family which only added to the fun.”
Advice For Couples
“Be very clear about your vision. As a couple, if you have complete clarity on what you want then it’ll be much easier for you and the vendors. Be it decor, makeup, photography, or even the mehndi, do thorough research before you make your decision. Once you know what you want, you’ll have no difficulty communicating the same with your vendors.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: ITC Grand Chola, Chennai; The Leela Palace Chennai (Sangeet/Mehndi)
Decor: The Bridal March & Co.
Bride’s Outfits: Anushree Reddy (Sangeet/Mehndi), JADE by Monica and Karishma (Wedding)
Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik (Nikkah)
Makeup: Leimi Phinao
Hair: Seetha Anantha Krishnan
DJ: DJ Vinod VK
Emcee: Christabel Bensam (Sangeet/Mehndi, Nikkah)
Wedding Invitations: Kaelodos
Photography: Studio A