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A self-planned wedding, a self-designed trousseau – self-confessed ‘control freaks’ Aanchal and Akshay make organizing and executing a glamorous, beautiful wedding at the Rixos The Palm, Dubai seem like child’s play.

How we Met
“Akshay and I met five years ago through a mutual friend at a club. We started talking eventually and I began to notice his subtle romantic gestures which were very cute. A year and a half later, we were dating.

Akshay made me fall in love with him even though I thought we had no future together because of our different cultural backgrounds. But he made sure everything fell into place and we got married.”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

The Proposal
“I thought it was a casual weekend outing (at Souq Al Bahar) with friends but he had something else on his mind. The proposal was beautiful! He’d invited both our families to witness the occasion, along with our closest friends, which was perfect! I always wanted my family to be present and for him to consider that was really very special for me!”

Wedding Venue
“We considered several Indian cities and even recced a few but finally decided it should be Dubai since our families and friends live there. It was easier to organize as well, a boon for us with our busy work schedules.

It helps that the weather here in February is perfect. We chose the W Hotel at Al Habtoor City for our sangeet and the Rixos the Palm Dubai for our fairytale beach wedding.”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Wedding Planning
“We’re both control freaks and were determined to preserve a warm, personal touch to the festivities. So we ended up planning the wedding ourselves. However, full disclosure, we have a family member who is into events and played an important role in putting our ideas into perspective.”

Wedding Functions

Mehndi
“Akshay and I are minimalist and wanted subtle, sophisticated décor. We don’t really relate to the trend of having ‘themes’ which also come with dress codes, something we were keen to avoid.

Our Mehndi decor was just entirely marigolds which I have to say, left me and our guests stunned. We had beaded colorful bangles for the ladies and made special parrot-shaped brooches for the men as party favors. There was a really cute photo booth corner for the guests.

I’d designed my entire trousseau and wanted my mehndi lehenga to be colorful and quirky. I incorporated pompoms on the hems and tassels to match the floral, gold and pearl mix and match mehndi jewelry.”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Sangeet
“Our sangeet decor was very minimal as the grand ballroom at the W Hotel, Dubai didn’t need much enhancing. The ballroom at the W Hotel is one of a kind with a really young and hip feel to it. We were in love with it the minute we stepped in. We did play around with mood lighting though, which definitely made the setting look very glamorous.

My embellished sangeet lehenga complemented Akshay’s midnight blue outfit with a lot of gold embroidery! I think we looked great!”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

The Wedding
“The wedding was a very traditional one and our décor was in sync with that aesthetic. We had a magenta beachside mandap decorated with fresh flowers and pink lighting to add to the romance.

Akshay had always said he wanted me to dress in traditional red at our wedding and so I decided to make this lehenga very ‘me’. I had Hindu wedding rituals lke the var mala, bidaai, baraat embroidered into the border of my lehenga. It was a risk – I thought it would be a total disaster or extraordinary. After all the sleepless nights, it turned out just the way I had imagined it.

I accessorized with a Kundan necklace, thick gold matha patti and some gorgeous kaleerein. I wanted my makeup to be simple and Farah Shah from Dubai was a blessing. I’d planned on doing a few trials before I settled on a makeup artist but she was the first one I went to and I booked her right away. She did a fantastic job across all the functions. She also styled my hair, which looked fabulous at every event.”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Reception
“We hosted the reception after the pheras. From the early days of planning we’d known we wanted to engage and celebrate with our guests and dance the night away. We had an LED dance floor and after our first dance as a couple we went around to meet our guests rather than them coming to meet us which was much appreciated by all.

For the reception, I chose a gold off-shoulder gown with a massive flare and loads of sequins. It was another outfit that required a lot of time and work but the end result was worth it!”

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Aanchal and Akshay, Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Any advice for ‘to-be’ couples?
“If you’re a control freak, make sure you manage the minute details of the wedding planning in the initial stages. Distribute and delegate work equally among your family members and friends. Have a blast at your wedding and make sure you click loads of pictures with your family. You often tend to miss out on those with so many people around you and those are the few treasured memories you will cherish for the rest of your life.”

Wedding makers
Wedding Venue- Rixos The Palm, Dubai (Wedding and Reception), W Hotel, Al Habtoor City (Sangeet)
Decorator- Rising Star, Dubai
Bridal Outfits- Aakarshan by Aanchal Jaggi
Makeup Artist- Farah Shah, Dubai
Sound & Lighting- Soundkraft, Dubai
DJ - DJ Manoj

Photographer- Pooja Studio, Dubai

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