Aashna and Karan, The JaiBagh Palace, Jaipur
A whirlwind romance that led to an unforgettable wedding.
Aashna and Karan didn’t need a long courtship to know that they were meant to be together. A surprise proposal by Karan which got an emphatic ‘yes!’ from Aashna journeyed this duo to a breathtaking wedding planned and executed by WeddingSutra Favorite – Gunjan Singhal Designs in close collaboration with Aashna and her talented mom, Rhea Nasta, an award-winning jewelry designer.
How They Met
Karan, who is a Director at Consite Engineering Co. Ltd. and Aashna, who’s an education counselor and the granddaughter of the Late Laxman Popley, credit their mutual friends on setting them up for their first date. The love was instant as just three months later Karan made Aashna’s dream come true with a breathtaking proposal.
A dreamy proposal that sounds like something out of a romance novel, Karan pulled out all the stops as he popped the question to Aashna. She shares, “Karan asked me to meet him for dinner at Sahara Star, Mumbai and refused to share any other details. When I reached there, he took me to a private dining restaurant which had been booked for just the two of us. The entire restaurant had been decorated with heart shaped balloons, flowers petals, and candles. Karan had also curated a six-course menu that had all of my favorite dishes. The restaurant, Ocean – Private Dining Room, has three glass walls from which you can see the aquarium. As we were admiring the fish through the vast aquarium glass, a scuba diver who was swimming through, swam up to me and held out a board with the words, ‘Will you marry me, Aash?’ As I turned around, Karan was on one knee with a bouquet of flowers and asking me to marry him! I was so surprised that I was speechless!”
Since the duo come from large Sindhi families with wide social circles, they zeroed in on having functions in Mumbai and Jaipur. “We knew we wanted an intimate wedding, hence we made Jaipur a 200-guest wedding function while the reception in Mumbai was grand with around 1200 guests in attendance. Apart from this, there were week-long celebrations that also included my brother’s thread ceremony and my bridal shower a Sindhi ‘Laadha’ function”, says Aashna. The couple chose JaiBagh Palace, Jaipur which is a modern hotel with typical Rajasthani palace architecture. The venue was perfect with its sprawling grounds as they could use each space differently for the wedding functions.
The entire wedding was a resounding success thanks to the collaborative efforts of Gunjan Singhal Designs and Aashna’s mom, Rhea Nasta. According to Aashna, “From designing the e-invite, itinerary, luggage tags to the room hampers and mehndi giveaways, everything had the ‘royal touch of Jaipur’ element to it. My photographer was from Jaipur and he understood our requirements and added his creative elements to the photos. Our caterers, SS caterers were brilliant with the food. They served multi-cuisine veg and non-veg food with live stations and ensured the food stays hot in the freezing cold weather of Jaipur. Gunjan Singhal was great! He executed our vision perfectly and gave us a dream wedding to remember. Every element had a local charm to it and he was always keen to try fresh ideas!”
The physical wedding card given by the groom’s side was designed by Karan himself with a team of florists and carpenters who created each card as per his specifications.
The mehndi was a fun-filled affair with a colorful ‘Rajasthani Mela’ theme held at the poolside. The bright colors made the ceremony vibrant and full of energy with bridesmaids donning matching pink lehengas. Following the dress code of ‘Floral and Pastels’ they also wore matching floral wreaths on their heads. Karan stepped it up for the occasion as he serenaded Aashna with a medley of Shahrukh Khan songs. The bride’s mom and her friends also joined in on the celebrations as they shook a leg on the dance floor. Aashna looked radiant in a pastel blue lehenga with a ruffled pastel pink dupatta. The groom followed the floral theme too with a printed kurta accented with a rust-orange bandi jacket.
With the theme, ‘Indian Royal’, Aashna felt like a queen as she entered the sangeet venue. “I entered on a palki and Karan entered with an entourage of LED band performers. After this, we had our ring ceremony which was celebrated with champagne popping. Our family and friends did a fantastic job putting together the sangeet ceremony. We didn’t have a typical stage setup, so everyone performed in the palace courtyard”, shared Aashna. Looking like a queen in her finely embroidered dark green lehenga Aashna’s joy was reflected in her happy smile. She accessorized her outfit with a stunning diamond necklace with emerald teardrop stones. Karan, on the other hand, complemented his bride with an earthy, chestnut brown kurta with golden embroidery details at the collar and cuffs.
The wedding turned out to be a royal affair with the baarat being welcomed with pearl necklaces and plates full of sweets. Staying true to the royal theme, the groom made his entrance on an elephant as the bride took time out to pose with her girl squad. Aashna’s entry was announced by her bridesmaids after they welcomed the baarat with a Bollywood flash mob. Aashna made her entrance flanked by her father and brothers under a 20-metre long pink veil partly covering her radiant face. The bride looked picture-perfect as she donned her mom’s recreated golden-beige lehenga with pops of soft pink at the border. Completing her ‘royal bride’ look was a simple pair of simple golden kalire, red and gold bangles, a kundan maang tikka that matched her nath, necklaces and jhumkas. Staying in sync with his bride, Karan too donned a sherwani with accents of pink with golden embroidery. The mandap was thoughtfully located in the front foyer to have the palace serve as a backdrop. Decorated in soft hues of pink and gold it stood out against the dusky sky as the couple exchanged varmalas amidst their cheering families. The rest of the decor also followed the floral theme with pastel-hued flowers bathing in the golden light of the candles. The guests then got together for a lavish ‘sit-down’ dinner which included silver furniture and crockery.
Advice for Couples
“Don’t try and be in charge of everything. Delegate your work. And, during the actual event, enjoy yourself. If things aren’t going exactly the way you wanted, it’s ok! There’s a 99% chance that no one’s noticed it. Also, don’t choose vendors based on how many Instagram followers they have. Ask them to share their work and then decide who fits your style and whether you are comfortable working with them.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: The JaiBagh Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Wedding Planner: Gunjan Singhal Designs
Décor: Gunjan Singhal Designs
Caterers: SS Caterers
Groom’s Outfits: Tarun Tahiliani (Mehndi), Shyamal & Bhumika (Sangeet), Tarun Tahiliani Couture (Wedding), Avinash Punjabi (Reception)
Bride’s Outfits: Yashodhara (Mehndi), Shyamal & Bhumika (Sangeet), Neeta Lulla (Wedding), Nadine Dhody (Reception)
Jewellery: Rhea Nasta and Popley & Sons
Makeup: Muskaan Kumbhat (Mehndi), Jyoti Bhaya (Sangeet and Wedding), Team Vanity (Bridal Shower)
Entertainment: Jea Band (Baarat)
DJ: DJ Bosco
Wedding Favors: Blssng Gifts by Dhanika Popley
Photography: Texon Labs, Jaipur