Carishma and Gaurav, Taj Green Cove Resort and Spa, Kovalam
Set amidst beautiful natural surroundings, this couple’s wedding was a serene celebration.
Nestled between a lagoon and the sea, Carishma and Gaurav had a simple and elegant wedding, at the breathtakingly beautiful Taj Green Cove Resort and Spa, Kovalam. The couple, their family and their friends, all flew down from London to celebrate their union with beautiful ceremonies and functions filled with love and laughter.
How They Met
Carishma, a Gujrati girl, met Gaurav, a Punjabi boy, on a blind date that was set up by their mutual friend. Carishma says, “Gaurav and I spoke for a good three months over the phone before meeting because I was so nervous about meeting him in person. Finally, I plucked up the courage to see him. We met at a sushi restaurant and, as soon as we were about to leave, Gaurav realized that he forgot to carry his wallet, so I ended up paying for the both of us. To make it up to me, Gaurav planned an exceptional second date. Over several coffee and sushi dates, we realized we had fallen for each other.”
Recalling her proposal, Carishma says, “We were in Mumbai for a few days, and it was there that Gaurav had planned to propose. His original plan was to do it on a yacht behind the Gateway of India, at sunrise. But, even though we’d wake up to go for a yacht ride every single day, for some reason or the other it just didn’t end up happening. On the first day, it was the Indian Navy Day, so we weren’t permitted to hire a yacht. On day two, he forgot the engagement ring in the room. On the third day, the weather wasn’t good; the sky was covered with grey clouds. Finally, on the last day of the trip, he ended up proposing in our hotel room!”
Carishma wanted the wedding to take place in India as it is where most of her family stays. She says, “The majority of Gaurav’s family is in the UK so I was a bit hesitant about asking him to have all his family and friends fly down to India for our wedding. We had never been to Kerala; the only pictures I had seen were those from Instagram. Even so, when I suggested having our wedding in Kerala, Gaurav and his family were all on board immediately. We found a couple of venues and when we went to see the Taj Green Cove Resort and Spa, Kovalam it ticked all the boxes. The resort had the Balinese feel, from thatched roofs and lagoons to mini waterfalls and a quiet beach. The place was just what we had hoped to find. It took 18 hours to get there, but it was worth it.”
“Unicorn Weddings created magic at our wedding venue. In spite of working in different time zones, they were able to send us computer-aided designs that fit our brief. I was very specific of my likes and dislikes and no job was too big or too small for them. They are a family-run team and it felt as if they were a part of our extended family. We did a walk around with them at the venue and finalized the design aspects, the locations and logistics. It was challenging for us to do all of this from London but having them was a lifeline,” shares the happy bride.
The welcome dinner was an opportunity for both families to mingle, and it set the tone for the rest of the events. The bride chose a nautical theme, incorporating shades of blue and green to match the colors of the lagoon and the sea near the resort, with pretty chandeliers lighting up the venue. The evening’s entertainment included sitar and flute players, whose melodious tunes the guests thoroughly enjoyed.
Carishma’s mehndi ceremony followed a Bollywood theme. She added traditional elements, bright flowers and a lot of color to the decor. There was a pani puri and uttapam stall, which was chosen specifically so that their UK guests could try different Indian foods. Traditional Gujrati dishes were also included in the menu, paying homage to Carishma’s roots. The families celebrated by singing folk songs and playing dandiya and garba with the guests.
Gaurav had a separate Punjabi-themed party for his guests. He loves playing golf and got a bespoke golf field made for the venue, which was shipped specially from Bangalore. It included life-size cutouts of golf players, golf balls as centrepieces and golf lights hanging above the dance floor, making the event very personal.
On the morning of the wedding, the government announced cyclonic conditions, leaving confirmation of the wedding location uncertain. However, they had no backup option so Gaurav, being a lawyer, drafted a contract stating that the family would take full responsibility for any mishap that might occur, which he gave to the venue managers.
Luckily, the weather cleared up, and it soon became bright and sunny. The couple had quick ceremonies and pheras by the beach. Post the rituals, guests enjoyed a delicious sadya lunch on banana leaves, with thirty delectable Keralite dishes to feast on.
All eyes were on the gorgeous bride, who wore a stunning powder-pink lehenga by Ricco India. She says, “I got in touch with Himanshi, the designer, through Instagram. From day one, she started on an outfit that was unique and just for me. It took us six long months of planning and doing daily whatsapp calls to come up with the perfect outfit. I was involved in the process at every step, from the blouse design to the material used and the color for the lehenga. Himanshi would sent me screenshots of how work on the dress was progressing. I went to Delhi to pick it up and words could not describe how beautiful it was. It really was exactly what I wanted.”
They ended the wedding festivities with a traditional wedding reception. Wanting an Indian feel, the couple hired talented Bharatanatyam dancers and named the tables after their favourite Bollywood movies. They kept the decor very elegant with chandeliers and a lot of florals in deep red, white and ivory. Carishma and Gaurav arrived in style, driving up in a Lamborghini. As she entered, wearing a beautiful outfit by Shyamal and Bhumika there were gasps and ‘wows’ from the baraatis.
Advice For Couples
“First, work together with your husband. Divide your tasks up, keep a timeline and have goals for each week. Both of us didn’t include our families in the wedding planning process as we didn’t want too many opinions and wanted it all to be a surprise for them.
“Second, make the events unique to you. Don’t go find things off Instagram and just ‘copy-paste’ it at your venue. Having too many different themes might spoil the overall feel of the event. It is good to have a clear vision. Ask your wedding planner to produce computer-aided designs so you can see how it will look on your wedding day. If you are planning your wedding overseas, having regular video calls with the hotel and wedding planner will make the process easier.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Taj Green Cove Resort and Spa, Kovalam
Wedding Planner: Unicorn Weddings
Bride’s Outfits: Ricco India (Wedding), Shyamal and Bhumika (Reception)
Jewellery: Suhana Art n jewels
Kaleerein: Flower Art by Sidra
Makeup: Pooja Khurana Makeovers
Hairstylist: Archana Rautela
Photography: Wedding Cinemas (Mehndi and Sangeet); Neha John Photography (Wedding and Reception)