Kanika and Ritik, Hyderabad
From a Ganga Aarti to waltzing in a regal hall, this wedding at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad was full of standout experiences.
Kanika and Ritik first met at medical school, and their chemistry was undeniable from the start. That led to a deep friendship and an enduring romance that included a hot air balloon proposal and a gorgeous wedding. Decorated by WeddingSutra Favorite – Minttu Sarna who with their attention to detail left everyone in awe, this wedding reflected the personalities of the bride and groom as they unfolded a new chapter in their lives. All the beautiful moments were captured by WeddingSutra Favorite – The Wedding Salad, and bride Kanika shares some highlights here.
How They Met
Kanika shares, “The first time I noticed Ritik was when he walked past me during our first lecture in medical school and I remember appreciating his looks. Being a ‘first-row’ student who was extremely dedicated to his studies, he was always more focused on his assignments. But, I think even he must have felt the same way since he couldn’t keep his eyes off me as he approached me to ask if I’d like to study with him.”
Kanika recalls, “Right after I finished my internal medicine board exams, I got a call from Ritik asking if I had my passport on me. Initially, I was confused but I didn’t give it much thought. Turns out, he’d planned a surprise trip to Mexico City after my exams. However, as the trip commenced, I started anticipating a proposal.
During the trip, we had dinner at one the best restaurants in the world and I guessed that he would pop the question there. However, I was mistaken as he didn’t even make a move! Then as I made my way back to the hotel dejected, Ritik informed me that we would be up early the next morning and instructed me to wear comfy clothes. The coming morning we woke up at 4 am, and as we reached the destination in a cab, I realized that he’d planned a hot air balloon ride over the Teotihuacan pyramids around sunrise. And, as we looked over the dreamy landscape, I noticed a sign that read ‘Te quieres casar conmigo?’ ( ‘Will you marry me?’ in Spanish). I was absolutely stunned! He had executed everything perfectly and I was overwhelmed with emotion.”
“We were both adamant about booking a large venue so that all our guests, which included people flying in from various countries, could experience the charm of India. After a lot of scouting, we zeroed in on the Taj Falaknuma Palace which was brimming with old-world charm, positivity, and Nizami splendor.”
“Most of our vendors were selected after thorough research on social media. And I must say, we made the right decision as all of them had a positive attitude which really helped us get through the hectic days. For the photography, I selected The Wedding Salad after being impressed by their wide portfolio. Throughout the wedding, they were extremely committed and friendly which put us at ease completely. Honestly, I feel no one else could’ve done better.”
“Additionally, to add a personal touch to the wedding, our family color-coordinated all their outfits for all the events. And to make sure that our international guests didn’t feel left out, my mom’s cousin very graciously translated the ‘Kanyadaan’ in English. For the decor, I chose lotuses to adorn my mandap as it blooms and seeds even in swamp-like conditions, which is so inspiring.” On the decor front, the duo selected Minttu Sarna who with their creative insights made sure that every function reflected the couple’s vision and merged seamlessly with the beauty of the venue.
“I wanted this occasion to be full of flowers and exude a dainty vibe that would extend a warm welcome to all our guests since this was the first time that our extended family would be meeting each other. The beautiful Jade Room made a stunning backdrop for the event, and hence, we didn’t go too overboard with the decor. And, to make sure everyone was in high spirits we had dhol walas playing peppy beats.”
“This was the event where everyone let their hair down and actually started mingling with each other freely. To make our entry, we chose the popular song ‘Dance Monkey.’ Smoothly, the event started off with classic qawwali tunes which then transitioned into a friendly dance-off in between both our families. My cousins joined in too and flaunted their best moves to our favorite Bollywood songs. However, the highlight of the evening was when I surprised Ritik by dancing a solo onstage. But Ritik wasn’t too far behind, as he took the dance floor by storm by grooving to English and Punjabi songs. Additionally, our cousins bought the house down with a flash mob number!”
Haldi and Chooda
“For the Haldi we chose to enter in style with our friends popping color bombs to herald our arrival. Since we wanted this to be a relaxed event, we chose the poolside lawns where everyone could bask in the sun. As the DJ played hit Bollywood tracks, everyone playfully smeared us with turmeric and reveled in the scent of fresh mogras that adorned the venue. The chooda ceremony was held in front of the Nizami suite and was very focussed on the rituals. The decor was fairly simple and included a floral backdrop.”
“Our main aim was to highlight Indian traditions via the vintage charm of the venue. And, since I find night weddings to be magical, the ceremony was held at night with the whole venue lit up to create a surreal atmosphere. For his baraat entry, Ritik chose a vintage car and he was accompanied by his family and friends. My entry before the garlanding ceremony was quite memorable as I walked down the palatial staircase and forgot the world around me as I stared at Ritik. At that moment, nothing else, not even those surrounding us mattered. It was a beautiful moment filled with love and joy.”
“After our pheras, a beautiful Ganga aarti was performed which uplifted us spiritually. Each priest was positioned under each arch of the palace which was also the backdrop for the mandap.”
“Our reception was planned as a Western-style event, and the function started off with a first dance where I waltzed with my dad. Hosted in the Darbar Hall, it was truly a memorable night that ended our celebrations on a high note. For our first dance as a couple, we grooved to ‘La Vie En Rose.’ And to make things sweeter, my fourth-grade teacher flew in to give an emotional speech along with our friends and siblings who dedicated toasts to us.”
Advice For Couples
“I suggest that couples detach themselves from the aspects of planning a week before the wedding, and use that time to concentrate on yourself and your partner. This will not only help you gain balance but also allow the anticipation for the big day to build. Also, remember to eat well and stay hydrated throughout each ceremony.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Wedding Planner: Yolo Entertainment
Decor: Minttu Sarna
Groom’s Outfits: June Fifth By Bonny (Shagun and Sangeet), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Wedding)
Bride’s Outfits: June Fifth By Bonny (Shagun, Sangeet, Haldi and Chooda), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Wedding)
Jewelry: Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Makeup: Tanvi Marathe (Shagun, Sangeet), Daniel Bauer (Wedding)
Hairstyling: Aqshataa Mani Hair (Shagun, Sangeet), Daniel Bauer (Wedding)
Entertainment: Percussionist JonQui, Chezin, DJ Maddox
Photography: The Wedding Salad