Karishma and Anuj, Hyderabad
A white outdoor wedding, a sangeet function after the pheras and a unique wedding proposal are woven into Karishma and Anuj's wedding memories. Check them out here.
Karishma and Anuj fell in love while doing their MBA, and they put their management experience to good use when it came to organizing their lavish wedding on the outskirts of Hyderabad. From multiple ceremonies to incorporating elements of each other’s cultures and family wishes, the duo went all out to accommodate everything. Bride Karishma shares all the highlights of her romance and the wedding celebrations which were captured by WeddingSutra Favourite Journeys by Ram.
How We Met
“We first met at the SP Jain Global campus where we had both enrolled for our MBA course. We bumped into each other in the lift when Anuj was just moving in with all his luggage, and I was going downstairs for registrations. I knew I felt something for him the minute I saw him. He said “Hi”, and I started blabbering about the registration and the campus while he was struggling to get all his stuff out of the lift. He says that he was stunned, but at the same time, he found me cute. Nothing happened until the end of the first term. Anuj says that he tried to get my attention the whole time, but it was only we met through a common friend did we get to know each other better. We clicked so well – both of us love traveling, have the same mindset about religion and share the same ideologies. Everything just fell into place. After we got back to India, we were in a long- distance relationship for two and a half years since he stayed in New Delhi while I lived in Mumbai. I wasn’t ready to move to New Delhi, so he left his city for me. That sealed the deal for me.”
“I was in Hyderabad for work, and he flew down to surprise me. He took me to his hotel room and presented a book to me in which he had written down 15 scenarios that were very close to my heart and goals that I wanted to accomplish, such as riding a bike, and so on. These were things that I had said to him only in passing and never thought that he would have even paid attention to them, let alone remember them. He created scenarios around me having succeeded in achieving these things and even added sweet comments like ‘You look so cool with that leather jacket, riding that bike!’ Since I love photography, he left the facing page blank so that I could stick photos in it too.My idea of romance is a little old school, and I love handwritten notes which is why he wrote all of this in calligraphy. On the last page he had written that if I shake the book, all my dreams and goals will turn into a reality. He thought I would shake the book gently and the ring would slip into my hand. But that’s not what I did, and the ring flew out! He had to spend the next couple of minutes looking for it. It was sweet and funny at the same time.”
“I could not find a wedding photographer for the longest time. Then one day I chanced upon the work of Ram from Journeys by Ram. I have a personal interest in photography which helps me understand the art well and Ram’s work was really impressive. When we spoke for the first time, our conversation went on for two hours straight! Our ideas matched and I was relieved to have found him. He too, was super excited about shooting our wedding because he loved the concept of our nuptials. We had a different videographer, so I was concerned about both of them clashing while working but to my delight, they had built a good rapport too. Ram is brilliant – he would sit and conceptualize some shots beforehand, would come to us tell us that the frame is set, take us where he needed us to be and leave us in five minutes. A good photographer was one of my top priorities because once the functions are over these pictures are how we will always remember our wedding.”
“We got married at Pragati Green Resorts which is 45 minutes away from Hyderabad. Why did we choose this location? The romantic answer would be that Hyderabad was the city where Anuj had proposed to me. But that’s hardly the real reason. The venue was beautiful and spacious. Plus, my uncle knew the owner, and we had family in Hyderabad too which helped. This property has 2,500 acres of land and about five lakh trees. The resort is managed by good people, and the hospitality was great. They were welcoming about new ideas which worked very well for me because I was very adamant about the way I wanted my wedding. Another thing that was great about this place was that despite having so many plants and trees on the property, there were no mosquitoes since they had also planted plants that repelled them.”
“Anuj’s family has a tradition of having ‘Mehndi Raat,’ and this was also something that his mother wanted. So we decided that we would start the function by 3:30 pm and let it go on till about 8:30 in the night. We wanted the decor to be vibrant and colorful because Anuj loves bright colors. However, we wanted to achieve this without touching upon themes that have been overdone. So we made use of triangular tassels in electric blue, orange, fuchsia, purple and yellow. The focal point of the decor for this function was the canopy that had been created using these elements. There was a ‘shikara’ (Kashmiri boat) which had been used by the hotel as part of their decor. We asked them if we could use that for our function and they agreed! It added a special touch since Anuj is originally from Kashmir. We converted half of the area into a dance floor and also put up a big screen for karaoke so that everyone could have fun. I wore a bright pink tulip skirt with mirror work and a golden blouse for this function. It was created by Vaishali, who is a designer based in Malabar Hill, Mumbai. I paired the outfit with some funky gota jewellery, and I was mehndi-ready!”
“ I opted for a more traditional attire for this event. I wore a pista green sharara that was made by Asthana, and Anuj wore a golden kurta. The decor was fairly simple for this one and we incorporated yellows and greens. Green paisleys made for the backdrop behind Anuj and me. There were strings of white flowers that were used too, and the wooden chairs at the venue elevated the setup.”
“This was the most important function for me. I have grown up watching American movies and love the simplicity of white weddings. I had dreamt of a wedding like this all my life. When we came to this property for the first time, we couldn’t figure where we were going to take our vows. We wanted to this to be special, so Anuj told me to take a walk with him. We chanced upon this unpaved walkway which led us to the perfect spot. It had just enough space to accommodate all our guests, an aisle, and a small stage. It had arched trees when I stood there I knew that was it. We went back to the General Manager of the hotel and requested him to make that space available for this ceremony. He had the floor leveled, the bushes trimmed and the area ready for the setup. The decor boasted neutral hues since we wanted the whole vibe to be very chic and elegant. Silver, champagne gold, and white were the colors we used, and we played with lots of fairy lights across trees for that ethereal atmosphere. Since this wasn’t a Christian wedding, we took the liberty of tweaking a few things to make this function more meaningful to us. Instead of having a priest, my friend from my MBA times, who was also my roommate, served as our marriage officiant. She knew both of us from day one and knew our story, so it just made more sense to have her conduct the ceremony. The ceremony went on for about 45 mins during twilight. What’s funny is that I wanted this since I was 15 but neither Anuj nor I had our vows in place until 5 pm. But I am so grateful that I got my dream. It was a very emotional moment.”
“Right after our vows, we headed to the cocktail party. Anuj and I walked in on the song ‘A Whole New World’ from the movie ‘Aladdin’ through an archway that our friends and family created with pyros. We followed a few traditions like the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. Anuj and I danced on ‘La Vie En Rose.’ So many of our close ones raised toasts for us, thus making the evening even more special. Once again fairy lights were the main decor element, and these were used in the large umbrella roof. Tables were draped using grey, and we added some color to the setup using fresh flowers.”
“We clubbed the haldi with a Ganesh pooja. We even had the hotel lay out the breakfast in this area itself so that everyone got to move around and interact with each other. There were frames for photo ops, and we put kites for those who wished to fly them. Keeping in line with the theme, I wore a Patiala suit that had a yellow kurta and a colorful dupatta.”
“We had our pheras at this venue that was constructed like an amphitheater, and our mandap stood in the center. Pink and white flowers were arranged to create an ombre effect on the backdrop of the mandap. Tassels in the same color were suspended from its roof. We even used drapes to enhance the look further. I didn’t want to wear the typical red bridal attire, and I had my heart set on millennia pink. I went all out looking for the perfect outfit which I found at Benzer. My makeup was very fresh and minimal, and I chose kundan jewellery for this event. Instead of a horse, Anuj came in a buggy that was available at the resort that was decorated with flowers while I entered under a ‘phoolon ki chadar’ (floral canopy) as the song ‘Nazm Nazam’ from ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ played in the background.
“We decided to swap our reception for a sangeet since we thought that our guests would have had enough time to meet each other by now considering this was a destination wedding. By having the sangeet on the last day, we were able to keep them entertained and involved for some more time. My best friend who had forever wanted to choreograph the dances for my sangeet got a chance to fulfill her dream. Believe it or not, the decor for this event was decided two days before I left Hyderabad. I was so nervous, and didn’t know if the decorators would be able to pull this off, but they surprised me by doing such a fantastic job! I wore a maroon velvet lehenga that I bought from Sionnah in Khar.”
Advice For Couples
“Don’t shy away from delegating responsibilities. Don’t fuss a lot about things that are not important. I spent so much time on things like mehndi giveaway and activities. In the end, these are just add-ons and not the main deal. Do everything you can to make your day fabulous till one day before your functions start but once they begin, just enjoy the wedding and don’t focus on anything else. Mess-ups are bound to happen but don’t let that kill the joy for you after all these days will never come back. Do a lot of research before finalizing your vendors but once you book them, have faith that they will do a good job.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Pragati Green Resorts, Hyderabad
Photography: Journeys by Ram