Leepika and Mitesh, Kochi
Overlooking the emerald waters of the Laccadive Sea, Leepika and Mitesh’s nuptials in Kochi were as unconventional as the bond they share.
A grand affair commemorating togetherness; Leepika and Mitesh tied the knot at the scenic sea-facing idyll of Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty. The festivities had commenced with an eclectic Coachella inspired Mehendi and was beautifully concluded by a Winter Wonderland themed wedding reception. While the series of celebrations were all intricately planned, designed and executed by WeddingSutra Favorite – eLaR Entertainment, the invitations were crafted by another WeddingSutra Favorite – Itccha Talreja Designs. Bride Leepika relives those surreal moments and tells us how it all happened.
How They Met
We’d met in junior college but it wasn’t love at first sight or anything. We were just very good friends for about 7 years. Mitesh works in Dubai and I was studying fashion in London and one day, he flew in and surprised me with a proposal out of the blue. Our relationship has always been very offbeat. We’re best friends and each other’s partner-in-crime. Yes, we’re madly in love but there’s nothing cliché about us. We had a roka soon after the proposal
We wanted to steer clear of convention – no same-old beach or palace wedding. The Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty is a contemporary and relatively new hotel in Cochin. eLaR Entertainment left no stone unturned in the planning and execution of our wedding. Every ceremony was held at a different venue, each with its own unique, picturesque backdrop.
Mitesh and I aren’t big fans of henna on the hands and we wanted to skip the function. But since it is tradition, we decided to compromise with our own take on it. Mitesh is passionate about music and Coachella has been on our bucket list for ages. So we decided to turn our mehendi party into a boho music festival. We organised décor with a base of pristine white (breaking convention) and festooned the venue with dreamcatchers, cushions, a tropical printed dance floor, a colorful canopy and life sized board games. The theme was adapted for the bar as well; there were shots on a ferris wheel designed specially by Poonish S. Navlani of eLaR Entertainment and an entire boat full of chilled beers. The mehendi favors went with the theme too – charm bracelets, tiaras, arm bands, necklaces and earrings along with glitter tattoos for the guests.
eLaR Entertainment suggested we tap into a shared memory to inspire the theme for this event. We both instantly thought of our proposal. It was autumn when Mitesh came to London to propose and so we decided to let the season dictate the décor. We played with deep tones of orange, red, maroon and brown. There were strings of lights with maples leaves suspended on the walls along with maple leaves scattered on the floor. The semi-circular bar curved around a gigantic autumnal tree (as an added bonus, it resembled the one at Sushi Samba, our favorite restaurant in London). On stage, our planners recreated the Kingdom of Dreams with LEDs which provided a surreal backdrop for the dance performances. An electrifying liquid drumming performance transformed the air of this eventful Sangeet to mark the beginning of the after party.
The wedding was originally planned with picturesque backwaters as the backdrop. However, due to unexpected rain showers, our planners and décor team pulled up an all nighter to relocate the wedding setup indoors which was already on the route of completion. Crystals and pastel flowers dominated the wedding décor. We wanted an eco-friendly wedding without any animals or fireworks involved. So, Mitesh showed up in a red Porsche as part of the baraat. He was welcomed in with an exuberant and grand shower of flower petals that felt like a lavish celebration in itself. eLaR Entertainment along with the groom and his family made everyone feel super special by presenting them with personalised hip flasks, mobile fans and umbrellas.
An urban, Punjabi theme was what turned our post-wedding party into an electric evening. We ditched the traditional Punjabi décor set up what looked like a desi dance club abroad – neon lights and bulbs, Punjabi puppets, a gigantic ‘Good Vibes Only’ sign and vibrant colors like purple, bottle green and gold. The highlight of the night was an energetic performance by Punjabi music sensations Manj Musik and Manshil Gujral.
I’d always dreamt of a ‘winter wonderland’ themed reception. Poonish took our inputs onboard and conjured up a gorgeous fairytale for our soirée. The entrance had Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage with winter trees, white flowers and other winter landscape elements. The walkway was adorned with magical mirrored panels which took instant pictures of the guests as they walked in and looked into it along with aromatic candles, more wintry foliage, vintage lamps and dry ice for a little winter drama. The ballroom was covered in velvet drapes onto which we projected snowflake motifs. I entered the venue with Mitesh to soft tunes being played on a violin and falling snow.
Advice to Couples
Do what your heart desires. There is no wrong or right. Respect tradition but figure out how you can weave in your own inputs to add character and personality to your wedding.
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty
Wedding Planners and Designers : eLaR entertainment
Décor Style and Design: Poonish S. Navlani
Décor Production: Classic Decorators and Knotie Productions
Groom’s outfit: Manish Malhotra (Sangeet) Deepak Parwani (Mehendi, Wedding, Cocktail, Reception)
Bride’s Outfit: Kresha Bajaj (All Functions)
Bartender: The Wedding bartender
Entertainment: Manj Musik and Manshil Gujral (Cocktail) Rohinpuri (Reception)
DJ: DJ Nitish (Cochella, Baraat) DJ Taher (Sangeet,Cocktail) DJ AJ (Reception)
Invitations: Itchha Talreja Designs and eLaR Entertainment
Makeup: Nilofer Makeup Artist and Hairstylist
Photography: The Colors Emotion for eLaR Entertainment and Pooja Studio Dubai for Family.