Our series Featured Weddings brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. Here, bride Neema tells us all about how she met her husband Vinit, and their wedding celebrations at the Marriott Resort and Spa, Goa.

Neema and Vinit

About Us
The couple lives in London and Neema works in insurance, Vinit in finance. "A mutual friend set us up on a blind date," Neema says, ""We both sort of knew it was for life from the very beginning."

Wedding Proposal
After five years of being together, Vinit proposed in Sorrento, Italy, a part of the world Neema had always wanted to visit. Everything about the proposal was perfect, Neema says, apart from the fact that the balcony they were on was dark and Vinit dropped the ring. So they had an awkward five minutes of searching for it frantically before he could pop the question.

Wedding Venue
"Goa is beautiful – a perfect holiday destination with a great vibe and atmosphere," the couple says, "We considered other hotels in Goa but the Marriott Resort and Spa is a great hotel, the staff and service is excellent, the location is good. We wanted our guests to have a great time over and above everything else and the cuisines on offer, the living spaces at the hotel, the activities are wonderful. Even the rooms were very important for us. The rooms at the Marriott are well sized and relatively recently refurbished. This hotel was perfect for us."

Wedding Planning
F5 Weddings were delegated to streamline the wedding process at the Goa Marriott Resort and Spa. Neema says, "The brief was a wedding which was fun, enjoyable, different and which captured the essence of India but also reflected our London roots. F5 went out of their way to make our vision come true. They listened and delivered exactly what we wanted. And even when we were lost for ideas or didn't know what needed to be done – their inputs and suggestions, in general, were perfect and rescued us!"

Wedding Functions
The wedding was a three-day event that kicked off with a mehendi and sangeet on the first day, the wedding on the second day and the reception on the third.

Mehendi
The first day saw guests flying in from UK, Kenya and India. They were received in Goan style with shell garlands and welcome drinks. The festivities commenced with the mehendi celebrations during the day. The décor was a bouquet of floral hues with a traditional touch. A pink carpet was laid out for the guests and the pathway was decorated with floral decor. The bride sat on a beautiful couch with a floral backdrop and she and her guests had their mehendi applied while a lot of foreign guests got henna tattoos instead of the more traditional designs. A counter for fresh, coconut water was set up to replenish guests as they chilled by the pool.

Neema wore a blue lehenga with a beige choli from RIA collections in Vadodara while Vinit wore a casual blue shirt and trousers.

Neema and Vinit

Neema and Vinit

Neema and Vinit

Sangeet
The evening commenced with a Bollywood style sangeet night titled 'London Thumakda', lit up in individual bulbs like a retro marquee, in a nod to the couple being Londoners and big fans of Bollywood. The stage was illuminated with lots of bulbs and a 40*40 dance floor for family dance performances and a garba session. A comfortable, theater-style deewan seating ensured that guests enjoyed close up view of the performances.

Neema and Vinit

Neema and Vinit

Wedding
Neema shares, "The second day we had the vidhis in the morning and then the wedding which was a Hindu/Gujarati ceremony with a beautiful mandap and traditional decorations."

Neema and Vinit

The groom's side wore orange safaa while the bride's side wore red safaa. In a wonderfully poignant gesture, the groom wore the bride's side safaa. He made a stunning entry in an open rickshaw, hand painted with colorful artworks. A Punjabi dhol set the beat as the baraatis, the groom, his brother and even the bride's side were lured into wild dancing that even saw some garba. For the wedding, Neema wore a gold and red lehenga from RCKC London while Vinit wore a sherwani from Talon Mumbai.

The weather, unfortunately played dampener but couldn't dampen our spirits. The beach-facing wedding had to be moved indoors but it looked as beautiful in a palette of white, peach and pink. The mandap was beautifully draped in white with pretty flower runners and glass bowls with flowers hung from the front. The centerpieces were fish bowls with sand and shells and a candle on a glass base, with flower petals and a few tea-lights. There was a small platform for the couple for their milni ceremony. The bride walked down the red carpet to instrumental music of 'Kehne Ko Jashne Bahar Hai' from the movie Jodha Akbar. The ceremony was a fun affair. After the wedding, there was an after party at LPK (Love Passion Karma), by the river Nerul – again organized and coordinated by F5.

Neema and Vinit

Reception
The finale was a western-themed champagne reception. The baby pink and white décor offset the stunning stage which was festooned with chandeliers. The dance floor featured the couple's initials and a gorgeous backdrop with mirrored-hangings and flowers were created for the sweetheart table.

Neema and Vinit

The night kicked off with an audio-visual presentation about the couple and their story and then they made an entry. There was the cake-cutting and several speeches and congratulatory toasts as people clinked their champagne flutes.

Neema and Vinit

Their first song was 'I can't help falling in love' performed live by the band DnT from Goa. After setting the mood to romantic with a few more love songs, the band upped the tempo and got everyone on the dance floor with a thrilling performance. Two hours later, the DJ took over and the party continued rocking into the wee hours of the morning.

Neema looked gorgeous in a gown from RIA collection while Vinit looked dapper in a Tuxedo from Ted Baker London.

Neema and Vinit

Memorable Moments
"Sometimes it seemed like nothing was happening and then it all came together and was so much fun," Neema says. "Like when Vinit walked into the mehendi dressed quite casually, took one look at me and then had to rush back to change into something a bit more fitting for the occasion."

Neema also cherished the moment they realized they were now, an official item, "I enjoyed coming out at the reception party as husband and wife and toasting all of our guests."

For Vinit the fun moments were, "Playing all the wedding games with my (now) beautiful wife, and winning all of them (i.e. the Jai Mala, the khoda kodi, the nose touching!) The first dance was also very nice, which was done immediately after we did the toast."

Experience with the Wedding Vendors
Neema and Vinit say, "We managed to build a good rapport with the wedding planners. They sent us lots of options, explained what would work and what wouldn't and drew upon their experience and expertise to make us feel comfortable and happy. Even when we were lost for ideas or didn't know what needed to be done – their input and suggestions, in general, were perfect and rescued us! The effort, care and support that they showed us and our families through the whole process was commendable and their efforts definitely showed through in the final decoration and just how much fun everyone had. They made sure we knew our wedding was as important to them as it was to us and it helped us trust them and their advice. We were thoroughly impressed by them!"

The couple shares, "We cannot commend the head chef at the Marriott enough – the food was exceptional and catered for everyone."

DJ Suleyman – an excellent DJ who played a good mix of music which is hard to do when there are old/young/Asian/Western people.

The Wedding Makers
Venue: Marriott Goa
Wedding Planners: F5 Weddings
Bridal Outfits for Mehendi for bride: RIA- Vadodara (Mehendi, Sangeet and Reception); RCKC London (Wedding)
Groom's Outfits: Telon Mumbai (Sangeet and Wedding); Ted Baker London (Reception)
Bridal hair and make up: Kajol Paswan, Naina Panchal – Mumbai
DJs: DJ Suleyman
Entertainers: band, A26 – were excellent and involved everyone and made sure they got the party started.

Photos Courtesy: Oragraphy

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