Our series Featured Weddings brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. Here, bride Neha tells us all about how she met her husband Nishith and their wedding celebrations at The Riverview Retreat at Jim Corbett in Nainital.
How We Met
Neha and Nishith work and live in the US. They met as classmates during their MBA course in India. Neha shares, "Initially, we were not good friends as we were complete opposites of each other and often ended up fighting. I was always into studies and very serious about grades, but he was what you'd call a typical 'back bencher'. It was during outings with friends that we got to know each other, and slowly became good friends. And then we realized there was more to our relationship than just 'friendship' and our journey together began from there on. The rest, as they say, is history!"
The Riverview Retreat - Corbett Resort, Nainital
“We were engaged in January 2015, and since then we have been planning for our wedding. Since we live a very busy life in the US, we were looking for the place that was peaceful and scenic. We also wanted to have a holiday vibe at our wedding without too much stress involved. We both love mountains and lakes, so we started researching options in Mussoorie, Dehradun, and Nainital, among others. Finally, we decided on The Riverview Retreat at the Jim Corbett National Park in Nainital.
Our parents visited the place and sent us photos of the location - and I must say, technology came very handy here! We loved what we saw and knew that this was the kind of place we were looking for. The Riverview Retreat is a big property with many cottages, a big lawn leading to the Kosi river and beautiful mountain views all around."
“Nishith and I arrived at the resort a day before our guests arrived. We had a meeting with event manager and went through the events schedule. We also spoke to the decorating company spokesperson and made sure they were ready for our daytime wedding. The place was very scenic so we wanted the décor to be minimal. There was a welcome team of six to greet our guests with drinks and snacks. We had ‘shehnais’ playing in the background and the hotel's team handed welcome packages to our guests as well as their cottage keys. Since the wedding was at the famous Jim Corbett National Park, we organized a safari ride for our guest early in the morning. It was a great treat for them!"
"The haldi ceremony was held outdoors. The color theme of this event was pink and colorful." Neha wore a yellow ‘sharara’ suit for the haldi ceremony, while Nishith opted for a white shirt and trousers.
Sangeet and Mehendi
“The mehendi and sangeet ceremonies were held on the same day. The decor theme for the mehendi function, which was held outdoors, was primarily green. Guests had fun dancing as the mehendi session got underway. As evening approached, we had to move indoors because it had grown dark and the Jim Corbett National Park does not allow music to be played loudly at night to avoid disturbing wildlife. There was a bonfire lit outside as night fell, and the 'official' sangeet was held indoors. We started with solo performances, and then everyone celebrated together on the dance floor.”
Neha wore aqua blue lehenga from Frontier Raas with beautiful thread work on the base of the skirt. She paired it with a blouse that was vibrant with floral prints. Her dupatta was more like a beautiful embroidered sash. Her accessories included pink floral jewelry and pearl-embedded ‘juttis’ (ethnic shoes). She opted for the practical braid as her hairstyle for the event as she did not want to mess up her mehendi trying to fix her look.
“I referred to a mandap photo I saw on WeddingSutra and wanted the same for my wedding. I wanted the décor to be white and pink for the wedding. The ‘Jaimala’ ceremony was to take place near the Kosi river and I wanted the décor to reflect the beauty of the place. People were quite excited about the photo booth!”
Neha looked gorgeous in a peach and gold lehenga with dual dupattas, tassels and a short-sleeved blouse from Frontier Raas, and jewelry from Options. Both stores are based in New Delhi. Nishith donned a blue suit from Zara Men, belt from Hermes and shoes from Aldo, and came to the event astride a magnificent, decorated elephant.
“The cocktail dinner was held indoors and on the same day as the wedding. I wanted to wear a very light ensemble for this event because I had worn a heavy bridal lehenga all day. So I picked a green crop top and blue skirt for the cocktail bash as it was comfortable and pretty, and wore a half ‘maang tikka’ with it.”
“The reception was held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Haridwar. I wore a pretty green lehenga with gold thread work from Frontier Raas store in New Delhi, and kept the jewelry to a minimum. Nishith wore a gray suit from Zara Men, belt from Louis Vuitton and shoes by Aldo.”
“I came to India for only two weeks and my entire wedding trousseau and jewelry were decided and purchased in two days. I was really worried because I didn’t have much time on hand, and everyone told me that it was next to impossible to get a wedding dress stitched in one week. I booked an appointment with Frontier Raas immediately after I landed. We spent the entire day in the store and they promised to get my clothes stitched within five days – and they delivered! The next day I went for jewelry and shoe shopping, and was done by end of the day.”
Advice for couples
“The wedding day is for bride and groom. Please enjoy each and every moment. Do get stressed out about anything. We enjoyed our wedding so much. You can see my pictures and you won’t find a single photo where I am gloomy or sad. I was a happy bride!”
“If it is a destination wedding, the bride and groom should plan on arriving at the venue at least a day before the actual events start. This helps them to relax and look fresh the next day.”
“The bride should plan each and every look beforehand so that on the actual wedding, there are no hits and misses, or nasty surprises.”
“Brides should apply vitamin E oil, drink water and try hot yoga to keep skin glowing.”
Experience with Wedding Vendors
“The resort had an event manager and we were in touch with him throughout our planning. The resort also had a tie-up with a decorator. Since the property had cottages, we had to do a lot of planning about how to place guest so that everyone got a good experience. We also provided the list of events with the requirement for each of the events to the event manager.”
“We wanted to hire right team for our wedding photography because the place was so beautiful. We did a lot of research on Facebook and Instagram. We narrowed it down to Photoshastra. They were a team of around seven to eight people. They had all possible technologies to capture our big day. The team was very professional and tried to make us very comfortable which is very important.”
“For my makeup, I once again researched options on WeddingSutra, Instagram, and Facebook. I chose Kangana Kochhar and touched base with her from the US. I briefed her about my wedding events and the looks I wanted. Kangana was very friendly on the phone. Initially, I was worried about what to expect as I have never tried her before. However, I met her in New Delhi and we finalized the look for every event. At destination weddings, it is very difficult to find time to change makeup between events, but Kangana managed to squeeze out time to give me the appropriate look for each event.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: The Riverview Retreat - Corbett Resort, Nainital
Bridal Trousseau: Frontier Raas, South Extension, New Delhi
Groom’s Trousseau: Zara Men
Makeup Artist: Kangana Kochhar
Photos Courtesy: Photoshastra