Parakh and Shanay, Gurgaon
A stunning entry tunnel crafted out of neon ribbons greeted guests at this couple’s vibrant carnival-themed sundowner mehndi.
Parakh and Shanay’s love story blossomed in London as both of their best friends started liking each other. Getting closer with each meeting that involved leaving their respective friends alone and spending time together, these two kindred souls started loving each other as they watched TV shows and shared jokes together. As the years flew by, it was only natural for the duo to take the plunge into marital bliss, and paving the way ahead at the helm for their stunning nuptials was WeddingSutra Favorite – Riwaaz-e-Rishte who put their skills to the test and emerged victorious as each function went ahead exactly as planned. Adding their expert photography skills into the mix were WeddingSutra Favorite – WeddingNama who managed to capture a plethora of emotions in each shot.
How They Met
Parakh shares, “We first met in London where we both were pursuing our academic ambitions respectively. And since we were living in the same student accommodation, we crossed paths pretty soon and quickly became a part of the same circle. At that time, both our best friends, his being a guy, and mine a girl, were enamored with each other. So, as we played cupid getting them to hang out together, Shanay and I also started spending time together. And as time flew by, we bonded over TV shows and shared jokes. Eventually, we realized that we had become really good friends but at the same time had also developed feelings for each other. And, I’m glad to say, that today, we’re still best of friends even as we’re married.”
“We actually didn’t have a grand proposal as our families met right after we’d graduated and really liked each other. So, for us, marriage was always on the cards. However, he did surprise me right before our engagement by decorating my hotel room and getting down on one knee to pop the question.”, shares Parakh.
“Picking a venue or destination was a tough decision for us to make. Since Shanay’s family and friends were flying in from all over the world, it was bound to be a destination wedding for one side of the family. And with his older brother getting married in Bombay and mine in Goa, we finally settled for Delhi.
As we started scouting for venues, we fell in love with The Oberoi and Trident Hotel Gurgaon because its exquisite and has a unique beauty. Also, not many people had thrown a wedding at either of these venues. Hence, we were spurred on to book them immediately.”, recollects Parakh.
To make sure their nuptials went smoothly, the duo decided to rely on a group of talented vendors who brought their vision to life. On the planning front, Riwaaz-e-Rishte impressed the couple with their continuous dedication. The happy bride shares, “Team Riwaaz-e-Rishte were extremely hands-on and were always available regardless of the time. Working with them was a rewarding experience as we learned the intricacies of planning a wedding from the experts themselves. Their meticulous attention made sure our dream came true!”
Acknowledging the importance of a good wedding photographer, the couple chose WeddingNama and shared, “We’re extremely pleased by the way the pictures turned out. Each emotion has been captured beautifully by team WeddingNama. If another special occasion rises, we’d be happy to work with them again!”
Adding to the talented team were makeup artists Komal Gulati and Samaira Sandhu, caterers Food Inc By Yum Yum tree along with decorators Nischay Gandhi and The Design Company.
Parakh shares, “We knew from the start that we didn’t want a typical mehndi, instead, we had our eyes on something out of the box. A sundowner party was always on the cards, but the theme kept eluding us. Throughout the ideation process, we met various vendors and finally decided on a neon carnival theme which brought our vision to life perfectly. We even included different stalls that sold candy bars, popcorn, and scented candles with appetizers spread over different counters to give it a carnival vibe. However, the entry tunnel stole the show as it was crafted out of bright neon ribbons that were just as vivid during the night as they were during the day.”
Keeping in mind that many people from the groom’s side were flying in from Israel, the duo decided to give their international guests a taste of Delhi by arranging a spread that served favorite local treats. Reflecting the food, the decor was also designed around ‘Dilli – 6’ with signboards inspired from old Delhi, and the guests were picked up and dropped by a rickshaw from the entry point to the venue.
A bansuriwala, chana jor garam wala, and a bioscope were also roped in to transport the attendees to the old-world charm of Delhi.
“Our sangeet decor was minimal and extremely well-lit as our families wanted something very classy. The color palette included white and gold hues with about 500 bulbs lighting up the ceiling. And, moving away from the usual practice of having a designated dancefloor, we instead, gave people the freedom to dance anywhere they wanted to.”, shares the happy bride.
However, the highlight of the evening was Parakh’s parents who’d collaborated with the choreographer to put together a heartwarming video along with a dance routine to show her exactly how much she meant to them.
The Haldi had a Rajasthani themed lunch, and it also followed a traditional route with colors like yellow, orange, and red being generously used in the decor. However, instead of including a standard backdrop, the duo chose to decorate a tree with drapes and flowers under which they had their Haldi.
For the lunch spread, Rajasthani print linen was elegantly draped over tables and chairs. Traditional manjis and mudas were also provided for the guests to take a seat on.
With a classic pastel color palette, the wedding looked straight out of a fairytale fusing traditional and contemporary elements together seamlessly. With two life-sized elephants made out of real flowers flanking it, the mandap was a grandiose creation that left many in awe.
Dressed in a dark-red floral lehenga, the bride stole the show as she exchanged garlands with Shanay who contrasted her in a white sherwani that he accessorized with a layered emerald necklace.
Advice For Couples
“Always rely on experts to plan your wedding. In my case, I did attempt to do it by myself but in the end, I realized that enjoying my own wedding was more important to me.”, advises Parakh.
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Ansal Villas (Mehndi); The Oberoi, Gurgaon (Welcome Lunch, Sangeet), Trident Hotel Gurgaon (Haldi/Rajasthani Lunch, Wedding)
Wedding Planner: Riwaaz-e-Rishte
Décor: The Design Company (Mehndi, Wedding), Nischay Gandhi (Sangeet)
Caterers: Food Inc By Yum Yum tree
Groom’s Outfits: Shantanu and Nikhil (Mehndi), Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (Welcome Lunch), Rohit Bal (Sangeet), Shyamal & Bhumika (Wedding)
Bride’s Outfits: Anamika Khanna (Mehndi), Ridhi Mehra (Welcome Lunch), Manish Malhotra (Sangeet), Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Wedding)
Makeup: Samaira Sandhu (Sangeet), Komal Gulati (Mehndi, Wedding)
DJ: DJ Kilogram (Sangeet)
Choreography: Dance Era (Sangeet)