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Our series, 'Featured Weddings' brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. Here, we bring you details of London-based Priya and Gaurav's wedding celebrations in Goa. The bride shares how she made her dream of a fairytale wedding come to life.

How we met
“A childhood friend of mine, Jatinder, who I had lost touch with, ended up being Gaurav's best friend years later. Jatinder was somehow sure Gaurav and I would end up together. Thankfully Gaurav eventually found me and the rest is history. He wined and dined me on our first date in London and our chemistry was undeniable! We were together for the best part of five years before Gaurav whisked me away on a surprise holiday to Santorini in Greece after I passed medical school – and that’s where he popped the question!”

Priya and Gaurav

Wedding Venue
“Much to Gaurav's surprise, I already had plenty of ideas about our dream wedding before we even landed back in London. Gaurav's only request was that we celebrate our big day in Goa. Given that most of our family and friends are based in London I was apprehensive at first but his powers of persuasion soon changed that. He took me on holiday to Goa during Christmas before our wedding and it wasn't long before I fell in love with the white sandy beaches he had spoken so passionately about. Seeing really is believing!”

Wedding Planning
‘We explored many hotels as potential venues for our fairytale wedding... then we found The Leela Goa. It met all our requirements for outdoor and indoor functions, and its grounds offered a relaxing atmosphere which we wanted for our guests. It was very important that our wedding venue offered outdoor areas for the events as we wanted to indulge in the heavenly Goan weather while we were there! Some of our other important considerations included provisions for a ‘baraat’ procession with a band and horse, the use of fireworks for our champagne reception, the ability to continue parties till the early hours of the morning (being Punjabis we love to drink heartily and dance the night away!) and a flexible catering menu to meet the needs of all of our guests. We worked closely with our Goa-based wedding planners Reynold Weddings, and Louise and Leslie Remedios did an amazing job.”

Wedding Functions
“Our wedding ceremonies spanned two days and included seven events.”

‘Maiyyan’
“The wedding ceremonies started with a ‘Maiyyan’ function on the hotel’s lawns where our friends and family covered us with yellow paste (haldi) to ‘cleanse us’ prior to our religious ceremony. It was filled with laughter and there was certainly a competition between the two sides as to who would be most covered in yellow - Gaurav or me.”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Mehendi
“The ‘Maiyyan’ function was followed by the Mehendi which also took place on the lawns. We served a buffet lunch and had vibrant mehendi tents set up on the lawns! The decor theme was an explosion of colours such as bright pink and yellow as I wanted bright shades to stand out in contrast to the beautiful lush green lawns. The white drapes of the tents, bright yellow table covers and chairs with pink sashes and floral arrangements looked lovely and cheery. I wore a vibrant pink and orange lehenga with gold thread embroidery for the mehendi to match the décor theme.”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Ring Ceremony
“This western-inspired event was our most special one! The theme here was pure elegance and included some of my favourite colours - peach, white and a touch of green foliage. I had my bridesmaids dressed in peach and coral floor-length gowns, which perfectly complemented the groomsmen in their suits and coral ties. This event took place at sunset, and ran perfectly to time. Gaurav and I had shared our personalised vows for one another, and we also had a priest share some words of wisdom about love and marriage.”

“The white dress I wore for the ring ceremony was an original, one-off designer piece from Charmi Creations Boutique in North London. I loved the elegance of the gown with its beaded accents and gorgeous shine. I wanted something simple but stunning which would complement a beach wedding. Gaurav wore a bespoke white suit created by a London tailor, and his coral tie was perfectly in line with our peach sunset-glow theme.”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Sangeet
“Our fourth all-important function was the Sangeet which was held in the hotel’s ballroom. The theme was Moroccan-inspired and we went for royal blues and deep purple accents as we wanted a complete contrast to the earlier day function. Gaurav and I knew we had to stand out so we thought it would be nice to match our outfits as we had a dance performance together. We wanted an evening colour so went for deep royal blue. I wore a rich velvet lehenga with silver embellishments, and Gaurav donned a blue velvet sherwani from Monga’s in Southall, London.”

“We opened the show with a surprise performance for our guests. Our performance was a Bollywood dance to two lively songs ‘Balam Pichkari’ and ‘Aaj Ki Party’. Our guests’ jaws dropped during this performance as I usually have two left feet! The night continued with various performances, songs, dances and instrumental solos by our family and friends which perfectly led into an enormous party atmosphere where we danced the night away until 6am!”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

‘Choora’ Ceremony
“On day 2, we started with my ‘Choora’ ceremony. This took place in a beautiful function room at the hotel and was attended by only my close family members who placed the marriage ‘choora’ on me and exchanged gifts with each other.”

Priya and Gaurav

Wedding Ceremony
“Gaurav’s ‘baraat’ kickstarted the celebrations of our actual wedding. This was a procession of a 10-man brass-band along with his family and friends who accompanied Gaurav looking regal astride a white horse. A lavish buffet lunch preceded the ‘pheras’ which took place at sunset, against the beautiful ocean horizon. The theme for this event was based on gold to create a royal vibe, from the creamy drapes around the mandap to the ribbons around chairs and white-and-yellow floral arrangements.”

‘I wore a red and white Swarovski-studded lehenga with a red velvet blouse by Charmi Creations. My skirt featured beautiful gold thread embroidery, and so did the net dupatta and blouse. Gaurav cut a fine figure in his ivory-gold sherwani again from Monga’s London Boutique, and he paired this ensemble with a rich maroon stole on one shoulder and ‘pagdi’.”

“I made my entrance with my entourage of beautiful bridesmaids. My brothers accompanied me to the ‘mandap’ and held aloft a floral canopy over my head made with fresh red and white flowers as I made my way. This event saw a lot of emotions as speeches were made by me, Gaurav, my dad and brother – these were filled with words of advice for a happy married life. The ceremony was followed by my ‘bidaai’ - I was carried away from the lawns in a carriage borne by my brothers to signify a bride leaving her home. It was an emotional time for me and many loved ones were in tears, but we were in high spirits again shortly after at the reception where champagne and fireworks lit things up! Guests enjoyed light canapés served with champagne on the hotel’s lawns alongside a grand display of fireworks.”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Reception
“The champagne and fireworks reception on the lawns was followed by a more formal black-tie reception party at the hotel’s ballroom. We had a The Great Gatsby-themed décor at this event which featured black, white and gold sophistication all through. There were more speeches, followed by a buffet dinner, drinks and dancing till 7am. Maksim and Denis from Denee Motion captured the scenes at the wedding and made it come to life on screen. I wore a cream, red and green self-designed lehenga. The emerald green top featured embroidery which perfectly matched my sparkly green lehenga. Gaurav wore a bespoke three-piece suit made in London.”

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

Priya and Gaurav

The Wedding Makers
Wedding Planner: Reynold Weddings, Goa
Videographer: Denee Motion, London
Hair and make-up: Bina Punjani Hair Studios, Goa
Photography- Sunny Pariani (Mumbai & Goa)

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