Vinay's grandmother played Cupid when she saw Priya and decided that she would be perfect for her grandson Vinay. Here, Priya shares details of how destiny and their families collaborated to ensure that she and Vinay tie the knot in Agra, a city that is famous for the most romantic symbol of all - the Taj Mahal.
How We Met
"Vinay's father and my mother knew each other since childhood as they all lived in the same society in Agra. My family later shifted to Dubai where I and my two siblings grew up. Vinay came to Dubai when he was 17, and despite us having many mutual friends and relatives we never met or knew about each other. One day, Vinay's grandmother and his sister came home to meet my mother, and Vinay also came later to pick them up. That was the first time we saw each other, but we did not talk to each other then. The next time, we met at a family dinner, and the first word he heard from me was "Masha Allah!" He asked me if I was Indian or Pakistani. We connected on WhatsApp and had interesting conversations which led us wanting to meet and be with each other. Our families were also keen that we interact with each other in the typical way of arranged marriages. We both were actually not prepared to get married as I was 22, and was 24. But there was something akin to magic in the air when we decided that if it had to be, it had to be now, not later. So we tied the knot on November 7 last year, in Agra."
"There wasn't a particular or formal proposal. There was talk going on between our families and we were just avoiding the topic of marriage, but then things progressed naturally when we met and liked each other. This was all planned initially by his grandmother who spent some time with me and decided she wanted me to be Vinay's life partner."
"There were a lot of options that we had in Agra itself, and after a lot of research, we chose Courtyard by Marriott because of its beautiful poolside area where our pool party was held, and later on, where our wedding mandap was set up with white and purple decor elements."
"Our wedding planner was Garvit, who is a resident of Agra. Every aspect of my wedding planning was handled by my sister-in-law who worked closely with Garvit who was new to the profession. Together, they made my dream wedding come to life with their beautiful concepts and execution."
"We kickstarted our three-day wedding celebrations with a Welcome Pool Party, followed by the mehendi, sangeet, wedding ceremony and cocktail reception."
"The Welcome Party was held at the pool side of the hotel, and the theme of the event was floral. The funky decor includes totem mask pillars and pinwheel flowers. Everyone enjoyed the music and dancing, and had a good time in the pool. I wore a crop top and skirt from Kalki Fashions, while Vinay chose a floral suit from Telon."
"After the fun pool party, we had the mehndi ceremony which also had a floral theme. Guests enjoyed watching a traditional bhangra performance as they got their mehendi applied. For the food, we had various chaat counters with different kinds of savory snacks that Agra is famous for."
Priya looked beautiful in a skirt and blouse from Kalki Fashions, and Vinay looked handsome in a dull gold kurta pajama with an embroidered pink waistcoat from Telon
"Our sangeet had a Bollywood theme, and all the performances were done by our family members, friends and cousins. We made sure there was great food and drinks to go around. My deep blue lehenga for the sangeet was designed by Archana Kochhar, while Vinay’s regal orange sherwani, black pyjamas and matching stole were from Kora Men's Fashion."
"Our engagement was held in Kanan Van garden which is near Courtyard Marriott. We had 175 varieties of dishes, spanning everything from Indian to Continental cuisines served at this event. My golden doll gown was from Kalki Fashions, and Vinay’s tuxedo was from Kora Men's Fashion."
"Our wedding mandap was set at the pool side and was magnificent with white and purple decor which made it look very elegant. I got my deep maroon and gold bridal lehenga from the Magic Mirror retail store, while Vinay's got his designer sherwani from Kora Men's Fashion."
"Our reception was like an after party where we all got drunk! Percussionist Darpan Dua made us all dance to his amazing music which included retro as well as the latest numbers. The venue was fully decorated with disco lights. I wore a Shyamal & Bhumika gown for this event, and Vinay wore a tuxedo, again from Kora Men's Fashion."
Advice for couples planning their wedding
"Before planning the wedding, couples should make sure that they are compatible with each other's desires and dreams. If couples want to wed in Agra, they should choose to do so between October and February."
Venue: Courtyard by Marriott Agra
Wedding Planner: Garvit
Bride’s Outfits: Kalki Fashions (Pool Party, Mehendi & Engagement); Archana Kochhar (Sangeet); Magic Mirror (Wedding); Shyamal & Bhumika (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Telon (Pool Party & Mehendi); Kora Men’s Fashion (Sangeet, Engagement, Wedding & Reception)
Makeup Artist: Tanu Singh, New Delhi
Videographers: Kashyap Dhwani Films
Photos Courtesy: Scarlet Weddings