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Our series Featured Weddings brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. Here, bride Ridhima shares memories of how she met Lalit and their marriage celebrations in New Zealand.

Ridhima and Lalit

About Us
Ridhima and Lalit knew each other for over a decade before tying the knot. Ridhima shares, “We both completed our engineering from the same university in New Delhi. Then we moved to New Zealand a few years back, did our post-graduation and are now settled here.”

"I currently work with The Bank of New Zealand, and am also co-founder and director of the New Zealand-based luxury designer wear brand SVARN. Lalit works as a Business Acquisition Associate at Tower Insurance."

How We Met
“With my interest in creative arts and fashion, I was the college's fashion show coordinator, and he participated as a contestant - and that was the beginning of our friendship, which turned into liking and then love... and here we are as a married couple! We are completely opposite of each other in terms of personality and that was one thing that kept us going as we completed each other. Lalit is a happy-go-lucky, carefree and witty guy. I, on the other hand, am a ball of stress, too responsible for my own good and focused - but I am not boring either."

Wedding Venue
“We hired Megan and her team from Raj Tent Club to install a maroon Moroccan-themed canopy and arranged seating in front of it. With DIY decor that included colorful umbrellas and paper flowers - in true Kiwi style, and food from Angeethi Caterers, my venue for the intimate mehendi function and the wedding ceremony was our backyard!”

"However, finding a reception venue was a real challenge. That is the challenge when you live in such a beautiful country which offers too many options. Lalit is a lover of green, natural spaces, whereas I am a water person, We looked at about 15-20 venues in Auckland and nearby areas, and researched about double of that before finalizing The Wharf. The location, uniqueness and the authentic feel of New Zealand at The Wharf is like no other. The terrace on seaside was perfect for a relaxing evening drink, the harbor lounge with a fireplace for the perfect cozy time, and the grand room with its magnificent chandelier and two levels highlighted the grandness of the venue. We were so happy with our choice. Our family, friends and colleagues were absolutely awed by the glorious venue which was truly one of a kind."

Wedding Functions
We decided on having three different functions:

Mehendi
"The mehendi ceremony was really intimate and only family and close friends were invited. The event centered around a Moroccan theme. I wore a peach and gold crop top and skirt from New Delhi-based Bharti and Aashna Khurana, while Lalit wore a custom-made white Jodhpuri kurta and aqua jacket set from AntarDesi."

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Wedding
"We had a relaxed daytime wedding as that’s what I have always wanted. We didn’t want late-night functions and too many rituals. I designed my own peach and gold lehenga for the wedding which was customized as per my specifications at Chandi Chowk in New Delhi. Lalit wore a custom-made black sherwani with red accents which was tailored at Shahpur Jat, also in New Delhi."

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Reception
"We wanted our reception to be grand but relaxed at the same time. As it was scheduled on a Sunday evening, we wanted people to have a great evening, relish good food and enjoy themselves, before returning to work on Monday."

"Oddly, at my own wedding and all the events, I was the first to be ready for all functions - before the groom, bridesmaids, my parents, everyone - which I am very proud of! Vinayak and Snigdha of PhotoTantra even took a shot in which I am all dressed up, while Lalit is still in his shorts. I danced, ate and enjoyed my wedding functions to the fullest."

"I wore a jacket-style lehenga from Atara by Abhilasha Bharal in New Delhi, while Lalit wore a blue three-piece suit from Hugo Boss in Auckland."

Ridhima and Lalit

Ridhima and Lalit

Memorable Moments
"The grownups dancing to 'Aye Meri Zohrazabi'"
"My father wearing Lalit’s shoes unknowingly to the mehendi, and showing off his newly found magically appeared matching shoes to everyone."
"Us being totally drunk and disturbing the neighbors are some of the memories which are absolutely unforgettable."

Wedding Shopping
"I flew to India to do my wedding shopping with only about a week at my disposal and a 'roka' function in between, I was in a time crunch and was hoping to finalize my outfits as soon as possible. All of your online research and ideas go absolutely kaput when you go into the market with such a short time frame. My parents were so amazingly supportive and just wanted me to be happy and contented with my shopping. They took off from work and drove me around every day so I could find what I liked. They are the best parents one can ask for!"

"I honestly shopped in such a hurry that I had a backup lehenga for my wedding, as I was really uncertain about the customized one which was going to take a month to be ready and was slated to be delivered five days before my wedding. But everything worked out. I found some amazing designer ensembles and loved each and every look at my wedding. My experience gave birth to my company SVARN, which is an online store of designer wear and accessories for busy NRI Brides.

Advice for couples to wed
"Wedding planning is hard, so 'Delegate Delegate Delegate' is the mantra. We did that a later stage, so our planning became a little hectic, but I still enjoyed that time a lot"

"Remember it’s your time - if you are happy, nobody would care or know if something did not go right. So smile, click and capture some great memories for a lifetime."

"I still remember our photographer mentioning that 'he sees that everyone is genuinely happy at the wedding’. This was literally the biggest compliment and we knew at that instant that nothing else mattered!"

The Wedding Makers
Venue: The Wharf, Auckland
Bridal Trousseau: Bharti and Aashna Khurana, Atara by Abhilasha Baral, New Delhi (Available on SVARN)
Groom’s Trousseau: AntarDesi, New Delhi, Hugo Boss, Auckland
Jewelry: Jewels by SVARN
Makeup & Hair: Debbie Delgado (bride), Toni & Guy (groom), Auckland
DJ: DJ Jimmy, Auckland
Wedding Cake: Magnolia Kitchen, Auckland
Catering: Angeethi Caterers, Auckland
Canopy: Raj Tent Club, Auckland
Car: First Class Classics (Rolls Royce Silver Cloud), Auckland

Photos Courtesy: PhotoTantra & Perspectives Photo and Cinema

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