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Geeta and Sagar’s love story began a few years ago and resulted in a beautiful wedding at Alila Diwa Goa. Here, the bride shares stories from the celebrations and highlights captured in candid pictures.

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

How we met
“Sagar and I have lived in Dubai for a decade now. He is a private equity fund manager, I am into private banking! He’s a Hindu Marwari, I’m a Christian Maharashtrian. We met through common friends and sparks flew instantly.

We started spending time together to get to know each other and became the best of friends. We realized the bond we forged was something else and Cupid had struck. Convincing our parents wasn’t easy given our disparate cultural and religious backgrounds but after a lot of nudging, arguing and convincing, the approval was granted!

Proposal
“Sagar’s proposal was straight out of the movies! On a holiday in London, he booked us a table at the fancy Park Chinois restaurant in the upmarket Mayfair area. The restaurant had the dinner table decorated with roses and there was cake and the ring! Completely clueless, I was in for a huge surprise. He popped the question and I said ‘YES’!”

Wedding Venue
“Alila Diwa Goa sprawls over several acres, surrounded by lush green paddy fields. Sagar had booked it and it was only a month later that I set foot on the property and knew instantly he’d chosen the best.

Its massive lobby instantly welcomes guests. The pool deck and bar were perfect for a pool party. The beautiful lawns and verandah were where we would do our pheras and the banquet would accommodate all our guests. Even the walkway was long enough for a baraat!

The staff was extremely friendly and professional and knew how to manage a wedding. They did a fabulous job at keeping all of us very happy! They served lip-smacking Indian and International food on all three days for our guests. Kudos to their chef!”

Wedding Planning
“Most of the vendors we hired came via recommendations or personal experience at other weddings. But the best decision we made was to pick Vikram of Mpire Events as our wedding planner. He helped us choose Alila Diwa and he planned and designed everything. His team worked with us from the initial stages onward. They even managed sensitivities at the cross-cultural wedding. Our celebrations would not have been as wonderful (or as crazy) without Vikram!”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Wedding Functions

Christian Wedding
“I’d always wanted a beach wedding like in the movies; an altar by the ocean, a couple looking into each other’s eyes with the sunset as backdrop. Alila Diwa is not by the ocean which was disappointing at first, but the hotel recommended Zeebop, a restaurant and bar by the sea.

Zeebop is barely a kilometre away and has a huge private beach area. Sergio, the restaurant owner, helped plan our walk down the aisle. Our colors were champagne and dark wine and we added some zing with an interesting entrance, photo booths and a dance floor. The ceremony got over by 7:30 pm and we celebrated until late evening. Then we went back to the hotel where DJ Jay made sure people were welcomed to a great after party.”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Mehendi/Pool Party
“I’d recommend a pool party with every single mehendi! You kill an afternoon, deal with the heat and the mehendi is happening! The colors were yellow, orange and green and I wore a green outfit and Sagar wore yellow to match the theme.

We took over the entire pool deck at Alila. The entry was made up of several pool props which was cute and quirky and the deck had a mandap set up. There was a rain dance set to make sure even those who didn’t jump into the pool got wet.

Our hashtag #weddingsaga was put up so it was in all the pictures. The décor had a Polynesian theme; large wooden tiki sculptures, floral drapes, fruity cocktails, flowers and that RAIN dance for a fun dance floor!

Guests dressed up for the function, but eventually let their hair down at the rain dance to a non-stop music, bottomless drinks, live stations and a sit down buffet!”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sangeet
“Sagar’s friends are always calling him ‘Hero’! So keeping my hero in mind, our sangeet was Bollywood Style – red carpet entry for our guests, paparazzi chasing them for pics, the stage lit up with lights, camera, ready for the dance action between Team Bride and Team Groom!

The evening started with our friends and cousins making a grand entrance to the song ‘Chalti hain kya 9 se 12’ and us bringing up the rear. Post our little performance, we exchanged rings and the night transformed into an awards night! We felicitated everyone from Best Jodi to Best Performer to Best Parents etc. We even gave away little golden ladies (akin to Filmfare’s Black Lady - provided by our decorator) to award winners. The event was hosted by our favorite RJ Vicky from Suno 1024. He is a very dear friend and he spread his charm throughout the night.

There were 15 performances planned by both sides of the family. It began with ‘Kala Chashma’ by Sagar’s mom and mami to ‘Nawari maajhi’ by my mom and my sisters. The last performance of the night was by my friends wearing Marathi nawaris and dancing to ‘Zingaat’.

Post the Sangeet, we continued into the night with an after party at the banquet where we were accompanied by Russian hostesses who made sure everybody drank more than required. Shots were flowing throughout the night and DJ Jay spun some of his best Bollywood mixes and ended the night with some great house music. No one left the party un-intoxicated!”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Haldi
It was like holi but with just one color! “Both sets of families had separate functions, with the same color on all our faces! The groom’s side had loud laughs, tearing of clothes and constant giggles! The bride’s side was more emotional with teary eyes around.” The bride changed into the traditional 9-yard yellow Nawari saree and the groom looked relaxed in a white chikan kurta pyjama and a beautiful ocean blue jacket.

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Pheras
“There were only pheras and a reception planned for this day. The Alila lawns are huge and have a great backdrop of trees. We kept the theme traditional; red and pink. I wore a maroon lehenga and Sagar looked like a Rajasthani prince in his royal sherwani.

The baraat was planned for 4 pm so everyone had enough time to recover and be present for the pheras. The baraat had a 15-person band playing the best of the wedding songs and announcing the entry of my prince. I arrived under a beautiful red chadar escorted by my friends and my cousins. The mandap was very beautiful with pink and red roses. We had a love sign right next to the mandap signifying the union of two souls. The whole pheras area was so nicely set up for the guests to sit and view the nuptials and enjoy their meals.”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Reception
“The reception started much later than planned. It was 11 pm, way past most peoples’ bedtime but given that we had ROOH from Dubai to spread their magic, everybody stayed to see their performance. We entered to Anupam singing ‘Dil Diya Gallan’ as we walked to the stage. We cut our cake which had been beautifully designed by the Alila guys. Post some photo ops, Anupam came on stage and got everyone enthused immediately! Within a matter of minutes, our family and friends were on stage dancing to his tunes. He performed non-stop for 2.5 hours and everybody was singing and dancing with him till then. He made the evening magical and love was in the air for everyone.”

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Sagar and Geeta, Alila Diwa Goa

Advice for Couples
“Keep calm and enjoy the wedding! There is so much build up to the main day, non-stop shopping, planning, preparing but when the day finally arrives, just live the moment! Look radiant, smile a lot (all eyes are on you) and don’t worry about anything. Remember your family and your wedding planner can take care of every thing, small and big.”

The Wedding Makers
Venue: Alila Diwa Goa
Wedding Planner: Mpire Weddings
Décor: Dawn/Ashish from Goa
Bride’s Outfits: Malacha by Mrunal, Mumbai (Christian Wedding and Mehendi Pool party), Anjali K Couture, Dubai (Sangeet), Tulsi sarees, Mumbai (Pheras), Gaurav Gupta (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Vavci by Kanika & Vishal Mehra, Dubai (Christian Wedding, Sangeet), Telon, Mumbai (Pheras), Oraios by Kaushik Shrimanker & Mehul Shrimanker, Mumbai (Reception)
Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist: Elvis Vaz, Gglam - Mumbai
Entertainment: RJ Vicky from Suno 1024, Rooh Band by Anupam Nair, DJ Jay Weather
Bartender: Pratik – Mumbai
Photographer: Rahul De Cunha - Goa

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