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Our series, 'Featured Weddings' brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. Here, bride Shivani tells us all about how she met her soul mate and their Royal wedding celebrations in Mumbai.

How we met
Dhrumil and Shivani met through their families. She shares, “It was a typical arranged marriage where our parents met and then we met. We instantly hit it off and realised we shared the same values.” Shivani owns and runs a beauty academy while Dhrumil is an entrepreneur. They may be similar in values, but are different when it comes to lifestyle. Shivani says Dhrumil loves to party on weekends, while she is the kind who likes to curl up in bed with coffee and a book. The couple started a new chapter in their lives with a grand wedding in Mumbai.

Wedding Planning and Functions
It was the first wedding in Shivani’s family for over 15 years so she was certain was it would be a grand affair. “I’m the princess at home and my father was determined to give me a royal wedding where I would be treated like a princess,” says Shivani. The venues were chosen according to the 'royal' theme.

Mehendi
The mehendi ceremony at Grand Medical Gymkhana in Marine Drive was certainly one with a difference! “A traditional mehendi is just a bunch of ladies with henna giggling around and dancing. We didn't want just that, so we combined a Gujju favorite festival – kite flying - with it, so everyone was entertained. We wanted to show our guests what ‘Gujju’ food and culture was all about and planned everything like an old-school carnival. There ferris wheels, bangle makers, henna artists, fortune tellers, an ice ‘gola’ stall, and even karaoke,” recounts the happy bride. Dhrumil wore a red sherwani with black embroidery by Sabyasachi, while Shivani looked every inch the modern princess in her rosy pink and blue lehenga with floral motifs by Anushree Reddy. Her soft make-up and flowing locks were expertly done by Amrita Sanghvi.

Samurta Pooja
The Samurta Pooja, a traditional Gujarati ritual, was conducted the second day at De Grande Banquets in Sion. The couple are blessed individually with wishes for a happy married life, and are not allowed to see each others faces after this pooja till their wedding. Shivani wore a Manish Malhotra ensemble and had make-up done by Varsha Gidwani, while Dhrumil kept it light and elegant in a kurta by Nikhil Shah’s Offbeat.

Ageni
On the third day, Shivani danced at her dad’s baraat at Napoo Hall in Matunga during the Ageni ceremony where the bride’s parents get ‘married’. “This event is an age-old tradition that involves a renewing of the vows of the bride’s parents! My mum had to go back to her ‘maika’, get all dolled up like a bride, while my dad dressed up as the groom, and they then renewed their vows! It was amazing to see my mom still blush after all these years!” recalls Shivani. She donned an eye-catching lehenga by Anita Dongre and had her make-up done by Amrita Sanghvi.

Wedding
The wedding on the fourth day was held at the NSCI Dome at Worli. “We had a set that would please director Sanjay Leela Bhansali,” says Shivani. A grand pathway which led to the stage was decorated with flowers, candles, diyas and floral rangolis. The traditional wedding songs were replaced with shlokas during the pheras, especially curated by the bride’s mother for that emotional essence. Shivani shares, “I would like to specially thank Mr Swapnil and Mrs Rupal Chheda for innovating the concept of traditional shlokas during the pheras.”

The bride, regal in a stunning red-and-gold Sabyasachi lehenga and Amrita Sanghvi’s make-up, entered the venue with her family while Drumil, in a light gold Sabyasachi sherwani with a velvet dupatta and regal safa, arrived in a vintage car with his baraat. Guests were served a grand sit-down dinner with traditional dishes on gold plates.

Reception
The fifth day of this grand wedding was held at the NSCI Dome in Worli. This event detoured from the strictly traditional with its more Western vibe. The wine-coloured satin walls at the venue and glittering chandeliers looked heavenly with the bed of pink roses and laser cutout designs that formed the dynamic backdrop for this function. Shivani looked like a queen in her ornate gold Sabyasachi ensemble with classy make-up and softly-styled locks by Ojas Rajani, and Dhrumil cut a dashing figure in his tuxedo by Govinda Mehta.

The Wedding Makers
Wedding Photographers: Knotting Bells
Bridal Trousseau: Anushree Reddy (Mehendi), Anita Dongre (Ageni Ceremony), Manish Malhotra (Samurta Pooja) & Sabyasachi (Wedding & Reception).
Groom’s Trousseau: Sabyasachi (Mehendi and Wedding), Nikhil Shah (Samurta Pooja), Govinda Mehta (Reception).
Bridal Make-up: Ojas Rajani, Amrita Sanghvi & Varsha Gidwani
Wedding Planner & Curator: Rajesh Gala and Rupal Chheda
Wedding Caterers: Jyoti Caterers
Entertainment: Rita Haria
Décor: Samani Decorators
Wedding Cards: MaLaga by Mars Arts, Mr. Tarun

Photos Courtesy: Shrey Bhagat, Knotting Bells

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