Shona and Ankur, Hyderabad
A kaleidoscopic celebration of customs and colors, this couple’s wedding was a multi-cultural extravaganza.
Shona Nivedita Chakravarti’s joyous wedding revelries to Captain Ankur Gupta were as hearty as they were unforgettable as they reflected the multitude of cultures in which they grew up. Incorporating the most vibrant ceremonies from across the country, their celebrations were planned to perfection by WeddingSutra Favorite – Minttu Sarna, and captured in precious memory capsules by WeddingSutra Favorite – Israni Photography.
How They Met
Seemingly hailing from very different walks of life, Hyderabad-based Shona, a jet-setting Creative Producer, crossed paths with Army Captain Ankur on Tinder and was instantly drawn to his curious, genuine personality. What started with 8 hours of non-stop phone conversation, soon transformed into memorable dinner dates. She shares, “On our second date, when Ankur said that he would marry me one day, I waved away his zealous declaration, not realizing he had every intention to follow through. Over the next few months, although he went back to his posting in Amarnath, his dedication and love only became more evident as he went out of his way to stay connected with me. We knew that we were meant to be together forever. Although we faced some challenges on our journey, we were secure knowing that we had each other’s backs.”
Hyderabad was the perfect choice to host their new beginning as it was here where Shona grew up and also met the love of her life. The couple decided on the iconic Taj Krishna for its stellar location, luxurious services and spacious indoor and outdoor venues for their wedding bubble of 120 guests. Celebrated wedding planner & designer Minttu Sarna, with whom the bride’s family had a long-standing relationship, undertook the planning and design of the couple’s spectacular wedding. Shona shares, “It was an incredible experience to be working with Minttu uncle. He patiently went through all my vision boards, outfits and every idea I had and came up with unique themes and décor for each and every function. He and his team amplified my vision to create a wedding so beautiful, that it surpassed all expectations.”
She further shares, “The team of Israni Photography was tasked with capturing every moment of the wedding celebrations, and they delivered the most gorgeous edits we could have imagined. For my wedding makeup, I chose the talented Tamanna Rooz, who used her unmatched artistry to make me feel my most beautiful, while Saksi Khatri gave me stunning looks for all my other functions.”
The festivities kicked off with a Welcome Dinner. The laidback soiree saw a mix of delectable dinner, drinks and dancing as everyone from the two families mingled and got to know each other.
The vibrant Mehndi fused bright Rajasthani influences with a dash of aesthetic vintage elements for a fresh, fun vibe. Wedding planner Minttu Sarna planned activities such as bangle-making, Tarot card reading with a parrot, live portraits to add to the Carnival-like setting, while a DJ belted out peppy Punjabi numbers to get guests on the dance floor. The couple made their grand entrance to the song ‘Kala Chashma’ amidst smoke bombs as their friends cheered them on. Embroidered potlis, floral maang tikkas, hand-made gota patti bracelets, and pretty bindis for female guests were given to guests as wedding favors.
The glamorous Sangeet was imbibed with the feel of a night club, with edgy jewel-toned décor, massive LED screens, neon signs and animated graphics of crystal and flowers. MC Sharon kick-started the night with a bang as the couple entered to the song ‘Forever’ by Chris Brown, following their dancing friends. Planned by Minttu Sarna, the night saw amazing performances by the duo and their loved ones, while a montage of the couple’s childhood pictures brought tears to everyone’s eyes. The family performances were followed by a surprise proposal from Ankur, accompanied by the Kolkata based Vyas brothers whose high-octane performance kept the audience on their toes. DJ Daman played the best of Bollywood and commercial tunes as everyone danced the night away.
The bride celebrated both her Bengali and North Indian heritage with fusion Haldi and Chooda ceremonies. The Haldi was planned by Minttu Sarna in a traditional Bengali style, wherein all the women dressed in the customary Bengali drape of white and red sarees, while the men wore a dhoti and kurta. A vibrant yellow décor contrasted the dress code beautifully. The couple entered to the hit song ‘Genda Phool’ by Badshaah accompanied by dholwalas who amped up the energy of the event and had everyone playing flower holi with petals. The Haldi was followed by the North Indian ceremonies of Chooda and Kaleere.
For the couple’s Hindu Vedic Wedding, Minttu Sarna incorporated the best parts of all the different cultures and customs their families represented, making for a very inclusive and colorful celebration! shades of pink, purple and white ruled the décor, while decadent elements such as chandeliers, lamps, crystal props and floral arrangements added to ethereal feel of the occasion. With a stunning backdrop of pink tonal blooms and a whimsical white canopy, the mandap exuded grandeur.
Lead by DJ Daman’s mobile DJ Truck, Ankur arrived with his dancing baraat flanked by an entourage of Sufi dancers. Shona entered with her family and friends beneath a shimmering phoolon ki chadar of blooms and crystals, after which the couple exchanged Varmalas to a stunning display of cold pyro. Jaipur based Swaraag, a talented Sufi-fusion group enchanted the audience with their live music. The couple’s nuptials were conducted by Jesal Manraja Group, who had the guests enraptured with their soulful Vedic chants.
Advice for Couples
“Even though the current pandemic situation has been challenging for wedding planning, you’ll get through it with the support of your partner and your loved ones. Planning with a focused approach when researching will make it easier and less stressful. Make vision boards with shortlisted images from blogs, Pinterest and Instagram to form a clear idea of what you want, which in turn will help you decide everything from your themes to décor and ambience to outfits amongst other details. Finally on your big day, please remember to hydrate and eat to keep your energy up, so you can enjoy every moment”.
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Taj Krishna, Hyderabad
Wedding Planning & Decor Design: Minttu Sarna
Logistics: Kapil Manhot
Groom’s Outfits: Origins (Welcome Dinner, Sangeet), Seema Gujral (Mehndi), Canali (Sangeet), Ananda (Haldi), Tarun Tahiliani (Wedding)
Groom’s Shoes: Panchwati (Haldi, Wedding)
Groom’s Jewellery: Label Amaira (Wedding)
Bride’s Outfits: Seema Gujral (Welcome Dinner, Mehndi, Sangeet), Sailesh Singhania (Haldi), Tarun Tahiliani (Wedding)
Jewellery: Meena Jewellers (Welcome Dinner), Vamika (Mehndi, Haldi), Jagdamba (Mehndi), Raabta by Rahul (Mehndi), Tyaani by Karan Johar (Sangeet, Wedding), Tribe by Amrapali (Haldi), Label Amaira (Wedding)
Bride’s Shoes: Aparajita Toor (Wedding)
Floral jewelry: Prune (Haldi)
Kaleere and Chooda: Threads By Roop
Shankha Pola: Senco Gold and Diamonds
Makeup: Tamanna Rooz (Wedding), Sakshi Khatri (Welcome Dinner, Mehndi, Haldi, Sangeet)
Mehndi: Kashvi Creation
Invites: White Mirage Invitations
Wedding Favors: Kama Ayurveda
Entertainment: Vyas Brothers (Sangeet), EMCEE Sharon Aamir (Sangeet), DJ Daman (Sangeet), Nikita Mukherjee (Sangeet), Swaraag Sufi Band (Wedding), Jesal Manraja Pandit Troop and Musical Pheras (Wedding)
Choreographer: Naga Shetty
Photography and Videography: Israni Photography