Sonam and Kunal, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Panama
From a ‘Circus of Love’ and ‘A Casablanca Affair’, to an ‘Enchanted Winter Forest’, this wedding unfolded a series of stories!
Sonam and Kunal’s love story begins with a wedding. Maybe they guessed, as they matched each other step for step, dancing into the sunrise, that they’d found ‘The One’. But when they finally tied the knot, their nuptials were a kaleidoscope of emotions, themes and color. Here are a few moments shared with us by the bride.
How We Met
“It’s funny how life is so unpredictable. You may know someone your entire life but consider him just an acquaintance. Then, one day, you find yourself dancing with him until the sun comes up at a wedding. Well, that is how our story began.
I’m from the island of Curacao. Kunal was brought up in the city of Panama. At 18, we both moved to Boston to study. We knew of each other but never really interacted. Our paths crossed only when Kunal moved back to Panama and I was there for a family wedding. Fast forward to some endless conversations, and we were officially a couple by the latter half of 2015.”
“In October 2017, Kunal planned an unforgettable proposal at the ‘Island of Flowers’, Taboga, situated in the Gulf of Panama. Despite the bad weather, amidst thunderstorms and heavy rain, he promised eternal love and happiness to me!”
“We chose the beautiful Panama City as our wedding destination. Hidden beneath its modern skyscrapers, nightclubs and casino, the capital has so much more to offer with its pristine white-sand beach and amusement parks! Incorporating all of the city’s best, we held each event at a different venue.”
“The wedding planning process was streamlined by working with Paola Mantilla Events. Their meticulous work, coupled with the stunning décor by Carlos Martinez, Panama, turned each occasion into a vision come true. Our wedding invitations were designed by Moor Designs and Black Tie Project did a fantastic job in capturing our cherished moments. I entrusted Natasha Moor with my make-up and she sure did turn me into the belle of the ball. Our mouth-watering wedding cake was designed and crafted by Bocatto di Angeli.”
Civil Wedding Ceremony
“We hosted a small, casual civil wedding ceremony by the pool at the Sheraton Grand Panama before all the wedding festivities.”
“The festivities began with an intimate thread ceremony, the theme for which – ‘Boys to Men’ reflected the essence of this tradition. I wore a stunning outfit from Monisha Jaising.”
Welcome Dinner and Engagement Ceremony
“We clubbed our engagement ceremony with the welcome dinner so our families could meet and socialize. Casco Antiguo earns its reputation of being ‘Old Panama’ and it was our venue for the evening. The theme was Cirque du Amour (Circus of Love) and using circus gazebo tents and umbrella centerpieces, the team did a fabulous job creating the perfect vibe. Guests were greeted and entertained by circus acts throughout the evening. I picked a red and black two-piece outfit from Shivan and Narresh and Kunal looked suave in his ensemble designed by Manish Malhotra.
After dinner, we hosted an after party at Tomillo —a beautiful outdoor area surrounded by ancient Panamanian ruins. In keeping with the rustic vibe, I changed into a glistening silver outfit by Sherri Hill for the event.”
“The next day, our ‘Macarons and Mimosas’ themed mehndi was celebrated at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. The idea was to orchestrate a casual French-style brunch event, adorned in palettes of pastels and florals. Lit in shades of pink and green, the room also had mimosa carts and a French themed brunch buffet. I picked a floral gown from Varun Bahl for the afternoon and coupled with the remarkable hairstyle, I sure did feel like a princess!”
“Later that evening, we hosted ‘A Casablanca Affair’ themed sangeet at the Hilton Hotel. In sync with the concept, the décor was a perfect blend of red, black and gold. Kunal and I entered the venue with belly dancers flanking us and while the evening saw young and old in high spirits, a unique performance by our family and close friends stole our hearts. I chose a royal blue lehenga from Jade by Monica and Karishma and Kunal wore an outfit in the same shade from Shantanu & Nikhil.”
“Imagine walking to your mandap down an aisle lined by white trees and flowers. It was breathtaking. Following the ‘Enchanted Winter Forest’ theme, the décor, in cool peach and white, made for a stunning wonderland. Further, my lehenga from Jade by Monica and Karishma paired with jewellery by Minerali, perfectly summed up my dream wedding.”
“Every end marks a new beginning; and so did our wedding! Themed ‘A Fairytale Beginning’, the reception at Casa Veranda, Sheraton Grand Hotel, was presented in shades of white. The high-ceilings, adorned with chandeliers and orchids, the white floral centerpieces, an elaborate arch in the centre of the room; each element inspired awe and wonder. And of course, our tantalizing wedding cake surrounded by six tables of dessert brought toothy grins on the face of many! I picked my white gown from Manish Malhotra and Kunal chose his suit from Troy Costa.”
Advice for Couples
“It’s only natural to want every event to turn out as you have envisioned it in your head. However, it’s important to let go of the stress and enjoy the planning process too! You may not realize it now, but these moments are precious as well. Involve your family and friends as much as you can, make them feel like an integral part of it all. You’ll notice that in the end, everything will work out, so sit back and relax.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Sheraton Grand Hotel
Wedding Planner: Paola Mantilla Events
Décor: Carlos Martinez, Panama
Groom’s Outfits: Prada (Civil Wedding), Manish Malhotra (Welcome Dinner and Engagement Ceremony), Shantanu & Nikhil (Sangeet), Troy Costa (Wedding Reception).
Bride’s Outfits: Monisha Jaising (Janya), Shivan and Narresh (Welcome Dinner), Sherri Hill (After Party), Varun Bahl (Mehndi), Jade by Monica and Karishma (Sangeet and Wedding), Manish Malhotra (Wedding Reception).
Jewellery: Carolina Herrera (Janya), Le Rosh Boutique (Welcome Dinner), Diamantina (Mehndi), Minerali (Wedding), Diamantina (Wedding Reception).
Makeup Artist: Natasha Moor
Hairstylist: Herman Hair Style, Jakarta
Mehndi: Henna by Zakia
DJ: Kilogram (India)
Wedding Invitations: Moor Designs (Resham Ramchandani)
Cake: Bocatto di Angeli
Photography & Videography: Black Tie Project, Philippines