Swetha and Karan at WelcomHotel Raviz Kollam, Kerala
Our new series, ‘Featured Weddings’ brings you wonderful moments from weddings held at the finest venues across different cities. This presentation takes you to Kollam, Kerala, for the wedding of two self-confessed opposites, Swetha and Karan.
Swetha and Karan “weren’t supposed to happen”, says Swetha. “Our relationship was unexpected. Our opinions differ on just about everything. But perhaps that old adage, ‘opposites attract’ is true.” Those differences formed the foundation of an amazing, honest, open friendship. “Skyping into the wee hours of the morning, we’d share instances from our daily lives, our thoughts.” Now the couple knows that the differences are cosmetic. “Despite the height difference,” Swetha laughs, “we see eye to eye on the most important things in life.”
Marriage, according to Swetha is “about being yourself without a filter. Having a lifelong companion who will encourage and push you to chase your dreams. There is comfort in knowing that no matter what life throws your way, you have that one person who will stick by you. This is what Karan is for me.”
Swetha and Karan wanted a wedding by the water, Karan says, “We realized having a destination wedding abroad would make it challenging for our elders to attend. We considered Chennai, Goa and Kerala’s backwaters.” But all it took was a visit to WelcomHotel Raviz, Ashtamudi, the Resort and Ayurveda Spa in Kollam. “We fell in love with the rustic beauty, it is a perfect blend of the old and the new,” Karan grins, “The atmosphere mirrors my old soul and Swetha’s outgoing personality with uncanny precision.”
Swetha and Karan’s celebrations featured all the traditional Indian wedding ceremonies, starting with a simple mehndi ceremony, keeping in mind that several guests had travelled the previous night or were arriving only that morning. Says Swetha, “To keep people out of the sun, we hosted it in a covered patio area of the hotel, festooned with green parrots and yellow flowers. More pops of color with colorful bangles, takeaways and bright mocktails complemented the theme. The food was light; the chef created interesting, colorful chaat which was absolutely delicious!”
“At the Sangeet and Engagement later that evening, we wanted the night to sparkle so we hosted the party by the pool-side and unleashed the bling! There was a lot of focus on the right lighting as we wanted the same electric ambience as an upscale runway fashion show. The stage backdrop featured gold with pink flowers to add color and glamour.” Swetha and Karan’s family and friends took to the stage to entertain them and their guests. The highlight was Imran Khan, a Sufi singer flown in from Delhi who mesmerized everyone with his passionate songs. Swetha and Karan hosted an after-party for their party-animal friends. “We conjured up a club atmosphere in an indoor hall where our friends could dance the night away. DJ Ravish from Jaipur took us to a state of trance from 11 pm into the wee hours of the morning with his Bollywood beats.”
Having chosen Kollam for its breathtaking backwaters, the couple decided to have their wedding ceremony on the water itself, with a perfect blend of cultures and traditions from the North (Karan) and the South (Swetha). Swetha remembers how they discussed the dream-like floating mandap with the planner, “We wanted a red and gold colour scheme, a mandap filled with red roses, the view of the breathtaking backwaters as backdrop.” Wearing a gold sherwani with red trim, Karan rode an elephant as he entered with his baraat. The arrival of the beautiful bride, wearing a classic red Kanjeevaram and traditional temple jewellery was announced by a 10 piece instrument, the ‘panchavadyam’. As a perfect sunset unfolded behind them, the jaimala ceremony was conducted and the couple walked to the mandap to exchange vows following the Arya Samaj traditions.
Their reception, finale to the festivities, was a black-tie event with classic vintage décor. The walkway to the entrance of the hall was candle lit. The décor was simple yet elegant with a pastel color palette. DJ Ravish warmed the crowd up, bringing in the greatest hits from the 70’s and 80’s before raising the tempo with house, hip hop and selected Bollywood hits, keeping the party going into the early hours.
The Wedding Makers:
“We would recommend 3 Wedding Specialists to WeddingSutra readers.”
1) Make-up Artist– Jaanmoni Das
Says Swetha: I was blessed to have Jaanmoni Das, a very popular celebrity make artist in Kerala who was available and willing to work her magic. She is a thorough professional who spent hours discussing every look we would create for each event. I think I looked my best on my wedding day and I am truly indebted to Jaanmoni.
2) Our Photographer– Morvi Images
Morvi and her team have a way of capturing images that simply leave you speechless. Her work in black and white is timeless. The use of light in her color images seems to transport the viewer to the actual moment. Her work is hard to describe in words. She is incredibly passionate, easy going, straightforward and a wonderful professional who was easy to communicate with. She makes a real effort to get to know the couple and understands the value of time and deadlines.
3) Our Wedding Planners– The Wedding Factory
When it comes to wedding planning, Shana Selvam and her team (The Wedding Factor) are excellent at their work. It is obvious that Shana’s work is her passion as you watch her and her team spend hours planning. The team even created 3D renderings of the décor. Her meticulousness breeds confidence and she far exceeded our expectations. Spend a while talking to her and it is easy to see why The Wedding Factory is the right choice, no matter what or where the event.
Mehndi- Neeru Kumar, Dubai
Sangeet- Amish Agarwal, Delhi
After Party- BCBG Max Azria, Dubai
Wedding- Seematti Sarees, Cochin
Reception- Shantanu & Nikhil, Delhi
Mehndi- Anjali K, Dubai
Sangeet and Wedding- Shantanu & Nikhil, Delhi
Reception- Naraians, Gurgaon
Photos Courtesy- Morvi Images