Uttara and Naren, Renaissance Convention Centre, Mumbai
A traditional Bengali ceremony in the city that they grew up in made their wedding truly special.
The two got married in a wonderful ceremony in Mumbai. The bride tells us all about it.
How We Met
Introduced by our parents, we reluctantly got in touch over WhatsApp. Naren was in Seattle while I lived in Singapore. We had a few pointless arguments – Amazon vs Google, yoghurt (really) and Shahrukh Khan – and realized we really enjoyed speaking with each other. Despite the time and distance we’d text each other constantly.
Everyone at work knew what was going on because I was always on my phone and could barely contain my smiles – even during team meetings. We met in San Francisco a few months later while I was traveling for on work. After a few winery visits, and champagne brunches, it was pretty clear. We wanted to be together and this was the city for us after the wedding.
We had our pre-wedding shoot there and used the pictures for our the save-the-date.
Naren is not romantic at all so I wasn’t expecting a proposal. But it did happen in New York over ice-skating for the first time, some hot chocolate, and lots of Christmas cheer in the air. It was perfect.
We’ve both grown up in Mumbai and most of our family lives there. We considered a destination wedding so our friends (some flying in from around the world) and family could all be in one place for all the celebrations. Renaissance Convention Centre, Mumbai was the best of both worlds: it has the feeling of a destination wedding and we managed to get everyone away from the city madness for a weekend. It was very accessible! Set in a beautiful location by the water, we loved having our wedding there.
I had my mehndi applied the day before the event so I could interact with friends and family. My mehndi had the Singapore skyline on one hand and the Seattle skyline on the other, to represent Naren and me. This was the first time everyone was metting each other so we wanted it to be casual and colorful. We decided on a pastel decor, with a fun photo booth. We also had customized sunglasses and paper fans to beat the heat. My mom works for an NGO – Asha for Education – so she had invited a few kids from there as well to be part of the celebrations.
I wore a yellow and white lehenga from Yashodhara and paired it with a maangtikka from Anita Dongre. Naren also wore an Anita Dongre piece, only his was a bandi.
This was by far our most fun event. We had customized coasters at the bar and slippers for the girls so they could kick their heels off and party into the night. My parents had created a surprise video for me with a montage of pictures and a voiceover describing my growing up years. The best part was that they interspaced the narrative with relevant dialogues from my favorite Shahrukh Khan movies – it was the sweetest thing. My brother and I danced to ‘Oh Haseena Zulfon Waali’, which was a lot of fun. I wore a lehenga and a blue jacket-style blouse by Anita Dongre. Naren matched me with a blue sherwani from Herringbone & Sui. The stage backdrop had the Seattle and Singapore skylines with the Golden Gate Bridge connecting them since Naren and I now live in San Francisco.
Nani Mukh and Haldi
This is a solemn puja that fathers must perform on the morning of the wedding. I enjoyed wearing the traditional Bengali mukut (crown) so much for this. This was followed by the haldi where our friends had a great time smearing Naren’s face with turmeric.
My mother wanted a very traditional Bengali ceremony. We printed cards explaining the rituals for the guests. My mum also wanted me to enter in a paalki carried by my brothers. I picked Latika’s theme song from Slumdog Millionaire as the background music for the entrance and it was supposed to be a beautiful, solemn moment. However, I lost my balance while the paalki was being picked up! I thought that this was the end and that I would fall off and embarrass myself. However, I swiftly managed to regain my composure and acted as if nothing had happened!
Naren wore a dhoti for the first time and was pretty good at handling it. I, on the other hand, wore a saree from Kanishka, which happens to be the same store my mother bought her wedding saree from! The color scheme was white and pink. After the rituals, we changed for the reception – an Abhinav Mishra lehenga and an Anita Dongre blouse for me and an Anita Dongre sherwani for Naren. Recinda did a wonderful job of refreshing my make up between the two events.
Advice for Couples
1. Thorough research on Instagram helps get an idea of what sort of outfits and designers you are looking for. Otherwise, it’s very overwhelming to just walk into a store with so many options 2. 3. Use Etsy for inspiration on personalized elements Don’t sweat the small stuff during the wedding, enjoy every minute of having your friends and family around you in the same place.
Venue: Renaissance Convention Centre, Mumbai
Bride’s Outfits: Yashodhara (Mehndi), Anita Dongre and Urbane (Sangeet), Kanishka, Kolkata (Wedding), Abhinav Mishra and Anita Dongre (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Anita Dongre (Mehndi, Reception), Herringbone & Sui (Sangeet)
Jewellery: Anita Dongre Amrapali
Makeup Artist: Recinda Martis and Ronella Santhumayor
Mehndi: Mayuri (Surat)
Invitations: OhSoBoho by Wedding Studio
Photography: Nidhi Kulkarni Photography