Kamana and Shivanth
From a five-tier cake to a flash mob, Kamana and Shivanth's wedding was a fusion of fun elements
How they met
They chatted their way into love via witty emails, text messages and long phone conversations. Kamana, a fashion blogger at www.socialandstyle.com proved to be the woman of Shivanth’s dreams. He hails from South India, and she from North India. However both are based in the US – he in Silicon Valley in California while she was living in Maryland, Virginia, when they were courting.
Shivanth – who is called Shiv by family and friends – proposed to Kamana when she visited him in California one August. He drove her to the Chateau St. Jean Winery – a castle surrounded by lush greenery and verdant vineyards – in Sonoma Valley. There, in a private garden a live acoustic band serenaded them to her favourite song “Pehli Nazar Mein”. A walkway decorated with pink and white rose petals led to a couch, above which hung roses and handwritten notes on heart-shaped cards from trees. A monogram with Kamana and Shiv’s initials etched in mint green and her favourite colour – coral – added a perfect touch to this romantic venue where Shiv went down on one knee and proposed. After happily accepting his proposal, Kamana lost no time in planning the three-day wedding which she branded under the hashtag #KandSKnotItUp. She applied her creativity and talent to design functions that included North-South traditions and a whole lot of fun.
The couple say that the sangeet – held at the popular Silk Restaurant at Leesburg, Virginia – was their favourite event of the wedding. Kamana pored over Pinterest for wedding decor ideas, stage designs and colour themes, and shared them with Sanjeev, the affable owner of Silk Restaurant and Banquet Services. “Sanjeev and his team worked tirelessly with us to understand our vision and create a one-of-a-kind experience,” recounts Kamana. A floral photobooth strung up with quirky Indian signs and traditional marigold garlands lent an authentic Indian essence to the event. Kamana wore a refreshing aqua green lehenga with beautiful silver motifs which paired very well with Shiv’s green Chinese-collared shirt and elegant long grey jacket and black trousers. The sangeet menu – “which guests still rave about” remarks Kamana – dished up delicious street snacks such as kebabs and chaats, and delectable sweets like jalebis.
One of the highlights of the sangeet was a dance performance by Kamana’s best friend Shiela. Hindi, Tamil and Telugu tracks were sung live at the venue by Nirathi Rao Kalavapudi, founder of Rhythmaya, an Indian dance troupe. “We had over 75 friends and family members perform everything from Indian classical dance to Carnatic fusion singing. Both Shiv and I joined in the fun with surprise performances!” And there was more jiving to follow when DJ Ravi from Dynasty Entertainment spun his tracks and guests from India, London, Australia and the US let their hair down. The couple thoughtfully arranged welcome bags and transportation options for their guests.
Kamana was very clear that she wanted an elegant and traditional wedding that also scored high on the fun factor. ” I always knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony. We selected the Westfields Marriott for its beautiful terrace and colonial look and feel,” she recalls. The couple knew it could rain on their wedding day but still took a chance and hoped for the best. ” In wedding planning and in life, I’ve learned that not everything happens exactly how you wish,” ruminates Kamana. “You have to trust that whatever happens happens for the best.”
However the joyful baraat accompanied the groom on his horse and ensured the celebrations were not dampened by morning showers. The air was vibrant with the sound of dhol beats and the mandap was done up in an eye-catching mint and gold colour theme. Preeti Verma from L’Ambiance ensured the decor included hanging flowers stands and floral accents – which Kamana has always loved. A poignant touch to the decor at the wedding were old black-and-white photographs of late grandparents from both sides as the couple wanted their presence to be felt on this special occasion.
Kamana wore an elaborate lehenga by Sabyasachi in her favourite colour – coral. Shiv looked every inch a trendy yet traditional groom in his matte gold jacket over an elegant veshti (South Indian dhoti).
After the hectic, fun-filled two days of the sangeet and wedding, the couple wanted to let their hair down and have a blast. As Kamana explains, “Let’s be honest, wedding planning can be stressful. Our reception was the perfect way to enjoy all the months of planning and spend time with our family and friends.” The couple kept the reception agenda relatively light on the speeches and performances front. Instead, they let loose on the dance floor with their guests. Kamana looked every inch a happy bride in her red and pink lehenga while Shiv looked dapper in his black suit. The entrance to the venue had a 24-foot screen showing wedding photos, alongside the wedding logo and hashtag #KandSKnotItUp which were seen everywhere from welcome signs and sunglasses. The highlight of the reception was a flashmob organised by Kamana’s best friend which entertained everyone.
Kamana hung up hollow photo frames she created herself out of old frames she found, sandapered, painted and decorated with flowers and ribbons. The other highlight of the reception which served up a yummy Indian buffet was a magnificent five-tier cake by Fluffy Thoughts. DJ Ravi from Dynasty Entertainment once again had everyone on the dance floor and started a dance off competition between the bride and groom’s families. The icing on the cake of this terrific wedding? The couple hosted a Best-Day-Ever brunch for their guests after the fun reception party that continued past midnight as a way of thanking them before they flew off.
The Wedding Makers
Wedding Decor – Priti Verma of L’Ambiance
Make-up & Henna: Bridal Elegance by Suman Khosla
DJ / Lighting – Dynasty Entertainment
Wedding Planner – Sagina Wahi
Table Numbers – Made by Badal
Cake – Fluffy Thoughts
Performances – Rhythmaya
Sangeet Venue, Menu & Decor: Silk Restaurant & Banquet Services
Horse Carriage – Harmans Carriages
Photos Courtesy- Photographick