Payal and Harish, California, US
Flavors played a key role in Payal and Harish's California wedding, from his surprise proposal near their favorite food truck to delectable Hyderabadi cuisine dished out on their 'Qawwali Night'.
Payal and Harish met at their university where besides bioengineering they developed a keen interest in each other as well! The two recently exchanged vows in a sun-kissed setting in California and warmed the hearts of all their guests. Bask in some of their special moments below.
How We Met
Payal and Harish first met at UC Riverside where they were in the bioengineering department together – Harish as a graduate student, and Payal as an undergrad. Over the first few years, these two crossed paths, exchanged glances and looks, but never truly got to know each other until Payal’s senior year when a group of mutual friends had a Big Bear bioengineering retreat weekend. Call it destiny or happy coincidence, both Payal and Harish ended up going to the event. At that point, the two truly got a chance to know each other and realized they had a connection. That’s when their story started.
Payal and Harish are serious foodies. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their first date was at a monthly food truck festival at Venice Beach. That’s also where Harish proposed to Payal. She arrived at the venue after work and was all set to enjoy the delicious food offered at First Fridays. Little did she know when she met up with Harish, he had a beautiful ring hidden in his jacket pocket. Coincidentally (though not really), Harish and Payal ran into two of their great friends, Samantha and Collin! After some casual chit-chat, Harish asked Sam if she could take a picture of him and Payal. Under a gorgeously lighted tree across the street from the Grilled Cheese Truck, the first food truck the couple ever ordered from; Sam started snapping some photos. In reality, however, Sam was recording a video, waiting for one of the most memorable moments to happen in the couple’s lives. After a few poses, Harish suggested that they strike a unique pose. He turned Payal towards him, and slowly bent down on one knee. Thunderstruck, Payal began to hear Harish’s proposal. He told her how happy she made him, how he never experienced a dull moment with her, and how if he had known that she would make him this happy when they first met two years ago, he would’ve proposed at that moment. He then asked her, “Payal, will you marry me?” and she replied with a huge smile, “Yes!”
Harish and Payal hosted their wedding at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California. Set in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu’s sunny beaches and Santa Barbara’s famous vines, this relaxed yet refined Californian Resort offered a family-friendly atmosphere and gorgeous backdrops of the festivities.
To bring an authentic Indian touch to their celebrations, Harish and Payal planned for a ‘Qawwali Night’ for their guests who had a ‘Nawabi’ dress code. The themed function saw delicious Hyderabadi food being served, and a friendly singing competition between two rival teams, named Mastana and Deewana, added to the revelry of the evening.
The decor for the sangeet used lots of bright shades and marigold blooms. While forest green and yellow dominated the setup, red, orange, mint green and a few other hues were used creatively to create a striking color scheme. The setup included a few Mediterranean influences as well as a swing for the couple to sit on. Keeping in line with the palette, Payal opted for a lehenga that incorporated light and dark green shades. Harish went with a kurta and a bandi jacket.
For the haldi ceremony, Payal and Harish had a setup inspired by the pigment of turmeric which was complemented by pink. The theme was tropical which invited lots of elements inspired by pineapples. A yellow and white saree was the bride’s pick for this event, ad she matched her outfit with beautiful floral jewellery.
The couple opted for having their wedding ceremony during the day in an outdoor setup. Pastels brought the lawn at the property to life, and the happy vibe of the function ensured that the day was special for all. A pink mandap decorated with beautiful arrangements of fresh blooms stood against a rocky backdrop and made for a unique spot for the couple to exchange their vows. Payal was a traditional bride in red. She opted for an ensemble from Kalki while Harish wore a white sherwani that was matched perfectly with a golden turban and a pink stole.
At their reception, Payal and Harish went with colors that would create an elegant and graceful setup. A large stage that made use of baby pink, ivory, champagne, and hints of green stood at one end of the ballroom. The backdrop was created using luxurious drapes, in front of which stood golden frames decorated with flowers, a white sofa, and a few other floral arrangements. All of this was enhanced further with candles and chandeliers. Shades of rose gold and purple were used across the rest of the setup to add to the color play. Payal was resplendent in rose gold and pistachio green lehenga while Harish went with a black tuxedo.
Advice For Couples
“Ask yourself and your partner what are the few things you don’t want to compromise on and what is the most important part for you at the wedding. For example, is it the food? Photographer? Also, promise your partner that no matter what happens at the events, you will enjoy to the maximum and have the biggest smile on your face the entire time!”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California
Wedding Planner: Neetu Malhotra
Florist: Designs by Ashley
Bride’s Outfit: Kalki (Wedding)
Groom’s Outfit: Kora By Nilesh Mitesh (Wedding)
Makeup Artist: Oscar
DJ: 3D Sounds
Cake: Frost it Cakery
Photography and Videography: Lin and Jirsa Photography