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How we met
"I first met Ajay on a blind date. However, after that first meeting we both knew we wanted to see more of each other, but it took a few months for us to really fall in love. Initially, Ajay was trying to play it cool and not seem too eager. He now admits, however, that he was smitten by me at our first meeting itself (and he expressed this to loved ones in his wedding speech). We had some awkward dates that have become our fondest memories now. I remember sharing with Ajay that the key to my heart was, through delicious and adventurous dining, and we have enjoyed many exciting meals together all over the world. Over the years I have come to appreciate our deep-seated ability to make each other laugh with wit, sarcasm and inside jokes that sometimes makes sense only to the two of us."

Renu and Ajay

Wedding Venue
"Our wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Terranea Resort in California which is near my childhood home in Palos Verdes. It was the perfect option for us as it is a beautiful location by the ocean and one of the few places in southern California that could accommodate our guest list of 700 people."

Wedding Planning
"What was most special about our wedding was the uniqueness of each event and how the details of the décor came together to create something beautiful. From our custom-embroidered napkins and napkin rings, to the carefully selected vases purchased from India for each flower arrangement, no detail, whether large or small, was overlooked in the planning process. After spending a lot of effort on perfecting our wedding invitations which were designed in India, we knew we had set the tone for the event well in advance amongst our guests."

"We also wanted to make sure we offered a very special and elaborate menu for each event. It was important for Ajay and me to have Indian food at each event. The greatest part is that with the help of our parents, we were able to have a different spread of dishes from all over India for each event to the point where no dish was repeated over the course of the week. We used the top pastry chef in the US to have our desserts flown in from New York as well as flew our favorite New York chef to LA to consult and design the plating of our food for all our events. The culinary experience for the wedding was like never before!"

Renu and Ajay

Wedding Events

Mehendi
"We decided to have a yellow themed mehendi to match the color of my lehenga. The yellow oversized pillows, sunny drapes, dark yellow curtain tassels, gold vases, chandeliers, lemon trees and a lemon topped bar added a sense of freshness to the entire night. The icing on the cake was a breathtaking sunset all at my parents' house in Palos Verdes."

"For the mehendi, we wanted to keep the music playful and engaging to help kick-off the festivities. The guests enjoyed dance performances by me and my friends, cousins, siblings, my mom and her friends as well as a special performance by Ajay and I. As everyone knows, dancing is a huge part of Indian culture and one important part of the wedding planning process. I particularly enjoyed preparing for these performances with Ajay and my friends. Those memories will stay with me for a lifetime."

Renu wore a bright yellow lehenga by Varun Bahl which featured beautiful gold and silver threadwork motifs all across the skirt, dupatta and sleeveless blouse. Ajay wore a short light pink jacket with white trousers and comfortable brown loafers.

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Sangeet
"We designed custom pavilions for the sangeet. The front of the stage and dance floor was modeled after the Neela Mahal (Blue Palace) in Jaipur, a region in India where my Dad’s side of the family hails from. We wanted a dance party for the sangeet, so we hired the famous Punjabi artist Sukbhir from Dubai. And he definitely knew how to get the crowd grooving! I saw friends on the dance floor that night with moves I had never seen before. So many of our guests told us they didn’t leave the dance floor the entire night. Ajay and I spent a large part of the evening up on stage with Sukbhir, and we felt so much love around the tent with all our friends looking up at us rocking out to Indian music that we knew we just couldn’t wait to get married the next day."

Renu wore a lehenga designed by Ankur Batra for his Ecru label. With a beautiful shaded skirt that incorporated yellow, red and black in layers and intricate embroidery all across, the ensemble was lit up by a blazing red dupatta and black blouse with thread work. Ajay wore a deep purple brocade jacket with silk trousers for the event.

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Wedding Ceremony
"We had a traditional Hindu ceremony. For the wedding, we chose a pink and gold theme. We had a beautiful mandap decorated with roses in different shades of pink and maroon under a pink tent. Huge fabric chandeliers hung from the ceiling and garlands of pretty orange blooms were fringed around the bottom adding to the feeling of grandeur."

Renu's wedding outfit by Abu Jani was a beautiful blend of red and pink with all over embroidery. The blouse featured symmetric shiny patches all over, and the dupatta's broad pink border mirrored a similar border at the hem of the lehenga. Her choker was stunning with its size and craftsmanship, as were the matching 'haath phool' and 'maang tikka' by Estaa, Mumbai. Ajay wore an elegant white sherwani and stole by Rohit Bal which looked beige thanks to the overall embroidery work. He paired it with white trousers, 'mojris' (ethnic shoes), a red and gold 'safa' (turban) and a layered green necklace.

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Reception
"Finally, for our reception, we went all out with huge 14-feet customized fountain panels throughout the room and an impressive sweetheart table. The entire space looked newly polished when you walked in while the luscious and bold florals that created a sense of warmth and elegance."

"We decided to go with a traditional American band along with our DJ Bosco who flew in from India and was there with us all week. James Gang from West Coast Music was the perfect group to keep all 700 people engaged and with a smile on each of their faces. In fact everyone was on their feet cheering us on when the band performed Justin Timberlake’s 'Sexy Back' for my father-daughter dance (we performed it with sunglasses and with my dad in sneakers! It’s a bit of special song for us as my dad dragged my mom with him, and joined me and some friends, to a Justin Timberlake concert years ago because he loves the singer so much). What really resonated most from the wedding aside from the elaborate décor, food and entertainment was really the hospitality and warmth demonstrated by our immediate and extended families over the entire week."

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Renu and Ajay

Wedding Shopping
"I made two trips to India for my bridal trousseau. I did all my shopping from Mumbai and New Delhi with a lot of help from family. I have a huge extended family in Mumbai which made the shopping coordination easier."

Challenges while organizing an Indian wedding in the US
"As mentioned above, with the help of family, India trips, lots of emails, WhatsApp messages and FaceTime calls, we were able to make it work. We had custom-made fabric napkins made in India that were sourced here in LA by Avaani along with our invitations by EDC Design. Many of the decor items such as decorative pillows and dishware were also purchased from India."

Advice for couples getting married
"It’s important to get lots of help. While I contributed to the process as much as possible, I also tried to spend time enjoying lots of things only a bride gets to enjoy such as makeup trials, dance rehearsals with friends, monthly massages and facials rather than get bogged down with napkin holders or the number of speakers in the tent. I was able to do all that while juggling my full-time job and a social life. I am lucky to have a family that basically put their lives on hold to help plan my wedding. Also, don’t rush through the pictures on wedding day even if you're running late because months and years later that’s all that you will care about!"

The Wedding Makers
Venue: Terranea Resort, California
Bridal Trousseau: Varun Bahl (Mehendi), Ecru by Ankur Batra (Sangeet & Reception), Abu Jani (Wedding)
Bridal Jewelry: Estaa (Wedding), Begani Jewels (Reception)
Groom's wedding outfit- Rohit Bal
Menu consulting- Hemant Mathur, New York
DJ - DJ Bosco
Makeup & Hair: Dolled up by Lulu, Chauntal Lewis, Rick (Hair)
Artistic Direction: Ed Libby
Florist: Square Root Designs
Rentals: Revelry

Photos Courtesy- Lin and Jirsa

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