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Fate and friends came together to introduce Shreya and Nischal to each other and it wasn’t long before they realized that they were meant to be. “I loved the time that we spent getting to know each other and seeing how well he mixed with all my favorite people. Meeting him after work every day was something I always looked forward to and it made the tough days of residency pass quicker,” recalls Shreya as she shares the details of their love story and wedding celebrations. Check out the highlights below.

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

How We Met
“I first met Nischal during orientation week when we were both starting our residency at a hospital in Chicago, US. As soon as we started talking I discovered that he was someone truly special. A few weeks later, our mutual friends asked if we were interested in being set up and I thought I would give it a chance. The next time I saw him was when our friends arranged a group outing at a reggae bar and we bonded instantly due to our disinterest in the music there. We talked for hours and he ended up asking me to go out with him the next day. I was going to the Taylor Swift concert so I declined (priorities!) but I said that I could meet later that week. Our first date was at Millennium Park for which I made sandwiches ahead of time. They got super soggy by the time we got to eat them but he still said they were tasty. I should have known right then that he was the man I was going to marry! I thought it was sweet - he took a picture of us together on our first date like we were already in a relationship and making memories. We ended up going on five dates over the next five days and the rest was truly history.”

Wedding Venue
“We got married at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Oak Brook. We wanted a place that was halfway between my parents' home and the city of Chicago, so we started looking at hotels in the Oak Brook area. The two of us fell in love with the ceiling chandeliers in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom as well as the wedding coordinator who would help us through the whole process if we chose to have our wedding there and so the decision was made.”

Wedding Planning
“As a Gujarati, I always knew I wanted to have many wedding events that were fun, filled with color, dancing, and great food. More so, after I became engaged to my South Indian husband since my parents and I wanted to use the wedding as an opportunity to introduce them to our boisterous and festive culture. We worked with Etsy for our welcome bags, ceremony pamphlets, ‘his and hers’ drinks sign and other small details. The rest of our wedding shopping was done in Mumbai, India. As resident physicians, my husband and I had very limited time to plan, travel to India, and attend meetings while working extremely long hours in the hospital. Luckily, my mom devoted all the time she could spare outside her full-time job to the wedding. My aunt and other family members were able to finish wedding shopping in Mumbai in the short 10-day visit I made there. Planning five events with smaller functions before and after was difficult but our attention to detail made the whole week run very smoothly.”

Wedding Functions

Mehendi
“Our mehendi was at a gorgeous historic facility, so we did not want to interfere much with the natural beauty of the place. Moreover, we had splurged on our wedding ceremony decor so we decided to make use of a lot of DIY decorations for this function. We incorporate flower umbrellas, menus, entry signs and photos to decorate the space. I wore an aquamarine anarkali from Benzer that feature floral patterns all over the skirt and the dupatta.”

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, USShreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

Haldi
“Our ‘haldi’ (turmeric application ceremony) was an outdoor event where Nischal and I sat beside each other to get ourselves covered in the yellow turmeric paste. For this function, I wore a yellow kurta and Nischal opted for a white kurta pajama. This ceremony may not have had the large gathering of the bigger functions but it was filled with laughs and love and our relatives certainly enjoyed slathering haldi all over our faces and limbs!”

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

Sangeet
“We carried forward our DIY style decor from our mehendi and incorporated it at our sangeet as well. A blue lehenga with a yellow dupatta from Chamee and Palak was my outfit of choice for this event. Some of our closest family members performed at the function and the evening saw dances, songs and lots of ‘garba’ (traditional Gujarati dance)!”

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

Wedding
“For the wedding, we wanted lots of flowers, candles, and bright colors. Sunset hues were what I had envisioned. I love pinks, oranges, and reds in designs as well as against my skin tone. Therefore, I even opted for a red lehenga which we bought from Benzer in Mumbai. I loved the way the design of our mandap was realized and I must say, Yanni Design Studio did an amazing job.”

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, USShreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

Reception
“The decor for our reception was elegant. The stage featured a backdrop of rippling drapes that were enhanced further by candles that were suspended at varying heights. Bunches of red flowers spilled from the ceiling and some clusters floated against the drapes. The set up was truly breathtaking. In terms of the outfits Nischal and I wore, we followed a pink and navy theme. I wore a gorgeous pastel gown by Dolly J while he wore a tuxedo with a navy lapel and navy trousers.”

Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, USShreya and Nischal, Chicago, USShreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US Shreya and Nischal, Chicago, US

Wedding Makers
Venues: Danada House for Mehendi (Wheaton), Waterford Banquets for Sangeet (Elmhurst), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Oak Brook for Wedding (Chicago)
Decor: Yanni Design Studio for Wedding and Reception (Wheeling)
Bride’s Outfits: Benzer (Mehendi and Wedding), Chamee and Palak (Sangeet), Dolly J (Reception)
Makeup and Hair: Hiral Vyas (Northbrook)
Mehendi: Unnati'Z Art (Chicago)
Wedding Cake: The Baking Institute (Northbrook)
DJ: DJ Aladdin (Chicago)

Photography: Sapan Ahuja Photography (Chicago)

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