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Mohnish and I met through common friends in college around 9 years ago. Mohnish moved to Melbourne to pursue his higher education and I always knew I wanted to come to Australia so when we found each other in the same place, it felt like it was meant to be. We now live and work in Australia, he works as an Accountant and I work with a Fashion Retail Company. I am also a Fashion Blogger and soon I hope to start my own Bridal Styling Services for Australia-based Indian brides.

Our wedding celebrations were held in our home town Pune. We had a fun-filled four day wedding which kicked-off with the Sangeet at The Pride Hotel, Mehendi at Olive Bistro, Ganesh Pooja and Haldi at our homes and finally the Pheras and Reception at Hyatt Regency.

Traditional and Elegant

What I wear even on a day-to-day basis is an important decision for me and I put a lot of thought into it, so my wedding outfits were by far the MOST important element of my wedding-planning. I wanted outfits that were traditional and elegant, but with a difference. I wanted to wear creations that weren't over-the-top or too trend based, at the same time I wanted people to say 'Wow! Where did she find that?'

Kemps Corner and Santacruz, Mumbai

Most of my wedding shopping was done in Mumbai. I shopped at stores in Kemps Corner and Santacruz. Since I live in Melbourne, I had very little time to shop in Mumbai- but I think this helped me make quick and firm decisions, there was no time to second-guess. I finalised all my four outfits in one weekend when I had come to Mumbai for a friend's wedding. This was done even before my wedding dates or venues were finalised so I had to be sure that I picked outfits that were classic and timeless because I didn't know what the trends would be when I'd get married. In those two days, I looked at different stores, big and small, designer and multi-designer.

Outfits- Sangeet and Mehendi

I was able to take decisions quickly thanks to all my research over so many months. I had very clear ideas on what I wanted for my Sangeet I wanted something Indo-Western. At Kimaya, the multi-designer store in Kemps Corner, I tried on a ball gown with an embroidered bodice, it fit me perfectly, its price was as per my budget and I got the delivery the very next day. For the Mehendi, my inspiration was the embroidery on a kurta I had seen on Pinterest. I sent the picture of the torso of the kurta to my friend Poonam Shirole, who is a budding designer in Pune. Poonam Shirole took that photo as the inspiration and designed a beautiful Anarkali.

Outfit- Pheras and Reception

On Pinterest, I found an amazing creation by Neeta Lulla. Initially, I thought I would look for a similar outfit at other multi-designer stores. Finally I decided to visit Neeta Lulla's store in SV Road, Santacruz. I spoke to Neeta Lulla's team and started off by mentioning my budget and I was delighted when they said they could work around it, so now I was almost sorted and had to look for an outfit for the Reception only.

For the finale Reception, I was quite open and flexible, I didn't really have a vision or set idea. It helped, because I let the designers and stores show me the different options and choices. In search of the Reception outfit, I visited Kalki which is located close to Neeta Lulla's studio in Santacruz. The store was too crowded and no customer service attendant came forward to assist us so I decided to leave quickly, and then suddenly an outfit hanging in a corner caught my attention- a Lehenga with cutwork. I took a second look at it, and I knew this was the one! I gave my measurements and then got to see it eight months later, when I came to India, ten days before my wedding. The lehenga weighed five kgs but I felt like a million bucks in it and I managed to dance the night away!

Hairstyling & Makeup

My makeup and hair for the Sangeet & Mehendi was done by Deepti Sethi. She was very flexible and worked with me to create fresh and contemporary looks for both pre-wedding functions.

Poonam Sharma and her team from Head to Toes Salon (Koregaon Park, Pune) did my pre-bridal treatments as well as hair, makeup and outfit draping for the Pheras and Reception. I've known Poonam for long and have been going to her salon for years. So I didnt need to spend much time briefing her as she knows me and my style. The only thing I told her was that I didnt want a big, puffy hair style. For the Reception, I wanted to leave my hair open and just get a simple blow-wave. My dress was quite elaborate so I wanted that to be the focus. Also, Mohnish has always complimented me for my hair, and I knew he would love this look. And it was also a metaphor for letting my hair down and partying the night away after the hectic celebrations.

Advice/ Recommendations for Brides-to-be

Wear or carry an extra pair of flat sandals for your functions- your footwear is hardly seen, and can be the biggest factor affecting your comfort (which is paramount if you want to enjoy yourself and look your best). There are lots of beautiful flat sandals available out there to match any kind of outfit and you are more likely to reuse those after your wedding.

If youre shopping in Mumbai and want to visit stores catering to different styles and budgets, my must-visit recommendation would be Jade, Aza and Kimaya in South Mumbai and the line of large stores in Santacruz- Seasons, Baawree and Kalki. And jewellery stores like TBZ, Magic Mirror as well as Santacruz market where you can pick up cheap trinkets, bangles, bindis etc. If there's any place in the world where you'll find EVERYTHING you would ever need its Mumbai!

WeddingSutra.com was on the 'Favourites Bar' of my browser throughout my wedding planning phase. When I first started researching for my Engagement ceremony, I found this website and have kept coming back ever since. I'd love looking at the Real Brides, Real Style section for inspiration and ideas on what to wear, how to pose, what kind of decor looks best. I have looked through each and every story that has been featured in this section and keep coming back to see what's new. Through WeddingSutra.com I also found my Candid photographers Aditi & Dev, they beautifully captured moments of our celebration in all its vibrancy. I didn't really find any other Indian wedding website that was as user-friendly, informative and regularly updated as WeddingSutra. My other resources were candid photographers websites to see what elements made beautiful moments come alive. I also kept a secret board on Pinterest so I could save any photos or ideas I liked all in one place creating a virtual scrapbook without revealing too many details of my wedding or outfits. Even websites like Perniaspopupshop, Exclusively.in and Indian Roots are great to get ideas on what is en vogue, especially for Indian brides living outside India.
 

Outfit Details

Sangeet:
Ballgown by Elisha Wadhwani from Kimaya (additional gold, sequinned, half-jacket was designed by me as a last minute addition to add a little more sparkle to the outfit). Jewelry from Equip (Melbourne), Footwear from Forever New.

Mohnish (Groom): Suit by Jack London, Winged collared shirt, Bow tie & Silk Pocket Scarf from Myer (Australian Department Store). Footwear from Metro

Mehendi:
Anarkali designed by Poonam Shirole (Pune), Earrings from Clover Center, Pune. Footwear from Forever new.

Pheras:
Lehenga by Neeta Lulla, Jewelry from Magic Mirror (Mumbai) and Mahraja in Wonderland (Pune). Footwear from Habit in Linking Road (Mumbai). Clutch by Love to Bag from Aza, Juhu (Mumbai). 
Mohnish (Groom): Sherwani by Nivedita Saboo.

Reception:
Lehenga from Kalki, Santacruz (Mumbai), Jewelry from Magic Mirror (Mumbai), Headpiece from Mahraja in Wonderland (Pune). 
Mohnish (Groom): Sherwani from Raymonds.

 

Photos Courtesy- Aditi Varma (Photosynthesis)

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