California-based Samhita Phukan planned her trousseau using WeddingSutra as her “main source of information for bridal fashion in India”
Samhita Phukan and Gaurav Budjade, both software engineers, live in San Jose, California. He works at VMWare, and she at Veeva Systems. They met in Rochester, New York, while pursuing their Master’s degrees in Computer Science, and fell in love.
Wedding Venue and Planning
When they were dating, Samhita told Gaurav she wanted a beach wedding where she saw herself walking down the aisle in a white gown. He agreed, and added that a wedding in Goa surrounded by loved ones was just what he had in mind. That’s when Samhita knew he was the right guy for her as they were so much in sync. “Traditional Indian weddings are fun but we felt they did not give us the space to express our love to each other in front of our loved ones,” she recollects. Since exchanging vows were important for them given that they hail from Hindu families, Samhita and Gaurav did have a traditional wedding and reception in New Delhi, followed by a sunset beach wedding of their dreams in Goa, followed by another reception there.
For the sangeet ceremony, I wore a royal blue raw silk lehnga with an embellished net dupatta by Anita Dongre. Blue is Gaurav’s favourite colour, and I was drawn to its deep hue and beautiful zardosi work which was inspired by the architecture of the famous Jantar Mantar monument in New Delhi. Even before I stepped out to shop, I knew I wanted to wear blue for my sangeet as it’s not a colour I usually wear so I wanted to experiment.
The traditional wedding lehnga was designed by Tarun Tahiliani. My favorite thing about this ensemble was its coral color. My mother wanted me to wear red and I was leaning towards pink, but when we saw this lehnga, we immediately knew it was the ‘one’. I loved its rich and zardosi and resham booti embroidery which was striking but not overwhelming.
For my sunset beach wedding, I picked a gown by Vera Wang, in San Francisco. I didn’t go to any other designer for my gown because I always knew I wanted to be a ‘Vera Wang bride’. I picked the strapless ‘Eliza’ gown as my wedding dress. It had a floating chantilly and alencon lace appliqued bodice with a swirling organza insert, a delicate veil and an ivory sash. It was exactly how I had imagined my wedding gown to be…
I did a lot of research on WeddingSutra beforehand. Since I live in the US, it was my main source of information for bridal fashion in India. I routinely sent links to my mom for wedding decor ideas from WeddingSutra as well. My mom helped me decide all my ensembles in India, but I had help from friends in the US when it came to picking my dream white wedding gown.
I visited India in December 2014 to shop for my wedding and I only had a week to choose my lehngas. I knew my favorite designers so I went straight to their stores in DLF Emporio. I think for any bride in New Delhi who loves designer clothes, this mall should be on the top of their ‘must-visit’ list because there are so many great stores and collections there. Since I live near San Francisco, buying the Vera Wang dress was easier because I had more time. I bought most of my jewellery at Tanishq, but Gaurav and I chose our wedding rings at Tiffany & Co.
My make-up artist in Delhi was Guneet Virdi. My biggest concern was that the make-up and hair would look over the top so my only brief to her was to make me look like a bride, but at the same time keep the look as natural as possible. I believe a bride should look as beautiful in person as she does in photographs. Neomi did my hair and make-up in Goa, where it was a lot harder because of the hot and humid conditions.
Advice/Recommendations for brides-to-be
– My advice to all brides is to do extensive research before starting heading out to shop. There are so many options for clothes, shoes and accessories online, and researching beforehand helps to zero in on what best suits your style.
– I would also highly recommend getting a wedding planner, especially if you are having a destination wedding. We hired Regal Weddings in Goa and they handled everything beautifully, while in New Delhi everything was stressful because our families were handling all the arrangements.
– Our photographers Camera Wale Baraati and our videographers Story Knitters also did an amazing job. Both Gaurav and I are shy and camera conscious, but they made us feel very comfortable.
Photos Courtesy- Camera Wale Baraati