Hello, my name is Sandhya, but everyone calls me Sandy and I’m excited to share my wedding story experience with you! I met my husband Aasish Rao in 2007 and we have been very close friends since college. All that I can say is the 10 year journey with him has been the best ride in my life. We both always have different opinions and ideas; however we had the same feeling for love and life. He is my inspiration, motivator, biggest fan and truly the best husband in the world.
I work as a Financial Controller and he is into Business. We have been living in New Zealand, but grew up in Bangalore. I'm a Tamil Brahmin girl (Iyengar) and he is a Kannada smartha, our families knew us, but the parents had never met. When we told them our decision to marry, the families united well and the wedding took place with their support. It was decided by all of us that the wedding will feature the best customs from both our traditions. So, on the wedding day, all the customs before tying the knot were in the iyengar style and the customs post tying the knot were in the kannada brahmin style.
We both are basically very innovative and love being unique and creative. We had a DIY Indo-Western Engagement in Bangalore 8 months before the wedding and that gave us more interest and passion to make our wedding stand out. Though we were in New Zealand, we faced a lot of challenges in coordinating events and meeting vendors. However, I always believe that hard work and love towards what you do, will never leave you disappointed. And that theory is what made this wedding a delight to us and all our guests.
Our entire wedding trousseau was custom made. It was a “prince and princess fairy tale” themed wedding and red-gold colour theme overall. In my case, my mom played a crucial role in helping me design my clothes and jewellery. For Aasish, we drew inspiration from various online sources, designed them and created his attire. His clothes were then customized by a very dear friend Mr. Sumit, who is a fashion designer in Bangalore.
The best part about our wedding was - everything was planned perfectly and we had set timelines to finish tasks. Since we live in New Zealand and taking long leave before the wedding was difficult, we finished the most important shopping activities soon after our engagement. MS Excel and WhatsApp were the survival wedding tools
All Sarees - custom made at @a-s-babu-sah#, @prakashsilksandsarees#, Weavers Society and @nalli-silks#.
All Blouses – Designed by myself and stitched by my known designer Balaji and his team
Aasish and I are ardent lovers of animals and I decided to highlight parrots, peacocks and elephant motifs in my sarees and blouses. My favourite blouse was the varapuje (green blouse with peacocks) and my muhurtham red blouse with the elephant.
Mehendi and Sangeet Lehengas – Custom designed by myself. I used a few boutiques on Commercial Street in Bangalore to get the lehenga ready. One of them was World of Women Boutique, Commercial Street.
Reception gown – Designed by myself and made by Bridal boutique in Bangalore.
Aasish’s Sherwanis (Mehendi & Varapuje) and suit (Sangeet & Reception) – Designed by Aasish and myself and made by Fashion Designer Sumit.
Hair and Makeup
Jathanamakarna – Makeover by Shilpa (Sri Makeup Studio & Academy)
Nichiyathartham / Varapuja – @makeup-by-mamtha-shetty#
Sangeet and Mehendi – I did my own makeup
Wedding – @makeup-by-mamtha-shetty#
Reception – @makeup-artists-lekha-meghana-bangalore#
Traditional Antique and Temple Jewellery – VBJ and G R Thangamaligai (GRT)
Reception jewellery – Designed by myself and made by Astha Gems, Chennai
Ram and his team was the most enthusiastic team (worked very well for us). They were a huge support
Venue – N D K Kalyana Mantapa Bangalore
Décor Artefacts Bangalore – Special credits to Pallavi (owner) who worked patiently with us through all our designs and made them reality
Ms Ruby, I found her through my contacts in Bangalore. She was very friendly and creative.
DJ and MC
We had 2 MC’s who hosted our Mehendi and Sangeet events. MC James hosted our Mehendi and MC Anupam Anand hosted our Sangeet. They both did a fabulous job and I would totally recommend them for weddings.
Kamakshi Catering Services – Mr Sunder Rajan, who is a well-known catering service provider. He is more of family to us and has catered to many weddings in our family.
Kamal Wedding Cards, Bangalore
Health and Beauty
We stuck to home remedies in Auckland (1 month before the wedding). The traditional besan and curd treatment gives the best results. I also massaged my face with ice every day. Drank lots of water and washed my face several times in a day to keep it hydrated. One week before the wedding, I had a beauty therapy session at Naturals Bangalore.
Advice to all brides – Stay cool and calm during the whole preparation period. Planning can get totally confusing and mind boggling with colours, designs, vendors etc. Do everything possible to make your wedding dream come true. Stress and tension shows up “only on the face” and that’s the last thing we want So, stay cheerful and enjoy the hard work!
Tips to couples – Your wedding is all about you and your partner. The D-day won’t come again. Make sure you BOTH sit down and plan all the events, engage the vendors and have your stamp on your big day. After all, it’s your wedding.
Living in the honeymoon destination by itself was a major plus. We love New Zealand and we took some time off after the wedding to see South Island and the snow. We did skiing and a couple of other fun activities.
A moment that I can never forget was – Whakapapa Skifield, on the northern side of Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand's Tongariro National Park. We always wanted to do an adventurous pre-wedding milestone trip. We trekked all the way up the mountain and decided to do jet skiing on our way down the hill. We did it and it was the most breath-taking experience on the bike downhill. We were at an altitude of around 6000ft when Aasish got down on his knees and asked me if I would marry him. Of course I said yes!! Especially when the man who I fall for time and again, picked that moment in paradise (complete silence around with only snow mountains around) to propose to me with a sparkling solitaire I wish our story could repeat all over again
We now bought our first home in New Zealand and we are excited to see where this new journey takes us.
Shopzters – Thank you so much for featuring our wedding and being a true inspiration for the wedding.