My husband Srinath and I met about 2 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. We're both singers and we met at a music audition. He was leading the music efforts of one of the more prominent south-Indian performing arts groups here, and we were working towards performing for the annual show. While we barely talked for the first few weeks of music practice, the ice broke quite soon when we hung out with friends, carpooled together and spent hours talking about music and life on Whatsapp.
We soon realized that we had a lot in common - both with music and outside, and we found ourselves liking each other slowly but surely. Given that we're both only children to our parents, we wanted to be transparent about our friendship before it blossomed into something more serious. Thankfully our parents approved of our alliance and gave us the green light. What transpired since has been a wonderful journey filled with music, love and friendship.
Given our busy schedules, we decided to have a small engagement ceremony in the US for which I wore a saree gifted by my mother from @sundari-silks#, with a blouse designed by Divya Kanakia that I purchased on Carma Online. Our wedding was in Chennai, at Kuchalambal Kalyana Mahal (Chetpet). Given that I couldn't take a lot of time off work, I outsourced a lot of the wedding shopping to my mother since I trust her choice of sarees. My sarees were purchased from a variety of places, including Kanjivaram, Kumaran stores, Sundari Silks and Kanakavalli. My favorite of the lot had to be the pale pink saree I wore for my nischyadhartham, which was from @kanakavalli#. All of my saree blouses were stitched by a good family friend, Lakshmi Prasad, who's also a very talented designer. Since I couldn't make a dedicated visit back home exclusively for bridal shopping, I resorted to a combination of local Indian stores in the San Francisco area as well as online for my Reception, Mehendi and Sangeet outfits. My Sangeet lehenga was purchased at Roopam Sarees in Berkeley, CA. My reception outfit was a total mix & match that I put together myself - I had the blouse custom designed by designer Joy Mitra through Carma Online, the skirt designed by Preeti S Kapoor through Pernia's Popup Shop and the dupatta purchased from Lashkaraa.
For my mehendi, I opted for a simple skirt and blouse from Lashkaraa. My jewelry choices were a combination of my mother's traditional gold jewelery, as well as ones purchased from online vendors such as Mortantra, MsPinkPanther Jewels and Pernia's Popup Shop. My husband's reception suit was custom stitched by P. N. Rao - Chennai and the rest of his outfits were from Fab India and Lifestyle. With makeup, I went a different route and decided to do my own wedding makeup for all the wedding events (I've written a blog about it here). I hired a hair artist, Angappan Hair for the Nischyadhartham, Reception and Muhurtham events. Overall, I was very happy with how my wedding outfits, hair and makeup turned out. For photography, I chose Akshay Sunil Photography for candid photography, and Monalisa Mani for traditional photography. Both of these photographers are known to me through close friends and family, and it was an obvious choice for me. There was a lot of music at our wedding events, where my husband and I sang a few songs at our Sangeet, and even sang our own Oonjal songs!