Divya, a medical school graduate from PSG, Coimbatore is preparing for her residency placement in the United States while Dinesh is a final year Internal Medicine Resident at Cook County, Chicago. Read on to know how they met and got married!
THE WEDDING STORY:
I graduated med school September 2013 and my parents had a keen eye on getting me married ever since then. Our story on how we got hitched is million bucks. I first met Dinesh through a matrimonial website by the end of 2014. In fact he was the first prospective groom. He was in Chicago, and I in India. We face timed, and spoke over the phone a couple of times. He did not strike me then. I was not interested to proceed further, but the poor guy thought otherwise (Dinesh apparently was head over heels with me already). But I have to say my parents loved him.
Things went on for a couple of months, and I knew it was high time I put an end to it. My mum called his parents and said I was not interested in marriage now, it all ended there period. But of course destiny would not leave us. A year and half passed, we moved on with our lives. I was even almost engaged (it did not work out for various reasons). In 2015 April, I was in Chicago for rotations and BOOM!!!
I crossed paths with Dinesh again. We met first at Starbucks in downtown. That moment will remain one of my most cherished ones. There was never looking back from there. I don't know what changed in that one year for me, but I was in love with the same man I said no to a while ago. Destiny has done us good. The intriguing part was that Dinesh was there throughout in my life, but I looked past him. But destiny brought me back right to him. It is a beautiful feeling.
Wedding shopping to begin with was simple for me, because I knew what exactly I wanted. I did not want to compromise on my wedding trousseau at any cost. Thankfully I have the most wonderful parents who wanted the best for me, the best part was they knew exactly what I wanted. I will talk about events in the order in which it took place.
The Mehendi and Sangeeth were clubbed together. Dinesh and I had a photo shoot that evening with our friends. It was a one-hour shoot at the lawn in Green Park hotel, which was beautifully decorated. I wore a beautiful pink floral skirt with a pink crop top. It was custom made by Chintya who owns this classy boutique called Intish in T.Nagar Chennai.
The Sangeeth, which took place the same night, was a grand event. We had stalls for Nadi Josiyam, Mehendi and live bangles. My mehendi was by Mrs.Asha Mehta(Smrithi took care of it). She is so talented and experienced. The event took place in Green Park. We had a DJ playing a lot of Telugu and Tamil tracks. Dinesh and I had practiced our opening dance the day before (he came from the US just two days before the sangeeth). We danced for the opening tune of oh oh oh from Thangamagan and Pehla Nasha.
Of course the event would have been incomplete without us waltzinf Ai Sinamika, which is our song (back when we were dating in Chicago). There was booze, good food (buffet organized by the hotel itself), good music, good company and lots of fun. I choose to wear a very pretty Anushree Reddy lehenga. I bought it online from coutureyard.com. It was simply magical.
Smrithi Murali(actor Shakti's wife) did the decor. I came to know about her through my cousin Vikram,who is an actor himself. Rachel from stylesmith did makeup for me. She did a beautiful job. The photography of course had to be Alpheus (a true professional, a beautiful human being. I highly recommend him).
We had the pellikuthuru function the next day at Shrivaru mandap in Chennai. I wore a beige Ritu Kumar Saree, which I had purchased in Ritu Kumar, Chennai. I did the make up myself. The reception the same night was a magnus event. I wore a beautiful Anushree Reddy again (yes I'm obsessed with her designs). I bought my outfit from Evoluzione Chennai. It is a classy store for all high-end stuff. My footwear was also from the same store. Make up was by Rachel.
We had a performance by Pelli Paatalu group from Vijaywada. They sang all devotional Shrivaru songs, which included Annamaya as well as Ramadasu Keerthanas. It was heavenly. I personally enjoyed them, despite the fact me being in the limelight throughout. Of course the moment was when they sang Pidikita thalambralu pellikoothuru.
Ajay from Chennai did the catering for both the reception and the wedding. The food was heavenly. Guests were asking for his card already.(I'm sure a couple of them from the wedding would have booked him by now). The decor for the reception was done by Kothandam gaaru who does all the decors in Shrivaaru. It was exceptional. He is a thorough professional. @alpheus# was sticking with us throughout capturing all the candid shots.
The wedding next day was an early morning 6-7.30 muhurtham. We had a 3.30 am nalungu(yeah you can totally imagine). It was fun though, with all my amamas attacking Dinesh and me with big wooden sticks (it is a Kamma telugu tradition). Wedding was beautiful. I wore a silver zari,bottle green saree with red peacock motif border. The saree was ethereal and made for me I guess.
I actually bought a different saree few months ago for the wedding with my in-laws. I went back to the US and when I came to India again for the wedding, I was having second thoughts about the wedding saree. So we went again to Kanchi(thanks to my patient in laws and of course my beautiful mum). My eyes fell on this angelic saree at Prakash silks. I was adamant I buy that (mom in law thought it was not as grand). She was super glad with my decision in the end. The wedding was a beautiful one. A tradition Telugu Kamma wedding, it was. The three most important highlights of the wedding for me were:
The Thaali moment, well no, I was not crying. Rather, I was beaming. Dinesh had cracked his dose of morning humor and I had to smile. I was happy, infact beyond happy. The moment was simple, straightforward, honest , raw and beautiful. It felt like something holy.
The second highlight was Dr.Shantha (Padma Vibushan awardee and head of Adayar Cancer institute). She came to the wedding to bless us. We were so humbled and honoured. My mother is affiliated with the Cancer institute and shares a great rapport with Dr.Shantha. She presented me a saree, which of course my mother cherishes. It means a lot to us.
The third highlight was the game rituals we had in the wedding. Finding the ring, playing ball game with a Jasmine ball, blasting the paapad in one's head (of course I had to almost break Dineshs head), playing mom and dad with our baby, feeding each other vakkaaku (betel leaf). We enjoyed each of it. It was my most favourite part of the wedding.
Food was as usual out of the world. It was Ajay again. Alpheus stuck to us. We love him. Makeup was Rachel. All of us worked together, to bring out something beautiful. My wonderful parents, who I'm indebted to forever, took charge of everything. I am one of those fortunate few to have my grandparents stand in the front and conduct the whole wedding. Nothing would have been possible without my amama and thathaiya (My teddy bear).
I wore Diamond jewelry for all the events. Most of my Jewelry was from Jaipur gems and Kirtilals. The only gold I wore was my haaram for the wedding, which was Azva.
We had a cocktail at Pondicherry after two days. Dinesh's parents organized it. I wore a beautiful Anita Dhongre lehenga for the event. The venue was hotel Ocean Spray.
All of Dinesh's outfits were from Gabbana in Chennai. Osman was introduced to us through my dear brother Ram. Ram in fact took care of Dinesh's entire trousseau. I'm blessed to have Ram (my baby brother) in my life. Dinesh's wedding outfit (Telugu Kacha) was from Lagaan. His accessories (shoe, tie and watch) were Salvatore Ferragamo.
We went to Ladakh for our honeymoon. It was my choice and Dinesh loved the idea. It was not the conventional honeymoon destination. The whole honeymoon was a gift from our parents. Ladakh is out of the world. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place. You need to be a little fit and resilient though for the journey.
We stayed there for 5 days at hotel Grand Dragon. Our favourite part of the trip was visiting Pangong Lake. The journey to the lake itself makes the trip worth it. I highly recommend everyone to visit Ladakh when you're still young (maybe not for your honeymoon).
A few tips for the brides to be
- Enjoy your days where you're waiting to be married of.
- Do not stress about the tiniest of details. Assign stuff for people to do.
- Know your priorities, as in where to invest more on. For me it had to be clothes, but luckily I had my parents who gave the best in it all (we all do, but do keep the budget in mind).
- Please invest in a good photographer. Photos are going to stay forever.
- Sleep well. Listen to your favorite music as often. Eat well, be happy and think positive. Please get some alone me time (they're worth it)
- Stay connected with your fianc.
Shopzters has helped throughout in planning my wedding. I take this opportunity to thank the entire Shopzters team for their love and support. To all the brides out there, please keep shopztering to have that almost perfect wedding which all of us dream of. Thank you Shopzters for making it happen.