We have all been waiting with bated breath for this beautiful wedding that happened in June! Yes, we are talking about the wedding of the current heart throb, Amit Bhargav of “Kalyanam Mudhal Kadhal Varai” fame who married RJ Sri Ranjani Sundaram of Radio One in a fun filled wedding that included Mehendi, Sangeet & Reception. Talking to Amit & Ranjani was indeed a pleasure. Amit comes across as a down to earth person whereas Ranjani, true to her work as RJ, is as chirpy as we imagined her to be. Thanks to both of them for patiently sharing all the details, exclusively for Shopzters :) In case you missed their wedding video, reception & mehendi pics, check them out here. Amit and Sri Ranjani met in March, 2014 at a theatre festival and even if it wasn’t love at first sight, the spark was felt by them both almost instantly. Out of everybody there, she was the only one who caught his eye and what followed has made a gorgeous love story. A phone call for a role in a web series that transitioned into her singing for him when they visited the beach, they might as well have dropped out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. He helped her apply to colleges abroad, but he didn’t want her to leave, despite trying to be supportive. By May 2014, they had confessed their love for each other. Amit being very close to his mother, told her about Ranjani as soon he was sure he wanted to spend his life with her. Ranjini on the other hand needed time to tell her family. Amidst this he had to leave for a shoot and by the time he came back, she left for a job at Radio One, Dubai. But it wasn’t just about her leaving, because this was also the day his show Kalyanam Mudhal Kadhal Varai, launched on TV and she wasn’t here to be a part of it. Especially since her excitement towards his work had always been visible, even when she dragged him to the theatre to watch his scene in 2 states, and cheered loudly.
The couple tried being practical as they bid goodbye, and yet they couldn’t let go of each other and so picked the emotional parallel that led them to begin a long distance relationship. So when she was in Dubai, he met her parents without her but they were understanding and got along with him amazingly. And as the families didn’t have a problem, the wedding bells began to ring. Here is their wedding in her words: Our Engagement which was initially supposed to happen in December couldn’t happen because of the floods in Chennai. And so it was held in Bangalore in January instead. However, it rained during engagement in Bangalore as well, so there was no running from that. For the Sangeet I initially wanted to wear a gown but eventually, the grandeur of a lehenga was just unparalleled. So I went for a lehenga with some soft colours and also something not so heavy that’ll let me dance with ease. The Green and Pink lehenga was from Bangalore – a store called ‘Aanchal, the bridal shop’ bang on Commercial Street. When I used to live in Bangalore, I remember going there with friends for their wedding shopping. It’s a small store from the outside but has a world of options within. My mom also bought a few designer sarees from there. I teamed with Kundan jewellery that I have always loved! I also sourced a one side Maang-tikka from a friend in Gujarat just for the Sangeet. Mrs. Manjula from Bangalore did my hair and makeup for the Sangeet and I have to thank her for the beautiful side braid. Amit wore a suit from TailorMan which has stores in Bangalore and Chennai, it was customised to his needs and every detail was beautifully executed and yet it was affordable. What really satisfied him was the fact that they don’t ready to wear and so everything is made to order. To the Mehendi I wore a skirt and blouse that I bought in Mumbai ages ago. They were lying in my cupboard waiting for the right occasion. I paired it with a blue silk Dupatta that I bought from Fab India. I really loved the contrast. It was actually a last minute buy that my besties who had come down from different parts of the world helped with – a memory I’ll cherish! Since I had decided not to wear Temple jewellery for the wedding, I wore some of my dance jewellery with the lehenga giving the look a South Indian twist. My Mehendi artist was Jayashree who gave me a very unique design despite my small thin hands. On my right hand I had Lord Ganesha, a set of dhols and the image of a groom on the palm. On my left hand I had a kumbam to signify the holy fire, the bride and groom holding hands to go around the fire and an image of the bride on my palm. A lot of people went gaga over the intricate designs and I must thank her for making sure it was dark for the longest time!
There’s a Kannadiga custom called Vara Pooja before the wedding where we invite the groom’s side to the Mandapam and exchange gifts and reread the engagement patrika. For this I wore a blue and green Kancheevaram silk saree bought right in Kanchipuram. My dad had a great find in Kanchipuram called @a-s-babu-sah# where we found sarees in shades and combinations that we hadn’t even imagined! It was the first time my family and I stepped foot into the store. We fell in love with the collections instantaneously and ended up picking sarees for all my relatives from there itself! I got my blouses designed by Lata who stays in Santhome and she suggested a ‘Vangi’ blouse for this one. It had a lot of intricate embroidery that added to the beauty of the saree. I went for a Kundan choker set and a casual hairdo since the Wedding Reception was right after and I would have to redo my hair for that! My Reception was held before the wedding and I wore a Lehenga which was a gift from my mother-in-law (whom I love shopping with, she has amazing taste!) I bought it from @kay-the-fashion-bay#, Cathedral Road. I chose the Lehenga because I loved the mix of orange and pink. I thought it would look really vibrant for the evening. The blouse was also really heavy and grand in contrast to the brocade skirt. I loved the idea of wearing my dupatta around my head as I have an innate fondness for North Indian styles! Since the blouse was high-necked and really heavy I could only wear a pair of big jhumkas and a matching maang tikka. Amit wore an elegant beige kurta paired with pants, which were from Lagan in Chennai. He altered the outfit a lot since he wanted it to be customised to his needs. I bought my 9 yards madisaar saree in M.S. Blue with red border from Nalli Silks, Chennai for the wedding. I originally wanted to get one custom made from the Kanchipuram Weavers’ Society but they’d need 90 days to make one and we didn’t have the luxury of time. Also, nobody having tried that before, it was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. What if the dye was of a lighter or darker shade? What if the zari isn’t as pretty as I imagined? I can be pretty particular when it comes to colours. So I decided to go with ‘seeing is believing’. Once we reached Nalli Silks, I had to make up my mind – lime yellow with pink border or MS Blue with red? My entire family rooted for me to pick up the blue and I think it was a wise decision! I loved my first ever 9 yards saree the minute I wore it! For my wedding blouse, Lata gave me puffed sleeves teamed with elaborate yet simple looking zardosi work that amplified its contrast to the blue. My mother and mother-in-law too bought sarees for each other from @nalli-silks# which was a sort of second home for us for the weekend. They had an extensive collection and we enjoyed going through 50 shades of each colour before making up our minds!
We decided to wear only gold and diamond jewellery for the wedding since I had had my dose of Kundan and contemporary pieces in other occasions. I wore a beautiful haaram that we had bought in @lalithaa-jewellery-martjewelrywatches# when I was in school! I wore diamonds from Bapalal Jewellers, and most of my other gold pieces were from @joy-allukas#. He wore panchagacham, traditional Mysore Brahmin groom, he dressed himself and tied it himself which is a feat because he is very interested in traditions and culture so no compromise. According to Kannadiga customs, the bride starts the wedding with a Gowri Pooja and wears the saree while she performs throughout. So I didn’t have to change into an oonjal saree which instilled a few sighs of disappointment amongst family and friends. But I found it quite adventurous and new to sit on my oonjal in a madisaar. I thoroughly loved it! After the main Muhurtam, there’s a Nagavalli Muhurtam (Kannadiga tradition) where the bride and groom change into another silk saree and silk veshti. There’s a second thaali that the groom ties. I wore a wine-purple colored saree for that which most family and friends found very unique. Amit wore a red silk veshti and angavastram (called mogata-shailya in Kannada) to match with my saree. I always wanted to have a wedding which had a major component of service involved. Most people who attend the wedding are well-to-do but why not make one of the most important days of your life more relevant to service too? I also wanted to get married in a temple, sometimes in a beach, maybe in a garden… And then I wondered how I could do it all at once! My mom, dad and I went around looking for Mandapas in Chennai and we were quite taken by this beautiful place right in Thiruvanmiyur (where we reside). Dwaraka Palace c/o Iskcon on 1st Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar is where the wedding took place. The mandapa has a Krishna temple within its premises and was complete with a beautiful garden, a lawn and its rear opened onto the Thiruvanmiyur beach. It was a dream-come-true! Also the funds made from the Mandapa go towards Akshaya Patra, an organization that feeds school children with yummy nutritious food round the year. It’s also an NGO that Amit actively contributed to. It suddenly felt like all the pieces fell in place. We had two amazing photo and video teams working on the functions, @phoenix-studioz# was one team, Ms. Alice was on her toes trying to capture every detail of the wedding. Drone camera was the other team who captured the beauty of not just the wedding but also the venue, Ms. Janani from the team was gracious in helping us in any way she could. Our pre-wedding shoot was done by @r-nathan-photography# who were a great team, they took care of everything including our outfits which were designed by a designer in Delhi. We both barely had time to prepare for the wedding, because we were always busy at shoots so basically only the weekends were workable and they add up to barely 30-35 days. The most difficult decision has to be the guest list, we wanted to invite so many people and yet we kept missing some names. Despite all this, we ended up inviting over 1800 people for the reception, which resulted in us standing and smiling for 5 hours. I barely had time to pamper myself before the wedding because I was always running errands, however I found Zapluk very helpful as they come home and provide services. We also introduced something new with our wedding as we followed a gift registry through www.weddingwishlist.com, this helped us and the people around us in many ways and I think it is a trend that India should catch up with. For more pics and their wedding video, click here.