Presenting you the love story of Shamini and Mahesh, written beautifully by the bride herself.
Whenever someone asks me, “So how long have you known Mahesh?” I always reply, “Forever”. Mahesh and I have been seeing each other’s faces since first grade but struck friendship only in High School. Once we started talking, we found that we had a whole lot in common and that gave rise to deeper conversations. Our friendship continued through college. I left to the US for my Masters and he followed suit. Fortunately our Universities were close by so we did not have to go through the strange land alone. When it was time to seek out a partner for marriage, I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anybody else and he felt the same. On Feb 15, at 12.20 am, he proposed on the middle of the road, asking me to marry him. Without blinking, I said yes. We communicated our decision to our parents. The time period from when we decided to get married to our actual wedding was a long one. Living in the States and planning a wedding in Chennai was tedious. We were clear on one thing: we wanted an outdoor wedding, with nature as a witness to our vows. How to pull off a two-day traditional Tambram wedding completely outdoors? Now this was a task.
I started looking up outdoor venues in and around Chennai that would accommodate close to 1000 people for our ceremony. After an extensive search, BINGO! We found our dream place pretty close to home. Shiva Parvathi Pushpa gardens, an Eden right in the middle of the city at Maduravoyal. The garden spread over 14 acres, is beautifully landscaped, and lined with fruit and flowering trees. The best part was the huge lotus pond in the ceremonial lawn. The moment I stepped in, I decided that I wanted to get married here. Mr. Ram Reddy helped us pick the right lawn based on our theme and guest numbers. Our wedding date was in January, so the Chennai Sun was considerably kinder than the other months and the rain gods were taking a break after the cyclonic December, therefore the weather was in our favor. Since the lawn space was completely ours to use, we had room to get creative with the decoration. Mr. Shanta Kumar from Sakthi Decorators was our man to go. I told him what I wanted event wise and he stood good on his execution. The decoration was dynamic. The Sangeet theme was Rajasthani Fusion, wedding theme was traditional and the reception theme was Royal. His team transformed the space event-wise in no time. The décor we picked was not overpowering, instead complemented the natural beauty of the garden.
Now the biggest three of the Big Three: Food. Given these parameters of the tambram outdoor wedding – we approached the signature traditional caterer: Arusuvai Arasu Caterers. Mr. Sridhar, son of Mr. Nataraja Iyer, and I had a brainstorming session to come up with a unique menu for each event. The menu was diverse, from traditional recipes of yesteryears to newage Mexican tacos. The food turned out to be spectacular in all our events and was one of the major highlights of our wedding. Mr. Sridhar’s event management company, Enliven Events took care of all arrangements and coordination on our wedding day.
As a fashion entrepreneur, I wanted my wedding attire to stand out and yet be budget friendly. This was probably one area where we spent most of our time, deciding what to buy where. For my mehendi, I chose a floral maxi dress and matched it with a real rose crown to go with the Garden Party theme. The dress was from Archana Shah, Hyderabad and the floral jewelry was customized by Sakthi Decorators. My Sangeet Lehenga was designed by myself and tailored at Mrs. Anitha Khemka’s Studio at Anna Nagar. My Dusty Pink Unjal Saree was from @kanakavalli#, Chetpet and the 9-yards from @nalli-silks# T Nagar. For our Royal Reception, I picked out a Sabyasachi inspired saree from @mokshaa#, Chennai. My wedding gold jeweler was PMJ Jewelry from Hyderabad. I also picked out diamond jhumkis and bangles from Musaddilal Jewelry from Hyderabad. Musaddilal has a lovely collection and many one-off pieces that really appealed to my taste. All the real pearl and kundan jewelry was picked out from the Charminar area stores.
When it came to my wedding card, I wanted it to be simple, artistic, creative and elegant with a touch of tradition. We went with a custom designed card with a hand-drawn caricature of ourselves surrounded in a trellis of Indian flowers depicting our outdoor wedding. The sketches were hand-drawn by my friend Satheesh and designed to details by DotStudio, Anna Nagar. I wrote down the address labels in calligraphy to add the personal touch.
All my event look and makeup was done by my dear friend and makeup artist Rashida Ranpurwala from Final Touches Makeup. Rashida focused on emphasizing the plusses and worked her way with my look beautifully. Rashida’s teammate Karishma worked her magic on my hair. My skincare routine started well ahead of time with the help of my dermatologist, Dr. Nischita Balaji from Desire Aesthetics. With adequate nutrition and regular workouts, my skin was prepped for the big day.
For our event photography, we went with Mr. Arun from @nura-photography#. Arun’s experience in fashion photography was evident in the way he organized our shoots and poses. Our pre-shoot was tastefully done in a preppy garden style theme. Arun and his team set a comfort zone for us to be ourselves in the shoot. All the macro events and micro moments were captured beautifully by Nura.
Our wedding was a grand success and we relished each and every one of those moments. It was definitely stressful, but if I were asked to do it once again with the same person around the same people, I would say yes in a blink.