The thing about love and soul mates and life partners is, its sneaky business! You go about your usual day, its routine. Things to do and people to meet and then BAM! You meet that one person you want to spend your life with. The person who makes everything look and feel better! Such is the story of our Tamil Boy Aravind and his Brazilian Beauty Paola! Written by them, in a unique style, please read on and get to know this beautiful couple!
Bride - Paola Faccini, Geologist, Brazilian, 29, born in Jundiai, So Paulo, currently living in Brasilia, capital of Brazil.
Groom- Aravind Krishnan, Engineer, Indian, 32, born in Chennai, currently living in Brasilia.
8 years ago, in the fall of 2008 Aravind went to Brazil to study at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) in S'o Paulo. Right next his lab, was the Geosciences Institute where Paola studied Geology. Aravind saw almost every day, through the lab's window, a sweet and a gentle girl, who was walking, almost jumping and walking, on the foot path outside. Determined and confident, Aravind invited Paola for lunch. They began got talking and became good friends. Thus began a love that goes beyond geographical boundaries. After many comings and goings between Brazil and India, lot of hiccups and difficulties, a story that seemed like a mega serial, they got married in Chennai in a traditional Tamil Brahmin wedding ceremony! We, our family and friends were extremely excited to be part of such a nice inter cultural, inter-continental wedding.
Paola was really excited and was planning her shopping together with her family and in laws well in advance. Even though she was living in Brazil, her in-laws helped her get an idea about every event of the wedding and clothing options and shops in Chennai that had those clothes.
She felt that those multi story shops in Chennai at T-nagar, Velachery etc., are so big and has such a wide range of collection, that itself was an experience for her and her family. Born and brought up in Chennai, Aravind knew his options well and also on where to get them, he just required a few hours to pick them and bill them.
Mehendi dress - Paola was looking at different shops for an Indian dress in Phonexi Mall when she saw a colour full Indian dress on a mannequin in Big Bazaar. We immediately tried it and took it. As we were already there Aravind also bought his kurta and Nehru half coat there.
Engagement Saree - Paola received the saree as a gift from the Grooms parents who bought it from Chennai silks. Aravind received the formal pant and shirt set as a gift from Brides parents.
Wedding Reception - Paola searched for 3 days in 6 different shops before finalizing her Lehenga in Kay Cathedral road. She thinks Kay had good collection, the service was good, and they were helping with alteration also. They had the exact colour she was looking for and it was less crowded and easy to use trail room. Aravind, during these 3 days and 6 shops visits, already knowing the colour the bride was looking for he selected his Sherwani and just went back to Pothys, Panagal Park to just pick and bill.
Marriage - Paola went with traditional 9 yard red saree bought from Hayagreevas in Chennai, T nagar. They had a good collection, price and nice service. Wearing it on wedding day in a few minutes was a challenge in itself with Aravinds Grandmother, Aunties and his Cousins helping her drape it a few minutess, she laughs. Aravind was half naked and only wore the traditional 8 yard Pancha Kachcham. The priest helped him wear it.
For all of Paola's blouses we had a personal tailor plus designer. LA Angels, located near Chennai Silks Velachery. We liked their service a lot and the owner customized the blouses according to our taste.
We bought all our jewellery from GRT T-Nagar. Paola was amused by the gold people buy in India and the affordable price of gold and silverware.
We recommend Kay, Pothys, Hayagreevas, Big Bazar, The Chennai Silks and LA Angles to any bride and groom to be in Chennai.
We, our family, friends and Internet were our designers. Most of the options, shops, dresses, jewellery for each event were already pre-selected by Aravind's parents, making it easier for us to check the shops one by one in the list and select. We just has to choose the colour, size and model. These days with the internet everything is easier.
Caterer-Our family caterer, Srinivasa Ragavan, was selected by Aravinds parents. As expected, everyone liked and enjoyed the tasty food, including the Brazilians and foreigners that were present.
Decorator - The wedding hall decoration was done by wedding hall managers itself which was in the contract. Our Mehendi decoration was designed and executed by Aravind and his friends. It was simple and elegant. Decorated with flowers, simple decoration materials and multi coloured Shamianas, something Aravind and Paola spent 2 days planning and buying before the event.
Make up - Paola went to a lot of top Bridal make up parlours in Chennai but she decided that they always has something missing that she was looking for. Recommended by Aravinds aunt, Paola asked for a test make up from an individual make up person, Sowmya. It turned out to be her taste and voila we had a personalised make up person for the bride. We also hired Sowmya and her friend's services for foreign and Brazilian guest's for their make-up and Saree draping. Sowmya was professional, used good quality products and gave good attention to bride.
Photographer and videographer: As we were searching for a good photographer and videographer in Chennai we landed in Focuz Studios site. From that moment we were sure that they would be the one who would shoot our wedding. Though a bit expensive, their photos, especially candid photos are a class apart. Paola really wanted have the best photos for her to share with her friends and family members that were not able to make it to our wedding from Brazil. We had our candid photographer, Navin, as requested. He was recommended by my friend who recently got married and hired Focuz Studios. He did a great job always going the extra mile.
We were trying to decide on various Mehendi artists when we stumbled upon a street side artist, Mohit, infront of Saravana stores in Velachery. His sample work inspired Paola and thus Aravind finalized the deal with him. As you can see his work was very good and we liked it a lot. Recommend to finalize and get the final price of entire Mehendi event in writing as Mohit wanted to charge us more after the event got over as we only had a verbal agreement. But rest of all his service, designs, Mehendi color and quality were very good.
We had Mehendi in the morning and afternoon while a different version of Sangeet in the evening. The Mehendi function was very well planned and organized by Aravind. Right from choosing the Mehendi artist, decoration designs over Internet and executing it, managing the Mehendi for around 50 girls and women while at same time entertaining the men that have accompanied them, food and catering, etc., It took a week's planning for each of this and was done together with Aravinds parents and Paola.
The same evening we had a Sangeet. As more than half the crowd were from abroad, Aravind chose to show case Tamil culture during Sangeet, thus contracted Madorock dance studios who performed traditional folk dance such as Karagatam, Oyilattam, Tappattam, etc. The crowed got so involved that they joined and started to dance. Sheila who runs the school did an amazing job. We also cut our wedding cake on that same evening which was really great feeling.
When it comes to any difficulty faced while shopping, the difficulty was that the shops were far away from each other and from our home in Velachery. They were most of the time crowded and took time to trail the clothes. A lot of options and opinions to decide from as we mostly went shopping together with Aravind's family.
Also we were doing everything ourselves with big help from our parents. At times we even thought of outsourcing it to a wedding management company or consultant but we were almost a few days away from the wedding.
Any tips or beauty regime, we ask. As Paola was not used to spicy food, Aravind mother made sure non-spicy food was made available during the days before marriage. Paola and Aravind's mother went to Lakme parlour in Velachery for pre bridal care (hair, nail, facial, etc).
We went to New Delhi and also made a trip to Agra where we stayed at Hyatt Regency. We went to touristic places but mostly stayed at the hotel, as we were tired from the 3 day wedding enjoying the pool, spa and other facilities, and not to mention that we slept a lot, sleep we missed during the last week or so.
There were some moments that will stay with us forever. Paola liked the experience so much that she danced in the streets, she and her mother felt emotional as we tied the knot. She felt a bit embarrassed as we went from a temple near the wedding hall to the wedding hall, blocking the t-Nagar traffic and getting a lot of attention. We enjoyed the photo shoots together at different places including one shoot in a Chennai Auto and one in MRTS train station, which surprising was empty!
Felt happy cutting our wedding cake, in fact 3 of us Paola, Aravind and our friend Roberta arranged the cake, the table and its decoration in few minutes as people were in Sangeeth on the terrace and it came out super and will be in our memories. It was a great feeling for Paola's family to have wed their daughter in a traditional Tamil Brahmin style. They even made sure to dress and appear in a traditional way. More of this can be seen and read in Focuz studios' site.