I didn't fall in love at first sight with my husband, it took me 17 years to realize he was the one for me. Our families were friends, Rahul and my brother used to hang out and I would tag along with them. Neither of us back then thought that we would eventually end up getting married. Rahul moved to California and we both lost touch.
Couple of years ago our parents approached us with the prospect of Rahul and I being a good match. Coincidently, Rahul also moved back to Chicago, which gave us the opportunity to meet again this time without my brother. After a few months he surprised me with a proposal and we got engaged.
I was excited to start planning my big fat Indian wedding in Chennai; I'd been dreaming about it for a very long time!! We got married at the beautiful venue, Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar (MRC) Valliammai hall. We had around 500-600 guests at the wedding and we were truly blessed that everyone could make it to celebrate with us.
Prior to the wedding, Rahul and I wanted to do an engagement/pre-shoot. We wanted to incorporate the Chicago city backdrop and we also LOVE Starbucks coffee, so we thought it would be a fun idea to incorporate Starbucks cups in some of our photos!
The most exciting part of wedding planning is the shopping. I only had about a week and half in India to do my wedding shopping which I didn't think was enough at all! Luckily I had my mom and aunt to help! A few days before the wedding, we had an intimate Naal Virinthu Function. I wore a Peachish pink saree from RMKV, located in Forum Mall.
For the morning of the wedding, I wore a dark orange saree, which I found at Palam silks. When doing my research on Shopzters online, I found that Palam and Tulsi were very popular silk saree stores. In fact, while shopping at Tulsi for the wedding, my mom and I picked up so many sarees without realizing we didn't have enough functions for all of them!
Also, in the midst of all the craziness, we actually completely forgot to get my father his pattu shirt for the wedding!! Thankfully, we realized it soon enough, a shopping trip on the eve of the wedding ensured that he didn't have to go shirtless :) Rahul's Sherwani was from Manyavar, which he wore for the Mapillai Azhaippu.
I wanted to stray away from the traditional maroon color saree for the Muhurtham so I looked for something different. I saw a beautiful Gold color saree at Kanchipuram Kumaran silks. I loved it the moment I saw it. Both my parents and in-laws loved it as much as I did, I was so lucky to be able to wear my dream saree for my dream wedding! I got all my wedding jewelry from NAC Jewelers.
For my saree blouses I went to Geetu Boutique. The blouses turned out amazing and she gave some great inputs on contrast color choices and designs.
We were having a Reception for our friends and family in the U.S. as well so I had fun picking out two outfits. I bought both my reception lehengas in Bangalore. I fell in love with the collections they had at Mysore Udyog - Commercial Street. At the Chennai Reception, I wore a red Lehengha and Rahul wore a nice Black Tuxedo. I went to Utharikha Jewelers in Royapettah, Chennai for my reception jewelry.
Pandian Decorators did our wedding hall decorations. He is truly amazing at what he does. All of our guests raved about the mandap decorations and we have only Pandian and his team to thank for that.
For my make-up and hair, I decided to go with @bridal-studio-noor# in Chennai. I was so happy with my choice, he did such an amazing job and really made me feel like a beautiful bride!
For our photographer/videographer we went with @focuz-studios#. These guys are truly awesome in what they do. I can't thank them enough for giving us such beautiful pictures and videos that captured our precious moments that day! The caterer for the wedding and reception was RRK Caterers. They too did an excellent job. Although, with it being a busy day, Rahul and I didn't get to enjoy the food as much as we would have liked!
Planning a big wedding especially from a different country is difficult, fortunately we had a lot of close friends and family in India that helped us. I also have to say that none of it would have been possible without my mom! She went to India well ahead of time to organize everything for the wedding and make it perfect for us, giving me the dream wedding I've always imagined of having.
Looking back I don't remember the hardships that went into planning but I remember the good times I had with family and the memories made throughout the way!! Make sure to cherish every moment, it is a once in a lifetime experience :)
After a weeklong celebration of our wedding, Rahul and I flew off to the Maldives for our Honeymoon. We spent 5 days at the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa at Maldives. It was absolutely breathtaking!! It is a secluded island resort, with amazing service and great views of the sunset. We took advantage of the dining opportunities, like dinner on the beach, treetop and middle of the ocean, something that should not be missed. Our honeymoon was so memorable and we can't wait to go back!!