My name is Divya and I was born and brought up in Chennai. I was working for Cognizant prior to my marriage. My husband, Ram is also from Chennai and is currently working the United States as a Senior Consultant with Deloitte. Just like any other “arranged marriage” we met through Matrimony, but the story is a little bit different from the norm!
We received his Interest through Matrimony and he was one of the very few profiles we had shortlisted. I have a lot of close friends, and being girls, we obviously did a lot of ‘Facebook stalking’ on the internet! The funny part was, he soon found out we were doing it and he actually made the first move and pinged me on Messenger! Being the extrovert that I am, and with all the stalking we had already done, strange as it may sound, he somehow did not feel like a complete stranger. We continued to chat through the night, getting to know each other as each minute passed. The more we chatted, the more we realized we had very similar interests. He made me feel so comfortable that it never felt awkward even a bit, considering how awkward these procedures can be.
We decided to get to know one another and then involve our parents and after getting to know each other and talking for a few days, he was like ‘You are the one for me!’ and proposed. As excited as I could be, I still had some reservations. I needed a bit more time to decide. He was patient and waited for me to say ‘yes’. He was in the US and so was my brother. He went, met him and totally wooed him! He did the same with all my friends as well, and I could not help but be impressed and touched deeply by all the effort he was going through for me! Finally, to get that ‘Yes’ from me, he booked his tickets to India for 4th of September and was going to come over and see me. He wanted me to be completely sure before making a confirmed decision. He wanted me to meet him in person before deciding. That moment I realized that his love for me was unconditional. And I said ‘Yes!!!’ a week before we even met!
We told our parents, and then came the shocker! We were to get engaged within a week that he landed. Our engagement was rushed and even so was our marriage. Our marriage was within 3 months from our engagement! Ufffff! It was an impossible task indeed! But thanks to my friends and family, we achieved the impossible. Luck favored us as we were able to book some of the best in the industry. Right from the marriage hall, photography, bridal makeup artist and catering service.
For my reception, I wore a crop top which was custom designed by ChintyaIyer from the designer boutique Intish by Chintya. I saw this amazing croptop dress and the moment I saw it, I knew that was what I should wear for my reception. The hassle was finding such a dress. I somehow, after many inquiries landed with Chintya after seeing her designs. I was confident that if anyone could get the job done, it would be her. And I wasn’t wrong. He shopped in the US. shirts from Macy’s, Calvin Klein (Steel), suits from Men’s Warehouse, shoes and belt were from Calvin Klein as well.
For my wedding, I bought my sarees from Prakash silks in Kanchipuram. We had a whole bunch of sarees to buy, so we went directly to Kanchipuram, the best place in my opinion to shop for marriages, especially if you need to buy a whole bunch of them.
Jewelry was mostly from Tanishq. They seemed to have the best suited jewellery for my taste. Imitation Jewelry was from Manik Jewelers, Sowcarpet and New Ideal Fashion Jewelers.
In fact a big thanks to Ashok Arsh of AA Photography whom we booked right from our engagement. Not only did he capture each lovely moments and etched it into memories for life but he also helped us by giving excellent suggestions for Manadapam and recommendations to the Makeup artist Ibrahim to take up my bridal makeup. My Outdoor photoshoots were a hoot. We had so much fun working with Ashok Arsh and team. They were completely flexible with the dates and timings. This bonding led us to book them for my brother’s marriage as well. Considering how little our time was to get prepped for the marriage, I think his help was pivotal in booking makeup artist Ibrahim, one of the best in this industry to do my makeup. He is always booked and you can see why as it is evident from my wedding pictures. His team’s work together with his makeup is flawless and just feels like magic!
Mehendi artist: Susan’s Mehendi Art
Decorators: Aishwarya Mahal internal decorators
Caterers: SVS caterers.
About New Ideal Fashion Jewelers and Manik Jewellers- Trust me, it was one among the best shops by far, for most of my imitation Jewelry. I have invested so much time in searching around town, and by far the best were from this shop. If you want to hire the Jewelry, the other place that I found was New Fashion Jewelry in Anna Nagar. They seem to have a classic collection of imitation Jewelry as well. Mostly you will find jewelry for hire kind of deals here.
Sangeet was just pure fun! Booking a hall for our Sangeet was a nightmare even when compared to our marriage hall. We wanted a budget Sangeet as it just involved very close friends and families. As days neared, we wanted to capture our Sangeet as memories and requested Ashok Arsh to capture the event and he has done an excellent job. Our Sangeet was held at Sigaram Celebrations Hall, a small but a beautiful hall if you are in a budget. We booked Vignesh aka Vicky the EnterTrainer to host our Sangeet and Aarvon Babu for DJ. Vignesh was exceptional as he made a completely unplanned event into an exciting and fun filled event by hosting games and mimicry. He made sure to engage the crowd as a whole. DJ Aarvon Babu just rocked the event with his music. They both made sure the event was a huge success.
What was most difficult was, booking the hall for Sangeet. Sigaram celebrations was best suited for us as it gave us the flexibility to book our own caterers, allowing us to cater to our needs.
Booking matching Jewelry can be a nightmare as most of the ornaments do not come in sets. You hardly get to reuse them, so deciding to rent vs buying them is also something you need to consider. You have to match your rental Jewelry to the ornaments and saree that you select. It will help if you have the color prefixed for your saree and accordingly work on the accessories for your wedding. And from my experience, it doesn’t matter how long you have for your wedding, the last 2 months are the most crucial ones.
As far as my beauty regime is concerned. I hardly use makeup. I go with Vicco turmeric and lip balm most of the time. For other events, I use light foundation from Mac. That’s about it. Fruit facial once in 2 weeks at Toni n Guy also helped with keeping my face from blackheads and dirt. But that’s about it. I am not a big fan of makeup, atleast not on a daily basis.
As his leave was limited, considering he had already come down for our engagement, we decided to go to Wayanad for a few days. We went to an exotic jungle resort ‘Wild life planet’. A completely remote and exotic location in the borders of Wayanad. We had a honeymoon package there and an amazing experience living in a tree house on our last day. A place completely void of mobile signal and 3G/4G. Absolute togetherness is what we got from there. A memorable experience on the whole. The amenities and ambience were exotic and the food was amazing.
Honey moon 2 and 3 were in the US. Haha!!!
Memorable moment would be the first time we met. Still feels like yesterday. He, walking out of the airport and me, all dressed up, waiting anxiously for his arrival. He came and greeted me with a hug and asked if I was sure about this. That moment I knew, I had never felt so sure about anything else in my life. That moment has been etched in our memories for life!