Our Stunning bride Swathi founder of Studio 149 tells us how she planned her wedding. Read on to know her story.
We consider our marriage as “Love that was Arranged”. Ash and me met each other through our families in a not so typical arranged scene in Chennai for the first time and little did we know that we would be engaged in just a week since we first met. I am an architect / designer and founded Studio149 in 2013 out of the sheer love to make clothes. Ashwanth is an orthopaedic surgeon, raised in Ireland and currently doing his training in the UK. Deciding to get married and moving to the UK was a huge decision for me, but we were so sure of each other that I didn’t even stop to think about the move. We are very alike in a lot of ways, fond of similar things, get along like best friends and that’s what makes us tick.
Our wedding was a much awaited affair in both our homes as we are the eldest ones in both families and have a line-up of brothers and sisters in the marriageable age. We exchanged rings in a small ceremony Öpputhambulam” at home and got officially engaged on Sept 14, 2016 at the Leela palace, Chennai. We got married on 9th March, 17 in Rani Meyammai Hall. I had the traditional Nalungus in my maternal uncles ‘homes and Ash had his Nalungu at the Raintree hotel. We had a mehndi ceremony at my house followed by a fun filled evening of dance & music – the Sangeet, at the Hilton. Post wedding, we had a cocktail party at the Westin, Velachery.
All my wedding outfits, but for the saris, were designed and made at @studio-149-by-swathiclothing#. Though I have designed for so many brides myself, when it comes to the self, it always becomes a challenging task. I am thankful to my team of designers – Neena and Vino, who helped me design and execute all my outfits to perfection. Engagement lehenga was a full sleeve velvet maroon blouse with a pink tissue lehenga embellished with kundan and zardosi. Engagement sari was from @tulsi-silks-1#. For the mehndi, I wore a cold shoulder thread worked crop top with maroon crepe silk skirt (light weight and easy breezy). The sangeet outfit turned out to be my personal favourite from the lot – a deep purple velvet anarkali with gold sequinned bodice. It had a geometric hemline and the weight of the embroidery worked so well in all the twirling around while dancing. Both my saris that I wore for the main wedding ceremony were from a weaver named Selvam in Kanchipuram who used to bring saris to our place to choose. The reception outfit was something I experimented on going in for a colour out of my comfort zone of earthern rustics- a peach with a gold cape. Cocktail outfit was a draped gown in rouge pink silk linen with crepe, made to match a diamond set from Vummidi Bangaru Jewellery.
Most of my jewellery was from Prince. The kundan set for sangeet was from Mehta jewellery. I had a few pieces customised to match my existing sets and Mrs. Kalpana Sarangam made some exquisite ones for me – a waist belt(odiyanam) with peacocks to match my emerald jewellery for the muhurtam and a diamond choker to match a geometric jumkha I had gotten earlier from prince. One of my diamond sets for the nalungu was customised by Karan of EFIF Jewellery.
I have a weakness for high heels and each of my shoes was made to match the outfit by Gossip shoes in Bombay – a last minute find, but one I would highly recommend for girls looking for those really high heels that are super comfortable at the same time.
For the engagement Ash wore a blue silk Kurti with a maroon textured Bandhi by @vivek-karunakaran# followed by a black linen bandgala also by VK. For the wedding he wore a traditional silk shirt with veshti for the first part of the ceremony and changed into a beige Sherwani in Jute silk with maroon accents for the muhurtam. The same evening for reception he wore a 3-piece suit in an indigo blue with a peach raw silk cravat made from the same fabric as my lehenga, that the both of us managed to make at studio just the night before the wedding when both our families were frantically looking for the bride & groom.
For his nalungu he wore a sherwani with dhoti pants made by @studio-9696# in an ombre teal to blue raw silk, made just with a week’s notice. The cocktail was the last event of a weeklong celebration for which Ash chose to wear a Black tuxedo with maroon silk waist coat and bow tie to match my rouge pink dress.
We had the same team for hair and makeup, photography and décor from our engagement. It was Shiva and Jayanthy Kumaresan for hair and makeup. I could blindly leave my looks to Shiva, without even showing him references. He knew what worked for me, and I was pleased with all his makeovers.
Photography was taken care by wedding stori. Ganesh (also known for Blackpearl photography) is a good friend and we have worked on multiple fashion shoots since the wedding. His team ( Suhas, Resham & others) is absolutely fabulous and super enthusiastic. Décor for all the occasions was done by Kamesh and Karthik, 2 brothers who have a family run flower business. They could incorporate my ideas and execute the same so beautifully.
Photo & Video - @wedding-stori#, Ganesh
Make up - Shiva
Hair - Jayanthy Kumaresan
Decor - Karthik and Kamesh Ravikumar, Sri Balaji Flower decor
DJ Xavier -( Dj, lights and dance floor)
As for preparing for the wedding, I was giving a bharatanatyam recital just a few days prior to my D day, so the rehearsals were just the right workout I needed and helped me destress a lot while handling pre-wedding mood swings. I also did watch my diet and worked out with Shiva, a fitness trainer who is just right for women. Last few weeks into the wedding can be quite stressful, and that’s where friends and cousins play a huge role and all the sangeet practice sessions were so much fun with all of them around. We had two very talented sisters to choreograph our sangeet dance – Lavanya and Ananya Shankar. As we didn’t have any wedding planners, most of the decision making, coordinating and executing was done by my parents, who paid a lot of attention to detail and the outcome was well appreciated.
We got away for a quick honeymoon post one week of celebrations to Goa, and enjoyed our stay at The Park hyatt Resort for a couple of days. Post wedding, we moved to a beautiful apartment in Ulverston overlooking the bay, a quaint little town in the lake district in UK and I am looking forward to our move to Manchester this month where I will be setting up the second home of Studio149.