Love transcends barriers! So true! Here's the wedding story of a sweet girl from Maharashtra who tied the knot with a Coimbatore boy recently. Vimal's charm and spontaneity coupled with Pallavi's effervescence make them one of the most adorable couples. Read on to get a better insight about their journey!
Hi Everyone. I'm Pallavi and I'm super excited to be (probably) the 1st Maharashtrian girl to be featured as 'Bride of the Month' on Shopzters! I'm from Mumbai and after completing my Bachelors there, I headed to London for my Post-graduation. That's where I met Vimal, and there began the beautiful journey leading to my big fat Coimbatore wedding!
Vimal and I were course-mates and were friends for almost a year before he asked me out. This was just a few days before we graduated, and about a month before I was to return to India. We spent the month backpacking across the Scottish country-side and went bungee-jumping to celebrate our 1-month anniversary, a week before my flight back home.
I knew I had found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Besides being a wonderful person, he is so charming, funny and spontaneous that I knew I'd never have a dull moment in my life. What worried us was whether our families would be happy about our relationship. Surprisingly, we faced no opposition at all as our families saw that we brought out the best in each other and how happy we made each other.
Vimal returned to India a few months after I did and whisked me away for a vacation to Koh Samui. There he booked a sunset cruise on a Private Yacht that took us to a small deserted island. As we walked along the beach, written in the sand was a message 'Will you marry me?' He got down on one knee and brought out the ring. With my heart thumping, I said yes!
Our wedding ceremonies were spread over two weeks and across two cities - Mumbai and Coimbatore. Vimal's mother is a disciple of Sadhguru and wanted the wedding to take place at the Isha Yoga Center in Velliangiri. My family was super excited about this 'Destination wedding' and we had about 60 people from Mumbai flying down south. As for me, I had never attended a Tamil wedding before in my life and knew I needed to put in that extra bit of effort to look like the perfect 'Coimbatore Ponnu'.
We wanted each element of the wedding to be unique and have a personal touch. We visited tons of wedding invite shops but found the cards to be routine and repetitive. Instead, we bought beautiful handmade paper cards from Chimanlal's and designed the invites ourselves - the borders, colours, text and font were all designed by Vimal and me together on photoshop and we got them printed at a local printer's shop. Addresses printed on transparent stickers and golden sticker seals for the envelopes gave the invites a professional look.
We chose and booked our photographers almost a year in advance. Our sangeet, haldi, wedding and Coimbatore reception were shot by Mumbai-based photographers Ashwin Mishra & Jhalak Singhal, the husband-wife duo at Shades Photography. Shades also threw in a free pre-wedding photoshoot for us that we had at Kino Cottage in Mumbai.
Our Mumbai reception was covered by Bangalore based George Seemon along with Staj Soften from Kochi. Both sets of photo artists are amazing and yet have very different styles of photography. While the photos from Shades are vibrant, colourful and full of energy, George & Staj's work has a classic, vintage elegance.
I decided to wear lehengas for the Mumbai functions and Kanjeevaram sarees for the Coimbatore ceremonies. My lehengas were purchased from Rehmani Zariwala in Mumbai who customised the fabric and embroidery to my preference.
My sarees were from Shree Devi textiles in Coimbatore. The sarees were such a hit with the Mumbai folks that all the ladies who had flown down for the wedding planned and went for a day long shopping trip to Shree Devi while they were in Coimbatore.
My blouses and cholis were all designed by Lady Pink, a boutique in Ghatkopar, Mumbai.
For shoes, I decided to choose comfort and practicality over all else. I knew I'd be standing for a long time during the ceremonies and did not want my feet to hurt, so I opted for low heels for all functions. I bought all my shoes from Mochi. They have beautiful styles and their footwear is comfortable to wear even for long hours.
As I live away from home, my mum was in charge of planning and shopped for most of my accessories (bangles, imitation jewellery, hair accessories etc.) by herself, co-ordinating with me over the phone. She has impeccable taste, and I'm sure she did a much better job than I could have done myself!
The Mehendi & sangeet sandhya in Mumbai was an extremely intimate ceremony with only about 50-60 guests - family and very close friends. We had local mehendi artists and also chudi-waalis, so that our guests could pick any bangles they liked. For the sangeet, my 16-year old cousin was the choreographer and the entire family put up beautiful performances ending with a super-grand finale!
I decided to go for a rustic, vibrant look for the function and wore a bright mango lehenga with a pink and green border. I teamed it up with chunky Kundan jewellery set in silver and multi-coloured bangles. Vimal wore a navy-blue Jodhpuri suit from Manyavar.
We flew to Coimbatore the day after and held my haldi ceremony there, the evening before the big day. The haldi ceremony, according to me was the most colourful and lively part of the wedding and its importance shouldn't be discounted. I wanted an outfit that would capture the spirit of this ceremony and, of course, it absolutely had to have shades of yellow! I searched for months but found nothing I liked, so my mum and I decided to do a little mix and match.
We found a beautiful blue skirt bordered with shades of orange & red and teamed it up with a mango dupatta. We bought maroon silk material for the blouse and handpicked laces and embellishments that would bring the outfit together. My mother-in-law gifted me a gold temple jewellery set on the haldi day, that just happened to match my outfit perfectly! Of course I wore it immediately!
For our wedding favors, we had purchased sets of sandalwood incenses from Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium, Bangalore and packaged them in beautiful handmade paper bags. We distributed the favors during the haldi ceremony.
We had to be up ready and at the Lingabhairavi temple at Isha at 5.30 am for the wedding. I am not a morning person and was really worried that I wouldn't look my best at the wedding. But hats off to my stylist - our close family friend, Geeta aunty - who had flown with us, and my mum for making sure my saree, hair and make up looked absolutely perfect. I had purchased skin-matched products from MAC for my make up. I wore a traditional red kanjeevaram saree and gold jewellery from Joyalukkas' for the ceremony.
For the bridemaids, we purchased golden georgette sarees with red brocade blouses. The decor was done by the temple decorator.After the wedding we headed to Vimal's coconut farm at Pollachi for the Nalangu. Catering there was handled by Mr. Dhanushkodi of SDM Catering Services (9443776595). The food & arrangements there were definitely the best of all. That, along with fresh tender coconut water from Vimal's farm added an intimate, homely touch and made the Nalangu the most memorable part of the wedding. The Coimbatore reception was held at Le Meridien and the catering was in-house. The decor was handled by @mark1-events-and-decorsevent-planning# who set up a beautiful theme in peach and white to compliment my outfit (http://www.mark1decor.com).
As I was wearing a peach saree studded with Swarovski crystals, I decided to keep the jewellery minimal so as to not look too bling. I wore a simple band of diamonds that rested along my neck. My reception jewellery was from TBZ. Vimal wore a grey Armani 2-piece suit with a Corneliani tie & pocket square.
We had a traditional stage reception but also squeezed in a few fun shots towards the end of the ceremony. We flew back to Mumbai and rested for a few days before the Mumbai reception. For the Mumbai reception, I wore a vintage wine coloured velvet lehenga with heavy zardosi work. My hair and make up was handled by celebrity stylist Bharat Godambe. Vimal wore a 3-piece black Corneliani suit with a wine coloured tie & pocket square.
The Mumbai reception was an evening outdoor ceremony. We had a corner where we had put up photos from the Coimbatore ceremonies for people to view and also a photo booth where friends could write messages for us and click pictures.
We flew to Budapest for a week-long Honeymoon. We covered almost the entire city by foot, exploring the history, culture & cuisine. It was Christmas time so we got a chance to visit all the big Christmas markets and also ride on the famous Budapest Christmas tram.
My piece of advise for brides to be would be: enjoy your wedding! Start preparations early to avoid last minute stress and make sure you eat and sleep well all through, especially during the days of the ceremony. Don't fuss over every little thing that doesn't go as planned. A few years down you may not remember everything that went right or wrong, but you will never forget how you felt on your wedding day!