Knot by Net
Photos Courtesy: Zamana Lifestyles www.zamanaphoto.com
Ankur and Rachna Found each other on the internet, only to sign in for a lifelong connection.
Rachna just returned home after a 12-hour long shift, hungry and tired. What happened next was least expected. Her friend Ankur was waiting at her home. Dancing candles all around, and he stood in the middle of the room with a beautiful bouquet in his hands. By the time Rachna took the bouquet, Ankur was on his knee with a ring and the golden words of a proposal. Rachna wasn’t aware that Ankur already got approval and blessings from her parents. All that remained was an official nod from her, which she readily gave.
Hence began the planning for a perfect wedding! With someone experienced, like Rachna’s mother, takingcharge of the event management, there wasn’t any need tohire a professional for the job. The brideand her sisters volunteered to assist the lady in-charge.
Pre-Wedding Function The mehndi, sangeet and dinner ceremony were organized for the evening before the wedding. The theme for the event was retro Indian retro. Guests were welcomed with floral varnish, which they tied to their hair. The screening of Bollywood movie clips from the 70s along with some hit numbers of the period, brought back the bygone era back to life.
Food stations set up all around the venue offered scrumptious delicacies like falafel, pani puri, spring rolls, kanpuri, dhokla, cracked wheat khichdi with vegetables, kadhi, and bajra-jawar rotlas. For dessert, guests enjoyed jalebi and ice cream. Garba and raas were performed during the mehndi ceremony. Rachna looked simple but elegant in a sleeveless ghagra choli purchased in Edison, New Jersey. April Bowles was her makeup and hair stylist for the evening and for the events to follow. For the mendhi, April suggested a side hairdo with a tight braid coming across the top of the head. The style looked divinie, and added much charm to the already gorgeous bride-to-be.
Wedding Ceremony Augusta Riverwalk Amphitheatre served as the perfect outdoor wedding venue. The amphitheatre overlooks the Savannah River adding to its beauty. With the wedding being staged in the outdoors near the water, a ‘tropical theme’ created a perfect romantic ambience. Remmal and his team at Occasions by Shangri-la did a fabulous job portraying the theme with a bamboo mandap, skillfully decorated with fresh flowers, tropical arrangements, and greenery.
The aisle was strewn with colorful rose petals. Fresh floral arrangements were crafted using purple dendrobium orchid sprays, red-orange heliconia, hot pink and orange colored lilies, and palmetto leaves. The tropical backdrop to the mandap included hanging crystal strands and orchid drops.
The bride walked down the aisle in a traditional white and red panetar sari with splashes of green. Rachna’s natural curls were set in a classic low bun that gave her a perfect traditional look.
The couple hired Zamana Lifestyles for photography and video of the event based on their known reputation. Their flexible working style did impress all.
DJ Neal Patel was referred by one of Rachna’s family friends. He too did a great job by entertaining the guests well. A friend sang the Mangalashtakam as the bride walked into the venue. The instrumental version of Kal Ho Na Ho played while she walked down the aisle and made everyone emotional. Walking down the 70 steps to the mandap made for one of the most memorable moments for the bride. “It was an amazing view from the top, and I’m so glad I didn’t trip!” remarks Rachna.
The bride’s mother, a big time foodie herself, knew that the food for the evening needed to be just right as it was one thing that most people remember about weddings. Sudhaben Patel was hired for the job and she too performed to her reputation.
Given the many steps to climb down to access the main stage of the amphitheatre, a decorated golf cart provided guests with a ride to the location. The newly wedded couple left the mandap in a decorated golf cart.
Reception Burnt orange and eggplant purple were the theme colors for the reception. The floor setup for the reception included four long estate tables in a diamond set up surrounding the dance floor. The centerpieces were gold Manzanita trees with hanging carnation balls, crystals, and candles. Gold chair covers offered a clean look, and burnt orange and eggplant colored tablecloths and napkins complemented the theme well. The couple sat at the sweetheart table on the stage.
The bride donned a coral and emerald green choli suit from Khajana Boutique in Edison, New Jersey. Her skirt flared at the bottom with toil and netting to make it stand out. Rachna’s hair was set up in a low up do style. Her makeup was more on the natural side. April primarily focused on accenting the bride’s alluring eyes. One memorable moment of the evening included a choreographed routine performed by the bride’s friends and family members to Chris Brown’s Forever. The couple too performed a choreographed dance to Jason Mraz/Colbie Caillat’s Lucky. Since Ankur is a huge standup comedy fan, Rachna hired an Indian comedian to emcee the reception. Rajiv Satyal from Los Angeles, California, did a terrific job. It was a surprise for Ankur from the bride. Ankur, a pediatrician, and Rachna, a pharmacist, thought it only fitting to offer the “MD/PharmD” as their signature cocktail. Signs at the bar were created to look like prescriptions and advised guests to consume a drink to enjoy the evening. Refills were unlimited, obviously! The drink was a Seabreeze with vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.