BT Real Weddings: Here Comes the Effortlessly Chic Bride

The wedding of Sanjana Rishi and Dhruv Mahajan was everything the couple wanted, from the bride’s unconventional and sustainable outfit to an intimate ceremony surrounded by those they love.

Simrit Tiwana
When the COVID pandemic threw a spanner in the works of Sanjana Rishi and Dhruv Mahajan's extensive wedding plans, the couple took it as an opportunity to have put together an intimate wedding that celebrated exactly who they are. For Sanjana, getting married in a vintage powder-blue pantsuit by designer Gianfranco Ferre draped with a delicately hand-embroidered Torani dupatta-veil, meant more than making an unconventional outfit choice. It expressed her individual sartorial ethos, one that asseverates her belief in sustainability and is her own unique expression of style. The bride tells us the story of their intimate nuptial ceremony (with a total guest list of 11 people) as they got married surrounded by those closest to their hearts.
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    Brides Today: How did you and Dhruv meet?

    Sanjana Rishi: "My best friend is his best friend’s little sister, so our paths were bound to cross."

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    BT: How did the COVID pandemic result in a change of plans?

    Sanjana: "Like many brides, I had big plans for my 2020 wedding that involved multiple events and dreamy lehengas (and celebrated my love of Indian outfits). However, the actual wedding ceremony, for me, was always going to be a small and fairly simple event, centred around our families and particularly our grandparents.

    Well, because of COVID that’s exactly how it happened! The guestlist for our wedding was 11 people including me and my husband. I didn’t feel like I had to “perform” for anyone, I could be myself and dress how I wanted. I didn’t think I was making a bold choice—I chose to wear what I like. I’ve been trying to focus on shopping ethically, and one of my favourite ways to shop guilt-free is to buy pre-owned items, like this vintage pantsuit I found a while ago on Farfetch. So of course, COVID ruined our party plans, but I’m glad we got married with just family and had the freedom to keep it pretty informal."

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    BT: What’s the inspiration behind your outfit?

    Sanjana: "To be honest, I'm quite inspired by drag queens—I know that’s not the answer people expect! The Canadain drag race winner Priyanka and glam queen Valentina really informed my decision to incorporate various facets of who I am into one outfit without focusing too much on my gender.

    Other than that, we put this small wedding together in a matter of two weeks, so keeping it simple was necessary for expediency. I wanted any part of my outfit that I purchased to be ethical, reasonably priced, and in line with my personal style, which is strongly influenced by my experience as an Indian-American woman. I also wanted to wear pieces that were given to me by (or that I borrowed and never returned) people I love. The corset I’m wearing belonged to my best friend’s mom, and I hand-dyed it the night before the ceremony. My earrings are my sister’s, and I hope she now knows not to expect them back! The bouquet I carried was a part of the beautiful arrangement two of my dear friends sent me, and my husband gave me the juttis I wore."

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    BT: How did the ceremony and your day pan out?

    Sanjana: "It was all just perfect! Dhruv and I have lived together for over a year, so while I was getting my hair and makeup done first thing in the morning, Dhruv slept in like any regular Saturday. It’s impossible to feel jitters when your husband is the most laidback person on the planet.

    I finished my hair and makeup and then arrived right on time for our 12:30 pm ceremony. My family is Arya Samaji, so our ceremony only took about an hour—just as well, since it was 40 degrees that day! After the ceremony, we ate some of our favourite home food and that was it! It was a small, intimate and memorable affair."

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    BT: What moments do you cherish the most? 

    Sanjana: "I think I will remember most fondly the times Dhruv and I shared a private laugh at something silly!"

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    BT: A piece of advice for brides-to-be?

    Sanjana: "Be yourself, girl!"

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