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Real Weddings: Swipe Right At First Sight

Rahul and Pragati met the modern way, through a dating app, which soon turned into a 5-day NYC wedding.

Diya J Verma
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    Rahul and Pragati met in the most modern way possible, through the dating app Dil Mil.  "I guess you can say it was fate because we happened to connect while we were both travelling through Atlanta. We spoke for a couple of months before we met up in New York City and the rest is history!", says Pragati. 

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    For the Sangeet, I just wanted something fun, and left it up to the decorator to give me some suggestions. She came up with an iridescent look. I wanted a “store” for favours so that everyone can come in and feel like they are shopping for their favours. Each guest received bangles, bindis, and a faux jasmine hair garland, and had their choice of one “large” item - a clutch, shoes, or a bandhani dupatta."

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    "My sangeet was a holographic themed night, so I chose to wear a kaleidoscope lehenga by Falguni Shane Peacock. I thought that the lehenga would fit in so perfectly with the night, since it was multi-coloured and had sheen and foiling to it.  

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    "We had been in a long-distance relationship for a while, so most of our evenings were spent video-chatting. Whenever we were able to see each other, we enjoyed trying out new restaurants, exploring new places, or just being plain, old homebodies. We both love to travel, so we jump at any opportunity to go somewhere."

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    "I’m impossible to surprise so I knew it was coming. I had a bad case of wanderlust and pestered Rahul to plan a trip. He made me a puzzle for Valentine’s Day and the answer was a ticket to Savannah, GA!  He played it off like it was a normal weekend, but I had a feeling this was it. I was so sure he would propose. He didn’t show any nervousness, so a little doubt crept into my head. He had told me we had a really hard-to-get lunch reservation at a popular restaurant called 'The Olde Pink House'. It was the perfect excuse to make sure that I was dressed up and not in my usual leggings. After lunch, he said there was a hotel with a nice bar and a cool art gallery worth checking out. It started raining on our way over there so by the time we got there, my hair was a mess. I went to the restroom to freshen up and when I came out, he had arranged for the host to give us a tour of the gallery and hotel. During the tour, Rahul excused himself to the bathroom which I thought was weird. But the host kept showing me around, explaining each painting. Truthfully, I didn’t really care. She led me upstairs and there I saw him - Rahul standing in the middle of a heart of roses.  I can’t even remember what he said, but I’m pretty sure I said yes!"

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    "When I was younger and first watched the movie Legally Blonde, I fell in love with “Vivian Kensington’s ‘5 carat Harry Winston on her bony unpolished finger’”.  She had a beautiful 3-stone setting consisting of a pear shaped diamond as the center-stone and tapered baguettes on both sides. I love the classic look while still being a little unique, and I knew this was the ring for me. Rahul did deliver! He got me my perfect pear with tapered baguettes on a platinum band from Diamonds Direct.  

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    "While every bridal lehenga is beautiful, I knew I wanted to be a Sabyasachi bride. I ended up picking the Nayantara lehenga. It was an all-red lehenga with pink and green embroidery.  

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    "When it came to shopping for my wedding outfits and jewellery, I had specific looks in mind. I did know however, not to be too specific or I may overlook something beautiful in front of my eyes. We shopped around in Ahmedabad, Anand, and Mumbai."

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    "I thought I had my wedding planned out since I was 20 years old, however, when it came time to truly plan, everything changed. I did have a secret board on Pinterest with ideas I had been collecting over the years, which turned out to be very useful. Instagram is always good to see what is trending with fashion and ideas, but at the end of the day I knew what I wanted, and stuck to it!"

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    "I wanted something pretty and elegant for the wedding ceremony. All weddings are beautiful, and for my 5 day wedding I was scared people would feel “another week, another wedding”, so I really wanted to make sure ours had a unique touch and would be a fun experience for everyone. For the ceremony, I wanted it to feel like everyone walked into heaven, so I had mountains of “clouds” of white roses alongside a mirrored gold aisle. The mandap matched with gold acrylic laser cut flowers and more white flowers creating a frame. 

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    "The foyer area outside of the ballroom had a laser cut white piano with flowers pouring out. I had a live band singing during the ceremony; they even sang my entrance song down the aisle!"

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    "For the reception, I wanted to transport people out of New York City and into this mystical forest, full of enchanted fairies and custom-built 20 foot trees. I wanted everyone to get glimpses of some grunge, because within, there is always something beautiful. During cocktail hour, they saw hints of wood, moss, and wildflower, suggesting something magical to come. They entered through a mystical tunnel, lured by the fairies into this enchanted forest with a center opening (the gold mirrored dance floor), with an effect of starlight and moonlight beaming down, sort of like falling down the rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland. It was dreamy, and elegant, and mystical at the same time!" 

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    "I wanted something gold. I envisioned a gold gown, but not bright gold. I ended up choosing a Manish Malhotra gown. I wanted a very enchanted, glowing look and the draped gown by Manish had the colours and the shine which was perfect for the night. For cocktail hour, I went with the cream and floral ruffled saree by Arpita Mehta." 

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    1. Wedding Planner: Sonal J Shah events
    2. Photographer: 
      1. Clane Gessel (sangeet/wedding/reception)
    3. Cinematographer: 
      1. Pacific Pictures for sangeet/wedding/reception
    4. Invitations & stationery: 
      1. Vivah Wedding Cards - invitations 
      2. Parchment by Dami - stationary (signs, itinerary, program, menus)
    5. Wedding designer: 
      1. Design House Decor - Sangeet, Wedding, Reception
    6. Mandap: Design House Decor - Sangeet, Wedding, Reception
    7. Florist: (done by Design House Decor)
    8. Catering: 
      1. Moghul Caterers - Sangeet, Wedding, Reception 
    9. Cake: City Sweets & Confections
    10. DJ / Entertainment: 
      1. Jay Dabhi Entertainment - Reception 
    11. Lighting/Staging: 
      1. Bentley Meeker - Sangeet and Wedding
      2. ISP - Reception
    12. Any other vendors: 
      1. Cinderella Bridez - family hair and makeup 
      2. Amit Shah/AATMA Performing Arts - choreo/dancers

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    Tips from the Bride: 
     
    1. One tip I can give, is that get your man a groomer! I think knowing that Suraj Patel was with Rahul all week long alleviated some sort of stress from my mind. As a bride, we are always in hair and makeup, with our stylist/mua making sure we look flawless, and I wanted to make sure Rahul did too.  
     
    2. I would definitely recommend doing your research! I have had a Pinterest board for 10 years now and a shoe box filled with ideas I have collected over time. Sometimes you see something you like, or have a thought that you would want to incorporate but over time you forget about it. Putting it all together really helps because when you finally start to plan, you can remember what you liked and eliminate the things that you definitely know you don’t want. 
     
    3. Lastly, trends change and styles come and go. At the end of the day, a wedding is a pretty cookie cutter. It is how you decide to incorporate different touches to the wedding events, is what makes it a little different than the rest. It is okay to think outside the box, and do something a little different! At the end of the day, just remember, you chose an outfit, or a theme, or a song because you loved it, don’t worry about anyone else, it’s YOUR DAY!

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