How did you select the Hilton Woodland Hills?
It’s a beautiful venue and close to my parent’s house. Also they were accommodating. They hadn’t done a lot of desi weddings but were open to our needs. We decided to do our sangeet there because of the proximity and their ability to handle so many people. The staff was great!
What was your experience at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach?
The staff at the Long Beach Hyatt was excellent throughout the process – from the first meeting to after the wedding. They were accommodating and helpful. We were being really loud during our after party and they gave us a space downstairs to hang out, even though we were pretty loud. Everything went according to plan and we were really happy.
What other types of venues did you consider?
A lot of brides don’t want a hotel but it ended up being a good decision. We looked at other types of venues but we realized that at those venues you have to bring everything yourself and having it at a hotel is so much more convenient.
What advice would you give to couples just starting out with planning their wedding?
When you’re getting started with planning, have a meeting with all stakeholders come with their non-negotiables/things that are really important to them. This will help open discussions and make everyone aware of what’s important to whom. Especially for weddings between two people from different cultural backgrounds.
It’s all a compromise. Come together and understand each other’s point of view. Since some things are more important to some than others, consider dividing up responsibilities.
What advice would you give to other couples from two different cultural backgrounds?
I really recommend getting a wedding planner to help communicate and educate both families of each other’s cultural traditions. I loved working with Neha Shah from Blue Lotus Insights. She was very experienced in Punjabi-Gujarati weddings, which was very helpful. My wedding package included a bridal attendant who stayed with me the entire day from the morning through the reception. That made a huge difference! I had forgotten the bindi’s to put on my forehead and we forgot about breakfast the morning of the wedding and the attendant took care of all of that!
Any advice for selecting vendors?
Spend time to understand all of the charges especially the photographer and the venue. For example, charges for the engagement shoot, rights to the photos, service charges and taxes. You don’t want to be surprised!