Seema & Roshan
Hilton Costa Mesa Orange County
Bride and Groom: Hindu (Bhakta) Gujarati and Hindu (Shah) Gujarati
Mehndi at Shree Ramkabir Mandir in Carson (100 people)
Roshan’s mehndi was at his parents home in Anaheim Hills
My pithi ceremony was at the Shree Ramkabir Mandir in Carson (450 people). My pithi was very ceremonial. We don’t sit down during our pithi. I was standing on a platform. And next to me was an unmarried female in my family. All of my aunts, female cousins, and close female friends did pithi.
Roshan’s pithi was smaller, about 80, people at his parent’s home
The same day as the pithi we did the mandap muhurat, which is blessed by all the males of my family.
We intended to do a casual dinner at my parents home. However there were too many people.We expect about 150 people.
So instead we hosted Roshan’s family, my family, and anyone from out-of-town, at the hotel where everyone was staying. Roshan’s family brought the traditional gifts for the bride – saris, chudiyan, jewelry which was really lovely. We hired pizza food trucks to make pizzas on the spot and had a casual ceremony and dinner. It was a great chance for our families to spend time together before the wedding. We also got a few mehndi artists to come and do mehndi for anyone who hadn’t had a chance to do that yet.
About 25% of our guests – a little over 100 people were non-Indian. They were particularly excited to attend as it was their first Indian wedding.
The ceremony and reception at the Hilton Costa Mesa.
Our ceremony started at 2:30pm
How did you select the Hilton Costa Mesa?
- size was a big factor for us. Since we didn’t have a time gap between the wedding and reception the venue wouldn’t have tim to turn the room around from a ceremony setup to a reception setup. So finding a venue with at least two rooms/spaces that could handle our ceremony and our reception was difficult.
- We liked the location. We didn’t want Long Beach as traffic and parking makes that area difficult
- we wanted to keep it more local
- they had an Indian catering sales manager so that was helpful
- they include colored linens in their package too – whatever color you want
Where did you shop for clothes?
I got all of my clothes in LA’s Little India at Vitha Fashion.
Where did you get the bridal party clothes?
My mom had gone to India and got the bridesmaids saris there. Their colors were deep purple with burnt orange.
Our bridal party was comprised of our siblings, nieces and nephews.
Do you have wedding planning advice?
1. Our catering sales manager left the hotel the week before the wedding. I found out later that turn over is pretty high amongst catering managers at hotels so I highly recommend that either you work with two people at the property and keep really good/organized records of all transactions and conversations.
2. If your catering manager leaves, schedule an appointment with the new person and go over the contract details and make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. We didn’t have a time gap between the wedding and reception, which in retrospect I think would have been helpful.
5. Roshan was VERY involved with wedding planning, which I liked. He had input on everything and enjoyed being involved. Having a super involved partner is amazing.
6. Create a schedule/timeline for the wedding day.
7. Enjoy it. No matter what happens. On your wedding day let other people help you.
Our Wedding Professionals Team:
We loved all of our vendors. They really delivered what we asked for, were on time, and worked very well with one another.
Caterer: Manohar’s Delhi Palace – I’ve never heard that many compliments about food.
Cake: Van’s Bakery – a Vietnamese bakery sponge cake with whip cream frosting so it was very light and still tasty. The cake was a hit.
Vitha Fashion in Little India. They were ahead of schedule. They told me it would take 6 weeks but it took 4.
Roshan got his sherwani at Sona Chaandi. They delivered it 1.5 months after the date and it had a stain on it. Fortunately we ordered way ahead.
DJ: Special Occasions Bhavin MC’d and Praneel DJ’d. We wanted a lot of 90s and they were fantastic. I met Bhavin a week before my wedding and he played exactly the stuff that I wanted, so people thought we had been friends for a very long time.
They provided DJ, dhol and lighting services. They did a combo of textured lighting and up-lights.
Florist: Kim Chi Flowers in Westminster. She was my sister-in-law’s florist. She does large scale weddings including Indian weddings and does amazing work. She did all the flowers for the mandap, bouquets and all of the centerpieces.
Mandap: Sheer Romance – he did the mandap structure and some of the reception decor. He was really great. He had to deal with the additional cost and labor of having to tear down the mandap earlier that expected. He was awesome because he told me that we weren’t going to pay the additional cost. So he sent us a bill which we forwarded to the hotel. We chose not to have a stage as we wanted to sit with everyone.
We contacted a few other companies but found them either very expensive, or a bit rude when we shared our vision for a more simple look. Yogi kept saying I want you to be happy and I want you to look back at your wedding and love it. And when I walked into the ceremony space it took my breath away.
Makeup: I had two artists. My cousin, Enhanced Beauty by Bindiya, did my pre-wedding stuff. She’s my cousin and I wanted her to enjoy the wedding day. So I hired Shirley Arcia of Surely Beautiful – for my wedding and reception. She’s done a lot of Indian weddings. She did my makeup, the bridal party, our moms’ makeup.
Pandit: Shukavak Dasa
We worked with him to modify some of the uber traditional elements of the ceremony that didn’t fit us or our relationship very well. He was very open to that too.
Party Rentals: Vigen’s Party Rentals – we rented chiavari chairs with them. They were great about delivery and setup.
Photobooth: Eleven Photo Booth
Hair: Sorella Salon.
Mercedez and Alejandra did all the hairstyles for the entire bridal party and moms. Mercedez is a long time friend and it was no question she would do my hair…she is fantastic and everyone loved the way they looked.
Photographer: Christina Chico Photography. We found Christina through my makeup artist cousin, Bindiya right when we got engaged. Christina did our engagement shoot and party and we just fell in love with her. At that time she was just getting into the South Asian wedding market. She is super attentive and personable, and doesn’t get in the way like a lot of photographers but still gets amazing shots. Ours was the biggest wedding she had done, but since then she has done several more Indian weddings, in fact several friends and acquaintances have worked with her since and love her as well.