Shari and Prashanth planned their wedding with 130 guests within 6 months of getting engaged.
They knew they wanted to be somewhere in Orange County.
6 months is a shorter turn-around. How would you characterize the whole planning process?
At times it was very hectic because it was such a short time I had to decide quickly what I wanted. I didn’t have time to consider a lot of different vendors. At the same time I’m lucky that a couple of my cousins got married recently so I got a lot advice and recommendations through them. We mailed our invitations 2 months prior to the wedding.
What were your priorities?
I’d say convenience and food. We held all of our events at the Marriott which was really convenient for our guests as well as us. It felt like a staycation as we were there for three days and got to enjoy the gorgeous property.
How was your experience working with the Newport Beach Marriott?
At first I worked with Shanti and after I signed the contract – with Molly. It was a very easy transition between them. We felt well taken care of the entire time. They were great! For convenience, we decided to have all of our events at the Marriott – the sangeet, wedding and reception. We had several out-of-town guests so staying in one place was most convenient for them and the hotel is so close to the airport, it wasn’t hard to get there.
They were attentive and I really liked that they had so many different venues where I could have each of my events – I used the Rose Garden, The SeaView Terrace and The Atrium.
We didn’t have to use their ballrooms over and over. Since we had our sangeet and reception in the ballrooms, it was really nice to be able to serve lunch in a different venue. That’s a very unique aspect of this venue.
Lunch: SeaView Terrace
Ceremony: The Rose Garden
Cocktail hour: The Atrium
Reception: Newport Coast Ballroom
What other wedding venues did you consider?
I liked the Hotel Irvine but they didn’t have availability in the outdoor ceremony space, on the date I wanted.
What events did you have before the wedding?
We had our poojas and haldi ceremonies. My aunt hosted my mehndi.
Since you and Prashanth are from different cultural backgrounds, how did you mesh your traditions?
Most of the traditions in a Jain/Hindi ceremony are also in the South Indian wedding as well – it’s just the way they’re implemented is a little different.
Plus, our Officiant, Mahesh Bhatt, was great! We were both very comfortable.
The biggest difference we found in the ceremonies is the length. South Indian ceremonies tend to be much longer – they can last four hours. We kept it short – a little over an hour.
Can you walk us through your wedding day?
We wanted a late afternoon ceremony so we served lunch before it started at about 11am, as mentioned above, in the SeaView Terrace.
Where did you shop?
My parents got my ceremony outfit in India. They sent me photos of outfits in the middle of the night and I was going back and forth with them while they were there.
My reception outfit was from Dreams Collections in Artesia.
My sangeet outfit was from Maneka in Artesia. Prashanth’s clothes were all from Artesia.
Where did you get your wedding invitations?
My parents got them in Ahmedabad at Coney Company, which was another recommendation from one of my cousins. They had a quick turn around which was pretty important to us. My parents were so busy while they were in India, I wish we had had more time to proofread and review the invitations before printing them.
Do you have any wedding planning advice?
1. If you really want something confirm with your coordinator/vendor the day-of to ensure it gets done.
2. Really know your contracts and what’s included (and not included) in them. You should know what you’re paying for.
3. Make sure you know how you want to look on your wedding day. How you actually look and how you look in photos will differ due to the heavy makeup.
4. While preparing your luggage for your wedding events, create lists of each item you need for each event. And double check to ensure that you packed everything on the list. Give yourself several hours to pack carefully and thoroughly.
5. Ensure that the officiant signs and mails the marriage license within 10 days as it has an expiration date.
Cake: The Cake Korner. They were wonderful to work with! They make eggless cakes and conveniently located in Artesia.
We worked with Bala. They gave suggestions on how to make the cake look fantastic. For example, I wanted a solid color For the cake, and he said it would look more elegant if we went with white or off-white with decorations. They also did our engagement cake. We also ordered different pastries from them for the wedding lunch (mango, pistachio, Black Forest,
and chocolate mousse).
Caterers: sangeet: Vishnu – South Indian food in Irvine.
Elbow’s Mac N Cheese in Artesia – their catering menu is very different than what they offer in the restaurant.
I highly recommend them.
Reception: Pickles, also in Artesia.
Coordinator: Mili Shah from Planning Elegance. We bought the 3 month package.
She was primarily focused on contractual agreements and updates. She handled negotiations with the Marriott and saved us a lot of money.
Decor: Dream Decor – Azra Bholat she did a couple of my cousin’s wedding and I really liked their work.
DJ: Bhavin from Special Occasions. They DJ’d at all of our events including the sangeet, provided a mobile DJ for the baraat and lighting at the reception.
Hair, makeup and mehndi: Karishma Beauty
They did all of my hair and makeup. They got me ready for all of my events and I was extremely happy. I kept the same look for the reception – just had some touch ups.
Photography and Videography: Lin and Jirsa: Clarence and Sara, I always knew I wanted Lin & Jirsa. I loved them. They listened to that I wanted. I am so happy with my photos. I really like the vibrancy of the photos and creativity.
Panditji: Mahesh Bhatt – he was pretty accommodating to what we wanted. I liked him a lot.
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