We’re excited to share the wedding of Reha and Vijay at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa. Reha walks us through her decision making for better planning for an Indian wedding, which is useful for any couple currently planning their wedding.
Photos provided by: Aaron Eye Photography
What Was The Most Important Decision When You Started Planning Your Wedding?
For us, selecting the venue was the most important decision as everything else was dependent on that. My brother got married last year so I saw what they went through. That made things a bit easier for us as we went in pretty clear on what we wanted in a venue. Additionally we liked several of their vendors so we used many of them.
How Many Venues Did You Visit?
We looked at 5 venues total. Again we had a lot of info already from my brother and SIL as they had visited over 60 venues for their wedding the year prior. One of the first things we did was narrow down the city/region we wanted to get married in. We eliminated LA and decided to focus on Orange County. That was a good approach as it kept us very focused.
Then we narrowed down what type of venue we wanted i.e. hotel, country club etc. We were open to big brand hotels as well as boutiques but the issue with the smaller boutique properties is that they’re too small.
How Did You Find Venues?
Google searches and I called each venue individually. I wish ShaadiShop was around when I was looking for venues. It would have made everything a lot easier!
What Were Your Venue Deal Breakers?
- Outdoor ceremony space
- A venue that already had a gazebo
- Experience with Indian weddings
- A view
- A hotel
The Newport Beach Marriott had everything we wanted.
I got married in the Rose Garden We looked at the Sea View Terrace as well. While both are beautiful ceremony venues, we liked the Rose Garden more. We had about 225 people at the wedding and closer to 260 reception.
We did the baraat at the front of the hotel near the water fountain, which we preferred vs. doing it in the parking lot. And I’m so happy we did that because the pictures came out great! That was kind of a deal-breaker for us. We felt like if we’re getting a horse and going all out, it should be nice.
Additionally they’re really accommodating about the sleeping rooms. We had a contract in place and it wasn’t until we got closer to the wedding that a lot of people started booking rooms. It ended up that we needed more rooms than we originally thought. And even though that’s a busy time of year they were very accommodating.
And Shanti our Catering Sales Manager was one of the nicest people, in terms of customer service, I’ve ever met.
Can You Tell Us About Some Particularly Special Moments From That Day?
How Long Did You Give Yourself to Plan Your Wedding?
We got engaged in November and got married the following June so we gave ourselves about 8 months to plan the wedding.
Break Down Your Wedding Weekend Events
Tuesday: sagaii (engagement)
Thursday: I got my mehndi done (it took 6 hours) and my husband’s family had a separate function.
Friday: pooja during the day, haldi, a mehndi party, the sangeet/garba. It was really low key all held at my parents’ house.
Vijay’s sangeet was at a restaurant on Friday night. He had a lot of people come from India so it was an opportunity for them to hang out together. We did separate sangeets because that’s the tradition in my family. My sangeet was more of a ‘get the bride ready for the wedding’ event vs. a party.
We were also trying to minimize the number of days and events because it becomes a lot.
On Friday night, after our respective events, Vijay, the bridesmaids and I all stayed at the Marriott so that we could get a good night’s sleep and get ready there the next day. With all the stuff that you have to bring I recommend staying at your wedding venue – or as close as possible – the night before your wedding.
Saturday: wedding and reception
Sunday: I went to Vijay’s parents house for half of the day for the bride’s welcoming into her in-laws’ home.
Then my brothers picked me up went back to my parent’s house. Vijay picked me up the next day.
Can You Walk Us Through The Schedule of Events On the Wedding Day?
We served light snacks in the Rose Garden immediately after the ceremony.
Since we started the ceremony in the late afternoon we had all of our events back-to-back. Cocktail hour followed right after we finished the ceremony. Some guests headed to cocktail hour while we took photos at the mandap and did the vidai.
Where Did You Shop For Your Wedding Clothes?
Were There Any Cultural Differences you Worked Through to Combine Your Respective Traditions?
How Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Did You Have?
We had speeches and a couple dances. We hired a choreographer to teach us our first dance.
We danced to Better Together by Jack Johnson.
Do You Have Any Wedding Planning Advice to Share?
The venue is the hardest thing to shop for. Instead of heading out there and looking at venues, first narrow down what your deal breakers are and what type of atmosphere you want. Then start visiting venues.
- I think it’s important to consider the convenience of your parents and guests as people are coming from all over the world to attend – and you want them to be comfortable.
- Make a list of the most important things for the wedding i.e. Vijay wanted a cool baraat and a photo booth.
I wanted an outdoor ceremony and separate area for cocktails.
- Everything can’t be perfect – you have to decide what the non-negotiables are, which items you’re willing to spend a bit more on and which items you care less about.
Once we did all of this prep work it became a lot easier to focus and make decisions for everything.
How Did You Select Wedding Vendors?
Aaron Eye Photography and DJ Sukh were both at my brother’s wedding. I really liked both of them and they were available on my wedding date. Some vendors were recommended by our coordinator or we already knew them.
Cake: Pacific Patisserie
Caterer: Manohar’s Delhi Palace
Vijay’s parents had catered food from them before and really liked it. Everyone was raving about how good the food was.
Kumba Entertainment did the mandap furniture.
DJ: Sukh – he DJ’d my brother’s wedding and everyone had an incredible time.
Hair and Makeup: Henna Dil Se
She was recommended by the coordinator.
Photography: Aaron Eye Photography
Again, Aaron was my brother’s wedding photographer and we loved his photos.
Since we knew him we decided to work with him again.
In this article, the bride walked us through her wedding and her decision making for better planning for an Indian wedding. We hope you find her process helpful as you plan your wedding!
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You may also like our guide for selecting a mandap style and decor.