Riddhi and Amish
Bride and Groom: Gujarati Hindu
Wedding and Reception: Hummingbird Nest Ranch
Photography and Videography: Lin and Jirsa
Our whole wedding day was outdoors.
At Hummingbird Nest Ranch, you’re literally given a very large plot of land and the rest is an open canvas for you to customize however you’d like. There’s a beautiful villa on the property. The outside of it can be used for taking photos.
We had our wedding at the front of the property, in front of the villa and the reception in the back, in the Grand Prix Lawn.
Was there a shut down time at Hummingbird?
Luckily since they’re pretty isolated, there’s no shut down time. Every single person was on the dance floor having an incredible time. When our DJ, Amit from 3D Sounds made the last song call, everyone chanted, “10 more songs!”… and he obliged.
Can you share some of the wedding logistics?
I’m not from LA and neither were most of my side’s guests. We established a “home base” at a Radisson Hotel near Hummingbird. All of my pre-ceremony functions – mehndi, pooja, and pithi were held there. We utilized their restaurant, and other spaces, throughout the week and occupied about 60 rooms for several nights.
Amish grew up in LA so his guests were mostly local. My mehndi was done during the day on Wednesday, in time for our side’s mehndi party on Thursday night. Amish’s mehndi party was Wednesday night, so my bridesmaids and I went for a little while. Even though my hands weren’t completely dry yet, I went and had a lot of fun as it was my first event with Amish and his side.
Our garba was at the Calabasas Community Center. They do a fair number of South Asian wedding events – especially garbas and it was convenient for everyone to get there. We loved our decor that night. We wanted a pretty traditional look and Sacheen’s Decor and Events is pretty well known for that.
Tell us about your clothes.
Since I work in the fashion industry clothes were pretty important to me. I worked for Manish Malholtra for two years in Mumbai and still have friends there, so they helped me during my 6 week trip prior to my wedding. Everything was custom made from scratch for my garba, wedding and reception as well as Amish’s wedding sherwani. I wanted our ceremony outfits to coordinate so I took care of that.
Bridal Party Clothes
The most work was my bridesmaids outfits which were also custom made. I did everything myself from selecting the tailor, to selecting fabrics, trims, and embroidery. It was definitely a process especially since I got them lehengas for the ceremony and gowns for the reception.
The ceremony lehengas were identical and the reception gowns were different shades of purple which corresponded to the
19 (yes I said 19) groomsmens’ neck ties. There were 8 bridesmaids so one of our biggest challenges was the entrances for the ceremony and reception! We ended up pairing each bridesmaid with two groomsmen and three remaining groomsmen entered together.
Amish has this amazing ability to keep in touch and stay close to his friends. All 19 of them are people he speaks to pretty regularly.
How did you bring all of these clothes back from India?
I brought back two of my outfits with me. My mom and dad went to India and my grandmother came from India as well – so among those additional 6 suitcases, we got everything. My MIL also went to India and took care of Amish’s garba outfit and the groomsmens kurtas.
What was your wedding day schedule?
We did a back-to-back day with the baraat>ceremony>cocktail>reception. I got ready at Hummingbird the day of the wedding. Unfortunately there was an accident on the freeway so it took 45 minutes to get there, when normally it should only take 15 minutes.
We didn’t have time buffer built in the schedule so while our timings didn’t get offset we ended up not being able to take all the photos we wanted. Lesson learned to future brides, build some time buffer into your wedding day to easily absorb unexpected circumstances.
The baraat started at the front of Hummingbird. A little over half of our guests were from his side so he had a big baraat. He came in on a Mclaren.
What were your wedding day priorities?
Food, rentals and music, in no particular order. Food and music make or break the experience for your guests and rentals as Hummingbird is just a space – it was important to decorate to create the atmosphere we wanted. The venue is so beautiful. You don’t have to do much but still it’s one of those places where you have to bring in everything – from electricity to water.
All of our rentals were from Bridal & Event Lounge. We worked with Atrina before the wedding and Danielle handled our day-of coordination. They were amazing. They came through with everything we had envisioned and wanted. They were a very important part of our wedding because we depended on them for so much. They provided all of the tables, chairs and decor for the wedding and reception.
What was going through your mind while you were walking down the aisle?
I was looking at Amish and smiling the whole way down the aisle and thinking, “don’t fall”.
We didn’t have an antarpat so I could see him looking at me as well.
What did you do for lighting?
Amit from 3D Sounds handled all of our lighting. During the day, Hummingbird doesn’t need any lights, so it was just for the evening that we needed to consider. We put a tent up and Amit from 3D Sounds placed lighting to complement the lights already at the property.
Who did most of the planning?
We both did. Amish was very involved during the last four months in particular, as I started a new job. He literally did everything during those last few months.
One of the great things about Hummingbird is their flexibility. You order all of the beverages and have it delivered directly to the venue; and can bring in any caterer you’d like. Give yourself time to figure out the correct amount of beverages to order.
Did you use chiavari chairs for the wedding and reception?
Yes, but we couldn’t use the same set of chairs. We had to rent two sets. The way Hummingbird is setup, moving the chairs from the ceremony area to the tent for the reception would have been totally visible to our guests, and we didn’t want that.
Wedding planning advice from the bride
- Build room in the schedules for uncontrollable situations.
- Give everyone in your wedding party schedules so they know where they need to be at each time.
- Have someone who’s responsible for keeping everything on time.
- Think from the perspective of a guest and what would make you comfortable if you were a guest. If it’s going to be hot, make accommodations to shade the ceremony area, provide beverages.
Wedding Professionals Team
Cake/dessert: We didn’t have a cake. A friend of mine Chenin Aglipay is a caterer, Chenin Kei Desserts. She did our dessert table with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, and 3 types of truffles flavored with our favorite candy bars, brownies, and more.
Caterer: Manohar’s Delhi Palace – to this day people tell us how good the food was. We didn’t even talk to any other caterers. We knew we wanted them.
Catering services: Ramon’s Staffing; he’s very well known and does a lot of South Asian weddings in Southern California. They really know how to work with the size, the long day and multiple events. They were great. They set up everything from water stations to tray passed hors d’oeuvres and replenishing dinner items. They were important for our guest’s comfort and made the day flow smoothly.
Decor: Garba and other pre-wedding events: Sacheen’s Decor & Events, is very good at traditional Indian decor. She did a great job! She was so good at creating a grand look.
DJ and Lighting: Amit from 3D Sounds
Many of our friends and family recommended him and they were right. We liked working with him. He was very attentive and it was easy to explain what we wanted – he just got it.
Hair and Makeup: Dolled up by Lulu; she was very patient and upbeat despite the time delay.
She brought a team to get the bridesmaids ready as well.
Mehndi: Beauty by Rachana.
Panditji: Sarla Rajyagor, she had done my cousin’s wedding. She spoke in English and she was flexible to tweak the program for how we wanted.
Planner: Atrina and Danielle from Bridal & Event Lounge. They did our wedding day and did great work. They had a big job since we had so many rentals from them and they executed everything we wanted flawlessly.
Photography and videography: Matt Saville from Lin and Jirsa. Lin and Jirsa shot our mehndi, garba, wedding and reception. We love our photos! And having the drone was really worth it.