Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine. The bride and groom in their Indian wedding dresses ready for their Hindu wedding ceremony.

Party Bus, Cinderella Coach, Book Invitations and more!

{Shveta + Kunal}

Shveta and Kunal, got married at the newly renovated Hotel Irvine. The swanky and chic hotel venue is a relative newcomer to South Asian weddings – and they’re ideally suited for them with their outdoor lawn for a ceremony, brilliant front pathway – perfect for a horse, car or yes, an ele baraat; not to mention the entrance which is fantastic for bride/groom and wedding party
photo shoots. (see photos below).

{New in this Wedding Feature}

Usually our features are summaries covering the wedding week. We changed things up a bit with an in interview with the groom. To all the couples currently planning their wedding, time to open up Evernote ‘cuz this post has a lot of info that will be useful for you!

Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine
Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine. The bride and groom in their Indian wedding dresses ready for their Hindu wedding ceremony.

ShaadiShop: What were your priorities in selecting a venue?

  1. We wanted a newer venue or recently renovated
  2. A venue that wouldn’t nickel and dime us
  3. Space capacity for our 500 guests
  4. Nice looking venue with clean carpet and walls
  5. Outdoor ceremony capability
  6. Allowed a horse and carriage

ShaadiShop: Even though you got married during the summer did you discuss a plan in case it rained?
Definitely, we had that conversation early on. The Hotel Irvine has a pavilion which was going to be our back up for the ceremony. We confirmed that they allowed the flame inside there and that they would not sell that space on our wedding day.

Indian weding outdoor ceremony with a pink canopy.
The Hotel Irvine was flexible, newly renovated, and had enough space for us.
Pink mandap for an outdoor Indian wedding
Indian wedding ceremony

ShaadiShop: How did you find Hotel Irvine?
I work in Irvine and saw it while was driving by one day. They were renovating when we went to see it and told us when the changes would be complete. Knowing that these things take longer than planned our wedding date was far enough away from the scheduled finish date that we felt comfortable booking there. The catering manager at Hotel Irvine, Ebrahim, was really nice,  flexible and great to work with.

I really like that ShaadiShop has all the capacity and indoor/outdoor, and baraat info in their search filter – saves a huge amount of time from having to call venues one-by-one.

ShaadiShop: Did you consider other venues?
Some of the other venues we looked at were undergoing renovations as well, but their finish dates were too close to our wedding date – we didn’t want to take the risk that the renovations wouldn’t be completed in-time. We looked at a variety of venue types – golf courses and community centers. But most of those venues can’t really accommodate 500 guests for the reception or they just weren’t as nice as most of the hotels.

The Indian bride and groom at their Indian, Hindu, wedding ceremony.
Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine with elephant statues and an arch for the milni.
Hotel Irvine Indian wedding reception.
Indian wedding reception ballroom at Hotel Irvine
Indian bride and groom wearing their lehenga and suit at their Indian wedding reception.
Punjabi groom holding talwar for his Indian wedding ceremony
Indian bride before her Hindu, Indian, wearing ceremony.
Kunal and Shveta, the bride and groom on the mandap.
The bride at her mehndi function
Rajasthani mehndi with dulha and dulhan at an Indian wedding
Bridal mehndi on the bride's feet
Indian wedding mehndi for the bride

ShaadiShop: Tell us about Shveta’s mehndi? 
She wanted the works – all the way up her arms and legs as well as raja-rani figurines, done by Beauty by Lishma. It took a long time and it looked beautiful. (Get ShaadiShop’s guide on bridal mehndi).

ShaadiShop: What were your individual roles in planning the wedding?
My job was to execute Shveta’s vision. She decided what she wanted and what she wanted everything to look like. And…thank god I had her because I loved everything she thought of. I selected a majority of our vendor team and we were really happy with how everything turned out.

Punjabi Jain Indian wedding sangeet pillows and paisley background decor
Kunal: My job was to make sure Shveta’s vision for our wedding week actually happened.
Indian wedding sangeet with bright decor and blue dance floor

ShaadiShop: What venue did you select for your sangeet?
We had two sangeets. Since we both have really big families, both wanted their own sangeet celebrations. My family is all in OC so we had ours at the Yorba Linda Community Center and her family is in the Valley and that sangeet was at the Hilton Woodlands Hills.

One of our favorite memories was busing our families to each others sangeets. Uncles, aunties, cousins – EVERYONE enjoyed partying our way…to the party. When we arrived at the Hilton, dhol players welcomed the baraat – which we LOVED! (sangeet photos below). 

sangeet at Hilton Woodland Hills with blue decorated dance floor
Gorgeous blue dance floor with pink floral designs.
Beautiful carriage for the bride to make a grand entrance at the sangeet.
Jago at a Punjabi wedding sangeet night
The bride participating in the traditional jago ceremony at her sangeet.
The groom's sister doing a Bollywood dance at the Indian wedding sangeet.
Kunal’s sister loves to dance and she performed and danced the whole weekend!
Groom's mom dancing at the sangeet for the Indian wedding.
Kunal’s mom dancing at the sangeet.

We bused our families to each other’s sangeets. That was a ton of fun as it was a full-on party bus. All of my cousins and I were in the back of the bus drinking, laughing, and having an amazing time.

Indian wedding sangeet with the party bus
The Jain party bus!
Dhol player playing as the baraat arrives at the sangeet
The baraat arrived with a bang. We flew in Rayman Bhuller, a world class dhol player from Canada. 
Fruit display at an Indian wedding sangeet.
Gorgeous, custom-cut fruit display on the sangeet night.
Getting ready for the baraat to start.
The ‘chota dulha’ getting ready to ride with Kunal.
Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine Punjabi Jain bride and groom.
baraat horse and carriage for the groom at his Indian wedding
Groom dancing in the baraat of his Indian wedding.

The bride and groom exchanging varmala at the Indian wedding ceremony.
Kunal unsuccessfully teasing Shveta from putting the garland around his neck.
The groom putting sindoor in his wife's maang tiika during the Hindu wedding ceremony.
Indian wedding bride and groom with their varmala after their Jain Punjabi wedding ceremony

The Indian groom negotiating to get his shoes back at his Indian wedding
Shoe negotiations =)
The bride throwing the rice during her vidai
Shveta, the Laxmi of the house, leaving behind her blessings for her family’s continuous prosperity, while her brother holds the rice basket during the vidai.
Indian wedding vida, bhabhi catching the rice in her sari.
Catching the rice grains to symbolize that their Laxmi, Shveta, will still bless their home.
The bride wearing her pink lehenga at her vidai.
Punjabi indian bride and groom during their photoshoot for their indian wedding reception.

Indian wedding Bollywood dance.
Indian wedding reception, Bollywood dance wearing a lehenga
Indian wedding Bollywood dance at wedding reception
The bride and groom’s siblings performing a dance.

ShaadiShop: Tell us about setting up the Hotel Room block
We took out a lot of rooms at the hotel so guests had a place to go in-between the wedding and reception and for our other guests that were local, they went home and came back in the evening. If you’re like us and have a lot of guests with the same last name (in our case Jain) expect that you’re going to have to work more closely with the hotel. They got confused at times and we had to be more hands-on to ensure the reservations were correct. 

ShaadiShop: What went through your mind as Shveta walked down the aisle?
Shveta and I didn’t see each other that day until she was walking down the aisle. She looked amazing! As she made her way towards me I kept thinking, “I can’t let her sit down before me”.  I was pretty determined partly because her side won the 15 minute shoe battle that took place when I entered the mandap. 

Indian wedding ceremony. The bride walking down the aisle.
Kunal: Shveta looked absolutely beautiful!
Indian wedding stealing the grooms shoes at Hote Irvine at this Punjabi Jain wedding.
Battle for the shoes!

ShaadiShop: How far in advance did you mail invitations?
About 3 months before the wedding. The final RSVP date was about a month before the wedding. About 70% of the guests RSVP’d through the paper response card. We didn’t do RSVPs electronically as we didn’t find a good AND easy-to-use site that could handle contingencies. For example not everyone was invited to every event and the sites we found either couldn’t handle that or it wasn’t easy . It was easier to just RSVP with a paper card. 

We got our invitations in India when my mom and my sister went shopping there. I didn’t go. They know what I like {and don’t like}, so they took care of everything including the groomsmens’ clothes too.

Indian groom wearing sherwani with his groomsmen wearing kurtas and blue dupattas.
Kunal: My mom got the groomsmens’ kurtas but Shveta took care of their dupattas so they would match with the bridesmaids saris.

ShaadiShop: Tell us about Shveta’s invitations?
Shveta’s invitations came from India as well and were like a collectible. They were full-on books with photos of Shveta, poems, sayings wit bright colors and gold lettering and designs.  By the time she and her family went to India all of the details of our events had been finalized so they were able to print everything there.

Indian wedding invitations
Shveta’s wedding invitations were booklets with photos, poems, and inserts.
Indian wedding cards
India wedding bridal party. The bride wearing her pink lehenga and the bridesmaids wearing blue saris.
Indian wedding bridal party with pink umbrellas
gifts for the bridesmaids
Indian Jain Punjabi wedding ceremony at Hotel Irvine with groomsmen dancing in the baraat.

ShaadiShop: How many were in your wedding party?
9 bridesmaids and groomsmen each. 

ShaadiShop: Have any wedding planning advice?

  1. Lock down your venue first
  2. Once you have your venue, work on decor
  3. Have an idea of what you want your wedding and reception to look like before you start talking to decorators. You’re going to be working with the decorator the entire time, so quickly start working with them early on and make sure your personalities jive.

{Our Vendors}

Baraat: Cinderella Carriages-we really liked their horse and carriage but were very unhappy with their service.

baraat horse and carriage for the groom at his Indian wedding

Sangeet: Tandoor Cuisine of India
Wedding and Reception: Manohar’s Delhi Palace

Indian wedding at Hotel Irvine with vegetarian catered Indian food.

Both did a great job! Everyone enjoyed the food throughout the whole weekend.
We served vodka pani puri which was a big hit. My dad was worried about people getting confused between regular pani and the vodka pani, so we made sure there was a sign differentiating them.

The bride and groom at their Indian wedding sangeet

Decor: Hetal from Kumba Entertainment and Yogi Patel from Sheer Romance. We loved our decor. We went all out on making our events look unique and really stand out. They executed our vision exactly as we wanted! We brought in Yogi from Sheer Romance pretty late into wedding planning and he embraced the challenge. He understood our vision, was full of ideas and was a pleasure to work with!


Dessert: Our desserts were from Wholesome Choice in Yorba Linda. Their baker made an incredible spread and they came to the hotel and set everything up. This was their first time doing a big Indian wedding and they did an incredible job. The dessert was one of our wedding day highlights.

Indian wedding dessert spread at the Hotel Irvine
dessert at Indian wedding reception

Dhol Players:
Rayman Bhuller from Canada. He sings very well and one of Canada’s best dhol players – we flew him and the Brazilian drummer out and they played on our sangeet night as well as while everyone was entering the reception ballroom.

Dhol player playing as the baraat arrives at the sangeet
Indian wedding Bollywood dance.

DJs: Sangeet: Rohan Dosaj from 3D Sounds
Wedding and Reception: Sandeep Kumar
They were both amazing and kept the party going all night!

Indian bride wearing jhoomar, tikka, and payal at her Indian wedding
Indian wedding ceremony

Hair, Makeup, and Mehndi: Beauty by Lishma

 Azra Bholat from Azra Flowers

Pandit: I grew up at the Riverside mandir so he knows our family. Plus he explains the ceremony so well.

India wedding bridal party. The bride wearing her pink lehenga and the bridesmaids wearing blue saris.

Planner: Yogi Patel from Sheer Romance was our day-of coordinator. He was really easy to work with. He went with the flow and even though we didn’t use him for most of our decor he didn’t try to oversell us. He was great.

Photography: Yogi Patel from Global Photography.
We’re really happy with our photos. The colors and designs were captured beautifully.

Robles Video Productions.

Congratulations Shveta and Kunal!

Bride and groom at their sangeet for an Indian wedding

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6 thoughts on “Party Bus, Cinderella Coach, Book Invitations and more!

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