Balcony Baraat Indian Wedding

{About Rajvi and Rishi}

Rajvi was a student on the East Coast while planning her wedding. Rajvi and Rishi’s wedding was on a Saturday at The San Mateo Marriott in Northern California, and by Monday morning she was back on the East Coast to start the new semester! We caught up with Rajvi to get the details of her fun-filled Indian wedding!


  • how they selected their venue and their wedding professionals team
  • about Rajvi’s clothes, hair, and makeup
  • Rajvi’s wedding planning advice (anyone planning remotely or on a serious time crunch – pay attention!)
  • list of their wedding professionals team

{The Venue}

Step 1 in planning: select the venue
We decided the first thing to finalize was the venue. At first we didn’t know how many guests we’d have. It was a big range, as we guessed there would be anywhere between 250-450. So we needed a venue that could accommodate that many.


{Venue Criteria}
In addition to being South-Asian friendly we wanted to have the wedding and reception at 1 venue. Initially, we were thinking of doing the wedding in Sacramento and the reception in the Bay Area. But with about 130 miles in between, we took the advice of our brother and sister-in-law who had done something similar, and decided that it would be too much for our guests – even if we arranged the transportation.

{Venue Types}
With these limitations in mind, we looked at golf courses, country clubs, yachts, and convention centers. The space and fire hazard limited many of our options (a great feature on ShaadiShop!). Also I didn’t think we could decorate many of those venues in a way to create the traditional feel we were hoping for. In the end, we fell in love with the San Mateo Marriot’s gazebo because it was the perfect pre-created outdoor mandap. 

{Balcony Baraat -Bollywood Style}

I also LOVED the Marriott’s balcony. I always dreamt of standing out on a balcony as the baraat arrived (like in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun). It wasn’t THE reason we chose that venue but it was a big bonus!

{The Wedding Events}

Thursday: Garba
Friday: Ganesh Pooja, pithi and mehndi at our respective homes.
Saturday: morning ceremony, cocktail hour and the reception at the San Mateo Marriott.
Sunday: Lunch at Rishi’s parents’ home and dinner at my parents’ place.
After dinner we headed to the airport. Only now we were traveling as a married couple, back to reality – ready to start our lives together (and my next semester).

{Selecting Our Team of Wedding Professionals}

I was still in California when we got engaged, so I was very involved in the preliminary part of the wedding planning: researching vendors/venues, meetings, and finalizing the venue, DJ, and decorator. During that time I traveled to India with my mom to get all of our clothing and gifts.

Half way through our planning process, I moved to the east coast for school. And with Rishi preparing for residency, our family was a BIG help! We used the ‘divide and conquer approach’ to get everything done. Not only were we getting all of our tasks checked off, but both sides of our family were all working together to put together this memorable event. Rishi and I feel blessed to have such a supportive family that not only took this on as a second job but also ensured everyone enjoyed the planning. Our family’s friends also helped out so much during the event and we were able to select many of of our vendors that were vetted to us by them.

{Clothes, Hair, 
Makeup & Jewelry}

We had two makeup artists helping us on the wedding day.

ProTip: if there are a lot of females in both families – hire two makeup/hair artists. We had one artist dedicated to each family and someone else doing my hair and makeup. Having multiple artists ensured everyone had enough time to get ready and made the whole thing stress-free.

As for our clothes, we bought everything in India. And we coordinated the colors to match our decor. We got saris for the bridesmaids there too. My MIL also went to India so she brought back a lot of clothes for the wedding too. We went to a ton of stores in Gujarat and were able to find my dad’s and brother’s outfits Aishwarya and Khatri.

My stuff all came from stores in Ahmedabad and Punjab. The clothes in Punjab are very different than what you find in Gujarat. They’re a lot heavier, fancier, have different beading, bling, and color schemes. Gujarati fashion is lighter and mostly traditional. We found a designer in Ludhiana who custom made everything for us.

{Love This!}

{Bridesmaids & Groomsmen}

{Favorite Wedding Moments}

{Walking Down The Aisle}
We didn’t keep the antarpat at the wedding ceremony. Seeing Rishi for the first time as his soon-to-be bride was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. I focused on him as I walked down the aisle, excited that in a couple of hours, I’d officially be his wife.


{We Felt The Love}
Rishi and I were blown away by the love we felt in the courtyard during the ceremony. So many family and friends traveled across the nation and overseas to celebrate with us. Looking out into the crowd, we felt the overwhelming support and love from each and every guest there. It turned into quite an emotional day!


{Wedding Planning Advice

1. Do what you can to keep it stress-free! When I got stressed, I focused on the goal: uniting our families.

2. Family and friends want to help and there will be many opinions throughout wedding planning. Select a few non-negotiables – a few items that are THE most important to you.  And share your list with both families. That will go a long way.

3. Listen to everyone – your families will have great ideas you wouldn’t have thought of!

4. Let the small details go – it’s not worth turning the planning process into a war zone for details you wouldn’t even notice on your big day.

5. Table particularly difficult decisions for a while, get some perspective and revisit after everyone’s had time to think. Often you’ll find compromises that will make everyone happy.6. Enjoy your wedding! That’s easier said than done since you know what went right/wrong/who showed up/didn’t show up. Take a moment that day to appreciate the amazing celebration! Remove your wedding planner hat and put on your giddy Bride hat!

Our Wedding Professionals Team:

Cake: Hibbah

Caterer: Jay Bharat

Day-of Coordinator:

 Decorator: SB Arts

DJ: Bitsy from Toofan Sounds

Makeup & Hair
Laenkagroom’s family  
Suhaagan Shimmers – bride’s family

Photography: Jas and Mandy from JSK

Videography: Motion 8

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