Surprise Celebrity Guest! Poonam and KJ, Phuket, Thailand

{About Poonam and KJ}

Bhangra brought these two Bhangra Empire dancers together. Poonam and KJ, aka The Jolly Sidhus, met at a team practice. Poonam was immediately smitten as KJ rode in on a motorcycle in true Bollywood hero fashion. Hence the motorcylce at KJ’s baraat (see photos inside).

Their first trip together was to Thailand, so what better place to start their marriage! One thing we love about this couple is they spared no detail when it came to hosting their guests. From considering minor details to the big surprise at the reception.

ShaadiShop caught up with Poonam for the details of their love and fun-filled destination wedding at the Le Meridien Resort in Phuket, Thailand.

Inside:

  • Details: venue, clothes, decor, and the surprise celebrity guest.
  • ProTips throughout the article: tips from couples who have gone through the wedding planning process.
    Poonam and Kiranjit at the Le Meridien Resort, Phuket.
    Poonam and KJ at the Le Meridien Resort, Phuket.

    {Highlight of the Wedding}

    There were so many incredible moments. We were so thankful that our family and friends across the globe joined us. KJ and I arranged a surprise for everyone – no one, not even our families, knew that we arranged for famous Punjabi singer, Malkit Singh to sing at the reception.

    He’s an important person in our love story. Years ago, before I knew KJ, Malkit Singh was at a bhangra competition where I had performed. He’s one of my favorite singers and I eagerly waited in line to meet him but ‘some guy’ in front of me ended up being the last one his team allowed. I was disappointed to say the least and later learned ‘some guy’ was KJ!

    Everyone was so elated and surprised when he arrived and we had a brilliant time singing along and dancing.

{Selecting the Venue}

Planning the wedding was a tri-country operation. We were in California and our planner, Neha Mehrotra was in Delhi. Indian destination weddings, in Thailand, are a trend and companies specialize in them. Foreign Wedding Planners made planning across the globe seamless and we can’t say enough great things about them. We had a lot of ideas for our wedding and she made everything come to life. Neha recommended vendors whom we interviewed, researched, and made final selections. 

Aside from being a stunning beach resort, we were impressed with Le Meridien’s responsiveness and understanding of our wishes. We had all of our joint and separate events at the resort and they accommodated all of our needs with ease.

{Monsoon Wedding}

We had our very own real life Monsoon Wedding! As I entered for the Anand Karaj it started to pour! We didn’t stop though. The resort staff kindly brought out umbrellas and our guests huddled together underneath them. 

We delayed the Hindu ceremony a bit in hopes the rain would pass. And it did – until I headed down the aisle in the palki. At that point the wind had picked up and the panditji was having a difficult time lighting the havan so my brothers stood in the mandap holding the industrial strength hotel-umbrellas, facing the rain; with their backs towards KJ and I in order for us to light the havan.

It was touching and everyone laughed through it all. I don’t know who else could be so lucky that their family and friends weren’t complaining about all of this. Everyone was smiling throughout.

After the ceremony, we did a butterfly release and took photos on the beach, had a very {fun} extensive battle over the shoes and a lovely vidai.

{Clothes}

We both had ideas for our outfits – for the sangeet, wedding and reception.  As an avid Disney fan, our reception themed, “Happily Ever After” was the perfect time to incorporate hints of a princess gown: I sketched out some ideas and worked with a boutique designer in Ludhiana. When I went in for a fitting, I was stunned. It was perfect! I didn’t need a single thing changed!

ProTip: If you’re going the bespoke route with your clothes, give yourself extra time, in case you have to work with multiple designers.

ProTip: Pay clothing fees installments based on deliverables and negotiate deposits so that both you and the designer have an equal stake for everything to come out right.

{Getting Ready}

My only hesitation with a destination wedding was missing out on that “shaadi ka ghar” (wedding buzz atmosphere) feeling. Getting ready with my aunts, cousins and friends was an excellent proxy for that though! We arranged hair and makeup for the bridesmaids and family and hair for all of our guests. I loved spending that time together.

{Sangeet Decor}

Our sangeet theme was a nod to Agrabah from Disney’s Aladdin – complete with fire dancers.

{Wedding Decor}

We had two beach ceremonies – Anand Karaj followed by a Hindu ceremony to honor both of our traditions. 

{Reception Decor}

Themed “Happily Ever After” we tried to transform our reception into a Royal ball.


Bhangra Empire’s Reception Performance!

{The Cake and Details}

{Traditions}

We incorporated Sikh and Hindu traditions throughout our wedding.


Congratulations Poonam and KJ! 

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