Post-Ceremony Dove Release

{About Nina and Gautam}

Nina and Gautam were amongst the first of their friends to get married. Not only were they new to wedding planning but Nina was in law school in the SF Bay area during most of it too. With the help of their families, they planned a beautiful fall wedding!


  • Details: venue, clothes, decor and more.
  • ProTips throughout the article: tips from couples who have gone through the wedding planning process.
  • Wedding professionals list: a list of all the companies involved in their wedding

Nina and Gautam on their wedding day in front of the Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel, Costa Mesa, Ca.

{Selecting the Venue}

Before we dive in to Nina’s summary of the wedding, we’re particularly excited to share Nina and Gautam’s story as they were one of ShaadiShop’s 1st customers. Here’s what Nina had to say:

The venue is the first thing you book for a South Asian wedding and you’re so early in the planning stages, that you don’t know, what you don’t know. ShaadiShop made it easy for us. Since I was busy with law school and studying for the Bar exam, my mom did a lot of the heavy lifting for the wedding.

She found the website easy to use and full of the info we needed – guest capacity for a wedding and a reception, descriptions of each function space that could be used for a wedding, outside catering & other policies. ShaadiShop also saved us time. You can
narrow your venue search by geography, guest capacity and by which venues allow a horse/ele.

Moreover, the site had lots of other useful info like airport proximity and insights we never would’ve thought to ask. It’s nice that there’s a product with so much useful info, dedicated to South Asians.”

{The Avenue of the Arts Wyndham}

The Avenue of the Arts Wyndham in Costa Mesa, Ca, is a four-star ’boutique-like” hotel near the world-famous South Coast Plaza Shopping Center and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, in sunny Orange County. Some of things that led us to select this venue were:

The venue met our basic criteria: 

There were several other venues, in the area, that met our criteria too, but some of the finer points that we liked about Avenue of the Arts were:

  • Perfect size. The hotel seats about 230 for a reception. We had about 200  – not too big nor too small.
  • Unique. None of our friends had gotten married there before and there wasn’t lot of info about it on South Asian wedding blogs either.
  • Charger plates included. The decorative plates that you don’t actually serve any food on are usually $1 each. It was a nice perk that made the tables look nicer.
  • Month-of coordinator included. This is a VERY unique feature. At most venues you work with the catering sales manager (CSM) but here we had both – the CSM and an outside coordinator. We selected 1 from among the companies the venue recommended, all of whom had varying amounts of South Asian wedding experience.

{More Venue Details}

  • the venue’s staff made signage to guide guests
  • they blocked off part of a street for the baraat
  • the venue allowed a dove release

{Getting Your Team Approved}

The only issue we had with the hotel was with our cake. My aunt, who is an experienced baker, was going to make it for us. However, two weeks before the wedding, the hotel told us she couldn’t, since she doesn’t have an actual baking business/company. We ended up ordering one from The Cake Korner that same day and they were able to make it in time.

ProTip: Get everyone on your wedding professionals team approved with the hotel ASAP. Approve = have each company send the venue a copy of their business license and proof of liability insurance.

ProTip: Confirm each company has sent this info to the venue.

ProTip: Sending ≠ receiving. There’s a lot of turnover amongst venue catering sales staff and things get lost in the shuffle. Confirm, in writing, that the venue has received everything they need from each wedding pro. Then, store those emails in the Wedding Pros Approvals folder in your Inbox.

Learn more about Avenue of the Arts Wyndham and other venues on ShaadiShop.

{Our Clothes}

I wore a red lehenga at the ceremony and a lehenga for the reception.We got our ceremony outfits from Dreams Collections in Artesia. I love Sakshi Aunty! She’s wonderful and can customize anything for you. I also ordered the bridesmaids anarkalis from there (see more about that below).

My reception lehenga was from Sari Palace in Berkeley.

{Wedding Party Clothes}

Bridesmaids: Gold and green anarkalis
Gold and green kurta pajamas

I selected  anarkalis for the bridesmaids, instead of saris because:

a. Growing up I never wore saris as they were reserved as after-marriage wear.
b. Most of my bridesmaids weren’t South Asian so anarkalis were easier to put on.
c. With saris you have to worry about length with/without heels. 

Sakshi Aunty from Dreams Collections told me which measurements to get from each bridesmaid and every single one of their outfits came out perfectly. That was a big relief as only one bridesmaid was local. We also got all of the groomsmens’ kurtas from Dreams Collections.

The groomsmen kept their kurtas on for the reception, which looked awesome in the dance they all did together. Most of the bridesmaids changed into something else for the reception.

ProTip: Gift bridemaids matching earrings, chudiyan, and bindis. My bridesmaids didn’t wear necklaces. They didn’t need them.

ProTip: If your bridesmaids are from out-of-town, personalized wire hangers don’t make a good gift. They’re difficult to fit into a suitcase. Learned that one the hard way.


I got my mehndi, hair, makeup, and draping done by Parul Gandhi from Karishma Beauty Salon. It was convenient having 1 person take care of everything related to my ‘look’.

Mehndi – Arabic style, not too dense, up to my forearms and a little passed my ankles.
Ceremony Hair – updo with flowers. My dupatta was covering my head but from close up they were visible.
Reception Hair – down and curled.
Makeup  – I wanted a natural look that accentuated my features.
Bindis – I wore bindis across my forehead and brought a few designs with me as I wasn’t sure what I wanted.

Do a hair trial even if your hairdresser/artist suggests not to – insist on it. I got extensions put in but they didn’t curl well. If I’d done a trial, we would’ve been able to address the problem. But that day it was too late.


The ceremony decor colors were red and gold and the reception colors were royal blue, teal and hot pink. The designs for the mandap, sweetheart stage, and the whole reception were done by Deepti’s Floral Designs and Mandaps. For the ceremony the venue provided the white garden chairs and staging for the mandap. For the reception they provided the tables, votives, china, silverware, and glassware. We could have used their banquet chairs and basic colored linens but we wanted gold chiavari chairs and teal linens. 


One of our favorite aspects of our wedding was, capturing the rich cultural traditions throughout the day. We had a North Indian style wedding. Our photographer Vijay Rakhra from Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema captured all of the traditions beautifully. (I always knew that when I got married I’d want Vijay and his team to capture the day. I’ve always loved their work and they did an amazing job!)

{The Bride Getting Ready}
The brides friends/family getting her dressed for the ceremony.

{Ceremony Traditions}


The vidai was pretty emotional. I wanted it after the reception since that’s when I really left. My palki was beautiful and I was reminded of all the Bollywood movies I’d seen growing up, thinking that will be me one day…and there I was!

{More ProTips and Ideas}

ProTip: If you’re reading your vows from your phone/paper hold it low – not directly in front of your face.
ProTip: Bring a copy of your wedding invitation with you so the photographer can take professional photos of it.

{Wedding Vendors}

Jay Naik, The Cake Korner

Arvinder, The India Restaurant

Sakshi Dosaj, Dreams Collections – ceremony lehenga + wedding party clothes
Reception lehenga, Sari Palace, Berkeley, CADeepti’s Floral Designs and Mandaps

Sandeep Sandhu, Fusion Sounds
J + Lighting

Parul GandhiKarishma Beauty Salo

Hardev Sangha, Horse for Wedding

Pandit Mahesh Bhatt

Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema.

 Avenue of the Arts Wyndham
4 star hotel

Wedding Planner: Eric Acuna from Expressionary Events

 Dove release:

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