It Was Fate Palak & Vaibhav Get Married!

{How Palak & Vaibhav Met}

This is a story of how a New York Boy ran into a California girl, in the middle of Michigan…at an ice cream social! Did someone just say cherry on top?!  Palak and Vaibhav met at a spiritual convention in 2013 called JAINA.

After a long weekend of fun-filled activities, going on a cruise, and skipping speed dating since both of them “weren’t there for that”, the two stayed in touch immediately after getting back home! And it just happened to be that both of them were now living in the Tri-State area.  Coincidence?  I think not…Fate? Either way, Vaibhav simply thought…”Apni toh nikal padi!!!” 🙂

{First Date or Hangout?}

Not long while after, Palak and Vaibhav met in NYC.  After a long stroll through Central Park, enjoying a delicious Italian meal, putting on their dancing shoes, and lots of laughter, Palak and Vaibhav knew this was going to be one of those dates where they didn’t want it to end. So they chatted the night away seated on a sidewalk in the middle of Times Square!  Little did they know that this was the beginning of many amazing dates to come! FYI…Vaibhav knew it was a date and not a so-called Hangout!

{How Vaibhav Proposed}

Vaibhav got down on one knee again at our engagement party.

Fast forward to Spring 2015.  The flowers were blooming, birds were chirping, the sky was beautiful, you get the point… love was in the air.  What better way to let Palak know how Vaibhav truly felt than to take her back to where it all began…? You guessed it, Central Park!!

{Mehndi Party}

Enjoy the rest of their story, shared by Palak

{Wedding Venue}

We considered 3 venues on the West Coast.  The Hotel Maya was exactly what we wanted… outdoors, with a ton of palm trees and right by the water, which made for a perfect backdrop. The hotel has a unique look combining the cool Southern California vibe with the Latin American flavor (tiki torches etc.).

It felt like a destination wedding right in our backyard. It also brought a bit of a rustic appeal along with a color palette, pinks and oranges that matched our hopes for an Indian Dream Wedding.

Hotel Maya was fairly new to South Asian weddings at that time, but their Senior Catering Manager, Crystal, was brought on by Hilton specifically because she had a lot of experience with South Asian weddings…and she really did. It was great working with her.

A unique feature at Hotel Maya is that even after dark there are views as the sky lights up with the Long Beach skyline, adding ambiance to your photos and the whole reception.
The newly built Pavilion is perfect for South Asian weddings.

They provided additional staff during our ceremony to go above and beyond our expectations, which was really awesome since it wasn’t included in our contract. Additionally, they treated us to complimentary champagne after we signed the agreement, sent us a personalized thank you note after the wedding, and even sent our desserts up to the room on the evening of our reception, since we had no time to eat.

One of the best baraat paths in Southern California, along the water.

{Decor, Entertainment & Gifts}

Mehndi/Sangeet: Colorful/Glittery – Indian/Arabian theme with lanterns/pillows
Wedding Ceremony: Sheer White with fuschia pink/tangerine orange flowers intertwined with green vines
Reception: Blush Pinks & Lots of Lush Greenery (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

We wanted a lively wedding where guests were continuously entertained and enjoyed great food and drink so we added several details:

  • Gazal Singer/Vocalist with Harmonium at our mehndi-sangeet: great for putting everyone in a romantic mood
  • Violinist during our cocktail hour  (amazing!)
  • Polaroid Guestbook with pics of guests
  • Live Paanstand
  • His/Hers Signature drinks
  • Unique fusion foods
  • King’s Table decor (for family seating) had a horizontal arrangement with hanging candle orbs and lush greens, and was full of floral arrangements. My absolute fav!

We also distributed favors at every event:

Mala Mandap/Pithi Ceremony: Plastic Rangoli Dabbis/Boxes
Mehndi/Sangeet: Bindis/Bangles & Phone holders
Wedding/Reception: Clutch Purses for the ladies

Organizing all of this was a lot of work – a year – meeting vendors, Facetime meetings, sample showings, etc…but worth it.

{Fashion + Jewelry}

Mala Mandap: pink/green
Pithi: Yellow/white
Mehndi/Sangeet: Blue/Violet
Wedding: Banarsi red, green, orange
Reception: Blush/Peach/Gold

Styles: for all ceremonies: Classic; for the reception: Contemporary Fusion

Inspiration Resources: Bridelan, Designers: Shymal & Bhumika, Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Chamee & Palak, and I was very addicted to Pinterest.

Mehndi Design: Contemporary Arabic on the back of my hands/feet, and Rajastani on the palms of my hands.

The bridesmaids saris were custom-made. It’s hard to find the same sari in larger quantities. I bought the fabric and got referred to a place to get the borders and blouse fabric. We worked with a tailor to add the borders to the saris.

{Wedding Party Clothes}

Since we were going for the traditional look at the wedding, we wanted a bit of a modern flare with our wedding party…floral/off-white for the ladies, and mint/pink saffos for the gents. We got all the blouses stitched according to the style my dolls preferred including varying necklines, sleeves and length.

Same goes for the groomsmen’s sherwanis. All were customized, and built from scratch to include pocket squares, and added details to set apart the groom’s brothers like a pocket chain and fancy buttons. And of course we had to add in a pop of color with the pink saffos (headpieces).

We wanted the Wedding Party to feel special, because they are, and customized each outfit to their liking so they could use it in the future without looking fluffy or obnoxious. LOL.

And for the evening reception, the boys cleaned up nice and put on a tux with a boutonniere, and the gals were free to wear whatever they wished, but we tied the look together with a flower in their hair to match my floral hair-piece.

{Wedding Party}

7 bridesmaids & 6 groomsmen

ProTip: Get everyone’s measurements before going to India/South Asia
ProTip: send outfits early so everyone can prep shoes/accessories/hairstyle they want for the day of
ProTip: Get some aunties/friends to help pin-up your wedding party
ProTip: make a whatsapp group for BMs & GMs
ProTip: Assign a lead for each group and go over the day-of itinerary, answer questions etc., since you won’t have time to answer questions on the day of.

{Memorable Moments}

  • When my husband, then fiance, took me out on a date, not long before our wedding and prepped me for the day of so I didn’t get too nervous. He even got me a gift!
  • And his wonderful countdown posts on Facebook.
  • When Vaibhav took my mom and I to get our mani/pedi’s before the wedding.
  • Vaibhav spoon-feeding me while I was getting my bridal mehndi done. It was the sweetest gesture that made all the difference.
  • When our siblings threw us an intimate pre-party with our close friends/out-of-towners at the beginning of our wedding week. It was a great way to break the ice and opportunity to practice our surprise flash mob dance. We laughed the night away.
  • When my girls got together the night before my big day, and stayed with me since I couldn’t fall asleep.
  • When we were practicing our first dance and Vaibhav’s nephews got the giggles since they hadn’t seen us like that before.

{Emotional Moments}

Bride seeing herself in the mirror: Wow, I feel like an Indian princess. Vaibhav is going to be sooooo surprised!

Walking down the aisle: I was thinking, am I walking too fast? And, damn that’s a lot of people staring at me, I hope I don’t trip and fall.


  1. Vaibhav for being the most understanding and involved groom ever! I love him to pieces.
  2. Our immediate family for supporting our craziness and being patient with us for the days, weeks and months leading up to our BIG DAY!
  3. And our friends and extended family for traveling the distance, and making the effort to come celebrate with us!


  • Be sure to do your homework, shop around, and know exactly what you want. Make sure you clearly communicate your expectations with your wedding planner, especially if you’re planning a wedding from opposite coasts like we did.
  • Know that you WILL go over your budget, and keep an emergency fund for the day of, and bring cash/checkbook with you/assign a family member to handle this for you. The wedding planner was very organized about which inquiry goes to whom on the day of. Keep the list ready.
  • Assign someone to handle your gifts who you can trust to make sure they don’t get misplaced. Use Appy Couple, for your website and The Knot, and other similar trusted sources for reviews.
  • It’s okay if some things don’t go according to plan, do NOT freak out about it.
  • Also, tell your wedding attendant to hold things for you: chapstick, lipstick, water, snacks, your phone, and tell them to bring eyelash glue (I definitely needed it after my waterfall of tears at the vidai).

  • Send late night food/dessert up to your room the night of the wedding, since you probably will have skipped all the meals that you had tastings for.
  • And sleep in the day after, for god sakes, you probably haven’t slept this well in about a YEAR!

{First Look}


{The Ceremony}

{The Reception}

{Wedding Professionals Team}

Ocho Rios

Mehndi/Sangeet: Rasraj, Wedding: Jay Bharat, Reception: The India Restaurant

Three Petals

DJ + Lighting
Amit Kotecha, 3D Sounds

Dolled Up by Lulu

Hair & Makeup
Beauty by Rachana

Lin & Jirsa

Robles Video Productions

Neha & Amanda; Blue Lotus Insights

Hotel Maya

Congratulations Palak & Vaibhav!

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