Co-Choreographers Fall in Love; Girina + Vishal, Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove

{How They Met}

This is a cute story you’d see in a Bollywood movie. Girina and Vishal were in college at the University of Arizona and there was an upcoming dance competition. Girina and Vishal are avid dancers and became co-choreographers. You know where this is going…they became close friends and continued to choreograph together throughout college and after, for their friends’ weddings. Six years after graduating Vishal asked Girina out, and the rest is history.

Enjoy their story, shared by Girina


{
Wedding Venue}

We considered 6 venues. Our favorite qualities about the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove, was the location. Additionally, the size capacity, ease of access for our guests, and it was within our budget. The Wyndham’s staff was very responsive, accommodating, and our guests loved the proximity to Disneyland which was our theme for one night. 

{Decor, Entertainment & Gifts}

Sangeet – Orange, purple, green, red – very colorful

Wedding – Maroon, gold, ivory

Reception – Black and gold, with pops of red and pink

The photo booth at the reception included videos that our guests could record for us. Our party favors were mint boxes personalized with our photo and read “Mint to Be” . We were also very excited about the LED starlit dance floor for the reception. We spent countless hours researching to find the right one.

The reception was Disney themed, with “the Beauty” and “the Beast” signature cocktails. Additionally, we did our first dance to a video montage of Disney couples dancing, and we tried very hard to mimic their actions on the dance floor.


The LED dance floor




{Wedding Party Clothes}

ProTip: Instead of going through the hassle of getting everyone’s measurements, I had each bridesmaid give me a sleeveless sari blouse they already had (they all wore sleeveless at the wedding). It saved a lot of time and made it easier to distribute the blouses when they were finished.


{
Memorable Moments}

Favorite event: the sangeet because we were able to mingle with all our guests and really get some quality time with everyone.

Walking down the aisle: As I was walking and saw my parents waiting for me, it was a wonderful moment between us. We tacitly understood, in that moment, that we’d always be there for each other. As I continued down, I felt like a princess with my prince waiting for me.




Vidai: I was planning not to cry. I was doing great until I saw my father, who already had tears streaming down his face. That’s when I lost it. We held an extra long hug and I will cherish that moment forever. I tried to laugh it off at the end exclaiming, ‘damn it’ in reference to not wanting to cry; everyone got a good laugh which helped, as we were all fine after that. My father-in-law stepped in at that time and consoled my father saying that I’m his daughter too and my dad doesn’t have to worry about me; that I’ll be taken care of. It was a beautiful moment between our families.



Family and friends celebrating together: I couldn’t stop smiling all weekend! So much so, that my cheeks hurt by the reception. It felt good to know I never once forced a smile on my face and every moment captured was of pure joy and excitement.

{Funny Moments}

Toddler Grabs the Mic. When my sister was giving her speech at the reception, my nephew (her son) kept trying trying to get her attention and grab the mic from her. It was amusing to watch, and afterwards she wondered how she did, and whether her son stole the show, I told her both were great! So cute! You can see it in the video (10:55).

Pajama Malfunction. A group of our guy friends prepared a dance for the sangeet but when they were called to the stage, they were nowhere to be found! Later they emerged, after we found out one of their naadu’s (pajama tie’s) broke so they were all in the restroom trying to fix it!

Garba Gets Rough. One of our friends took a hilarious tumble during the garba (he was fine). The funny part is the photographer caught Vishal and a friend cracking up about it!

{You’re a Dulhan!}

I felt like a princess when I saw myself in the mirror, as a bride. I never felt so beautiful in my life. I couldn’t wait for Vishal to see me.  I was relieved to look the way I had imagined, because I was afraid of looking too caked on, or unnatural. 


{First Look}

Vishal was standing in a garden with his back towards me. I tapped his shoulder and when he turned around he gave me the biggest hug and told me I looked beautiful. He looked so handsome and energetic. 

Funny moment: While we hugged and I took in his nice cologne, I realized that I had forgotten to wear perfume and probably smelled like ‘India clothes’. He laughed saying he had a mic on him and that everything was being recorded. We had a long laugh after that! It’s safe to say that that conversation didn’t make it to the final cut of our wedding video!

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 {Wedding Planning on the Real}

The easiest part of planning was selecting my clothes. I had gone shopping in India, but not in the traditional sense where people make a dedicated shopping trip for their wedding. This was a regular visit to India and I wasn’t even thinking about nor planning my wedding. My mom suggested I try things on since we weren’t sure when we’d come back. Because I wasn’t under any pressure I was able to find dresses that I loved.

The most difficult part of planning was trying to stay within the budget. At times it was difficult to see the vision we wanted without going over. Also, not knowing what normal industry prices were and what to expect from each vendor, policies, norms – all those things were time consuming to learn. 

{ProTips}

Never Stop Smiling. I don’t think I ever stopped smiling while I was on the mandap. Vishal and I were excited and had a lot of fun performing our wedding ceremony. Who knew getting married would be so fun?!

Take Time With Friends. Vishal was able to hang out with friends and family in-between the wedding and reception, and really just enjoy that break with everyone.

Giant face cut-outs.
Our friends got these cut-outs of Vishal and I for their dance. It was a huge surprise and hilarious. They made great props for the photo booth and some photos were so realistic we weren’t sure whether we were actually in the photo!

{Vendor Testimonials}

Dessert: Tasty Temptations
Instead of cake we had a (jaw dropping) dessert bar. Each piece was a delicious handcrafted work of art! We highly recommend this company. They were professional and delivered everything we asked for. It was worth every penny and I will definitely use them again for future events.


Caterer for Sangeet & Wedding: Jay Bharat
Jay Bharat is known in the South Asian community as the ‘go to’ vendor because the quality and taste of their food is always spot on. We catered the sangeet and wedding with them and everything was delicious with the right spice level. Everyone enjoyed the food, and good food puts anyone in a good mood. The downfall with them is getting in touch with them and making menu changes. The response time is a little slower than other vendors, so I recommend anyone who uses to them to keep that in-mind.

Reception: Natraj Cuisine of India
Natraj was extremely professional and courteous. The food was delicious and they really understood what we wanted. The tasting we went to before selecting our dishes was so elegantly presented. 
Food was a priority for us and they hit it out of the park. We couldn’t be happier with their work and recommend them.

Décor: Finishing Touch by Brandi
Brandi was amazing, and really worked within our budget while bringing our ideas to life. She understood our desire for a simple/classic aesthetic and adapted quickly to any changes or modifications.

DJ: Isaac
We can’t say enough good things about him. He’s extremely professional, reliable, and adaptable to change. A few hours before the sangeet we were worried that we didn’t have enough lighting. I asked him to add more uplighting (a few hours prior to the event) and without hesitation he made it happen. He listened to our wishes with music, and was very easy-going. I recommend him in a heartbeat.

Hair/makeup: Nida Gazi
Nida is a gem. She truly made me feel and look like a princess all weekend.

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Mehndi: Neha Assar
Neha is crazy good at what she does and I loved every inch of my mehndi! The poor thing came to my house with a crazy fever and just super sick. She knew she couldn’t cancel on the bride last minute so she sucked it up and came and did an amazing job on my customized mehndi. We incorporated the University of Arizona logo as well as Beauty and Beast symbolizing where we met and our favorite Disney movie respectively. She’s one of the best in the industry and I hope more brides continue to work with her.

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Photographer: Lin & Jirsa
What can I say other than THANK YOU to the wonderful photographers at Lin & Jirsa. They were so easy to work with, and adjusted well to the demands of an Indian wedding. They captured every part of our weekend and we were so thrilled when we received all our photos within the time frame they promised. The are one of the most professional and courteous companies out there, and are very familiar with South Asian weddings. I can’t wait to use them again for future events.

Cinematographer:
Robles Video Productions
April (the owner) was wonderful to work with. She was available and hands-on from the beginning; and really worked with us. She sat down with us the week before the wedding to discuss the timeline of events to ensure she and her team captured every part of the wedding. Thanks to her I realized how early I had to wake up in order to get all that I wanted. She worked with my crazy schedule and actually shot my wedding video herself. I appreciated having the owner capture our most important/special event. The quality of the videos we received were superb.

Planner: Shilpa Patel Events
Shilpa and her team were fabulous. My family was very happy with their ability to keep things on track and on time, while working with the chaos of wedding hiccups. Shilpa was hands-on the month leading up to our wedding. She asked us to fill out an extensive spreadsheet, which demonstrated her deep expertise and reassured us that the weekend would run smoothly. She was great at fixing any last minute issues/problems and alleviated any stress from me and our families.

Officiant: Mukesh Vyas
He is my second cousin, and I couldn’t have asked for a better officiant. He made the the ceremony fun, easy to understand, and was very accommodating to our specific requirements. He officiates many weddings all over the country and the guests loved him. He kept us laughing and helped us and our guests understand each step of the ceremony.  Mukeshbhai was the best!

Rings: Jared Galleria of Jewelry
Surprisingly Vishal went to Jared’s! I loved both of my rings and we found one he liked there too. They’re the perfect vendor for the ring, and we continue to work with them for sizing or cleaning our rings.

{Advice + Hacks}

Iron and hang your clothes ahead of time. Even pin the dupattas/odhnis the way you’d wear them that weekend. 

Don’t play sad music during the vidai. It only makes that moment that much harder. Leave on a happier note if you can.

There will be unforeseen hiccups during the wedding weekend, but have one or two people who can field the problems for you. Having a wedding coordinator is a huge plus and it was great to know that no one in both families was dealing with any of the stress that weekend.


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