Mala + Sandeep’s Indian Wedding, The Journey From the Dance Floor to the Mandap!

A few months ago we brought you Mala and Sandeep’s adorable How They Met and Amazing Race, proposal story. And now we’re excited to share their big Indian wedding celebration with you!

Mala and Sandeep considered about 15 venues before deciding on Allure Banquet Hall for their sangeet and Bella Blanca for the wedding ceremony & reception. The two venues are very close to each other, which was convenient for their 260-person sangeet and 310-person wedding and reception.

Enjoy their story, shared by the newlyweds themselves! 


Inside:

  • Sangeet and Wedding Venues
  • Decor & Entertainment
  • The Wedding Party
  • ProTips
  • Vendor Links and Testimonials
  • Photos and more!

{SangeetWedding Venues}

Mala and Sandeep’s sangeet was at Allure Banquets and the wedding ceremony and reception were at Bella Blanca, both in Van Nuys. Both of these Southern California venues have amazing natural architecture and lighting. They are already aesthetically beautiful without decor — which was very appealing to us.

As busy professionals, moreover not living in Southern California, Sandeep and I had to be really efficient in our decision making processes throughout the wedding planning process. The built-in aesthetics at these venues cut down the amount of time we had to invest in decor, which was a big help! Moreover both venues are pretty new to the Indian wedding scene which also made them attractive as they are off the beaten path.

The entrance to Allure Banquets. Notice the welcome wall behind us, that’s already built-in at the venue.
Allure Banquets
Bella Blanca Banquet Hall for the Hindu wedding ceremony. The indoor ceremony flame was no worries here.
Bella Blanca

Mala and Sandeep: For Bella Blanca, specifically, we had our wedding and reception back-to-back (with cocktail hour in-between). While that was tough for me [Mala] to do a quick outfit + hair/makeup change – it was a great experience for our guests as they didn’t have to find somewhere to hang out in-between the wedding and reception, no changing etc. It was just continuous fun!

Bella Blanca has two halls, plus an outdoor area. This allowed us to do our ceremony in one hall, our cocktail hour outdoors and then our reception in the other hall. It was pretty amazing!

Bella Blanca is also across the street from a HUGE park — which made the baraat pretty awesome. The team at Bella Blanca knew we wanted an outdoor cocktail hour and went out of their way to build chandeliers and wall hedges in time for our wedding. They really went above and beyond for us. They also have amazing statement pieces of furniture that we were able to use as decor, and in our pictures.

{Sangeet Photo Shoot}

{Mala’s Getting Ready Photo Shoot}

{Sandeep’s Getting Ready Photo Shoot}

{Pre-Ceremony Photo Shoot}





Check out ShaadiShop’s Guide on Preparing for Post Indian Wedding Ceremony Photoshoots.


{The Baraat and Wedding Ceremony}

   {Phere}

{Saptapadi}

{Mangal Sutra, Rings, and Sindoor}

We’re married!

{Holla4Sandala Dance Performances}

Mala: Sandeep and I met through dance and it’s always been a passion in our lives, so it was only fitting to have some epic dance performances throughout our wedding weekend. My family, in particular, loves to dance so everyone from my parents, sister, to my brother-in-law took to the stage!

{Decor, Entertainment & Gifts}

Sangeet – 

  • Orange, Pink and Purple
  • We had an LED Dance Floor which was fun
  • We got LED ice cubes which changed colors once submerged in any liquid (the effect was amplified with so many drinks flowing)

We wanted the sangeet to feel like a party/rave and have a distinct contrast to the wedding and reception which were classic and much more elegant. For our return gifts, we gave everyone a selfie stick.


We LOVED our LED dance floor!

Wedding – 

  • Red & Gold
  • We built a runway leading up to the mandap
  • Chandelier style open mandap

We really liked the open mandap style as everyone had a great view of the whole ceremony. Additionally our photo and cinema team didn’t have to work around pillars either.

You can see the runway leading to the open mandap.

Reception

  • Navy & Silver
  • Romantic with beautiful center pieces and candles

{Wedding Party Clothes}

So we all know how Amazon is blowing up, right? They bought Whole Foods, recently opened a bookstore in San Jose…and you can order saris too. In fact, we ordered the 8 bridesmaids saris on Amazon and my mom got the blouses from India. The corresponding 8, groomsmens kurtas and dupattas were made in India.

ProTip: Be very clear about your colors from the outset! And if you’re buying clothes on a shopping trip to India/Pakistan or ordering online from South Asia, double check and confirm sizes with the vendor. In particular, men’s shoulder and shoe sizes. This is even more important for groomsmen who are not South Asian. Sometimes South Asian sizes don’t translate well for large non-Indian mens sizes.

{Pre-Reception Photo Shoot}

{Memorable Moments}

First dance – Our first dance was unique, as we weaved a story throughout the performance, with our closest family and friends participating in various segments. Additionally we tied in the dances traditionally done individually into one big piece: our first dance, the mother-son dance, the father-daughter dance, and a big high-energy finale were all incorporated.

Our first dance

Our cousin gave an unforgettable, moving speech. It was definitely a highlight of the weekend here it is.


Since it was a long weekend, we had our sangeet on a Friday night, and the wedding and reception on Sunday night. Saturday was an open day, on which we hosted a party bus tour of Los Angeles for everyone who wanted to attend. Everyone from the ba’s (elders) to the kids were welcome.

ProTip: Having a break in-between festivities is really great. We were so refreshed on our wedding day and ready to celebrate the whole day and night! It was also a great break for everyone else as they all had a lot of fun partying at the sangeet and everyone had a chance to recharge and get ramped up for the ceremony and reception.

{Stand Out Details}

  • We had an outdoor LED photo booth during our cocktail hour and reception.

  • We gave guests selfie sticks labelled with our hashtag (#holla4sandala). 🙂

  • We served donuts vs. a cake (and churros too!)

  • I was carried into the sangeet in a beautiful palki, which my parents had custom-made for my wedding weekend. I felt like a princess as I was carried into the sangeet by all my brothers, as well as after the vidai.

  • We also loved our wedding program, which you can see below.

Mala-Sandeep-wedding-program-Indian-Wedding-Venue.png

  • We served fun signature drinks: MalaTini: Grey Goose Vodka, Vermouth, Olive Juice Brine & Olives as well as a Sanhattan Manhattan: Rye Whiskey, Vermouth & dash of bitters.

  • Our return gifts were selfie sticks – we wanted to give our guests something they could really use during the celebration as well as afterwards.

  • The Joya Kazi Unlimited dance company performed. Their performance included a sword swallower.

  • The bartenders we hired (Crystal Bartenders) did a fire show after dinner. It wasn’t a big event but when the drinks are flowing, people are having a good time and all of a sudden there’s fire coming out of their mouths…it was pretty intense and entertaining.

Joya Kazi Unlimited performance
Joya Kazi Unlimited performance

{Dulha + Dulhan!}

Below, Mala and Sandeep share their thoughts when they were finished getting ready for the ceremony and looked at themselves in the mirror.

  • Mala: I think like most people – I felt like a princess. In the months leading up to the wedding I was exercising a lot and eating healthy so when I saw myself in the mirror, I was like, “DAMN, my hard work paid off!”

  • Sandeep: I wish I had given more thought to my pagh. I would’ve made it more decorative.

{ProTips}

Take in every second: and cherish the moment because it will be over in a matter of seconds…


Blessed: we had a room filled with friends and family there to help us celebrate. It was magical.


Walk slowly down the aisle: the song is longer than you think.

{Acknowledgements}

  • My (Mala’s) entire family and extended family for the love and support with a special shoutout to her parents for all the deal-making. They were hands-off for most of the process but gladly stepped in whenever we needed help.

  • My new in-laws (Sandeep’s family) for their support throughout the process.

  • The wedding party for being the most beautiful people in the world and attending all of the events – from the bachelor/bachelorette parties (in the same city on the same day, which allowed everyone to mingle) to the bridal shower, to the wedding weekend as a whole.

  • Dana Erickson could not have been better as our coordinator, counselor, and confidante. Nothing would have been possible without her. From the moment we spoke the very first time months before the wedding to the last drink she made sure was in our hands the night of the reception.
The Tejwani Family
The Patil Family

{Vendor Testimonials}

Bartenders: CrystalBartenders for a non-stop bar with a crazy fire show! They were AWESOME.

CaterersManohar’s Delhi Palace for the delicious Reception food. We literally got texts for weeks asking us who provided our Reception food. Family from INDIA said they thought they were eating food at a high-end restaurant in India during the reception

Wok N Tandoor for the sangeet.

Cinematographer: Robles Video Productions

Coordinator:  Dana Erickson from BEL Event Productions for their amazing coordination and help. Sandeep and I began working with Dana around August 2016 (~8 months before our wedding). She has been nothing short of responsive, thoughtful, determined and a joy to work with. There were certainly situations that needed immediate problem-solving and Dana tackled the problem(s) head on, proposed solutions and clearly communicated.

Décor: Shirley Nayoan did an amazing job with our decor for the reception. She provided the beautiful flowers, center pieces, designed the sweetheart table and created an outdoor monogram to add to the hedges. This was her second Indian wedding and she is AMAZING.

Deepti Chandani for a simple and beautiful wedding mandap.

DJ: Fusion Sounds & Lighting provided amazing music and kept the party going.

Entertainment:  Joya Kazi Unlimitedfor our reception entertainment. They kept the crowd energized and excited.

Fashion: Mala and Sandeep’s clothes designed by Dreams Collections

Hair/makeup: Anet’s Artistry (Anet Lazar) is literally THE BEST. She made me, my family and my bridal party look and feel amazing and flawless. I would highly highly recommend her if you’re looking for creativity, consistency and pure magic.

Photo booth: Grace Nina for the super fun and personal photo booth!

Photographer: Yogi Patel from Global Photography – Yogi Patel was amazing to work with. He made us feel comfortable, was responsive and more importantly provided beautiful pictures.

Venues: Bella Blanca’s venue was incredible from start to finish. The wedding ceremony hall could have been taken straight from a fairly tale with the high ceiling and integrated lighting and the reception hall was the right balance of intimate and spacious. Also the staff at the venue could not have been helpful, especially Aram, the manager in charge, who kept his cool throughout (even when the bride couldn’t) and made sure every one of our desires was fulfilled.

{Wedding Planning Advice & Take Aways}

Stay organized: We created docs, folders, excel sheets for everything from vendor interviews to guest lists to our budget. It honestly helps when it comes to crunch time.

Do your own research: While we hired a coordinator (who was amazing) – we found some of our best deals by doing research. Sandeep, for example, got our LED ice cubes on Alibaba. It takes time but will save you $$$$.

Don’t make your entire life your wedding: This is an important time in your life, but don’t make it your entire relationship. We had ‘wedding planning time’ which made room to talk about our work, life, day…. and not just the wedding!

Don’t think of it as work: It’s a once in a lifetime moment, it is not something that should be a burden. Have fun along the way – as long as the bride and groom are on the same page, nothing will go wrong, because that is exactly what life together will be like.

Thanks for checking out our wedding on ShaadiShop! If you’re planning your wedding, we hope it’s as full of joy and happiness as ours was! And definitely check out all the guides and tips on ShaadiShop!

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Visit our main website or contact us to start your venue search today!

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