Chicago, Illinois Indian Wedding by WS Photography
blog originally written on www.maharaniweddings.com by Shawna
Seema and Neel really knew how to make their wedding celebrations stand out! Starting with a unique mehndi party in one of the fabulous ships of Anita Dee Yacht Charters. The couple sailed away with their favorite people through the famous Chicago river canals while the beautiful bride and the ladies had their hands decorated with gorgeous mehndi patterns. On her special day, the beautiful Seema chose Kate Johnson Artistry to design the perfect style for the ceremony day. The beauty expert created a romantic side hairstyle to finished off the cherry red lehenga that together achieved an impeccable bridal look. The contemporary event space, Venue SIX10, was the perfect setting for the traditional Hindu ceremony that joined Seema and Neel. Steve's Flower Market framed the rituals with a vibrant turquoise mandap and bright magenta florals that decorated the top of the canopy and the wedding aisle. See more of the wonderful images of this unique bash that WS Photography shared with us in our full gallery!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Our story began when we matched on Dil Mil in October 2015, while I was living in Atlanta and he was in Chicago. I was interviewing for jobs in Chicago and informed Neel that I was planning to move to there once I landed a job. As the move date approached, we decided to meet in person for the first time. This was our first date that almost didn't happen! I barely had service in my new apartment. Neel arrived downstairs and tried calling multiple times (8 to be exact), and the calls wouldn't go through. I somehow picked up just one bar of cell service in my apt and his 8th phone call finally went through! Fortunately, the rest of the date went off without a hitch and has been our favorite date so far.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Neel and I decided that at some point we wanted to move in together. Luckily, one day the apartment next door to mine opened up for leasing. We loved my apartment building and decided that we should definitely move to the apartment next door to mine. Neel knew how important it was for me and my mom that we would be engaged before we moved in together. As the move date approached, I was getting nervous that Neel forgot to order the ring or that he ordered it too late to be finished by move-in date. One week before move in, he told me that he couldn't get the ring made in time. I was frustrated initially, regardless, we decided to move forward with living together. On move-in day, after a few hours of moving, he suggested that I go pick up Indian food (which he does not like) from a Gaylord, which was my favorite Indian restaurant at the time. I pushed back and said that Gaylord was way too far to walk (1 hour of walking round trip) and that it was too hot outside to do that (July). Instead, I proposed Chipotle which was 2 blocks away and said that my brother could go pick it up while we continued the move. He hesitated and said he really wanted Indian food, which I thought was unusual. To prevent a big argument on move-in day, I kept it together and decided to go on my hour-long journey to go pick up the food. While I was gone, he quickly started to put together the items for the proposal in the new apartment. When I returned, drenched in sweat while wearing a "PIVOT" shirt (because who doesn't like Friends!?), my brother who was sitting around in the old apartment told me to go to the new apartment because Neel needed help with something. I was a little frustrated and confused on what on earth Neel would need my help with vs. asking my brother who is much stronger than me. When I walked in he had "marry me" in rose petals laid out in the living room. He proposed, we ate the Indian food, called our parents, and lived happily ever after!
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
We were initially having trouble finding a venue we really liked. We were looking for something different than the traditional hotel banquet room but also didn't want to have the wedding outdoors. We knew getting our parents on board for a "loft" or "rustic" wedding was going to be too difficult. Finally, we found a venue that would satisfy both our parents and us. The venue was extremely modern (floor to ceiling windows, all white interior, etc.). The venue also had a view of Lake Michigan (we would see fireworks at night during our reception since it was summertime), Buckingham Fountain, and the overall Chicago skyline. The venue ultimately led us to the theme of the wedding/reception/outfits. Given the venue, it did not make sense to bring in a ton of decorations, floral, etc. The venue itself was so beautiful and we wanted to showcase that. Therefore, our decorations were kept to a minimum and complemented the overall venue (we kept the floral and decor extremely clean & crisp looking.
We selected all of my outfits from India, with my reception dress being custom made. I knew I did not want the "latest fashion" of whatever was in stock at the time I went to India. I wanted a classy and timeless look where Neel and I could look back and not say- God why in the world did we wear that!? Additionally, the outfit had to go with the venue! The dress weighed about 15 pounds and had hand embroidered gems across the entire dress. Neel chose to wear a classic black suit with a white shirt and black tie. Everyone had a pop of color with fuchsia orchids that matched the overall decor.
Hair and makeup was extremely important to us and we landed the perfect person! Kate from Kate Johnson Artistry was easy to work with and very understanding of the concerns and asks that I had of her.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Definitely food tasting. Neel and I are huge foodies and wanted to develop fusion appetizer options for our guests to be a bit different from the traditional samosas, paneer tikka, etc. Our appetizer spread consisted of Madras Mac and Cheese Cups, Chaat tots, Bhelpuri, Kati tacos, chicken and waffles with a spiced drizzle of syrup. We found out that some of our wedding party (aka my brother and maid of honor) were only attending the wedding just for the appetizers!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The DJ! Our DJ was AMAZING. When we go to a typical Indian wedding, we always see the older family members sitting at the tables watching the younger guests dance. At our reception, family members who we didn't think would EVER dance were on the dance floor the whole night. The DJ was great at adapting to the diverse crowd and ensuring we all had a great time.
For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details.
Neel and my henna event was joined, which is nontraditional. Because many of my family members had never been to Chicago, I wanted to do something very different. Neel and I love the water and decided to host a henna party on a yacht! Thankfully our parents were up for this crazy idea! Once we let the word out to our family and friends of the plans, people started to talk more about the "boat party" than the actual wedding itself. When the henna event day finally came, everything went off without a hitch- the guests enjoyed the views, drank the custom-made drinks we had made ahead of time, got henna done, and got to know each other for a solid 4 hours. Since I know our families and friends have a tendency of being late, I knew this was going to be a huge undertaking in terms of ensuring everyone arrived on time before the yacht left the dock. In order to ensure this would go off smoothly, I told all of the guests the boat was going to leave the dock at 130pm, the boat was really going to leave the dock at 230pm. Of course, everyone made it to the boat by 230 and the event actually started on time (when does that ever happen?!).
Hair & Makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry | Mehndi Venue: Anita Dee Yacht Charters | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Venue SIX10 | Planning & Design: Clementine Custom Events | Floral & Decor:Steve's Flower Market | Catering: Blue Plate Catering | Catering (Lunch and Dinner for Wedding & Reception): Gaylord Restaurant | DJ: Do It All Entertainment | Cake & Treats: Molly's Cupcakes | Cinematography: RedFilm | Photography: WS Photography
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