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Behind the Scenes- WeddingSutra on Location@ Ritu Kumar

Ever since we launched ‘WeddingSutra on Location’, we’ve taken joy in prepping brides-to-be as they near their big day, and today it is truly gratifying to hear that it is recognized as one of the most popular bridal events in India. Holding this happy thought, we organized our latest On Location shoot at designer Ritu Kumar’s flagship store in Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Known for her ethnic Indian style, Ritu Kumar gives a unique meaning to traditional craftsmanship with her contemporary designs. Four brides-to-be who got an opportunity to get dressed in her exquisite bridal creations were Iksha Chhabra, Prekshaa Sharma, Vinita Naik and Faarah Sarkari.

Here are some photos of their getting ready moments at Ritu Kumar’s store with Team WeddingSutra, Makeup Maestro Amrita Sanghavi and Fashion and Wedding Photographer Dev Purbiya.

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Keep watching this space to see the final look of each of these pretty ladies in Ritu Kumar lehengas, and to read about their individual experience with WeddingSutra on Location.

Location- Ritu Kumar, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Makeup & Hair – Amrita Sanghavi for Lakmé Absolute
Jewellery- Azva
Photographs by- Dev Purbiya

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10 offbeat experiences for couples in New Zealand

Thinking of an exciting, off beat vacation for two? New Zealand is the place for you.  Here are our top 10 engrossing alternative experiences that go beyond bungy jumping and other obvious adventure activities.

1) What you will love: Take a walk with your loved one under a star lit sky! – New Zealand’s dark night skies will have you star struck.
Top Tip: Aoraki / Mount Cook is far from city lights and therefore has some of the darkest skies in New Zealand – perfect for viewing the night sky.

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2) What you will love: Spend a day together sailing and discovering the country’s sparkling coastlines, islands and marine life.
Top Tip: One of the perfect ways to enjoy the vibe in the Bay of Islands is to sail the day away.

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3) What you will love: What better way to celebrate your love up in the air with some bubbly
Top Tip: Take a hot air balloon flight at dawn to discover amazing New Zealand landscapes from the fertile Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps.

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4) What you will love: Let New Zealand’s alpine and coastal landscapes take your breath away as you soar high above them
Top Tip: One of the most spectacular ways to see and get to Milford sound is by taking a scenic flight over the Southern Alps, feast your eyes on snow-capped peaks which extend north and south to the horizon. You begin to realise the enormity of this magnificent landscape.

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5) What you will love: Spend a weekend in a luxury boutique lodge where Kiwi style and service will set the tone for a unique experience.
Top Tip: Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet is a private, luxury retreat that offers a combination of sophistication and informality, innovative cuisine and superb service. It is a dream base for couples who love to explore the wide open spaces.

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6)  What you will love: Relax you mind body and soul with a natural spa treatment for two. Choose between a natural Mud Bath or a luxury pampering session.
Top Tip: Rotorua is one of the best places to relax in steaming mineral pool while enjoying spectacular views across the Lake Rotorua.

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7) What you will love: Set-off on a horse ride at dusk on one of New Zealand’s deserted beaches, where you can enjoy the feeling of wind in your hair!
Top Tip: The long stretches of white sandy beaches of Northland are perfect for horse riding.

Horse riding Pakari Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

8) What you will love: Fly by helicopter to one of New Zealand’s breath-taking private picnic spots in the mountains with a gourmet picnic basket and some of New Zealand’s finest wines.
Top Tip: Alpine heli-picnics are readily available from most of the South Island alpine resort towns. Discover the exhilaration of effortlessly flying along braided river valleys and soaring over snow-capped Mountain views before landing gently in your own piece of paradise.

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9) What you will love: Cycle across one of New Zealand’s vineyard trails and taste a selection of local wines.
Top Tip: One of the best ways to explore the wineries of Hawkes Bay is on a Mountain bike – the terrain is as flat as a billiard table and the scenery is magnificent. Exploring wineries by bike is a perfect especially if you both enjoy a glass or two.

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10) What you will love: Spend a romantic evening with your loved one against one of New Zealand’s stunning landscapes
Top Tip: Stratosfare, Queenstown – This recently reopened high-altitude restaurant and bar assures fantastic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range on South Island.

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For more information visit www.newzealand.com. To book your tailor-made holidays write to holidays@quantumtravels.net or call on +91 84110 34400 or visit www.quantumtravels.com

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Lakmé Absolute launches Makeup PRO App at LFW 2015

Day One of the Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 saw the launch of India’s first ever real-time Makeup App- Lakmé Makeup PRO and the Sculpt range of beauty products from Lakmé.  The real-time virtual makeover app features Lakmé’s entire range of shades across categories and pre-created pro-stylist looks. The app is not just restricted to makeup, users can also experience different ways to prep their skin and try makeovers digitally. Download the app here.

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We invited Mumbai’s ace Bridal Makeup Artists to experience the Lakmé Absolute Studio at the LFW venue (Palladium Hotel, Mumbai). Makeup Artists Bianca Louzado, Amrita Sanghavi, Varsha Gidwani, Shamita Gogia, Priya Kapur, Maya Mehta, Poonam Shah, Ishita & Sangeeta Khanna tried and tested the Lakmé Makeup PRO App at the Lakmé Absolute Sculpt Studio.

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Purnima Lamba – Head of Innovation at Lakmé interacts with the Makeup Artists.

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Lakmé kick started the spring/summer season with a one-of-its-kind ‘Evolution of Sculpt’ Show curated by Lakmé make-up expert Natasha Nischol with models strutting down the ramp in DRVV’s collection. Natasha brought alive various art forms in makeup looks– inspired by Sculpt– including etching, bronze, mosaic, clay and paint.

Photos Courtesy- Parag Gopale

Dream Weddings & Lavish Celebrations in Rajasthan this Wedding Season

The world may be wooing ultra-wealthy Indians planning a destination wedding, but those who have attended a destination wedding in Rajasthan and stayed at its romantic and charming palaces, will tell you there is no place as unique and fairy-tale like it. Udaipur, the city of lakes and palaces, and its regal palace wedding venues. The ‘Pink’ city of Jaipur with its sheer range and diversity of venues- Rambagh Palace, Jai Mahal Palace, heritage venue Samode Palace and the very contemporary Fairmont. The extraordinary Umaid Bhawan Palace with a hilltop location overlooking ‘Blue’ city Jodhpur.

Our last post on Society Weddings featured Seven Society Weddings held in seven different places. While the Hinduja-Mahtani in Udaipur with 800 guests that culminated with a high octane performance by American pop star Jennifer Lopez was indeed the society wedding of the season, WeddingSutra brings you a round-up of more lavish weddings and the most glamorous ones in Royal Rajasthan.

Shreya and Ankit- Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur
Shreya and Ankit both scions of Chennai based business families tied the knot in an extraordinarily grand wedding in Jodhpur in January. The guests flew to Jodhpur in Chartered planes and after the royal welcome at Umaid Bhawan Palace, the celebrations commenced with a Haldi & Geet Ceremony in the Fountain Courtyard of the Palace followed by the traditional sit down (Shahi Bhoj) on the Peacock Lawns. The same day, the Sangeet was held at Mehrangarh fort where Sonu Nigam performed and the party continued till late with DJ Akbar Sami and percussionist Jonqui.  On Day 2 a ‘Victorian’ theme Horse Polo Match was held at the Maharaja Gaj Singh Sports Foundation. The same evening the Mehendi was held at the Pool side lawns of Bal Samand Lake Palace where Ila Arun and her folk troupe performed. The Varmala & Pheras took place at the bride and groom’s ancestral village– Takhatgarh which is a two hour drive from Umaid Bhawan (the bride and groom made a grand entry in a chopper). The celebrations culminated with an elegant reception at the Baradari Lawns.

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Photos Courtesy- Stories by Joseph Radhik. The Wedding Makers- Ankita Chugh Weddings

Surabhi Khaitan and Rahul Chaudhary- Rambagh Palace and City Palace, Jaipur
Rahul Chaudhary, son of Kathmandu based billionnaire Binod Chaudhary wed Surabhi Khaitan from Mumbai and the three day wedding extravaganza showcased the culture and glamour of the pink city. The celebrations began with a welcome dinner at The Taj Rambagh Palace where guests were treated to performances by Coke Studio, Rajasthan Roots and Odissi dancer Colleena Shakti. The Mehendi and Sangeet were held at the beautifully landscaped Mughal Gardens of Taj Jai Mahal Palace. The Tilak and Mudda were at Sisodia Gardens where legendary singer Ghazi Khan and troupe and an international symphony performed. A polo match cum brunch was organised at Rambagh Polo Grounds. The finale function, the wedding was held at City Palace. The venue was decorated with exotic flowers, candles and special lighting. The palace grounds were covered with Persian carpets and the Baraat procession was mesmerizing. Dhol players and dancers entered with much joy and festivity. The groom arrived on a beautifully decorated elephant, the families and guests followed in horse carriages and vintage cars. Post the Varmala and pheras there was a sit down dinner for the newly weds and their families, traditionally called Sajjan goth.

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The Wedding Makers- The Event Tokree (Gunjan Dhemla & Shruti Khurana)

Ekta Ajwani and Vishal Daswani- Fairmont and City Palace, Jaipur
When Ekta Ajwani from Miami and Vishal Daswani from Hong Kong got engaged, they were clear they wanted a grand wedding in India. Their fun-filled celebrations were held at Fairmont, Jaipur– and this was one big, fat Sindhi wedding high on glamour attended by guests from all over the world. The bride and groom’s parents (Vishal’s father Rajkumar Daswani owns ‘Raja Fashions’ in Hong Kong) played gracious hosts while the guests enjoyed the foot-tapping entertainment, traditional Rajasthani hospitality, and the mouth-watering Indian food and delicacies at live stations which Fairmont is well-known for. Says Ekta: “My family and I were in Miami, Vishal and his family in Hong Kong and the wedding was in Jaipur– organizing and coordinating a grand event at multiple venues for 100′s of guests was not easy but we loved Fairmont and the wonderful vibe of Jaipur and knew this is where we want to celebrate our special day. It involved lots of time and effort, but when all your loved ones tell you how they are loving their stay, the feeling is indeed special– and we’re so glad we took the effort to bring everyone to the Pink City.”

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Photos Courtesy- Picture Perfect India

Anushree and Piyush- Jaigarh Fort and City Palace, Jaipur
Anushree and Piyush from two prominent business families in Mumbai and Pune, tied the knot in Jaipur. The guests were hosted at The Marriott and The Lalit and the celebrations were planned and managed by Mumba’s ‘Wedniksha’ at different venues in the city. The Sangeet with over 700 attendees took place at the Mughal Gardens of Jaigarh Fort. A host of entertainment performances regaled the guests at the Sangeet- LED dancers, fire poi dancers, aerial artists, family performances choreographed by Vinod Sumeet, performances by popular bands like Dunes of Rajasthan and Aditi Singh Sharma. The next day, a Carnival themed lunch was hosted at Bardiya Villa. There was even a cricket match where the teams were named Mumbai Queens and Pune Kings. The finale function was the Royal theme Wedding cum Reception at City Palace.The groom and the baraat arrived in a royal style chariot with horses, camels and elephants. The bride entered in a royal Palaquin accompanied by live rangoli, warriors and diya dancers. The jaymala ceremony then commenced with special chants by singers Merlin and Hamsika Iyer.

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The Wedding Makers- Wedniksha

Lakmé Absolute Bridal Beauty Trends – Metallic Smokey Eyes

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Metallic eye shadows are a great way to add interest to a basic smoky eye. The key to a metallic smokey eye is knowing where to apply the shimmer, and where to keep it matte.

Makeup Artist Amrita Sanghavi demonstrated how to get a sophisticated metallic smokey on Bride-to-be Monisha Mukhija at WeddingSutra on Location. Amrita started with a smudged base of Lakmé Absolute Drama Stylist Crayon in Olive on the eyelids and enhanced them with Lakmé Absolute Kohl Ultimate. Finally she applied a winged stroke of Lakmé Absolute Gel Addict Eyeliner in black for smouldering smokey eyes.

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Photo courtesy- Shades Photography

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StyleSpotting with Tanishq in Hyderabad

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As part of our series ‘STYLESPOTTING WITH TANISHQ’, our editorial team goes in search of stylish bridal looks with Tanishq to some of the most exciting new bridal designers in the city.

For our latest StyleSpotting feature, we found inspiration in the pure woven rich silk sarees, worn by the brides from the south of India for all auspicious occasions and events, including their wedding day. From the sheen, the texture, the grandeur to the motifs and the vibrant colors– we love almost everything about these sarees! Here is how we styled two elegant silk sarees to beautifully match Tanishq’s exquisite bridal jewellery pieces.

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This embellished red saree by Angasutra is a beautiful choice for your wedding day. Enhance this look with goddess like jewellery from Tanishq that includes this necklace and earrings with the traditional lekshmi motif in the centre and filigree gold wirework around.

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And for a complete traditional wedding look, accessorize further with a beautiful handcrafted 22k gold traditional armlet, a jadai crafted in 22k plain gold with antique finish work, and most importantly this handcrafted traditional lekshmi motif waistband highlighted with ruby and emeralds in 22k antique finish gold.

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Opulent in Green
Another beautiful option is this bottle green color pattu saree with flower buttis on the border. The shade of the saree compliments perfectly with this exclusive antique gold beautiful haram, designed with intricate fine filigree work in 22 k gold and highlighted with emeralds and rubies. To complete your look, adorn these gloriously beautiful gold bangles studded with ruby and diamonds in 22k gold.

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Styling- Anusha Krishna & Uday Sankar
Photographs by- Sandeep Dinker

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Wedding Inspiration of the Week: Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu

Set amidst a nature reserve, on Pantai Dalit Beach the resort enchants endlessly with its natural magic, and is a picture perfect locale for those seeking a nature-inspired Destination Wedding. The 326 guestrooms of the Garden Wing encourage a sense of tranquility and the new Ocean Wing offers the choicest hospitality experience for discerning travelers who desire privacy and the finest in luxury living. Set amidst acres of tropical gardens, the new swimming pool and its surroundings are designed to evoke an exclusive retreat for guests to revel in.

Our editors have put together a Mood Board for a distinctively elegant wedding at the Shangri-La featuring gorgeous views of the hotel and the ballroom, Tarun Tahiliani ensemble, exquisite jewellery from Tanishq, and set-ups from real weddings at Shangri-la Rasa Ria Resort.

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Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/kotakinabalu/rasariaresort/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/ShangriLaRasaRiaResort

The House of Things- A new exciting store for your home shopping

The House of Things is a new ecommerce site that functions as a curated marketplace for those seeking design objects which are beautiful, rare and inspired. From fine furniture, resplendent paintings to exceptional curios, precious jewels, sculptures, antiquities, rugs, and accessories – each of their objects has remarkable workmanship and soul.

Founded by design and digital experts Astha Khetan and Sabina Chopra, The House of Things values the increasingly rare notion ofindividuality and was created to cultivate an appreciation for these things and facilitate their access. Their curatorial team of experts meticulously puts together a personal selection of poetic objects, sourced from travels across the globe and serendipitous findings.

Apart from a selection of in-house products, the site is collaborative and appoints well known design experts, each of whom acts as a curator, showcasing their own unique selections. With carefully considered content, the site shares stories and anecdotes of particular pieces, recognizing the importance of history and process. Visitors can also opt to engage a Concierge service to help them personalize their shopping experience.

Here’s a sneak peek into their exquisite collection:

Guilded Metal Candlestand

A medley of traditional design with gilded detailing and white metal; this wooden candlestick embodies vintage charm and whimsy, which are hallmarks of objects from Mayur Arts.

Gilded Metal Candlestand

Carved Wooden Angels

Handcrafted in wood and painted in polychrome, these angels are recollective of a presence that has existed since mystical lore. Acknowledged by almost all religions, their magical presence has been beautifully crafted into a visible and visually appealing, contemplative piece of art.

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Chevron Credenza

Implementing a geometric chevron pattern, this striking wooden credenza is made out of reclaimed teak, employing a natural wax finish. Handcrafted with hammered copper details, it cases three compartments, and bears tapering legs in a striped wooden pattern.

Chevron Credenza

Kings dining chair

This set of chairs is crafted in copper clad reclaimed teak and finished with a natural wax glaze; its slender lines are accented with delicate engravings on hammered copper and a brushing of gold paint. The luxurious upholstery is woven in heavy patterned silk.

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Banaras dinnerware

The Banaras collection is dedicated to the master weavers of the holy city. The butti patterns are inspired by brocade motifs; 24k gold highlights enhance the vibrant turquoise and jade hues. The 26-piece set includes dinner and side plates, platters, bowls and matching napkin rings.

Banaras Dinnerware

Handpainted Spanish Vase

This vintage porcelain vase was originally crafted in Spain. In the traditional blue and white colour scheme are intricately handpainted scenes of battle, featuring horses and humans fighting valiantly, reminiscent of Spanish folklore.

Hand Painted Spanish Vase

Krishna Urn

The Krishna Urn is a a beautiful artwork that is done in the classic religious art style of the artist. The humble Indian “bharany” has been worked on by the artist using oils with 24 carat gold leaf detailing and transforming it to a masterpiece.

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Kudu Lamp

This African Kudu lamp in stainless steel is inspired from the horns of the antelope and is cleverly mounted on a steel base. You can light up any space with this primitive and contemporary conversation starter.

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To view more unique pieces from their collection, visit:

W: www.thehouseofthings.com
FB: www.facebook.com/thehouseofthings
I: www.instagram.com/TheHouseOfThings

Celebrities Choose Platinum for their Engagement Rings

From modest bling to enormous rocks, celebrities typically select a platinum setting for their engagement rings. “A platinum setting enhances the sparkle of any stone and holds it more securely,” says jewelry expert Michael O’Connor. Platinum, a naturally white metal, will never fade or change color. Platinum prongs offer better protection which is why your exquisite diamonds or colored gemstones need to be set in Platinum.

Here’s a look at some celebrity engagement rings set in Platinum and similar styles available to fit a variety of budgets.

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To view the Platinum rings of other celebrity brides, click on the links below.

Lady Gaga’s  10-carat heart shaped diamond solitaire set on a delicate micro-pave Platinum.

Kelly Clarkson’s radiant-cut yellow diamond surrounded by white diamonds and set in Platinum.

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s Platinum wedding bands.

Drew Barrymore’s 4-carat radiant-cut diamond set on a Platinum band studded with smaller diamonds.

Sanya and Ashfaq’s Serendipitous Story- a Wedding Film by Romesh Dhamija

The Universe conspired to bring Sanya Farook from Goa into the life of London-based Ashfaq Shaikh when it brought together his brother and her cousin on a Hajj pilgrimage. The men casually shared notes about their siblings-of-marriageable-age, and soon enough the families had been alerted, and the rest is… well, destiny.

Sanya and Ashfaq’s serendipitous story is simply told through the voices of her family and the couple themselves in their wedding film. Sanya recalls the unexpected beep of Ashfaq’s first text message on her cellphone, which grew into endless chats that unfailingly brought a smile to Ashfaq’s face each time. These chats led them to meet and decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Director Romesh Dhamija captures the couple’s chemistry beautifully in simple visuals on pristine Goan sands and brings alive the romance and sacredness of their Nikah ceremony using soulful sufi strains and the priest’s Quran recitation. Summing up the film is a montage of the revelry that followed — a colourful Goa-style sundown party, the Sangeet ceremony and Reception — which ends with the couple setting out on their new adventure together. Watch the film here.

Wedding Planners- Custom Weddings
Video courtesy- Romesh Dhamija Productions {Photo & Films}

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