About the Couple
We met through mutual
family friends in early 2005. Shaival was working in
New York City as a resident in Anesthesia. I was working
and living in Los Angeles. After eight months in a long-distance
relationship, I was offered a job in New York City.
Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to live in the
big, bustling city and move close to Shaival. Our two
years in New York City were fabulous; we got to know
each other well and enjoyed the city to the fullest.
In our free time, we enjoy traveling and movies. Shaival
is obsessed with music while I like reading and enjoying
January 17, 2009, we had a traditional Hindu Gujarati
ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim Report. We wanted
to maintain the traditional aspects of the ceremony
and décor– our primary colors were red, white,
gold with punches of orange. The festivities began with
a lively baraat, beautiful flowers, colors, the dhol
and fun music.
Though we had nearly four hundred and fifty guests,
we wanted each one to feel important. Before the ceremony,
we had pictures taken with extended family as well as
close family friends. We also had ‘family portraits’
taken for family and friends so they would have their
own family memories of the wedding. We ensured as many
family members/ close friends were a part of the ceremony–
I had fourteen bridesmaids and six mamas escort me into
the mandap, eight brothers offer gifts during the pheras
and twenty five women offer their advice. Though this
may sound like a circus, the ceremony went exactly according
to the plan.
For the reception, we kept in mind the most important
thing—giving the guests an unforgettable experience.
So we spent more on food, favors and a great DJ (SoundNation
LA), while limiting the budget on stage décor,
flowers and our own clothing. We did splurge on gorgeous
uplights, which enveloped the room in beautiful colors
throughout the night as well as a lovely Radha Krishna
ice sculpture and a confetti cannon.
I think the only anxious moment I had was when I woke
up in the morning with another sleepless night. I was
more than a little nervous thinking about how on earth
I could be transformed from an exhausted person to a
Luckily, Lishma from BeautybyLishma came in and eased
away my nervousness– she creates miracles! From then
on, I didn’t have any concerns or anxious moments. Everything
had been planned in detail ahead of time, we had a tight
timeline and I had the greatest group of family and
friends who knew exactly what needed to be done! In
addition, I had the best vendors who took care of everything!
All in all, I had a wonderful time and I wasn’t anxious
at all! In the end, while there were many small issues
that came up, I wasn’t too concerned and concentrated
on enjoying the day!
we will cherish
"One of my most cherished moments was walking into
the ceremony room with my mamas, the song playing was
"Teri Ore," which mirrored my emotions to the tee.
I saw Shaival, my parents, my sister as well as my in-laws
all in the mandap-- awaiting my entrance. On the side
of me, I saw all my family and friends- pretty much
everyone important to me throughout all the phases of
my life was in one room-it was a beautiful moment. Other
moments, both Shaival and I will always cherish are
those from the reception. The wonderful welcome we received
when we were first introduced as Mr. & Mrs. Shaival
& Shilpa Patel, along with the heart-warming speeches.
My sister and friends coordinated a beautiful ten minute
dance dedicated to my dance career- creating a medley
of dances- from my first dance to the last one I performed.
The dance troupe consisted of fifteen friends some of
whom were from Texas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania (they learned
the dance steps through video instruction). They practiced
for four months! It was an honor to see such a beautiful
performance and humbling to accept such an enormous
advice for brides-to-be"
Though details make the wedding more unique and personal,
don't forget the overall flow of the event. The key
to a great wedding is
1) Luck (the weather, natural disasters etc),
2) Great vendors
3) PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING
4) Family & Friends. Make sure you take time to research
your vendors and study their work. Plan out a detailed
timeline and assign tasks to reliable people. If you
can afford it, try to hire a wedding planner - they
come in a variety of prices and packages so don't rule
that option out. I was lucky to have interned with a
great wedding planner in NYC and one of my closest friends
is an event coordinator, so between the two of us, we
had all the bases covered!