Varun & Manali’s Wedding Story
The theme of our wedding could be rightly be described as how to have a beautiful wedding on a budget. Months before the wedding when I started reading up on weddings on social media in order to start planning our wedding, I realized I was clueless. I followed every social media site so that I could get ideas on decor, outfits, venues, photographers etc and I realized I was way behind in my wedding preparations. I went through every magazine starting from Vogue weddings to Elle for wedding affair etc, to realize again that I had a lot of doing if I wanted to have a beautiful wedding.
One thing that we were certain from the beginning was that we only had a certain budget to work with and everything would have to be the best in that budget. The first thing that we had to freeze was off course the venues, the options being Delhi, Kolkata & Hyderabad. While Delhi is my hometown and is also currently the place where both of us live was definitely the first choice for venue. While deciding the venue the one thing that we were set on was it had to be a very green, naturally beautiful setting which would reduce the wedding decor to a minimum. One more thing that we had decided on was that the wedding would be during the day so the pictures would come out beautiful. While going through a lot of venues, there was one or the other thing missing in most of the venues and unfortunately, nothing suited our requirement and budget. Next choice was Kolkata which is where Varun is from, did not have naturally beautiful venues. The last option was Hyderabad which is where Varun’s parents reside, and there we found the perfect venue for our wedding – “Alankrita” It was just perfect, cozy, lush green place which would have just the right setting for all our wedding functions.
Varun and I go back to 2006 when we started going out in college, little did we know (since we were both 17 at that time) about love. We were both in the same batch at IIT Kanpur and met during the first tutorial session (which happened to be MTH 101). And after that its all history, our love story has been celebrated across continents both in India and US. We seem to share a love for NYC and did spend a couple of years there. Varun was set on moving back to India and starting his own thing here, he currently is a co-founder at UrbanClap – biggest marketplace for service professional. I just followed him from Miami while I work as a construction project manager for a French firm in Gurgaon. I am also an avid crossfitter with I started in Miami and continue to do so in Delhi, even more passionately. We both love Delhi and how green it is. Varun proposed to me in 2016 while we both were climbing at the IMF Delhi. It was quite unexpected as I had absolutely no idea and wasn’t prepared for it at all, but happy like never before.
After the venue was set, 50% of the work was done and next was the wedding planner piece which was certainly key as both of us lived in Delhi. That too took us a while, as we looked at both options in Delhi & Hyderabad and finally settled with someone who was local. It just felt the right call to make. We have decided responsibilities and wedding planner was on Varun’s list of things to finalize. We went through lots of social media and met up with lots of people in Delhi and Hyderabad and finally after a lot of back and forth we finalized Ashiana Events. They did a great job, were very creative and accommodating.
Theme: Colorful, Minimalistic & inspired by the venue
We both love bright colors so we knew that the decor would be colorful but also minimal at the same time, it needs to look elegant, nothing over the top, and also inspired by the venue, something that just looks right and belongs to it. We also could not miss out on any of the wedding functions since both side of the family were super enthusiastic about the wedding and wanted it to be all-inclusive, starting from Cocktail, Mehndi, Haldi, Bhaat, Sangeet, Phera & reception, all in 2 days.
My makeup artist was just amazing and If I remember, I found her on wedding sutra, she goes by Ayesha AK (@rudeandchic). She knew exactly what I wanted and gave me that. I have this fear of looking like someone else at my wedding but thanks to her It did now happen and looked very beautiful. Makeup was nothing over the top, minimal and just accentuating my own features.
Wedding Lehnga: Bruhi Pant in Mehrauli, New Delhi
Varun’s wedding wardrobe: Mr. Fox by Angad Malhotra, New Delhi
Wedding lehenga was inspired by Anita Dongra’s since I really admire her work, but we were working with a budget. It came out really nice and was definitely the most beautiful piece of clothing I have ever worn in my life. It looked heavy but was very light to carry and I was the happiest bride in it. I really cherish my wedding lehenga.
One incident that I can remember from the wedding is from phera ceremony when at Joote churana, there was so much craziness happening that my nephew’s (who is just 15 years old) kurta got torn off and leg slightly bruised while he was running with Varun’s shoes trying to hide them. Things got pretty intense 😛
Though I have shared a lot of information, If I really had to give one advice:
To the bride: Choose outfits which look heavy but weigh really light for wedding/ wedding functions, since you want to up and about and having the most fun at your own wedding (at least I did)
To both: Since both of us planned our entire wedding (did not involve our parents), there was a lot of stress, and its very easy to forget between everything that is happening to have fun so don’t forget to have fun at your own wedding.
Manali Singh: @delhicrossfitter
Varun Khaitan: @varunkhtn