Date: 26th April 2014
Venue: Hilton, Terminal 5
Photography: Shital Gohil
As seen in Asiana Magazine Summer 2014
The Love Story
Just like a fairytale, the story of our wedding began with a magical experience, on Christmas Eve. While all my friends and family were in high spirits enjoying the season’s festivities, Sanjay invited me over for what I thought would just be a quiet dinner, but turned out to be the best gift I could have ever asked for. As I drew back the curtains of his living room to check if we would be having a white Christmas I was amazed to discover he had created a magical winter wonderland lit up with a red sign that read ‘Will You Marry Me?’ I was so shocked but burst into tears of joy. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me but the surprises didn’t stop there. The next morning when I opened my Christmas card from him I found two tickets – a romantic trip to Venice to celebrate our engagement; Santa Claus couldn’t have done a better job himself! Coming from big families meant we both had a lot of extended family so we knew our wedding would be a grand affair. As we both come from two slightly different cultures, Punjabi and Gujarati, we also knew there would be a fantastic mix of characters present, ensuring our celebrations would be one huge party. We planned every step of our wedding together and our family and friends were of great support as was watching wedding videos and of course reading Asiana Wedding Magazine.
Just like the proposal, every aspect was perfect. Our day began with the traditional ceremony. From the moment the white cloth between us dropped, our sparks were ignited again; even though we had been together for a decade it felt just like the old days when we were teenagers. Rajubhai Pandya and Shiv Gopal delivered an amazing ceremony but when I stepped outside, a married woman, that’s when I realised this was actually for real. Sanjay surprised me with a horse and carriage after the vidhai and boarding that carriage made me feel like a true princess. Our décor company Gayatri created a traditional wedding theme with a wooden carved mandap adorned by red and white flowers. The evening had elegant centerpieces of tall vases with flowers, twig trees and lots of romantic tealights, creating an intimate ambiance. Nuchna Roadshow created an amazing tone with purple uplighting throughout the room. Along with this the amazing Sax Singh entertained guests with his saxophone and accompanied us on our first dance. The reception was a toast to our marriage. A glittering affair, it turned into a massive rave on the dance floor where everyone had a great time!
When it comes to wedding planning its not just the menu you choose that matters, but the service your caterers provide and that’s why we chose to go for Ragamama Ragasaan, who came highly recommended to us by friends and family. As soon as we met Pammy Prasad our Event Manager, we clicked. She and her team led by Operations Manager Satya were friendly, open minded and had a ‘can do’ attitude. Moreover they had already organized several weddings at the Hilton Terminal 5 so were able to give us the best advice possible in relation to our ideas and how to make them work. It’s one of their favourite venues and we fell in love with it instantly too. As well as a great location we loved the different spaces, modern ballroom and shimmering chandeliers. Pammy was in constant contact with us throughout the planning stages and even worked out of hours, visiting me at home because I was too busy to get to her. The food tasting was a highlight. Head Chef Raman prepared a variety of dishes, customised to cater for both our cultural backgrounds incorporating both Punjabi and Gujarati influences; it all looked and tasted delicious! Thankfully guests agreed and all we kept hearing was how good the food was. Ragamama catered for our lunchtime reception, prepared canapés and cocktails and organised live cooking stations in the evening. The main meal was well received but most of all the guests were blown away with the dessert tables outside. An array of colourful desserts were beautifully presented and everyone was snapping away at it, while filling up their plates, some even went back for seconds! Looking back at our wedding photos now, neither of us can believe what an amazing day it was and how it all went to plan. We wouldn’t have changed a thing and are so thankful to everyone who came and shared the memories with us and of course to Ragamama for making our dreams come true.
One amusing moment that particularly stands out was when the priest pulled out an iPad for us to read out our wedding vows. No one expected this and it provided a modern twist to the ceremony. Following this the priest asked Sanjay what he expected from my duties as a wife, to which he cheekily replied: ‘to make me daal baat and saag’, which I am not a big fan of. This had the crowd in stitches and provided good humour to the ceremony.
Dipali & Sanjay’s Wedding Feast
Floating canapés: mogo in paper cones, gobi manchurian in boats, fish amritsari, lamb tikka, raga chicken, chaat baskets and chutneys
Live cooking: mogo station and Punjabi samosa chana chaat station
Mains: chicken karahi, rarda lamb, muttar paneer, bhindi benarsi, benarsi aloo baigan, daal makhani, jeera pulao, green salad/olive garnish, cucumber raita/pomegranate garnish and floating naan
Dessert: chocolate tulips with rose kulfi, gajjar halva, wedding cake, profiteroles and fresh fruit slices