Fashion, Lifestyle, Recommendations, Travel

Cocktail hour & mehndi mood


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On our first night in Udaipur, it was time for the welcome cocktail. The party was set up at the Trident Hotel–a two minute drive from the Oberoi, where we are staying…

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The food was set up at the entrance when we walked in… The garden had been set up for a sit-down dinner, and these little “food stations” had been installed throughout the venue. This was my favourite: Fresh burrata (flown in from Italy) and all the kind of things you would ever want to go with it. Like cherry tomatoes and olive oil, for example.

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The garden had been lit up so beautifully. My friend Alisha is running the wedding planning for this stunning wedding, and they’ve done such an incredible job! My future wedding planners for sure *note to self*

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I was going for an Indo-Western outfit for the night–something I got made by Saif’s sister Shehla specifically for the night. Saif was in a classic pinstriped suit from Etro. It’s so much easier to be a guy!

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Naman (groom) and Saif were catching up in the midst of all the hi and hello’s…

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I befriended the strawberry station – dip your berry in anything you love basically. Fresh cream and Nutella, anyone? Delicious, and I’m usually not even much for dessert…

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The fruit was beautifully cut…

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And I couldn’t get enough of the candle lit garden area…

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In the dining corner, there were chefs flown in from all corners of the world, presenting their specialties–anything from Lebanese, to Italian, to Peruvian…you name it.

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Hummus, hummus, hummus…

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I hung out extra-much at the fresh pasta station. Burrata tagliatelle or a pear & gorgonzola ravioli, anyone? Salivating while writing this…

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We were in bed by 1am or so. I love that about Saif and I – we have the same idea of what it means to have a perfect morning: Get up early, ideally before everyone else, have breakfast and beat the day (before it beats you)…

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This is where we spent the morning, on our own little backyard overlooking a beautiful garden…

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I had a blueberry yoghurt in a clay pot with fresh fruit and black coffee. Mostly had the yoghurt because the clay pot was so cute though…

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The garden right outside our room is just stunning. Walking on the grass barefoot makes me miss being back home, in my mom’s garden.

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After breakfast, it was time to get ready for the mehndi. This is how handsome Saif was looking, in an outfit from Rajesh Pratap Singh.

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I was wearing an outfit designed by Shehla, stitched by my tailor in Bandra! This was a white fabric initially–we’ve dyed it, embroidered it, stitched it together, added borders and buttons… And voila! I love it.

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Then, we walked down towards the jetty that was going to take us to the venue for the day…

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All the palace hotels are located around this lake–everything is just a five minute boat ride from each other… So convenient!

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There’s something so special about arriving in a boat vs. a car. I’ll take transportation on sea over land any day…

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We arrived at The Leela and I had to take a photo in front of the entrance of the hotel. Our friend Samu’s family owns The Leela hotels all over India, and one is just more spectacular than the other. Just, wow…

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We were greeted with sufi music at the time of arrival…

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The venue had been covered with my favourite flower – Bougainvillea…

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I ran into Alisha again–she was busy organising the function. So calm and composed despite close to 900 guests between four different hotels. Impressed, to say the least…

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We arrived just in time for dance practice. At Indian weddings the friends and family perform dances for the bride and groom before the wedding. The beautiful woman up front is Naman’s mom–mother of the groom. She’s always so happy, it lights up the entire room…

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The bride and groom were also practicing their performance…

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…and cuddling in between things…

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Mr. dance teacher did an incredible job with all the dances. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a good Sangeet teacher–he’s amazing, as a person, and as a dancer…

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…and then, finally, it was time for the performances. All close friends and family, including the bride and groom, perform what they’ve practiced the previous few weeks. It was the most organised sangeet I’ve ever been for–not a single step missed, and crazy coordination. Could be because it was in the daytime? AKA less bubbly dancers.

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I didn’t get a photo of us dancing since I was clearly on stage and too busy making sure I got my Bollywood moves right… After the dances it was time to dig into all the delicious food…

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Safe to say, I spent a lot of time around the French Fry station. How awesome is this? I hereby vote the French Fry station and the Taco station as the most important features of any awesome wedding. Non-negotiable…

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After the lunch, there were a bunch of activities all over the property… From getting mehndi done (henna), to tarot readings, psychics, games (think: Jenga and Poker), and foot massage (!), it was all there – anything you could ever ask for, and then some…

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