March 26, 2016

THAT POSH WEDDING - Roshini & Raj - Ritz Carlton, Abu Dhabi

How we Met

How did he propose?

Wedding Planning

As magical as the wedding was, the whole planning process leading up to the events was very tough. As a person I am quite particular, detail oriented and an all-round perfectionist, this made the planning process sometimes quite straightforward but at the same time equally very difficult to meet my requirements.

I spent a lot of time and energy in deep contemplation envisioning our events to be a depiction of Raj and myself during our courtship years. Our goal was simple; we wanted to create a magical and memorable experience for both our family and friends, by blending the best of our backgrounds and taking our guests through a journey of our love and what we love the most. We wanted a wedding that struck the perfect balance between fun, class and an intimate experience with our loved ones.

In total we had close to 450 guests staying in-house with most of the guests from my side and some mutual friends visiting the Middle-East for the first time. Hence we wanted to ensure that our wedding reflected and delivered as much of the local cultural experience as possible. 

Venue & Accommodation

Since we had our engagement ceremony in Hong Kong, we had decided very early on we wanted to host the wedding somewhere close to Raj’s home country, Bahrain. I had my eyes on the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi property before we even got engaged. Luckily the property was perfect as it met most if not all of our requirements, note that this was after 16 hotel property viewings across both Dubai and Abu Dhabi that we even concluded in opening conversations with the Ritz Carlton, for me it was a dream come true.

Based on our required order of functions of 10 different events across a 4 day period, we thought it would be easier for our guests (and us!)  to host all the events at a single venue and create consistent and unified experience.

Resources & Tools

Once we decided on our framework for the order of the events and venue, we had 10 months to bring our wedding to life. I spent my twilight hours researching on how I could achieve our vision of the wedding we want within our budget whilst developing our initial ideas for the event themes the overall experience we wanted to create for our guests. I created extensive mood boards, spreadsheets, hoards of online word documents to keep track of literally everything we had ever spoken of and all our ideas, including a personal journal. This was an effective way to communicate with my husband and our wedding planner since each of us was in different country working on a different time zone. For me this was our personal wedding intelligence and our matrimonial secrets that made our wedding what it was.

The Wedding Team

After meeting with several planners we brought on board Rimjhim Bhagchandani from Rimjhim Events, a well-known and experienced wedding planner from Dubai to help pull all our ideas together. She is very experienced with weddings in the Middle East and a resourceful individual. Her and her team definitely delivered the wedding we envisioned, their support, experience and network in the wedding circuit was invaluable for meeting our requirements within our budget.

I was very specific with who I wanted to be part of my Wedding Team. My Make-up Artist, Tamanna Roashan from Dress Your Face was the only thing I knew I wanted to spend on above anything else. She was the first thing I booked as soon as I got engaged, I didn't even know my wedding dates at that point. Tamanna and I had been communicating for a while and she was the best decision I made for myself for the wedding. As I mentioned earlier, I am a very hard person to please and I find it difficult to trust anyone's taste or opinion where I am involved.

I accepted a fact that throughout the wedding events I would be stressing about many things, and the last thing I had time for was to properly check how I was going to look. I knew Tamanna, was the only one I could completely trust to deliver the type of looks I wanted, which gave me the confidence to dedicate time and attention to other things instead of myself. She was so humble and beautiful inside and out and she made me feel the same for the 4 days she was with me.

Photographers & Cinematographers: Picture Perfect India
We chose Picture Perfect as our cinematographers and photographers, they were really sweet and fun to work with. They are always smiling and energetic, they work around the clock. The Pre-Wedding shoot video and the same day edit montage was done in real time during the 4 days they were there.

Decoraters: Flower Boutique UAE
Olesya from Flower Boutique was an angel and so patient to work with to execute my dream themes. We were so amazed the way she and Morris were able to give us even more than what we imagined!


DJ Tushar - For our DJ, we had initially booked DJ Manoj from Dubai months in advance, however due to unforeseen circumstances he was not able to make it for our wedding and we came to know of this 12 hours before our first major event. It was a life saver that DJ Tushar signed up with us at short notice; I couldn’t thank him more for delivering the perfect party festival and adapting his music to be based on what we had planned with DJ Manoj. My husband and I are crazy for music and festivals and we knew exactly the type of party, play-lists, live-sets and underground track-lists with special effects for English and Bollywood music we wanted to truly bring the house down. However, once the party started it was purely DJ Tushar’s skill and energy that made us all dance the night away into a state of trance.

DJ Boss (a.k.a Prashant Chainani) is a dear friend of ours and flew down all the way from Singapore to not just attend our wedding but to also to spin a special killer set for us at our Rave Event. My husband and I are really into EDM, house music and music festivals, that’s why we had an after party theme purely inspired by electro house music with the complete works and visual effects. DJ Boss delivered the set of our lives and completely smashed the house, he truly brought our dream to life and we couldn’t thank him more for it.

To top it off for the Rave Event we had a professional and renowned local VJ Cold Fusion to deliver an awe-inspiring visual feast. The most the amazing part was watching the VJ, both our DJ’s and the saxophone player, all artists jam with each other on the after party while performing which to me I think was the secret ingredient to a deliver an unbelievable night.

We had invited down a saxophone player, Pavan Verma from London to play for our wedding. I absolutely love the saxophone and my husband loves watching live music, so after searching some time for a decent Saxophone player that could play both English and Hindi songs I finally found this gem none other than my favourite city in the world, London. I had never heard him play live till my wedding, but after a couple of promo videos on YouTube and with meeting at Costa Coffee, we were sold. He was a true gentleman to work with but moreover an incredible artist. To hear a saxophone rendition of “Lean On” completely blew my mind at our Mehendi event.

No indian wedding can be complete without Dhol players, and we flew Dholtronics down from Singapore to jam at our wedding. They were nothing short of amazing, and they even have LED lights for the Dhol!!

Additionally we brought on board Flaming Trio,  a special squad that was dedicated to the beverage service, entertaining and attracting the crowd to the bar by fire flair. Giving our guests an entertaining way of boozing.

Wedding Theme

Invitations/ Stationery - Save the Date, Pre-Invite, Website, Wedding Card & all Wedding related stationery, posters and signage.

Save the Date & Pre-Invite

Wedding Website

Wedding Card & Gift
Being a graphic designer myself, I was quite picky about how I wanted our invitations, stationery and wedding collaterals to look like and be presented. I wanted our wedding invitations to have a Middle Eastern feeling yet also have the different themes of the events to be depicted on each Invite. This is the first thing people receive before attending the wedding, and I know some people feel it is not a very significant aspect to the wedding and quite irrelevant, however for me the wedding cards and the gifts are the first experience people get a taste of the wedding and I wanted it to be eye-catching and beautiful. All the work that lay before me was overwhelming so I enlisted a Hong Kong based card designer Resham Moorjani Ramchandani, from Moor Designs to help me execute the ideas. She was incredibly patient with me and it was great learning experience to work with her. I would highly recommend her for anyone who wants to get bespoke wedding cards designed. I got the printing of the cards done with Malaga Arts in India. I am extremely particular about the print quality, embossing etc and felt that they would be able to execute the artwork beautifully. 

Along with the card invitations, we also gave a gift befitting the culture of the wedding. To match our Middle Eastern theme, we decided that an Arabian ceramic flask for tea would be an appropriate choice as it is also something handy people could use on a day to day basis. Aunty Mashu Hemnani from Sarasa helped us source these beautiful Arabian ceramic flasks. She complimented it with these beautiful boxes to match with it and with the wider theme of the wedding in general. We had a slot in the box where the flask would sit  whilst you open the box, and the wedding card sits in a smartly placed position on the flask. I was very happy with both the cards and the flasks and how it was presented. 

I wanted the Save the Date and Pre-Invites all to have some consistency in the design, so I made sure the colours were the same throughout along with our logo. As my husband and I loved Tomorrowland Festival and the magical experience, I took a lot of inspiration for the designs directly from the must festival.

For those who don't have time to create a website from scratch, a great alternative wedding website is and they have wedding apps too.

Wedding Collaterals


Signage for the events aren't the most important thing on the list yet I definitely feel that it gives a personal touch and brings together the whole theme underpinning the wedding. Its beautiful effect once correlated throughout is that it leaves behind a lasting memory with guests of an image unique only to the wedding.

Wedding Itinerary Booklets

This is definitely one of the most important wedding collaterals during the course of the events. When your guests begin arriving to the hotel, this informative guide is an effective way of answering all the possible basic queries that you think is the most necessary for the next few days for travelling guests. This could include a break-down of all the events and the timings, map of the hotel, Hospitality, Hair and make-up Salon schedule, guest services, exploring the nearby surroundings but lastly and not the least the key emergency contact numbers of family members as well as services. 


A key element to our wedding was the set-up of a dedicated Wedding Helpdesk and private Hospitality Lounge in the hotel. We wanted to make sure that there was free flow of food and light beverages available for our guests at all times as we know how hectic and draining the schedule can be for guests in-house let alone the family. We had also set up a private hairdressing salon for our guests, this particularly helped in the time management for the women by having an organized schedule for those requiring assistance to get their hair and make-up done. We had a dedicated hair and make-up team each also for close members of both sides of the family.

Pre-Wedding Shoot & Video

As you all should know by now, Raj and I love music, so doing a music video for our Pre-Wedding shoot seemed most appropriate.   


Wedding Events (Theme, Bridal Looks & Decor)

We had a grand total of 9 events packed across a 4 day period. It was a very hectic schedule indeed but a necessary compromise to ensure we maximized our utilization of the hotel while keeping the entire guest population centrally located.

Friday December 18th, 2015 

Event 1: BHAJANS

Theme: Divine Blessings
Attire:  Traditionally Chic

It is customary from my side of the family to come together and host a Pre-Wedding Bhajans (religious song and prayers) session to seek divine blessings before commencing any major event or activities. It was a small and intimate event that was followed by dinner shortly after. 

Outfit: Elan | Diamond Tikka: Kamyen Jewellery | Earrings: Kamyen Jewellery

  Mehendi Application

Immediately after the Bhajans dinner I hosted a small gathering with my close girls and bridesmaids for a Bridal Mehendi ceremony with pink champagne. I had the talented artist Sara's Henna design my bridal henna love story. I described to her the most iconic moments of my relationship and she was able to incorporate all these designs into my henna love story. I wish the Mehendi never faded, I was so pleased with my design. I had the talented Sayeda Nisa from Dubai who copied Sara's design onto my hands, and she did it to complete PERFECTION.


Playsuit: Asos | Bespoke Bridal Henna Design: Sara's Henna | Henna Artist: Sayeda Nisa

I wore an embellished iridescent playsuit during my Bridal Mehendi ceremony. We started it at 11:00pm where I had all my girls over for some champagne and chocolate strawberries; I just wanted to have a cute and cozy girl’s night before the madness began. I wanted  to wear something stylish and comfortable to sleep in after the 3 hours it would take to apply the henna, so this playsuit seemed the most appropriate outfit for my girls event.

Saturday December 19th, 2015

Event 2: Mehendi 

Theme: Floral Fantasy
Attire: Pastel Paradise

This was our first major event, I decided upon this theme because I've always loved flowers and my husband has spoilt me with flowers every month when we were dating, so the theme only seemed fitting for the Mehendi.

Bridal Look 

Outfit: Falguni & Shane Peacock | Hairband: Nasty Gal | Necklace & Earrings: Jaipur

The dress code for the event was pastel paradise. I love pastel colours and thought it would be a fun girly theme for the Mehendi. I had already envisioned what I wanted my Bridal outfit to look like and worked with Falguni from Falguni & Shane Peacock to bring my idea to life, which she did brilliantly. 

I don't know why I've always had this association in my head of Mehendi and braids. Having dark hair, I knew that a braid wouldn't be so visible, as braids look best on highlighted hair, so we decided to add pieces of Ombre Hair Extensions to add dimension to the loose French braid. We then added faux flowers and the headband for a truly magical touch. For the make-up she kept it pastel and soft with very defined eyes and dusty rose tones on the lips and cheeks. I was so excited with this look, Tamanna did it exactly how I dreamed of looking and I just couldn't have been happier.


I had a clear vision from the start of what I wanted the Bridal Squad to look like. I had sent them Bridal invitations 6 months prior to the wedding to ask them if they would be my Bridesmaids and to collect their measurements so I could get their outfits made. Shivani Awasty executed their dresses beautifully and exactly how I imagined them to be. I wanted their outfits to carry an element of western fusion and have a similar floral print pattern that was designed on the Bridesmaids Invitations and the Mehendi Insert of the Wedding Invitation.
Bridesmaids outfits: Shivani Awasty


In addition I wanted my father and brother to be wearing something along the same print pattern to match the bridesmaids and the theme so as to represent the girls side in full force at our first event.


I guess the decor was  self-explanatory, we had a bridal stage and I wanted to have lots of vines and white hydrangeas and pink peonies as part of the backdrop. Baby pink was definitely a consistent baseline colour used throughout this theme to unify the floral paradise event. I wanted to have white lounges and tiffany chairs for seating so as to capture the cosy feel to the event.
I was inspired by the idea of starting our major wedding event by releasing white doves. In my head it was this elegant fairytale like idea, but it turned it out to be a funny spectacle of a dove disaster and I always look back and laugh when I replay the countless videos on it. I just assumed if opened a basket of doves, they would immediately fly out but in this case it was exactly the opposite! During the course of event there were still 2 doves sitting on the bridal backdrop ledge the entire time! Which turned out to look cute in the end. This moment taught me something quite important that you can plan for every detail, but on the day things can go sideways, and you just have to smile appreciate the moment and move on :)

  Event 3: Welcome Dinner

Theme: Night in the Oasis
Attire: Arabian Twist

The same day, that evening we had an Arabian Themed Welcome Dinner. Some of our guests were visiting the Middle East for the first time, so it seemed fitting and appropriate to deliver a taste of the local culture through one of our events. We had an all Arabic cuisine menu planned, along with laterns, Ramadan Tents & Majilis set up across. I especially loved this theme, as I've always loved headpieces and I used to belly dance when I was younger, so this theme felt personal to me and to Raj of course because he was born and brought up in the Middle East. 

Bridal Look
Gown: Shivani Awasty | Earrings: Kamyen Jewellery | Headpiece: Panache by Ginni

The attire for this event was "Arabian Twist", and it was great to see everyone so enthusiastic about the theme. I wanted to look like a Royal Sheikha, and worked with Shivani Awasty to customize a gown fitting for this theme. I was so pleased with the outcome, and the intricate embellishment on the gown and the sleeves. The sleeves aren't visible in the high resolution pictures as I wore an Abaya on top to complete the look. 

Pairing this look with gorgeous diamond earrings by Kamyen Jewellery.

For this event I wanted to look like an Arabian Princess since everyone thought I looked like Princess Jasmin at the previous event,  so maybe this time pull off a Dark Jasmine, which Tamanna certainly nailed the makeup for this look. We had decided early on that for this look, greenish contact lenses would be appropriate. She made me glisten with stunning swarovski crystals on my eyelids and gifted me this headpiece that I was dreaming of wearing for a long time from Panache by Ginni.

Grooms Outfit: Anup Bhargava

Entertainment & Decor



Event 4: Rave Afterparty

Theme: Kingdom of Melodia
Attire: Rave Ready/Festival Fashion

Before you all ask why a rave theme, Raj and I love raving, we've been to Tomorrowland twice, Ultra Miami, EDC London and SW4 twice . We love EDM music and I love festival fashion. We knew this would be a suitable theme to allow our guests to experience what we love most and take them through a musical journey. We knew this was going to be a theme right from the start, actually I had envisioned all my themes as soon as we started the planning process. This afterparty was right after the Welcome Dinner.

Bridal Look

 Outfit: Koesch | Shorts: Topshop | Necklace: Rock n Rose | Shoes: Millies

Ironically even though I am well in-tune with my inner hippie, I was a bit stressed on how to execute a hippie look whilst still making it look a little Bridal and sparkly. It was a godsend to stumble across Kresha from Koesch, who had similar visions and style aesthetics as mine to help develop this outfit. I knew I wanted to capture the image of a Tribal Princess, but wanted to wear a soft lilac colour to bring out my complexion. She designed her signature embellished cape top with a see through organza skirt. It was the perfect amount of bridal, eccentric and unique and I loved it instantly! I Accessorized this outfit with an Afghan necklace to give it that hipster vibe.

 We kept the same make up as the Arab dinner, and left the swaroski crystals on my eyelids, but I removed my contact lenses and we decided to go for a very sleek runway hairstyle.


Party Favours

To make this event feel truly like a rave, we gave out LED flower crowns, LED Sunglasses, we had gold and sliver luxury temporary tattoos so our guests could accessorize at the event. For those who know me, know that these are my key accessories at a rave.

Sunday December 20th, 2015

Event 5: Daswani's Ghari/Nav Ghari Pooja & Kewalram's Accha Sathiyaro

Ghari Pooja is a traditional sindhi ritual that is performed the night before the wedding function. It was a small intimate event.

 Event 6: Sangeet

Theme: Ishq-e-Sufiyana
Attire: Ethnic Opulence

For those who don't know what a Sangeet is, it is a party thrown the night before the wedding day, where the bride and grooms family put on a show for the couple to celebrate their union. It usually involves lots of dance performances by family and friends.

Bridal Look

 Outfit: Sonia Sawney | Crown: Elvie Jewelry Dreams | Jewellery: Jaipur

This outfit was inspired but the TV-series Reign; I am obsessed with all the costumes on the show and knew that I wanted to wear an outfit which was a cross between Indo-Victorian culture. I knew a Dolce & Gabanna look a-like crown would be the perfect accessory for me to be ready to Reign. Elvie Jewelry Dreams made me a customised crown to match my jewelry, it was such a beautiful gift. For my hair I wanted to go for something very clean, I often see curly hair gone wrong and messy especially on dark hair, so we went for half up soft waves, pushed back from my face so the focus could be on my make-up and my jewels.

Grooms Outfit: Shringaar (Shakeel)

Entertainment & Decor

Monday December 21st, 2015

Event 7: Baraat & Wedding

Theme:  The Eternal Promise
Attire: Traditional Splendour

Grooms Outfit: Shringaar (Shakeel)

Bridal Look  

Outft: Sonia Sawney | Bag: Dolce & Gabbanna | Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana | Necklace & Earrings: Kamyen Jewellery

For this look I wanted to look traditional with a twist. I wanted my jewellery and face to look very ethnic and traditional, but I know my face can't carry off the classic ethnic outfits. Inspired by a Dolce & Gabbana bag, I decided to go with a pinkish nude colour base outfit. I thought since the colour was light, and nice for a daytime wedding, my jewellery would stand our more as I didn't want to look messy and cluttered with an out of sync outfit. I feel that you spend so much money on your jewelry, why have it hidden behind a heavy outfit; why not wear something to enhance the jewellery and yourself. Im sure you can notice I had red lipstick on in the pictures above, but we found that it was making me look too traditional, thats why we switched to a shocking pink to make it look edgy.


Event 8: Reception

Theme: Winter's Tale
Attire: Black Tie/Formal/Traditional

Following the wedding ceremony we had our Reception. This theme was inspired by our winters together in London. London has always been my husband and mine happy place, so we thought this would be the most suitable theme for our happily ever after. Also with Christmas just a few days away, it seemed fitting to have Christmas trees, snowflakes, mistletoes to kick-start the festive mood.

Bridal Look

 Bridal Gown: Shivani Awasty | Necklace & Earrings: Didi's Jewellery | Crown: Etsy

I've always wanted a white wedding and as our reception was a black tie event this was only fulfilling one of my dreams. Designer, Shivani Awasty designed the gown of my dreams beautifully. We choose to go with a cream gown with a touch of pink embellishments. I accessorized with a winter crown from Etsy, and diamond set from Didi's Jewellery. I love coloured diamonds, and wearing a yellow diamond has always been a dream and was so pleased with my set. I wanted to keep my hair up with this look to give the emphasis to this beautiful necklace.
Grooms Tux: Bobbys Fashions

When your looking for the finest tailored garment, there is only one place to go - Bobbys Fashions. With 60 years of history and a tradition of fine tailoring, Bobby's Fashions specializes in custom made garments carrying an extensive selection of fabrics. Each garment is handcrafted in-house by Master Shanghainese tailors for the clients exact style and specification. 

I know for our big day, my husband could trust no one else but Bobby's Fashions to deliver a bespoke suit that is reasonable and made with such high quality. They're main branch is in Hong Kong, but travel to America, UK and Australia every other month! Get in touch with them to book your consultation and get your father/brother/husband/fiance/boyfriend/guy friend suited up!

Father & Daughter Dance

Entertainment & Decor

Watch our Wedding Highlights


The Honeymoon was probably the only thing that kept us sane through the whole wedding madness. It was just knowing that at the end of all this, we could have some time alone to chill and travel. I feel you only go on a Honeymoon once in your life, so you might as well make this the most exciting and adventurous holiday possible. We decided to go a few weeks after the wedding, just to give me some time to settle into my new home and family, and also to rest and recover from wedding planning and the wedding itself. I'll save all the details about this for my next post.

Tips for Bridal Looks

- Don't wear your whole bank account, nobody cares how big your jewellery is or how heavy or how much work your outfit has, wear something that accentuates YOU and YOUR beauty.
- When choosing your bridal outfits, decide on colours and silhouettes that suit you. This is not a time to experiment, stick to what you know looks good on you and build your looks around that. 

- Decide on your jewellery before your outfits, jewellery is a lifetime investment. Pick something that is ever-green, especially with fashion changing constantly

- For any bride-to-be, I suggest if you are going to India to get your outfits done, go 4 months before your wedding dates as designers require that much time to design and deliver the final piece
-During the wedding occasions, remember to drink lots of water. Its important to stay hydrated for good skin throughout the wedding.

Advice to newly engaged couples on Wedding Planning

Wedding planning is a once in a lifetime experience, it gives the engagement period some of its best moments as well as some of its toughest. It truly does test your relationship but once you get past it there is much more to gain from the rewards as a married couple. There is never an end-point to "wedding planning" till the wedding itself is over, you can find yourself fine tuning down to the nth hour which is what makes it so nerve racking. Therefore its very important that at least a good 2 weeks prior to start of the functions you delegate the responsibilities because time just flies past during the course of the events, and you need to be focussing on yourselves. After a certain point there is not much you can do about what is going around, and you will never get these moments back, where you have BOTH your worlds under the same roof celebrating your love.

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