Do you believe in ‘love at first sight’? For our cute couple, Aaditi and Dhruv, it was love at first date! The world of dating today involves many apps. You post your profile; you browse pictures and swipe right if you happen to like someone. And if things go well, you can plan an actual date.
This is exactly how Aaditi and Dhruv’s love story began. They met each other on 17th September in New York City, having met on a dating app. They planned to meet at the City Vineyards, Battery Park for their first date. And the couple hit it off immediately. They spent their date laughing, telling stories from their life and spoke for hours. Before the night was over, Dhruv realised he had found his lady love!
The couple, both having carved a niche for themselves in their respective careers in the world of finance, Aaditi and Dhruv connected on a deeper level as individuals. They both were immigrants, career-oriented, had similar stories and values they shared. And together, as a couple, they felt at home with each other. This is what strengthened their love all the more!
Over time, Aaditi and Dhruv explored the hidden gems of NYC together and chatted their evenings away into late hours of the night.
But how did they decide to seal the deal and tie the knot? Dhruv had to move to San Francisco for a new career opportunity, and on her first trip to the city to meet him, Dhruv had planned an elaborate evening on the coast. Being a typical Virgo, he had made dinner reservations at Greens for a specific time when the sun would set so that they could enjoy the beautiful sunset on the coast together. During this dinner, seeing the planning, the lovely ambience and the delicious food that Dhruv had planned all for her, Aaditi was hit by this simplicity and thoughtfulness. Dhruv was pure joy to her. Despite moving away from NYC, the couple continued their never-ending dates. They kept up by Facetiming each other and taking trips together to spend quality time.
And even though Aaditi was totally charmed by Dhruv’s wits and thoughtfulness and peppy personality, it was our commitment to each other over long-distance made it real for Aaditi.
Now, no love story of our times is complete without an amazing proposal, right? In October 2018, when Dhruv and Aaditi were visiting Greece and island hopping, he had planned an elaborate romantic proposal for her in Calderas, Santorini. But the rain gods had other plans and his plans fell flat! But the man did not lose hope and just before their dinner reservations, under the moonlit sky on the roof of one of the Calderas, by the blue-domed historic Church (yes, just like in the films!), Dhruv got down on his knees to propose Aaditi. And what’s more – he even had a ring in her size and that too with the family heirloom diamond!
This took Aaditi by total surprise! Before this, they had never discussed rings! How did he even know her ring size? When did he even ask for permission to propose from Aaditi’s family? Turns out the whole thing was planned weeks in advance by him.
Meet the Parents
Now here’s the plot twist! So far, Dhruv and Aaditi’s love story was smooth and without any bumps but as soon as the families were involved… things changed. No, not for the worse but as this was going to be a cross-cultural wedding, i.e., Aaditi being a Maharashtrian and Dhruv being a Gujarati, both families were concerned about cultures clashing.
But it was Dhruv’s sister who spearheaded the meet with his parents. They had their concerns since Aaditi wasn’t “Gujju”. But Namrata (Dhruv’s elder sister) and Dhruv worked hard on convincing them to focus on things that really mattered. And after spending some time with Aaditi without reservations, they gave a thumbs up. On the other hand, Aaditi’s mom had met Dhruv and she liked him. But, the rest of the family had their reservations as well. Since he wasn’t “Marathi”. Aaditi and family friends had to work on getting them to focus on values and similarities instead of cultural differences.
Both sides understandably had inhibitions. But with nudges to approach this with an open mind and spending quality time with Dhruv and Aaditi, family on both sides couldn’t help but really like their jodi!
Planning the Wedding
Finally, as the families warmed up to each other and accepted the couple wholeheartedly, their wedding date and venue was decided. As both belonged to India, it was only natural, they celebrate their wedding among their friends and family back home. So, for the couple, it became a destination wedding and a very unique one at that! Plus, Dhruv’s family who were settled in the US for a while, saw this as a great opportunity to explore their home country!
For the venue of their celebrations, Dhruv and Aaditi booked the Soma Vine Village in Nashik. They chose a vineyard as a tribute to their very first date at the City Vineyards, Battery Park, NYC. Another important reason why the couple chose a vineyard for their destination wedding venue was that they both were very keen on having a rustic themed destination wedding. “With amazing vineyard properties in Aaditi’s hometown itself, we did end up having the destination wedding we always wanted in a place that meant so much for Aaditi.” – Dhruv.
“The initial wedding planning phase was quite stressful, as managing communication with potential vendors in India while working on the west and east coast time zones in the US was quite challenging. But once we were able to lock down wedding planners from F5 Weddings, the process became much simpler. The F5 team helped us find a method to manage the chaos that comes with minutiae of wedding planning.”
With Aaditi in New York, Dhruv in San Francisco, F5 in Mumbai and vendors in Nashik, the F5 team worked odd hours to help make decisions together and then get them done during India business hours. Another important aspect of planning this wedding was to ensure all three cultures were equally presented – Maharashtrian, Gujarati and American.
“A third of our wedding guests were Gujjus, another third Marathis and the last third Americans. We wanted our wedding to encompass all the special and sweet traditions from each of these 3 cultures that have been near and dear to us. At the same time, we wanted all of our guests to experience each of these cultures new to them.” says Dhruv.
The main wedding took place on 20th of December 2019 and the wedding functions were spread out over two days. They kicked off the wedding festivities with a Garba-themed sangeet to showcase the colourful Indian culture. There was a lot of Bollywood and Bhangra mixed in this ceremony to add more fun. The best part was when the families on both sides had a friendly musical faceoff – the Gujjus vs. the Marathis!
Aaditi kept her look very simple for this fun ceremony. She wore a stunning silver-champagne colour lehenga and left her hair open. She completed her look with almost natural makeup and long earrings. Dhruv wore a rust-coloured kurta with an olive green bandi jacket.
For the Haldi ceremony by the poolside, everything had to be yellow…not! The ceremony was a mix of a spa and brunch event by the pool for the guests. The haldi was a riot… almost like playing Holi! The one thing that stood out in this ceremony was the décor! Unlike a typical Haldi ceremony, the canopy-like set up over the pool was turquoise blue and the to-be-bride and groom were made to sit on two turquoise blue diwans in the pool aka the perfect pool Haldi party! Strings of marigold flowers added the yellow colour.
Both Dhruv and Aaditi wore yellow for the ceremony. While Dhruv wore a yellow kurta, Aaditi wore a simple white lehenga with a yellow dupatta and white-yellow floral jewellery.
For the wedding, Aaditi looked stunning in her red designer lehenga by Chamee and Palak. In fact, it was Dhruv’s sister Namrata, who is very passionate about Indian wedding outfits who introduced Aaditi to the designers.
Aaditi wanted a traditional wedding lehenga with an elegant twist, and that is exactly what Chamee and Palak made happen. They made one of their traditional designs in an elegant shade of red. “These decisions, although very hard to makeover Facetime when I first saw the lehenga in person, I totally fell in love and thank god I trusted Chamee and Palak. They totally delivered and how!” – Aaditi, the bride.
Aaditi kept her makeup simple and wore a stunning choker with emeralds and polki to perfectly contrast her red wedding lehenga.
About the Photographer
“Namrata’s wedding was actually one of the very first weddings covered by Memoire lead. And years later now, having seen their amazing portfolio and his easy-going yet confident personality is what drew us to finalizing Memoire. The Memoire team really got to know both Dhruv and I, our styles and visions for the wedding while we were still planning the wedding from the US. When we actually met the team, their calm, well organized and creative energy really vibed well with us. Their reassuring smiles and friendly banter as they followed us throughout the wedding added to the great experience.” – Aaditi
The Team behind the Wedding
Photographer – Memoire
Aaditi’s outfits – Chamee and Palak
Dhruv’s outfits – Telon Men
Hair and Makeup – Kajol Doda