Shalini + Arjun

It’s hard for me to properly articulate just how special Shalini and Arjun are. I’ve teased their wedding photos a good three or four times, in this post, this post and this one here. But when it came time to show their big day in its entirety, I found myself sitting here at a loss for words (I am sorry, Shal. This post is long overdue!) See, Shalini hired me the January before her big day and because she was in Toronto and myself in Chicago there was no way we could physically get together. But she took that leap of faith and knew she wanted to work with me. And be an HGE bride. So we corresponded via Skype and the phone for the eight months prior to her wedding day. It wasn’t until I arrived at the church on the evening of her rehearsal dinner that I finally was able to meet and hug Shalini. And all at once I felt like I was hugging a long lost friend.

That’s what’s special about Shalini and Arjun, though. They feel like friends. Friends I’ve had for a long time. And that’s the beauty behind their love. They are friends first and foremost. Supporting one another, respecting one another, loving one another; just like the best of friends do. Their August 20th wedding last year was nothing short of pure magic. Shalini, you literally took my breath away the minute you stepped out of the limo at the church. And Arjun you were so handsome and dapper in your suit, donning the perfect amount of happy nerves, eagerly awaiting the minute you’d be able to call Shalini your wife. Thank you both for welcoming into your lives, for bringing tears to my eyes with your sweet speech at the reception, for trusting me and putting your faith in me. And most of all, even at 1:30 am at the end of your wedding, for reminding me why I feel so blessed to do what I do.

Below are a few of my most fave images from the couple’s big day. Happy Monday blogettes!

The most gorgeous ring. For the most gorgeous bride.

Finally Mrs and Mr! Perhaps that gorgeous light streaming into the church is an indication of a glorious new beginning?

One of my fave moments of the day. The rose petal toss :)

Portrait time! Shal and Arjun opted out of having a first look prior to the ceremony, so they took a good chunk of time before dinner to get some portraits done around the golf course the reception was at. The weather was hit and miss all day, but I have to say the woods on the grounds of Bond Head were the perfect backdrop for photos. And from what I hear, the bridal party had quite the time cruising around the property with those golf carts. Here’s Shal and Arj looking fierce as ever :)

My sweet friend Lisa, from Sweet Woodruff did all of the incredible florals for the event. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lisa a few times and I am absolutely blown away by her savvy skills every single time. This girl has the most acute design sense. Shalini’s beautiful bouquet (and the below photo) is actually my most favorite image from all of 2012; some of you may have even found that same photo in your inbox late last year :) If any of you Canadian bride and grooms are in need of a floral designer, Lisa is your girl! You will not be disappointed. Lise I adore you! See you so soon!

For the reception, we infused soft pinks, ivories and pops of gold in with the dark wood and rich colors that made up the interiors. Pink florals combined with rich greenery, succulents (in quite the fabulous wood planters might I add!), mahogany Chiavari chairs, mercury glass votives and lime green menu cards created a really awesome vibe to the room. Once all the guests filed in wearing their brightly hued saris, and the hundred of so votives were lit, the entire place just glowed.

Table 2 for anyone?

Shalini and Arjun are both East Indian so to honor their shared heritage they changed into traditional ‘costume’ for their grand entrance and reception. Shalini’s beautiful jeweled outfit called a ‘lehenga’ and Arjun’s princely outfit, a ‘sherwani’, were both bought in India, also were the bridesmaid’s saris were purchased. They had quite the grand entrance complete with Indian drums, that had the entire wedding on their feet cheering and clapping along. Oh and let’s get a close up of that lehenga, shall we? Like I said, what a gorgeous bride you were Shalini. Arj sure is one lucky guy to call you his.

And if you’re not a big wedding video kind of person, please make the exception for this incredible video. The guys at NewLeaf Wedding Cinema really outdid themselves with this trailer oh Shal and Arjun’s wedding day. There’s a whole bunch of stuff in the video that I didn’t show in this post too so do check it out; this is exactly why I am such a fan of quality wedding videography. This video is so sweet, so real, so vivid and magical. Just watch it. And good work guys!

Share some love for Shal and Arjun below! And check out the bride’s super sweet recap of her big day xoxo

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I was never one of those women who had a working wedding binder for months or years prior to getting engaged! When my then-boyfriend got down on one knee and made me a fiancée, it was truthfully difficult to envision what our wedding day would be like. I scoured SMP for inspiration and soon realized the weddings I loved the most, were the ones authentic to the couple’s personality. So we gave up trying to pinpoint ‘colours’ or ‘themes’ and decided to incorporate elements that showcased who we were as a couple. As a young couple (25 and 24) we knew the wedding day should highlight our love for having fun, while still being a classy, beautiful, and romantic affair. We also decided the day should be a celebration of our love for God and for each other. We got rid of some of the typical wedding day traditions that didn’t speak to us and put our own twists on other traditions, such as sharing our first dance to ‘Stand By Me’ with all our guests, which worked out well in getting everyone on to the dance floor for some non-stop dancing that continued till 1 am!

It was also important for my husband and I to incorporate elements of our East Indian heritage into our wedding day. Since we are both Christians, we decided to keep the morning of our wedding day (the Church ceremony) more traditionally North American, and have the evening reception highlight our Indian heritage. This included serving delicious Indian food, family style, at each table, and second outfits for the two of us – a jeweled lehenga and princely sherwani, both bought in India! My mom and I went on a wedding shopping spree in India the summer I got engaged to secure our reception attire, and as well, to buy fabric for the traditional salwars that my bridesmaids and his groomswomen would wear. The ladies were then able to choose the design of their salwar, which we had custom-stitched for each of them by a tailor in Toronto.

As a busy law student, I eventually admitted that I would need help with planning certain aspects of our big day, and as luck would have it, found Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events! Although at the time we were hesitant to add another item to our budget, I can now say that hiring Rhiannon was one of our best wedding decisions! She helped me talk through various style elements and carried out various DIY projects – including hand painting all of our table numbers! And on the day of my wedding, she was the reason I could relax and truly be a guest at my own wedding!

My favourite memories of my wedding day include the laughs shared with my bridesmaids as we got ready in the morning, walking down the aisle to my husband while the Vivace String Quartet played Pachelbel’s Canon in D, the rose petal toss that Rhiannon organized as we walked out of the Church as newlyweds, the breathtaking flower arrangements, the several secret smiles I shared with my brand-new husband as we posed for pictures, our Fuji Instax photobooth & guestbook station, all the beautiful paper products my talented sister designed for the wedding day, walking into the reception hall in our Indian outfits to the beat of an Indian drum (the dhol), the many, many laughs shared with our guests during the night listening to speeches, taking part in fun MC games, watching friends put on little dances to get us to kiss, and, our special twist on the late night option – a gourmet potato bar (including fries and poutine) and a cigar station. And of course, the almost overwhelming love from our family and friends, celebrating the day we became husband wife. Because in the end, that’s what it really is all about.

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Partial Planning/Day of Coordinator: Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: The Club at Bond Head / Hair & Make-Up: Stephanie, Blush Pretty / Photographer: Peter McKinnon / Videographer: NewLeaf Wedding Cinemas / Wedding Dress: Watters / DJ: Q Entertainment / Ceremony Musicians: Vivace String Quartet / Flowers: Sweet Woodruff / Monogrammed mugs: Anthropologie