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An intimate destination wedding in Goa for these college sweethearts!

Ankita and Faiz are college sweethearts whose love takes our breath away. Their wedding at Varca Le Palms Resort and Spa in Goa is my idea of the perfect intimate destination wedding. I’m delighted to share their gorgeous wedding on My Wedding Planning. Big thanks Namit Narlawar for the spectacular photographs, and to this wonderful couple for sharing their big day with our readers!

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We love showcasing weddings of different religions and customs. Ankita and Faiz honoured their heritage with a combination Islamic Nikkah and Hindu wedding. They chose one of the most beautiful places in India for their intimate wedding which had only 60 of their closest friends in attendance! Think bright colors, fun-filled evenings, and ocean views…their wedding was the perfect balance of fun and classic yet timeless.

The vision was, if nothing conventional has happened in our love-story till now, why end it in a conventional way? Even though we were technically married in court a month before the celebrations, both me and Faiz wanted to celebrate our togetherness with pomp with our closest friends. The aim was to have a budget destination wedding with world class pictures and videos and a hell lot of fun, such that everyone who attended our wedding would think of it as the best wedding of their lives! After a lot of brainstorming we boiled down to 3 functions – 1.Mehandi & Sangeet followed by Nikah (Muslim Style wedding), 2. DJ cum Cocktail Night with cake cutting, rings and vows exchange, and 3. Beach side Phere (Hindu style wedding). It was a one of a kind wedding, where no family or relatives were involved and our closest group of 60 friends were present. 

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The functions were spread over 2 days: on 14th morning we started with Sangeet and Mehendi function, followed by Nikah Ceremony. The entire setup was based on a Moroccan theme, where we  placed canopies for the girls and diwans for the guys. The dress code was Salwar Kurta/ Anarkali for girls and Kurta pyjama for boys. We had placed hukkas for our guests to accentuate the entire ‘Moroccan’ theme. The cheesy sangeet songs, and many dance performances (including ours on chikni kamar, kisi disco mei jaaye) added colors to the entire function. Nikah was a funny story in itself. As a bride, I was looking forward to saying the words ‘Qubool hai’, but the Qazi had methods of his own. My signature was deemed enough of a ‘Razamandi’ and he did not find it necessary for me to say ‘Qubool hai’. I was furious and somehow passed on the message to Faiz on the other side of the ‘Parda’, that he better not mess this one up! And after a lot of persuasion, the Qazi finally agreed and I got to say ‘Qubool Hai’! 🙂

After all the sweating and tanning and dancing in the afternoon sun, everyone enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, post which the boys began their pool volleyball and the girls aired their mehendi. Everyone soon started preparing for the sundown cocktail party which was a masquerade themed party. We had organized colorful masks for our guests and the dress-code was tux for the guys and gowns/dresses for the girls. The entire cocktail setup was close to the beach on a cemented platform covered on all sides with palm trees. We setup a ramp for our guests flanked by Balinese flags on either sides. There were huge masquerade cut-outs to bring out the theme. The idea was to make all our friends walk the ramp in groups while we introduced them. This way, everyone knew everyone! This grand entry was followed by ring exchange ceremony, in which we both gave very emotional speeches, followed by our friends’ not-so-emotional ones. 😉 Then there was cake cutting and then we both danced on the number ‘Ishq wala love, faiz wala love’ (yes-intentionally ;)) The dance floor was then open and neither of us remembers how the next 3 hours passed. The next thing I remember is sitting on the beach in my gown at 1 in the night and eating my dinner, while singing retro hindi romantic numbers.

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Such a happening night was then followed by the most beautiful and much awaited morning of our lives – getting married right on the beach!! Everyone slept late and were cribbing to get up, but we were prepared. Faiz personally went to each and every room and woke everyone with thundering dhol beats. There was no way anyone could have said no to the groom right? 😉 Post the ‘dhol-waking-up-routine’ and the entire Sajna-dhajna and dozens of picture clicks later, the groom set out towards the beach with his ‘baraat’ which was him, not on a ghodi, or a baggi, or a car, but a super-cool lambretta! His friends danced to the dhol beats while he drove the lambretta in endless swag. He was welcomed on the beach with all the pretty girls waiting to shower him with flowers and the customary aarti ka thaal. It was now the bride’s turn to make an entry. Hers was a much graceful affair, with her closest girls holding a flowing dupatta on her head while she slowly made her way to the most beautiful mandap she had seen in her life. After an hour of laughs and jokes and ‘reeti-riwaaz’, we were finally married in all possible ways!

But that was not it. The marriage was followed by some perfect clicks the beach with all our friends! The lunch that followed was a befitting end to this fairy-tale wedding, where  people not only took back the amazing taste, but special memories as well! The compliments we received and the fun that we had made it all worth  it.

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 What was your personal style as a bride?

After months of research and visiting every damn designer store in Mumbai for inspiration, I boiled on to 3 dresses for the 3 functions: a Muslim style sharara for Nikah which had colors complimenting moroccan theme, A sexy red gown for Cocktail and a very ‘Breezy’ Lehenga Choli for Phere. I being a big fashion freak, wanted everything to be perfect and different – right from the colors to the design. I did not want anything common-place, and since I did not have to worry about relatives, none of my dresses were ‘safe’ either! All had plunging backs, and figure-hugging cuts. For the phere especially I wanted a lehenga that fit the background, for once, I did not want to overshadow the entire serenity of the atmosphere with heavy embroidery. The jewellery I picked up was also non-traditional. To summarize my dresses, my jewellery and my make-up were complimenting each other perfectly.

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