When Varun met Manali, they were all of 17. Love followed, and a decade later, marriage – when Varun proposed to Manali at the most unexpected moment while they were climbing with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in Delhi! Both the bride and groom are driven, fitness-oriented and perfectionists, which translated into their wedding details. They kept things simple yet elegant.
Varun is one of the founders of Urbanclap, so we sat down with him and his wife to give you ALL the details of how they pulled off a Hyderabad destination wedding!
How They Picked Their Wedding Venue
8 months to the wedding, they first had to decide which city to get married in. They had 3 choices when it came to cities. They either pick Delhi (where they both stay), Kolkata (where Varun is from) or Hyderabad (where Varun’s parents’ reside).
They ended up choosing Hyderabad because they found a venue they loved there – Alankrita. The couple wanted a naturally beautiful venue, with plenty of greenery, so that they wouldn’t have to go overboard with the decor budget to make a place look good. And Alankrita fit the bill!
Lesson for brides & grooms: If the venue is “in your budget”, don’t forget to consider how much you will have to pay the decorator to make the venue visually attractive. It might be a better option to go for a place that costs a little extra, but won’t give you a big decor bill later!
How They Found Their Wedding Planner
Varun & Manali knew they HAD to hire a wedding planner, since neither of them lived in Hyderabad. They went through social media and met with tons of planners, in both Delhi & Hyderabad, before finally picking local wedding planners Ashiana Events – who ended up doing a great job, were very creative and accommodating!
Lesson for brides & grooms: A destination wedding means you NEED to hire a wedding planner, otherwise, things can quickly get hard to manage. Pick one from the same city the wedding is going to take place in.
With the wedding planner and venue in place, wedding preparations began in full swing. While Manali searched all over Delhi for her wedding outfits, Varun went straight to Angad of Mr. Fox and handed over his entire groom’s look to him!
Grooming Tip by the Groom! Plan a haircut 2 weeks before the wedding, just like Varun did, to avoid an awkward length at the time of the wedding.
First Ceremony: The Haldi + Flower Holi!
Alankrita’ courtyard served as a beautiful location for the Haldi, and strings of marigold flowers were all that were needed to decorate the venue.
We also loved how the bride added a touch of brightness to her simple Haldi outfit with these colourful bangles!
They ended the function with a phoolon ki holi (traditionally called “Brij Holi”) that gave them some more pretty pictures!
The decor was an elegantly done Rajasthani theme. Alankrita’s greenery really helped with making the venue look stunning.
The bride’s Mehendi lehenga was from Ritu Kumar, and we are in love with the blue and green combo!
Don’t miss how the groom also wore a blue kurta to match the bride’s outfit!
All of Manali’s outfits were chosen based on the time of the day the event was, and since Sangeet was an evening function she was looking for something bright & colourful. She ended up buying an orange, pink and gold lehenga from Sadar Bazar in Meerut.
How we found our wedding choreographer!
It’s not easy finding a wedding choreographer since there are so many out there but you never know who is good. Obviously, Varun tested out his own platform, Urbanclap, and found a choreographer who was actually amazing! He wouldn’t have imagined starting this company 3 years back that it would one lead to making his wedding planning easier 🙂
They had a morning wedding ceremony with pheras at the mandap, followed by an evening Reception Party.
Why They Decided To Have A Day Wedding
The couple knew pictures turn out well easily during day time, and they wanted a short, morning phera ceremony (1.5-2 hours) so that everyone could be present for it. They had to really fight with with their parents to convince them, since North Indian weddings are mostly at night, but it was totally worth it!
Lesson for brides & grooms: Yes, it will likely be hard to convince your family, but day weddings are genuinely a good idea. You get amazing photos AND the guests actually attend the most important part of the festivities – the pheras! Worth convincing them.
The Bride’s Wedding Day Look
We absolutely loved the bride’s fuss-free wedding look! She accessorised her natural makeup with light jewellery and a simple gold Nath.
She was a totally chilled out bride!
She had a care-free, easy-going bridal vibe. The open hairstyle and light-weight lehenga and dupatta that was draped over her head, plus wedding wedges (not heels!) made her physically comfortable enough to actually enjoy her wedding.
Manali discovered the gorgeous bridal wear by Anita Dongre during her search for wedding outfits, and so she ended up getting a lehenga made that was inspired by the A-list designer’s work. She wore a fuschia pink bridal lehenga designed by Bruhi Pant. Bruhi is someone Manali had been to earlier (for her engagement outfit) and was comfortable getting the look created by her.
Tip from the bride: Choose outfits which look heavy but weigh really light for wedding/ wedding functions, since you want to be up and about and having the most fun at your own wedding – atleast I did!
Once again, the wedding venue and decorators did not disappoint – we especially liked the Mandap decor.
The bride wanted a formal look for the Reception evening, so she picked this elegant mint green sari from Chandni Chowk. It was accessorised with uncut diamond and emerald jewellery.
The photobooth decor was vibrant, with a touch of rustic & vintage!
Don’t miss the rows of filament bulbs that light up the edges of this walkway at Alankirta – makes for such a nice entry walkway!
Finally, a tip from the groom for destination weddings:
The key to managing a destination wedding is keeping your guest list short and meaningful, as hard as it may sound!
All in all, this was an amazing destination wedding that was pulled off with a limited budget. Alankrita was a great find (we’re recommending it to anyone looking for venues in Hyderabad!) and we can’t stop talking about Manali’s easy-going bridal style <3
Wedding Vendors List with Reviews:
Photographer: SutraSnapperz // Wedding Planners: Ashiana Events // Bride’s Wedding Lehenga: Bruhi Pant, Mehrauli // Reception Sari: Chandni Chowk // Sangeet Lehenga: Sadar Bazar, Meerut // Mehendi lehenga: Ritu Kumar
Venue: Aalankrita Resorts & Spa in Hyderabad. Perfect, cosy and lush green is how we’d describe it. It proved to be an amazing venue, with different looking areas for different functions! The place started as a family farmhouse and kept expanding with varying architecture and interiors making it a very interesting space. The beautiful interiors meant that the decor could be subtle and minimal.
Makeup Artist: Ayesha AK. It was very difficult finding a makeup artist in Hyderabad that would be able to justice to a north Indian bride. Since the makeup styles are very different, I was extremely worried that my makeup would be over the top and I would be unrecognizable. But Ayesha did now let that happen and she was extremely patient and listening to what I wanted and gave me exactly that.
Makeup Artists for the Bridal Party: Found on Urban clap. All the makeup artists, blow dry, sari tying help was also a find through Urbanclap.com. It was just so easy to have that last minute and they were very professional and punctual.
Groom’s Outfits: Mr. Fox by Angad Malhotra, New Delhi. Angad gave a lot of time and thought to my outfits sampling different combinations and colors. All the styling, from the pocket square to the safa too, was done by the designer.
Choreographer: Found on Urbanclap. Our wedding choreography was so much fun, all thanks to our choreographer who was so patient with us and all fit had to be done last minute and there were numerous sessions towards in end. And I have one crazy family so teaching them dance in an achievement in itself. She was a perfect find through Urbanclap.