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Jewelry designer Kaabia Grewal and entrepreneur Rushang Shah's meet-cute was straight out of a rom-com: The duo met over bottomless drinks at the open bar of a mutual friend's wedding. What ensued was a two-year romance, before Shah got down on one knee on Valentine's Day last year. вЂњHe took me by surprise and planned a trip to the Golden Temple-one of the most revered temples for the Sikh community-and proposed to me at dawn after the prayer ceremony. It was magical,вЂќ Kaabia recalls.
As the couple hailed from different cities (Kaabia grew up in New Delhi while Rushang is Mumbai-bred), a destination wedding was their top choice. They were on the same page about their nuptials from day one: They wanted a beach wedding that would be a modern take on a traditional Indian wedding. вЂњWe are both eclectic, quirky and crazy in our own ways, and we wanted the celebrations to mirror our personalities,вЂќ explains the bride.
But finding that dream location turned out to be something of a wild goose chase for Kaabia and Rushang. After touring multiple venues, the couple visited Vietnam at the suggestion of Rushang's father. вЂњThe island of PhГє Quб»‘c turned out to be a hidden gem," Kaabia recalls. "As soon as I entered the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, I knew we'd found 'the one!'вЂќ Designed by Bill Bensley, the artsy hotel had just the whimsical vibe the couple envisioned for their wedding. вЂњI felt like I was Alice in Wonderland,вЂќ she adds with a laugh.
With the venue locked in, the hashtag #KABANNG was coined, and the wedding was meticulously designed as a three-day festival for their 580 guests from all over the world. вЂњWe worked very hard to create a unique ambience, and curate each event like an experience," says the bride.
Read on to see more of this epic extravaganza planned by Horizon W.I.E and Experiences by Outhouse, and photographed by David Bastianoni.В
As a designer herself, Kaabia took a detail-oriented approach to the wedding, as it also marked the launch of the event planning leg of brand. She worked closely with London-based Potesta Designs to design personalized welcome gifts, such as hampers, gift bags, and branded coconut drinks, for guests.Photo byВ David Bastianoni
The wedding festivities kickstarted with a Bagatelle-themed welcome dinner that led into the main highlight of the night: "The Mad Mansion Party." Kaabia wore a purple Amit Aggarwal gown with a Schiaparelli-inspired cape jacket and bespoke Outhouse bling she, of course, designed herself.
The party was planned as a flamboyant pink ball, centered around the concept of a pink pearl. вЂњI wanted to recreate the debauchery of the '20s, but Gatsby was too commonplace a theme," explains the bride. "Instead, I turned to the Rothschild Surrealist Ball for inspiration.вЂќ Drama was the order of the night; with transcendental theatre, surreal dancers, and a sax player from Venice setting the mood.Photo byВ David Bastianoni В Photo byВ David Bastianoni Photo byВ David Bastianoni
Day two was reserved for the beachside mehendi (henna party) leading into the sangeet (dance party). The luxe bohemian sundowner was called 'Le Hoi', meaning 'carnival' in Vietnamese, with tribal dГ©cor elements punctuated with local Vietnamese accents.
Keeping true to the theme, the bride wore a bespoke Shivan & Narresh (the designers are also close friends of the bride)В crop top and flared pant set featuring intricate embroidery and shell embellishments. The jewelry, from her own label, borrowed from Egyptian culture.Photo byВ David Bastianoni
Since the same event transitioned into an after-hours party, music was key in creating the night's vibe. DJs Pappa and Nick Jojos were especially flown in from Greece for the occasion. вЂњI travel to Mykonos every summer with my sister so I was very clear that these guys, both resident DJs at Astra and Alemagou, would play at my wedding long before I got engaged," Kaabia adds.
The high-octane glamour of the pre-wedding revelry was contrasted by a romantic and dreamy setting for the wedding day. Though white is often considered to be an inauspicious color for Indian brides, Kaabia decided to go against the norm with her bridal ensemble.ВPhoto byВ David Bastianoni
All the bridesmaids dressed in pastel pink outfits by designer Atsu Sekhose, adding handcrafted ear cuffs by Outhouse to finish their looks. вЂњEarlier that year, I whisked my crew to Bikaner in Rajasthan for a trip where I surprised them by bringing in Atsu, so they could customize their outfits for my wedding," Kaabia says. "I didn't want to impose any particular silhouette on them!вЂќ
Kaabia says she actually created a mood board for her wedding jewelry first, then used that as the starting point for the wedding dГ©cor. On the big day, shades of light pink, shells, and fresh flowers were used to dress up the beach for the couple's walk around the ceremonial fire typical of Hindu weddings.Photo byВ David Bastianoni Photo byВ David Bastianoni
Dressed in a bespoke ecru pearl and beaded lehenga set and nine-foot ivory veil by Shivan & Narresh, the bride arrived on a boat and walked to the mandap (altar) to the tunes ofВ "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Kina Grannis from the Crazy Rich Asians movie.ВPhoto byВ David Bastianoni Photo byВ David Bastianoni
It really would not have been a #KABANNG wedding if the poignant ceremony wasn't followed by an all-night celebration. Punjabi singer Sukhbir had the crowds grooving with his energetic chartbusters. Adds the bride, вЂњWe also had two resident DJs who played at all our after-parties. It really was a rager-we popped 220 bottles of Dom PГ©rignon in three days!вЂќ
Wedding Planner:В Horizon W.I.EВ || Conceptualization: Experiences by Outhouse || Ceremony & Reception Venue: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa ||В DГ©cor: Silhouette Events || Bride's Wardrobe:В Amit Aggarwal, Shivan & NarreshВ || Bride's Jewelry: Outhouse || Groom's Wardrobe: Ermenegildo Zegna, Herringbone & Sui || Bridesmaid Attire: Atsu Sekhose || Monogram, Invitation, Stationery & Website Design:В Potesta Designs || Catering: Puneet SikandВ || Entertainment: Nu Art || Photography:В David Bastianoni || Videography: Naman Verma