Sangeet in Northern California (Part 1 of 2)

September 17th, 2014

This couple approached us in January to plan their sangeet and wedding in Northern California.  This was going to be a destination wedding as the majority of the guests were coming from San Diego and other places.  The couple is very low key and wanted a colorful sangeet, but a very simple barn wedding.  Nikki got very excited at the prospect of a barn wedding since Exquisite Events had never done one.  Nikki also felt very connected to the couple because of their simple and loving nature.  Since their guest count grew from 100 to over 200 for both events, a restaurant buy out (which was the original idea) in Cambria was not going to work.  Nikki reached out to various hotels and venues and finally Cambria Pines Lodge was selected for their sangeet.  The lodge is very charming and rustic and is surrounded by beautiful trees. The weather in this town is mild because it is of close proximity to the beach.   The Peacock Room was booked for this event and since the couple was looking for a traditional ambiance, we decided to use colors that had never been used in our previous events.  The room was draped in lime green with red valances along with a lime green dance floor.

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Saffron yellow and orange colors were incorporated in tents, furniture, linens and flowers.

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The existing chandeliers were swagged with orange and yellow flowers.

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Beautiful lighting completed the magical look and feel of the event.

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The bride and groom walked into the room and were beyond pleased with the design and colors and enjoyed the night along with their guests.

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There was a lot of dancing as well as Garba since the groom is Gujrati.

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The venue did an amazing job with food stations and passed appetizers.  Mehndi artists kept the ladies busy with mehndi application and the DJ spun the most amazing tunes, keeping the crowd on their feet until the wee hours of the morning.  The event ended on a high note.

Have an Exquisite day and we will see you next Wednesday for all the details of their wedding at Cayucos Creek Barn in Cayucos!

Peru – a Land of Beauty, Love, Mystery, and Delicious Food

September 10th, 2014

As Exquisite Events blogger, most weeks I have the pleasure of uploading Nikki and Madiha’s amazing photos from their over-the-top extravagant events and editing the story behind the details of all of the pre-wedding functions, ceremonies, and receptions. I also get to blog about their travels, and food and fashion tastes. This week, we’re taking a little break from the norm, to bring you a look into my recent trip to Lima, Peru and Machu Picchu!

Our trip started when we landed at 6 a.m. at the Lima airport. My boyfriend, and I were visiting his cousin who lives and works in Lima and we were happy to have him as our guide. He showed us the parts of the city that any tourist would want to see like the city center, the ceremony of the changing of the guards, Kennedy Park – a park filled with flowers and cats, El Parque del Amor (the park of love), and the views of the ocean from just above the coastline in Miraflores. It’s winter in Lima, so there was a romantic fog over the city the whole time we were there.

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He also made sure that we ate some of the best food, as Lima is known to be the gastronomic center of Latin America. The famous sandwiches at “La Lucha,” amazing ceviche at “La Rosa Nautica,” and countless “menus,” which are Lima’s 3-course-meals for about $3-$4.

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La Rosa Nautica

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We were only in Peru for 6 whole days, but we did not want to miss Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. We took advantage of every moment. The first day, we landed in Cusco, walked around the city center and local market, had breakfast – well their typical breakfast – a big bowl of delicious chicken soup, and were on our way in a passenger van to Ollantaytambo.

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Ollantaytambo is the last stop in the Sacred Valley before Aguascalientes, the town of Machu Picchu. It’s a charming town with only two streets wide enough for cars, and many alleys just wide enough for people and horses. We spent the day among Inca ruins, sipping coffee in the city square, and admiring the majestic landscape.

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The next day, we were off early on the train to Aguascalientes and Machu Picchu. The views of the Andes Mountains and dispersed Incan ruins were incredible and riding by the Urubamba River was tranquil.

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We arrived and were ready for a steep hour and a half hike up to Machu Picchu mountain, the highest peak in Machu Picchu with a 360 degree view of the village and mountains around. At the top of the mountain, we met several fellow travelers, including a couple from Argentina. The boyfriend took the opportunity to get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend at the top of the mountain! And he asked me to be the photographer! I felt so special to be a part of that moment, but I’m a little bummed I didn’t take pictures on my own camera of the event. (Best wishes to both of you if you ever stumble upon this blog and Exquisite Events would love to plan your wedding!) The view was phenomenal and well worth the sweat!

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Machu Picchu was only discovered a little over one hundred years ago, and not much is known about why or how the Incas disappeared from this place. It was fun to walk around a land of complete mystery. We explored the ruins for the rest of the day and ended up camping just below the ancient Incan village.

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camping

We had a truly amazing trip and enjoyed adventuring through the Peruvian Jungle. We fell even more in love exploring the world together. Maybe on our next adventure, he’ll take a hint from the guy on the top of Machu Picchu mountain. ;)

Thanks for reading!

-Becca

Have an Exquisite Day and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Beverly Hills Hotel Wedding Reception Grand Finale (part 5 of 5)

September 4th, 2014

After the ceremony was over guests were escorted to the Crystal Foyer for cocktail hour. A canopy swathed in sheer gauze ivory  fabric sat under the beautiful chandelier with lounge vignettes consisting of French furniture and a large pouff embellished with gorgeous florals. 

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Guests enjoyed signature cocktails and delicious hors deuovers as well as food stations paying homage to the bride’s hometown of Manila, Phillipines.  A quartet played enchanting music and kept the guests entertained.

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At exactly 7 pm the ballroom doors opened to reveal a stunning set up.  Our bride wanted to create “Old Hollywood Glamour” to compliment the hotel.  We chose rose gold, dull gold and ivory colors.

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The entire ballroom had a rose gold dance floor.  

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The backdrop of the stage was the Camilla flower wall. 

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Two long custom chandelier tables were set to the nines for close family.

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The couple had expressed the desire to be on a riser facing the stage.  A gorgeous half moon couch and a mirror top table were created for the couple’s sweet heart area.

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The flowers were cream and ivory orchids and roses with garlands of fresh water pearls cascading down.  Tons of candles in mercury glass and other vintage votives sat atop tables creating a lovely ambiance. 

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Our nine piece band rocked the crowd.  The couple made their grand entrance and went straight to the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. 

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Halfway through the reception, the bride changed into a Marchesa gown.  The band rocked the crowd all night long.  The evening lasted until the wee hours of the morning and guests left the hotel with fond memories etched in their minds forever.

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“Thank you Aunty Nikki! I really wish I could get married again (to Arshad of course). It was such a great experience having you and Madiha plan our wedding!” – Jasmin (the bride)

Have an Exquisite day and we will see you next Wednesday!

Beverly Hills Hotel Indian Wedding Ceremony (Part 4 of 5)

August 27th, 2014

The final two events for Jasmin and Arshad were held at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Jasmin had envisioned her ceremony to be very elegant in white complimenting the surroundings of the Crystal Garden.  The hotel was able to accommodate our request to have the Baraat in the main driveway.  Amidst all the pomp and circumstance, our baraat gathered on Sunset Blvd and the groom arrived on a horse accompanied by drums and dancers on the main driveway of the hotel. 

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It was wonderful to see the driveway open to the hotel guests within the half hour period as the procession and rituals ended within that period. 

As soon as the groom disembarked from the horse, mother of the bride did ” arti ” which is protection from evil eye. 

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The Rodeo room had been booked to receive the groom’s procession as well as where some rituals were performed and couple had their first look.

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Guests then descended the grand stair case to go out to the garden for ceremony.  Because the majority of the guests had come from the Philippines, the bride had requested to hire a blonde model to project California vibe to apply red dots on each guest. The model looked beautiful in her Indian outfit that was provided by the bride.  This small detail created quite a wow factor. 

 

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At the foot of stairs our guests were served beverages including Indian lassi and were escorted by Exquisite Events staff to the ceremony site.  Outside in the garden it was an ethereal oasis of elegance.  The shade structure was draped on custom wrought iron poles that were wrapped with greenery. 

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The mandap was stunning with pearls as a back drop.  Mandap furniture was classic and elegant and ceremony set up was bespoke luxury. 

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Our bride was a vision as she walked down the aisle in her custom Ankur Batra outfit.  

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The ceremony was meaningful, touching and emotional and as couple exchanged their vows some of the guests were teary eyed.

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The ceremony ended on a high note with guests cheering for the couple.  The couple was showered with lots of hugs, kisses and it was apparent how much they were loved.  After taking photos with close friends and family, they exited the space.

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Have an Exquisite Day, and we’ll see you next Wednesday for the grand finale of Jasmin and Arshad’s wedding!

Montage Beverly Hills Sangeet (Part 3 of 5)

August 20th, 2014

The beautiful Marquesa Ballroom was booked for the Sangeet.  We were in luck because the ballroom was available for setup the same day that we were setting up for the Bond event in the Contessa Ballroom.

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Because of the high ceilings in the Marquesa ballroom, Nikki wanted to bring a focal point and decided to hang upside down colorful umbrellas all over.

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Ethnic wooden bars with laser cut stained glass sat in two corners of the room under pergola tents.

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A large stage was set for the couple with a grand sofa in deep purple.

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The room was furnished in deep purple and bronze/gold furniture and colorful pillows.

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A few tables were scattered against the walls embellished with stunning linens and chair covers in green, turquoise and orange.  Tons of colored glass candles sat atop tables and bars.  The DJ was placed opposite the couple’s stage in front of the large round gold dance floor.

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When the setup was complete, the room looked like a set from a fairy tale movie.  Lighting created the most amazing mood and ambience.

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When guests entered the ballroom they were greeted by Samba dancers that had been flown from Las Vegas wearing exaggerated headdresses and beautiful costumes on the upper balconies.  The movement simply created the most jaw-dropping atmosphere.

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Our couple made their entrance escorted by the Samba dancers amidst pomp and circumstance.

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The night had continuous entertainment provided by  Indian dance troupes as well as several other companies and DJ. The bride had also arranged for glitter artist that kept the ladies busy with glitter tattoos.  Indian food paid homage to both Sindhi and Gujrati heritage of Bride’s and groom’s families and was thoroughly enjoyed by guests.

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The dance floor was full the entire night while the DJ played tunes and guests danced the night away. The event ended on a high note with the couple paying utmost compliments and being over the moon  at the outcome of event.

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There are two more weeks left of Jasmin and Arshad’s wedding events, so stay tuned! Next week, the magical ceremony.

Have an Exquisite day and see you next Wednesday!

Montage Beverly Hills Mehndi Party for Jasmin (Part 2 of 5)

August 13th, 2014

The following day was the Mehndi event at 12:00 p.m. Because the majority of the guests were staying at the Montage, all the event spaces were booked for various events.  The Mehndi was going to take place at Scarpetta, which is a busy restaurant at the hotel.

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Our challenge was that we were only given access to the restaurant for setup the day of the event at 9:00 a.m. for a 12:00 p.m. call time. Our team was on standby and at 9:00 a.m. sharp, everyone moved in worked quickly to create a beautiful atmosphere in which to receive our guests before noon.

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A stage was set atop which sat a gorgeous traditional sofa that had been converted into a swing for the couple. Saffron yellow and orange marigold garlands created the perfect backdrop for the stage while floating flowers in traditional hammered copper bowls sat on coffee tables and cocktail tables.

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Groupings of beautiful furniture vignettes in gold with Emerald green and orange pillows were placed all over the space.  An antique armoire beating favors of sandals and bangles  sat in a corner.

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Mehndi and caricature  artists had a separate area to keep guests occupied.

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Special entertainment of traditional folk singers were flown from San Francisco to entertain guests endlessly with the DJ playing upbeat mehndi music in between.

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Our bride was a vision in a stunning Ankur Batra coral outfit with matching Blahnik shoes.  She looked like quite a royalty sitting on the Jhula having bridal henna applied while her mom-in-law fed her lunch.

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Bombay Palace served delicious Indian fare of Bombay street food and amidst various customs, traditions, lots of dancing and fanfare the event ended late in the afternoon.

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Hope you loved these stunning Mehndi pictures as much as we did! Come back next week to read about the Sangeet!

Have an Exquisite day and see you next Wednesday!

A James Bond Themed Party: Jasmin and Arshad (Part 1 of 5)

August 5th, 2014

Jasmin and Arshad met in Los Angeles where the bride was attending school. Her parents live in the Philippines, so this would be a destination wedding for the majority of the wedding guests. To accommodate the bride’s family, multiple pre-wedding poojahs and events were booked at the Montage Beverly Hills. The ceremony and reception would take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Our couple Jasmin and Arshad decided to host a kickoff event for youngsters. Because the groom is a huge fan of James Bond, that was the theme chosen for this event.  As soon as Nikki was informed about the theme she feverishly went to work pulling the elements to fit the James Bond theme.  After several design meetings once all the elements were selected, a story board was created reflecting the pieces.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

The idea was for guests to feel they had entered a space that was reminiscent of an old James Bond movie.  The foyer had a red telephone booth as well as a large 3D backdrop of London Bridge.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

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Guests were greeted by a trio of electric violinists playing Bond music.

Electric Violinists | Beverly Hills Montage | Exquisite Events

Electric Violinists | Beverly Hills Montage | Exquisite Events

Wrought iron furniture was placed in the foyer along the side wall.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

Our couple made quite an entrance looking very much like a dashing Bond couple with Jasmin wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen gown and Arshad looking handsome in a Tom Ford suit.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

The doors leading to the ball room had red and white striped awnings.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

Inside, the ballroom was completely transformed to look like a James Bond set.  Distressed brown leather couches and chairs were placed around the room with coffee and end tables bearing deep red candles and flowers. Dozens of candle  walls with hundreds of candles created a magical backdrop.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

Two custom wood bars flanked the back wall with a custom color bronze dance floor.  One side of the ballroom had a casino set up with black jack, roulette and crap tables.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

Under each chandelier a huge pedestal was placed for Bond girls to entertain guests.  Revolving food stations served various English fare throughout the night and specialty martinis and drinks were served.  The DJ spun Bond music and guests enjoyed the evening till the wee hours of morning.

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

James Bond Theme | Montage Beverly Hills | Exquisite Events

This was such a fun event for us to plan and attend!

Stay tuned for Jasmin and Arshad’s sangeet, ceremony, and reception in the weeks to come.

Have an Exquisite day and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Fashion Inspirations

July 30th, 2014

If you know Nikki and Madiha, you know that a lot of their inspiration comes from fashion; anything from set backdrops, shoes, textures and patterns in fabric, and color.  Here are some images from 2013-14 fashion shows that have incorporated a fusion of design and culture…and we are OBSESSED!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

CHANEL 2015

Chanel Cruise Dubai | Fashion Review Chanel Dubai | Fashion Review

This is the Chanel Resort 2015 collection that was previewed in Dubai. Many of the silhouettes are reminiscent of the east with long tunics shown with fitted ankle length pants.

DIOR SS 2014

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One of the most incredible set designs for a fashion show we have seen! This beautiful hanging garden was constructed in the center of the Jardin du Musee Rodin in Paris.

DIOR 2014

Dior Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2014 | Fashion Review

Dior 2014 | Fashion Review

How gorgeous is the backdrop for this Dior 2014 show in Paris! 15,000 white orchids lined the runway. It is clear that Raf Simons loves fresh flowers and this was an inspiration for the 2014 collections

NAEEM KHAN 

Naeem Khan Spring 2013 | Fashion Review

Naeem Khan Fall 2012 | Fashion Review

Naeem Khan Spring 2013 | Fashion Review

ELIE SAAB 2014

Elie Saab 2014 | Fashion Review

Elie Saab 2014 | Fashion Review

Not only is Elie Saab one of our favorite designers, we fell in love with his gorgeous set for Fall 2014 couture collection. How can you go wrong with numerous hanging chandeliers with changing colors-STUNNING!

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG 2013

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Love the vibrant colors and the draping is a bit like a sari

MARCHESA RTW 2013

marchesa spring 2013 | Fashion Review

Marchesa | Fashion Review

marchesa spring 2013 | Fashion Review

The Marchesa RTW 2013 collection was very Indian inspired with the beautiful sari silks and Rajisthani and Jaipur jewelry. Incredible details and such a great take on the south Asian fashion

Paris Bombay Collection | Fashion Review

Had to finish with one of the most incredible fashion shows we have ever seen! The Chanel Paris-Bomboy Collection. Karl Lagerfeld is pure genius and it is personified in this collection of mixing east and west. The most ornate and elaborate jewels and clothing. This show left us speechless!

Thanks for reading our little ode to fashion!

-Madiha

Have an Exquisite day and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Tanya and Rahim Wedding Reception | Four Seasons Westlake Village

July 23rd, 2014

The reception was a two-day setup and once the carpet and drapes were done, the room was suddenly transformed.  The layout called for all shapes of tables with a stunning head table in black and white as the first visual.  The stage where the couple was going to reside for the first few minutes was again done to the nines with chandeliers, French style furniture and large mirrors in black frames.  The flowers and candles heightened the drama and the room looked magnificent.  The cake table was elegant with the black vintage lace that adorned the tables wrapped around the tiers as well.

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The Grand Ballroom BEFORE

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The Grand Ballroom AFTER

Since the couple had expressed the desire to see the ballroom before all the guests, we managed to bring them in for a few photos and their reaction was beyond belief.  They just kept saying “ You nailed our vision “ and were simply ecstatic.

Wedding Reception Ballroom Doors | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

When ballroom doors opened , guests were transported to another era.  It was elegant, decadent and glamorous.

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Couple made their grand entrance and went to the custom dance floor for their first dance. The couple’s stage was a very dramatic and romantic living room set with large mirrors and chandeliers surrounding.

Wedding Reception Dance Floor | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

Sweetheart Stage | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

Guests were served decadent four course meal and amidst speeches, entertainment from ballroom dancers and lot of dancing the night came to an end but not without having In and out Truck at 1 am.

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On a personal note, the best thing for Nikki and Madiha was fostering this friendship with the couple and family and developing a bond.  That is the most endearing thing for us, developing these amazing relationships!!!!!

Sweetheart Stage | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

Have an Exquisite day and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Tanya and Rahim Mehndi and Pakistani Wedding

July 16th, 2014

Our young and lovely couple booked us for their wedding about a year ago as they were planning to hold it in August of 2014.  Along the way they both decided the wait was too long and moved the date to December of last year.   Since they had signed the contract with Four Seasons Westlake for August 2014, it was a matter of approaching the hotel to find out if the new date after Christmas was indeed available.  As luck would have it, the hotel was more than happy to accommodate their wish to get married at their preferred date.   Once the new date was established, Nikki and Madiha went to work full force. The bride had a vision about her mehndi party and wedding ceremony.  For the mehndi she wanted something simple and elegant infused with color and ethnic in nature.

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After a night filled with fun and festivities bride and her family checked in the hotel late Friday night.

Tanya, our bride, wanted her ceremony to have a deep red color and for the reception she described red, black, and white.  Nikki knew the carpet in the room would really fight the décor so presented the idea to the parents to carpet and drape the room (which will be revealed in next week’s blog).

The ceremony setup could not start on the waterfall lawn due to an event at Hamptons Restaurant that was going to conclude at 1:00 p.m.  Our team was on standby and luckily had finished the lighting on the lawn the night before.  At 1:00 p.m., our rental team moved in and set the stage for the ceremony and the harpist.  Members of the floral team moved in from the ballroom to the lawn to set up the stage and aisle and by 3:30 p.m., we were ready to greet the guests with 4:00 p.m. call time.

Four Seasons Westlake Exquisite Events Ceremony

Bridesmaids Indian Wedding

Guests were served hot chocolate and tea upon arrival, which was the perfect beverage for that time of the year.  It was so nice to see the bridal party and families enjoying themselves immensely taking photos and moseying around before everyone was seated.

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Ceremony started sharp at 4:30 pm with young kids bearing signs of ceremony and ring bearer walked down the aisle.

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The bride was a vision walking down the steps with her father and the non-denominational ceremony was quick and meaningful.

Bride and Her Father | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

Bridal Entrance | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

After the ceremony, guests were escorted to the foyer to enjoy cocktails while the couple and close family members took photos.  A trio was playing beautiful music and food stations were set up along with tray passed hors d’oeuvres.

Four Seasons Westlake Exquisite Events Ceremony

Just Married | Four Seasons Westlake Exquisite Events

Just Married | Exquisite Events FS Westlake

Thank you to the Four Seasons Westlake Village and Global Photography!

Come back next week to read about their stunning Wedding Reception!

Have an Exquisite Day and see you next Wednesday. 

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