Gunjan & Karan's Fun Filled Maharashtrian Punjabi Fusion Wedding {Toronto, CA}

2015 Feb 11 - by Preeti
I am SOOO excited about today's wedding feature! I know get excited about every wedding, but I just fell in love with Gunjan (sorry Karan!) while chatting with her on Instagram and email.

Plus, props to another Maharashtrian bride wearing a nauvari (9 yard) sari! But you are going to swoon over her red, green, and gold wedding lengha, and her peach-pink gold reception lengha (pictured below).

And how fun is it to have an Indian wedding that incorporates two cultures, Maharashtrian and Punjabi, loads of laughs, and lots of colors? Gunjan shares with her gorgeous boho-modern wedding!

Tell us about the wedding

Karan officially proposed to me on top of Toronto’s iconic C.N. Tower during the Edgewalk. Saying “yes” to him at 1,168 feet above the ground definitely kickstarted an adventurous life journey…and an unforgettable wedding planning experience. When the boy is from Delhi and the girl is from Bombay, you are bound to have a Big Fat Indian Wedding! We had just nine months to plan our wedding but we had no idea where to start.

Gunjan & Karan - Wedding Highlights from ABCi Studios on Vimeo.

We learned very quickly though, and were lucky enough to sign with the best vendors in Toronto – definitely a dream team to work with. I knew I wanted an outdoor and very traditional wedding ceremony in the summer, along with a very elegant and classy wedding reception. Karan comes from a Punjabi culture, whereas I come from a Maharashtrian culture.

The biggest question was - how do we blend the two and make sure neither family is upset. To our surprise, things fell into place very easily, all because of our very supportive families. We managed to incorporate both cultures and gave our families an unforgettable wedding experience.

The most special wedding customs and clothing were during the Haldi ceremony. I knew from the beginning that the Haldi ceremony would be done in a complete Maharashtrian style to reflect my background. I knew that this would also satisfy my dad's wish of seeing me in a typical Mahashtrian 9-yard "nauvari" saree. While I was dressed in this very cultural and vibrant coloured saree, Karan rocked a dhoti!

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

The inspiration from our wedding roots back to two main things: our culture and our love. When we first began planning our wedding, I did not know exactly what my inspiration was, or rather I did not take the time to pin point an exact inspiration. There were so many ideas in my head (and of course, on Pinterest) that I didn't think to pin one down.

However, looking back at the year, I'm slowly realizing that each part about our wedding reaches down to our cultures and our love. We knew we wanted it to be as vibrant, and as humble as both our cultures and love that we share. Our events were very vibrant, but also very humble in the sense that there was a selfless wasn't all about the bride and really was about our family and friends who make us who we are.

From our photos, you would be able to see the details in which we incorporated our passed grandparents, made our parents a part of our day, had cousins walk down the aisle so they could be involved too. There's also one photo where I have the mirror turned towards my bridesmaids to depict the idea that they can see how they look because it is about them too, even though it is my big day. This vibrancy and humble nature roots back to our cultures and our love - indeed making it the true inspiration for our wedding.

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

There are so many difficult components about wedding planning. One may say it is how you juggle the time between work and wedding planning. Another may say it is how you manage your budget and keep within it.

However for me, I think it really was knowing where to draw the line in terms of ideas. I was so enthusiastic about adding as many details and DIY's as I could, and having a million photo ideas.

You've got to stop somewhere though and know that there's only so much time on your wedding day. I learned that I would have to pick and choose which diy's and photo ideas would be most impactful and meaningful.

Did you do any DIY (do it yourself) or special projects/things at the wedding?

Yes! My mom and I spent a lot of time working on a few DIY projects. We created a semi-circle flower garland backdrop for the mehendi ceremony. In the sangeet/mehendi photos, you can see how this added a beautiful touch and also made for a wonderful photobooth while relatives and friends got their henna done. That would be the biggest DIY project we took on.

A few smaller ones include rose petal cones to hang by the chairs along the aisle-way for our wedding ceremony. I also wanted a money box that would match the reception theme - so we created that from scratch as well.

A final and favourite DIY would have to be the pillows which we created for the ring bearers to hold. I knew I could easily walk into a store and buy ring bearer pillows, but they were all cream/light coloured - none of them looked "Indian" enough. Of course they wouldn't - it is a western concept after all! But that's okay, we found some lovely red velvet fabric with some embroidery, bought pillow stuffing and put together our very own desi'fied ring bearer pillows :)

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

My favourite part of the wedding would have to be sharing the special moments with our loved ones. One particular event which really highlight this was our Haldi. Both of our haldi ceremonies were held at the same time in my backyard. My backyard has a lovely swimming pool which I thought would add a great feel to the entire outdoor-summer-event concept. I just didn't think it would actually get used. Well, as soon as the haldi ceremony was over, we heard a splash and looked over to find our relatives and friends jumping in the pool one after the other!

What made it all the more exciting was that everyone jumped in with their kurta pyjamas, sarees, and anarkalis! It was quite the sight to see and the energy was incredible. Our photographers and videographers had their socks hanging up on the fence, and also stayed later than they could because they were having so much fun and loving the madness too! Our relatives and friends still say it was the most memorable event ever. The spontaneity created a wonderful memory and sense of togetherness. It definitely was my favourite part of the wedding.

At our wedding reception we received a surprise video message where Preity Zinta and Sanjay Bangar (my uncle, as well as Head Coach of the Kings XI Punjab IPL Team and Batting Coach of the Indian Cricket Team) congratulated us on our wedding! Preity Zinta also sweetly apologized to me for keeping my uncle back in India as their team, Kings XI Punjab had made it to the 2014 IPL Final and the match was on the same day as our wedding. I was so starstruck - it was a lovely surprise. You can see/share the video here:

What words of advice do you have for future brides/grooms-to-be?

Enjoy every moment.

It sounds cliche, but make sure you don't stress too much. Things that have to go wrong will always go wrong but don't let that compromise your happiness. As long as you've got your fiance(e), and your family and friends to share the big day with - that really is all you need so just enjoy every moment of it! :)

{Wedding Suppliers}

Venue Paradise Banquet Hall

Photography PhotoKitch

Videography ABCi Studios

Makeup, Hair and Dressing Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu

Décor G.P.S. Decors & Wedding Services

Henna Henna By Shikha

Floral Services Elegant Bouquet

Cake Just Temptations

DJ IMS Entertainment (DJ Jumpoff)

Catering Bukhara Grill

Transportation Allure Limo & Services