In November of 2001, Shravan Reddy and his family flew from Ann Arbor, Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with some longtime friends in Long Island, New York. As a 13 year old boy, he had no idea that he’d be meeting his future wife – a pre-teen, Shilpa Reddy – that holiday.
“Our parents had been friends for years before, having met at Indian cultural events, but the kids never had a chance to meet until this Thanksgiving,” Shilpa explains. “I was the awkward 12-year-old with braces, astigmatism, and a chubby face; but what made this all the better was that he was just as awkward as me.”
“EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAD THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES, INCLUDING US” SHILPA REDDY
For years, the two teens talked through messengers, e-mails, phone calls, texts, and occasionally saw each other at family events. During high school, however, it became difficult to maintain a long distance relationship. Shilpa and Shravan went their separate ways for a period of time, still remaining friends and still feeling a spark whenever they reconnected. It wasn’t until they were finally in one place for medical school that their romance rekindled in full force.
After years of dating, Shravan and Shilpa’s families decided that they would get engaged before the two had a chance to plan it out themselves. Of course, there were no objections. With the help of friends and family, Shravan had six shirts made – each with one word, spelling out “Shilpa, Will, You, Marry, Me, ?” – and proposed in an area set up with flowers, candles, a photo collage, champagne, and Shilpa’s favorite chocolates. When he got down on one knee, their friends came out wearing the shirts and both families were cheering.
When it was time to plan the wedding, Shilpa decided to host a destination wedding in Florida at the Diplomat Resort & Spa. Once the venue was booked, the couple brought on board Sonal J. Shah and her team at SJS as their wedding planners.
“SJS Events instantly took over our planning process and made our lives infinitely easier by doing all the research, giving us options, and helping us pick exactly what we wanted,” Shilpa says. “The best part of our planning process was picking out the décor with Elegant Affairs and their designer, Vikram. He totally got the vision I was going for, and the process of turning your dream wedding into reality was exciting.”
After months of planning, the wedding weekend arrived and included five events – a welcome dinner, a bride/groom-making ceremony, a sangeet, a wedding ceremony, and reception. With such a trusted group of vendors and planners, the bride and groom were able to experience their wedding day in complete relaxation. Surrounded by wedding décor that was the perfect mix of traditional Indian influences with a western party flare, the newlyweds spent the entire day having fun with their loved ones.
“Every single person had the time of their lives, including us,” says Shilpa. “I still pinch myself at how lucky I am to have parents that love us enough to make our entire wedding nothing short of a dream. Without them, none of it would have been possible.”
Ceremony and Reception Location: The Diplomat Beach Resort, Hollywood, FL; Planner: Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, New York, NY & Miami, FL; Floral & Event Design: Elegant Affairs, Fairfield, NJ
Rentals: Xquisite Events, Delray Beach, FL; Bride’s Wedding Dress: Manish Malhotra; Groom’s Ceremony Attire: Sabyasachi; Groom’s Reception Attire: Hugo Boss; Bride & Groom’s Wedding Band: Cartier
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Two by London