It was Cinco de Mayo, 2009 when Shriya Paliwal and Gaurav Mahindra met at a Young Indian Professionals networking event at Club Providence in New York City. Gaurav spotted Shriya early on in the evening and, after a few drinks, worked up the courage to tell the bouncer not to let her leave as she was walking out. The two have been together ever since.
Prior to their engagement, Gaurav had spent three months planning a surprise sunset proposal, overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown and complete with all of their immediate family members. After arriving at the location early with a photographer, Gaurav excitedly texted Shriya’s parents that everything was set to go. What he didn’t realize was that Shriya was part of the group text as well. Despite the foiled surprise, nothing stopped the couple from enjoying their engagement and celebrating with their loved ones.
“WE ARE DEFINITELY IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF NOSTALGIA!”
Thanks to Shriya’s mother, the wedding planning process was much easier than it would have been. After weighing the options of having a destination wedding or remaining local, the couple knew that a spring wedding at NYC’s Plaza Hotel would be the perfect choice.
Traditional Indian weddings are a marathon, and Shriya and Gaurav’s big day was no exception. Festivities began on a Thursday and concluded with the formal ceremony and reception on Sunday, after several days of partying beforehand.
“We had 400 guests, but one thing everyone kept saying was how intimate and ‘at home’ the wedding felt, which is a testament to all the love that both of our families showered us with that weekend,” Shriya says. “Gaurav and I both made it a priority to be in the moment at all times during that weekend, and truly soak in every feeling and emotion we had.”
Due to their busy work schedules, the bride and groom had not been involved in selecting the wedding décor; so it was that much more magical when each event space was revealed to them for the first time. The bride was especially surprised with the level of beauty her mom had envisioned and how the décor companies were able to bring it to life.
“I could write a novel about how we felt that day, but the three emotions that come to my mind first are love, elegance and exuberance,” Shriya describes. “We are definitely in a perpetual state of nostalgia!”
The day after the wedding, the newlyweds were able to skip any potential post-wedding blues by flying to Turks and Caicos for their honeymoon.
Location: The Plaza, New York, NY: Cake: Ron Ben Israel Cakes, New York, NY; Planner: Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, New York, NY: Ceremony Floral and Event Design: Elegant Affairs, New York, NY; Reception Floral and Event Design: Floralia Decorators, New York, NY; Stationery: EDC Luxury Wedding Cards, New Delhi, India; Bride's Ceremony Dress and Groom's Attire: Sabyasachi Couture
Bride's Reception Dress: Naeem Khan; Bride’s Ceremony Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent; Groom’s Reception Attire: Tom Ford; Groom’s Watch: Rolex