2024 January Featured Bride

"It was wonderful finally being together and no longer dealing with a long distance relationship! It honestly feels so nice to just be next to your partner even if you are both doing absolutely nothing. We looked forward to spending time together and getting to enjoy life as soulmates."
Divyesh and Shivani Patel

Tell us about your love story!

How did you meet?

Divyesh and I started talking in October of 2021 after being introduced by a couple of family friends. We started texting one another and seemed to hit it off pretty well! I found myself looking forward to his texts and phone calls and caught myself cheesing every time I got to talk to him. We finally thought it was time to meet in December and decided to go outside both of our comfort zones and meet in Nashville, Tennessee, a week before Christmas. When I picked him up from the airport, all I could remember thinking was “dang, he knows how to dress and he smells SO good!” When we got to the hotel, he pulled out a bag of Indian snacks that he had brought me: chakri, chirya, tiki puri, biscuits, and milk cake mithai. I had mentioned my favorite Indian snacks on the phone. He memorized the items and brought them to me. Along with that, the next day he gave me a taco bell “I’m spicy, deal with it” blanket and my favorite scented candle. I didn’t even know how to react! Guys like this still exist? To top off the gifts, we had the best weekend hanging out and getting to know each other while exploring Nashville.

How did you know he was “The One”?

Things went so well during our trip to Nashville that I decided to surprise him three weeks later by showing up in California! After spending a week in California together, I knew where my heart was. I thought I would be a bit more nervous or hesitant since it was still early on, but the old adage is true, “WHEN YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW.” Deep down, I just knew this was it, and he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Describe your wedding planning process.

What planning tools did you use?

We hired a wedding planner, Amit Patel with Events by Vrushali. He helped with everything from rentals and bartending to being my day- of coordinator and everything in between.

Did you have a specific theme?

We had a traditional Indian wedding, with the first few events featuring fiesta colors!

How many guests were invited?

We invited 500-600 guests for all of our celebrations.

Why did you choose your venue?

We chose the venue to fit our larger guest count.

Did you incorporate any special traditions or sentimental details in your ceremony or reception?

We had an Indian wedding with the normal traditions and religious ceremonies. It was a four day wedding event with seven ceremonies total!

What was your most stressful decision?

The most stressful decisions were probably choosing my wedding outfits and figuring out how to coordinate things to make sure the flow of events was flawlessly executed.

Is there anything you would have done differently?
  • I wish I had not stressed that weekend trying to ensure everything was perfect. Instead, I wish I had relished the excitement of getting to marry my best friend!

Tell Us About

Your dress:

I wore a traditional red bridal lehenga that I purchased in India. It took me weeks to find the perfect outfit, but when I saw it, I knew it was the one! I didn’t want a dress with lots of “wedding art” on it, but surprisingly that was what I ended up falling in love with.

Your flowers:

Wedding day flower theme was all shades of pink, white, with greenery.

The food:

We had traditional Indian food containing 16-17 items per plate. Lots of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The cuisine was mostly Gujarati, Punjabi, south Indian dishes, and Mexican. The food differed throughout the events.

The cake:

We had a 3 to 4 tier white velvet cake with buttercream frosting. It was beautiful AND delicious!

Recap your big day for us

What made you laugh?

We had lots of laughs throughout the weekend! Our family and friends are our biggest supporters!

What made you cry?

Wedding day emotions are REAL! Divyest cried when I walked down the aisle. In Indian culture, the bride gets married and leaves her family behind to start a new life with her husband. I knew I was going to be moving to California the day after my wedding, so I was emotional all weekend!

What were the most memorable moments?

Our entire weekend was memorable. We had so many family and friends there for us. One specific moment that I will never forget was when my brothers and my aunt and uncle surprised me with a photograph of my grandpa, fiance, and me. Another memorable moment was our first look. Everything had come down to this special and genuine moment for us. Nothing else seemed to matter in that moment except us being together.

Did anything unexpected happen?

Small unexpected things happened here and there that maybe didn’t go exactly according to plan, but that’s why I say, “DON’T STRESS OVER THE LITTLE THINGS AND JUST ENJOY!”

What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?

Take in your special day as much as you can because it will be over before you know it!

Bride’s perspective: Stay as organized as you possibly can from the very beginning of the process! It’s so much easier to rest easily if you know where all the information you might possibly need lives. This can prevent as many surprise invoices or issues as possible. That said, it’s also SO important to remember that you’re only in this exciting process because you love your fiance! At the end of the day, even if every other detail  of your day goes wrong, you’re still marrying the love of your life and will be spending forever with them!

What did you look forward to most as Mr. and Mrs.?

It was wonderful finally being together and no longer dealing with a long distance relationship! It honestly feels so nice to just be next to your partner even if you are both doing absolutely nothing. We looked forward to spending time together and getting to enjoy life as soulmates.