The Real Wedding of Sonam & Neil
Bride Sonam and Groom Neil’s destination wedding in Switzerland is one we find ourselves endlessly in awe of. Honoring centuries-rich traditions with the decadent backdrop of Swiss snow-capped mountains, this destination wedding is one for the ages.
The Love Story
Sonam and Neil’s love story begins when they were just three-and-a-half. Having gone to the same schools growing up, they reconnected in the tenth grade after Sonam had moved schools a couple years prior.
“We were in a very similar friends group, but nothing really happened until seven years after we graduated school. There was always this undercurrent, and I think when it finally happened we were inseparable”, Bride Sonam recalls.
As life would have it, timing wasn’t quite on their side at the time. “Two and a half years later when we got together, we knew very quickly that this was it”, she continues.
It was seven months later that Neil popped the big question in the mesmerizing Maldives.
“He came over to my house while I was traveling and asked my parents for my hand. He also invited them to the Maldives and he literally told them that the entire family needed to be there because we’re both super family-oriented.”
“We were on my birthday trip to the Maldives, and four or five days later suddenly he proposes to me and both our families were there. I think that was the most special part of the proposal.”
The pair originally planned to get married in Bodrum, Turkey in 2020. But one month out from their big day, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and they had to cancel the wedding.
“I’ve always been someone who has dreamt of a big, fat, beautiful wedding. For me, it was very clear I wanted this beautiful backdrop, my fairy-tale moment. That’s what made me decide on Switzerland. We both enjoy skiing there, and it was something we both bonded over when we got together.”
“When we both went skiing during the pandemic, we fell in love and we wanted to get married on the ski slopes. I know it’s a wild idea but that’s exactly what we did because after COVID-19, I feel like mindsets changed, everyone started realising how short life can be and how important it is to do things mainly for yourself.”
Tying the knot 2,000 meters above sea level, Sonam explains, “Zermatt is completely car free so we had to fly everything up there from the decor to our clothes. That was really challenging, but it was all worth it because we had that gorgeous backdrop – that beautiful sunny day with a snow-clad, white Matterhorn was the most special part.”
In the lead up to their wedding celebrations, the region was met with numerous snow storms. But Sonam happily recalls how, “On the days of our events, there was suddenly sunshine and a beautiful white mountain and I feel like that was the most unforgettable part because it almost felt like the universe made this happen for us. My planner always joked, ‘your husband wants a warm day and he wants it to be full of snow, that’s almost impossible’, but that’s pretty much what happened for us. So that’s something I’ll never forget.”
“We also did the traditional Indian wedding up on that mountain. We did the Seven Pheras around the fire, and my mother-in-law got a couple things from back home which we used for the Puja which is the holy ceremony. We also did an event the day prior which is called Haldi, where you put turmeric paste on the face and body of the bride and groom…which is a beauty ritual that we do in India.”
“The silhouette of my outfit was a classic Indian lehenga. It’s a two-piece with a little top and a really big skirt along with a dupatta. I had my bun covered with a long veil, again, [incorporating my] Indian heritage.”
Speaking of their love story, she explains how, “I had elements of my proposal incorporated into my outfit with little dolphins, and the sea life of the Maldives. The colors of the thread of my white outfit actually had underwater tones in it and my gloves had our wedding date, names and my vows on them as well. So that was really special.”
“The reason I went with Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, is also because they have a very strong heritage in our Indian culture. They are the best couturiers – the attention to detail, the embroidery, they literally do the best custom made outfits in my opinion, and that’s exactly what they did for me. They had mine and Neil’s names embroidered in golden thread with hearts and crystals hanging off the entre outfit. It was just an absolute dream. So it was almost a no-brainer, I knew when I got married that that’s who I’m going to wear – and even Neil was pretty certain he wanted to be in a Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla creation.”
Advice For Future Brides
“It’s important to just do you on your wedding day. So I would tell every bride-to-be that if you have a vision, stick to it. Do exactly what makes you happy. Don’t go by guest lists, or social media obligations or anything [like that]. Pick a place that makes you super happy, pick a team that makes you happy and pick an outfit that makes you happy. Just do exactly what you’d like to do because that’s your day”.
“I would definitely say that if some things don’t go your way, take it with a pinch of salt. But at the same time, do whatever makes you happy. Compromise a little but not too much. It’s a phase, the wedding is two, three or one day – it’s the rest of your entire life that matters so don’t take it too seriously.”
- Bride & Groom: @fashioneiress & @neilsanghvi_
- Wedding Planner & Designer: @tehiyanarvelevents
- Photographer: @davidbastianoni
- Videographer: @andhervisuals
- Outfits: @abujanisandeepkhosla
- Accessories: Bag by @judithleiberny, @judithleiberindia, jewelry by @lszaveri, gloves by @kerryparkerofficial & shoes by @lesilla
- Florals: @floralia_event_design
- Makeup Artist: @mynykaa
- Hair Stylist: @dastanlondon
- Music by @devangichopra
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