DANA POINT, Calif. — The gorgeous Monarch Beach Resort here was the venue for the 13th ‘Wedding Show for the Modern Bride’ by wedding concierge service Wedding Store 24.
The Neema Lodhia-owned enterprise, known for its opulent, glitzy and glamourous wedding shows, brings wedding vendors and modern brides, grooms and their families together under one roof to facilitate the planning process in an exciting, glamorous and yet relaxed atmosphere. As the Indian American businesswoman told India-West earlier, their shows are not mere trade shows but mega events that reflect a taste of their exclusive service as a one-stop wedding venue.
This year, too, they went a notch higher and chose the swanky and luxurious Monarch Beach Resort, a captivating seaside getaway that celebrates the best of Southern California’s coastal lifestyle. The event was held in the Pacific ballroom, and the Pacific promenade leading to the ballroom was a ‘Hall of Mirrors’ inspired space that was the perfect backdrop for capturing the pictures of the decked-up models participating in the fashion show.
Amidst the rollicking party, the attendees were seen browsing through the various displays of specialty vendors and sampling Indian fusion treats and desserts served by Natraj and Adya restaurants. Natraj showcased its exotic appetizers like Delhi chaat, mini achari paneer tacos, broccoli feta tiki, chili cheese panini, crispy masala shrimp, chicken tikka sliders and main course items such as mini naans, paneer masala and vegetable biryani. Adya of Santa Ana, on the other hand, served corn bhel and the favorite pani puri shots, lamb kheema and carrot halwa tarts with strawberry rose and mango mint drinks to wash down the tasty treats.
Lindo Sorrel served up refreshing chilled hibiscus teas infused with sorrell, an ancient herb with health benefits. Yooshi Sooshi displayed a variety of sushi offerings. Chunk-N-Chip served delectable ice-cream on delicious cookies while the Puffect bakery/café served up mouth-watering baked treats.
With photography/videography being an integral part of any wedding, there was an array of photographers and videographers displaying their body of work in picture albums and videos to the prospective bride and grooms. Prominent among them were Kelly Waterman Photo, Lin and Jirsa, Peter Nguyen, Darkroom Studio which specializes in both still photo and video, and Robles Video and Impressive Creations, which specializes in quality videography. Photo booth vendor SnapCam set up a flower wall to capture the attendees with hilarious props and happily gave away the prints.
Ethnic Essence and 2Create Designs were the two décor vendors at the event. Ethnic Essence set up an eye-catching display of wedding décor in the main hall. The stage for the fashion show was set up by Star Dance Floor. DJ 3D Sounds and Special Occasions DJ set up the lighting and visual display.
Another interesting vendor was Gotta Go Luxury, which displayed luxurious portable restrooms. Another vendor, Night and Day Productions, provides event staffers that set-up/serve/cleanup services. ‘InWetation’ had a display of eye-catching and unusual wedding invitations.
Vinod Dave, a freelance pundit who specializes in weddings and various milestone rituals, mingled with the crowd explaining his services to the brides, grooms and parents. BreLuxe wedding specialists gave information on their beauty packages for the bride and family.
With a backdrop of a dramatic white lotus flower cutout in front of a black screen, the fashion show started with Frontier Heritage showcasing its traditional and contemporary wedding lehangas and gowns in various pastel and dark hues with exquisitely designed silver, gold zari and embroidery. The highlight of its fashion show was a musical performance by Dr. Varshini Muralikrishnan, a singer, songwriter and music performer/producer. Muralikrishnan, who gave up her medical career to concentrate on her musical career, goes by the artistic name ‘The Musical Doc.’ She wants to amplify diversity and speak her truth through her creative compositions. During the fashion show, she serenaded the models and audience with her original songs titled, “Strangers” and “Melanin & Honey,” and also gave an exclusive sneak peek into her latest unreleased song, “Real Women,” delighting the crowd with her musical attitude and stage presence.
Fashion by Rohini presented traditional lehengas, ghagras and sarees in deep and light colors, textures, designs with embellishments and intricate embroidery and also modern wedding wear with halter necks and off-the-shoulder sleeves. The models, with their hair decked in red roses, also wore exotic fine jewelry studded with diamonds and precious stones designed by celebrity jewelry designer Queenie Singh with hair and makeup provided by Henna Dil Se.
Bollywood actress Pooja Batra, looking ethereal, started the show with a graceful dance, twirling around with her white lehanga and dupatta encrusted with pearls.
Estee Couture rounded off the fashion show segment with its white wedding gowns in various fabrics and patterns. The multi-racial models sashaying down the ramp not only showcased their beautiful white gowns but also the matching white henna designs on their hands and fingers. Speaking to India-West, Sana Yousef of OC Henna said that white henna is made of cosmetic grade white body paint mixed with non-toxic glue.
The event attracted hundreds of excited young brides and grooms who filled the ballroom to get ideas and inspiration.
At the end of the event, the raffle was drawn by Pooja Batra, and a lucky bride, Vimala Narasimhan of San Diego, who got engaged to Rajesh Sekar of Los Angeles just a week ago, won the grand prize of a dream wedding at the Monarch Beach Resort.