Payal Patel met Shangril Shah in 2006, when they were in college. Although Shangril was in New York City and Payal was in New Jersey, they belonged to overlapping social circles and were introduced at a mutual friend’s party.
Both of them also belonged to their respective colleges’ Indian dance teams, which led them to run into each other at dance competitions, social events and parties over the years. Eventually, at a friend’s wedding, they ended up dancing together the entire night and started dating soon after graduation.
“ALL OF OUR OTHER WEDDING EVENTS WERE REALLY COLORFUL AND VIBRANT, SO WE WANTED A CLASSIC AND ROMANTIC ATMOSPHERE FOR OUR RECEPTION.”
The marriage proposal took place on June 15, 2013, when Shangril planned a birthday weekend getaway for Payal in New York City. While staying at the Thompson Hotel in Soho and enjoying some drinks at the hotel’s exclusive rooftop bar, A60, he proposed while a photographer captured the moment. The night concluded with drinks at Pravda, where Shangril had invited all of their closest friends to meet them as a surprise. “He really put together an amazing day, doing everything I love in our favorite city,” Payal says.
With a destination wedding and traditional Indian wedding in the works, the wedding planning process was fairly complicated and included several trips to Palm Beach and India, as many cultural components needed to be tied in. Four smaller events were held in New Jersey over the weeks leading up to the big day, which concluded with a wonderful celebration at The Breakers.
The wedding day started early, with the bride waking up at 4:30am for the hair and makeup process. “As part of tradition, my parents both put my wedding jewelry on me, which was such an emotional moment that morning,” she describes. As a groom’s tradition, there is usually a procession called a “Baraat,” which includes a band and entering the wedding ceremony while riding a horse or elephant. Since The Breakers did not allow animals on their property, however, they improvised by using a classic maroon convertible Bentley for his entrance along with a live dhol (traditional drum) player.
The wedding reception was a black tie affair, held in the Venetian Ballroom overlooking the ocean. Much of the décor included mirrors, candles and chandeliers, as well as a custom silver dance floor and mirrored DJ booth. The menus and napkins were black and gold, printed with the couple’s wedding logo. “All of our other wedding events were really colorful and vibrant, so we wanted a classic and romantic atmosphere for our reception,” Payal explains. “I had a lot of fun helping design the centerpieces. We picked three different styles that all had tons of candles, and white and light pink floral that gave an ombre effect.”
Attendees were treated to an authentic tasting Indian menu, as well as live entertainment. “Overall, our guests really enjoyed the music, food, entertainment, and ambiance of this night, and it was the perfect way to end a weekend-long wedding in Palm Beach,” says Payal. “What they say is actually true–your wedding goes by so quick, and you must take in and enjoy every minute of it.”
Location, Cake, Floral and Event Design: The Breakers Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL; Event Planner: Jennifer J Events, Palm Beach, FL; Rentals: Suhaag Garden, Orlando, FL; Wedding Dress: Sabyasachi Mukherjee; Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss