When the same name is presented to you over and over as someone you should meet, eventually it is time to give in and do something about it. For Anjana Valbh and Ravi Patel, it began with text messages, emails and phone calls.
“We started communicating, and I was intrigued by this intelligent, motivated guy,” says Anjana. Eventually, they decided to meet in person. Ravi flew to New York City from Atlanta where he was completing a medical residency. They met for coffee and ended up spending much of the weekend together.Willing to explore and both sensing there was something more, a long distance relationship was born. Every two weeks, one would fly to see the other. The commuting continued for more than three years while Anjana graduated law school and became an associate in a New York law firm and Ravi moved to Boston for further medical training.
“SEEING ANJANA SURROUNDED BY OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND LOOKING SO BEAUTIFUL WAS A SURREAL AND MAGICAL MOMENT.”
Fittingly enough, Ravi presented Anjana with her engagement ring at an airport. After delayed late night flights, they found each other in the nearly deserted terminal. “It was almost poetic to get my ring there,” says Anjana, “but that bit of decoration didn’t change anything. We were already a solid unit, so the ring was just another chapter of the story.
Having enjoyed a memorable vacation in Cabo, the couple chose the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa for their destination wedding. The consistent good weather there would assure that Anjana’s planned outdoor events would unfold worry-free.
Keeping the guest list at a reasonable length proved extremely difficult. “We wanted an intimate affair with 50 people, but that was completely unrealistic,” explains Anjana, who frets that even with the final tally of 200, there were those who felt left out.
The traditional Hindu ceremony, preceded by two days of time-honored rituals, included many of the most revered rites. However, the bride and groom created a more modern interpretation by trimming the time to under two hours and conducting it in English. They also opted for elegant white and gold attire, rather than the more flamboyant colors of traditional Hindu wedding garments.
Ravi remembers the setting as being perfect. “Seeing Anjana surrounded by our family and friends and looking so beautiful was a surreal magical moment,” he recalls. Revealing his playful side, Ravi allowed Anjana to have the upper hand in the finale of the circling of the fire blessings. “It is said that whoever sits down first will rule the household,” says Anjana, “and Ravi didn’t even try.”
Instead of a grand entrance, the newlyweds entered their reception encircled lovingly by their guests. The celebration began with heartfelt speeches, transitioned to entertainment by fire dancers with light-flashing, water-splashing drums and culminated with fireworks exploding overhead. Then, the DJ ushered the party onto the dance floor. “It was wonderful to see everyone dancing, enjoying the night and helping us create lasting memories,” says Anjana.
The couple’s honeymoon plans were uncertain due to an upcoming move. However, in the middle of packing, they stole time for a quickly arranged tour of Japan, where they both had always wanted to travel. “Although we carved out time to relax, it was an adventurous and active trip,” says Anjana. Upon their return, they took up residence in the Orlando, Florida area where they hope to remain for the foreseeable future.
Planner: Rose Events, New York, NY; Ceremony Dress: Gaurav Gupta; Reception Dress: Mukti Rashmi
Groom’s Attire: Bespoke