When a friend fixed up Shivani Chopra and Vinod Kannarkat together on a blind date, Shivani’s almond-shaped green eyes matched Vinod’s vision of his dream woman and Vinod’s tennis-induced back injury kindled Shivani’s sympathies. The two got better acquainted over long phone conversations while Vinod, a cardiology fellow, recovered and Shivani, a psychiatry resident, was on vacation. It wasn’t long before they became a couple.
On Shivani’s 30th birthday, Vinod’s planned proposal was delayed when he performed a complicated surgery forcing him to use his backup plan of dinner at an oceanside restaurant and a proposal on the beach.
"SEVEN DAYS OF CELEBRATORY EVENTS LEADING TO THE WEDDING DAY."
As they headed toward the water, Shivani blurted: “I have a feeling that something bad is about to happen.” The premonition came true as her heel caught on a step, she scraped her leg, and sprinklers turned on soaking the pair. When they finally reached the water, Shivani declared her birthday needed a do-over, creating the perfect opening for Vinod: “I’ll give you tomorrow,” he said, “if you’ll give me the rest of your life.”
Seven days of celebratory events leading to the wedding day were capped by a rehearsal dinner on a yacht out of Newport Harbor.
On the couple’s wedding day, the religions of both families were honored with a Catholic Church service in the morning followed by a Hindu ceremony and reception later that day.
Shivani’s dreams of an outdoor wedding overlooking the ocean came true at Pelican Hill. She was able to peek out a window to watch Vinod’s baraat before she entered royally carried atop a doli. According to the groom, the reception was “the most crazy, fun party” he ever attended. “We danced until we were just about to pass out.”
After days of partying, Shivani and Vinod took a three-day mini-moon at Pelican Hill. The real honeymoon—a two-month tour of Austria and Spain—will wait until July of 2013, when both complete their medical training.
Location and Caterer: Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, CA; Cake: Sweet Cakes by Mel, Costa Mesa, CA
Photography: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography; Event Planner: Thomas Bui Lifestyle, San Diego, CA
Event Design: Poonam Chopra, Orange County, CA; Floral Design: Dream Décor, Anaheim Hills, CA; Lehengas: Ushnak, South Delhi, India; Lehengas: Rana’s, Jaipur, India