“Distance means so little when someone means so much.” – Unknown
Amsterdam couple, Ankita and Manmeet discovered soul mates in each other after months of long distance communication and weekend dates. Very soon after the pair embarked on an epic wedding adventure comprising a multitude of functions involving loads of family, food, dancing and all the beautiful things that tag along with big fat Indian weddings.
From the engagement to the colourful sangeet cruise party, bride Ankita credits her parents who had the painstaking task of planning the entire wedding.
The festivities began with a gorgeous civil ceremony amid picturesque locales. Featuring a magnificent castle plus horse and carriage, this wedding is not to be missed. Ankita fills us in on all the details!
Our families knew of each other before I had an opportunity to meet Manmeet. Manmeet was working in London at the time, but we had a fabulous time whenever he would fly over to meet me in The Netherlands.
The first date was more than memorable. We went out for “dinner” but of course this turned out to be a full on chat session. We talked so much that the waiter eventually stopped walking over to our table as we hadn’t even opened our menu.
Manmeet and I felt so comfortable together, I just knew that this was the start of something special. We continued communicating over emails, messaged and phone calls and soon these turned into fly over visits. Almost every weekend, Manmeet would travel over to Amsterdam to come and meet me.
One fine day he was leaving for New York for study and so we decided that we would spend the entire day together. We took a lovely walk along the lake and of course me, so engrossed in my story telling, I failed to notice that he wasn’t walking beside me anymore. Just as I was about to turn around, Manmeet shouted out ‘wait’ and there he was down on bended knee. I was speechless and didn’t know how to react and then the tears started rolling down my face. I ran up to him and excitedly said ‘yes, yes, yes!’
The wedding events began with a modern civil wedding, which took place at the beautiful Kasteel De Hooge Vuursche.
We wanted a simple yet elegant wedding ceremony with a Cinderella/Prince Charming like theme. Our service included pianists, a cake and horse and carriage.
We chose to host all the festivities in Amsterdam as we were both born and raised in the city, but we loved the fact that we had family attend from all over.
I was super nervous on the day, but my amazing parents made us feel so comfortable and at ease with everything. They made all the arrangements applying careful attention to detail. The compliments were flowing left, right and centre.
My parents are the best wedding planners around and the fact that they enjoyed it made it all the more memorable. It was a magical wedding. Together they make a super team. So much love for them from the both of us!
My sangeet function was an absolute riot, full of mind-blowing performances, singing, dancing and an international dinner.
We wanted to do something a little out of the box for this occasion, so we hosted it on a fabulous cruise ship along the famous Amsterdam canals.
All my cousins performed on the night and made it an evening to remember.
The next day we held the mehndi party, which began with the traditional haldi and puja rituals followed by song and dance.
Once again my parents organised everything and made all the arrangements at the Van Der Valk Hotel. The management team knew exactly what they had to do and when.
We had a traditional Hindu Sikh ceremony with minimal decor. We kept the theme flowing with soft hues and white for purity and classic, understated elegance.
The reception followed with more of a traditional theme at the Hilton hotel.
Our official photographers, Dipak Studios flew all the way over from India to capture our entire wedding. I had been following their work for quite some time and figured that there wouldn’t be any harm in contacting them. Their hard work and enthusiasm is clearly visible in my wedding album and videos. I love the candid photography and I’m so happy that the whole team came to create these special memories for us.
I actually really enjoyed shopping for my bridal trousseau. I had no challenges what so ever as my aunty who lives in Delhi guided me along the way. We visited exhibitions and I gave a lot of thought to all the outfits. As you can tell, every ensemble is different in terms of style, colour, look and feel, but they all have that timeless appeal which is what I wanted from the beginning.
As far as my bridal lehenga was concerned, I had purchased a Sabyasachi lehenga back in India, but then of course Mum questioned my decision. She wondered why I wanted to wear a Sabya designed lehenga for the sangeet as well as for the wedding. So, she suggested wearing her wedding lehenga. I instantly fell in love with the idea. We decided to have it customized and transformed into a modern day lehenga featuring velvet material. I visited the tailor for a trial fitting and it was perfect.
I suppose the emotional element was there as well. The fact that I was wearing something, which belonged to my Mum, made it feel all the more special.
There were way too many to mention! I loved each and every moment.
So much excitement and so many emotions. I won’t forget the incredible performances from my sweet cousins on the sangeet night, that moment when Manmeet and I left the wedding hall of the civil ceremony, officially married and much much more.
Advice For Couples
I would advise couples to finalize a wedding date as soon as they can. Inspiration is all around, you never know when it will strike, so always have that ‘to do list’ with you. Also, break down each function or event. Remember that the sangeet or the mehndi functions will have their own elements and will require separate planning to the wedding day.
Research décor styles, themes and suppliers.
Remember that it is hard work, but it all pays off in the end when you end up with the person of your dreams!
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Amsterdam wedding with us Ankita and Manmeet. Wishing you all the best for the future!
Photography/Cinematography: DIPAK STUDIOS// Venues: KASTEEL DE HOOGE (CIVIL), HILTON THE HAGUE & cruiseship (sangeet), VAN DER VALK HOTEL (mehndi, wedding), HILTON AMSTERDAM (wedding reception) // Event Decor: V Creations Party Service // Bride’s Trousseau: ELIE SAAB & JIMMY CHOO (civil), SABYASACHI & VALENTINO (sangeet), ANUSHREE REDDY (mehndi), Mother’s anarkali (wedding day), FRONTIER RAAS & JIMMY CHOO (wedding reception) // Groom’s Trousseau: OGER FASHION & GUCCI (civil), ROHIT BAL & LOUIS VUITTON (sangeet), Pure Traditional By Gaurav (wedding day), OGER FASHION & Louis Vuitton (wedding reception) // Tailoring for re-purposed wedding outfit: The Edge by Rupali n Sunali in Rajori – Delhi // Bride’s Hair & Makeup: BOBBI BROWN
Poonam is the founder and director of The Maharani Diaries blog. She has a passion for South Asian fashion and weddings. Drinking coffee is one of her favourite pass times and she also enjoys giving up her time for charity. You’ll often find her volunteering on the side for various community events.