Kruti and Milan’s wedding day events began with the traditional Grah Shanti and Haldi. Their family and friends gathered together for a Sangeet filled with perfomances and an evening of dancing. Their wedding day ceremony and reception were at the beautiful Legacy Castle.
They say everyone has a story to tell. But, we have never found this to be more true than when we met L’Escape Destination Weddings. This passionate couple will open your hearts, minds and eyes to the endless possibilites of creating a wedding experience that is second to none. We continue our vendor spotlight series with a profile on L’Escape Destination Weddings. Prepare to be inspired, because dreams do come true.
Where are you located? Do you travel? We have offices in both Miami, Florida and Toronto, Ontario
* In the wedding industry we only focus on Destination Weddings which means your wedding has to have a travel component.
* My business partner and wife, Jasprit and I, have traveled all over the world. We are blessed to be able to jump on a plane at any time and explore this incredible globe! Our travels have taken us to every continent except Antarctica (Jasprit is not a fan of the cold!). Our love for history, architecture, design, fashion, and food keeps our minds inquisitive, and this reflects in our business acumen.
How long have you been a professional? I’ve been in the travel field for 28 years! Wow, that sounds like a very long time; however, I started in the spring break market during my first year of university. I realized I could travel the world and get paid for doing so!
How did you get your start? I first started in the travel world during university. I saw a poster around campus that said ‘TRAVEL FOR FREE. GET 20 OF FRIENDS, AND YOUR TRIP IS FREE!’ I ended up selling 120 trips and not only did I travel for free, but I was also paid cash for the other 100 trips I sold! After I completed my degree in Economics and Political Science, I worked for a large Corporate Incentive House. That lasted eight months; then I started L’Escape in 1997 as a Corporate Incentive Travel Company. Our clientele included Hewlett Packard, Chrysler, Pfizer, and some other Fortune 1000 companies. In 2009, we expanded into the field of Destination Weddings after I married my soul mate! Jasprit, my wife and business partner, has a Master’s in Food Science and was a Director of a Multi-National Corporation before she left and decided to take on a pet project which is now L’Escape Destination Weddings! I am blessed to live, work and travel with her!
Describe your style in three words: Stylish, Sophisticated, Timeless
What services do you provide? L’Escape is a full-service company. I like to say “We are your travel agent. We are your wedding planner. We are your event management team. We can be your stylist (depending on the complexity of your event!). Having control of your entire event is a must for our business model. It creates balance for everyone involved. I compare it to being the General Manager, Head Coach, and Quarterback of a football team.
Do you have a team? Since we focus only on destination weddings, having teams are essential. Our travel team manages all the travel and logistics of your event. Our planning team manages all the events and the fine details. Jasprit is our closer as she is very knowledgeable about destinations and resorts. I am more the business side, and now and again, I love to be the lead on site. I am obsessed with the flow of events. No matter how beautiful your event looks, if the flow is not right, then the guest experience is compromised, and in my humble opinion, that is one of the most important elements of an event.
How has social media changed your business? It’s ALL about social media these days. People have instant access to not only your work, but they also have instant access to reviews. Social media just adds another layer to a business. It can be positive, or it can be negative. L’Escape has been cautious in growing because we will not compromise our work, our service and our integrity for more business. Once you have one bad review on social media, that scar is very difficult to erase. I embrace the changes in social media, and it’s imperative to be ahead of the curve!
How do you provide education to your couple’s during the planning process? We like to say, the more information we give a couple, the better their decision-making process is. L’Escape is big believers in sharing all the knowledge we have even before a couple becomes a client. We are not afraid to share because we have been blessed. Jasprit and I live in a world of abundance. Our life motto translates to our business motto.
What makes a successful wedding? One word…EXPERIENCE! By this I mean, did the client, their families, their guests, and the vendors have an excellent EXPERIENCE from start to finish. From being on budget, to selection of the right resort/destination, to selecting the right vendors, to travel, to hospitality, to design of the events, to flow of the events, to guest management, to being on time, to selecting the right venues at the resort, to creating exceptional food and drink, to the after party! I could on and on, however, if the couple and their families take a step back a few days or weeks after the last event and look back at the EXPERIENCE and smile, we have accomplished our goal, and the events deemed successful!
List any accolades & awards: Our reviews say it all! Our most recent review was from a couple who married in their mid 30’s and are soul mates. She is a busy doctor, and he is likewise an incredibly busy lawyer. Their story is very familiar to ours:
It is not an understatement to say that if L’Escape were not our wedding planners, our dream wedding would not have come true! From the moment of our first meeting until the last moments of our wedding, we could not have asked for more. Throughout the year of planning, it became very clear to us that wedding planning is not a career for Jasprit and Raun, but it is a passion for them, and any event they put their hand to is treated with the utmost love and care. Over the year, we can say that Jasprit and Raun have become part of our family. The planning process involved many components as we had multiple events and two different wedding ceremonies – Sikh and Catholic/Civil wedding. Jasprit’s ability to organize the logistics of securing venues and vendors was phenomenal, and she was very accessible to communicate with on a frequent, regular basis. We appreciated all of the countless hours spent with us reviewing the various components of planning our special wedding, as we felt that all of our concerns and desires were addressed throughout the process. The day of coordination was phenomenal and a must-have for any couple wanting to ensure that their wedding functions run smoothly. Both Jasprit and Raun ensured that our events ran on schedule and that our vendors were taken care of. Countless times, our guests complimented us on how wonderful Jasprit and Raun were. Having them present throughout our wedding afforded us peace of mind and allowed us to enjoy each and every moment of our wedding truly. We can not thank Jasprit and Raun enough for their dedication to our wedding in making sure that it was carried out seamlessly. We will forever have a special place in our hearts for L’Escape and would highly recommend them to all of our family & friends!
– Amandeep & Nigel
What makes you different? I’ll list our Top 5! (or 6)!
(1.) KNOWLEDGE: I’ve stated this earlier however I believe our competitive advantage is KNOWLEDGE! We have traveled the world and have stayed in many beautiful properties. Our eye and attention to detail is I would say a little sharper because we look for things that most people would not. Our expectations are heightened!
(2.) MINI CORPORATION: With my Corporate Incentive experience and Jasprit working as a Director for multinational, we have taken the position to treat every client like a mini-corporation. The experience, service, and communication is professional. Everything is documented, and we do not use WhatsApp for important decisions. Everything is documented on email!
(3.) CONNECTION: We are blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to run this business, not out of necessity, but one of joy. Our connection to the couple and their family is important, and there has to be a synergy between both L’Escape and the couple….we chose them, and they chose us!
(4.) EVENT FLOW: I have been running events and parties for the past 35 years, and I get bored quickly, so it’s imperative that our events are engaging and entertaining. If you’ve been to an L’Escape event, you will know what I am speaking about!
(5.) RELATIONSHIPS: We establish great relationships with both the client, their families, and our vendors. It takes a team to create an exceptional event and its imperative as the quarterback, we create that environment!
(6.) GLOBAL CLIENTELE: Being global is important to us, and we are fortunate enough to have worked with two billionaire families. One from India and another from Saudi Arabia. Working with their teams gave us the confidence to able to work with complicated budgets and events. This translates to our clients in having confidence in our company’s ability to produce exceptional events.
Do you want to offer prospective clients any advice on hiring a professional? Absolutely!
(1.) PLANNING: Do not base your decision on price, base it on value! What are you getting in your professional? Experience, reliability, professionalism, knowledge. All these are important. We have had countless couples come back to us after they have hired someone for less money. I always say, you get what you pay for!
(2.) EXPERIENCE: Experience is key for destination weddings. Working around the globe, in foreign countries is not for the faint of heart. You have to have relationships and a global network to succeed. We specialize only in destination weddings. Hire a company that does more than five destination weddings a year!
(3.) WEDDING BUDGET: Have a realistic budget for your wedding. Weddings are not inexpensive these days so chose your location and venue based on your budget vs. choosing your budget based on the location/venue you want or love. Remember life continues after your wedding (and so do those bills!)
(4.) TRUST IS A MUST: Trust and intuition are key when choosing any professional. If you don’t hit it off from the get-go, then they are not the right company for you
(5.) SIMPLIFY: Hire someone who can make your life easy. You have to enjoy the ride and the process. There are plenty of details, and you have to like the person you are working with!
Sumiti and Ramit’s wedding was an event that meant a lot to them in light of a scary medical incident that happened to Ramit about three months before the event. Following the event, they came to appreciate each other even more, relish every moment they had and live in the moment with the beautiful friends and family that surrounded them. The planning process was a total team effort from both of the families and support from all of our vendors. Ramit’s family’s background in the catering and venue industry was crucial as they had a lot of flexibility in building an extensive, unique menu offering at each occasion. In fact, they also underwent a renovation at Akbar prior to the event to enhance the aesthetics of the venue. They selected the wedding vendors based on personality and work quality and felt so fortunate that they met people and chosen vendors who are incredibly passionate about their professions and made a personal connection with this beautiful couple. One vendor who expressed such passion was Priyanca, the photographer. Sumiti and Ramit didn’t think they ever expected that they would spend as much time with the wedding photographer on the day of the event, but they’re so glad they did and wouldn’t have it any other way. Priyanca made it easy for us to let loose during our pictures and was incredibly creative. Without her insights, they wouldn’t have the beautiful uniquely captured photos of the event. These are photos that they can hold forever and allow us to relive the wedding at any point.
Summit and Ramit’s Sangeet photographed by Priyanca Rao. Stay tuned as we share their wedding and reception tomorrow
Photography and Videography- Priyanca Rao | Planner – Event Nirvana | Decor – Stylish Events | Hair and Makeup – SV Bridal Concepts | Venue – The Marriott Uniondale | Favors – Sancha Tea | DJ – DJ Kucha
In our ongoing series of Indian wedding vendors, today we spotlight Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, LLC. We have been in awe of her design and execution for years. Today we are honored to share her talents with you. If you are planning a wedding in the NYC area or abroad, be sure to connect with Sonal.
Where are you located? Do you travel? We are located in NYC. We travel all over the world for our couples. We have been honored to design and plan weddings in Dubai, Italy, Greece, Caribbean, all over the US.
How long have you been a professional? 15 years
Everyone has to start from somewhere. How did you turn your dream into a reality? How did you get your start? My background is in the hotel and hospitality industry. When it came time for my wedding, there were not many wedding planners adept in South Asian Weddings back in the day. So I decided to help brides who needed an expert in South Asian Weddings and was knowledgeable on all the different traditions and family dynamics.
Describe your style in three words: Luxury, Curated, Visionary
What services do you provide? Full Service Planning
We noticed with your designs and caliber of weddings, you must place trust in others. Do you have a team? Yes, we have a team that works on different tasks. We have people who focus on the brides, we have another team that focuses on social media and press, then we have someone who handles all bookings and appointments.
The wedding indutry is so visual and emotional. So, how has social media changed your business? Social Media is the new outlet for style and inspiration. It is an amazing way to network and share our events with the world at a touch of a button.
Follow her and get to know the woman behind the brand
Facebook : @sonaljshahevents
You’re obviously an expert in your field. How do you provide education to your couple’s during the planning process? By speaking with them everyday, whether it be via phone, text, email or instagram message. We get a lot of questions from our couples and clear and constant communication is key to guide them throughout their wedding planning.
What makes a successful wedding? Anticipating all the possible things that might go wrong and coming up with different solutions. Wedding planners are like professional problem solvers. Also, putting a team of great vendors is key. Putting a wedding together has many, many moving parts and different teams. Being able to work well together is crucial. The best weddings have spectacular vendors.
Share some recent accolades & awards? Named best Culture Wedding of 2015 by The Knot
Named one of the best 15 weddings of 2015 by The Knot
Named one of the Top 50 planners in the United States by Partyslate
Named one of the Top NYC planners by Partyslate
What makes you different? Our attention to detail. A lot people say they are detail oriented, but our team takes it to another level, really we do! We have a team that works really hard and goes above and beyond for our clients. We spend 1600+ hours for a full service client. We truly are at their service and always available via all means of communication. We take our motto “Celebrations Beyond Expectations” very seriously.
Do you want to offer perspective clients any advice on hiring a professional? Make sure to do your research and meet them in person. Make sure to read all of your contracts thoroughly (that is one of the biggest mistakes clients make before coming to us). Make sure the person you are hiring is the actual person at your event.
Thanks Sonal for taking the time to share just a taste of what Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, LLC has to offer. The team at Mandala Weddings feel your passion for everything weddings and we are honored to share just a few of your wonderful designs. Take if from us, Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, LLC is one to watch.
A baroque jacket in ivory and Iranian turquoise silk is first hand-painted, then appliquéd with tea-dyed velvet and over-layered with the finest of zardosi, coffee-stained pearls, rhinestones, crystals and semi-precious stones. It is lined with chintz-printed cotton and over-layered on top of a voluminous cotton lehenga. This couture-meets-Bohemian-whimsy ensemble is paired with a stunning vintage choker in uncut diamonds and tourmalines.
Jewellery Courtesy: Sabyasachi Heritage Jewelry Collection.” – Saybyasachi
Location: Samode Palace, Jaipur
Within the forests of Ranthambore are rooted eras of heritage. These majestic woods have witnessed the harmony and balance of life at its purest. There is silence and chaos in this land where the stillness of stones and trees full of life, reside cordially together. In this mystical land where tigers, panthers, flying foxes and hyenas live in harmony, we witness winters unfold before our eyes.
It is in a moment like this that the promises of love and commitment are made; those of fulfilling dreams, of respect for one another and of spending a lifetime together. During this ‘Odyssey’, the bride shares her intimate thoughts of love entwined with the sacred vows of marriage with her groom. This season, we celebrate the promise of togetherness, enveloped in the warmth of fine silks & Benarasi weaves.
The textiles have been adorned with intricately embroidered motifs, inspired by the wildlife of Ranthambore, in our signature craft of gota patti along with handcrafted dori, sequin, pearl, zari, zardozi and cut dana work. The colour palette speaks of a variety of jewel tones like deep reds, greens, blues and softer pastel shades, enthused by the colours of the vibrant birds and lakes of Ranthambore. The lehengas are classics with varied styles of cholis and contrasting dupattas.
Our collection of fine tailored Sherwanis, Bandhgalas, Bandis and Kurtas is a concurrence of sartorial artistry and impeccable detailing. These are the magical stories of Ranthambore, ornately placed on fabric with luxurious crafts of the land. Our timeless Indian Sherwanis are crafted with finesse and traditional skills of dressmaking; classic silhouettes of western jackets interweave with traditional Indian Menswear for our immaculate line of Bandhgalas. Combing through the heritage crafts of India, we’ve threaded stories of Rajasthan in the collection. Embroidered and printed with precision, our motifs are inspired by the jaali windows, the baroque architecture and ornate arches of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Wrapped in luxurious silks and fine linens, our Menswear winter Bandis and kurtas are a testament to fine tailoring and artistic dexterity. Wildflowers and trees, antelopes and elephants meander amidst lush green forests are etched on our collection. – Anita Dongre
Rashmi and Sachin met during their medical school years and their friendship blossomed into love. Rashmi wanted to embrace her South Indian side by wearing a traditional sari and her hair was catered to that specific look. To embrace her Punjabi fiance, they did a Punjabi themed shoot as well at the Malibu State Park. It was a beautiful day. They arrived bright and early and got some amazing images.
Your bridesmaids are among the most kind-hearted, generous and loyal bunch of women you know. For their endless love and support, they do deserve a special kind of thank you! This bridal season, Fizzy Goblet has launched gorgeous Bridesmaid Boxes with a pair of handcrafted Juttis (of your choice) for those special women in your life. You can also personalise it with a handwritten note of love. One of our favorites is the printed floral design seen below. Be sure to visit their site to see all the juttis they offer
To view and purchase you can visit Fizzy Goblets website by CLICKING HERE
Afsheen Lalani and Sashi Tanuku had a short hybrid Indian wedding. The ceremony was held at the steps at Granite Prospect at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where we got engaged. Our ceremony included Ismaili, Hindu and American traditions. We then took everyone on a shuttle to the reception venue at My Moon. Where everyone was greated in the garden area with mango lassi in flutes, sangria and cava! We had five Indian fusion canapes also being catered by Junoon. We conducted a final Pokneka ceremony which is to welcome the bride into her husbands home and ward off evil. Everyone loved it! After cocktail hour everyone was greeted with thank you notes to their seats and the reception began with a phenomenal welcome speech by the bride’s dad and followed by sibling speeches with a break in the middle to play the shoe game. The reception speeches ended with a sentimental speak by the bride for the groom and finally the groom’s speech which roasted to the bride. There was a bouquet toss which everyone loved followed by cutting the cake and a first dance to Mumford and Sons song “There is a Time”. This was followed by a couples dance and then opened the floor where many guests were on the dance floor until the end of the night!! – written by Afsheen Lalani and Sashi Tanuku
Priya and Ashik recently got married in Southern California and their wedding was absolutely beautiful. Priya chose a color palette of mint, blush, champagne, and dusty blue inspired by a beautiful bouquet she found. Brides can find inspiration from anywhere be it a piece of fabric, architecture, venue, or flowers. This color palette is very on trend this wedding season, and works perfectly for outdoor weddings. I interviewed Priya to learn more about how her vision came to life.
D: How did you get the inspiration for your wedding?
P: I love neutral and pastel colors so I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. I found this bouquet which had the exact colors I wanted -blush, champagne, mint, and little bit of dusty Miller. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas and peonies and also love succulents , so I knew I had to incorporate them into the wedding.
D: What about your bridal party fashion?
P: Then when looking for bridesmaid and groomsmen outfits I knew I wanted blush, gold and mint colors. I found a bridesmaid outfit in Ahmedabad, India at Deepkala and they were able to customize 7 outfits for my bridesmaids. I let me 2 sisters wear heavier outfits from Benzer than still fit into the color scheme. I incorporated mint coloring into their bangles. And each bridesmaid was given earrings and Tikka as well.
For groomsmen, I took a swatch from the bridesmaid outfit and went to Arvindbhai Khatri and sons store in Ahmedabad, India and found a matching outfit and mojri for the boys.Only way I knew how to tie in mint with the boys was to have that detail in their safas.
D: Tell me about your experience with selecting your bridal outfits
P: My wedding dress was easy. I knew I wanted to wear Sabyasachi. The first day in India, Sabyasachi was the first store we went too. They have a small bridal selection in there 3 story Mumbai story. First outfit I saw I knew it was the one – but it was ivory! Of course my mom wanted me to go more traditional and find a red outfit. So before I tried my lengha, I tried on everyone’s else’s pick and even no one else liked these choices on me. Finally I got to try on my ivory lengha. Everyone loved it! We ended up back at Sabyasachi on our last day in Mumbai and everyone agreed this was the right lengha!
For the longest time I thought I would wear an American designer for the reception. But then we walked into Manish Malhotra and Malhotra was there. We’ve met him before but it’s such a different experience when he’s telling you outfit opinions! So of course I fell in love with my reception outfit. Pithi lengha was custom designed from Anonymous in Ahmedabad India – Diya Goorah of Sincerely HD
Yesterday we shared the absolutley beautiful wedding of Rekha and Mihir at Oheka Castle. The Oheka Castle is a magnificent Gold Coast Mansion, resting majestically on the highest point of Long Island, emanates the elegant refinement of a chateau in France coupled with world-class service and a rich history that is distinctly American. Today, we share the emotion filled reception.
Draped in Pink and Golds, the indian wedding of Rekha and Mihir at Oheka Castle has us swooning over this timeless masterpiece. Photographed by Salwa Photography and designed by Artistic Affairs. This magnificent Gold Coast Mansion, resting majestically on the highest point of Long Island, emanates the elegant refinement of a chateau in France coupled with world-class service and a rich history that is distinctly American.
We previously shared with the beautiful indian wedding photography of Uchita and Aashish from their sangeet, to fall colored wedding and over the top reception. Today, we take you back to their wedding so you can fall in love with all the moments captured by videographer Nayeem Vohra Photography and Films.
Cinematography: Nayeem Vohra Photography and Films | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Rockleigh Country Club | Makeup Artist – Karuna Chani | Decor: Design House Decor | Planner: Premini Events | DJ – DJ Insomnia from Premiere Entertainment | Band: Hank Lane
Two of our favorite beauty/lifestyle bloggers Ami Desai and Deepica have teamed up together to share what their favorite drugstore makeup brands are. See how they look on their skin tones and maybe you will discover some new favorites.
I N S T A G R A M: amirawaldesai
Y O U T U B E: https://www.youtube.com/user/amirawal
CONNECT WITH DEEPICA:
I N S T A G R A M: @deepica ; @livetinted
Y O U T U B E: https://www.youtube.com/user/deepicam
Kashvi and Jay both live in Los Angeles so they wanted to photograph their engagement in the city that they both love so much. They wanted to have a nature inspired engagement so living in the city they knew that they would have to look a bit outside of the city of LA to get a nature background. They scouted locations and stumbled upon a park in Malibu that they both loved.
Engagement tip – take a drive around your town and explore new areas you might be surprised at what you find and might come up with an amazing place for your engagement photos
Neil and Arti held their wedding in India in Agra for their close family members. Once their wedding festivities were completed in India they returned home and hosted their reception in Southern California at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. Ethnic Essence planned and designed a beautiful ballroom for all of their nearest and dearest friends and family members to celebrate their marriage. Some of our favorite moments from their reception are below that were captured by photographer Geeta Randery of Randery Imagery.
Yesterday we shared with you the fusion wedding planned by Ooh Events and photographed by Logan Cole. Today we share with you their outdoor reception. We love seeing what brides and grooms plan for their reception. Everyone puts their own unique twist on their reception. More and more we are seeing the trend of having both wedding and reception outdoors. An outdoor reception can be anything from an open filed with long farm tables to a tented party, such as this couple did. It gives guests the sense of freedom to have the stars above their head and the earth at their feet. So if you are ever thinking of hosting your reception outdoors it is worth a try. Take a look below at the images below to get some inspiration for your own reception