Celebrity wedding designer and founder of The A-Cube Project, Ambika Gupta is well-known for designing destination weddings across the world and for her bespoke events for celebrities like Kajal Aggarwal. She is in news now for designing the nuptials of actors Aadhi Pinisetty and Nikki Galrani who got married on May 18, surrounded by their loved ones. The actors who have famously worked together in films like ‘Maragadha Naanayam’ and ‘Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakha’ connected with Ambika through a mutual friend.
Ambika started the design process by keeping the bride and groom at the heart of the different ceremonies and made them fill a questionnaire about their likes and dislikes, favourite decor choices and holiday destinations. This is how the design and colour palette for Haldi, Mehendi, the actual wedding, and the reception, came into being. Says Ambika, "They were both very specific about their preferences but were sweet and kind enough to be open to my suggestions and invested a lot of trust in the design team. It was fun to see them stressing over the questionnaire and the earnestness with which they answered every question. We also got to know so much about their lives, how they met for their first movie and how their love story blossomed over the last 7 to 8 years. Everything they told us in some way helped us design the themes."
The evolution of the design process was based on a healthy exchange of ideas, says Ambika and adds, " Aadhi is very calm, composed whereas Nikki is vivacious, extremely energetic, very chirpy and she is a sunshine girl. So, we basically tried to express their personalities through colors in all the events. The only challenge was to somehow manage the timelines as they were busy shooting and did not want to stress their parents with the nitty-gritty of the wedding planning. The media glare was also intense but I think the end result made everyone happy!"
What set the decor apart was that it did not emerge from an ad-hoc approach but was very detailed. As Ambika says, " We work like architects and interior designers and we are very process-driven. We blueprint every idea to the last detail. We also are very careful about the choice of lighting and how it interacts with colors, outfits, and cameras and we make sure that every design accent is personalised so that the couple feels connected to it. The decor must be intrinsic to their story and not just hurriedly slapped together."
For instance, Ambika named the Haldi ceremony as Amaltas, which is also known as the 'The Golden Shower Tree' of India, to indicate the abundant blessings surrounding the couple as they are extremely family-oriented and also because Nikki loves sunflowers. Says Ambika, "We also wanted to depict how two people from completely different worlds are coming together so we had two Amaltas trees under which the couple sat. We used everything in gradients of white, yellow, and orange flowers to represent Aadhi's serenity and Nikki's sunny energy. There was also an existing waterbody that we adorned with orange flowers and added a Nandi in the middle to represent their love for South-Indian culture.
For Mehndi, Ambika channeled the couple's love for Bali. Says she, ‘Bling it in Bali’, was our theme as they had celebrated their first new year after falling in love in this tropical paradise. The Mehendi was a mix of both their personalities because Aadhi is a very at ease person who likes shades of green and soft leather accents while Nikki likes an element of bling in everything. The decor accents that Aadhi and Nikky love hence, ranged from green verdure to cane furniture, to dull gold-painted Bali umbrellas. There were bulb strings all around the garden to represent the vibrant streets of Bali. A lot of pampas grass was used and many influences like rustic, wooden candle stands were refrenced from from Ubud, . Dull paint gold-painted furniture, cushions, and other accessories added to the bling factor. Be it a 360-degree photo booth or a fun chaat counter, we infused a lot of joy in every corner."
For the wedding and reception, the theme was 'The White Blossom' to signify the purity of love, peace, divinity, and seamless infinity. Says Ambika, "We wanted to create a valley overflowing with white blossoms to celebrate the coming together of two good souls and their infinite love. We used Shola flowers from West Bengal to create a stunning impact and the fact that the flowers are sustainable, also made such a difference. We also blended flowers and elements like Kaliras to represent Nikki's Sindhi heritage and traditional south- Indian flowers like tuberoses and white lotus to represent Aadhi's Telugu roots. It turned out to be a dreamy, all-white Telugu wedding but it represented the best of both Aadhi and Nikki."
The wedding was a perfect culmination of a beautiful love story and Ambika says, "Our design story was a tribute to two people who share a very magical bond and we just wanted everything around them to be as beautiful as their relationship. Thankfully, that is exactly what we managed to achieve."