The recently concluded destination wedding at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa saw Oman, once again, being picked as the venue of choice and celebration by couples from foreign shores, as it hosted the nuptial festivities of Smit Virani and Chandni Amin in full magnificence. Bride & Groom – Oman delved head first into what has been deemed one of the more publicized events to have taken place in the Sultanate, and brings to you the glitz, the glamour, the behind-the-scenes perks and preparations that went into creating this grandiose occasion.
Over the last couple of years, the Sultanate has become popular as a location when it comes to destination weddings due to its tranquil surroundings, rich culture, and breathtaking scenery, which get tied off by the undeniably warm hospitality of the Omani locals. Smit Virani, whose family runs a diamond and gemstone business across Hong Kong and Belgium, recently tied the knot with Chandni Amin in one of Muscat’s most preferred wedding venues: Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, which transformed itself into a palace of dreams to immortalize the couple’s picture perfect occasion.
Conceptualized and executed by Events N More, an Indian event management company, the wedding spanned over four days, which saw almost 1100 guests fly in from all parts of the world to partake in the happiness of the Viranis. From the 23rd of January to the 26th, the hotel played host to a magical, romantic escapade, which could very well be ticked off as the largest event of the year, with celebrations consisting of mesmerizing performances by some of Bollywood’s biggest names, and entertainers from different countries.
23rd Jan’15: Ring Ceremony & Gujarati Musical Evening
The morning of the 23rd of January was a flurry of guest arrivals, who were welcomed by a 15 piece Omani band dressed in traditional attire, performing at the entrance of Shangri-La’s Al Waha Hotel. Dancing, cheering and loads of picture taking and videography were the highlights as the wedding party interacted with the performers and then settled into the hotel.
Come evening, the lavish Ring Ceremony was held under the guise of a rapturous dreamland. The theme was attuned to making the entire set look like a replica of heaven, and the décor was white, with crystal and mirror embellishments lit up with differently coloured LED lights throughout the ballroom. This was followed by the Gujarati Musical Event, performed by Osman Mir and other Indian singers.
24th Jan’15 : Mehendi Ceremony
The Mehendi (Henna Ceremony) was held with much gusto under broad daylight on the morning of the 24th, during which Osman Mir performed once again, much to the pleasure of all the guests. Making full use of the sunshine and abundance of natural light, the hotel lawns were decked in colourful, cultural decorations from India. After a variety of traditional rituals, guests began performing the infamous Garba dance to upbeat Gujarati music, and everyone joined in.
24th Jan’15 : The Sangeet (Musical Ceremony)
The Sangeet (Musical Ceremony) in the evening saw a lot of vivid, rich blues and golds being used as the hues in the décor of the ballroom with printed curtains, to follow the
theme of an artwork effect. Elegantly carved frames were placed upon the dais, which were backed by an interactive LED screen that displayed engaging graphics and videos. Around 17 choreographed dances were performed by the family members during the Sangeet. The main highlight of the evening was the couple’s dance, for which special visual effects were utilized, making them vanish momentarily from the stage and then reappear again due to a trick effect of LED splits.
One of the most memorable moments of the evening was a special song called ‘We the Viranis’, which was specially composed for the occasion, and was sung by the whole family, followed by a scintillating performance from Rahul Vaidya, an Indian Idol finalist, who serenaded a number of hit Bollywood numbers all night. This was followed by a post Sangeet party, at the Bait Al Bahr Bar
25th Jan’15: Pool Party
The 25th of January was dedicated to a Pool Party in the morning, and a Bollywood Evening later. Being a day event, the Pool Party followed the theme of colour and brightness, as had been done the previous day, and there were performances by drummers from Russia, and DJs and rappers. Around 800 colourful shirts, bandanas, sarongs, and floral garlands were distributed amongst
the guests. There was also a rain dance, which was the highlight of the party, and was incorporated with fun bubbles and floats.
25th Jan’15: Bollywood Evening
The Bollywood Evening saw the likes of some of India’s well known stars, such as Vishal-Shekar, Diya Mirza, Mouni Roy, Aarti Chhabria, and Mansi Parekh take the stage and host the show, with Diya Mirza giving a special performance whilst interacting with the bride and groom and their families, which was the highlight of the evening. The décor was digitized, with a strong emphasis on lighting and sound given the nature of the event, and lasers, graphics, and LED screens made up the bulk of the Bollywood Evening’s theme.
26th Jan’15: The Wedding Day
The wedding took place on the evening of the 26th, with the Baarat (Wedding Procession) starting at 05.00PM, from Bait Al Bahr, right up to Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s Turtle Beach, a secluded seaside area. A red luxury carpet was laid out the entire stretch at the family’s bequest, and a brass band from London performed popular Bollywood songs though none of its members were Indian.
The entire ambience for the theme was very Indian, and the entrance chamber (tunnel) that led into the wedding set had gorgeous elephant chandeliers, with a lot of floral work within. A carved Indian structure was set on the dais, with a beautiful dome that gave it the look and feel of a palace. Viewing spaces between the pillars gave a full view of the stunning Turtle Beach in the background. The highlight was the Jaimala (exchanging of garlands between the bride and groom), which was initiated by four white ‘angels’ coming down from the top of the set.