Rajiv has always said that what makes his relationship with Amber tick is the fact that they were friends for five years before they started dating, but that after only a month as a couple, he knew that she was the one. After years of friendship and dating, he decided to make it official when the couple traveled to Paris in March of 2013. "Everyone said I was going to get engaged, but I didn't want to ruin the trip by expecting it so I put it out of my mind," says Amber. After a stroll through the Jardin de Tuileries and a ride on the iconic carousel, Rajiv pulled Amber aside and got down on one knee. "I'll admit that I swore, which isn't exactly Disney romantic but is fitting for our relationship, before I said yes!" she remembers.
A year and a half later, with moments of serious wedding planning interspersed with months when the couple could simply enjoy being engaged, Rajiv and Amber wed at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ. Between the charming stone patio, fire pits, and amazing on-site restaurant, the couple created a wedding that was a little whimsical, a little bohemian, a little rustic, and a little glam, all tied together with a gold-and-red color scheme.
Keep reading to see the celebration, captured by Christina Lilly.
Though she was originally hesitant about the slinky silhouette, Amber fell in love with how comfortable she felt in her gorgeous lace gown by Marchesa. With off-the-shoulder sleeves, a sheer back, and a lace and tulle mermaid skirt, she was picture perfect in lace. Amber paired her gown with a simple veil and a red floral crown, as well as shimmering Christian Louboutin peep-toe pumps that she scored at a sample sale. She accented her ensemble with lace-like mehndi to incorporate her husband's Indian culture, and fixed her late grandmother's green leaf pin to her bouquet.
Almost black calla lilies and burgundy dahlias, roses, and scabiosa blossoms were tied with bronze ribbon. Rajiv's boutonniere featured a succulent accented with scabiosa buds.
All of Amber's bridesmaids wore black gowns by Amsale, with her maids of honor in lace and the rest of the women in black chiffon. Instead of bouquets, the women carried amber lanterns that glowed during the ceremony.
Amber and Rajiv wrote the ceremony, combining different aspects that they liked. They answered a series of questions about one another, which the bride crafted into an introduction. Readings included the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love."
Though the bride and groom weren't unable to do their first look outside because of the rain, it ended up making the ceremony even more romantic. "We got married on the outdoor covered terrace, and all the candles glowed against the darker sky. One of our guests said it was the most romantic ceremonies they'd ever seen," says Amber.
Amber and her mother ordered vases, spray-painted them gold, yellow gold, and rose gold, then scattered them on tables covered with roses, dahlias, and candles. Lace linens added a vintage touch to the more glamorous arrangements.
Instead of a traditional guest book, the couple asked their guests to sign Jenga blocks, creating a fun and interactive guest book the bride and groom will be able to enjoy together.
The four-tiered cake featured layers of Devil's Food cake with chocolate fudge filling and vanilla cake with hazelnut filling, all topped with white buttercream and calla lilies, dahlias, and roses.
"The dance floor was backed all night!" says Amber, who surprised her guests as she and her bridesmaids performed a flash mob dance they've added on to at one another's bachelorette parties. "We didn't want the night to end, so Rajiv came to the rescue and paid the DJ to play for an extra 30 minutes."
The bride and groom are glad they spent a year and a half planning their wedding. "We were able to book the big things, then give ourselves a break before the rush in the few months leading up to the wedding," says Amber. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stone House at Stirling Ridge || Wedding Planner: Aurora Serrano of Stone House at Stirling Ridge || Bride's Wedding Dress: Marchesa || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Hair & Makeup: Cari Duprey || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: The Diamond Mine on 9 || Floral Design: Laura Clare || Invitations: Minted || Music: ceremony & cocktail hour - Kurt Borst, reception - Jay G of Elite Sound Entertainment || Catering: Stone House at Stirling Ridge || Cake: Palermo Bakery || Videography: Wedit || Photography: Christina Lilly Photography
Did you love this bright New Jersey wedding? Then check out another Garden State bash in the video below!