Sonam & Vishal Tie The Knot: A Destination Wedding Full Of Heart
To express their gratitude to loved ones, Sonam Uttamchandani and Vishal Nanwani put their own spin to the notion of destination wedding.
She’s a health and life coach involved in humanitarian work in the Philippines; he’s a private banker from Singapore. Both have a big heart for helping others. Sonam Uttamchandani and Vishal Nanwani dated for four years before he proposed. The daughter of Esquire Financing Inc’s founder Ashok Uttamchandani reveals that in planning their big day, a top priority was to show their appreciation to family and friends who had travelled for their destination wedding here in Singapore. We count the ways they did it.
Wedding with a difference
Macau, Bali, Hong Kong or Singapore? The couple eventually picked the Lion City, Vishal’s home country. It wasn’t just about sparing themselves the logistical nightmare. Sonam explains, “Singapore won for many reasons, but the main reason was so we could ensure that our guests were well taken care of. We also wanted them to know how special they are to us.”
A four-day extravaganza
Unlike a half- or one-day celebration, a four-day affair gave the couple plenty of time to interact with people they hadn’t seen in years, who had crossed borders and time zones just to commemorate their special day. The festivities began on October 28 and the party didn’t stop until October 31, 2016.
Seven main events
Most of the smaller events, for 500 to 600 guests, were held at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa. Of particular significance to Sonam was the post-wedding lunch: “I’ve always envisioned having a bulk of our events post-wedding so we can celebrate the beginning of our new life together with our friends and family, as opposed to having our wedding on the last day of events.”
28 October: Pre-Welcome Dinner, Kwee Zeen, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa
29 October: Casual Afternoon Lunch, Il Lido, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa
29 October: Festival of Lights Welcome Dinner, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa
30 October: The Wedding Ceremony, Central Sikh Gurdwara
30 October: An Evening of Magic Wedding Dinner, Capella Singapore
31 October: A Madagascar Brunch Post-Wedding Brunch, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa
31 October: A Sunset Soiree on the Streets of Singapore, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore
Sonam and Vishal wed during the Deepavali weekend, and as they and many of their guests, who included Dimple Aswani and Asok Kumar Hiranandani (pictured) as well as Bobby and Shaila Hiranandani, celebrate the Festival of Lights, it was a double celebration.
A dreamy setting
There’s no picture more romantic than thousands of fairy lights casting their magical glow as the sun sets. Light, as well as sound, colour and food were the order of the day at the Festival of Lights welcome dinner. Chefs at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa whipped up an extensive feast while the venue was decked out with various forms of light, from pixel poi LED light dancers to candles. “We also had the record holder for rangoli-making at our event to create a customised rangoli for our family. It was about 1.8 x 2m large!” says Sonam.
No well-meaning host would leave their overseas guests to find their way to the hotel. Sonam and Vishal had their events team greet guests the moment they came through the arrival doors at Changi Airport. They were then whisked off to the resort in Alphards that had music playlists personally selected by the couple. Cold towels, a fedora and welcome drink were presented at the resort.
Sure, the hotel or resort has its own hospitality desk but Mr and Mrs Nanwani went a step further and set one up exclusively for their guests so they could ask questions, make salon appointments and purchase SIM cards.
Customised city guides
Overseas guests who included prominent families from Hong Kong, such as businessman and philanthropist Balu Chainrai, his wife Anita and daughter Himali, could pick up city guides that the wedding couple had personally created “to show our guests the best way to see Singapore—through the eyes of a local Singaporean (Vishal)”.
At their hotel room, guests received a stylish welcome bag printed with the Singapore skyline. It contained custom-made jars of Singaporean/Indian treats as well as a survival kit to tackle everything from potential indigestion from over-indulgence to wardrobe malfunction (safety pins), garlic breath (mints), bad hair days (hair pins) and mozzies (mosquito repellent). During the sunset soiree on the final day of the celebration, guests were treated to local fare at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. The wedding cake mapping was done by Rishi Gill of The Production House.
Treats all day
Guests were offered hair and make-up services by professional stylists from Herman Team Jakarta. Thailand-based Ablaze by Simran Takkar was brought in to do the make-up for the couple’s family members. And what’s a tropical resort wedding without the chill factor? On day one and two, an ice-cream station was set up from 11am to 6pm so guests young and old could indulge in sweet, cold treats. A 24-hour coffee and tea lounge offered snacks, cupcakes, chocolates and water.
From exquisite traditional Indian fare to Singaporean favourites and sweets galore, the couple sure knew the way to their guests’ tummies and hearts. Eye candy came in the form of the bride’s stunning outfits which were brilliantly accessorised with jewellery from Infiniti Jewels as well as Temptations Jewellery, owned by Kasheen, Reema and Michelle Buxani.
Something for everyone
All function areas at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa’s ballroom as well as the lawn area were well utilised for different themed events. In one area, a singer belted out songs from the couple’s parents’ generation, and in the next was a DJ spinning contemporary music. In the third area were henna painters. The bride’s henna painting was done by Ima Habsyi.
Live entertainment always takes a party up a few notches. The couple engaged celebrities Vishal and Shekhar who kept guests on the dance floor until 4am, a Bollywood saxophone player for the welcome dinner and even a UK-based band, Entourage, for the wedding dinner at Capella Singapore. At other events, there were DJ Harvey and DJ Kevin, Samuel Stanley, Ashish Thadani, magicians, balloon twisters, human statues and mime artists. Did we mention the face painters, fortune teller and beatboxers?
All in the details
Overseas guests took home diffusers, which the bride had customised through a factory in Indonesia. To each of her bridesmaids, Sonam presented a set of organic skincare which she had personally created through Republic of Soap, Bali.