Television actress Sweta Keswani talks about her multicultural marriage to Alexx O Neil
“I started preparing for my wedding almost a year in advance. The dates were decided by our family pandit. Alexx and I mutually agreed that we would have our wedding in Goa as well as Mumbai. But what is interesting is that we got married in four different styles: - a court marriage, a Buddhist marriage, a Hindu marriage and a white wedding.
I was considering hiring a wedding planner but had this incredible urge of doing it all by myself. I had a bunch of darling girlfriends and my folks who helped out like crazy. For the arrangement of our white wedding Alexx, my mom and I took two trips to Goa. We saw many sea facing properties before finalizing the venue. In Mumbai, we got married in the Laxmi Narayan temple where my brother got married. It was simply perfect. Since Alexx’s family does not know Hindi I had hired a translator so they could understand the rituals.
Fitness and beauty regime
I was always into yoga, so that continued thrice a week. I ate healthy meals, salads soups and slept well. I had weekly oil body massages that really helped me relax and made my skin soft. I never go in for facials but applied a homemade mask of haldi (turmeric), besan (gram flour) and malai regularly. I also applied face packs of multani mitti, fresh aloe vera, cucumber juice, lime and honey. All this helped my skin glow naturally. Also I underwent hair spas.
Clothes and jewellery
I had trials of my dresses, footwear and accessories few days prior to the ceremony. For the Goa reception, I wore a white gown by Swapnil Shinde, for the Indian ceremony - a lehenga-sari in red and green with gold embroidery as its comfortable and easy to drape. My family gifted me the heavy gold set I wore at the Indian wedding for which I got a matching manng tika. For the other functions I bought long diamond stone earrings.
Pre marital jitters
Frankly speaking, I had premarital jitters. I was really nervous, about the marriage. I guess it is very normal for any bride. I read up on pre-wedding blues and got some amazing stuff online, on how to cope and what to do, the internet answers everything!!! That really helped.
Mehendi and the ladies sangeet took place a day before the wedding where my parents danced for the first time, my friends of course joined them and we all had a good time. The dance was choreographed by choreographer Padmini as a special wedding gift.
My parents had kept an ardaas, since we are believers of the Granth sahib for three days at my mom’s home. We had a court marriage, a Buddhist marriage, a Hindu marriage and a white wedding. The court marriage was solemnized in Mumbai. I was keen on a Buddhist and Hindu wedding and since Alex is a Christian, a Christian wedding.
Drama before the wedding
Everything went off wonderfully. But there was a lot of drama in some way or the other. The day of the court marriage, Raj Thackeray got arrested, so there was stone throwing and a bus burning outside the court, we were almost dodging the rioters, which was scary.
When we were exchanging rings at the beach facing the gorgeous hotel in Goa we suddenly heard loud sounds. When we looked up we saw three fighter planes passing overhead, like a parade. Alex joked, “I arranged that specially for us.”
There were a few small last minutes hassles. Like I forgot about decorating the car that would take us back after the pheras. One of my cousins rushed and got it done at the last minute. In Goa, the flower garlands we had ordered for the wedding party did not show up on time.
However, overall it was a memorable experience. The guests enjoyed thanks to the picturesque venue, which had its own private beach. Both of us really enjoyed our wedding everything was simply romantic and dreamy!"