Sakshi Sindwani's marriage© HelloIndia

Sakshi Sindwani On Her Nuptails And How Love Conquers All

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Jeena J Billimoria

Sakshi Sindwani is still giddy with happiness from her recent nuptials when we speak to her on the phone. The New Delhi-based influencer, who champions accepting and loving your body the way it is, has consistently broken conventional stereotypes (fully embracing and flaunting her own beautiful curves on the ’gram), which has made her incredibly popular with the several thousands who follow her. This January, Sakshi married her childhood beau, businessman Raghav Arora, with a host of celebrations between the capital and the Pink City of Jaipur. She recounts details of the prep that went into her nuptials, the stunning outfits she wore, paying homage to her Punjabi heritage and how love conquers all…

Sakshi Sindwani and Raghav Arora©HelloIndia

In Conversation With Sakshi Sindwani

HELLO!:Sakshi, how did you and Raghav meet? When did you know he was ‘the one’?

Sakshi Sindwani: I met him in school when we were in Class 9. We were best friends for a year or so before we developed feelings for each other, but we kept it quiet; I don’t think we were as attuned to expressing our feelings to others in the way we are today! (Laughs) I think I always knew he was ‘the one’. If soulmates exist, he is the embodiment of one. More than anything, we’re yin & yang. We can’t be apart from one another…

H!:How did he propose? Did you expect it or were you surprised?

SS: Last year, we took a road trip through Scotland and made a stop in Glencoe for the night on our way to the Isle of Skye. We reached at 6pm and it was still sunny, so we set out to explore the place, specifically the [mountain peaks known as] The Three Sisters. I was really tired, in the same clothes I was wearing through the day, smudged eyeliner and not at my prettiest, and he popped the question there, literally in the middle of nowhere, at sunset, on a hike!

I suspected he would propose, but we’d been on this great Euro trip for a month already and he had not asked the question. Plus, I had checked his bags to find a ring, but little did I know that the ring was actually hidden in my bag! What a smart move (laughs).

H!:Your quintessential big fat Indian wedding took eight months of prep — take us through the planning...

SS:We first went to Jaipur because we both love the city, visited some properties and finally found Devi Ratn. I fell in love with it, mostly because of how humble the staff were. We stayed there for a couple of days to get a feel of the place — the food was incredible and location itself was genuinely stunning and unlike any other Jaipur property that we’d seen. We didn’t want to tie the knot at another “famous” venue where countless others had wed before, and this hotel was brand new. Our family designer and decorator, Pitara, who previously planned my housewarming event, teamed up with WDNE to design my wedding and they were the best people to work with. The choice of photographer and videographer was crucial to me; I chose Shutterdown because they had a ton of experience and their ability to authentically capture the essence and love of a wedding.

Sakshi Sindwani Marriage©HelloIndia

Weddings are an extremely expensive affair and we didn’t cut corners at all. However, it’s important to clarify that there was no aspect of my wedding that was free, done through collaboration or paid for.

H!:You selected the country’s biggest designers for your wardrobe — what was the inspiration for each outfit combined with the themes of the functions?

SS: At our haldi ceremony, our guests wore yellow and we wore custom Tarun Tahiliani garments. There were lots of white florals with hints of pale blue which showed a lot of culture through the traditions of the haldi. We had the best of the best for every function — there was a custom Gauri & Nainika gown for the rehearsal dinner, Falguni & Shane Peacock for the sangeet... the next was my chooda ceremony which was all red, including what the guests wore. This ceremony is known for a lot of genda (marigolds), but I was wearing a gold suit by Abhinav Mishra. For the pheras, everyone was dressed in ivory tones and there I was in a coral Manish Malhotralehenga! It was a lehenga he’s never done before and majorly customised; the veil had little round beads that were inspired by Karisma Kapoor’s wedding. Manish is known for his modern-looking ensembles, but he was more than happy to amp in some culture with the ghera, adding more kalis than he usually would so that I’d get that Punjabi flair, making a very long veil with Raghav’s name written on it, or in the embroidery where there was so much tradition layered in it. His entire senior team worked on this lehenga and it was stunning. I also wore a traditional matha patti and nose ring, haath phool and chooda, which Mrinalini Chandra customised and my kaleeras were also customised by her which had my three dogs, the map of Scotland, and the number 12 because that’s how long Raghav and I’d been dating for. I asked all the designers to create something which not only elevated my body type, but talked about my personality too.

Sakshi Sindwani and Raghav Arora Marriage©HelloIndia

H!:Were there moments of stress or feeling overwhelmed?

SS: I went through numerous breakdowns over the year. Thankfully, my family and husband were always there to calm me down during these moments of intense stress. You need to have a strong foundation of people who believe in your vision and in you.

H!:You had some pretty cool things going on — from your solo dance at your mehendi and sangeet; Sir Mix-A-Lot’s banger, ‘Baby Got Back’; a drag concert with Rani KoHEnur...

SS: (Laughs) We put a lot of thought into every single thing and got the country’s best choreographers at YSDC and to help — they also choreographed Kiara Advani and Sidharth Malhotra’s wedding. I have great taste in music (laughs), and was not looking to go down the traditional route.

I wanted to perform songs that were meaningful to us. For example, Baby Got Back is from a scene in Friends where Rachel sings it to her baby and I used to sing it with my sister to our nephews. Bumbro Bumbro was something we’d grown up dancing to, along with others songs I love and wanted to perform for my husband.

H!:As a ‘stereotype smasher,’ what was the message you wanted to send out to all your followers — and women especially during your wedding?

SS: One thing I’m going to say is — work tirelessly for your wedding if it brings you happiness. If you want to be a complete Type A control freak — which I was — do it. But then let go at your wedding functions and enjoy that time. Don’t have apprehensions. You only take back memories from the day, it doesn’t matter in the end if the food was great or the photographer did a good job. For brides of all body types, this is a celebration of you and the love you and your partner share, so don’t obsess over how you’re looking because you’re going to make the most beautiful bride regardless. At my wedding, nobody even cared about my size because I owned my curves and exuded the energy of the prettiest bride in the world.

Photos: Shutterdown & Fourfold Pictures

This article has been adapted for the website from the March 2024 issue of HELLO! India. Grab your copies here.