Gresh and Lessa’s wedding in Central Java
Gresh and Lessa Samtani kicked off the year right with a joyous Great Gatsby-inspired wedding at the Amanjiwo resort in Central Java, followed by a reception in Surabaya. From the dazzling location to the beautiful Gatsby-Indian-influenced outfits to the synchronized dances, we loved it all and had to find out more about this fun couple!
How did you two meet?
Gresh: We were never really introduced in person. We briefly connected 16 years ago on an online chatting site and kept stealing glances at each other at church, but lost touch after a while.
Lessa: Gresh first proposed to me on August 2013 in Victoria, Australia, overlooking the Twelve Apostles. He spontaneously weaved an engagement ring out of grass and one day after the wedding, he replaced the grass ring with a black-diamond ring, inspired by the movie Sex and the City. Mr. Big gave Carrie Bradshaw a similar diamond. So romantic, isn’t it?
What did you wear?
Lessa: Gresh had his wedding suit made in Surabaya, while my wedding dress was custom-made by a designer friend in Italy. My dress had a corset top with a long skirt and a train attached to it, which I could take off once the ceremony was over. That made dancing a lot easier! The sleeves were also detachable. During the ceremony, I had them on to create a princess-y effect, and once I took the sleeves off, it became more hip and modern. Gresh did not want me to wear a veil so I ordered a headpiece and a handpiece similar to the ones worn by the character Daisy in The Great Gatsby movie. It actually gave an Indian touch to the two-tone off-white Western gown.
A local and super talented Indian designer, Anjali Mahtani, did our reception outfits. We specifically asked for Gatsby to somehow be translated into the Indian outfits. She made me a modern saree-lehenga in nude and purple velvet. It was comfortable to move around with and different from all her other bridal designs.
What was the inspiration behind the wedding? What was the feel you wanted for the wedding?
Lessa: We wanted a close, warm family feel to our wedding, even though we knew that the reception was to be on a larger scale. While we were aiming to create a Gatsby-esque, Roaring-’20s ambience, we had to accommodate our Indian culture, too. So, while we were in our Western outfits, we were still dancing to Bollywood tunes. And in true Indian style, people were partying till the wee hours of the morning in both the wedding and reception.
Truthfully, how hard was it planning the wedding? Who took charge when it came to the details?
Gresh: We wouldn’t say it was easy, we wanted everything perfectly done, with no detail being too small to overlook. This included the personalized handwritten invitations, the souvenirs, the sky lanterns, the Borobudur temples to be lit up at the right time, our wedding logo, the different cake flavors and not to forget, the painter present to paint our wedding live!
In short, we laughed, we fought, we cried, we danced, we kissed, we fought and kissed again, but all in all, wedding planning made us more confident of the commitment towards each other!
What do you remember the most from that day?
Gresh: It sure is hard to pick just one! The entire occasion, from start till the very end was lively and unforgettable. My wife’s wedding vows, however, stumped me!
Lessa: The whole wedding affair, from start to finish far exceeded my expectations and dreams, from my husband serenading me down the aisle to my father giving an emotional speech to Gresh’s father and my brother singing us a song to my uncle marrying us. And the in-laws and our close friends surprised us with a dance number, and seeing the little children singing and dancing their hearts out. I experienced so much love!
Tell us about your first dance, we hear that it was extra special!
Gresh: When we were introduced for the first time as husband and wife, everyone expected us to come out and have our first dance accompanied by a slow mushy love song like at most weddings. However, ours was really something else! We danced off against each other, and in my opinion, it was the best performance at the wedding!
Lessa: Please note that the dance-off was my idea!
Images courtesy of Gresh and Lessa Samtani