Robin and Cinthu are a perfect example that Kollywood love stories do exist. Yes, you can fall in love in Engineering school! These two are set to get married in two separate religious weddings, in two different major cities. As if planning a wedding isn’t hard enough, these two have the added challenges of a double wedding. Keep reading to find out more about all the preparation and hard work that are going into the two weddings: one in a city the couple weren’t too familiar with, and the other in a city they grew up in.
Planning the engagement was a nightmare honestly. Prior to that, I have never planned anything like this before, and to make it worse – planning it in another country was a reality check. To be honest, it was a good preparation for the wedding. I now know what to expect the second time around.
Who is Cinthu, aside from the girl we see on Instagram? Tell us a bit about yourself and your fiance to help our readers get to know you!
Robin is originally from Kuwait, he was born and raised there and moved to New York in 2007. I was born and raised here in New York. I like to think that I’m the typical New Yorker and that some of it has rubbed off on Robin. He loves basketball, cricket and movies with great story-lines. My hobbies include training Muay Thai, Cross-fit and curling up to read a good book. We share a love for traveling and going on our #rothuadventures! We like to believe that we are an easy going couple that loves to see and try new things, whether its running a Spartan race or strolling through the streets of Manhattan. We also share an interest in German cars. We both have Audi’s and take them every year to Waterfest held in Englishtown, New Jersey every July. We’ve been dating for five years, and have known each other for around nine years. We met at school (Manhattan College) and were in some of the same classes together since we are both engineers but disconnected after choosing our disciplines (Robin went into Electrical Engineering, and I went into Chemical Engineering). I’m the type of person that will jump first and think later and Robin (fortunately) is the opposite. He’s always been the calm and collected one out of the two of us!
How did you and your husband-to-be meet? (Cute couple!) Where are you both from?
We met in college! We are both engineers and met in Calculus 3. He sat in the back and I (being the good student) sat all the way in the front, same row. We had the same circle of friends so we all sat in one row. Robin would come in to class late EVERY DAY! Our friends introduced us, but I’m really terrible at names so I forgot his name (terrible I know!). He added me on Facebook when we first met and for some reason I associated his name with a girl I hated and ignored the request. After our junior year we drifted because we didn’t have the same classes. He was in the Electrical Engineering program and I was in the Chemical Engineering program. That request was left pending for three years until I saw him tagged in my friends post on Facebook for graduation. I sent him a message congratulating him on graduating.. and that’s how it all started.
Tell us a little bit about your engagement last year, and where it took place.
We got engaged September of 2015 in Miami, Florida. We flew down to Miami to celebrate Robin’s 30th birthday with some close friends and I had no idea at the time that he would be proposing. The afternoon that he proposed, he told us all to get dressed and that we would be going for his birthday dinner. It was only when we pulled up to the Vizcaya Museum did I know that something was up.
How long did it take you to plan your engagement and plan your outfits? Where were your outfits purchased?
I am the type of person that likes to plan things ahead, so we started planning our wedding and engagement party as soon as we got engaged. We were engaged in September and our engagement party was the following June. It took about six months to get everything fully planned but with the help of our wedding planner (Koral Lane Events) everything was done perfectly. We booked our vendors as soon as we decided who we wanted. Our outfits were honestly the hardest part. Robin ordered his suit first on Express.com. His suit was blue and since we wanted to match, it was harder to find an outfit that had the perfect shade of blue. The dress was honestly purchased a month before the engagement at Arathie in Scarborough.
Walk us through the day of your engagement.What was the most memorable part of the day? What was one of the most stressful parts of the planning portion? Is there something you would have done differently looking back?.
Planning the engagement was a nightmare honestly. Prior to that, I had never planned anything like this before and to make it worse, planning it in another country was a reality check. To be honest, it was a good prelude for the wedding as I knew what to expect the second time around. Looking back I think the most memorable part of the day was seeing my Grandmother so happy. She was sick a week before and was in the hospital – but still managed to muster up the energy to attend and show us support. Seeing her in the pictures and videos is bittersweet because she passed away this past September. The entire reason behind having my wedding in Canada was for her. She was paralyzed and wouldn’t have been able to attend if my wedding was in New York.
As you have already gone through one event – what is something you missed in the process that you will be sure to correct for your upcoming events.
Having everything organized is essential. The last time (engagement), everything was done so haphazardly that I didn’t keep track of expenses and time. This time around everything is put into excel spreadsheets (how much money has been paid, how much remains, contact info, processional list, recessional list, DJ track list etc.)
When are the dates of your upcoming weddings (Hindu Wedding and Christian Wedding)?
Hindu Wedding- May 28, 2017
Christian Wedding- June 10, 2017
Our 5 year anniversary is in between both – on June 3rd 2017!
We know you are having two weddings in two different cities. Tell us a little bit about the planning that goes towards that. Are you taking on more for one vs. the other?
Having two weddings was daunting in the beginning especially since one was in Canada. Planning the New York wedding was a lot less stressful since we live here and can easily meet with vendors. Toronto on the other hand was more difficult because we had to try to coordinate with vendors based on the weekends that we were in Toronto. The New York wedding is followed by the reception so there is a bit more involved in terms of creating a timeline.
What have you chosen and arranged so far – catering, venue, sarees, hair and makeup, bridesmaids?
Everything is done! Things were planned and set by January.
You mentioned you are having your Hindu ceremony in Toronto and Christian ceremony in New York. How much more difficult/easy would it have been to plan them the other way around; Hindu-NY, Catholic-Toronto?
It would have been more difficult planning a Hindu wedding in NY primarily because there aren’t as many vendors to choose from, unlike in Toronto. If I don’t like something, whether it is pricing, style etc, Toronto has an abundance of alternate vendors to turn to. In NY the options are few and far between. Also, we wanted to have our weddings in places of worship (Church/Temple) and there aren’t many temples to choose from in NY. Being in New York, the planning for the Christian Wedding and reception is easier since I can easily go to the vendor and speak to them and see the products in person. However, the vendors we did choose for Toronto have been very responsive for the most part which has been a relief.
Which leads us to our other question, what are the options for couples looking to have a Tamil Hindu wedding in New York? Would you be able to recommend some vendors, priest, MUAH etc?
BeautybyTamanna is my makeup artist in New York and her work is absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to have any type of wedding in New York. There are several temples in the tri-state area that I would recommend. There is the Ganesh temple in Flushing New York, and BAPS in Robbinsville, New Jersey, and Sri Venkateswara Temple in Bridgewater NJ.
You mentioned your Hindu wedding was going to be outdoors. Can you tell us some of the challenges and things you have to be aware of in regards to planning an outdoor Hindu wedding. (IE: back up plan in regards to bad weather *knocks on wood*, older members of the family that get cold easily etc.).
There is the obvious worry of whether or not it rains. Fortunately the temple offered us the indoor hall in the event that it does rain. When booking the décor we made sure that we had a Plan A décor and a Plan B décor (Plan B would be implemented if it rains). Another concern is if it’s not warm enough for the guests. We have a few elderly people attending and if it’s too cold out we might have to provide blankets.
What tasks have you designated to one another? Is your fiance organizing catering, or are you doing that? Are you in charge of outfits? Etc.
Robin took care of videography, DJ, and the MC. In terms of the outfits, we both went to India (separately) and shopped for ourselves while we were there. I was responsible for everything else.
What detail are you most focusing on for either wedding? Food? Decor? DJ? Favors? Is this the focus for both weddings or does it differ? If so why?
There really isn’t a focus for the wedding. We are seeing both weddings as “the big picture” almost. Since religion is so important to us, we are treating both weddings equally.
Couples don’t always agree on wedding details. Would you be able to tell us one disagreement you and your husband-to-be faced, and how you overcame it?
Cost is always something that most couples have disagreements over. Another concern was should we have tall centerpieces that cost more, or should we splurge on a better DJ? When do we change during the reception? Do we change at all?
Let’s talk outfits. Where are you getting your sarees/dresses etc? What about any bridesmaid outfits? Do you have a colour scheme you are sticking to ? Is it the same colour scheme for both weddings?
I went to India (Chennai) last January and went shopping for my wedding outfits. My Koorai is from Pothys, Manavarai Saree and Manthrakodi (Christian Wedding Koorai) is from The Chennai Silks, Mehendi Lehenga and Reception Lehenga are both from Mohey.
Robin went to India (Kerala) last February and purchased his Sherwani and Reception Indo-Western Kurta from Manyvar. Bridesmaids outfits were purchased from India as well. We wanted authentic kerala sarees from Kerala so Robin purchased them from Kalyan Silks in Kerala. The Christian wedding bridesmaids sarees are from Pothys. The Christian wedding has a gold/blush theme and the hindu wedding has a gold/white theme. One thing I do want to stress to brides/grooms is the importance of doing your research when buying your gold. Thaalis are an important part of both the Tamil and Malayalam weddings. When purchasing our gold, we decided to buy our gold from JoyAllukas in India. We found out that gold has ratings similar to diamond GIA certifications. When purchasing your gold make sure the gold is “916” certified. Most goldsmiths will claim that their gold is “Singapore gold” or “Indian gold” or “Dubai gold” – but there is no way to tell. We have found that real gold has a “916” stamped into the piece.
Are you using the same photo/videographer for both weddings?What about makeup artist? If yes, tell us why you decided to do so? If not, tell us how about the process of choosing different ones for each wedding.
Yes we kept the vendors the same for both weddings. We want their work to be cohesive across the board. My makeup artist for New York is BeautybyTamannah and for Canada its AK Makeup and Hair.
We spent the most time choosing photo and video vendors, I cant even tell you how many hours were spent combing through photo albums, wedding videos trying to choose the best person based on their style and if it matched closely with ours.
What has been the most challenging part about planning your weddings? Are your the parents involved? How much say do they have in either wedding?
Our parents weren’t really involved in the planning process. The most challenging part about planning the wedding was coordinating everything.
What has been the most fun detail of your wedding to plan?
What is one advice you think all future brides should take note of?
Personally I was thankful for booking all my vendors/venues EARLY. If possible, try to get as much of it done as early as you can so that way you have more time to spend on details towards the end.
Tell us about one thing you are really looking forward to during the wedding (besides getting married).
I’m anxious to see how everything comes together. Robin and I have planned this entire event in our heads and have this vision of how it would be. It would be amazing to see how it will follow through.
Do you look up to anyone or inspiration or advice, in terms of for your upcoming wedding?
I loved Kate Middleton’s sense of style!
Planning: Koral Lane Events
MUAH: Makeup by Kajitha
Decor: Marz Decor & Design
Cake: J’me Macarons
Engagement Photoshoot Images: Divine Method
Engagement Party Images: Treasured Photography
Stay tuned on TIE • THE • THALI for a feature on Robin and Cinthu’s double header weddings.