A Tale Of Two DWTS Weddings: Julianne Hough Vs. Peta Murgatroyd

They may compete on the dance floor but clearly the competition doesn’t stop there. Over the weekend, Dancing With The Stars hunk Maksim Chmerkovskiy married the beautiful Peta Murgatroyd at a breathtaking castle out on Long Island. Unfortunately, dancing co-star Julianne Hough didn’t RSVP “attending” because she was a little busy getting married to Brooks Laich, Canadian ice hockey player. Let’s take a walk down the aisle and decide who wins the Mirrorball Trophy this round.

Location! Location! Location!

Max and Peta opted for a fairytale wedding and tied the knot at the beautiful Oheka Castle. Julianne and hubby Brooks decided to keep it nice and intimate out in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Verdict: Max and Peta’s Disney movie wedding wins in our book! Because you can never go wrong with a castle.

The Dress

The Dress

Julianne wore a custom Marchesa gown at the altar while Peta WOWed guests with her off-the-shoulder, multi-tiered Karen Sabag Couture ball gown.

Verdict: Custom Marchesa for the win here!

The Groom

The Groom

Brooks decided to leave his gear at home and went with a classic black and white tuxedo. Maks thought the bride shouldn’t be the only one wearing white at this party and went with a slimming white tux.

Verdict: Both men looked so dapper but we love a traditionalist – Brooks!

Squad vs. Squad

Julianna

Julianne’s squad pre-gamed with the couple in Lake Couer d’Alene, while Peta and Maks threw a pool after-bash. Needless to say, both events made some waves.

Verdict: Both bashes required inflatable swans, but lakes are gross. Maks and Peta!

The Winners

The Kiss

The final score?! It’s a tie! Both brides looked as gorgeous as ever and did their big days their own way.

Because when it comes to weddings, it’s never a competition!

‘Indian packages’ let more South Asians opt for destination weddings

When Sabrina Sandhu and her fiancé Kultar Rai first told their families they wanted a destination wedding, their Indian parents didn’t understand the concept.

“Or how we could possibly carry out each event without losing the integrity of the traditions,” Sandhu tells Global News. “Once we explained the benefits, and the fact that would mean less work for everyone, they were fully on board.”

The couple got married in September 2016 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, with 150 guests in attendance.

kultar and sabrina

Sabrina and Kultar at their reception.

Courtesy of Sabrina Sandhu

“It was a simple solution to the challenge of hosting a wedding in Toronto where we would have expected over 800 guests,” the 26-year-old continues. “We wanted our parents and immediate family to enjoy the wedding festivities versus spending the week hosting and cooking.”

 

 

But part of the rise can also be linked to the challenges of hosting a wedding at home.

In large South-Asian populated Ontario cites like Brampton and Mississauga, securing a large venue for up to 1,000 guests can take two years, experts say. And instead of hiring planners or caterers, many families pick up the work for the multiple events leading up to the wedding — leaving little time to enjoy them.

Hindu and Sikh weddings also come with several components, for Sikhs in particular, a Sikh Granthi (a Sikh official) and the Guru Granth Sahib (religious scripture) both need to be present at the traditional ceremony.

Kultar Rai and Sabrina Sandhu

But not only are some hotels offering officiants because of high demand, Sandhu says the one who officiated her wedding, Sat Purkh Singh, lives in Mexico City.

 

“We wanted to get married and enjoy the process of planning the wedding, while also doing something that was different, memorable and meaningful to us,” Sandhu says.

Kultar Rai and Sabrina Sandhu

Hotels targeting South Asians

Both the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels and Palace Resorts offer Indian wedding packages for countries like Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Cessie Cerrato, a spokesperson for Palace Resorts, says out of their weddings so far in 2017, 20 per cent are Canadian, and 20 per cent of those couples have Indian ceremonies.

 

“All 10 of our Palace Resorts all-inclusive properties offer Indian weddings, and our most popular among them is Moon Palace Cancun,” she tells Global News. “Brides have been incorporating ‘traditional [Western]’ decor details to their events such as the sweet tables, and many are now doing two ceremonies, the Hindu/Sikh and a symbolic ceremony.”

Moon palace Resorts

A couple getting married at Palace Resorts.

Courtesy of Moon Palace Resorts

The package, which has been offered since 2012, features Indian catering, fireworks, drummers, mendhi (henna) artists, and a mandap (wedding stage).

Frank Maduro, VP of marketing for AIC Hotel Group of all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, says the hotel’s Indian wedding package, “Ishq Rocks,” launched in 2015 for couples who wanted to personalize their traditional matrimonial experiences.

“We have local in-house vendors for decor, entertainment, flowers, make-up, mendhi, and catering,” he tells Global News.

hard rock resorts Indian wedding

Venue space at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana.

Maduro says there are also out-of-the-box things couples are adding to their destination wedding packages, including drone cinematography, acrobatic performances and lavish grand entrances for the groom on either a horse or yacht.

Mixing the old with the new

But the true beauty of destination South Asian weddings is being able to mix both traditional aspects of a religious ceremony with modern wedding trends. Mahal says couples still take part in traditional ceremonies like the sangeet and mehndi night, but have many of their events outdoors.

“All old traditions are kept,” Mahal says. “It comes down to a beach/resort versus local banquet halls.”

 

Ashna Tanna, who tied the knot in May 2016 at the Moon Palace resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, says when it came to the Hindu ceremony, they were able to do all of the components they could’ve done in Toronto.

south Asian destination wedding

Ashna Tanna and her husband, Rikesh Shah, at their Jamaican destination wedding.

Courtesy of Melanie Gillbrand

The 26-year-old, who now resides in London, England, had 120 guests — one-third of the size her wedding in Toronto would’ve been. And with family from Toronto, London and Dubai in attendance, it made sense to choose a location everyone could fly to.

Indian destination weddings

“It was important for my family to have the priest who has married many of my family members be the person who married us, so we decided to fly him out,” she tells Global News. “Everyone was also dressed in Indian attire on three of the ‘Indian events’ and for the wedding lunch, we were able to have Indian food.”

The cultural divide

But for some couples, there’s always the initial hesitation from family members. Preet Kala and Aman Saini got married in January at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun. For their 50-person Sikh wedding, Kala says the couple flew out a priest from Toronto for the ceremony.

Preet Kala And Aman

Preet Kala And Aman Saini

Courtesy of Preet Kala

“Both our families were mainly concerned about the religious aspect of the wedding,” Kala tells Global News. “It was more about having the Guru Granth Sahib Ji present, and to take the four lavaan [four hymns]. Once we introduced our families to the priest and had him explain how the wedding would take place, they were much more comfortable.”

 

She adds that for Canadian South Asians, it’s also about educating older family members about these types of weddings as options. And with so many customs that have been ingrained in families for decades, it’s just as important to start new ones.

Aman Saini and Preet Kala

“The entire family gets to be together. It not like the bride side or the groom side, everyone laughs, stays, and celebrates together.”

 

 

City seeks to cut the cost of weddings

A PROPOSAL to bring down the cost of weddings in Tongxiang, a city in east China’s Zhejiang Province, has sparked a debate.

It called for newlyweds to restrict the cost of wedding meals to no more than 1,500 yuan (US$220) per table, which can usually accommodate 10 guests.

The proposal also sought to end long motorcades, expensive gifts, and large hongbao (gift money).

Expensive wedding ceremonies are still common in some parts of China, with many believing that the bigger the banquet, the happier the marriage.

Chen Liang, 26, had just such a wedding. He earns 4,000 yuan a month but his wedding cost the family over 470,000 yuan. Almost half the money was borrowed.

Chen’s story is fairly typical. The reason for spending tens of thousands of yuan on a wedding is sometimes surprisingly simple — to save face.

Chen Miaolin, chairman of New Century Tourism Group said his hotels tried to introduce a wedding meal consisting of six dishes and one soup per table, but customers insisted on double the number of dishes.

“About one-third of the food usually ends up wasted,” Chen said.

The Tongxiang proposal suggested that gift money from relatives and friends should not exceed 600 yuan and that the red paper cuts of the Chinese character xi, or happiness, should be pasted only in the couple’s own houses and yards.

The move met with mixed reactions online.

Cao Yongping wrote that the eradication of old, rigid ideas in wedding and funeral ceremonies needed the participation of everyone, while Chen Feng suggested holding ceremonies in village halls to save money.

However, others questioned the effectiveness of the proposal and said that some of the regulations were too detailed and rigid.

An official at the local ethic enhancement committee office said the proposal was aimed at relieving the heavy financial pressure caused by expensive wedding and funeral ceremonies.

“Such ceremonies were meant to maintain close relationship within a family, but have become a huge burden for relatives and friends and should be changed,” the official said.