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Real Wedding: Gillianne & Neil

Gillianne and Neil’s festive wedding at The US Grant Hotel was overflowing with glamour, diy decor, color, and dancing! Enjoy the photo gallery of their special day.

In 2009, Gillianne Santos and Neil Dandekar, both 33, met in Las Vegas and exchanged numbers. Neil, living at the time in Cerritos, took Gillianne, a San Diego resident, to Disneyland on their first date. The annual pass holders visited the attraction every time they had the chance. Their relationship came full circle when Neil, now a sous chef at The Grand Del Mar, proposed to Gillianne, a real estate broker, inside Disney’s California Adventure in November 2012, almost three years to the day when they first met. -Rebecca Wilson


Pre-Ceremony Dancing

The Wedding Barat, the arrival of the groom and his family, was a festive dance outside the US Grant. An Indian mobile DJ with drums provided the music. “We found strangers off the streets joining in!”



Double The “I Do’s”

Gillianne and Neil had two ceremonies on the same day. At 10 a.m., the traditional Hindu ceremony was officiated by Neil’s uncle, Dr. Arvind Salvekar, and performed in Sanskrit. The Christian ceremony with Filipino traditions took place at 4 p.m., where the couple’s parents lit a candle to symbolize the joining of two families.

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Presidential Treatment

US Grant was a perfect fit for their big day and the 262 guests. The wedding-day festivities occupied three of the hotel’s four ballrooms-the Palm Court for the Hindu ceremony, the Crystal Ballroom for the Christian vows, and the Presidential Ballroom for the reception.



Do It Yourself

The bride is a paper crafter and scrapbook lover, so she included a few of her own creations in the wedding. She made the ceremony backdrop with the lyrics to their wedding song, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, written in gold, as well as the giant roses handmade with Italian crepe paper.

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Make It Two

Gillianne’s sari for the Hindu ceremony was gifted by Neil’s parents and included soft white silk and detailed gold beading. Her second dress was a present from her aunt. It was a mix of the top of one gown and the bottom of another, both by Eve of Milady.




Coordination and Design: Luxe Events
Venue: US Grant
Photographer: Chaz Cruz
Florals: Root 75
Chair Rentals: Archive Rentals
Paper Elements: Brightly Designed
Linens: La Tavola
Cakes: Fab Cake
DJ: 3D Sounds
Hair and Makeup: Three Ways Beautiful
Bride’s Hair: Maegan Cooper
Mandap Design and Hindu Ceremony Design: Altan Gallery
Ceremony Chairs and Mandap: Concepts Event Design
Videography: Craft & Pixel
Gown: The White Flower
Bride’s Sari: Frontier Heritage (Artesia, California)
Groom’s Suit: J Crew
Groomsmen Suit Rentals: A Better Deal Tuxedo
Bridesmaid Saris: Sona Chaandi
Bridesmaid Dresses: Maggie Sottero
Officiants: Dr. Arvind Salvekar, Pastor Troy Prado

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