Today on the blog we’re introducing our 5th gorgeous bride from our crop of 2019 Real Jewish Brides! Please give a warm welcome to Jaime, who will be marrying Varun on 26th October 2019 at Hummingbird Nest Ranch, California, USA.
THREE FACTS: (1) Jaime and Varun will be having a Jewish ceremony AND a Hindu ceremony – on the same day! (2) They’re planning a swanky but not stuffy wedding at one of our fave California venues, Hummingbird Nest Ranch! (3) Jaime is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!
Varun and I are former Silicon Valley techies turned entrepreneurs. I own an online weight loss coaching and personal training and holistic nutrition business – and Varun started a mobile ordering app. We ditched our jobs in Silicon Valley back in 2016 to pursue our dreams and V’s job took us to Boston for the time being!
We have a passion for larger than life experiences and believe deeply in the power of manifestation and the fact that the universe always has our back. I guess you could say we are woo-driven hustlers (but truth is – I’m more woo than him).
My mom is Jewish and my dad was raised Italian Catholic – I was raised Jewish but have always been more spiritual than anything. Varun is Hindu. We feel so blessed that our families have grown so close with each other and we already feel like one big family!
His parents literally feel like my second set of parents and vice versa. We will be having wedding celebrations that bring together all parts of who we are are a couple!
So basically lots of cannolis, falafel, and ladoo – with colors, sparkle and a whole lot of fun!
How we met
I was going on my third year living in San Francisco – and while I was enjoying the single life, I was also open to meeting the guy of my dreams should he come along.
I had just ended a previous relationship and was ready to date again – so I decided to go on a few dating apps – Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid – you know, the usual. I got a message from Varun and I remember it was SUPER sweet – he was asking me about my travel experiences and it felt REALLLLY genuine, we had a casual back and forth convo and then I kind of fell off the face of the OKCupid earth (oops!).
Then a couple of months later Varun messaged me again – in a totally polite and genuine way and I remember thinking “wow, he is being so sincere and not at all pushy – this is so refreshing!”. So we set up a time to meet and he took me for a glass of wine and we’ve been together ever since. He is truly my soulmate and the man of my dreams and I couldn’t feel more blessed to have him as my future husband.
Not A Proposal
Our proposal story is certainly unique to us. And want to know the best part? It hasn’t happened yet.
Yep, you heard that right – we have a wedding date, a planner, a venue and a dress designer locked down but the proposal itself hasn’t happened yet.
And now I bet you’re probably wondering why… so let me explain.
Fitness and wellness are my #1 love (besides Varun of course), but my second love has always been jewelry – especially diamonds. Ever since I was little I was fascinated with them and the older I got, the more I began to appreciate their characteristics, the GIA grading system, how they are sourced and produced and so much more!
Varun knew how important my engagement ring was to me so he really empowered and encouraged me to find my dream stone and ring. Even though he LOVES surprises and all that fun stuff – he really empowered me to own the ring process because he knew how important it was to me (and how much fun I’d have!)
It took me over 1 year (YES, OVER 1 YEAR) to find the perfect stone and design – and let me tell ya – I went ALL IN in that process!!!
Not only did I learn everything I could about diamonds, but Varun and I took two trips to the NYC diamond district and my mom and I took one together (such an amazing experience). I even bought my own loupe.
Over the course of 1 year + I looked at over 100 stones, met with several ring designers and settings. This was SOOO fun and memorable for Varun and me… and he was so sweet to be so patient and supportive during this process!
The most ironic part is that we ended up going with a stone that my family jeweler Royal Jewelers had found for us and we worked with them on the ring design.
Once I approved the CAD design (yes I wanted to approve it LOL), it was confirmed that the ring was in production. Now – I know for sure my whole family (and his) has seen it – AND everyone seems to have an idea of when it will happen – but I have not a clue!
Varun said that since I was so particular about stone selection and ring design – that he really wants the proposal to be 100% his – so for now I am sitting patiently and waiting for the big day – and actually praying that I don’t accidentally find it because I want it to be a big surprise! I know this isn’t your TYPICAL engagement story – but the more I went about this process the more I found other women just like me who really wanted to have a say in their stone and ring selection !
Since Varun and I knew that the engagement process was going to take a while – we decided to start wedding planning in early 2018!
Our perfect wedding planner
Even though Varun and I live in Boston we have always known we would end back in California – so when we were talking through wedding destinations – we knew California was our #1 choice. But we also KNEW that figuring out how to plan a multicultural wedding from 3k miles away , while two of us run our own businesses, would be difficult – so last February I started researching wedding planners.
I was going through screening calls with many planners – and many of them seemed great – but there was one, Jenny Chang, who I felt SUCH a deep connection with. The moment I met her I KNEW she was going to be our planner!!!
Jenny feels like a long lost bestie soulmate. She is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, but is so genuine and caring in all of her actions. She has already gone ABOVE and BEYOND for us and I truly cannot imagine all of the amazing experiences we are going to share together.
We have had so many ironic/crazy coincidences with each other that go beyond any logic in the traditional sense – (I mean literally out of nowhere we both gave each other book recommendations by the same author!), but I feel so lucky to have her and I just love her so so much!
Finding my dress
This past summer we were in Israel with my parents and I went to a very well known wedding dress designer’s shop with my mom. I had a BEAUTIFUL and EXQUISITE experience there and I thought I had found my dress – but something in the back of my mind didn’t feel 100% about the dress – I just couldn’t explain it!
We were supposed to stay with my mom’s friend on a kibbutz towards the end of our trip – but some things happened and we ended up having to go back to Tel Aviv. So my mom insisted that we spend the rest of our time walking up and down Dizengoff looking at wedding dresses. (Thanks mom, love you!)
I took two steps in to Helena Kolan’s shop and instantly I felt a connection. I met with her assistant Julia who helped me try on several dresses so we could figure out what I really wanted. I wanted a pretty specific dress so Helena came up and sketched a design for me on the spot! It was AH-MAZING !
We are heading back late next summer so that I can try on and pick up the dress. It feels so special to have it made in Israel!
I will also be getting dresses for the Hindu ceremony made although we are still sorting out the details of where/when!
The Perfect Venue
Much like the diamond search and my search for the perfect planner, I set the intention in the beginning of our venue that I needed something PERFECT for us! (Those #manifestationvibes!) Low and behold – Jenny Chang and team came back to us with a list of venues – and the one that fulfilled all of those requirements AND more was Hummingbird Nest Ranch.
It is a former private estate just outside of Los Angeles that is truly a blank canvas. We couldn’t be happier with our venue choice (we are taking are parents there in December to view the property along with Jenny Chang!).
Mixing Three Cultures
Varun and I are big on experiences that feel larger than life. We often describe our style as swanky but in the YOLO sense not the stuffy sense. I’m a little more woo than he is – but we are both REALLY into the power of manifestation and the idea that the universe always has your back.
The theme of our wedding is “starstruck” and will feel like a magical universe experience – there is just no other way to describe it than that – lol. We are also bringing in elements of Hindu culture, Jewish culture and Italian culture – so that we can honor all the aspects of who we are and make everyone feel like one big happy family.
What does marriage mean to me
I think that the definition of marriage will evolve for me much like the definition of LOVE has. I used to think that LOVE was all about “the butterflies” but it was really Varun who showed me that the true meaning of love is about being each other’s LITERAL other half – friendship, love, loyalty commitment. All of those things.
It’s hard for me to put a true definition to the term MARRIAGE because it’s more of a feeling for me – a feeling that I have Varun’s back forever no matter what, and I know he feels the same for me. It’s a feeling that we are each other’s BEST friends in the entire world and we have an unconditional love for each other that will continue to grow and grow! Things we have lined up so far: Jenny does an amazing job of keeping us on track!
So far we have our :
- Wedding planner
- Dress Designer/Dress for the Jewish wedding
During the holidays we will be going to Los Angeles to do another venue visit with our families and hopefully by the time I blog again I can share a proposal story with you all!
Click here to read all Jaime’s planning posts to date.
Jaime & Varun’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: