As I mentioned two posts ago, Puneet and I recently had our engagement party. Speaking for the two of us I can say that it was without a doubt one of the best nights of our lives. The event itself was almost a month ago but I’ve waited until now to write about it because I wanted to put up some photos of the night (which we only received this week). Let me preface this by saying that this was no ordinary engagement party – it was like a mini freaking wedding. Minus the weddingy stuff.
The night was the culmination of months of planning in order to ensure it ran smoothly, and ran smoothly it did. Given the amount of work that went into this one night affair I shudder to think about how many magnitudes more will be required for our multi-day Indian wedding extravaganza. Oh well, that’s a problem for future Roy. Or more frankly, future mums and Puneet. Bless them.
The party was held in Brisbane on the rooftop level of the Rydges Hotel at South Bank. Mum and Dad picked the venue. I reckon they did all right.
Since the party was in Brisbane we had a bunch of friends travel from interstate and almost everyone (us included) stayed at the Sofitel. Not only that, we managed to get almost an entire floor to ourselves. I feel the tiniest pang of guilt at the “almost” part; there were a couple of rooms on the floor that didn’t belong to our party and given how late into the nights we partied it couldn’t have been a pleasant experience for them trying to sleep. Oh well. They could have joined us? We were very friendly. Pang gone.
It was an incredible amount of fun staying at the same place as most of our friends and only heightened our excitement for the wedding when everyone will again be together. There were always people around, something to do, and everyone was in party/celebration mode. Having an excellent bar in the hotel lobby didn’t hurt one bit.
Anyway let me backtrack a bit. We landed on Friday evening with plans to head to mum and dad’s house for drinks/dinner before meeting up with everyone back at the hotel. It was Puneet, her parents, myself and two of our friends so I decided to think ahead and book a van for us rather than battle the arduous Friday evening cab lines, especially since we needed something that seated more people. We get to the baggage claim area and there is someone with a sign “Mr. Bhasin”. Ok, cool. We get our bags and follow the guy. He leads us to the row of cars waiting for passengers and we pass some nice cars, some vans, a mini-bus and we get closer and closer to the end and then there’s only one vehicle left:
Turns out there was some confusion with the booking and low and behold we got a limo. Nice way to kick off the weekend. I think it took about 8 seconds of being inside for someone to exclaim “What, no champagne?!” No, no that would have been too much. And would have also really made me think we were stealing someone else limo rather than there being a mix up. O’Brien, anyone?
Drinks/dinner at m&d’s was fantastic. Albeit a bit rushed since we had to get back pretty early it was a fun evening and mum held nothing back with her food banquet (any lesser word would be doing it a disservice).
The rest of the night was primarily spent at the hotel bar. Some of our friends were already there and others were arriving throughout the night – the room was buzzing and it didn’t end until the early hours of the morning when the bar closed. Also despite having numerous delicious beverages I am fairly certain I was stopped every time I tried to take my wallet out. Turns out there’s something about getting engaged that makes people want to buy you drinks.. I should do this more often? Hmm.
Saturday morning was relaxing with a quiet breakfast downstairs before chilling out by the pool for a while. It was after that that things got hectic. I got a haircut, Puneet got her hair done, as well as I don’t know how many other girls — then it was time for them to get their make-up done while I ran around town trying to find somewhere to cut another hole in my too-large belt. We were racing against the clock to make it to our photo shoot before the event in time – we wanted to take some photos around Brisbane before the party began. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side, but thankfully our photographer was excellent and managed to find a few locations to take some great shots. A few favourites:
Once it started bucketing down we thought we’d stop playing with fire (or water rather -shrug- same thing) and head to the venue rather than further risk getting drenched. The next 10 hours flew by. As soon as we arrived we had to get changed – Puneet into her Indian lengha and me into my suit. The moment we were ready we headed upstairs and that was it. We had a second of silence in the elevator, then the doors opened and we stepped into the room. Our next silent moment wouldn’t be until the next morning.
Electric. That’s the only word to describe the feeling in the room. It’s a tremendous feeling to be surrounded by your closest friends and family who have gathered in the same place to enjoy and celebrate an evening with you. It was unbelievably fun. We half walked half was dragged around the room meeting and greeting people – some that either Puneet or I were meeting for the first time, others that we hadn’t seen in years, and others still that we see every day. The drinks were flowing, food was floating around on trays and even the gods decided to give us a break as the rain subsided. It was magical.
To top if off our photographer Tyler (of Vivid Photography) was excellent. He wasn’t disruptive and you almost didn’t know he was around at time yet at the same time he was also seemingly everywhere at once. The night followed with food, some speeches, music and dancing:
Puneet and I with our parents
Dad giving his speech
My turn to speak.. nervous was an understatement!
A couple of short and sweet speeches by Puneet's friends
Let the dancing begin!
Aaron teaching people how to dance to Indian music
This was one of the highlights. Later into the night we put Gangnam style on and in a moment of epicness our token Asian of the evening turned into Psy and launched into a no-holds-barred gangnam style dance
So of course everyone else was then trying to dance to it too. Good thing the alcohol had been flowing for a while by this point otherwise it would have been a lot more embarrassing.. for all of us
The party wrapped up a bit past midnight but the night was far from over. We headed back to the hotel and drank at the bar until it closed, then continued in one of the rooms into the wee hours of the morning. Pretty sure they caught on that we were breaking the rule of number of guests allowed in a room after 10pm when we ordered some wine and asked for 12 glasses.
Sunday was a day of recovery and recuperation. Slowly but surely people started to go on their merry ways and head home. Those still around at midday joined us in a great lunch at Eagle St Pier where I couldn’t help but order a round of bloody marys to try keep the momentum alive. It worked, kinda. Then before we knew it we were at the airport and it was all coming to an end. A whirlwind of a weekend, really, but one that will be forever etched in our memories as an incredible time in our lives and we hope also in all those who joined us in the celebrations.