Monthly Archives: September 2011

Guest Blogger in da house! ‘Be a Part of the Fusion Fantasy’

We would like to introduce our special guest blogger – Sreesha Vaman from Sari Closet.  We have been long-term fans of their products and services & are glad to share that with you  – our beloved followers! So here you go

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For me, it all started with my friend Noemi.  Noemi is my cultural fusion muse.  Of European-American descent, Noemi equally loves Bollywood and the New York Islanders.

When I announced that I was engaged a few years ago, Noemi decided she would wear a sari to the wedding.  She wore a gorgeous Islanders blue-and-orange piece, and danced the night away at the reception.

When a non-South Asian wears a sari to a wedding reception, she immediately transforms from a spectator to a full-fledged participant: uncles throwing her onto the dance floor, aunties trying to set her up with a “good Indian doctor”, and friends asking her advice in the kitchen.  Many of our friends still rave about Noemi’s sari at our wedding years later.

Fast forward to 2010 – I am at a coffee shop on campus at UCLA, with Patrick and Nisha, telling them about Noemi.  Nisha was not listening; she was too busy calling friends trying to source a sari for an upcoming wedding, without having to repeat what she had already worn to the seven weddings earlier that year.  In her frustration, Nisha exclaimed “AHHHHH!  WHY CAN’T I JUST RENT ONE LIKE TUXEDOS?”

Just at that moment, the light bulb switched on.  Soon thereafter, we created Sari Closet, an online sari rental service.

Since we launched the service at the end of May, half of our customers have been non-South Asians.  This was not a surprise to us.  The demand for blended cultural experiences has grown exponentially in the past 20 years.  A recent Pew Research Center study showed that 14.6% of all new marriages are of interracial couples – a rate that has doubled since 1980.

We have seen an uptick in the number of Indian-American customers as well.   Unlike our parents’ generation, most of us in the younger generation do not have a collection of saris, nor an opportunity to wear them regularly.

When we have to go to a South-Asian wedding, we want off- the-runway look and trendy styles in our sari, but are faced with some challenges – we do not have a collection ourselves, and cannot find trendy styles in our mom’s closet.  We have realized that buying a new sari in the US is too expensive, and we do not have the time or funds to dash off to India for a shopping spree.  Moreover, in today’s Facebook and flickr world where photos from everyday life are shared in an instant, even if we buy a sari, it is almost impossible to wear them to multiple events, making it a very short-term investment.

Sari Closet helps you address these minor complications, by expanding your wardrobes at affordable prices.  We provide a wide range of saris, blouses, jewelry and even bindis.

We have learned that wearing a sari can be daunting to most, at least initially.  In this situation, our sari experts – “saristas” – step in and do everything to help the customer, from picking the right sari, to teaching how to drape the sari through a video on our YouTube channel.

We at Sari Closet are appreciative of partners like tanaRi events, whose “Fusion Fantasy” packages share similar values to Sari Closet’s ethos of sharing and spreading awareness of our culture.

For a bride who wants a South-Asian or fusion wedding, Sari Closet will be there to provide the exquisite saris from our collection or custom selected just for the bride.

To help you bring all the pieces together seamlessly, it is great to have planners like tanaRi events, who ‘get it’ and help infuse the wedding with the right amount of culture while staying true to the couples’ personalities.

As cultures continue to fuse, I bet you will see more non-South Asians wearing saris.  I will also bet that Noemi will not be the only one wearing a sari matching her hockey team’s colors!

–          Sreesha Vaman

Sreesha Vaman is co-founder of Sari Closet, an online nationwide sari rental service. Visit the website www.saricloset.com or follow on Twitter @SariCloset for latest updates. 

(Photo Credits – Sari Closet)

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Filed under Fashion, Indian Weddings, South Asian Weddings, Weddings

Top Ten List – Aromatic, Relaxing, Dreamy – Spas around the world.

Are you planning a honeymoon, couples get-away, or girls’ spa-weekend? An avid spa-goer and willing to travel the world to be pampered? Hoping to sneak in a relaxation session while on vacation? Look no further – tanaRi’s got you covered.  Check out our countdown of top ten favorite spas located in some spectacular travel destinations.


10.               Exhale at Gansevoort – Meatpacking, New York, NY – Start local; go global! Lose yourself in the middle of a concrete jungle right here in NYC. Exhale Spa in located in one of NYC’s hottest neighborhoods. Relaxation is the name of the game here with three amazing infinity-edge hydro pools and treatments to pamper you from head to toe.

9.            Sanitas Spa at Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey – Travel back in time to olden day Turkey with a traditional Turkish Hamam. Soak your body, relax your eyes and surrender your mind to the multitude of sensations created by a mixture of water, soapsuds and hands. If you are looking for something a little less cozy, take a dip in their outdoor pool with amazing views of the Bosporus and the ships travelling down the strait.

8.            Unu Spa at Inkaterra, Machu Picchu,Peru – You probably have earned a visit to this luxurious spa after the long hike up Machu Picchu.  Relax those adventurous muscles by spending an entire day at Una getting massages, body treatments, facials, etc., which use locally sourced botanical extracts and is 100% natural.

7.                  The Spa at Viceroy Snowmass Resort, Aspen, Colorado – Known for the holistic treatments, they offer a range of treatments from Ute Indian inspired therapies to contemporary beauty rituals. If peace of mind is what you are looking for, take a seat in their meditative relaxation lounge while you calm your mind listening to the soothing sounds of water falling from the infinity pool and waterfall.

6.                  Jiva Spa at Taj Hotel, Mumbai, India – Tired feet from exploring the city & shopping expeditions? Let us talk about amazing service at Jiva. Feel like royalty at Jiva as your feet is washed with water & fresh rose petals. Experience authentic ayurvedic treatments, detox massages, aromatherapy, body scrubs and wraps inspired by traditional Indian healing wisdom.

5.            CHI the Spa at Shangri La’s Villangili, Maldives – Honeymooners look no further – with a personal private villa for massage, body treatments, hot tub, and more, you and your hubby will be drenched in romance.

4.            Kayantá Spa at The Ritz Carlton, Cancun, Mexico – Get pampered by an amazing staff that makes you feel like a queen. We recommend their ‘Drift to Sleep’ massage.  True to its name, you will feel the effect of true relaxation and may actually fall asleep. I know I did!

3.                  Groom’s Choice: The Spa at Amanyara Resort, Turks & Caicos – With facilities that spread over 1.5 acres of gorgeous land, enjoy the “Pure Awareness” where massage is integrated with other techniques such as joint release, stretches, chakra sensitivity, acupressure, Thai massage, breath and energy to work to create a holistic approach to the body.

2.                  Raison d’Etra at Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden – Nordic tradition resonates in every detail at this spa and they provide some of the best amenities.  The spa offers you sensational relaxing experiences in a pure Nordic tradition; hot bath to promote blood vessel circulation to skin surface and open up pores, followed by cold bath/shower to close pores and prep body for relaxation, and finally relaxation treatment.

1.            The Spa at Anantara – Dhigu Resort, Maldives – My personal favorite! The location and ambiance is to die for at their over water villas! Try their amazingly calming Thai massage while watching the panoramic views of the ocean and enjoying the beautiful colors of the coral and fishes swim by in pristine waters beneath you.

(Photo Credits – Anantara Spa, Amanyara Spa, Kayanta Spa)

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Filed under Destinations, Reviews, Top-Ten-List, Weddings

Mystic beauty, cultural pride, and vibrant hues tied into a love story.

When tanaRi met with Nisha and Naveen to plan their wedding reception, we were ecstatic due to two reasons.  The bride is an embodiment of sweetness and a delight to work with. Secondly, Nisha loves peacock feathers and wanted to incorporate it into the theme for the reception.

Drawing on that inspiration, we went to work in putting together a peacock themed affair for the couple, while maintaining the elegance and grandeur of the ceremony.

We loved that Nisha’s traditional bridal lehenga choli beautifully captured the hues of teal, purple, gold and green.  This multicolored peacock feather effect can be seen throughout the event space blended into the floral arrangements, linens, place settings and favors.

Real peacock feathers were introduced into wedding cake, giving a pop to the shimmering feathers against the white fondant.

The individual place settings got a touch of glamour with single peacock feathers offering an exotic feel.  The mini tiered cakes for the guests done in vibrant hues looked impressive as table decorations and were a crowd favorite.

Nisha and Naveen – A beautiful and graceful couple, whose special day was bright with love, light and colors, with just the right touches of peacock.  tanaRi is blessed to have been part of this celebration and wishes them a colorful future together!

(Credits – Floral Design: Spitz & Peck; Cakes: Butterfly Bake Shop; Photos: Salwa Photography)

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Filed under Bridal, Event-Planning, St. Patrick's Day, Green, Healthy, DIY, Indian Weddings, South Asian Weddings, Weddings