Category Archives: Indian weddings
With every wedding, we learn something new. Even though we have been planning Indian weddings in the Washington, DC area for years, last summer we learned that Gujarati Indians tend to be more conservative from our clients who got married in Virginia. While the wedding itself was no less spectacular, it meant that we had minimal dancing. I wanted to share with you the highlights from their wedding day.
All photos by Mariel Hannah
A Gujarati wedding ceremony under a mavue, pinks, and white mandap by Sarah Khan Styling.
The bride’s family sends her off to be with her new husband in the vidaai after the ceremony, although I’m sure they did not travel in the Mustang back in the day.
Venue: Sheraton Tysons Hotel, Vienna, VA
Wedding Coordination: Event Accomplished, Vicky Choy
Indian Caterer: Bombay Tandoor
Hair: Anna Fazio
Makeup: La’Sara Makeup Artistry
Decorator: Sarah Khan Event Styling
Cake: Custom Cake Design
Photographer: Mariel Hannah
DJ / Lighting / Mobile Music: SVP DJ
Chiavari Chairs: Sammy Rental
Garba Venue: Julia Bindeman Suburban Center
I hope you enjoyed the recap from this wedding. Check out our blog posts on Indian weddings.
At the end of the night, we usually have a pretty good idea on how our clients felt about their wedding but I have to say that I’m never really sure until I get an email like the one below. Enjoy these photos from Photographick Studios (more on their blog) — Vicky
“We wanted to thank you for ALL that you did for us during our wedding. Our families cannot stop raving on and on about you and Juanice and your professionalism, enthusiasm and ability to keep the entire weekend organized and fun for us and our families. So, from the bottom of our hearts – thank you. [We] personally know all the behind the scenes things that you did for us and we are so appreciative of all of your hard work. When I called you in a panic last Thursday over the place cards, you jumped right in and took care of everything and had everything ready for us in a timely manner. I was so stressed before I made that phone call to you and knowing that you understood and agreed so quickly to work on the place cards meant a lot to me. You even went the extra mile to try to incorporate our original place card design onto the cards. Working with you and your team was probably the best decision we made throughout our wedding planning process and we are so thankful and fortunate to have worked with you. “
Venue: Westfields Marriott
Wedding Coordinator: Vicky Choy, Event Accomplished
Caterer: Bollywood Bistro
Photographer: Photographick Studios
Videographer: Villatoro Productions
Hair & Makeup: Bridal Elegance by Suman
Priest: Ramesh Babu
Decorator: L’Ambiance, Priti Verma
Cake: IndAroma Bakery, Cafe & Catering
DJ / Lighting: Dynasty Entertainment, Ravi Prasad
Horse: Harmon’s Hayrides and Carriages
Bhangra Dancers: UMD Bhangra team
Transportation: Alabaster’s Limousines
I have no idea how our South Asian couples have so much energy. Their weddings are long and they also want to dance and to party into the wee hours. Anisha and Amit’s wedding was no exception. Here are some wonderful images from Mo Kazi with more available from his blog. You can’t help but notice by the saturation of color of Indian weddings. Enjoy — Vicky
Venue: Bethesda North Marriott
Hair Stylist: Sannia Malik
Makeup Artist: Sonia Iqbal
Decor, flowers, rentals: Davincis Florist
Catering: Diya Restaurant
Cake: Stella’s Bakery
Photography: Mohaimen Kazi
Videography: Robles Video Productions
DJ, Dhol Players, Lighting: Dynasty Entertainment
Horse for Baraat: Harmon’s Hayrides and Carriages
Trailer Restrooms: Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers. Vince and Val own this company and they make everything really easy. If you do a restroom trailer, best to have a dedicated generator just for the toilet. Don’t forget to arrange your portable toilet as well.
Rental Equipment: DC Rental. Really accommodating since we had to have several visits to the showroom. We rented practically everything from them.
DJ: Amer Sultan. To prevent my client from having a disaster of a DJ, I told them to get out of the contract they had with the DJ they hired. I want to thank MyDeejay for referring Amer. He was so flexible, from dealing with providing sound for 2 outdoor areas, to coordinating with the dance instructor. He kept the dance floor hopping!
Flora Design: Helen Olivia. Marianne was a natural match for this couple and the mother of the bride, who was on task for the design. The flowers were so vibrant.
Cake: Hot Bakes n Cakes.
Photographer: Katharine Hauschka
Tent, Chairs, Tables: L&A Tent Rentals
Food: Masala Arts. One word of advice for using ethnic restaurant caterers – clarify exactly what the staff will be doing. The restaurants are typically not full service caterers. They don’t set up, clean up or break down or supply equipment. They bring the food. Period.
One of our May weddings is featured in District Weddings blog! The groom happens to be the brother of one of our previous clients from a few years back. Love it when the family call us again! Now we just need the bride’s brother to be married 🙂
A sneak peek at one of the great images by Michael Connor and his team at Connor Studios.
Remember this Sneak Peek? Yeah I didn’t think so. Well no matter. Here is this wedding story.
With a wedding date like 10.10.10, I bet you will never forget your anniversary! I had to snap a photo of the clock of the microwave that morning. Look at what time it was!
Chelsea and Harish had glorious weather on their wedding day, with the event being held at her parents’ home. I really feel honored to be welcomed by the family into their home. Being there so often, I felt like I was imposing on them and their privacy. I just loved this family and wanted to share some of the highlights. Have I mentioned that I love fusion weddings?
They were an emotional family so that meant lots of crying.
More next week — Vicky
With backyard weddings, I really get to know my clients and their families as I spend so much time there at all hours of the day. I really feel like I become part of the family, at least temporarily. During the week of the wedding, I was there 3 days in a row! After working about 16 hours on the wedding day, this lovely note from the Mother of the Bride was all that I needed to make it all worth while!
You did a really tremendous job. There was so much involved and so much not covered by our “caterer” and I really appreciate all of your help. All the best, Marilyn
Stay tuned for a full recap of this emotional wedding! — Vicky
I had the privilege of partnering with the talent decorator, Prabha Bhambri, on a Hindu wedding reception at the lovely Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. The reception was the finale to several days of celebrations. While the sangeet and ceremonies focused on traditions, the reception had a more modern flair. We worked closely with the mother of the groom who had impeccable personal style.
The cocktail hour was held in the Colonnade Room and the courtyard, while dinner and dancing were held in the Ballroom. While the colors for cocktail hour of yellows and mauve were more soothing, the reception colors were bright and vibrant orange and hot pink.
Venue, Lighting, Cake: The Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC (Mark Medrick)
Decor: Prabha Bhambri
Videographer: Suburban Video (Bill Bowen)
DJ: Magic Mike
There is a statistic out there somewhere that says, on average, 43 businesses are involved with producing a wedding. It sure felt like it! Sorry for the long post below.
Ceremony Venue: Oxon Hill Manor. [Read about my previous review here] Because of the rain, we had to move the ceremony indoors, which is not really ideal for 130+ people. We had a mandap that took up some space and a large (16) wedding party so that reduced the seating capacity of the room we used. We were able to have some additional seating in the other rooms in spots where the guests could still see the ceremony taking place. As I mentioned in a previous post, the event staff is challenging to work with. Even though they requested floor plans, and I submitted very detailed ones, I noticed that they had set up the chairs incorrectly in the gardens. Had the weather permitted us to have the ceremony outdoors, my staff and I would have had to rearrange the chairs.
Reception Venue: Glen Echo Park, Bumper Car Pavilion and Cuddle Up [Emily Mah]. Emily is really easy to work with and very helpful. When we heard how much rain we were going to have, she came through with allowing the photographer and the wedding party to take photos inside the Spanish Ballroom and the results were amazing! The carousel is also a great photo op. There is a ranger on site during your event in case you need help. Even though we had a bus service for the wedding party, the Cuddle Up and Bumper Car Pavilion are very far from the parking lot. Keep this in mind if you have guests that have trouble walking. There is a closer entrance (near the rail car), but even that wasn’t close enough when it’s raining cats and dogs. Also know that your caterer will need a tent adjacent to the Bumper Car Pavilion.
Caterer: Windows Catering. [We worked with Danielle Couick, who is now with Evoke]. Because the couple was interested in a mix of Indian and American cuisine and also need great vegetarian options, we really needed a caterer that could handle it all. Windows made the whole process very easy. They work with an Indian caterer (not a restaurant) and was able to design a menu that fit all out needs. I’m looking forward to working with Windows again this fall with Nicole.
Photographer: Joseph Allen. The groom knew Joseph from the charity work they had done together in the past and Joseph had photographed one of their friend’s wedding so it was a natural choice. Joseph has an incredible eye, especially the portraits of the bride and groom. They had a magazine-editorial styling that were just gorgeous. He worked really hard that day and never once complained about the conditions.
Floral Designer: Urban Petals, Sarah von Pollaro. The bride gave some general ideas to Sarah and she ran with it. The results were a vibrant mix of flowers that tied together all the colors we used.
Band: The Mustangs. This was the first time a client of mine has expressed that music was their top priority. It’s usually in the top 5 but rarely #1. Luckily, the couple had heard the band play before and loved their energy. They wanted a band that can do great Motown, has great musicians, and just look like they love performing without being cheesy. They delivered!
Hindu Ceremony Decorator: Prabha Bhambri. It’s too bad we didn’t end up having the ceremony outdoors. Prabha has these beautiful market umbrellas (that happened to be in our color scheme) that we were going to be placed throughout the patio to shield the guests from sunshine. We ended up creating a pathway with them inside the foyer of the house but it just wasn’t the same.
Ceremony DJ: Bob Artman, Artman DJs.
Rehearsal Dinner: The City Tavern Club
Transportation: Reston Limo (large bus and sedan service). I really made my rep, Dan Oh, work hard for this wedding. He helped priced out various scenarios I had came up with and was very patient. We had anticipated a guest who would be using a wheelchair and had reserved a handicapped accessible bus. The hotel where the guests were staying was located on a one-way street in DC with its entrance on the left side of the street. Our bus driver called me prior to arriving at the hotel to say that he was almost there but that it would be unsafe for the wheelchair-bound guest to get on the bus since the bus door was on the right hand side and the guest would be exposed to oncoming traffic. I didn’t even think of that! Unfortunately, the guest decided not to attend the wedding. But I’m sure that if she did, the driver would have suggested a safer solution for us.
Rentals: Perfect Settings
Wedding Invitations: Papeterie
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Hair Styling: Andre Chreky Salon
Makeup Artist: Wanda Sossa
Phew! Catching up on more real weddings next week! Have a great weekend, Vicky
Back in Part 1, we began the story of Erin and Koonal’s wedding. Working with two very stylish people, I knew we would come up with a concept for their wedding that embraced everything about the two of them.
Style Inspiration: This wedding was truly the definition of a fusion wedding in every sense of the word. The wedding was a perfect mix of Erin and Koonal’s personal styles, which are more urban and trendy with a tiny mix of preppy, and their individual backgrounds. All of which were reflected in every choice they made.
With a highly stylized venue like Glen Echo Park, there is a fine line between coming up a with a look that worked with, rather than fight against, the character of the space and a look that can be seen as kitschy. Thoughts of Cotton Candy or Popcorn carts came to mind but we decided to be inspired by the park rather than replicate it. The table numbers had an illustration of a bumper car, which was the closest we got to anything park related. The bride wanted a ‘stylish country’ feel so we used chicken wire fencing as the backing for holding the escort cards, which had a photo of each guest with the bride or groom. The hanging round paper lanterns helped to make the space feel more intimate.
Colors: The colors for the wedding were inspired by the two different color shawls worn by the bridesmaids. One had orange and fuchsia, and the other had teal and purple. These vibrant colors are prominent in Hindu wedding decor and attire, a nod to the groom’s heritage. We used them throughout in the ceremony decor, all the paper products [click here to see their design set], the flowers, the linens, and the lanterns. We used teal and purple linens for cocktail hour and then orange and fuchsia linens for dinner. The white napkins and chairs calmed the vibrant colors.
The Setting: For the ceremony, Erin and Koonal wanted to honor their respective families and treat it as a sacred and reverential experience. Because they wanted it to be more formal, they chose Oxon Hill Manor and its beautiful mansion and grounds. We completely switched gears for the reception. Erin and Koonal wanted this part of the celebration to be much more casual and relaxed so they chose Glen Echo Park. What a hidden gem! Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served in the Cuddle Up, while dinner and dancing were held in a former Bumper Car Pavilion.
Wedding ceremony – The ceremony took place under a mandap and was performed by a Lutheran minister and a Hindu priest. The groom and his family began with a bharat, a processional with joyous music and dancing. [Read more about Hindu weddings here] During the ceremony, the couple lit a unity candle. The basic structure of the ceremony was a Lutheran ceremony with important Hindu elements inserted. It all worked really well together. I really enjoy fusion ceremonies and seeing how two different religions combine at the joining of two people.
Food: With the bride and groom and a number of their guests being vegetarians, we had a great time working with Windows Catering on coming up with a menu. The final menu had a balanced selections of Indian and American flavors, ending with a sundae bar perfect for summer weddings.
Stay tuned for Part 3, the vendor roundup! — Vicky
All Photos (except the one of the wraps): Joseph Allen Photography