WHERE: The wedding festivities were held in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Nisha’s hometown.
CHURCH: St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Livonia, MI
When my best friend, Mini got married there 5 years ago, I knew this was the church where I wanted to be married. It was gorgeous, Orthodox, as well as located on the West side (which is rare) in Livonia, the city I grew up in. It was quite a bit of a struggle to get this venue (I won’t bore you with the story), but in the end I’m happy it worked out. We had an Indian Orthodox wedding ceremony officiated by our dearest priest who baptized me years ago!
RECEPTION VENUE: Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, MI
After visiting what seemed like every venue in metro Detroit which could hold 500+, we decided on the Hyatt. My dad has his heart set on a country club overlooking a golf course (which was indeed gorgeous); however, Rav and I were adamant about having our reception at a hotel venue so that it would be most convenient for our guest traveling from all over the states and abroad, especially England! There were a few reasons we went with this particular venue primarily capacity, location (close to airport) and ease of working with their staff, particularly Pam Nickels!
THEME/STYLE: Modern Elegance: East meet West
I wanted to blend Eastern and Western cultures in all aspects of the wedding from the ceremony, to food, to clothes, to decor, etc. Specifically, I wanted to ensure we incorporated Indian, Sri Lankan, American and British elements.
BRIDE’S DRESS: :p White wedding dress (Christian Ceremony), Indian lengha (Reception)
Finding the perfect dress was a bit overwhelming; however, luckily it only took a few stores before I found the one. I had actually picked out one in Michigan and had it on hold. My best friend, Mini, wanted to take me dress shopping so we decided to browse around at this boutique bridal salon in Philly because of a trunk show, and I ended up leaving with the dress ordered! I loved it because it had a lot of intricate beadwork which gave it an eastern flare
Finding my reception lengha in India was a nightmare, but at the last minute we took a one day trip to Mumbai, where I was so fortunate to have my dad’s cousin (one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet) accompany us during our shopping frenzy. I chose this particular lengha because although it was so very Indian (rich color, intricate design, beautiful fabric, etc.), it has a strapless bodice which gave it a very modern, western flare.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: In addition to my gorgeous ring from the hubby, my dad bought me a beautiful diamond necklace and earrings from our trip to Kerala in April. My bracelets also had sentimental value as they were an engagement present from one of my bridesmaids and college roomie, Suman Desaraju. I love these bracelets, as they are exquisitely unique pieces of jewelry (you can expect no less from a former Tiffany product engineer)!! Thank you Suman!
I loved my Stuart Wietzman shoes, which were recommended by a colleague who is indeed a shoe connoisseur. Rav took one look at the gold, 5 inch heels with Swarovski crystal embellishment, and said…those are freakin fabulous (yes, my stylish European is more into accessories than I’ll ever be 😉 These very high heels were actually pretty comfy unless you have to stand in them for 2 hours while remaining stationary (shout out to Indian Orthodox Wedding Ceremonies!).
GROOM’S SUIT: Tux (Ceremony), Sherwani (Reception)
It wasn’t surprising that Rav, being one of the most stylish guys I had ever met, had more outfits changes than me! He wore a Hugo Boss tux with a white tie and vest for the wedding ceremony, then a tux with a satin bowtie for the beginning of the reception, and ended the night in a bling-bling sherwani! This was Rav’s first time wearing both a tux, as well as an Indian suit (sherwani), but he pulled them both off exceptionally well with his usual European swagger.
CAKE: Patisserie Parmentier / As with the food tasting, this was the best part of wedding planning. We chose Patisserie Parmentier because we absolutely loved the taste of their cakes. We had a tough time deciding on a flavor but finally picked red velvet and Strawberry Bavarian (my mouth is watering just thinking about it!). I only got into cakes during this whole wedding planning process, I never knew or appreciated how creative cakes could be! As a result, I was very particular about the design, as I wanted it to exemplify my theme of east meets west. The cake was beautifully decorated with ornate gold detail and a beautiful piece of Rav’s mom’s saree
SWEET TABLE: Sweet Dreams / Our delicious and elaborate sweet table included assorted cakes, pies, pastries and fruits.
CATERING: Rangoli / Picking out the food was definitely one of the fun parts of wedding planning! Everyone judges an Indian wedding by the food…and Rangoli definitely did their part to make this wedding a hit! They food was absolutely delicious and I believe all 560 guests said the food was awesome! Thank you Amit! We picked Rangoli after our first meeting with Amit. Not only was the food excellent, but his professionalism and creativity was the best of all the caterers we encountered. He spent several hours with us talking through our vision and having us taste his traditional and exotic creations! He was even was able to recreate Rav’s father’s Sri Lankan fish curry, which was one of the most complimented dishes on our delectable menu.
MEHNDI: Art of Mehendi / Where my family is from in India, we typically do not have mehendi. But since I grew up watching hindi movies and love so many aspects of Indian culture, I always wanted to have a mehendi party! Since I was wearing a wedding gown, I decided to go with a more modern and simpler design as compared with traditional bridal mehendi. My planners recommended Bhumika Mistry who is not only extremely artistic, but also extremely personable! She fit in instantly like she was one of our family friends, and her work was outstanding! Additionally, she is very talented in saree draping and did a fantastic job assisting our family.
VIDEO: Fifth and Main Productions / I think my videographers may have received more compliments that Rav and I on our wedding, because of their astonishing work! Alex is one of the most humble people you will meet. We fell in love with his work immediately and didn’t even consider any other vendors. Seeing the same-day edit at our reception was surreal! Alex Bitoff—you and your crew are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
PHOTOGRAPHERS: The Q Studio / Of the Dynamic Duo, we spent most of our shooting time with Fauzeen, who is not only extremely talented but also super sweet and so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable from the first minute we met and we just loved our engagement shoot pictures and the video montage which was shown at our reception. Poor Aali was suffering from an injury, and had just had wrist surgery 2 days before the wedding, but you couldn’t tell by the way he was running all over the place making sure he got the most perfect shots! You can see how much this couple is dedicated to their work and it truly shows! We cannot wait to see our wedding photos!!!
PLANNING: Blissful Weddings & Events / I really don’t know how I could have done it all from DC without the help of Daphne & Rajul! They definitely kept me in line (especially when my procrastination kicked in!!), and above all made sure I kept my sanity and ensured that my vision was carried out! They were very attentive to my wishes, and recommended the best vendors that fit both my budget and style. They always responded immediately to any questions or concerns and were always available to bounce ideas back and forth. They were there with us every step of the way and we thank them for going the extra mile with the small details that really made their service extra special!
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: One of the most memorable moments from the wedding was when Rav and I tried to discretely hold hands after I walked down the aisle. One of the many memorable moments from the reception was watching each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk into the reception with their own routines! Another was watching the same-day edit by Fifth and Main Productions. And yet another was watching the dances! The first dance was choreographed by Suman Desaraju and performed by all my bridesmaids. It told the story of how Rav and I first met and I loved all the props & Subu pretending to be Rav! The second dance was choreographed by my sister, Asha, and performed by my family, including a surprising guest appearance by my mom and dad that I’ll never forget!