Today we have such a special wedding to share with you guys!
The joyous, colourful, beautiful celebration that is Mitra and Vivek's modern-meets-traditional Indian wedding.
You might remember this gorgeous couple from their sweet City Hall civil wedding a little while back, and now we're so delighted to share some beautiful photographs from their epic two-day Indian celebration, by the amazing Phil Chester.
We love seeing weddings from different cultures, and learning about the various customs and ceremonies, and Indian weddings are always among our favourites with vibrant colours, rich accessories, meaningful rituals and fun festivities.
And as a wedding planner herself, (you can check out her musings over on her gorgeous blog, Be Wed!) our bride Mitra pulled out even more stops than usual, with stunning attire, beautiful table decor and chic personal touches throughout the two-day event.
Let's just say whittling down these stunning wedding pictures to fit in one post was a tough job, but when a celebration is this spectacular, it's a job we're only too chuffed to do!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Wedding in Three (Or Four!) Words
Californian, rich, modern and traditional
Vivek and I planned for our two-day Indian wedding to showcase our love and embody who we are as a couple.
It was a modern fete, but also filled with ceremonies and traditions to honour both families and our two unique Indian cultures.
We wanted to get married local to where we were in the Bay Area and our venue became the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose for its sheer grandeur and size.
We had a 200+ person wedding and wanted to make sure the venue space was comfortable for our guests and that the space matched the opulent Indian look and feel, which constituted of gold, gold and more gold!
The Engagement Ceremony
Indian weddings traditionally start with an engagement ceremony where the bride’s family and groom’s family announce to the guests that the families are uniting and that the next day a wedding will take place.
It was a short and simple evening, and we had fun greeting our guests from near and far and enjoyed a sit-down dinner with them the day before the big day.
On the wedding day, the festivities kicked off with the Baraat, which is the groom’s procession. It’s a time of celebration for the groom’s side of the family for the upcoming festivities.
There is (lots of) dancing and singing by the groom’s family and friends, that brings the groom, via horse, to the wedding ceremony.
It is tradition for the bride to be walked down the aisle by her maternal uncle. I followed this tradition and I’m so glad I did. Seeing my parents standing at the end of the aisle, waiting to receive me, was a very special moment.
My groom was no where in sight of course, as he was hidden away behind an opulent cloth (in olden days, the bride and groom’s very first meeting was a surprise reveal on their wedding day – talk about wedding day jitters!).
We decided to play along and our “first reveal” to each other, followed by the flower garlanding was a fun, lighthearted moment for us and our families.
Flowers, rice, and confetti celebrated our union.
For Day Two of our wedding ceremonies, we secured a more modern space, The Rotunda in San Jose.
The glass building allowed us to have the outdoor wedding we always wanted but in an indoor, controlled space, were we were blessed with lovely natal light.
It was the perfect backdrop for the California wedding we wanted, surrounded by highlights of gold, and shades of pink, blushes and ivory. It was simple, yet vibrant and colourful.
It was a love-filled two days.
The highlight for us was all the laughter and joy throughout, seeing our two families become one.
My tip for brides is that creating a memorable celebration while keeping your families involved in the day’s events is something they will cherish forever.
In the end, it was magical and dream-like mixed with the unavoidable controlled chaos of an Indian wedding. And looking back, we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
After all the ceremonies, we had a short break for everyone to rest, change wardrobe, and harvest energy to dance and continue celebrating with us at the reception.
Following some tear-inducing toasts, our first dance as husband and wife to L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole and All You Need is Love for the Father/Daughter, Mother/Son joint dance.
We feasted, drank Champagne, ate cake, and danced away to some Indian favorites, 90s hip-hop and some old time Philly songs (in honour of my East Coast groom!).
Isn't it epic! What a show-stopping wedding, I just adore all the colours and all the pageantry – it's just spectacular!
Thanks so much to Phil Chester for his incredible images, and of course the gorgeous Mitra and Vivek for sharing their beautiful wedding with us.
And don't forget to check out more of Mitra's beautiful weddings on her site, Be Wed.
For more gorgeous big days, check out Cultural + Unique Weddings.