Deepa & Pratik's Colorful Indian Wedding {Georgia}

2014 Oct 15 - by Preeti
What a colorful and exciting wedding we have today!

Red Book member Jamie Howell Photography, shares an Indian wedding from this past summer with us.

Deepa and Pratik got married in Athens, Georgia with a troupe of 500 friends and family in a colorful, lively, and fun wedding. Deepa shared their whole wedding story and while reading it, you'll most certainly feel like you're experiencing it too.

Tell us about the wedding!

Hi there! This is the bride, Deepa speaking with input from Pratik ;)

We are both Indian and Hindu so we knew this wedding was not going to be small, intimate, and only a day. It was going to be, a never ending guest list, hectic, and two and a half days long. Since that was the case, I started planning this wedding as soon as he put a ring on it! I knew right off the bat we had to stick to a budget, which is never easy for a big fat Indian wedding! It's funny, throughout my life, I noticed in our culture that the bigger, fancier, and more expensive the wedding is, the ""better"" it is considered to be. I was determined to change that stigma with our wedding.

I wanted to have a traditional wedding in a location that was within our budget and fun for our guests. After narrowing down costs and finally getting an estimated guest count of around 500 people, I knew at that point for an August wedding in Georgia, we just needed a room with 4 walls and a killer air-conditioning system for all 500 guests and the wedding crashers that they may have brought along!

We also wanted our guests to have fun and enjoy the city that they were in for those few short days! After a few weeks, we decided that Athens, Georgia was going to be the location of our wedding. We found the Oconee County Civic Center which had a ballroom and a theater for us to use and was within our budget. From there, I began my journey of planning a wedding. Every detail was handpicked by me, every piece of planning was done by me, and at one point it was scary because I was the only person who knew every detail! The control freak in me finally delegated some tasks towards the end, but of course, I still wanted to micro-manage. I’m sure my family was ready to kill me at that point!

Festivities started on Thursday night with a welcome dinner and mehndi party both families. I had already had my full bridal henna done the night before, so I was able to mingle with our family and friends. Once that was over, many of our friends and family enjoyed a night out in downtown Athens, including us! (sorry mom!)

Friday morning was both of our Pithi Ceremonies. In the evening, I had my Sataak ceremony with my parents. In a nutshell, this ceremony is a blessing from your entire family for your marriage. Many family members are involved and play an important role in this ceremony. I’ll never forget how bad the rain was that afternoon and how I was so afraid many people wouldn't make it. Once the rain calmed down, and the ceremonies were over, I grabbed my groom to be for a quick photo session in the aftermath of the storm outside. They were the most beautiful pictures from the entire weekend.

Saturday was the big day. The wedding ceremony started out with the groom’s side dancing their way to the civic center. There was a drummer, lots of loud Indian music, and of course at least a one hour delay in the wedding start time, IST is normal though! I was backstage Facetiming with my friend that was outside because I wanted to see all the action!

Once the wedding finally started, it took about 2 hours to complete. We incorporated both families’ traditions into our wedding, and at one point I was sitting in any women in Pratik’s family’s laps! Not sure what that was about, but hey it was fun and funny! We never thought we would be married in a theater, on a stage where plays and performances take place, but it worked out magically. Every guest had the best seat in the house and the ambiance was perfect for a wedding.

Saturday night was the best part, the reception! Guest arrived for cocktail hour around 6:00PM, also during that time, my cranky and very tired groom ate three cheese burgers from McDonalds and fell asleep backstage while we were waiting for our entrance at 7:00PM. He took a one hour nap and was a different man when he woke up! The reception was full of awesome speeches from our siblings and parents, amazing dance performances from our friends, fantastic food, and a dance floor full of people that didn't stop until we drug everyone out! I think the open bar helped too!

Our main goal for this wedding was to make sure our guests attended a wedding that they would never forget. We wanted great food, good drinks, and lots of dancing. We still hear from our parent’s friends, our family, and our friends that it was one of the best weddings they have ever been to. Unlimited budgets don’t make a fantastic wedding; the heart you put into it does.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

Traditional. All of our clothing was traditional, not many modern spins or colors. I wanted to stick to the red, ivory, green, and gold for the wedding because to me, those are the traditional colors I associate with Hindu Weddings.

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

Not getting stressed out over small stuff. Although I had it all planned out to the smallest detail, things came up, issues arise and I think the hardest part was keeping my cool and just remembering that it was all going to turn out fine!

Did you do any DIY (do it yourself) or special projects/things at the wedding?

YES! I am Indian, but I am also from the south, so my wedding favors were hand decorated by me and only me! (I told you I was a control freak!) I wanted a wedding favor that described us and was practical for people to use. If you know Indian women, we love our containers! so, that being said i decorated over 300 Mason Jars that said "Pratik & Deepa 08.09.14" engraved on them. All i did was add a sparkly gold ribbon and a gem, but that was probably the biggest DIY I did.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

Our favorite part of the wedding was both of our families and friends being in one place at one time. It will never happen again, and it was a perfect weekend for everyone to meet and enjoy each other!

What 3 words of advice do you have for future brides/grooms-to-be?

Enjoy the day!

Thank you so much for sharing your wedding! Be sure to click on "view gallery" to see all pics!

{Wedding Suppliers}

Photographer: Jamie Howell Photography, Marietta, GA

Venue: Oconee County Civic Center, Watkinsville, GA

Décor: 5th Season Event Designing Studio

DJ and Lighting: DJ RohitB from WeGoDisco Events

Friday Ceremony Makeup: Hinali Patel

Wedding day Makeup and Hair: Makeup and Hair by Frozon

Catering: Catering by Pankaj Patel

Wedding Cake: Heavenly Creations Cakes, By Renee Vargas