Katie & Vish's Fabulous Florida Double Wedding
Florida is probably most like summer Indian weather: it's hot, it's sticky, it's humid. But don't let the weather keep you from having a fabulous wedding. Katie and Vish had a Gujarati Hindu wedding followed by a Christian wedding, AND a reception. Oh, and they had a mehndi and garba night too!
These lovebirds know how to throw an Indian wedding!
And this will be one of the few weddings we will say there was someone other than the bride that stole the show. Their adorable dog, Peanut.
How dashing is this little fellow?!
Katie shares her wedding experience with us! (mini spoiler: as a non-Indian bride, Katie has some fantastic tips)
Tell us about the wedding!
I am non-Indian and my husband is Indian, so we mixed both our cultures and had two ceremonies. Our wedding celebration was three days long, with welcome dinner/drinks on Thursday night, a vidhi (we did a joint vidhi for both of us) on Friday morning, a Garba on Friday night, the Hindu wedding on Saturday morning, and the Christian wedding on Saturday night, followed by the reception. We did all events at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
Because we had a lot of non-Hindu guests, our Hindu priest explained the entire Hindu ceremony in English and really celebrated the joining of our two cultures. My favorite thing he said was ""Both my Indian friends and American friends understand that marriage is a sacred thing."
Most of our friends bought or borrowed Indian clothes for the wedding, and it was fun to see all of our non-Indian family and friends dressed in Indian clothes. We had a lady there to drape the ladies' saris, and she was definitely busy on Saturday morning! Everyone also really enjoyed getting henna and dancing Raas Garba.
Because our wedding was in Florida in mid-August, which is miserably hot, Vish didn't want to arrive on a horse or elephant (much to our friends' disappointment), but his dad surprised us all and bought a Maserati the week of the wedding, which Vish arrived in.
While we were picking out our Mandap, we saw a rickshaw and thought it'd be fun to make our entrance at the reception in the rickshaw, so Vish's cousin rode us in on the rickshaw. It was so fun!
We went to India before our wedding and had a designer there make our Garba and Hindu wedding outfits, including outfits for my family since it was their first time wearing Indian clothes!
My uncle was happy to find out that it is customary in the Hindu ceremony for the bride's maternal uncle to walk the bride down the aisle because he also walked my mom down the aisle when she married my dad (because my mom's dad had passed away).
For my something borrowed, I tucked my great-grandmother's handkerchief in the corset of my white wedding dress. Vish wore chihuahua cufflinks in honor of Peanut. I am Norwegian and Irish, so we included an Irish wedding blessing in our Christian vows.
Our beloved chihuahua, Peanut, was a flower girl and had a leash made of orange orchids.
What was the inspiration for your wedding?
Our wedding was a mix of cultures, so we had many inspirations. We wanted the Vidhi and Garba decor to be bright and colorful and the Hindu wedding to be more traditional red colors. I looked at Pinterest for inspiration and really loved orange and grey together, so we chose those colors for the Christian wedding and the reception.
What was the hardest part about wedding planning?
We live in Washington, DC and the wedding was in Tampa, FL, so it was hard to coordinate from DC - we had to rely on our planner a lot to meet with all the vendors and send us pictures of the ideas they came up with. Pinterest was a life-saver because the planner and I had a joint pinterest board, so we could see each other's ideas. We both have really busy jobs, so it was also hard to find the time to plan the wedding.
Did you do any DIY (do it yourself) or special projects/things at the wedding?
We made welcome bags with key lime cookies, Advil, water, a schedule of events card, and sunscreen. We got cute little stickers made for the bag that had the Tampa skyline and our names and wedding date.
What was your favorite part of the wedding?
We had joked for years about Vish singing to me at our wedding. I love Jersey Boys (I've seen it like 5 times) and we picked Can't Take My Eyes Off You for our first dance song because it's one of my favorites. Right before our first dance, Vish took the microphone and completely surprised me by singing the song to me while we danced or first dance! It turns out he had been secretly taking voice lessons for months!
What 3 words of advice do you have for future brides/grooms-to-be?
Soak it in! Definitely take a minute to appreciate that this is the only time in your life when every person you love and your husband loves and everyone who has shaped you becoming you will be together in one place at the same time. It's an amazing moment.
Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography
Floral Designer: Botanica Design Studio
Event Planner: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Event Designer: Mandap World
Makeup Artist: Michele Renee Hair and Makeup Artist Group
Event Planner: Table 6 Productions
Cinema and Video: VH Video