A Splendid Outdoor Indo-Guyanese Wedding {New Jersey}

2015 Apr 14 - by Preeti
Samantha and Anand had a musical traditional style Indo-Guyanese Hindu wedding in New Jersey. There were laughs and smiles and you'll be hard pressed to not want to dance to their wedding.

Anand was born in NYC while Samantha was born in Suriname, but both of their parents were born in the South American country of Guyana. Their ancestry traces back to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India.

The sacred Hindu customs and rituals were preserved by many Guyanese like their parents which led Anand and Samantha to be raised in a traditional Hindu home. Through their involvement in temple at a young age Anand and Samantha discovered their passion for Indian music and are both well trained in Hindustani Classical music. They met at a queen’s temple in 2005 but didn't start dating until 2007 and then tied the knot last year!

Married at the Garden Falls in New Jersey, they had an outdoor ceremony near the koi fish ponds. And no baraat would be complete without an helicopter entrance. Check out their wedding video by NYNJ Photography below (they also took the fabulous photos).

Golden Love - Royal Wedding of Anand & Samantha from NYNJ Photography

Tell us about the wedding

Our wedding events started from Wednesday August 27, 2014 and continued along the week. On that Wednesday we hosted a Sangeet/Mehendi night at the Fairfield Pavillion hall in Ozone Park Queens. We organized a concert where our closest friends and family that are accomplished musicians and dancers entertained our guests. While the performances were ongoing, females were able to get mehendi applied to their hand. For the sangeet/mehendi night we wore royal blue with pink outfits. We had colorful décor, rangoli centerpieces on the tables, and a bangle display. Our guests wore bright colorful outfits to blend. Because of our musical passion our stage décor included two sitars and a special glass tabla which was lit by LED lights.

On Thursday August 28th, the haldi ceremony was simultaneously performed at Samantha’s residence in Ozone Park,Queens and Anand’s residence in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Once again musicians were invitied to both homes to entertain their guests with indian folk wedding songs.

Friday was spent making preparation and for both families to relax. However with so many friends and family together the celebration never took a break.

Saturday was the Indian wedding at Garden Falls in New Jersey. Over 1000 guests witnessed the wedding performed on a mandap in the middle of a pond while being entertained by live music and a beautiful ceremony conducted by the family priests.

Anand made a grand bharaat entrance by landing in a helicopter while being greeted by his friends and family wearing all royal blue colors. Samantha wore two different outfits for her two entrances to the mandap. On her last entrance when she was coming to join Anand for the first time she was driven by her sister in a yellow Ferrari matching her bridal yellow lehenga.

The reception on Sunday was held at Elite Palace in Queens, NY. Guests were invited to the grand hall for a formal wedding celebration. The mood was festive all night especially when Anand and Samantha made their grand entrance. One of the best features of the hall is that the stage comes forward and rises in the air. The combination of that with all the guests waving glow sticks in the air was priceless. It looked like a rave.

Even at the reception Anand and Samantha’s musical connection was displayed. In her speech, Samantha sang a popular love some called “Tu Hi Re” to Anand. This was Samantha’s favorite song and the English translation of “You are the one” was most fitting for the occasion. The night was full of laughter and dancing to the point where no one wanted to leave the hall.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

Like all couples, we wanted the best wedding ever. We were determined to have a wedding never seen before that would be the talk of the town. We know pulling this off would be extremely difficult especially with our budget. We knew the wedding had to be based around our passion for music but we know we needed something more to make it grand. We realized what we wanted was a royal wedding.

Our goal was to create a modern day wedding for a King and Queen. From our outfits to our venues to our décor and entrances, everything had to have a royal impression. Gold was our feature color that we used to highlight the royal look. Our hashtag was #AnandandSamanthasRoyalWedding which was definitely the first Indian wedding to use that.

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

The hardest part about wedding planning was getting everything we wanted while battling time. There was very little room for procrastination and error and when we did procrastinate we certainly paid the price. Not knowing if something will be completed in time or arrive in time will increase your anxiety. There were many more things that we wanted and there were many things we wanted to change but because of time we had to accept and settle with what we had. Time was definitely our biggest nemesis.

Did you do any DIY or special projects/things at the wedding?

We consider the entire wedding to be our DIY and special project. We did not hire planners to help us. With the help of our family and friends we were able to execute all that we envisioned.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

When I made my entrance to the mandap and saw Anand for the first time I started crying. And he also started crying at the first sight of me while I was walking towards him. We always joked that if he didn’t cry when he saw me on the wedding day I would turn around and walk back.

But we never imagined the emotions we would have felt that day. It is something I will remember forever.

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

Wedding planning is just as exciting and nerve wrecking as the wedding day. There’s so much to do but the key is to enjoy it all and not let anyone or anything bother you. Make sure to document the times spent with family and friends making preparation because these memories will last forever. Time is your biggest enemy.

Checklists and spreadsheets make life easier when monitoring your budget and keeping track of things. Make sure you have a point person or coordinator for each event. This person should know the ins and outs of the wedding and manage everything involved.

Remember, nothing goes smoothly and nothing comes easy especially because every bride and grooms wants perfection. You will have many stressful days full of worries. As planning continues there will be negativity from some friends and families, people you’d least expect it from. This is all part of the wedding experience and just a small hindrance. Don’t let it bother your or slow you down. It’s your day and trust me the rush of adrenaline and excitement on that day can make you forget your own name.

Also remember, there is no redo. No matter what, maintain a happy face and smile smile smile….Your cheeks will hurt from smiling so much but atleast you’ll get some awesome pictures. The best satisfaction you can have is when someone comes to you and says “that was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to in my life. Wish we can do it again.

Tell us about the wedding outfits

In Indo-Guyanese weddings the bride makes two entrances into the mandap. To commence the wedding the bride enters the mandap to do specific rituals and then leaves so the groom can come and perform his rituals. Once the groom has performed his rituals the bride is finally brought out to become his wife. Samantha’s first entrance outfit was a pink lehenga with heavy stone work and a trail.

It is also customary for Indo-Guyanese weddings for the bride and groom be married wearing yellow outfits. For her second and final entrance Samantha wore a heavy yellow lehenga featuring orange and yellow embroidery with stone work. Both outfits were customized and chosen by Samantha when she and her sister went shopping in India for the wedding.

Anand’s Indian wedding outfit was designed by Anand and custom made in New Delhi. His sherwani was yellow with stone work edges and orange in the pleating to match Samantha’s second outfit. Anand also had had two outfits for the wedding. He wore two velvet vests with heavy embroidery and stone work. The first vest he wore was royal blue for his bharaat entrance to match the rest of his bharaat party. When he entered the mandaap for the ceremony he wore a yellow vest to match Samantha's yellow outfit.

Anand also wore a crown on his head for the wedding. Another Indo-Guyanese wedding tradition is for the groom to wear a crown on his head on his wedding day instead of the common turbans we see worn today. This tradition is not as popular in modern days but Anand’s parents requested that he wear it. In an effort to compromise and retro fit Anand had a crown mounted on a turban. This was not easy to do and was professionally done by Anand’s local tailor.

Anand and Samantha had coordinated outfits for their friends and family as well. Orange was chosen as the shared color to connect the groom’s side with the bride’s side. The bride’s side wore neon green with orange while the groom side wore royal blue with orange. The groom’s men wore specific kurtas with orange shawls while other male friends and family wore blue kurtas with vests. Over 40 of the same kurtas with vests were ordered and made in India.

Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us!

{Wedding Vendors}

Decor: Sajawat located in Iselin NJ

Caterer: West Indian Food: Kaieteur Express, Richmond Hill, Queens, NY

Indian Food: Chowpatty Restaurant, Iselin, NJ

Makeup artists: Indian Wedding: Natasha Singh

Reception: Kim K Sharma

Photography and Videography: NYNJ Photography

DJ: Team Magnum DJ’s : DJ Rah Rah (also MC’d) and DJ SpeedE