Sharanya & Munjal's Gujarati Tamil Wedding {San Francisco, CA}

2015 Jan 19 - by Preeti
Are you ready for a colorful, smile-filled, fusion Indian wedding?! It maybe the Monday blues, but this wedding will lift you up into the sky and fill you with love and giggles.

Sharanya and Munjal got married at the San Mateo Marriott, just south of San Francisco, a few months ago. Their wedding was full jewel tones, peacock inspiration (minus the peacock), and a lot of dancing.

When Sharanya emailed us on New Year's Day about featuring her wedding, I couldn't resist her adorable nature and the oh-my-gosh gorgeous bridal photos she had. I will let her tell you their wedding story!

Tell us about the wedding!

We had a South Indian (Tamil) and North Indian (Gujurati) wedding combined into one. Our wedding week started with a nalangu at my parent's house for me, then I had a mehendi party at my parent's house, then Munjal (the groom) had a grah shanti at a local temple hosted by his family, then we had our Sangeet at a location Indian Restaurant (Mayuri Restaurant in Santa Clara) followed by our wedding/reception two days later. Our wedding/reception was held at the San Mateo Marriott.

Munjal and I choose to do first looks and family pictures prior to our actual ceremony/wedding so that we didn't have to worry about it later. I loved that we got to do a first look away from the rest of the ceremony because it can be a lot of pressure otherwise!

The wedding ceremony then started with a baraat where Munjal came in on a red convertible. He was greeted by my family and family friends who did an araati and gave him a garland of dollar bills. We then had an outdoor ceremony that was ~1.5 hours long that included both North Indian and South Indian customs.

Our wedding colors were red and purple and our reception colors were peacock colors (without the peacock embellishments). During our reception, we had two dances, lots of speeches (including one great speech that included a PPT presentation), and dancing! :)

For the wedding, I wore a Kanchipuram silk saree that is traditionally worn by South Indian brides. Munjal wore a silk sharwani that is typically worn for North Indian weddings. It was our way of getting to share both of our traditions, rather than making one person dress to the others customs.

As part of South Indian weddings, Munjal has to put a toe ring on both of my feet while it's on an "ammi kal" (grinding stone)- he was so scared the toe ring would fall off that he ended up squeezing it super tight on my toes causing me to yelp and then start laughing!

We also have a part of the wedding where the bride's brother comes up to the mandap and helps with some rituals- my brother then has to ask Munjal for a gift, otherwise he won't leave and allow the wedding to proceed.

But probably the craziest thing that happened at our wedding was the shoe stealing- my bridesmaids/friends were trying to steal Munjal's shoes which were being protected by his 5 and 10 year old cousins. His cousins gave Munjal back his shoes to put on when we were done with the ceremony and about to walk out. Before Munjal could get his second shoe on, one of my bridesmaids dove for the shoe... but Munjal's groomsmen ALSO dove for the shoe. We then had a shoe fight that lasted for about 5 minutes with one of my bridesmaids literally on the floor!

The shoe negotiations then took place over whatsapp while we were getting ready for the reception. When I later asking my non-Indian friends what they thought of the shoe stealing- they thought it was like catching the bouquet and they were surprised that my friends wanted to get married that badly that they would fight for it.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

I wanted to have a simple wedding that was elegant. I LOVE all jewel-tone colors so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the wedding colors. I also really wanted an outdoor wedding, and I was really inspired by the beauty of the gazebo at the San Mateo Marriott. I mainly just wanted people to have fun and enjoy themselves and eat good food!

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

Making sure everyone was happy! I would often have an idea that I wanted to implement, but then either my parents or Munjal's parents would have a different idea. Wedding planning was all about compromise and making sure everyone was happy- it was just as much about Munjal and I as it was about our families coming together!

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

We made our own ceremony books, table tents, we had ISpy cards at each table and we made our own table numbers. For the table numbers, we used a picture of us at the table numbers age (i.e. a picture of us at six years old for table six).

We also had a photo booth which doubled as our guest book; guests were given a copy of their picture but then a second copy was glued into a book and they could write their well wishes in it as well.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

Just being surrounded by so much family and friends. It was overwhelming (in a positive way) to see how many people came to shower their love and congratulations for us from all parts of the world.

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

Compromise, Wedding-planner/day of coordinator, and relax!

1) Compromise- The best advice I've got was to pick 3 things that meant the most to me in terms of the wedding and letting everything else go. For my wedding, I really wanted wedding documentary to be our photographers, I wanted a shorter ceremony (as opposed to the three hour ceremonies), and I wanted an outdoor ceremony. All of the other details of the wedding, I learned to compromise on since my husband and our families had just as much a right to have a say as us! I wanted everyone to be happy!

2) Get a day of coordinator!!! This ensures that no one in your family has to stress out about making sure things are running on time and no one has to worry about making sure your vendors are there on time or worry about clean up. I absolutely loved that our parents got to enjoy the day as though they were also guests rather than worry about making sure everything went smoothly. They did so much planning leading up to the day off the wedding that they deserved a night to just mingle and have fun and celebrate. A day-of-coordinator is a well worth it expense in my mind!

3) Relax! Every bride worries about all the small details and making sure everything is perfect. I think it's really important to have a good balance and make sure you don't go overboard. Pinterest can be a dangerous thing- there's always one more project you want to do. At some point you have to put a limit on what you're doing and just time to enjoy the whole process. And the day off the wedding- Just let it all go! Every wedding will have something go wrong... but most of the time only you will notice. Majority of the time, guests have no idea that the wedding is less than perfect!

Thank you so much Sharanya for sharing your wedding with us!

{Wedding Vendors}

Photography: Wedding Documentary

Make up: Laenka By Myrium

Decorations: SB Arts

Day-of-Coordinator: Shalini Goyal

Caterer: Bombay Garden (Wedding) and Mayuri (Sangeet)

DJ: Toofan Sounds (DJ Bitzy) for the wedding and DJ Tanveer for the Sangeet

Location: San Mateo Marriott (Wedding) and Mayuri (Sangeet)

Mehendi: Ravie Kattaura