Jessika & Jerolen's Star Wars Pink Telugu Wedding {South Africa}

2015 Jan 28 - by Preeti
If you read the title of today's featured wedding you're probably going, "ummm, oo emm gee, is this going to be a crazy awesome wedding or what?"

Let me just preface that the wedding you are about to see will blow your mind away.


The rituals were Hindu Telugu traditional. There are Darth Vadar cufflinks. There is a mother daughter dance. There is a Japanese anime (Bleach) inspired wedding cake.

And there is a pink wedding dress with a train.

When Jessika emailed me about featuring their wedding, I didn't even know where to start. I think I fell in love with her and her spunk to have a traditional wedding with tons of offbeat and modern elements. It made me want to squeeze her extra!

Go grab that cup of chai and read up on their story below. And the photos. Make sure you click on the View Gallery so you can revel in every, single amazing photo. Thank you to the very talented Conway Photos!

Tell us about the wedding

We had a traditional Telugu ceremony. Our wedding and reception was held at Braeside in Balito, Durban, South Africa. We performed all the traditional rituals as we wanted the ceremony to be as authentic as possible, this was something that was very important to Jay and I, to honor our culture. Our nelangu's were held separately the night before the wedding. Jay's family brought over trays of sweetmeats and treats to my nelangu (they brought my clothes and jewelry over earlier in the week after the prayers were completed). They were then challenged to an impromptu dance-off before we allowed them to leave. We're still deciding whos' family won :)

During the wedding, Jay made his entrance to the Imperial March and we made our exit after being pronounced as husband and wife to the throne room song from Star Wars.

Could you tell us about any special wedding customs/clothing you had?

Our clothing was less traditional and reflected our personalities. Jay wore a suit with sneakers (yes! with Dart Vader cuff links). Jay chose the suit and the cuff links early on and we matched the tie and the pocket square to my lengha closer to the time.

I wore a pink lengha with a trail, with antique gold work. I saw a picture of a similar lengha a few days after we set our wedding date.I knew instantly that was what I wanted to wear, there were never any second thoughts. I came across Rani by Mahajan, a Red Book supplier on the TBFIW Facebook page a short while after. I sent Neha a picture and she called me a few hours later and the rest was easy. She did an outstanding job of having my lengha made and shipped to me ahead of time (words can't express my gratitude to Neha). I also wore a modern take on the traditional South Indian Bridal plait. My pollen allergies meant that I couldn't use the traditional flowers.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

When we started planning we had three things in mind. The first was it had to be fun for everyone, the second was that it had to be laid back and thirdly it had to be child friendly. The theme was based on "senbonzakura" which translates to "1000 cherry blossoms" from Bleach, Jay's favorite anime (Japanese animated series). I loved the symbolism of the cherry blossom from Asian culture and I LOVE the colour pink. We also incorporated Star Wars which Jay LOVES.

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

For us the hardest part was deciding on a theme (which didn't take that long now that I think of it). The rest was easy, we just went along finding things we liked. Jay was always very involved so I never felt alone. Our friends and family were so supportive and helpful even though our ideas were so abstract.

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

Yes we DIY'd a lot, it was so much fun (and a little hard work)! We personalized the envelopes for the invites with a variety with pink cherry blossoms. We made the programmes (with help from our family). We also made all the hanging decor and the menu rings. Some items might not have been perfect (making the perfectionist in me cringe) but the memories we had together and with family putting everything together are so precious and unforgettable.

We also had a photo booth where guests signed our guest book. There were props provided and guests took family pics, which were printed on site. They were given copies and the one went into the guest book. Reading the messages after were especially fun afterwards. My nephew, who is only seven, wrote us a beautiful message, I was so touched bu this, it was unexpected. He was especially excited the entire day. During the reception he walked over to me, gave me a big hug and told me how happy he is that I married Jay because Jay like video games :). Zandra (our photographer) snapped a pic of this exact moment which I included in the folder i sent you.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

The entire day was special, seeing our family and friends so happy and excited for us was overwhelming. What stood out for me was seeing Jay so happy, he was doing this happy dance randomly and smiling from ear to ear.

We had a mother daughter dance. Being the daughter of a single mum, it was very important for me to acknowledge my mum's enormous contribution in my life. My brother and sister were also like second parents to me growing up, so my brother walked me down the isle and my sister also had her role to play in the ceremony.

Our families were very understanding and supportive of our choices. Our parents, sisters and brothers really came through for us even with our odd requests of them. We has a day filled of laughs and fun and we are grateful to everyone who attended and helped make our day so memorable.

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

FUN- have fun planning, get your groom involved, decide on things together, it's a day for both of you. You wont have to stress about who likes what, if you two like it, little else matters.

TIME- there are only 24hrs in a day, for us we had work everyday so planning ahead of time and setting time aside for important decisions (even if it was to chat over coffee or dinner) helped us stay on track. Also time lends perspective, if you disagree on something, let it sit awhile. Think it over, chances are its not that big of a deal anyway.

LISTEN- Everyone will want to make suggestions based on traditions. These suggestions come with good intentions, so don't be to quick to dismiss them.

Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us! We wish you both the best in life!!

{Wedding Vendors}

Photographers: Conway Photography, Battle Creek, Michigan; Main Photographer: Zandra Conway, Assistant Photographer: Ryan Roake

Venue: Braeside Wedding and Function Venue, Balito, Durban South Africa

Sound and lighting: Durban Dj's

Videography: Sha Rehan Videography

Decor: Galleria Lifestyle Decor

Cake: Sugar coated cakes

Hair and make-up: Shiloh from the Vanity Box

Mendhi: Shaguftha from Xpressions

Lengha: Rani by Neha Mahajan

Designer sweetmeats: Vivax Trousseau (they were gorgeous!)

Mendhi design biscuits: Cake in a Cup (they were gorgeous too!)