Shilpa & Eguiar's Boho Garden Mountain Wedding {Spain}

2015 Jan 3 - by Preeti
Oh where do we start with this wedding? The mountains of Spain? The view to the ocean? The decidedly elegant emerald green uni-tone wedding lengha? The adorable couple?

With all of them! This five day fusion wedding blends Shilpa's South Indian culture and her husband, Equiar Spanish culture. Talk about dance, fun, and festivities.

I won't keep you anymore as Shilpa has lots to share and photographer Pedro Bellido created a stunning collection of photos.

Tell us about the wedding

Eguiar was born and raised in the Canary Islands of Spain, and my parents were Indian immigrants that came over to the US in their 20s. We wanted to honor both our Spanish and Indian heritages, recognizing that at times they can be diametrically in opposition of one another. Spain seemed like a perfect midpoint for my relatives in India and friends in the US, while making it easier for his friends and family to travel. We settled on Marbella, Spain for its proximity to the beach, mountains and the oft-visited sites of Sevilla, Granada and Morocco.

In true Indian style, the wedding was a five-day affair, starting off with a backyard party on that Wednesday and ending with a beachside brunch on Sunday. There was a sangeet and mehndi party, as well as flamenco and traditional Andalucian horse dancing. However, for the wedding, I wanted the actual ceremony and reception to feel like an intimate backyard party, which was definitely a challenge with 240 guests coming in from all over the world.

We started off the groom’s baraat (the Indian procession by horse) by the gate of the house to the mandap (the traditional Hindu altar for wedding ceremonies). We were adament that the whole wedding take place outside, so our amazing wedding planner, Luca, helped us construct the mandap on the lawn of the house with the mountains as a backdrop.

My family is from south India, so our ceremony was conducted by a Telugu priest and included two musicians playing the nagaswaram and thavil (typical south Indian instruments that are played at weddings in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). I was lucky in that my family allowed me to skip wearing a typical pattucheera (a traditional south Indian sari worn by brides on their wedding) and instead let me opt for a fun, bright green Sabyasachi lengha and blouse).

After our ceremony, guests had cocktail hour overlooking the Costa del Sol and the valley near the pool of the house. We played background music that included our favorite indie rock music and old classic Bollywood standards. Dinner and dancing took place on top of a grassed terrace that oversaw the residence and the distant twinkling lights coming from the coast of Africa. After we cut the cake, a samba dancer came out to surprise everyone on the dancefloor, which I did as a throwback to Eguiar's hometown, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where Carnaval is a huge deal.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?

The inspiration from our wedding was drawn from both our Spanish and Indian heritages. I very much wanted to honor the beauty and landscape of Andalucia, which meant keeping things beautiful, elegant, simple and not overdone. Indian weddings can be very over-the-top, very ornate and very gilded. I wanted to retain Indian elements but still have the wedding feel natural and rustic. Therefore, center pieces and decorations drew on wooden boxes, fresh flowers grown locally and natural vases. Lighting consisted of strung lanterns and fairy lights to bask guests in a warm natural glow as the sun went down.

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?

The hardest part about wedding planning, and this is where Lucia's help was crucial, was to balance the Indian traditions, which included the priest and musicians, with Spanish customs and my American wedding sensibility. I was planning across an ocean with a six-hour time difference and both Eguiar and I were traveling for work. Both of our parents did not speak the same language and every single guest was coming in from out of town.

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

Eguiar and I spent so much time and effort pulling the welcome dinner, the day tours, beachside brunch and the previous night's Sangeet and Mehndi party together that we left wedding details to Lucia and her exceptional vendors. There was so much DIY in the days leading up to it that we knew it would be too much to handle on the actual wedding day. The only thing Eguiar and I crafted separately were the programs, which we had a good friend custom-design for us.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?

Our favorite part of the wedding was EVERYTHING. The baraat was special for Eguiar, as his Spanish friends had printed up songs to sing over the baraat processional music, the ceremony was chaos in true Hindu form, the dinner and dancing was unbelievably fun, crazy, hilarious. I couldn't narrow it down to one favorite part.

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

- If you're an Indian bride, you can often get caught up in the jewelry, the shoes, the hair and the clothes. Try not to let those elements take over your wedding planning. Wear what makes you feel beautiful, special and happy while being mindful that what makes a memorable wedding is not how fancy your tikka or your bangles are but rather the time you give to your guests. I opted for mostly costume jewelry since I wanted to apply that savings to a great party.

- Find a DJ that plays the music you and your husband love. In the end, those who get on the dancefloor are your friends and family. If they see you out there having a great time, they'll want to join you out there. Too many times I see young Indian couples forsake a good DJ or band which results in a less crowded dancefloor. You want folks to dance. For hours. Our DJ kept the crowd going until 5am.

- Your parents are reasonable people. They want you to have a fantastic wedding and they want to pay homage to wedding traditions from their home. If you have a frank and respectful conversation on the elements that are important to them and the elements that are important to you (and the budget that everyone collectively can contribute), I promise you that everyone will end up happy.

Thank you so much for sharing Shilpa! Wish you both the very best!

{Wedding Vendors}

Photography: Pedro Bellido, Malaga/Marbella, Spain // Videography: Studio Krrusel // Bride's Shoes: Alexander Wang // DJ: Romain Bailly // Groom's Suit: J. Lindberg // Indian Wedding Dress: Sabyasachi // Save The Dates/Stationery/Invitation: Mr. Boddington's Studio // Table Stationery: Caprichia Weddings & Occasions // Wedding Bands, Hairpiece, Necklace: Customized Pieces By Misa Jewelry // Wedding Planning, Styling, Venue & Local Vendors : Caprichia Weddings & Occasions // Wedding Website And Customized Design: Una Piranha // White Wedding Dress : Delphine Manivet