Indian Christian Spring Wedding at Kiana Lodge {Washington}

2018 Jul 2 - by Preeti
Anita and Abhishek’s spring wedding at Kiana Lodge featured vibrant colors and gorgeous spring flowers in the perfect Pacific Northwest setting, nestled within pine trees along the Puget Sound. In classic PNW (Pacific Northwest) fashion, there was rain, but that didn’t stop the party from happening!

The couple made the best of it, and brought the beauty of spring indoors for their Western and Indian fusion wedding in a Mar Thoma Christian ceremony. Their color palette was fun and vibrant consisting of mandarin orange, bright pink and fuchsia, marigold yellow, teal and deep ink purple.

Throughout the day, Anita & Abishek incorporated cute personal details, such as cookies that resembled them, a tandem bike for their cake topper, and a colorful graffiti style painting of the Seattle skyline for their guests to sign in lieu of a traditional guestbook.

Anita tells us all about their wedding and proposal.

What is your proposal story?

We love the outdoors and spent a lot of time hiking and traveling together. Abhishek always knew he wanted to propose to me on a hike and planned the proposal in May 2015. He invited his best friend and wife to come along to take pictures. That should have clued me in because they are not hikers! Abhishek chose Lake 22 close to Seattle, a short five mile hike with a beautiful lake view.

At the lake, while I was watching our dog Boomer, Ab was scoping out a site to propose at the water's edge. He joined me near the water, got down on one knee, and proposed while our friends took pictures nearby. I was shocked but of course said yes!

Tell us a little a bit about your wedding.

We really wanted to incorporate our heritage and our love of Seattle/the outdoors into our wedding. We chose a "destination" wedding at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, WA on Bainbridge Island because we felt the venue incorporated a beautiful rustic and waterfront setting with bright colors. Our colors were canary yellow, teal, fuschia, marigold orange, and ink purple.

Tell us about your wedding outfits!

I wore a western style Wtoo dress and Abhishek wore a Bar III navy blue suit with a gold bow tie for the ceremony, and we changed into Indian outfits later in the reception. I wore a manthrakodi, wedding sari, that Abhishek draped over me during the ceremony (this was a deep magenta) and Abhishek wore a gold/red jhuba.

Bridesmaids wore bright orange saris with gold accents, groomsmen wore navy blue Bar III suits as well with gold ties. The Abishek's sister wore a navy blue lengha and my brother wore a gold/white/orange jhuba.

What was the most important while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

Photography and location were very important to us. We were super excited to be able to hire Shane Macomber to take our wedding pictures because we love his style. A friend of ours insisted we hire a videographer and we are so glad we did!

Shane recommended Cabfare productions and we love the highlight film Mitch Mattraw made for us ( and he even made the longer version available for our family to view in India. It was great to be able to re-live the moments via video that weren't captured by still photos.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

Reading the cards we wrote each other while we were getting ready was really special, his made me cry with happiness.

Our first look was awesome! We had spent so much time planning and prepping for the day and it was so great to be able to see each other all dressed up. We enjoyed saying our vows to each other as we hadn't shared them beforehand. It was really fun to dance and hang out with friends and family for the night and finally be married!

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

We wanted bright flowers to match our theme and Flora Nova really delivered! The bride's wedding bouquet was huge, gorgeous, and super bright. The bride's favorite flowers are peonies (which were luckily in season in May) and they were able to incorporate a lot of them. We actually "won" Flora Nova at a charity wedding auction called "Get Hitched, Give Hope" and it was such a lucky match because they captured our vision of lots of bright big flowers perfectly.

They were also able to create two large and bright garlands of carnations, which were placed around the bride and groom immediately after the ceremony. And they also made jasmine garlands for the bride, bride's mother, and other family members to place in their hair once the bride and groom changed into their Indian outfits during the reception.

And that delicious wedding cake!

We went with a local bakery on Bainbridge called Blackbird Bakery. Our main cake was a coconut cream with a cake topper of a silhouette of a just married couple on a tandem bike from etsy. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers matching our overall wedding flowers. We also had sheets of Italian cream cake from Blackbird, which was by far the groom's favorite cake flavor! Because the cake is so delicate, it couldn't be tiered so that's why we had two types of cake! Blackbird also made chocolate caramel tartlets and we also had macarons (the bride's favorite) from Honore bakery in Seattle.

What did you do for favors?

We went with Parker's Crazy Cookies, which is a company that makes caricature cookies of people. They made two cookies in the likeness of Anita and Abhishek and people had a great time taking pictures of them and watching their social media pictures show up on our live slideshow with the hashtag #shekyourthomthom

There were wine corks from the couple's favorite local winery, Savage Grace, serve as holders for placecards for the rehearsal dinner and for identifying pictures of the couple and the different desserts. The bride made the placecards with a personalized stamp from etsy "Anita <3s Abhishek." The bride also put together the program for the wedding via

Our guestbook was a canvas print of the Seattle skyline in bright colors from etsy that people signed. Lastly, the bride's brother sang the first dance, "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges, which was really sweet.

What was the wedding ceremony like?

Our families are both from Kerala, India and originally of the Mar Thomas faith of Christianity. While we had a Mar Thoma engagement ceremony, we opted to have a non-denominational Christian ceremony officiated by a pastor who is a friend of the groom's with a Church of South India (CSI) priest presiding over the more traditional aspects such as the manthrakodi and the minnu.

The night before the wedding, the bride's family and friends feed her honey and bananas, or something sweet. Before the ceremony, the bride's family comes to visit her and she hands them money wrapped in leaves as a blessing.

During the wedding ceremony, there are three distinct traditions that were followed: the blessing of the crowns, the minnu, and the manthrakodi. During the blessing of the crowns, the officiant uses a gold chain to crown the heads of the bride and groom while praying that they maybe adorned with the crown of righteousness and joy all the days of their lives. The crown is a symbol of the authority and royal privileges in Christ. The blessings of God who bless Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah are invoked on the couple. The Minnu is a small gold pendant shaped in the form of a heart with a small cross on it. The heart signifies the concept of love, while the cross represents Christ’s suffering and resurrection, and through these the bride and groom are united in love.

As a symbol of the permanent and sacred bond between bride and groom, the groom uses seven strands from the Manthrakodi and ties the Minnu around the bride’s neck. The seven threads, represent the bride, groom, the two sets of parents and God. The Manthrakodi is presented next. Manthra means “specially blessed” and kodi means “new clothes.” The Manthrakodi is a gift from the groom’s family to the bride. It signifies the pledge that the groom’s family makes, to care for the bride and to provide for all her needs as she joins their family. The groom drapes this sari over the bride’s head, symbolizing God’s grace resting on the bride and blessing the marriage.

The draping of the sari reflects two events from the Old Testament: when Issac first cast eyes on Rebecca to be his wife, he sheltered her in his mother’s hem. In the book of Ruth, we are told that Boaz, in accepting responsibility for her, covered Ruth with the hem of his garment. A woman from the bridegroom’s family assists the bride with the Manthrakodi and thereafter stands behind her, representing the welcome into the groom’s family.

The day after the ceremony, family gathers to see the new couple and feed them honey and bananas. The groom presents the mother of the bride with a sari. Subsequently, when the newly married couple visits family for the first time (even months from the ceremony), the family feeds them something sweet.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

Honestly for us, most of the wedding festivities were to honor our families as opposed to something we would have thrown for ourselves, so we didn't let the little things get to us. That being said, there were definitely things we were firm on, such as the location of the wedding and the type of ceremony we wanted. At the end of the day, we kept reminding ourselves that what mattered was that we were getting married and that counted more than the wedding itself.

{Wedding Credits}

Photography: Shane Macomber Photography | Venue: Kiana Lodge | Event Planning: Perfectly Posh Events | Floral: Flora Nova Floral and Event Design | Calligraphy: Whit Design Shop | Videography: Cab Fare Productions | Wedding Cake: Black Bird Bakery | Henna: Anamika Rang | Beauty: KLS Makeup Artistry | DJ: Integral DJs | Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella | Makeup: KLS Makeup Artistry | Wedding Dress: WTOO by Watters | Groom's Attire: Bar III | Bride's Shoes: Shoes Of Prey | Headpiece: la belle elaine | Veil: Bel Aire Bridal | Headpiece: Sally Crew | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kalyan Silks | Invitations: Valavi | Jewelry: Jose Co | Submitted via: Matchology