Every wedding I encounter has something special that draws me in. Be it the love story told sweetly by the groom, lockets with pictures of grandparents wrapped around a bouquet, or in the case of this Indian fusion wedding from Alisha + Brook Photographers, an image which sums up the wedding perfectly. The couple holding hands, hers covered in henna, his strong and warm, says it all to me. One look at the gallery, and you’ll see exactly why I’ve fallen in love with this wedding.
From the stunning bride … Brad and I met at our first real jobs right out of college. We quickly became good friends but nothing more. I left my job to pursue another career path and this is when we started spending time together outside of work. Our friendship quickly evolved from being friends to becoming a couple.
After about a year and half of dating… Brad proposed! He kept the actual proposal part very intimate. The whole thing happened in his San Francisco studio apartment. He had me come over to his place early in the day to “help him clean.” When he opened the door, to my surprise, the floor was covered in bright red rose petals, there was a bottle of champagne and 2 flutes on his table. Before I could say anything, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was so perfect! He also arranged a celebratory dinner for us at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. We spent the hours in between the proposal and dinner calling our family and friends to share the good news.
Once our family and friends had all gotten word of our engagement, they started asking me when we were getting married and where the wedding was going to be. Brad is from New Orleans and I am from San Jose. Brad and I decided we wanted the wedding to be in San Francisco since that is where we met and fell in love. We knew we wanted to wedding to be a reflection of us as a couple and I also knew I wanted it to be the Indian wedding I always dreamed of having. I was met with the challenge of combining Brad’s culture and my culture into the day.
We looked at two venues, the first was The Palace Hotel. I was familiar with the venue because I had walked by it several times and had always envisioned it being a perfect venue for my wedding. Once we actually visited the venue together, it became even clearer that this was the venue for us. The hotel style was similar to that of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans (a venue he loves) and also fit with an Indian wedding theme. After our amazing visit at The Palace, we went to see another hotel close by. As soon as we walked in we were both uninterested and only had The Palace on our minds. The search was over at this point and we knew we had found our venue. We both liked the idea of the wedding being in a hotel so our guests could stay in one place given that Indian wedding festivities last a few days.
After the venue was booked, the planning had begun. I spent time researching vendors and booked meetings with a select pool of vendors. I found that I made up my mind quickly when meeting with vendors and followed my gut. I think Brad and I both had a similar vision in mind and it was easy to streamline vendors based on our vision. We both knew we wanted the wedding to be special not only for us, but for each guest that attended. We wanted the wedding to be romantic, clean, and elegant. One of the most beautiful things about Indian weddings are the vibrant colors. I wanted to capture the vibrant colors in my wedding colors but also wanted it to be romantic. I ended up choosing a mix of peach, red, orange, and cream.
Once the vendors were booked and our colors were settled, it was time for us to get our outfits! Brad travelled with me and my family to India for our wedding shopping. This trip was one of the most memorable trips I have taken. We spent our days shopping and our nights eating out and exploring Mumbai. We had seven days to buy four outfits for me and three outfits for Brad so the pressure was on. Luckily, my fast decision making continued and we were able to finish with a couple days left for alterations. The hardest part was finding a reception outfit. I knew I was going to change outfits from the traditional Indian ceremony outfit into something more modern for the reception. I stumbled upon a gown that had Indian beading on it but was an American style gown. Perfect!
The day of the wedding had arrived and the weather couldn’t have been better (this was a concern because our wedding was in January). The festivities kicked off with the groom arriving to the site on a horse. Everything continued to run smoothly as the day progressed. When I walked down the aisle and saw Brad and all my family and friends in one room I was overwhelmed with emotion. After our two ceremonies (Indian and American), the guests enjoyed cocktail hour and Brad and I changed into our “American” outfits. Now that the ceremony was over, I could relax and enjoy the rest of the evening with my husband! I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything looked when we walked into the reception hall. I am so grateful for how wonderfully my wedding planner, Amrit, captured our vision. I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing photographer who captured it all. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Photography: Alisha + Brook Photographers | Venue: Palace Hotel | Wedding Day Planner: Amrit of Anais Events | Floral + Event Design: Anais Events | Officiant (Indian Ceremony): Nilesh Pandya | Officiant (American Ceremony): Francine Landes | DJ: DJ Tanveer | Horse + Barat Rental: Fancy Wheelin’ | Photobooth: oh snap! | Cinematography: Lola Video | Hair & Makeup: Sherrie Long | Cake: Palace Hotel | Caterer: Amber India