True story: when this pretty-fest first popped into my inbox, I was certain it was a styled shoot. Like dead certain. But turns out the creative genius behind this wedding is a doctor-turned-bride whose sense of style knows no bounds. And while she had a little help from the lovelies of Bows and Arrows + Forever Photography Studio, I sort of think wedding design is her second calling.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Chateau
Styles
Whimsical

From the Bride… I’ve never been the princess type, but when I met Dan, I felt like all my girlish fairytales were coming true. Dan and I met during our orientation week of medical school. A slow friendship quickly and easily progressed into a beautiful lifelong commitment. We found in each other everything we had been waiting for in a partner. After almost three years of dating, we got engaged in a special and intimate way in Laguna Beach. Just the two of us and a California sunset. We decided to get married a year from that day in Texas, where I grew up.

I couldn’t wait to start the planning process. I always make the joke that I feel like I’m part doctor/part wedding planner at heart. I knew I wanted to intertwine both modern and traditional elements and features of the Indian and American cultures to where it was seamless and not cliché or so obvious. Just natural, a true reflection of our relationship. Chateau Cocomar was a dream of a venue. I knew our guests would be blown away by its stunning beauty, and that there was no better choice.

The hardest part of the design aspect for me was choosing a color palette. There were so many beautiful options and supposedly I could only choose one! What a tough decision for a bride! I knew that if I stayed true to myself, I would never regret my design decisions. So even though we had a traditional American wedding, I brought in a more traditional Indian color palette throughout the lush floral: light pink, coral, red, dark fuchsia/pink, marigold. Since the floral was bold and so much the focus, I wanted to have the linens and dinnerware to be more neutral bringing in gold and ivory. The gold flatware really added that luxurious and unique touch. Little Miss Press helped design the letterpress and gold foil invitation suite using mint green, emerald green, fuchsia, and ivory. We tied in both modern patterns and traditional floral elements.

Dan and I decided on a late morning wedding, because we just love the beautiful light in the Chateau during the day. Though initially, we were leaning towards a brunch reception, we went with a full Indian lunch. During the cocktail hour, our guests strolled the property with a mango lassi in hand, listening to the string quartet play The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, while taking in the breathtaking architecture of our venue. After our first dance to Band of Horses “Marry Song”, lunch was served family style. It was so important to me that everyone that came to the wedding felt like one big family. Everyone sat at long rectangle tables and all the guest favorites were available, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Vindaloo, Aloo Gobhi, and some of the lesser known curries and rice. Of course, plenty of Naan for everyone!

For dessert, we had delicious macarons and cake by Sugary and Chic Cake Boutique. The bridal cake was an almond cake brushed with coconut milk with mango and coconut fillings. Mangoes and coconuts are staple fruits in South India where my family is originally from. The design incorporated both the floral style of the wedding and the invitation suite’s geometric trellis pattern. The groom’s cake, a surprise for Dan, was a thin mint chocolate cake, a twist to the usual Southern tradition. The groom’s cake was the talk of the reception. Dan is an orthopedic surgical resident, and enjoys rock climbing in his spare time. So his cake showed him rock climbing with his medical gear to help save a man at the top of the mountain that broke his leg. The details on the cake were immaculate and so amusing (not to mention, delicious!) for all our guests.

Dan and I made it a point to visit with every guest, and to this day, say how happy we are that we were able to do that. I’ve always hated when I would go to a wedding, and you felt like the bride and groom never even knew you were there. I wanted each person to know how much we appreciated their presence on that day and in our lives. One of the reasons we decided not to do a formal exit is so that we could spend as much time as possible with some of our dear friends at the reception. We weren’t in any hurry to leave them! When we were finally ready to say goodbye to our dream of a day, the guests left with alfajores , a Latin cookie, from a local Houston bakery, boxed with gold and ivory twine. Another personal touch, and nod to Dan’s two year long mission in Chile.

After our wedding night at one of the Magnificent Seven suites at Hotel Zaza, Dan and I left for our honeymoon in Iceland. It was a true trip of a lifetime and we regularly get so nostalgic for our time there. Till our next adventure, we are very much enjoying married life as newlyweds in Southern California with our super silly and cute Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Tex and Sophie.

Photographer: Forever Photography Studio | Videographer: POP Video Houston | Coordinator: Ellanesque | Flowers: Bows and Arrows | Cake: Sugary and Chic Cake Boutique | Brides Dress: Lazaro | Invitation: Little Miss Press | Mansion: Chateau Cocomar

Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Forever Photography Studio, JLM Couture, Inc and Bows and Arrows are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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