Rohit and his bride knew they wanted their wedding to be a fusion of Indian and American traditions to represent the two cultures they were raised in. They wanted to adopt newer customs while still preserving the heritage of their cherished ancestors.
"Our beautiful multiday fusion wedding featured vibrant Indian fare against the beautiful botanical backdrop of Cheekwood Gardens," the bride said. "We did not have a traditional Indian wedding by any means. Most are four- or five-day functions, but we wanted to maximize our time with our guests, so we consolidated. This allowed us, our families, and guests to be rested for each individual event including a Ganesh pooja, mosalu, haldi ceremony, mehndi, tilak, baraat, and wedding ceremony and a combined reception and sangeet. Our wedding was the first Indo-American fusion wedding and the first outdoor Indian wedding in our community in Nashville."
The groom arrived on a majestic white horse surrounded by his family and friends. They incorporated the American processional down the aisle to the mandap (altar) with bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the bride's dog. The wedding itself was performed by a Hindu priest in Sanskrit (a sacred language) while the lovebirds walked around a fire and exchanged vows.
"After the Hindu ceremony, we wanted to perform American rites, so we exchanged rings and signed our marriage license in front of all of our guests," the bride said. "[As for] the attire, my mosalu/mehendi outfit was a custom-made, hand-embroidered fuchsia anarkali that was made in Mumbai and featured 15 yards of chiffon that made twirling seriously fun. For the ceremony, I wore this beautiful red bandini lehenga sari from Mumbai with exquisite gold hand-embroidery throughout, while Rohit wore a family heirloom — a wedding sherwani that had been passed down to him by his older brother."
The couple's reception, however, greatly differed from common Indian tradition.
"In Indian culture, white is synonymous with passed relatives, so naturally, my extended family was not too keen on me wearing white to any event at my wedding," the bride said. "However, growing up in the states, I had always nursed the dream of wearing a beautiful white gown. After tremendous amounts of persuading my family and time searching, I fell in love with a gown in Mumbai that was custom-made in ivory just for me."
Every time the bride revisits the photos and videos of her wedding, she can still feel the sun peeking through the drapes of their mandap and the silent yet steady breeze.
"I was expecting the wedding to be underwhelming," she said. "How could anything be so exquisite and perfect? But I could not have been more wrong. Rohit and I are so blessed and grateful. The entire experience was magical thanks to our families, friends, and vendors. We are incredibly thankful for the most beautiful weekend we could have imagined, but also for our photographers and videographer for capturing this moment so perfectly and preserving its memory."
See the magnificent photos ahead!