Tradition with a twist: Personal touches complete an Indian wedding

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“Our attire for the wedding ceremony was very traditional,” says Anjali. Each of the couple’s families are from different parts of India, where there are slight variations in wedding attire. “Each side of our family wore the clothing specific to our region of India.” Photo: Aaron Watson Photography “Our attire for the wedding ceremony was very traditional,” says Anjali. Each of the couple’s families are from different parts of India, where there are slight variations in wedding attire. “Each side of our family wore the clothing specific to our region of India.” Photo: Aaron Watson Photography

Anjali Joshi and Gopi Kumar  |  August 27, 2016

Planning an Indian wedding, Anjali and Gopi knew, meant incorporating certain traditions when it came to attire, décor and even food. But the couple made their special day their own thanks to a few key details.

“The months leading up to the wedding were a little bit of DIY-mania,” says Anjali. “We tried to make and do as many things as we possibly could ourselves.”

To start, Gopi had recalled a great weekend the couple spent together in New York—attending the U.S. Open, seeing a play and meeting up with some friends. The visit included a special memory of playing with pinwheels while walking around the city, so Anjali suggested translating that memory into escort cards.

At the ceremony, guests walked to their seat through an aisle decorated with vintage photos of the couple’s family members at their own weddings; at the reception, they were given cocktail napkins with five facts about the bride and groom.

Of course, for all of their careful planning, there was one detail that almost went unnoticed: the first dance.

“In the week leading up to the wedding, we soon figured out that we weren’t the best dancers,” says Anjali. They worked with her cousin to cook up a goofy dance, which they executed flawlessly. Not surprisingly, it was one of their favorite moments of the night. You know what they say about the best laid plans…

Anjali and Gopi met at the wedding of a mutual friend who had planned to set them up. They hit it off (“not sure due to or in spite of Gopi’s smooth moves,” Anjali says) and started dating in 2014. They were married a little over two years after they met. Photo: Aaron Watson
Anjali and Gopi met at the wedding of a mutual friend who had planned to set them up. They hit it off (“not sure due to or in spite of Gopi’s smooth moves,” Anjali says) and started dating in 2014. They were married a little over two years after they met. Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
The couple’s mutual love of candy inspired the candy bar favors. Photo: Aaron Watson
The couple’s mutual love of candy inspired the candy bar favors. Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
After sampling almost everything on Bollywood Bistro’s menu, Anjali and Gopi narrowed it down. “We were able to pick some great appetizers and entrées which were both super tasty and slightly different than what people normally get at an Indian wedding,” says Anjali. The elegant cake included a small wedge of fondant “cheese” on the back, an homage to Gopi’s favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers. Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography
Photo: Aaron Watson
Photo: Aaron Watson Photography

THE DETAILS Event planner: Evelyn Keyes of Icing the Cake  Ceremony and reception venue: Castle Hill Cider  Officiant: Sri Satyanarayan Marathe  Catering: Bollywood Bistro (Fairfax, Virginia), Carpe Donut  Flowers: Ken Ward of Couture Design  Cake: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations  Music: DJ Ravi Jackson (Philadelphia)  Dresses: Traditional sari from India (ceremony); Studio East6 (reception)  Shoes: Kate Spade  Rings: Max Color, LLC  Hair and makeup: The Beautique by Sapna  Henna artist: Henna Harmony  Videographer: Ian’s Creations  Invitations: Avani Bhansali of A Royal Impression  Rentals: MS Events, Real Southern Accents, Stonegate Rentals, Occasion Caterers  Transportation: Sunshine Tours

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