Good morning, beauty queens! Get ready to join us at the Akshada & Alex's wedding festivities because there are lots of inspiring ideas you don't want to miss! Amid a tremendously vibrant and colorful decoration, crafted by the talented team from Prashe, these festivities began with a Sangeet Ceremony held within the halls of the Bass Performance Hall. This cultural venue, a witness of thousands of plays, concerts, and performances, was about to open its doors to Akshada & Alex's marriage and began to prepare by hosting the pre-wedding ceremonies. Akshada stole the night dressed in her multicolored lengha full of style! Cosmetality took care of this Maharani's beauty needs with a magnificent hairstyle and a trendy makeup while KM Henna Artistry crowned this vision of beauty with an artistic Mehndi design. This winning combination added an extra touch of Indian flair to an already impressive look! An just in case you were wondering, who are the masterminds behind the fantastic shots we get to enjoy. Those are the good folks from Bella Lumi who are well-known for their talent when it comes to immortalizing unique and life-changing events. If you want to continue enjoying this pre-wedding ceremony, do not hesitate to visit the gallery we have prepared for you. We are sure you will love it!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met in high school chemistry, ironically. We became friends first (with a lot of effort on my side) and started dating 2 years later. We went to separate colleges after high school and we would visit each other on weekends whenever we had the time. One of the weekends he was visiting I got really sick and he spent the weekend taking care of me; making his favorite noodles, getting me Gatorade and blueberries, whatever I could stomach. That's when I knew.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We went on a Labor Day weekend trip to Door County, Wisconsin. We had been discussing engagement for a couple of months but a proposal never came, so I thought it might happen that weekend but he still managed to surprise me. We did romantic things like parasailing and hiking but nothing happened so I just figured this wasn't the time. He waited until the last day of our trip while we were on a bike ride. We stopped on a secluded beach to watch the sunset and drink wine, then he proposed and I was totally caught off guard. It was a rocky beach, so I remember being concerned about his knee while he was kneeling. A random woman hiking by yelled, "Congratulations!" to us but we barely even noticed.
Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details.
We first found a venue that fit our priorities – guest count and outside catering policy – and took the first available date since that didn’t matter as much to us. Our venue had many diverse beautiful spaces with existing features so we just wanted to accentuate and didn’t force a single theme on it. We also tried to unify our Indian and Chinese cultures in a modern way when deciding on the decor. Our parents and family members were a huge help in doing the legwork for us on many of our vendors since we lived across the country in Madison, WI but got married in Fort Worth, TX.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I knew I wanted to wear a lengha but didn't have anything in particular in mind from the beginning. I figured I would be able to shop around and try out different styles until I found the right one. We weren't able to make it to India to go shopping so we knew we had to start looking early at local places, and I was skeptical I wouldn't find anything I liked. I showed a family friend my Pinterest board and she knew exactly where to take us. Walking into Studio D was like walking straight into my personal Pinterest page. I had always loved intricate embroidery and beadwork and all of Divya's collection definitely fit the bill. I struggled with saying yes to the dress because it was one of the first dresses I tried on, but after I went to a few other places and I knew it was the right one for me. When we went back, I tried it on again and my mom and sister agreed this was the one.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
We really enjoyed trying to maximize the experience for our guests. We knew from the beginning that our top priority was to have an open bar, delicious food, and fun music. If that meant sacrificing on the budget elsewhere or not having the most dignified meals, then so be it. Since it was a fusion wedding, we also knew that there would be a lot of opportunities to introduce new things to both families, from carefully planning the menu options to incorporating family members into the events.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
From what we heard, people really enjoyed the food. We tried hard to cater from a wide range of restaurants, so we had tex-mex for lunch after the wedding, and both Indian and Chinese options during Garba and the reception. Everyone got to try some of our favorite things and branch out from the typical wedding fare.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
There wasn't one particular moment that replays in my mind, more flashes of dancing at the reception. I have thought back on that night frequently since the wedding and just remember the sheer amount of joy I was feeling. There we were surrounded by our closest family and friends ... dancing to Gold Digger by Kanye. If I could relive any part of my wedding it would easily be the reception.
For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details.
While we were doing an overall Indian wedding, we still wanted to incorporate Chinese culture so it wouldn't be so one-sided. My bridal mehndi had his Chinese name hidden within the design, and he also got some mehndi done on his forearm with my name written in Gujarati. However, something got lost in translation and now all of our mehndi pictures have both of us proudly showing off his name!
Garba was always going to be a very Indian event so we organized people to teach the newcomers so that everyone could learn some basic steps and join in instead of sitting off to the side. We also served bubble tea with dinner since it was both a nod to his heritage and we knew it would be a hit with everyone.
Since we decided on doing a Hindu ceremony, we found a priest that was very good at explaining what was going on and also printed out a program. We hung a large Chinese good luck symbol on our mandap opposite from the Ganesh symbol, and also brought up some of his family members to participate in the ceremony. We decided to change up the lunch fare by offering tex-mex from Chuy's instead of serving a traditional Indian lunch so that we could share some of our favorite cuisine with everyone.
The reception was the only place that wasn't inherently Indian, so we tried to really embrace more Asian elements without being gaudy. We strung red lanterns across the open ceiling and had strands of hand-folded origami paper cranes incorporated everywhere - while not technically Chinese, it was meaningful to us because he asked me to prom with an origami sign way back when.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Settle on a budget and decide what you’re not willing to sacrifice on, that will make it easier to make tough decisions later. Everyone has an opinion on what they want to see. Make sure you have your priorities straight so that you can let go of the smaller details – it’s easier to avoid arguments that way. Don't be afraid to accept help, there are too many things to do and you can’t possibly micromanage every aspect. A day-of coordinator is a really nice thing to have, as your schedule will already be packed without much sleep, much less time to manage everything else.
This pre-wedding ceremony was the perfect preamble for what is coming down the road, so make sure to stay close if you don't want to miss all the beauty that surrounded this life-changing event.