Welcome back, Maharanis! This story is about one of our favorite fusion weddings. Savreet and Chukwudi met each other in medical school in the Caribbean. Chukwudi is from Nigeria and Savreet from India, but despite religious and cultural differences they kept believing in their love for each other. Eventually the families united through a Catholic and Indian ceremony and they became husband and wife on June 23, 2017. The entire wedding lasted no less than four days due to multiple rituals and celebrations! Both families were met with respect and got to perform all the traditions their heart desired. Savreet tells you all the lovely details in her interview below the pic’s, but let’s highlight a few romantic gems. Our bride was wearing a beautiful and unique peach colored lengha and had her hair pinned at the Indian ceremony. At the Catholic ceremony, she was wearing a breathtaking white John Alexander wedding dress along with a cathedral style veil. Morsal Zarif made sure both hair and makeup made her glow as a true maharani! The Sangeet took place at the divine Mirage Ballroom in San-Jose, California, the ceremony was held at the marvelous San Jose Sikh Gurdwara, and the reception at the gorgeous Eagle Vines Golf Club. The reception venue displayed peach linens, mint napkins, and rustic white, rouge, and red rose flower arrangement by Saba Decor Rentals. The very same company took care of rentals and succeeded in regards to flawless wedding planning. Nikki Bana Flowers organized the adorable florals for the Christian ceremony. DJ's from Desi Jammers Entertainment and Denon & Doyle took shift setting the atmosphere throughout celebrations. Cinematography and photography were captured by Rama photo and video. Please enjoy the full gallery filled with beauty, love, and memories!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met during orientation at our medical school. We were 21-22 years of age and were on a Caribbean island for our education. We are both from California and bonded over that. We were neighbors in the dorms and being a small community of medical students we spent more and more time together. About 2 weeks into knowing each other, he told me in a drunken state that he liked me and thought I should be his girlfriend. I brushed it off as a pass and didn't think much of it. I genuinely thought he would be on to the next one before I could blink. He persisted and always maintained that he wanted more. I'm of Indian descent and he is of Nigerian descent. I was hesitant of the differences in our culture and background and didn't think my family would be accepting of that. For this reason we remained friends and I refused to move forward with the relationship for nearly a year. Eventually I found myself liking the person more and more and understanding that our core values and morals are the same. As I learned more about his family, I saw similarities with my family. Eventually I decided to at least date him and see where it goes. Throughout the relationship I remained open with him that I won't be telling my parents unless we are sure and ready to get married. I told him once I tell my parents, "there's no going back", until then let's take the time to see if we are fit for each other. I knew he was the one when stayed patient throughout all that time and when it did come time to share the news with my family, he remained strong with no sense of cold feet. In the discussions with my family that lasted just over a year, I became more and more sure everyday that he is "the one".
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We were supposed to go to a work event and we had worked at the same place so we had a lot of mutual friends. We were supposed to meet at the venue as we were coming from different places. He told me he was "almost there" when I said "I'm parking". Eventually when he didn't walk in to the room I texted him again and he said he was actually not feeling well and didn't want to tell me earlier because he thought that would make me go see him rather than attend the event. He urged me to stay and have fun and that he'll be at home and I can see him after. I did get a little suspicious but I didn't want to get ahead of myself. When I walked into the house after the event, I walked into a room full of rose petals on the floor. In front of me stood the man himself in a suit, a bright smile and took me by the hand. He took me outside to the patio where there was a small table set for two with champagne and two glasses. We had a gazebo in the backyard which he had spent the day decorating with string lights. As I looked around in awe, digesting how beautiful everything looked, he got down on one knee and said the most beautiful words.
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.
My parents were a huge help in the planning of the wedding. I was living in Michigan during the year before the wedding and had to do a lot of work remotely. The wedding took place in northern California which is where my family is from. The groom's family is from southern California and so they would have to plan trips to come up north to discuss and see venues, etc. My in-laws were extremely supportive of whatever I wanted to do and always asked me what my wishes were. They also made frequent trips to go see the venues, taste food, etc. My parents were local to where the venues were and so were very helpful in going and talking to the venues in person and working out deals and bargaining, etc. Once we picked all the venues, I made a trip to California in hopes of finding a decorator and after a couple of meetings I found the perfect partner in doing this job. I loved that she was young, had many fresh ideas and she already had a lot of knowledge of how to do it all but she took the time to understand what I wanted. This led to both of us being happy with our visions and the execution that followed. My hair and makeup artist was actually suggested by my decorator and I was in love after the trial itself. She did a tremendous job for me and my family; everyone was very satisfied with her work.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I had to have both, a lehnga and a catholic wedding dress, since we did the rituals for both sides of the family. I went to India for my lehnga and designed it with a local designer that my family has done previous business with. Going into it I knew I wanted to go for a peach color. When it comes to Indian clothes and jewelry, I'm not as flashy as generally expected of women. I had to repeatedly assert that i wanted to scale back on the amount of fabric, or embroidery or the dupatta, etc. Everyone was very surprised at how "simple" I was going but when it all came together it was as amazing as I had envisioned it to be. I shopped for a wedding dress in Michigan where I was living at the time. I went to one salon which was out of my price range and alot of online research later I found another salon which had the style of dresses i liked and the price range I could afford. I picked a John Alexander white wedding dress with a long train that was a strapless sweetheart neckline and silver embroidery along the waist line. I added a lace to the neck and converted it to a high neck and I added sheer sleeves with some of the same lace that was on the neck added on to the wrist end of the sheer sleeves. I had a cathedral style veil that was as long as the train on my dress and it looked breathtaking.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
My favorite part of the planning process was definitely planning the decor. While the outfits were easy to do as I designed my own, all the ladies of the family tend to have plenty of knowledge on that to share. The venues were stressful to find and once they were done it was a relief. But the decor was a process that evolved over 6-7 months and was fun to design. I had 3 meetings with my decorator over the year and I saw the events come together little by little during this time and these meetings. She was also so stress-free to work with that I enjoyed it that much more. I could change my mind anytime, ask her as many questions as I wanted and send her an email which she always replied to within 24 hours.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The most common feedback I have received is that the the union of both the cultures was very evident. We are often told that the events were very balanced and both sides of the family got a chance to display their rituals, outfits, music, etc. This means alot to me because that was priority number one.
Both sides of the family believe that marriage is an affair between two families and not just two people so it was very important to my husband and I that we start this marriage by respecting both sides of the family during the wedding itself.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
That is such a hard question to answer because of two reasons. One, the wedding was 4 days long for us and every function and everyday was so special that its hard to choose one moment. Two, its all also one big blur. I would say, the first 1-2 hours of my time at my reception were probably my favorite time during the wedding and I think back to that day often. The coming together of two different families that speak a different language and are trying to find that common ground is a difficult task. I would say by the day of the reception, everyone had blended well, made friends and it got so comfortable that it was probably the most fun everyone had. I remember the relaxed feel of that day in the crowd. It was also the day I was the most relaxed because everything had went well. I think fondly back to all the speeches because while the love was evident, it was special to hear in words how everyone felt.
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.
The sangeet night was probably the most eventful of the 4 days of the wedding. It was the night to kick off the wedding and punjabi sangeet tends to be full of loud colors, larger than world outfits and ofcourse lots of singing and dancing. We had the customary jaago and boliyan which were very special. The groom prepared a solo dance for me on the punjabi song "suit suit karda" which was priceless since no one expected a nigerian groom to do anything like that. Then my beautiful cousin surprised us with a beautiful dance performance sung on all the songs that she thought apply to us. Half way through the night we changed into nigerian outfits and did the nigerian ritual of getting blessings from parents on both sides. We made sure that the DJs on every night had a list of Punjabi and Nigerian songs that they can play to equally represent both cultures. The decor on this day matched the enthusiasm of both cultures. We used alot of bright green, blue, silver and red. On the contrary, the reception was at a vineyard and golf club in the Napa valley. On that day we went for wine barrels, soft peach/gold decor with peach and white flowers and a white dance floor.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
The biggest advice I can give Brides-to-be is enjoy the planning. The planning is so much work and there comes a point you just want to enjoy the day already because you are so sick of planning. However, when the day comes its over before you know it and all that work you put in seems to fly past you. The misconception with weddings is that there's this perfect romantic day devoted to you and you'll remember it forever. While it is an awesome romantic day devoted to you, most likely what you'll remember the most is planning it.
A lovely story! Come back and visit us again soon!