Fusion weddings are always special but Laura and Devang really knew how to take a fusion wedding to the next level! Their fantastic Hindu-Christian wedding didn’t have two separate ceremonies but one with two officiants! How brilliant is that? The most important day in the couple’s life was registered by Silver Moon Photography by Tiffany in a beautiful series of images that gives us a glimpse of the bride and groom’s love story. The multi-day wedding festivities started with Laura’s mehndi followed by a Sangeet night at the Pearl Banquets & Conference Center where the couple hosted an event with lots of merriment from both sides of their families. The main location for their interfaith nuptials took place in the elegant spaces of the Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort where Laura and Devang involved their closest relatives to participate in the creation of their dream day. Laura’s father built the mandap and her mother teamed up with The Flower Cart to design all the décor for the ceremony and reception adding a truly personal and meaningful touch to make the whole event unique. All elements of a Gujarati and Christian wedding were present as a symbol of the combination of both cultures. In addition, the bride picked a white dress for the ceremony while the groom opted for a traditional sherwani. I'm loving all the beautiful fusion details this couple comprised for their big day! Need to see more details? Check the full gallery by Silver Moon Photography by Tiffany!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
Devang and I met at work! Devang works for Jetblue Airlines at O'hare and I worked for Virgin America at the time. Their ticket counters are right next to each other and over the course of two years, we got to know each other better. Very slowly at first but eventually we were using our airline benefits and flying all over the country together. I knew Devang was the one when we went on one of our first dates, which was a trip to Disney World. I'm an uneasy flyer and he made me feel so at ease on the flight and the time passed by so quickly! During that trip was when he told me he loved me while we were sitting on a bench in Epcot. I still get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it! The feelings were mutual.
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
We went to visit his parent's in Florida and then went with both of his parent's on a trip to Jamaica. From the moment we got to the resort in Jamaica, Devang was acting a little nervous. The second day of our trip he asked if I wanted to walk with him to watch the sunset (he gave it away a big- he's not the type of guy to ever ask to watch the sunset!). We went down to the beach, just the two of us, and he got on one knee and proposed. We were both a little nervous and overwhelmed so I know there were very nice words exchanged but honestly, the whole proposal was a happy blur!
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.
Our planning was unique! We were combining two cultures and wanted to make sure they were both equally represented. We didn't have a wedding planner so we really utilized our family in our wedding planning and they were all so helpful along the way. We were adamant that we did not want to have two separate celebrations and that we wanted our wedding to have the fusion feel through and through. This meant that we powered through two ceremonies at once (Hindu- Gujarati and Christian) and we had two officiants. My Dad built our Mandap and Devang wore traditional Indian clothes while I wore a white dress and we switched for the reception when he wore a suit and I wore a lehenga. It was an amazing wedding planning experience because both of our families really got to learn about each other's customs, religion, and traditions. As for the decor theme, I envisioned jewel tones (with an emphasis on purple) and gold. My family loves Disney and I kept the bazaar feel of Morocco in Epcot in mind and we felt it turned out great! We had so much fun planning all of the different events and combining our families and cultures!
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I chose a wedding dress for the ceremony and a lehenga for the reception. I wanted the ceremony dress to be white, as that is what I've been envisioning my whole life but I also wanted it to fit in with the fusion theme. I went with a dress made by Casablanca, which I purchased at Bijou Bridal. The dress had beautiful beadwork and was very sparkly yet tasteful, which fit in with our fusion theme. As for my lehnga... I thought I wanted purple and we spent months trying to find the perfect purple lehnga. Instead, I wound up with colors I had never envisioned! We purchased a beautiful orange, navy and light blue lehenga with silver and gold accents.
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
We loved learning about each other's traditions and combining our two cultures. It wasn't always easy but the pay off was so great and we really learned more about each other and our families through the process.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
Devang and I received A LOT of great feedback about our Mandap (which was awesome to hear since my Dad built it!), our food and our DJ. Music was really important to us so we were really happy that everyone loved the DJ so much and who doesn't love amazing Indian food?!
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
Oh wow... the whole weekend?! Honestly, every moment of the wedding was pretty amazing and we were so lucky to feel so much love from all of family and friends. Everyone really got into the wedding spirit and had such a great time participating in all of the events (the pithi, the mehndi, sangeet, raas Garba, Baraat- all of it!) The most special moment that I replay often was walking down the aisle and seeing nothing but Devang and exchanging our vows. The first dance and father daughter dance and mother son dance were great too. Those moments were golden!
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.
We held the mehndi party at my sister's house and we kept it pretty small. There were probably about thirty of us there and we decorated with scarves and very pretty Indian style umbrellas. It was a laid back event and really did the trick of getting us into wedding celebration mode. We had a "Blessing Ceremony" at Compass Church out in Naperville, IL, which was special to me and my family as we wanted the opportunity to pray in the church and to bless the upcoming marriage. The sangeet was held at Pearl Banquets in Roselle, Illinois and Devang's family took care of decor and the timeline. His family performed several dances (they were awesome!) and my mom played two really touching songs on the piano while one of her friends sang- the song choices meant so much to me and it was beautiful! We also did the pithi at the end of the sangeet. We heard our guests loved learning the raas Garba dance but we missed it since we were trying to get all of the yellow off!
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
This only happens once- enjoy every moment no matter how trivial or how large. Take a deep breathe and trust that everything will get done on time. Be open to help from those you love and be open to new ideas (I know that isn't always easy!). When searching for vendors we realized it was best to go with our gut (and stay in our budget). We loved all our vendors! Devang's father and my grandmother had both passed away the January before our wedding, which made our wedding and planning extra emotional but really brought us closer together as a little family. Brides-to-be, you can get through anything! At the end of the day what really matters is the love of your fiance and your friends and family. We are so grateful for everyone's love and support.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
Have fun with the planning and pinning on Pinterest but don't let the crazy ideas on Pinterest overwhelm you. Some of it is feasible and with anything, you have to be imaginative and realistic at the same time. Happy wedding planning!