The lovely couple made their way to their ceremony day with an unforgettable Sangeet that submerged the groom’s family even more into the fabulous Indian culture! The beautiful Kripa and Matt decided to hold their multicultural nuptials in the elegant halls of the grand University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center! These soulmates decided to receive the Hindu blessings before taking their Christian vows. The vibrantly colored florals for the Hindu ceremony were seriously awesome, from explosions of hot pinks and purples, Northwest Arkansas Florist gave a festive and fun feel to the traditional scenery! For the second ceremony, Maharani Kripa donned a delicate off-white gown she paired with a bright bold bridal bouquet while Matt suited up in a navy suit, very appropriate for his summer union. iDev Event Company LLC's knit team seamlessly planned the whimsical events while the dream team of ePagaFoto caught on camera the best of this fusion wedding extravaganza! Check out our complete gallery for more striking images!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
I met Matt our first day of class at Saint Louis University (SLU). He claims that I went up to him and was chatting his ear off, but I find that hard to believe because I'm very shy with people I first meet. We were friends for a while, and Matt would always make excuses to study with me. Little did I know that he was trying to make his way into my heart! We started dating a few months later and have been together ever since, nearly 9 years ago!
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
Matt proposed to me in July of 2017. He was studying for the Bar exam in Missouri, and I was working for Congress in DC. A few days after he took the Bar, he flew to DC to spend a few weeks with me before heading out of town for his big Bar trip in Costa Rica. I threw a "Congratulations on finishing the Bar" party for him on Friday, and on Saturday morning, we got massages and went shopping for my friend's birthday party later that evening. We then went home to get ready to have a late lunch with one of our best friends from SLU. My friend, Sean, called me in a panic to say that he had to meet us at Bartholdi Park, which was on my way between my apartment and office. Matt and I walked there, and I was searching everywhere for Sean. At that moment, Matt said, "Well, Kripa, I have a question for you..." and I screamed, "Oh my God is it happening now?!" He got down on his knee for half a second, never really asked me anything, and then I screamed, "Yes!!!!" Afterward, we went to my favorite restaurant in DC, where Matt's parents and mine were waiting for us (they had flown in from Missouri and Kansas). Matt had orchestrated all of these things (the party, the massages, the shopping) to distract me from my usual weekend routine. It was absolutely perfect!
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.
To start planning the wedding, I reached out to other Indian Brides who I knew. They pointed me toward Indian wedding planning checklists (either sending me their own or others available online). I then broke those timelines down into a month by month binder to keep track of everything and make sure we were on schedule.
One of the first things we had to do from there was put together a quick guest list so we knew how large our wedding was going to be. From there, we had to find a Venue in Springfield, Missouri (my hometown) that was big enough to accommodate that crowd while also allowing outside caterers to provide Indian food. Luckily, those parameters were pretty easy to narrow down locations in Springfield, and we were lucky to have the incredible, enthusiastic help of Bridgette Renfro at University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center to plan all of the major and minor details of our wedding weekend.
While the wheels were rolling with securing our Venue, we decided to go ahead and start shopping for my wedding outfits. My parents, brother, Matt, and I shopped together for my lenghas in Hicksville, NY, close to where my brother lives because my parents didn't want me to have to feel the burden of taking off a ton of time to travel to India to buy my outfits. My mom selected beautiful saris for our Hindu ceremony during her two wedding shopping trips to India, and for our Catholic ceremony, our friend Sean helped me pick out the perfect white dress at BHLDN in DC.
Selecting the decorations for our ceremony was the toughest part! That's mainly because I had no vision for what our wedding should look like. I downloaded Pinterest to start figuring out what my vision and inspiration were, and Matt found Bhakti Holcomb, our incredible decorator, and florist from Arkansas. She transformed my lack of vision into something even more beautiful than I had ever hoped for.
Based on experience at other weddings, and because we were bringing together two cultures and religions, we wanted to be sure that our DJ was the most dynamic person possible. We absolutely found that with DJ Riz and his team, and that was based on a recommendation from an Indian Bride who was a reference for Bhakti Holcomb. He really engaged our entire 400-person audience for the entirety of our Sangeet program (which is really tough to do), and he turned around to start a dance party at 9 AM the next day. He was a perfect MC, really bringing the energy and enthusiasm from everyone all day long, and he felt so familiar and comfortable to us that people thought he was our uncle. He was integral in bringing our days of events together so beautifully.
And then, of course, there is the importance of selecting incredible photographers and videographers. We had the best crew from epagaFOTO and McGee Creative who were so excited to be a part of our wedding. They kept telling us how much joy and love they felt from the room and how amazing of an experience it was to be part of and experience such an interfaith event for the first time.
For my Hair and Makeup, I had awesome recommendations from a close friend in Springfield to hire Vivo Salon for Sangeet night. I did some research on WeddingWire to find artists for the big day on Saturday and came across Jillian Toppen from Gloss Makeup and Hair. Her photos were beautiful and really drew me in. Working with her was amazing because she is such a perfectionist that wants to get things right and help you feel as beautiful and incredible as possible on your special day.
For our food, I really left that up to my parents to decide, as they have the more sophisticated palate for Indian food. We were so pleased (as a recommendation from my sister-in-law!) to find Godvari Kansas City chefs to cater three diverse menus for each of our separate wedding events. They got the spice right so that our diverse crowd could also enjoy!
Finally, we knew we had so many moving parts and vendors that went into our wedding, and we did not want to be the ones to coordinate all of those details on the days of the wedding. About halfway into our planning, we hired Isha and Deval Parekh from iDev Event Company to serve as our wedding coordinators. They were so thorough, detail-oriented, and professional, and they helped us from being Bridezilla or Groomzilla during our special weekend. Without them, there would have been no one in charge of making things flow smoothly!
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
The thing that everyone kept telling us about our wedding was how powerful it was. Here was an interfaith, interracial wedding taking place in the middle of Missouri, and everyone was so appreciative of what they were able to learn from the entire experience. Our non-Hindu guests loved the Hindu ceremony, and our non-Catholic guests loved the Catholic ceremony. And because Matt and I have been together for so long and have grown so much together, we felt the love from all of our friends and family who have been there for every important step along the way. To have so many people in one room affirming a union that is not the most traditional meant so much to both of us.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
For Brides-To-Be, I think the most important thing is to stay present, not only with the planning process but on the day of your wedding. That means hiring coordinators if you can and letting go of the smallest details when the big week comes. What you want to remember about your wedding is being there to experience it.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
The other thing I have to say about an Indian wedding is how critical your family and friends are! My parents, aunts, uncles, and the Springfield Indian Community really went all out to plan so many fine details and special touches of our wedding that I could never have accounted for in my own wedding planning binder. They were so thrilled to be performing a marriage for me, and I was so grateful to each of them. It was so amazing to see how everyone's year of planning came together in this final, beautiful product that was the best weekend of my life so far!
The interfaith wedding of Kripa and Matt are still far from finished! Stay tuned for the second part.