Hello sweethearts! Today we unveil the beautiful fusion nuptials between the lovely Amanda and Hemal, courtesy of A.S. Nagpal Photography who was there in the front row to capture this lovely pair's most important day! The couple went for a unique fusion wedding day that gathered two ceremonies in one at the exclusive Renaissance Event Hall. The wedding spree began with a lively Baraat where Dhol expert, Neil Desai, announced the groom's arrival and continued with a non-denominational ceremony that paid homage to the bride's western culture and was immediately followed by a charming Indian ceremony to honor Hemal's heritage. Bravo! To this smart bride for planning and decorating herself the exceptional event that displayed a fun bold color palette of flowers and sweet deets! She got some extra help from Drape Kings to arrange the golden drapery that created the beautiful wedding mandap to harbor the union! Our brilliant bride, Amanda also created her own wedding hair and makeup day-look, she picked a sequin gown that matched her fusion wedding theme and hired the sought-after mehndi artist Mehndikalogie to beautify her hands! Delight yourself with more deets of Amanda and Hemal's marriage! See you in the gallery!
How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was "the one"?
We met on a dating website called How About We. The idea of the website was to complete the sentence "How about we..." with a date idea so you could find people will similar interests so that even if you didn't hit it off on the date, you would still be doing something you both enjoyed. He swears he contacted me first, but I'm pretty sure I clicked on him. Our first date was to the Met museum here in New York on April 20, 2014. It was an okay date, but neither of seemed super interested in each other. It wasn't until the third date that we really hit it off. On that date, he mentioned wanting to stay in NYC permanently (a lot of the guys I'd met had wanted to move somewhere else in the future, which I wasn't interested in) and that's when I thought "this one could be a keeper".
Share the scoop on your Proposal Story!
It was on August 14, 2017, our official 3rd anniversary (of when we had the "what are we" talk). We'd already decided to get married around summer 2018 about a year or so earlier, and we'd actually booked our venue back in February, so it wasn't a surprise. We went out to eat at a restaurant that we both liked, which was where we'd gone on our first Valentine's Day. Then we walked around the South Street Seaport, which is where we'd spent a lot of time the first spring/summer that we were together just sitting and talking. Then when we got home he proposed.
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'd sort of casually decided around Spring of 2016 that we were probably going to get married around Summer 2018, so I started researching venues and how much things would cost in December of 2016. We knew we were going to have a medium-sized wedding and that it had to be over a weekend in the summer when school wasn't in session (he's a teacher), which meant we didn't have a lot of venue options in terms of size and dates, so we actually ended up booking our venue in February 2017, before we were actually engaged. I'd thought about having a wedding planner, but as a designer, I had a very specific aesthetic in mind and I didn't want to hear anyone else's ideas because I knew that if it was someone else's idea I'd eventually question whether I actually liked it or not, and I didn't want to end up feeling like it wasn't really what I wanted. I did my own hair and makeup because I don't really wear a lot of makeup in general and was worried I'd end up looking too overdone on the day. I told my friends I only wanted to like 10% better than I did on a normal day, and that I didn't want to look back at the photos and not recognize myself because I was so done up with hair and makeup. For the decor, I designed a modern looking mandala that became kind of like our logo. I wanted a lot of colors, so I ended up with 6 colors plus gold, and everything was based around those colors. I designed all of the invitations, programs, name cards, etc, as well as the website since I'm a digital designer professionally. I also arranged all of our floral arrangements (which were actually made up of fake flowers) myself and learned just from watching a few YouTube tutorials. For the favors, I wanted to have hand-painted candles to give to everyone that could also be part of the decor. I found some on Etsy, but they were too expensive, so I ended up hand-painting about 120 candles myself. I also bought and folded all of the napkins since the venue didn't have the exact shades I wanted and I wanted them to be folded in a specific way. I joked to my fiancee (now husband) that our wedding was the world's largest arts and crafts project ever undertaken by a single person. When we were looking for officiants, I wanted to have both a Hindu pundit and a non-denominational minister there to represent both families, and I knew it had to be done in an hour or less since we only had one day to do everything. Everyone kept telling me that it couldn't be done, so I ended up writing out the order that everything would go in and kind of arranging how the ceremony would work so that it felt like both families' traditions were honored.
How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind?
I wanted an American-style dress that would feel familiar to my family and friends but also wanted to add an Indian twist to it. I ended up buying a simple, light gold sequined dress from David's Bridal and then bought a red saree with gold sequins on it that I used as a dupatta to wrap around the dress. I also added bangles and had henna covering my arms. My husband's parents had actually bought his outfit when they were in India for his brother's wedding several years before we met, and I knew it was gold and red, so I was trying to match that without actually seeing it. Luckily, we ended up matching perfectly and it actually looked like it was coordinated quite well!
What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why?
Definitely the cake tasting. I'd known for a while that I wanted to use Baked NYC for our cakes, and I'd already kind of decided that I wanted to do a cake bar idea instead of a regular, tiered wedding cake. I'm a huge fan of desserts, and cake in particular, so I wanted this to be a highlight of the wedding. I didn't really care about how they looked, but I cared a lot about how they tasted, so that was the main thing I was focused on. I wanted to do the cake bar idea so that we could have a bunch of different flavors and people could have something to choose from. It also ended up being substantially cheaper than a tiered wedding cake. We ended up getting a Salty & Sweet Cake (chocolate and salted caramel), a pistachio cake, a coconut cake, a strawberry and cream type cake, and a chocolate and coffee cake. I actually wanted to get more, but Hemal talked me out of it, which is good because we had way too much cake in the end.
What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding?
We got a lot of compliments on the ceremony and that people loved how we blended things together without it feeling like we skipped over anything important.
Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind?
I really liked the reception. It was a relief to have everything important over with and we could just relax and talk to people.
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 had one big event for the baraat, ceremony, cocktail hour, and wedding. Everything was on the same day since almost everyone had to come into the city from other states and we didn't want them to have to stay for multiple days for it. We also aren't big on being the center of attention, so anything more than a full day sounded exhausting to both of us. We did have a small thing the night before so Hemal's parents could do a religious ceremony with him and we also had henna and dinner. It was pretty casual and low-key, which we both really liked since we knew the wedding day would be a lot bigger and we didn't want to be tired for it.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be?
Start early, especially if you're doing a lot yourself, and if you have a really specific vision, don't involve too many other people who will have strong opinions that you'll have to fight with.
Anything else you want to tell us? We'd love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.)
There is an adorable wedding reception on the way! Stay tuned!