Alexandra and Shawn, Los Angeles, California
The meeting of two cultures, balanced by elements from two very lively personalities.
Alexandra and Shawn’s Hindu wedding rituals tastefully included meaningful elements from a Christian wedding ceremony, resulting in a highly-personal and memorable occasions that paid homage to both the bride’s and the groom’s cultures.
WeddingSutra Favorite, IntoCandid Photography, captured the mood of the bridal couple and the guests at key moments during the wedding wonderfully well. Here, the bride shares the details of the wedding, with gorgeously-shot photographs showcasing every emotions during the celebrations.
How They Met
The couple met as teenagers in the eighth grade but, for Alexandra and Shawn, it was anything but love at first sight. The two would sit across each other in their science class. Shawn was not interested in what the teacher had to say and instead kept himself entertained making mischief whenever he could. If Alexandra had any feelings for Shawn, it was only the feeling that he was idiotic and behaved stupidly. During class, she was always preoccupied with trying to avoid one of the many pets – geckos, frogs, snakes – that their teacher, Mrs. Williams, always carried on her shoulder. These creatures had a penchant for jumping off and onto Alexandra.
A year later, in the summer of 1997, Alexandra, Shawn, and some other friends spent time together at Disneyland before they all moved on to their respective high schools. The couple kept in touch and their friendship grew. Soon, Alexandra and Shawn were best friends, constantly chatting on the phone and on AOL, bonding over ’90s hip hop.
After over 15 years of friendship and many amazing memories together, they decided that they really ‘liked’ each other, before eventually realizing that they actually really loved each other.
Alexandra says, “We decided to celebrate our marriage at the very place that we met – our school! Our sangeet/mehndi party was hosted in the gym and our ceremonies were under the giant fig tree that has stood there since the school first opened.”
“All of our clothing were custom made from Frontier Heritage. Neeta Auntie, the owner of the shop, took great care of us, making sure everything down to the smallest detail looked great. We coordinated outfits for all events.”
The bride says, “We combined the sangeet and mehndi parties. The event had an ‘eighth-grade carnival’ theme. It was held in the school gym and included carnival games and prizes, concession stands (popcorn, cotton candy stands), mehndi, caricature artists and a photobooth. Shawn, a dancer, gave Dandiya Raas lessons to the guests. Guests received raffle tickets and won fun prizes like ‘first in line for the buffet’ and ‘VIP seating at the ceremony’.
“We had a Hindu ceremony on a patina-finished mandap, incorporating soft yet vibrant colors,” she says.
Alexandra made for a stunning bride as she donned a gorgeous white lehenga featuring intricate embroidery in hues of pastel. This was paired with the traditional red chunri, churas and gold jewellery. Shawn wore an ivory sherwani with similar embroidery to his bride’s attire, teamed with a red stole.
As the baraat made their way to the mandap, members of the groom’s family danced their hearts out. The bride’s family and friends were spotted waiting at the entrance of the school to welcome Shawn.
The ceremony commenced and beautiful, emotional moments unfolded as both families embraced the cultures involved wholeheartedly. The addition of the exchanging of vows made this ceremony even more touching. The bride adds, “After the Hindu ceremony, we hosted a Chinese tea ceremony to honor our elders.”
The Wedding Makers
Bride’s Outfits: Frontier Heritage
Groom’s Outfits: Frontier Heritage
Photography: IntoCandid Photography