Hannah and Trace, New Delhi
This US based couple treated their overseas guests to the most memorable, vibrant world of Indian wedding customs!
Replete with beautiful Punjabi, Oriya and American customs, Hanna Patnaik and Trace Carlson’s multi-cultural wedding at Taj Palace, New Delhi was a celebration of both love and heritage. Brimming with fun, emotions and memorable moments, their intimate celebrations were immortalized in gorgeous frames by WeddingSutra Favorite – Shutterdown.
The bride shared glimpses of their festivities with us.
How they met
The bride shares, “Trace and I met at university but we didn’t officially start dating for a while, as I had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t ready for another. Trace, the sweet man that he is, told me he was happy to be around me in any capacity I wanted. Gradually, after spending so much of our time together, I realized that I would be missing out on something really wonderful if I didn’t take a chance on us. After he finished his masters, we ended up being in a long distance relationship for a while as he got a job with a non-profit in South Sudan. I was just waiting for him to come back and for us to reunite, but it turns out he was using his time to reflect on our future and plan his proposal!”
After Trace returned, the couple flew to India to see Hannah’s family. It was the first time he met her full extended family on both sides, and needless to say, everyone loved him. Hailing from America, Trace enjoyed getting to experience Hannah’s Punjabi and Oriya heritage and customs. The couple then went for a beach vacation to Mauritius with Hannah’s immediate family. She shares, “At one point, the whole family took this beautiful walk down the beach. My parents and sister decided to walk some more, so I pulled out my kindle, which I always travel with, which is when Trace surprised me by saying he had written a story in it for me to read. I love the TV show FRIENDS, and he had written a story about us with chapters named like the episodes of the show. As I read the final sentence that said ‘and now I’m hoping that our next chapter is the one where Hannah says I do’, I looked up to see Trace holding a ring. I was speechless with emotion! It turned out that he had planned this all with my family, who recorded the whole thing! It was unbelievable”.
The bride shares, “Planning the wedding was super fun, and my family and I did it all by ourselves, without a planner. Delhi was our unanimous choice, and we had guests flying in from across the world for the celebrations. We hosted our guests at Four Points by Sheraton, where we also had the Mehendi, Sangeet and Reception. The wedding was at the Taj Palace, where I had always wanted to get married. I was keen on an Indian wedding to respect my Indian roots and the traditions that I know my grandparents wanted me to have. My husband, his family and our friends were incredibly excited to experience the ‘Big, fat Indian wedding’!”
The four events saw myriad activities, décor themes and festivities, which were captured by the talented photography team of Shutterdown. The bride shares, “A family friend of ours recommended them to us and it was by far the best decision we made. Lakshya and his team were unbelievable and they got to know us personally to ensure we felt comfortable. The pictures they captured and the video they made are pure perfection.
The bride shares, “Our Mehendi was bright, colorful and playful. We served all kinds of street food so that my friends from the US could experience the magic of chaat. We also had stalls of bangles and scarves for them, as well as Rajasthani dancers to give them the vibrant Indian wedding experience. I wore a fuchsia and yellow lehenga from ‘Aum’ that was very light and flowy which allowed me to enjoy and dance non-stop! Everyone got their hands painted with henna and sipped on the fun cocktails.”
The Sangeet function was an exuberant night of dancing and merriment that everyone, especially the couple’s friends from the US enjoyed to the fullest. Spring hues of pink and lavender set a charming ambience, enhanced by the warm glow of candles and lamps. Spirited games of beer pong and spectacular performances by the couple, their families and friends, filled the evening with excitement. The bride shares, “Trace hates dancing, yet the fact that he participated in the performances so exuberantly, all for me, was all the love and commitment I needed to see”.
The bride shares, “I wanted the wedding to be very traditional, and we kept a décor of dainty flowers in ivory and peach, which made the quintessential red of our outfits pop. We first held the Sikh nuptial ceremony, followed by a Hindu one, after which we finally exchanged our vows, honoring all our cultures. The guests were served hot chai throughout the wedding to keep the winter chills at bay. They were also gifted with wedding favors made by my best friend that included a spice box and a recipe booklet of my mom’s favorite Indian dishes. My friend had also previously designed our invites, which we absolutely loved. The intimate function saw heartfelt speeches from our family and emotional moments of tears and love.”
The festivities concluded with a fun reception party where everyone drank, danced and enjoyed to their fullest. The bride wore an icy blue lehenga by Sulakshana Monga that perfectly complemented the groom’s navy sherwani and looked divine amidst the pretty pastel décor and floral canopy. The band Moongphali performed live, followed by a DJ that had everyone grooving to his tunes. The bar served shots in what looked like grenades which could be lit to open, and a champagne tower added to the splendor of the evening. There was also an old school photo booth for people to print out their fun pictures.
Advice for Couples
“I love how fun my wedding was, thanks to an extremely exciting yet comfortable planning process. The best advice I would have for other couples is to discuss your vision with your partner and zero down what you both want before involving your family, wedding planner or any vendors. Remember to stay true to what you want. I also recommend keeping it light and fun if you can. I know an event as big as a wedding can seem stressful, but trusting your vendors and remembering that the main goal is to celebrate your love will help you relax and enjoy every moment.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Taj Palace, New Delhi (Wedding); Four Points by Sheraton, New Delhi (Mehendi, Sangeet, Reception)
Bride’s Outfits: Aum (Mehendi), Sulakshana Monga (Reception)
Makeup: Lash by Sanjam
Hair: Hair by Dablu
Bar: Indo Fusion Cocktail Services
Choreographer: Vishal Bhardwaj
Entertainment: Moongphali Band (Reception)
Photography and Videography: Shutterdown