Punarvi and Arjit, Natchez, Mississippi
The bright colors and festivities of Punarvi and Arjit's traditional Indian wedding, garden party and masquerade ball lit up historic structures in Natchez in Mississippi.
Punarvi was charmed by the history and heritage of America’s deep south, especially the charming town of Natchez. She planned many details of her wedding including getting a customized mehndi design that showcased her romance with Arjit. Here, she shares details of the various events.
How we met
When Punarvi Patel, creative director of PUNARVI (sells luxury beaded t-shirts), and strategic consultant Arjit Mehta first met they had no idea that they both shared the same love for pizzas – loaded with marinara and melted cheese – from Lucali’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York. From there on, they bonded over their mutual love for pizzas and realized they had many interests in common, and the rest, as they say, is history!
For Punarvi, the choice of Natchez for their cleverly hashtagged #AMtoPM (for Arjit Mehta to Punarvi Mehta) wedding destination was a no brainer as she loved the charm and uniqueness of the place. Natchez is one of the oldest settlements along the Mississippi River, and still contains lots of historic structures from the antebellum period (before the Civil War in the late 18th century)
“We hosted our welcome dinner at the oldest standing building in the Mississippi that dates back to 1789, and is now home to critically acclaimed King’s Tavern. There was no way we were going to let our guests leave Natchez without trying their smoked cedarwood and orange blossom water Manhattan. For the opening event, I wore an off-white skirt adorned with pink roses which I designed my myself and paired with an ivory blouse and Needledust ‘juttis’ (ethnic shoes).
“We hosted an outdoor mehndi tea party in the garden courtyard of the Dunleith Mansion, a picturesque antebellum home built in 1855. We channeled the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vibe with tall wooden flowers and moss running along the wrought iron and long oak tables. Guests mingled in the courtyard surrounded by magnolia trees and enjoyed getting henna applied while the DJ treated them to modern Bollywood instrumentals. I firmly believe that henna should be meaningful to each bride and that it should tell her story. To achieve this, my mehndi artist Divya Patel and I put our creative heads together to create a personalized design. We were able to include details important to my life and journey including my furry best friend, Rose Nightingale, a slice of pizza and our clock wedding logo. I wore a dusty rose floral Sabyasachi lehenga saree which fit this garden party perfectly. I paired the outfit with blush Valentino rock studs and a vintage emerald choker that once belonged to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Arjit wore a floral bandhgala vest and kurta set designed by me.”
“The party continued with a joint ‘haldi’ (turmeric application) ceremony. I kept it clean in an all white lehenga with a double-tie back and incorporated scarlet and gold on my dupatta. Arjit complemented my look in a white kurta pajama as friends and family covered our faces and body in turmeric. Guests showered us with seed paper and yellow flower confetti push pops that enhanced the fun, celebratory vibe of the event.”
“On Friday evening, we hosted a night of mystery and dancing at our Masquerade Soirée held at Prentiss Club, an Italian Renaissance mansion built in the early 1900’s. We wanted to have a party before the wedding where our guests were able to get down and have fun without all the typical speeches and entrances. I embraced the mysterious vibe with a two-piece navy ensemble which was inspired by my favorite actress, Lucille Ball and designed by me. I finished the look with a pair of statement emerald and diamond earrings and an emerald cocktail ring. Arjit looked dashing in his custom Brooks Brothers black shawl collar tuxedo. “
“To set the scene, renowned pianist, Jonathan Levin played Phantom of the Opera while masked guests mingled about. New Orleans magician, Nathan Kepner, opened the night by dazzling guests with unexpected and audacious tricks. Integral to our love story, we found this night as the perfect opportunity to share our first love, pizza which was served by men in feathered masks on the dance floor.”
“On Saturday, we tied the knot at Dunleith Mansion, which dates back to 1856, in an outdoor ceremony. We transported our guests back in time with decor that covered the building in hues of crimson and gold. Every little detail was planned. I wore a crimson crepe satin lehenga with gold metal embroidery. I developed the intricate embroidery including the wedding logo of clocks in the pattern and accessorized it with a kundan and meena style jewellery. I had a super specific vision for my bridal outfit and wanted to make sure I put out a coordinated message with everything I did. As a homage to my mother, I made a heart using the fabric from her wedding saree and had it stitched on the inside of my blouse so it sat atop mine, where only I could see it.”
“Arjit was on point in a floral Sabyasachi sherwani paired with a cream colored shawl and a white Banarsi silk ‘safa’ (turban). He rounded out his look with three lines of natural emeralds that formerly belonged to a royal family of India.” “The ceremony site was decorated with an abundance of red roses and hydrangeas. The mandap sat in front of the home, a stark contrast of royal red Indian heritage against the backdrop of the pure white antebellum home. Long tables were dressed in scarlet linens with arrangements of roses and hydrangeas set in golden votives as the setting for the post-ceremony luncheon. Laid out among the greenery were crystal chandeliers and custom pocket watches, and antique keys hung from the trees.”
The Wedding Makers
Location: King’s Tavern; Dunleigh Mansion in Natchez, Mississippi
Wedding Planner: Electric Karma
Decor: Decor One by Nalini
Makeup Artist: Beauty by Ella
Hair: Henna by Divya (Divya Patel)
Mehndi: Henna by Divya (Divya Patel)
DJ: DJ Hiren
Photography: Midnight Chai Photography