Alpana and Sunny, San Juan Capistrano, California, US
Samosas alongside fig tarts, a Marvin Gaye track leading to the mandap, and the groom arriving on a military special ops vehicle - this couple's wedding served up a fiesta of diverse inspirations.
A Friday night proved lucky for Sunny who met Alpana that day and decided that she was the one he was going to wed someday. That day came six years later, and the couple tied the knot in a charming traditional wedding that had Spanish undertones, from the venue to the music and cuisine offerings. Here, groom Sunny takes us through every step of their love story and wedding festivities.
How We Met
Sunny recalls, “I was tired and wanted to stay home because nobody goes out in Cleveland on a Friday night. However, some friends convinced me to go out to West 6th St. against my better judgment which is where I met Alpana. Two days later I happened to see her again at a friend’s reception, and I was pleasantly surprised that she remembered my name! I couldn’t take her number that night since she was out of reach on that dance floor and her whole family was watching. However, the next day when I saw her again we had the easiest conversation ever. Even though we were very different and from varied backgrounds, the conversation flowed naturally, and following day I told my boss ‘I think I met my wife over the weekend, but she’s leaving for California today, and I’ll probably never see her again.’ The next day I called in ‘sick’ at work and went to Washington DC. I spent three days trying to talk to Alpana, three weeks trying to show her Ohio, and three years flying every month to see her. I can’t imagine how different life would be if I had stayed home that Friday night.”
From the start, Alpana and Sunny dreamt of a romantic outdoor venue where they could celebrate their first night as a married couple, with family and friends underneath the stars. Their travels to Italy and the Spanish undertones of Alpana’s hometown also inspired their venue choice – Serra Plaza, a vintage, hidden courtyard in San Juan Capistrano in California.
The couple’s guests took their seats at the ceremony while listening to tunes of western hits such as ‘Despacito’ which were being played by a classically trained sitar player. The couple requested an organic, floral mandap design with an understated royal elegance that would highlight their wedding outfits. Instead of the traditional red, the bride wore an ivory lehenga with Mughal inspired print and French lace detailing, to unite her eastern roots with her western upbringing. Sunny, who is firmly against animal cruelty, honored his father’s military background by arriving in a military special ops vehicle over a horse or elephant for his baraat alongside his eight groomsmen. He was very emotional as Alpana walked down the aisle to the music of the ‘Sunny’ track by Marvin Gaye instead of sitting inside the mandap thus making the moment more romantic.
The cocktail hour was an extension of the wedding, and the decor carried a vibe that was similar to the wedding. At the event, Alpana’s father’s favorite Indian samosas were served alongside fig goat cheese tarts and Tuscan bruschetta.
Alpana’s bridal entourage included her brother, seven cousins and three sisters-in-law while Sunny had his squad of eight. At the reception both the parties danced down the aisle and then lined up facing each other, holding sparklers to give the couple a picture perfect entrance as they made their way into the venue. They even emceed the reception and put on a Bollywood dance performance that brought life to Alpana and Sunny’s big day. It truly was a magical night to remember.
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Serra Plaza, San Juan Capistrano California
Wedding Planner: Interwined Events
Décor: Inviting Occasion
Lighting: 3D Sounds
Caterers: Jays Catering
Bride’s Outfits: Tarun Tahiliani (Wedding), Saira Shakira (Reception)
Groom’s Outfits: Sia Importer, Canada (Wedding), Nordstrom (Reception)
Makeup Artist: Flawless Faces
Mehndi: Gopi Henna
Entertainment: Ronobir Lahiri (Wedding Sitar)
DJ: 3D Sounds
Wedding Invitations: Itchha Talreja Designs
Photography: Melissa Gayle
Videography: White Rose Productions