Prasanna and Mandar
A beautiful wedding ceremony at a picturesque holy temple set against beautiful hills in California
About the Couple
Prasanna Ananth and Mandar Muzumdar recently graduated from the Stanford School of Medicine and moved to Boston, where they are pursuing residencies in pediatrics and internal medicine, respectively, at the Harvard hospitals. Mandar is originally from the East Coast, loves composing jazz music and enjoys cooking gourmet meals for his wife. Prasanna is a die-hard Californian, loves Carnatic music and enjoys singing for her beloved husband. They are polar opposites in many ways but could not be happier in marriage.
Their Bollywood Tale
Within months of beginning medical school at Stanford, Prasanna and Mandar’s all too eager classmates abetted to set them up in incredibly deliberate and conspicuous ways. They managed to talk for a grand total of five minutes in these well-orchestrated moments at illustrious places such as the Stanford Treehouse. In true Bollywood style, there was a bit of wooing in a grassy field and dancing around a tree. Just kidding. Finally, over dinner and laughter at Amarin Thai Restaurant in Mountain View, CA, their relationship officially began.
The ceremony was held on November 2, 2008 at the MA Center in Castro Valley, CA. The venue is a picturesque holy temple set against beautiful hills and can accommodate large groups. The hall has two levels such that guests can view the wedding both from ground level or atop the balcony. The Vedic rituals in the ceremony were conducted in a typical Tamil Iyer style to honor Prasanna’s heritage, also incorporating traditional Maharashtrian customs in honor of Mandar’s heritage. Prasanna even wore the traditional 9-yard sari during the “muhurtham” (main wedding ceremony).
The reception was held at the San Ramon Marriott, where the ballroom could accommodate a large group and a very large dance floor! The theme of the reception was “A Few of our Favorite Things,” based on one of Mandar’s favorite songs by John Coltrane, a jazz legend. Guests entered the reception hall with this song playing in the background. All decor was in magenta and orange, to match Prasanna & Mandar’s outfits. In keeping with the theme, the dessert table was stocked not only with a tower of orange/magenta cupcakes, decked with silk flowers, but also with a color-coordinated candy buffet.
Most Anxious Moment
There were many anxieties in the days leading up to the wedding, but on the day of the wedding, there was only laughter and immense relief. The day was FINALLY here!
Most Cherished Moments
There are so many cherished moments that Prasanna and Mandar recollect from their wedding. Among them include when their family members lifted them up in the air during the garland exchange in a playful rivalry, trying to prevent each of them from garlanding the other. They loved the “antarpaat,” a portion of the wedding ceremony that incorporated Mandar’s Maharashtrian heritage in which a sheet was held between them so that they could not see each other before the ceremony began! They also really enjoyed their first dance, for which they had taken lessons but had barely practiced (and fortunately, they never once stepped on each other’s toes or tripped!). And last but not least, the toasts given by their friends and families were truly amazing. They still talk today about how moving the speeches were.
Prasanna and Mandar’s vendor recommendations Sandhya Photography
“We LOVED working with Sandhya. She was professional, patient, and had our pictures ready in just 2 weeks! Moreover, everyone has commented on how amazing her photos have turned out. Beginning with our engagement photos, which we really felt were among the best photos ever taken of us, Sandhya has been in constant communication and made us feel very comfortable with her expertise. She was willing to drive all the way to our wedding site to view the premises and ensure that our photos would be the best quality possible. On the wedding day, we did not have to worry at all about Sandhya and her assistants capturing our precious moments, as she was always present in the action in a tireless way. The best part was how unobtrusive her crew was the entire time–they never got in the way but managed to capture all of the action in thousands of photos!” Ravie Kattaura of Keyuri’s
“Ravie is a Bay Area favorite. Her work is flawless, and she is incredibly efficient. Prasanna received many compliments on her intricate mehndi, even while on her honeymoon! The color was immensely deep and remained for weeks afterwards. Family and friends who attended the mehndi party also commented on Ravie’s humility and skill. Their mehndi was shown off to friends, coworkers and other wedding guests!” Lavina Shah (Hair & Makeup)
“Lavina comes highly recommended by many of Prasanna’s friends. Prasanna was particularly impressed by how kind and patient she was throughout the process, making sure that the wedding day makeup and hair focused on Prasanna’s wishes. On the day of the wedding, Lavina managed to transform a very sleep-deprived Prasanna into a real bride, calming her nerves with her peaceful demeanor. She was professional, on time, and wonderful to work with. She also did not overdo makeup, which was particularly important to Prasanna.”
Cake Creations by Bev
“Bev Tanaka is a hidden gem. She makes deliciously sweet buttercream frosting cakes and was incredibly accommodating when we requested cupcakes with tinted frosting in the colors of our reception. She is also a warm, wonderful person, which made the experience of working with her rewarding. As she will tell you, she originally began her business in order to support her sons’ education, but now that her sons are grown and have families of their own, she makes wedding cakes purely for fun.”
“The decision of a decorator is a challenging one, as there are many very skilled decorators in the Bay Area, CA. However, Satvir Bhogal of SB Arts is a cut above. She was on time, very professional, and trustworthy. Even when we asked her to have our wedding decor ready by 7am, she had no hesitation whatsoever. Our guests raved about the decor at our wedding and reception, as it really transformed the venues. For the reception, we had an orange/magenta color theme, which was incorporated into decor throughout the hall in a beautiful fashion. We especially loved the head table decor!”
“This caterer is well known in the Bay Area for traditional South Indian food at his restaurant but less well known for his catering skills. The food at our wedding ceremony was delicious, and we do not say this simply because we were starving by the time we ate! Truly, the food was a hit. We had originally planned to have a short breakfast prior to the ceremony, but our guests enjoyed breakfast so much that it lasted almost until lunch! The lunch items were each very carefully selected and prepared without excess ghee or cream. He showed up on time and well equipped with utensils, plates, etc. Moreover, his charges were very reasonable comparatively.”
Photographs courtesy: Sandhya Photography