Renu and Rajiv, Coxhall Gardens, Indianapolis
Coxhall Gardens were warm and vibrant as Renu and Rajiv's traditional Indian wedding unfolded there with colorful festivities and ethnic decor.
Renu and Rajiv planned a charming wedding – from a traditional Indian ceremony to a modern reception – and every function was meticulously designed with their tastes in mind. Here, the couple shares highlights of their big day.
How we met
Rajiv was living in New York, pursuing his passion for acting while making a living in finance. Across the country, Renu was in Indiana where her family lives. On January 1, 2015 both swiped right on a dating app and then got on a phone call. That first conversation lasted a full 8 hours!
The next year, Renu and Rajiv moved to Los Angeles to build a dream together. In September of 2017, Rajiv proposed to Renu!
Renu tells us all about it.
“Though we were celebrating in Indiana, where my family lives, we wanted our guests to feel like they were at a destination wedding. So rather than have all the events at a hotel, we chose three distinct venues over the course of the wedding. We had the Sangeet at the beautiful Sofi. B. Estates. The main ceremony was conducted at the Coxhall Gardens because of the two lakes it is on the shores of – our ceremony tent was set up right in front of them! And finally, we chose the Marriott North Hotel and its lakeside location for the reception.”
“This tradition symbolizes the formal promise made between two families as they bless the bride and groom. Rajiv’s family adorned me with a traditional Punjabi “Chunni” (head scarf), welcoming me into the family as a future daughter. My parents blessed Rajiv and gave him sweets. We were fortunate enough to have this intimate ceremony in the home where I grew up. We wanted our ensembles to represent the free spirited nature of being home so we chose organic cotton fabrics by Anita Dongre who is known for making sustainable bridal wear. Rajiv’s kurta and vest matched my 60’s inspired midi skirt lehenga.”
“Our families had gifted us silk sari fabrics in bright pink and electric blue and we had outfits tailored from those. I wanted to literally “let my hair down” to ease my nerves so my look was minimalistic. I did however wear a precious gold headpiece my sister had worn on her own wedding day.
We set up different stations to offer our guests a range of experiences. There was a bangle bar, a folk-singing corner and also a henna station.
Decibel Entertainment’s DJ Khanvict powered the party and his piece de resistance was a playlist featuring songs from DDLJ.
We all made our way to the dinner tent where we ended the night singing and dancing, laughing so hard that not a single person left without a sore face.”
“We wanted our ceremony to be traditional and timeless. We also wanted a lot of pink – Rajiv loves the color on me. Big believers in symbolism, we decided to be married outdoors to feel the blessings of our grandparents and ancestors from above.
Our first date ever was over coffee and donuts and so in addition to Indian snacks and chai, we served our guests donuts.
The décor was minimal to let the natural beauty of Coxhall Gardens and the lakes shine but we did have a gorgeous bed of pink and red rose petals for the wedding party to walk down.
Our family was co-ordinated in floral fabrics as a nod to the subtle garden theme. We designed ivory lace saris embroidered with pink hummingbirds for the bridesmaids, while the groomsmen sported ivory indo-western coats and pink patialas.”
“At the reception, we wanted everyone to be a part of our love story and focus on getting their feet on the dance floor! So we skipped the usual stage and had our DJ out front and center with LED panels surrounding his booth. The night was epic with dance performances by both our friends and family interspersed with heart-tugging, tear-jerking speeches.
I chose a velvet and satin Anju Modi Lehenga in deep red with an ivory drape. It was hand embroidered with flying doves and florals. Rajiv matched me in a maroon velvet tuxedo.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Sofi B. Estates, Coxhall Gardens, Marriott North of Indianapolis
Decor: Atmosphere Indy
Catering: India Garden & Ritz Charles, Titus Bakery & The Flying Cupcake
Bride’s Outfits: Anita Dongre, Sulakshana Monga, Anju Modi
Groom’s Outfits: Anita Dongre, Sulakshana Monga, Q Clothier, Suit Supply
Bride’s Shoes: Bella Bella Shoes
Jewelry: Motiwala & Sons
Makeup artist and Hairstylist: Ms. Painted Lady
Henna Artist: Henna Moments
Entertainment: Decibel Entertainment’s DJ Khanvict
Photography: Huda Photo, Sohal Studios, Duende Photo Studio
Videography: Oxford Films