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Sabeena and Patrick

An Interfaith Ceremony at the Galleria at Lafayette Center in Washington DC.

About the Couple 

We met through a mutual friend in 2003 at a party hosted by Patrick and his roommates in Washington DC. Patrick works as a Compensation & Benefits Consultant and I am an Attorney at the U.S. State Department. We now live in Washington DC.

Pre Wedding Ceremonies and Wedding Ceremony 

Before the wedding we had lots of events throughout the year. We had two engagement parties- one at New York organised by Patrick’s mother and another at Maryland organised by my parents.The first party, about a month after we got engaged, was an engagement party in upstate New York thrown by Patrick’s mother, to meet some of her friends and celebrate with his family who live up there. Then the next month Sabeena’s parents had an engagement party in Maryland to celebrate with all of their friends and family in the area. The summer before the wedding Patrick’s mom threw a garden bridal shower for Sabeena. Sabeena’s friends also threw her a bachelorette party in Puerto Rico and an afternoon tea bridal shower there, while Patrick went to Montreal with his friends for his bachelor party. In the weeks before the wedding, friends of Sabeena’s parents threw Sabeena a “phoolan ka zevar” party where all the girls put jewellery made out of flowers on Sabeena. Two days before the wedding, Sabeena’s family threw a Sangeet at the Heritage Club in Potomac, Maryland. They had live muscians and dhol players and a dance by Sabeena’s cousin Seema to begin the celebrations. The next day Patrick’s family threw a rehearsal lunch for the bridal party and family at Clyde’s in Gallery Place, Washington D.C. The lunch gave the couple a chance to thank their family and close friends for all their help with the wedding and have some toasts from friends and family. The same evening Sabeena’s family threw a small mehndi party at their house. The next day was the wedding.
Our wedding was on November 18, 2006 in Washington DC at the Galleria at Lafayette Center For the wedding ceremony, we wanted to have an interfaith ceremony that celebrate both our cultures and religions. We worked with a great interfaith officiant, Rev. Claire Goodman, who had done another Hindu Catholic wedding, to come up with a “script” for our ceremony. Neither of us are very religious but we wanted to use rituals from both religious traditions that we thought were meaningful. So, for example, we did the passing of the sign of peace and the lighting of the unity candle from the Catholic tradition, and then from the Hindu tradition, for example, we used a mandap, exchanged garlands, and did the Saat Phere, among other things. Sabeena’s nani assisted the officiant with some of the Sanskrit mantras. We also had a reading from Patrick’s mom and Patrick’s aunt.

Anxious Moments

During the ceremony, Patrick was a little nervous because the fire was growing to be pretty large and we had to walk around it!! There was another anxious moment at the Reception- when we found that Patrick’s family was seated at the wrong table instead being seated closer to us. Luckily, we were relieved when we were able to organise a seat for them next to us

Our most cherished/ fun moment 

Sabeena:, “When I walked into the reception with my husband Patrick next to me and seeing happiness in the faces of my family and friends. Dancing with Patrick after the ceremony was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Patrick: “When I was seated next to Sabeena and the overwhelming feeling that I felt when I saw my family and friends beaming with joy. Funniest moment during our wedding was when we were taking the pre-wedding pictures with the bridal party, my best man, my brother John was at the receiving end. It so happened that when were being photographed, one of the pigeons chose to drop something on his head and his neatly combed hair had to be washed in a nearby fountain. John was aghast but we all had a hearty laugh as it provided us the much needed relief from tension.

Our Recommendations

Our recommendations on “excellent wedding vendors/ stores” for those who are having an Indian Wedding in the US.
Although we had many other good vendors these are the first that came to our mind. For catering we give a thumbs up to Indian caterer Mukesh Khanna who served fantastic food. Priti Varma is our choice for mandap designing for she is very original and fabulous. My make-up and total look was great! Thanks to make-up artist Suman Khosla.

Not specific to Indian weddings yet we recommend our photographers and videographer- Holland Photo Arts and Matt Buerhaus. For flower arrangements, we recommend the florist- Growing Wild. For anyone considering an interfaith wedding we recommend our officiant Rev. Claire Goodman and also suggest them to browse through the book “Joining Hands and Hearts,” by Rev. Susanna Macomb.

Vendor Contacts
Caterer : Mukesh Khanna – chefmukesh@yahoo.com
Makeup Artist : Suman Khosla – 703-493-1046
Mandap Designer : Priti Varma- 703-584-7039
Photos Courtesy : Anne and Bill Holland, Holland Photo Arts, LLCwww.hollandphotoarts.com Tel: (866) 774-8444 

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