Shruti and Siddharth
A three-day traditional Hindu wedding at Marriott in Alpharetta, Atlanta
About the couple
Born and brought-up in India, Shruti moved to the US for higher studies. She recently graduated with a PhD in Economics and now works for The World Bank. Siddharth is the Senior Director of Engineering at a company that makes health-fitness programs. He schooled in India and moved to the US for work. The newly-weds now live in the heart of Santa Monica, CA close to the sun, sand and the beach.
Shruti writes about her wedding experiences:
The Marriott, Atlanta
Our Hindu wedding took place on March 6th, 2010. The three-day celebration started with a Mehndi night, hosted by my aunt and uncle at their warm home in Alpharetta. The Sangeet/ Tilak evening was held at the beautiful Gazebo at the Moksha restaurant. The main wedding function and reception was held at the Marriot in Alpharetta, Atlanta.
We visited almost fifteen other wedding venues. We loved the decor and spaces at some but zeroed in on the Marriot for two reasons, one, the staff seemed very co-operative, the other tipping point was that this was the only hotel who allowed caterers to use a tandoor (Indian clay oven). If you are having a traditional Indian wedding, you know the value of a tandoor. None of the other hotels were willing to permit tandoors. Thanks to Marriot, our guests enjoyed piping hot breads at all meals.
Indian Wedding resources in the US
Decor: WeddingsInStyle by Rageeni Patel.
Our decor was done by the extremely professional Rageeni who has great ideas and resources. She was flawless in her execution and efficiently managed everything.
Rubina is a wonderful lady who does henna as a side business. She got interested in henna as a child and has been creating wonderful designs since then. I was sceptical about the kind of henna I would get in Atlanta but Rubinas wonderful work put my fears to rest.
The various events had food catered by Moksha restaurant. All our guests raved about the scrumptious food. The badam halwa served at the first function was a big hit. The food was hot, tasty and comparable to some of the best restaurants in India.
Cake: Joli Kobe Bakery
Our cake was made by a Japanese bakery, Joli Kobe. The moment I tasted their samples, I knew this was the place from where I wanted the wedding cake. The butter icing was simply delicious. We ordered a three-tier cake with hazelnut and chocolate plain butter icing. Siddharth and I were looking for a cake which was modern yet chic and Yumiko (the baker) did a fabulous job. We also bought petite deserts for our other events from the bakery. I highly recommend the place to anyone looking for scrumptious cakes.
Funny and Fun Moments
Each minute of the wedding was super fun, thanks to our close friends and family. We drank, danced and hogged every day. On the night before the wedding, we all (friends) gathered in the groom suite and were all having a gala time. The music was loud and our laughter and jokes were louder. Suddenly around midnight we heard a knock and a man dressed in his PJs and a Federal Agent jacket stood there– sleepy and groggy. He introduced himself as an FBI agent who was in the room next to ours– and instructed us to be in control. At that moment, a server walked in with ten more glasses for drinks. You can imagine what came next, yes we were asked to keep it super low elseÃ¦. He might be a tired, sleepy FBI agent but we get married only once and nothing was going to dampen our high spirits. The party continued and all was well.
Best Wedding Planning Advice
Since we were based in Los Angeles, CA and the wedding venue was in Atlanta, it was quite a challenge to coordinate everything. Both Siddharth and I had made a trip to Atlanta and had finalized most of our vendors, but we had to rely on my family to do the rest. Thank you to both our brothers Utsav and Sankalp for working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a smooth wedding. My aunt and uncle (who have been in Atlanta for almost a decade) had recently organised their daughters wedding in Atlanta. Their advice and recommendations were invaluable. They guided us on where to run for the smallest and oddest of wedding related things. Bua and Phupha, thank you for all your help!!
What we Wore:
My wedding lehenga was no ordinary lehenga, it was almost half a century old. My mother had worn for her wedding and as a child I had fallen in love with it and had asked her if I could wear it when I got married. And yes, my beautiful wish came true. The maroon silk lehenga had zardosi gold work on it. I wore two chunnis, one draping my head and the other one worn traditionally in the seedha palla style. This I teamed with green kundan jewellery to complement the maroon color. My other accessories included the traditional chura, hathphool, a nath (big nose ring in gold), the maangtika and silver anklets and toe-rings (bicchiya).
For the reception I wore a bright blue JJ Vallaya saree with diamond jewellery. This was a very special sari as it was handpicked by Siddharth on his shopping trip to India. It was a gorgeous choice, appreciated by one and all. Siddharth wore a traditional sherwani designed by Zubair Kirmani. The reception suit was a bandhgala (closed neck) designed by Raghavendra Rathore. Siddharth worked tirelessly with both these designers over the phone and emails for three months to get what he wanted. All in all both our parents (they live in India) were very impressed they felt so proud that we organised a fabulous Indian Wedding in the US.