Jaimini and Mehul
Bride and Groom: both are Gujarati Swaminarayan
Ceremony: BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills
What was your vision for your wedding?
We were very relaxed about the whole thing. We wanted it to be really simple. We knew we wanted to get married at the mandir. And we’re both pretty spiritual people so getting married there was perfect for us.
Your ceremony was different from many Hindu ceremonies. Share a little about that.
We did a unique ceremony inside the temple without a mandap nor a flame.
So that weekend we didn’t even have many vendors – just a hair/makeup person for me, a DJ for the garba and the mandir catered the food. Photography was done by a friend of Mehul who used to own a wedding photography company. For the after-party and baraat one of our friends managed the music. Mehul designed our wedding invitations himself and we had them printed.
There were about 300 at the garba which was at Chaffey College. It was very convenient as it’s a mile away from the mandir and close to where everyone was staying as well. So we were able to get the garba food catered by the mandir too – they served a great assortment of chaat at different stations.
There were about 500 at the main ceremony – our family and closest friends.
About 100 at the second ceremony where we did the final rituals.
After the ceremony we served lunch at the mandir – for about 850-900 people. The space isn’t large enough to seat that many at the same time, but since it was informal event not everyone was seated simultaneously. Some people went to look around the mandir, others were socializing so it worked out perfectly.
Later that night about 70 were at the afterparty – our closest friends and cousins.
The day after the wedding, about 250 were at the farewell brunch at the Cerritos Senior Center.
Why did you start the wedding so early in the morning?
The mandir is open to the public so we went pretty early – 6:30a to take photos, as we didn’t want people in the background.
Again since it’s a public space, we also didn’t want to block it from others.
The makeup artist came by 3:30a so we had enough time to get ready and get to the mandir by 6:30a.
Where was the reception?
We didn’t have a reception in the traditional sense. We had an afterparty in downtown LA at a Mexican restaurant called Mas Malo. We had about 60-70 people – it was just ‘kids’ – no uncles and aunties. We looked at a few venues and Mas Malo was very accommodating. Our parents were fine with our vision for the wedding and the afterparty and we had such a good time!
The day after our wedding was Mehul’s birthday, so we got a cake from Cakes Unlimited – they make eggless cakes – and we celebrated at the afterparty.
Where did you buy your clothes?
We bought clothes for both of us from Manisha Saree Palace in Sunnyvale, in the SF Bay area. I wanted a traditional paneter and they weren’t really available in Cerritos. The owner of Manisha is a family friend so he got it made in India and had it shipped to me. I was really lucky – it came back perfectly – I didn’t need any alterations!
Congratulations Jaimini and Mehul!
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