Catholic and Hindu Wedding Ceremonies

Tara and Ryan
Catholic Ceremony: Catholic Church
Hindu Ceremony & Reception: Casa Real, Pleasanton
Bride and Groom: Indian Hindu & Caucasian Catholic
Photography: Charleton Churchill 

Initially we were planning to have two weddings (Hindu + Catholic) on two different weekends. Since a majority of our guests were local that would have been feasible. But we decided to combine everything into one day instead. It was a long day, but incredibly fun! The Catholic ceremony was first, followed by the Hindu ceremony at Casa Real in Pleasanton.

Tell us about your wedding day timeline.
The Catholic ceremony was at 12p
After the Catholic ceremony everyone drove to Casa Real.
Lunch was served – Indian cuisine
The Hindu ceremony was at 3p at Casa Real
Then we went straight into cocktails which was catered by Casa Real. We decided to change it up a little instead of serving Indian all day.
Immediately following cocktails was the reception. Ryan and I changed back into our clothes from the Catholic ceremony to wear at the reception.

How did you select Casa Real?
We looked at 5-6 venues. We had about 250 guests which all the venues could accommodate that wasn’t an issue. I knew I wanted a winery so that limited the types of venues I considered.

  • It’s centrally located to both of our families as well as a majority of our friends.
  • They have a beautiful bridal suite where I could get ready. There was no time to go back to the hotel so that was an important factor.
  • They close off the space two hours prior to the ceremony so no one other than people involved with the wedding could come on property – I liked that privacy.
  • The venue is so beautiful that it required pretty minimal decor. We brought in lighting, flowers etc. but we didn’t have to do a ton.
  • They allowed Ryan to do his baraat in a car. Casa Real allows a horse too but we decided to use a car.
  • Casa Real is very experienced with South Asian weddings and they were flexible about meeting our needs.

How many guests were at each ceremony?
About 250. We invited everyone to both ceremonies as I didn’t want anyone to feel left out or that they had to choose which wedding to attend.

What were some of the more important decisions for your wedding?
A really good pandit that would explain and translate the Hindu ceremony. A majority of our friends had never seen a Hindu wedding ceremony before. They were very interested and wanted to understand everything that was going on. Our pandit, Jayesh Khona, was amazing!

Due to time constraints we decided not to have the bridal party participate in the Hindu ceremony. There was no way to get my 11 bridesmaids and his 11 groomsmen ready in time.

Did anyone explain the Hindu wedding ceremony and Indian wedding traditions to Ryan, his family and your friends?
Yes! Our parents get along really well so we all got together several times and my parents explained various aspects of the ceremony, traditions and culture. The day before the wedding we met with the pandit at Casa Real and he did a wonderful job walking us through everything – that was very helpful.

Similarly our bridal party attended the combined mehndi-sangeet so that was their first glimpse into things. I gave them an itinerary of the flow of the day as well as explained some of the traditions.

Where did out-of-town guests stay?
The majority of our guests were local. But we did set up a courtesy room block at the Four Points Sheraton in Pleasanton. Our guests just called and booked rooms on their own.

What were your wedding week events?

  • A low key mehndi-sangeet on Thursday night at my parents house.
  • Hindu ceremony rehearsal on Friday afternoon – with immediate family
  • Catholic ceremony rehearsal and dinner on Friday evening with our families and the bridal party
  • Saturday – the Catholic ceremony, Hindu ceremony and reception.

Do you have any wedding planning advice?

  1. It’s important to consider your family and their wishes but at some point you have to let go of that and focus on what you and your signifiant other want.
  2. I recommend having as long of an engagement as possible. We had a two year engagement which I think was ideal as we were able to take our time planning our wedding. Brides, in particular, wish for their wedding day to be their dream come true and giving yourself time is helpful.
  3. Book the venue first. Once we booked the venue, that was a big relief. Then we started researching other vendors but took our time in selecting them.

  4. Do a walk through of the ceremony with the pandit/officiant.
  5. Have fun with it!

Ryan and I are very blessed to have accepting parents that want the best for their kids. They gave us the ability to plan our wedding the way we have always dreamed of and we couldn’t have asked for a better support system in them!

Our Wedding Professionals Team:
Casa Real @ Ruby Hill Winery
Coordinators: Alyssia Lundgren & Samantha Vavak

Review: Alyssia & Samantha (and the entire Casa team) made our day incredible! They are both knowledgeable with Indian Weddings (as is Casa Real). They made sure everything ran smoothly and there were no bumps in the road!

Charleton Churchill
Review: One of my best vendors! He is an expert and his staff is amazing! Huge thanks to him for capturing our day with priceless images.

Digital Box Productions
Review: the best of the best! Joe Perry & his team were awesome! They even produced a SAME DAY EDIT! Our guests were blown away by this. They compiled clips of the day and showed it at the reception. They are awesome! Highly recommended.

Anne Mendenhall
Review: Anne was one of my favorite vendors! She is very talented and truly listens to what you want. She worked with me every step of the way and made sure I was happy with the outcome! I even forgot a few minor details and she called me a few days prior to iron these out! I loved working with her.

Decorations & DJ:
Fantasy Sound & Events
Review: they provided us with a magical chandelier in the center of our reception it was beautiful! They had lots of options for décor & music as well. Great vendor! Chris Davis was our DJ and he rocked the entire night!!

Avasar Mandap 
Review: very easy to work with! Didn’t interact too much but made the process easy!

Other décor:
Designer Touch Rental
Review: used for Gold chargers on the tables—Midia was very helpful!

Cake Delight in Livermore, CA
Review: our wedding cake was so yummy! We did one decorative cake and multiple sheet cakes and it was perfect! The cake was delicious and the decorative cake was stunning! Fatema was wonderful to work with!!

Lunch & Dinner Food:
India Sweets & Catering (707) 645-1700
Review: We worked with Pardeep for our lunch & dinner menu. We went to the Berkeley location for a nice tasting and he was more than helpful with planning the menu. Since we had a fusion wedding he even accommodated to that and created a “Fajita” dish! It was a huge hit!

Hair & Makeup:
Courtney Basanty from Salon Rache
Review: Courtney and her team made my girls and I feel very beautiful! She did my hair & makeup exactly as I wanted it and all of the hair for my bridesmaids & mothers. She was great to work with!

Review: Ravie is very well known in the Bay Area for her amazing Mehndi! She was very sweet and her work is simply amazing!

Four Points Sheraton in Pleasanton, CA

Black Tie Limousine in Pleasanton, CA

Tux: David August: Ryan’s consultant was James Freeman who’s helping Ryan below.
2012 Platinum List Wedding Photographer Grace Ormonde
They sewed our names into the pocket along with “To the moon and back”.

Check out a few more multicultural weddings:

Sanika and Chris
Ami and AJ 10

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