An Indian bride and her groom hugging before their Hindu wedding ceremony. starts.

Sipra and Kevin, Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort, Livermore, CA

An Indian bride and her groom hugging before their Hindu wedding ceremony. starts.
Bride and groom posing for a photo before their Western wedding ceremony
First Dance Video

What were your wedding events?
Thursday Mehndi – in Pleasanton

Friday: during the day was a rehearsal with our family and bridal party.
Friday night was the traditional rehearsal dinner at the venue. We rented out the whole venue for our wedding weekend. We had our siblings and bridal party stay on the property with us, so there were about 50 people that night.

We kept it a relatively short night since the next day started early and was a long day.

Friday night was more of a casual evening. Guests wore Western clothes and we brought in a wood-fired oven caterer to make artisinal fusion Indian and American style pizzas, catered by Tutte al Forno. Kevin and I gave a more intimate speech where we individually recognized our families and the bridal party. We asked each person to stand up. It was emotional and special to be able to share that with our family and friends.

How did you select your venue?
The day after we got engaged we went to Livermore. We visited the Purple Orchid. We spent 2-3 months looking at venues. We needed a venue that:

  • allowed outside catering
  • wanted something with a more intimate feel
  • could handle back-to-back ceremonies
  • had to be convenient to get to; as we had guests arriving from all over the world
  • I wanted an outdoor wedding and outdoor dinner
Purple Orchid Indian wedding venue
Purple Orchid Resort
The bride and groom smiling and leaving the mandap after their Hindu wedding ceremony.
Groom putting ring on his wife's finger during the wedding ceremony.
Indian food served buffet style at an Indian wedding
Indian food buffet line at Indian wedding
Outdoor Indian wedding with Western flare. Chrger plates and blue color scheme.

Bride and groom taking a photo on the grounds of Purple Orchid for their Indian wedding.

We were really happy with Purple Orchid. We dealt directly with the owners and they were flexible in allowing us to bring some outside alcohol, outside catering, extended our reception 30 minutes and have experience with South Asian weddings – particularly fusion weddings

The Wedding Day
Saturday morning I started getting ready at 8am. The Hindu ceremony was first – in the late afternoon, followed by vidai, cocktail hour, the Christian ceremony and the reception. 

Indian bride wearing a lehenga getting help to get ready from one of her bridesmaids.

Indian bride wearing red and white lehenga with gold jewelry posing for a photo for her Hindu wedding ceremony.
Indian bride in her lehenga sitting on the bed.
back of the bride's red lehenga choli blouse
Indian bride showing her mehndi before her Indian Hindu wedding
Indian bride smiling, with dupatta on her head and tikka on, wearing a red and white lehenga.
Indian wedding earrings, jhumkas
Bride writing a love note to her groom, the morning of her wedding.
Groom writing a love note to his Indian bride
Bride and groom taking photos at Purple Orchid before their Indian wedding
Indian bride and ger groom taking a romantic photo in a winery before their Hindu wedding ceremony.
The groom wearing his kurta and sehra in a funny photo with the groomsmen.
snack and fan on chairs
Indian wedding baraat. Girls getting bosted into the convertible
Groom wearing sherwani and sehra entering the mandap for his Hindu wedding ceremony.

Kevin and I exchanged notes that morning. We were so excited to be getting married!

Since it was a mid-afternoon ceremony we placed a little snack on each chair for the guests to enjoy during the ceremony.

Groom putting the mangal sutra on his Indian bride during their Hindu wedding ceremony.
Groom wearing sherwani putting sindoor in bride's maang at Indian Hindu wedding ceremony.
The bride and groom smiling holding their signed marriage license.
Indian bride getting ready for her Christian wedding ceremony.
Indian bride wearing a white gown portrait.
Indian bride walking down the aisle for her Christian wedding ceremony.

The Hindu ceremony ran about an hour over schedule so we didn’t do the vidai. Instead I got ready for the Christian ceremony, while our guests enjoyed cocktail hour. I had about an hour to change, redo my hair and makeup and take photos. 

Bride reading vows to her husband at fusion Indian wedding
groom's parents dancing with the bride and groom at wedding reception

Rain and a Tent

With rain in the forecast, a few days before our wedding we decided to put up a clear tent with the help of our planner.

Dealing with putting a tent up, last minute, was a little stressful. Kevin and I are planners so doing things last minute isn’t our style.

Tent to protect from rain at an Indian wedding

However it’s one of those things that is a last minute decision because you don’t know if you’ll need it. And if you don’t need it you don’t want to incur the cost, as it can be pricey.

A few days before the wedding we decided to move forward with it. At that point there was limited time and limited availability of tents, so we had to choose one and go with it. We selected a transparent tent and worked with our vendors to make sure everything went smoothly.

Tent to protect from rain at an Indian wedding
Guest dancing at an Indian wedding reception
Groom dancing at his outdoor Indian wedding reception

We got lucky. It didn’t rain on our wedding day but it did rain the day before. Luckily they put the tent up the night before so the grass was protected. Tenting was worth it. The temperature really drops at night; and if we hadn’t put the tent up, I think guests would’ve left right after dinner.

The bride dancing with her bridesmaids at her Indian fusion wedding

I really wanted my father to walk me down the aisle. Kevin and I wanted all parents to be part of the ceremony entrances so my mom, father-in-law and mother-in-law entered the ceremony altogether.

I entered on a dholi carried by my brothers and cousins.

An Indian bride entering her Hindu wedding ceremony on a dholi.
The bride's mother and mother-in-law, escorted by her father-in-law to enter the wedding ceremony.
The bridesmaids wearing matching blue lehengas making their way to the Hindu ceremony
Bridesmaids and groomsmen entering the Hindu wedding ceremony.
Indian bride wearing a lehenga walking down the aisle to the mandap, with her dad.
An Indian bride wearing a red and white lehenga escorted down the aisle by her father wearing a kurta.

Bridal party clothes
We went back and forth on this. Should everyone wear Indian clothes for the Hindu ceremony? Should everyone change for the Christian ceremony? Is there enough time for all of this? In the end the groomsmen wore suits and the bridesmaids wore lehengas. And no one changed – they wore those same clothes the entire day. With such a tight schedule getting that many people to change would’ve been complicated. Plus we wanted to make the whole day a fusion of Western and Indian cultures so it all worked out great.

The groom posing for a photo with the groomsmen.
The bridesmaids at an Indian wedding wearing matching blue and gold lehengas
The whole bridal party together at an Indian wedding

Was this Kevin’s family’s first Indian wedding experience?
Yes, they hadn’t had much exposure to Indian culture before I started dating Kevin. So there was a lot of education.  They loved all the colors and how lively everything was. My mother-in-law wore a sari at the Hindu ceremony. We got her sari from India and she loved it!

A full family photo from an Indian wedding. Both families posing together wearing Indian clothes.

Not only were we incorporating Western and Eastern cultures into our wedding day, but also Gujarati and Bengali cultures as well. I held the betel leaf, per Bengali tradition during the Hindu ceremony. Our priest was Bengali as well.

Indian Bengali bride holding betel leads in front of her face at her Indian, Hindu wedding.

Kevin and I talked about doing a non-traditional first dance. I didn’t want to just dance to a slow song. But we were both so busy that we didn’t have time to think about it and before we knew it, our wedding was only a week away. That’s when Kevin got really into it. He chose a medley of 5 songs (Indian and American), some of which are meaningful for us and he choreographed an entire dance himself. Every night that week we practiced after work. I’m so glad we did, as it was one if the most memorable parts of our wedding day.

Bride and groom dancing together at their wedding reception
Bridesmaids performing a Bollywood dance at an Indian wedding reception

Incorporated our friends and family into the wedding

  • I really wanted our friends and family to be part of our celebration. I gathered a collection of photos (several hours of going through archives) of our family and friends to display on the wedding day.
  • Some of our vendors were friends of friends.
  • I really wanted a cookie bar at the reception. Some of my friends each made 50-75 cookies. One friend wants to be a pastry chef and this was a great way to get her involved and helpful to her too.Sipra_Kevin_creative-wedding-idea-Hindu-Indian-wedding-ceremony

Rehearsal Dinner: Tutte al Forno, is a mobile wood-fire oven caterer, specializing in artisinal pizzas.

Indian food at a wedding

Cocktails and Reception: Madhuban;We served primarily Indian food on the wedding day but we made sure to have one non-Indian item for anyone who didn’t like or couldn’t eat Indian food. 

lehenga hanging of an Indian bride - Gujarati and Bengali for her Indian, Hindu wedding ceremony outdoors in a mandap
Groom's sherwani and sehra for an Indian wedding.

Clothes: VAMA Designs I went to several places to look for clothes in the Bay area as well as New Jersey. I didn’t like the stuff I saw. I didn’t know what to do. Through the grapevine I heard about VAMA Designs. I went to her house and I liked her work a lot. All of the bridesmaids dresses and my lehenga came from her.

Indian bride in a white gown

Coordinator and Decor: Bash Creative; they were referred to me through a friend. 

Dress for Christian ceremony:
The Wedding Party in Berkeley

Flower girl showering petals as she enters a wedding ceremony.

Dresses for flower girls: Etsy; I had been looking for flower girl dresses that matched our color scheme and looked fusion-y – they were actually made in india but I ordered them through Etsy.

Coordinator: Bash Creative

Decor (Mehndi Function): Vivah Decoration
Decor (Wedding Day): EventWorksMandap, tables, chairs, silverware, china. It was their first time making a mandap and they did a fantastic job.

DJ: Music Mantra DJs

Floral Designer: Milkweed Floral

Hair and Makeup: Laenka by Myrium

Horse: Vintage Carriage Company

Gold chiavari chairs setup theater style in front of the mandap for an Indian wedding
Back of the mandap at an Indian, Hindu wedding ceremony.
Indian bride's mehndi on her hands

Mehndi: Neeta Sharma from Mehndi Designer

Photography (Mehndi): Raja Singh Photography

Photography (Wedding day):
Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema

Indian bride and groom praying during their Hindu wedding ceremony.

Venue: Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa

Photography + Cinematography: Wedding Documentary Photo + Cinema

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