Wedding With Originality; Mohini and Neel, San Mateo Marriott

{About Mohini and Neel’s Wedding}

If I had to describe Mohini and Neel’s wedding in 1 word it would be original. From the baraat band to the centerpieces – everything was one-of-a-kind.

Mohini and Neel standing with the rickshaw they bought on Craigslist and suped up themselves. Photo shot t Pulgas Water Station.

{The Venue}

The San Mateo Marriott is a very popular venue for South Asian weddings. It has everything many South Asians need:

One cool and unique aspect of the Marriott’s wedding packages is they include the cake – not just the cake cutting – the cake itself. They gave Mohini and Neel names of a couple bakeries they have relationships with and they chose The Cakery in Burlingame. We love that Mohini and Neel took a commonplace venue and made their wedding anything but commonplace.


Since Mohini is graphic designer she designed her wedding invitations as well as wedding programs, menu cards, and stickers to label mithai that they handmade for the celebrations. What’s more, Mohini had budgeted a significant portion of her wedding budget for printed materials as that’s her thing. But the printer whom she works with closely graciously gifted it all to her as a wedding gift!

{OG Rickshaw + Baraat Band}

They bought a rickshaw from Craigslist for Neel to ride in for the baraat and their reception grand entrance. We’re not referring to an auto rickshaw, we mean an OG bicycle rickshaw!  Mohini told us that the man they bought it from had it in his garage – alittle out of shape. They spent the summer painting/fixing it. As if that wasn’t unique enough they also had a live band playing music for the baraat! Mohini is a drummer and has other musician friends who gladly performed that day!


It wasn’t all picture perfect though (pun intended). A week before the wedding, they didn’t have a photographer! They hired someone from a photography marketplace whereby you enter your needs and the company matches you to a photographer who will shoot photos, video, make a highlight video and create an online photo album. Well a week before the wedding they hadn’t received notice of who was coming to shoot their wedding. Mohini called and researched only to find out the company had gone bankrupt! Luckily, the photographer and videographer who were supposed to shoot contacted her and they worked out an independent arrangement…but not before they lost over $1000 in deposits which they unsuccessfully tried getting back. Hundreds of couples lost their wedding images forever as the owner of that company disappeared.

ProTip: Pay for wedding items through means that have insurance, if possible.


 At looking in the Bay area and LA, Mohini opted to get her clothes from India. Her aunt went to Delhi and Ahmedabad and bought her outfits. They got Neel’s sherwani while attending a friends wedding in Bangkok.


Their centerpieces were herb gardens! At the end of the night guests were welcome to take them home! What a great idea! The San Mateo Marriott conveniently has a beautiful gazebo that can be used for the mandap. The mandap and reception decor were done by SB Arts.

{Hair & Makeup}

Instead of hiring an artist she took a makeup class and did her own makeup throughout the wedding week! Empowering yourself – we like it!


Since Neel is from a Jain family, dinner at the reception was vegetarian except for a chicken curry dish that was served on a separate table. Afterwards guests enjoyed DIY paan!
Thanks for sharing your story with us! It’ll serve as great inspiration for brides who are looking to break from norms!

Want more advice, tips ideas? Visit the TIPS section of the ShaadiShop blog to easily find what you’re looking for.


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