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Real Richmond Wedding: Laura and Akshay’s American/Indian Infusion Wedding

Laura and Akshay

October 1, 2016

How They Met:

For Laura and Akshay, it was love at first swipe. The two met on a dating app the summer of 2014. After many exchanged texts, they decided to meet face to face and set up a coffee date. Neither expected it to last very long, as it was in the middle of the day, but they ended up talking for hours. Laura claims, “We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

The Proposal:
The couple had just relocated to Richmond when Akshay popped the question. The two had spent the day at Broad Appétit food festival, and decided to take a detour so they could walk their pup around the Virginia State Capitol. Akshay started telling Laura how much he loved her and Laura thought, ‘This would be a great time to propose…but it definitely wasn’t going to happen!’ Boy, was she wrong. Akshay asked Laura to take their dog’s leash and when she turned around he was on one knee. “I immediately fell to the ground and sobbed—It was the most perfect proposal.”

Wedding Details:
In Laura and Akshay’s instance, there was a little more planning involved with their wedding, as they had both a traditional Indian ceremony and a traditional American ceremony. For the American wedding, they chose the Monumental Church in downtown Richmond. Laura explains, “It allowed us to have the traditional feel of a church ceremony with our own officiant who was able to represent both cultures and religions!” Plus, it was conveniently located to the Downtown Richmond Marriott, where both the Indian ceremony and reception were to be held. The venue was an easy choice as they had ample experience accommodating the ceremonies that come with a traditional Indian wedding.

For the newlyweds, rather than having a specific theme, they wanted their uniquely rich and vibrant cultures to shine. They thought out each detail, making every design intentional, thoughtful, and personal. They were sure to include their four legged friends, incorporating them into the signature cocktails, accessories, invitations, and even the reception décor!

They used accents of burgundy for their flowers that played nicely off the traditional red and gold sari Laura wore for their Indian ceremony. The Keravlees (or the Indian version of a bridesmaid) wore blue saris, and their American counterpart wore dark navy.

At the reception, both cultures came together for one big party. They served the best of both worlds, with classic southern comfort food as well as traditional Indian dishes. The couple opted out of cake, rather having their favorite pies for dessert. “[We] made sure we had lots of dancing…we brought in a DJ who had experience with fusion weddings, so everyone stayed out on the dance floor all night!”

Favorite Part of the Day:
For Laura, it was the private cocktail hour with just her and Akshay. “We had a private room where we got to sit with each other and talk about every moment of the day. It was the only part of the day where it was just the two of us and it was so fun to recap everything that had happened.” And for Akshay? It was when the church doors opened and Laura walked down the aisle. All the stress of planning two weddings faded away, making that special moment oh-so worth it.

Biggest Challenge:
“Balancing both of our cultures.” Laura and Akshay wanted to make sure that each culture was honored in a way that was respectful, while still staying true to themselves.

Best Advice:
“Make a list for what is most important to you prior to booking any vendors…it helped us stay on budget and keep from splurging on things that weren’t a priority. We were able to really focus on what was important and in the end, our day was absolutely perfect!”

Vendor Credits:

Budget $50,000|
Guests 350|
Ceremony Site Monumental Church|
Guest Accommodations Quirk Hotel|
Wedding Gown Tiffanys Bridal|

Additional Vendors:

Photography: Allison Maxwell Photography | Sangeet & Reception Venue/Accommodations: Downtown Richmond Marriott | Sangeet & Ceremony Food: Lehja | Shower Location: Tuscarora Mill Restaurant | Videography: Devin Spencer Videography | Wedding Planners: American Ceremony/Reception – Nicole Brantingham of Stag & Lily; Sangeet & Indian Ceremony – Dolly Ahluwalia of Gulmohar Weddings | Ceremony Site: Indian ceremony – Downtown Richmond Marriott | Officiant: Living for Love Rev. Melody Porter  | Ceremony Music: Flutist Beth Bentley | Indian Sari: Purchased in India | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses: White House Black Market | Jewelry: Nordstrom, Coordinates Collection; Helzberg Diamonds; Jared | Hair: Indian Ceremony & Sangeet: Cecily Morgan | Makeup: Indian Ceremony & Sangeet: Nicole Laughlin | Formalwear: Groom – Suit Supply; Groomsmen: Men’s Wearhouse | Invitations: English Tea Paperie | Flowers: Black Creek Flowers | DJ: DJ Geeta | Rickshaw: Spoken4 | Additional Sweets: Simply Southern Pies | Transportation Getaway car: First Class Limo | Trolley: Richmond Trolley Company | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Paisley & Jade

One comment on “Real Richmond Wedding: Laura and Akshay’s American/Indian Infusion Wedding”

    We loved playing a small part in this sweet couple's big day! Bravo to all the awesome vendors who helped bring their wedding vision to life! Thanks RW for featuring!

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