Traditional Romantic Gujarati Wedding
Nipa & Vijay
Our favorite moment of the wedding...
NIPA: My favorite moment of the wedding was the first time we saw each other as bride and groom on our wedding day. As Vijay knows, I am horrible at keeping secrets. The day my wedding outfit arrived from India, I could not wait to show him. Our first look meant so much to me because at that moment he saw me for the first time as his bride.
VIJAY: I don’t have one particular part that was my favorite but rather a few. The first time I saw Nipa after she came down the aisle and sat down in the mandap was one of them. Being able to see her at that moment kept me calm. My other favorite would be our entrance at the Reception. Seeing both of our families and friends cheering us on with excitement made it an exceptional moment.
We had the most fun...
NIPA: I had the most fun playing the coin game called Aeki-Beki, an interesting ritual observed at the groom’s house. During this game, the priest placed several coins and a ring in a tray of water covered by milk and vermilion. It is believed that the person who finds the ring four times first, would be the boss of the house. However, during our game the priest stated we would be playing five rounds, my husband won four of the five rounds and assumed he won the game and didn’t bother trying to find his ring the last round. Well, I didn’t give up and found the ring. The priest declared me as the winner since whoever wins the final round wins the entire game.
VIJAY: I had the most fun opening my gifts from Nipa especially the PS4. Second, would be our Reception. The overall atmosphere in the room was filled with happiness and laughter. That sound filled the whole hall and it gave me a sense of pride and happiness of how well the whole day had gone.
We cried when...
NIPA: I cried when I read Vijay’s letter to me on our wedding day. He would write me a letter every year on our anniversary starting from when we were in high school.
VIJAY: The most emotional part of the day was during the vidai when Nipa’s parents were handing her off to me. I know how hard it was for them to let her go.
My wedding style was...
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of a traditional wedding.
It was most important to us that...
NIPA: We really wanted to ensure our family and friends all ate, drank, and danced a lot.
VIJAY: Also we wanted to make sure our events ran smoothly the day of. I did not want Nipa to worry about anything at all and asked her to leave everything up to me.
Most valuable advice for future brides?
You spend your whole life dreaming about your perfect wedding day and when the day comes, many things don’t go as planned. It’s important to enjoy and adore the special moments throughout the wedding because it never comes back once it’s gone. Also, it is important to stay calm and always keep smiling no matter what happens.
About The Couple
How we met
We met during the summer of our junior year of high school at the Six Flags theme park. We had two different group of friends and met up with each other because my friend and Vijay’s older brother were dating at the time. We rode a few roller coasters together and left with our own friends. Who knew 10 years later we would be getting married.
Our first date
After several months of late night phone calls and AIM chats, our first date was in February of our senior year of high school in Newport, Jersey City, NJ. He brought me roses and chocolates. We walked along the waterfront cracking jokes and eating the chocolate.
When I knew he was the one
I knew Vijay was the one the moment I met him. I know it sounds so cliché. We practically grew up together starting through the tail end of high school. Vijay has always supported me through the best and worst of times. He always encouraged me to be optimistic and focus and the positive aspects of a situation. He helped me find clarity in my life and has always been encouraging.
I had been looking forward to date night with Vijay for months, given that I had a tough semester in my masters program and was in desperate need for a fun night out. Vijay and I are opposites when it comes to planning ahead. Vijay likes to live in the moment and make spontaneous plans, while I love to plan every detail out in advance. I had been asking Vijay for weeks what he had planned for our long overdue date night and he kept teasing that we were going to have a low-key night in Jersey City, check out a local eatery and call it an early night.
To be honest, when he kept telling me this I was a little disappointed. Friday night came around and he wouldn’t pick up my phone calls so I was already upset. Saturday morning came around and he still wouldn’t pick up my phone so then my sister convinced me to get ready for our date. I was so annoyed at him, but I could tell he was very nervous when he came to my house. We finally got to Jersey City and had a meal at Fire and Oak. During our dinner, I noticed Vijay was extremely nervous, but I couldn’t figure out why.
After our meal, he asked me to take a walk with him along the waterfront to go see the lighthouse. This place was so sentimental to us because that is where we had our first date. As we’re walking along, all of a sudden I see his older brother who lives in Atlanta walk up to us. I was so surprised and started to wonder what he was doing back and why Vijay didn’t mention it to me sooner. As I started to become more and more skeptical, I turned around to speak to Vijay and found instead found him on one knee. It was one of the most magical days of my life. I had been bugging him for months about this given that we were dating for eight years at that point and he took me by complete surprise.
Marriage to us means
To us, marriage is being on the same team. It's having a life partner, having someone to cheer on. It's building a life with your best friend, from the big moments to the small moments. Marriage is motivation to be your best selves together as one. Together you are one single beautiful entity sharing the same values, exploring creativity, and building your lives.
VISION: Our wedding vision was simple, elegant and traditional. We believe that less is more.
PLANNING: We planned the wedding on our own and did not hire a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator.
SHOPPING: I went to India to shop for our outfits. They were all from Bombay and Gujarat.
WHAT I WOULD DIFFERENT: I don’t think we would do anything differently. All the minor imperfections made our special day one for the books.
PLANNING TIPS: Create monthly timelines and set goals for the tasks you want to accomplish. I found this helpful and kept on tracking to ensure things weren’t saved in the last minute. This also gives you time to be attentive to the details that are important.
Our wedding was held over a week in mid-October 2016 in New Jersey:
Our Garba Raas took place at Royal Alberts Palace. Vijay and I are both Gujarati and so we both wanted to have Garba Raas as one of our pre-wedding events. More so than Vijay, I am extremely passionate and enjoy every minute of it. I am usually one of the first ones on the floor and the last to leave. We had a live Garba band at our event and topped the evening off with some Sunedo. Finally, my sister, cousin, and I performed a dance that was featured on Bollyshake.
THEME & DECOR: The decor was a mix of a garden theme with florals and a flare of some traditional pieces. We had a yellow garden bike that was covered in marigold flowers. Each table was decorated with matkis, candles, and marigolds. All decor by Partyland & Sajawat.
NIPA'S OUTFIT: I wore a pink and white Anita Dongre lehenga.
JEWELRY: I paired the outfit with jewelry from Rajendra Jewellers AMD in Ahmedabad, India.
HAIR & MAKEUP: The talented Susmita Patel from Style by Susmita was able to completely transform me into a beautiful bride for each of my wedding events.
VIJAY'S OUTFIT: Vijay wore a teal and gold sherwani from Manyavar with a gold pocket square and gold mojdis.
My Mehendi was held at my house with close family and friends. In our culture the bridal mehendi is supposed to be intricate. My mehendi application took over five hours to complete!
THEME & DECOR: I wanted it to be a warm and bright evening. We decorated the tent in my backyard with bright drapes and Rajasthani themed umbrellas. The tent was filled with pillows and floating tea candles. All decor by Partyland & Sajawat.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Style by Susmita.
HENNA ARTIST: Henna By Shweta.
VIJAY'S OUTFIT: Vijay wore a white kurta pajama custom made in India.
Grah Shanti & Pithi
Vijay and I held our Grah Shanti and Pithi at our respective homes with close family and friends a day before our wedding. The Grah Shanti, is a ceremony that bears a deep religious significance. It is conducted to seek the blessings of all the nine planets, to protect the bride and groom. Our Pithi ceremony was held right after the Grah Shanti in which the female relatives apply Pithi which are made of turmeric, sandalwood powder, and rosewater. This is supposed to make the bride and groom's skin glow before their wedding.
THEME & DECOR: We both had our respective ceremonies in tents outside of our houses that were draped with cream and gold fabric. All decor by Partyland & Sajawat.
NIPA'S OUTFIT: My mother hand-picked the fabrics for my Pithi outfit and we had it tailor made in India.
JEWELRY: My jewelry was made with gottapati and fresh yellow baby roses.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Style by Susmita.
VIJAY'S OUTFIT: He wore a white pajama kurta that was made by a local tailor in Bombay.
The Wedding Ceremony took place on Saturday morning at the Westmount Country Club. The baraat began at 8:30AM and made its way up the cobblestone driveway by 9:30AM where my parents received him. Vijay made his way down the aisle with my parents to 2 Cellos. He was such a gentleman because he held his part of the shoe deal with my sister and graciously offered her his shoes. I walked down the aisle to Wedding Scene song from Student of the Year. Our whole ceremony was conducted very calmly as Vijay and I were taking in every moment.
THEME & DECOR: Vijay and I wanted a traditional mandap that was accented with minimal draping and yellow roses. Less is more to us and we envisioned a simple and elegant look for the room. All decor by Partyland & Sajawat.
NIPA'S OUTFIT: My wedding outfit was designed by Purva Couture, Ahmedabad.
JEWELRY: Custome made by Rajendra Jewellers AMD in Ahmedabad, India.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Style by Susmita.
VIJAY'S OUTFIT: Vijay wore a cream sherwani that was embroidered with gold-work, paired with red and gold polka dot mojdis. His necklace was hand beaded by a man that makes costume jewelry in India.
BRIDAL PARTY: Bridesmaid outfits were custom made by my mother. We went to a fabric and saree shop in Bombay and had sarees died in ombre hues of orange, peach, and coral that was accompanied with gold silk blouses.
Our Reception was held in the main room at the Westmount Country Club. We wanted to ensure our guests had a great evening and ate, drank, and danced the night away. Cocktail hour began with a champagne reception followed by over 10 live food stations catered by Rasoi. We entered the room to Swedish House Mafia custom mix by DJ Niral. Our first dance song was to Pehla Nasha from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and my father-daughter dance was to Hero by Mariah Carey.
THEME & DECOR: We wanted our Reception to have a romantic feel, filled with cream and blush floral arrangements and tall candelabras. All decor by Partyland & Sajawat.
NIPA'S OUTFIT: I wore a cream Arpita Mehta lehenga with gold dibbi work and mirror work.
SHOES: Gold Jimmy Choo heels.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Style by Susmita.
VIJAY'S OUTFIT: Vijay wore an Ermenegildo Zegna black tuxedo paired with a satin Turnbull Asser bow tie and an Eton shirt. He paired black and white polka dot dress socks with black patent Salvatore Ferragamo loafers.