A Wedding Party

A couple blends their traditional Indian backgrounds with Southern inspiration to create the celebration of a lifetime.

It can take months to plan the perfect wedding day, but how long does it take to plan the perfect five-day wedding? According to Milind and Avani Patel, who met while attending another destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico, it does take a while. The couple was engaged for just over a year, much of which was dedicated to planning their wedding weekend, which represented both their traditional Indian backgrounds and Avani’s Southern roots. “I wanted the first night to be traditional Indian [so] we set up a type of bazaar with food stalls, traditional folk dancing (Garba and Raas), and had traditional decorations with rangoli, rajhastani statues, and diyas (lights),” she explains. “The second day, which was the wedding day, was a combination of traditional and southern chic. Our outfits and the ceremony were very traditional and religious. The decorations were mint green and peach with fresh florals and fruit to create that outdoor feel—incorporating southern chic into our outdoor lake wedding. The last night, which was our formal reception, I aimed to create a look of elegance with purples and silvers, heavy draping, and clustered candles and decorations.”

DSC_5666The couple was excited to celebrate with their family and friends—many who had traveled from around the world, including from India, to participate in the celebration—and they honored their backgrounds by incorporating many Indian wedding traditions into the ceremony. “The groom came with his procession, a baraat. I came in on a Doli, palaniquin,” Avani explains. “And we had a Hindu ceremony including exchanging flower garlands, the groom putting a ceremonial red powder (tikka) on my forehead, and the groom putting on a black bead necklace, signifying marriage in our religion.” Avani’s favorite tradition was when the couple walked around the fire four times. “[This is when we promised] ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives in sickness and in health,” she says. “This is pretty much the wedding vows part of our wedding, and it was such a delight to be able to officially exchange those sentiments with my husband!”

Her other favorite part of the celebration? The celebration itself! “Of course all of the dancing!” she says. “I love dancing oh so much, and it was such a fun time!”

Wedding Decorator: Sushil Patel, Utopian Events (Atlanta) / Photography/Videography: McGinnis Leathers / Caterer: Thali Restaurant (Atlanta) / Hair/Makeup: Morgan Ashley Salon



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