We were blessed to have the pleasure of planning an Indian wedding. Our bride Vijaya is the founder of a non-profit organization, Reserve Network. Her passion for her work called her to the Congo for most of the planning. Our groom, Neils is an architect who lives within our time zone but his job requires that he travel as well. With the time differences we were creative when setting up phone calls and often relayed wedding decisions between them.
Vijaya and Neils met when they were both students at an international high school. They lost touch for some time, but rekindled later in life and discovered an immediate connection. Neils has such a gentle spirit about him. A genuine man, whose love for Vijaya can be seen right away. Surely his love for her is everlasting and pure. Vijaya’s bubbly, contagious personality compliments Neils in all the right ways. The balance they brought each other was evident as we witnessed their interactions on their wedding day.
Vijaya is from a traditional Indian family. A wedding incorporates meaningful traditions from her elders and ancestors. On Friday they kicked off their celebratory weekend with the ladies participating in henna art. It is tradition that the bride and her closest ladies heavily accessorize. On the morning of the ceremony her “ma ma” which is her grandmother, gifted her with beautiful jewelry that holds sentimental value.
The ceremony started with an extravagant entrance by Neils. He danced into the ceremony surrounded by his closest loved ones and friends. His destination was Vijaya’s elders. They gave their blessing for Neil to take Vijaya as his beloved wife. After such a display of love and acceptance, Neils led the rest of the guests to the ceremony site.
Vijaya entered with her best friends as her flower girls. They held a shawl over her. This shawl belonged to her mother and played a very sentimental role in her day. It meant everything to Vijaya to have a piece of her mother with her. So precious was this shawl that she designated one person the important job of taking care of it
They had a traditional Mandap Arbor that was decorated with bright fabrics and simple fresh greenery flowing on top. The bright colors symbolize the happiness that is taking place as they become one in marriage.
In Vijaya and Neils’ traditional Hindu ceremony they walked around fire, which represented their witness in marriage. To end the ceremony, the guests threw rose petals as they exited.
Leading into the reception Vijaya & Neils offered a field day for grown-ups. A bounce house, yard games ensured lots of laughter. Tables were available for the elders and wood pallets were placed all around the lawn for a picnic feel. The tables were covered with forest green tablecloths and gorgeous decor.
Dinner included a variety of Indian food & Island Jerk. Their party favors were little jars filled with honey from Congo and they had a wide variety of cupcake flavors.
They danced the night away together and even extended their hours with the DJ so they could continue the celebration with their closest family and friends.
I know it was a day for them to remember but we too will not soon forget the pageantry, meaningful traditions, vibrant colors and the love we witnessed.
Congratulations again Neils & Vijaya. What an honor is was to be a part of your special day. Xoxo,
TSE Team <3
-Coordinating + Planning: TSE
-Photography: Wes Shinn Photography
-Catering: Island Jerk Hut + Masala Bites
-DJ: DJ Silver Entertainment
-Rentals: Affordable & Luxury Event Rentals
-Specialty Rentals (yard games/bounce house): Grand Rental Station
-Florist: Jeff’s Flowers
-Baker: Twisted Sisters
-Bartender: Pour Virginia One
-Makeup: Lo & Co Makeup – Laura
-Hair: Hair by Emily Dami