We as much enthusiasm as these photos captured by local wedding photographer, Divine Images, we are elated to shared Emily and Ravi’s Nashville wedding. From their colorful Mehndi party to their elegant sikh ceremony, the couple held such a fun-loving celebration including cultural traditions. Their love story, divine; their details, magnificent! You’re in for a real treat with these dazzling photos of this traditional Indian wedding! See our favorites and learn more about their special day below!
Tell us about your engagement!
Emily: Ravi and I dated long distance (NYC to Nashville) from the start, so our relationship was filled with travel plans to weekend in each others city and holiday abroad. Travel naturally became the topic around which we planned our relationship: the time spent together, when, where, and how to get there. Airport commutes punctuated our time together, and were the first and last places we’d see each other. We spent our first Valentine’s Day weekend in Tulum, less than a year into our long distance relationship, and fell in love with the place… swearing to return the next year.
As dreamt, we made plans to return the next February. Naturally, I was thrilled to go, eager to get out of NYC in early February. Work was stressful, and I arrived on a very delayed, late night flight into ATL, where Ravi met me. Our flight to Cancun was the next morning, and Ravi had insisted, weeks ago, that we arrive to the airport especially early to kick off our holiday with a waffle house breakfast. I assumed he was luring me to be on-time, because I’m always late, and would never turn down WaHo. I dressed for the occasion – it was freezing cold, we were traveling to a chill beach town after a less-than-smooth commute from NYC: I wore leggings, an over-sized t-shirt, sneakers, and my winter puffer coat – and slim to zero effort on the hair/makeup front.
While headed to the airport, Ravi asked me three times if I was sure I wanted to wear my coat. His queries astounded me – I couldn’t understand why he cared so much; but I laughed and dismissed it, and let him stuff my coat into a bag. We arrived at the international terminal to check bags, and Ravi was especially handsy, which I thought was sweet. After dropping our bags, we proceeded to the security queue. While walking side by side, hand in hand, Ravi started saying: “So babe, we’ve spent a lot of time in airports, traveling to see each other… And even though they’re so frustrating, they are the places we go to see each other… so, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to ask you… [and then he stepped in front of me, and pulled my hand up, and got down on one knee, and said] Will you marry me?”
Ravi didn’t wait for me to say yes; while he asked, he put a ring on my finger that made my jaw drop – I was so shocked and so thrilled, and couldn’t believe it was happening. The best and most thoughtful part, is that Ravi hired a photographer to capture our airport entry, and his proposal, while remaining incognito. A few moments after Ravi proposed, the photographer came out from behind a column and took photos of us – me in my travel outfit, looking so happy and so not chic. That “engagement-moon” to Tulum was a dream; it was magical to go away and celebrate together. And our departure scene in the Cancun airport, where we said our goodbyes to return to our respective cities and homes was not nearly as joyful as the ATL scene.
What was the vision for your wedding?
Emily: Formal Indian. We wanted a well-organized, formal affair that would reflect Ravi’s Indian heritage, celebrate our love for each other, and for it to be a FUN, love-filled party for our nearest and dearest. Our wish for our family and friends, was that they’d leave with full hearts and joyful, unique memories of our Indian wedding. It was important to us that each detail, even if “foreign,” be done in such a way that everyone could derive meaning, and participate in the celebration of our love. We saw our wedding as a party we were planning together for our best friends, and we planned to the end that things would come together in an organized fashion, and give everyone a magical time.
What was your theme and what inspired it?
Emily: We didn’t have a theme other than the (obvious) Indian cultural traditions. We kicked off the weekend with a Friday evening Mehndi Party for all our guests; it was a vibrant, colorful soiree with live Indian music and henna artists set up to draw mehndi on all the ladies. We invited our guests to wear Indian garb, and the room was turned into a magical, Indian Bazaar setting with beautiful draping, lights, and props. Indian street food was passed and set up in stations around the room so guests could eat drink and be merry. Our wedding day followed suite to Sikh traditions: Ravi arrived on a white horse, his family and friends cheering and dancing with him in the street for his Baraat. Our wedding ceremony was a Sikh ceremony, during which we observed the Sikh traditions of head covering, and asked our guests to remove their shoes before entry into the ceremony ballroom. It was an elegant, sacred ceremony; and turned out beautifully. We served a traditional Indian lunch after the ceremony, and then adjourned for the afternoon. Everyone re-grouped for cocktail hour around sunset, and from there we had dinner, and a wild dance party. There were good vibes all around, and everyone had the biggest smiles.
Can you share any special moments or highlights from your wedding day?
Emily: The whole weekend was a special moment! But our highlights were watching our families embrace each other, and overflow with joy and love; and seeing all of our family and friends excitedly participate in the cultural traditions of the weekend. Over half of our guests were not Indian, and had never been to an Indian wedding; seeing them arrive in sarees, lehengas, kurtas, and sherwanis was so fun. Our special moment(s) as the bride and groom was/were our first entrance, first dance, and our last dance/exit. As the bride, my most favorite thing was Ravi’s huge, ear to ear grin the entire weekend. He was giddy, and so happy to be having the Indian wedding of his dreams.
What are some tips you can share with other brides planning their weddings?
Emily: Do not compromise your vision, and dedicate someone who will, day of, be the “boots on the ground” to ensure your aesthetic vision is executed. Someone who will go around with a critical eye, and engage with vendors to fix details that have been overlooked during set-up. And through it all, guard your relationship with your (future) spouse. Remember that it’s your party, that you’re planning together, to celebrate your love – enthusiastically partner together and support each other. And in rapid fire: spend time getting to know and feeling comfortable with your photographer; get airbrushed makeup; do not save things till the last minute; and delegate to your bride tribe – they are eager to help.
How beautiful!! Thank you so much to Divine Images for sharing this Nashville wedding with us and allowing us to see this stunning Indian wedding. And to Emily and Ravi letting us share this beautiful chapter of their story!