A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

September 14 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Bradley Hanson
A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting
Photos by Bradley Hanson

Offbeat partner: Smruti, Project Manager

Offbeat partner: Mark, Front End Developer

Date and location of wedding: The Hidden Meadow and Barn in Pepin, Wisconsin — June 25, 2017

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

I am a South Indian who moved to the US six years back, and the groom is American, born and raised here. I am from a state in India called Karnataka. In the wedding, we included rituals and decor native to my place while retaining some American traditions. The customs in my state are different from other states in India and not popularly known.

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

All of the signs and place cards were designed by my husband, and he included Kannada (my native language) numbering. In terms of color, we had a pink and gold theme.

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

Tell us about the ceremony:

We had a ceremony that included two main Kannada wedding rituals. We had a toe-ring ceremony where my husband inserted two rings onto the second toe on both my feet. The ancient belief is that it makes the woman fertile. The other ceremony we had was what's called Saptapadhi, or Seven Steps. We had seven piles of rice on betel leaves placed on the grass under the ceremony arch. We held each others' hands and took seven steps together on the piles of rice. For each step, there is a vow that the officiant read out loud. We also had the usual ring exchange ceremony.

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

Tell us about your reception:

The reception was in a beautiful open pavilion. The table numbers, place cards, reception table decor, and entrance to the pavilion were all influenced by my family's customs. The wedding favor was a sandalwood soap that is popular where I come from.

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

We had rehearsed a Bollywood dance and a slow dance that we danced to after dinner. We had a section where we asked the couples among the guests funny questions and had them kiss after responding.

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

What was your most important lesson learned?

Wedding planning was difficult, more so because we decided three months prior that we wanted to have a full wedding and not just a court wedding. With our busy jobs and me not having any family in town, it was a challenge. My advice to couples is that no matter how much you feel the need to control every aspect of the wedding, it helps to let go and get help from friends and family you trust.

Also, ours was an outdoor wedding. The weather was perfect, but I had not accounted for the wind. We could not put up some of our decor because it was too windy. I was bummed. Think about all contingencies!

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

A traditional Indian wedding meets modern American in a gorgeous rustic setting

Vendors

  • Photographer: Bradley Hanson
  • Venue: The Hidden Meadow and Barn
  • Caterer: Fork and Flair
  • Cake: Buttercream Stillwater
  • Rentals: Linen Effects
  • Gallery

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    1. Heartiest congratulations Smruti and Mark! Wishing you eternity of joy and togetherness.

      1 agrees
    2. Smruti and Mark, your wedding was one of the most beautiful unions I've ever witnessed. Two beautiful souls uniting. I loved playing Southern Indian music on my violin during the Saptapadhi seven step ritual and being a part of such a special moment.

      • Thank you so much Nancy! Your music added such a lovely touch to the ceremonies. You played beautifully!

    3. That credits list is a great idea! Loved all the pictures – it looks like everyone had a great time, congratulations!

      • Thank you Kat! Yes, we were so happy with all our vendors we wanted everyone to know about them. The design of the credit list was Mark's handiwork.

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