Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spectacular Bollywood Wedding for Nikita and Matt at the Washington-Duke Inn!

Nikita and Matt met while freshmen at Duke University in 2007 and Matt proposed in the upper realms of Duke Chapel. So, when they began planning their wedding, the Washington-Duke Inn in Durham was the logical choice although neither family lived in North Carolina. They contacted me last December from the Washington-Duke Inn preferred vendor list about officiating their wedding on Sunday May 24th, 2015. Nikita is of Indian heritage and so in that tradition they planned to have an Indian ceremony earlier in the day followed by the American ceremony at 5 PM. As we planned the ceremony I learned that Nikita is a huge fan of Bollywood movies--the very dramatic, romantic, elaborately costumed musical and dance movies in India. So, really when I arrived on Saturday morning for their rehearsal, I should not have been surprised to see the tent going up over the President's Terrace with the water feature, pedestals, draping fabrics and statues of Ganesh being set in place! I wish I had a photo of it when it was ready for the Indian wedding.
When Marty and I arrived for the American wedding, we peeked inside the ballroom and workers were busily hanging bling from the ceiling, setting up the blue uplighting, a mandap with sofa for the bride and groom, glittery table cloths and two huge video screens showing Bollywood kinds of images!
Their initials were projected onto the dance floor and the DJ was getting set up inside and outside.
There were two huge video screens showing movies Bollywood style, of course! 
The cake by Mitchell's Catering was being set up under the mandap. 
Back outside the draping and decor from the Indian ceremony had been removed and a more typical American style set up was in place.
Bollywood DJ was from New York and I plugged my mic into his system.
Up front was this water feature. You cannot see in the photo but there was a sheet of water streaming down in the center. 
When the guests had been seated, the groom and his 9 groomsmen and I gathered in the back to enter. I also took this opportunity to get the best man to sign the license. 
Watching the grandparents and parents get all lined up on the other side of the terrace.
Then Matt's parents began walking in followed by the parents of the bride. Father of the Bride returned to escort in Nikita.
This is Steve Hubbs of Electric Karma, the wedding and event planning company that is famous for handling Indian Weddings internationally.
Just waiting for our cue!
There were about 350 guests who flew in from all over the world.
Urvashi Mishra with Electric Karma directed the bridesmaids in one by one.
Our Maid of Honor last.....
Time for the ring bearer and the two flower girls!
Ready for the bride! As soon as I could see her enter, I invited the guests to stand in her honor. Our photographers were Adrian and Tim with f8 Photo Studios and our videographer was Jonathan with f8 {in Motion}.
Kris, father of the bride, proudly escorts his beautiful daughter down the aisle. 
And so we began with a welcome to all and remembered those no longer with us. 
Then a warm tribute to their parents for all their love and support. 
They have a great love story. Even though I did not meet Nikita and Matt in person until their rehearsal, I felt though I had known them for years after writing their story.
Although they met and dated in college, they went their separate ways after graduation--Nikita to medical school in West Virginia and Matt to work in several cities most recently Boston--their relationship became long distance for four long years interspersed with trips and vacations all over the world.
When it came time to propose, Matt cooked up a trip back to Durham to visit their favorite places when they were students along with an elaborate plan to pop the question which required Nikita to solve riddles to get them from one place to the next place. They ended up in the very top of Duke Chapel, a place Nikita always wanted to go but never got there while a student. It was there that Matt gave her a little speech about how much he loved her, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Nikita was so busy crying, she couldn't see his face or the ring he custom designed until about 10 minutes later! Matt told me that his proposal scheme was so dramatic because Nikita had grown up watching Bollywood movies and the proposal had to be grand and dramatic to meet her expectations!
This wedding is a double celebration because Nikita graduated medical school and will begin internship in New York City and Matt has changed jobs from Boston to Manhattan. Finally, after 4 long years, they will be living together in the same city.
Matt and Nikita both shed tears during the whole ceremony. It was a good thing I had 3 hankies with me that day because we used them all!
They said their vows to each other reading from my book, then exchanged rings. 
At this point, I had them turn and face me and wipe their eyes, cheeks and noses! 
Then we moved on to the sand ceremony where they poured their sand together.
A closing blessing.....
The pronouncement of marriage. (The American ceremony was the legal one too.)
Sweet kiss!
Oh wow! We are really married now!
Presenting them to their guests!
Urvashi has the couple and the wedding party scoot through the cocktail area to a conference room to wait until the guests had cleared the tent. Then we went back in and took pictures.
Fantastic wedding!! It was truly Bollywood style with an American twist to it! 
After the pictures Nikita and Matt changed clothes for the reception. Here they are in the hall just outside the ballroom awaiting their announcement into the room filled with their guests! Nikita and Matt, what a fabulous, unforgettable wedding! I am honored to have been a part of your spectacular wedding day!
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!


No comments: