Stephanie and Sumeeth’s Indian-American fusion wedding weekend in Nashville Music City USA – part 1 #sumeethstephsitup
My first Indian-American wedding ever–I will never forget it! What a privilege to photograph such a vivid and lively 3 day event!
I will blog the Haldi Ceremony, the pre-rehearsal luncheon, and the Sangeet in Part 1 and the wedding day in Part 2.
Stephanie and Sumeeth are both soon-to-be doctors working on their MD PhDs at Vanderbilt University where they met. Their love story is a beautiful one that I’ll elaborate more about in Part 2.
We started out on Thursday with Stephanie’s bridal portrait at Scarritt Bennett’s Wightman Chapel (see images from that session here) followed by a Haldi ceremony thrown by Sumeeth’s family at Coco’s Event Center in Nashville. Haldi, which means “turmeric” in Hindi, was applied to Sumeeth’s face, hands and feet by his family and friends as they said blessings and brought gifts. Stephanie was dressed in a beautiful sari of coral, gold and green by Sumeeth’s relatives before her turn to receive gifts, blessings and showers of rose petals over her head. After changing into another stunning red and gold sari, Stephanie and Sumeeth joined to receive more gifts, blessings and join their families for amazing food from Edley’s Bar-B-Que.
The following morning, Stephanie and Sumeeth hosted their wedding party and family to a pre-wedding rehearsal lunch at Nashville’s famous Bluebird Cafe. Everyone enjoyed 2 hours of great food, live music courtesy of singer/songwriters Emily Earle and Dean Fields, and toasts from each wedding party member. Guests also received a custom Hatch Show Print featuring Stephanie & Sumeeth’s wedding announcement info and their cool Nashville skyline theme.
Friday evening brought us to the Marriott Vanderbilt’s Parthenon Ballroom for the Sangeet, hosted by Sumeeth’s family. Sangeet translates as “sung together,” as both families celebrate the coming wedding with music, singing, dancing performed by friends & family and poking fun at each other. After cocktail hour, the Bride and Groom-to-be were introduced separately. They each danced into the ballroom where they exchanged floral garlands in a Jaimala or Varmala ceremony (which signifies acceptance and union) before taking their seats on the elaborately decorated stage (or Mandap) to be entertained the rest of the night.
It was such fun to see Sumeeth’s family perform each song — so much talent in one family! But Stephanie and Sumeeth’s choreographed dance was the highlight for sure, especially when they were joined by Stephanie’s friends from Vandy’s VMS Dance. Girl can jam!
Decor by Red Umbrella Events.
Part 2 – The Wedding Day – coming Soon!
**Mega shout outs to Shayna Mitchell, Tanya France, and Krista Allen for helping me shoot this fantastic event!**