Stephanie and Sumeeth’s Indian-American Fusion Wedding in Nashville, Music City – Part 1

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.

haldi turmeric paste indian wedding nashville

Applying haldi turmeric pithi to groom's face in nashville

little girl sprinkling rice over indian groom's head at haldi ceremony in nashville

candles on plate at haldi decoration

groom's aunts family at sprinkle rice on his head at haldi

sprinkle rice on groom's head at haldi

relatives apply turmeric pithi at on groom's face at haldi in Nashville TN

rice saffron poured over Indian groom's head at Haldi

Indian family at Haldi ceremony in Nashville

rose petals on plate at Haldi

rice and rose petals decoration at Haldi

groom at Haldi pithi ceremony in Nashville

aunt blessing the groom at Haldi pithi

pithi turmeric paste at Haldi ceremony

Putting bangles on wrist of Indian bride nashville

Indian-American bride in a sari

Indian groom smiling at his bride

Indian American bride at haldi rose petal blessing

Indian American bride at haldi rose petal blessing

Indian American bride at haldi receiving ankle bracelet gift

Indian American bride at haldi receiving ankle necklace gift

plates of rose petals on stools at indian haldi

showering bride with rose petals at haldi ceremony pithi

showering bride with rose petals at haldi ceremony pithi

traditional bangles at haldi pithi ceremony

dressing american bride in an indian sari

Indian - american bride and groom at haldi pithi ceremony fed by mother

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.

wedding rehearsal lunch at Bluebird cafe nashville

wedding rehearsal lunch at Bluebird cafe nashville

wedding rehearsal lunch at Bluebird cafe nashville

bride and groom at luncheon at bluebird cafe nashville

Emily Earle and Dean Fields at Bluebird Cafe

Emily Earle and Dean Fields at Bluebird Cafe

Emily Earle and Dean Fields at Bluebird Cafe

Emily Earle and Dean Fields at Bluebird Cafe

reflection in bar mirror at bluebird cafe nashville

pre wedding luncheon at bluebird cafe nashville tn

hatch show print wedding announcement nashville skyline

hatch show print wedding announcement nashville skyline

blue guitar guest sign book

bride and groom at luncheon at bluebird cafe nashville

bridesmaids luncheon at bluebird cafe nashville tn

bridesmaids luncheon at bluebird cafe nashville tn

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!

The rest of the night included dinner catered by The Clay Pit Indian Cuisine and a packed dance floor thanks to DJ Connection. Did I mention how amazing the food was all weekend?

Decor by Red Umbrella Events.

Indian wedding mandap by red umbrella inc nashville

Indian sangeet mandap by red umbrella inc nashville

Indian sangeet mandap by red umbrella inc gold candles lanterns

Indian sangeet mandap by red umbrella inc fuchsia umbrella table centerpiece

Indian sangeet mandap by red umbrella inc gold candles

Indian sangeet bangles bracelets favors

Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding

Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding

Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding jaimala garland

Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding mehndi artist

dancing family Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding

dancing family Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding

dancing bride and groom Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding bollywood choreography

dancing bride and groom Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding bollywood choreography

dancing bride and groom Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding bollywood choreography

dancing bride and groom Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding bollywood choreography

dancing guests at Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding reception

dancing bride and groom Nashville Sangeet Indian wedding bollywood choreography

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!**

Shanell
Shanell
Knoxville, TN based wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer.

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