A Flowering Love: Swetha and Ashu
A NEW BEGINNING, IN LIVING COLOR!
Not many weddings begin with such a splash of color! As Swetha and Ashu’s wedding was in March, it directly coincided with Holi, a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. We were honored to help coordinate the celebration. Participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled buckets for their water fight.
Needless to say, everyone had a blast and the wedding weekend ended on a high note. For the couple, their life together began on a very colorful, playful note!
When planning their wedding, Swetha and Ashu envisioned a full weekend of celebration with family and friends. And with guests traveling from near and far to attend, it was important to our couple to have a venue where everyone could stay on site, to gather easily for all the festivities. Holman Ranch and Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley were the perfect venues for this.
The weekend began on Thursday evening at Gardener Ranch with the sangeet, the party that kicks off Indian weddings. At the event, Swetha and Ashu’s loved ones took turns performing special skits they had created for the couple, including dances, songs, and a special slide show. Henna artists also provided guests with beautiful henna designs during the evening.
On Friday, everyone gathered at Holman Ranch for another full day of tradition and celebration, beginning with the wedding.
We had set the stage, or rather, the mandap, with lush flowers and color that defines Indian weddings. Marigolds are symbols of divine blessings and the scent of the white jasmine signifies sensuousness. Conversely, its white color signifies purity and elegance. Orchids are also gaining significance in Indian weddings as symbols of beauty, wisdom, strength and luxury. They are meant to convey a sense of deep love and unending support between the couple.
With modern couples such as Swetha and Ashu, bringing their chosen colors into the proceedings is enough to infuse the wedding ceremony with tradition. While the orange and white color palette was created, it was done so with orange orchids, white roses, cymbidium branches and white orchids.
Their mandap was contemporary as well. Eschewing the traditional large stage
which is usually heavily draped and for south Indian weddings an open mandap is more typical, Swetha and Ashu chose an organic, more artful design that could show off the incredible views of overlooking Carmel Valley that their wedding venue, Holman Ranch, offers.
Following the long, extensive and very traditional ceremony, which of course began with the baraat – a processional of the groom entering on a bejeweled horse which we arranged -- came the reception.
As with many Indian weddings today, the reception was influenced by western wedding trends. Long, communal tables set under a clear top tent created a striking design. Orange drapes and bistro lights hung overhead were beautiful as the sunset and became magical as day turned to night.
The images of the couple captured amid century-old trees echoed the theme that ran throughout the day – the wisdom and tradition of the trees and the rays of a new beginning combined to create one perfect moment.
The Creative Team
Wedding Coordinator: Mandy Scott Events
Décor, all events: Mandy Scott Events
Venue, Mehndi/Sangeet: Gardener Ranch
Venue, Ceremony and Reception: Holman Ranch
Venue: Holi -- Gardener Ranch
Caterer: Mehndi/Sangeet -- Turmeric
Caterer, Wedding Lunch: Sainath Kala
Caterer, Wedding Reception and Holi Brunch: Amber India
Beverage service, all events: Pour Girl
DJ, all events: Sandeep Kumar
Tent and Rentals, all events: Stuart Event Rentals
Linens, all events: La Tavola Linens
Henna Artist for Swetha: Henna Lounge
Henna Artist, Mehndi/Sangeet: Natural Henna Art
Hair and Make Up: Laenka by Myrium
Videography & Photography, all events: Wedding Documentary
Baraat horse: Monterey Bay Equestrian
Dhol and Wedding and Holi live Indian musicians: Kukoo Singh