One of the things I love most about my job is getting to see how one venue can look so different depending on the wedding. Yesterday’s feature showed the Metropolitan Building drenched in candlelight, with a neutral color palette; this vibrant coral and gold wedding from Matthew & Bo of CLY Creation and Christine of Exquisite Affairs Productions shows the same venue in an entirely different, and equally lovely, light…
Says the bride: “One of the most amazing features of the fourth floor of the Metropolitan Building is a giant skylight in the center of the room. Our florist built the most beautiful canopy of peonies underneath it to serve as our mandap, the area where Hindu wedding ceremonies take place. Our ceremony was in the morning and it felt as if the sun burst through the clouds at precisely the right moment to illuminate what was happening. I was also really inspired by color. Indian weddings are traditionally very vibrant and we fully embraced this trend with centerpieces full of coral, peach and orange, as well as bright silk saris that stood out against the exposed brick backdrop.”
After the ceremony, the wedding party changed into Western attire for the rest of the celebration. Ramya wore a short lace dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.
The bridesmaids changed from orange and coral saris into knee-length, sorbet-hued dresses. The groom and groomsmen changed into charcoal gray suits.
The best advice the bride received? “If the couple is having fun, the guests will have a blast too. We tried to focus on really enjoying every moment of the day and spent the whole reception on the dance floor with our friends and family. Due to that fact (and our amazing DJ), the dance floor never thinned and I have incredible memories of kicking off my shoes to “Footloose” with our friends, attempting some Bollywood moves with my relatives, and being hoisted up in a chair during the Michigan fight song in homage to our alma mater. When the last song of the night came on, I think we were all pretty sad to leave.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? Though we live in San Francisco, Jamie and I are both originally from the New York area and knew that we wanted to have our wedding in New York City (we love public transit and the fact that you can get a late-night snack at 3 a.m). When I walked into the Metropolitan Building, a former electrical parts factory, I knew we had found our venue. The vintage aesthetic, coupled with the fact that you can use props that they have on-site, like old steamer trunks and vases, to make the space your own, really separated it from other venues.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? At the last minute, we decided to write our own vows and exchange them. I’m so glad we did because that wound up being my favorite part of the day. The majority of the 1.5 hour ceremony (yup, you read that right) was in sanskrit so having this moment to speak in English about our relationship, crack a few jokes and make commitments that everyone understood, felt incredibly good.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We really wanted our wedding to showcase traditions from both of our cultures. On the Indian side, we had a traditional Hindu ceremony, complete with a Nadhaswaram band who played classical South Indian music, a “sumangali prarthanai” where married female relatives bless the bride, and a henna party at my house where all of my friends learned the art of sitting still with their palms open. To honor our American roots, we exchanged rings, had a rehearsal dinner, reveled in wonderful toasts, cut the cake, and danced until the wee hours.
What advice do you have for other brides? It’s the only time in your life when you will have everyone you love in the same room, so savor that. We were so fortunate to have our friends and extended family join us on our wedding day, particularly my relatives who traveled all the way from India to celebrate with us. One of my favorite photos from the wedding is a portrait of my mom and her eight siblings who haven’t all been in the same place in years. On that note, I would also recommend hiring a great photographer so you can remember the day in all of its glory because it goes by so fast.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? We definitely approached the wedding as a family effort, and that helped. My dad had his friend cater the reception so we saved some money there. Jamie’s mom painted the invitation. My uncle and aunt had the menus and programs printed in India. Jamie’s brother and godmother negotiated a great price on NYC hoodies to hand out at the outdoor rehearsal dinner when the forecast predicted wind and rain. The other thing that is difficult but can help a lot is trimming the guest list. We got ours down to 175, which still seems large, but is a minor miracle when you consider the average size of an Indian wedding. At the end of the day, we felt like the most important people were there with us.