We’re so excited to share this amazing Indian fusion wedding filled with so many meaningful and stylish details. Shalou and Eric chose to have two complete ceremonies as a way to honor their families and cultures. From the marching band, to the impressively dressed groom riding in on a giant white horse, to the choreographed Bollywood dance party, this musical and festive celebration will leave you feeling overjoyed!
Photography by Q Weddings.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? My relationship with Eric. Our passions. My family. My culture.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? It goes back to the two or three details that you care the most about. Spend your money on those 2-3 line items to ensure you get exactly what you want and save money in the other areas because no one (including you) will remember those little details.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Eric riding in on a giant white horse, both him and the horse in fancy Indian dress literally from head to toe, could not have been a better beginning to our epic 17-hour wedding day!
Baraat Horse service from Angeli Carriages.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Slow it all down so you can be in the moment, otherwise it will fly by way too fast and you’ll be left with very few memories from the day.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? As a couple, figure out and agree upon the two or maybe three things you really care about and make sure you get those components just the way you want them. The rest is not that important so don’t stress or waste too much time trying to perfect (or arguing over!) those details.
“Our Indian wedding was full of traditions. The baraat, the dance-off at the end of the baraat, exchanging of fresh floral garlands between the two families uniting, and various exchanges and promises between bride and groom. Our evening ceremony was less about tradition and more about each of us, our relationship and our passions.”
Your ceremony in three words. Colorful, festive, musical
Why did you choose this venue for your Indian ceremony? Austin is home for both of us. The Four Seasons on Town Lake was the perfect setting for our morning Indian ceremony. The baraat (groom’s procession) took place on the hotel’s lush lawn right next to Austin’s Town Lake, and the marriage ceremonies were held inside, appropriately in one of the opulent ballrooms.
Who officiated your ceremony? The morning was officiated by a wonderful Indian priest who came recommended to us. He was personal but not too serious, which made our ceremony light yet still very special. And since we are not religious, we found a judge who was passionate about marriage and well known for putting her heart and soul into being an officiant. She did not let us down—not only did she shed some tears of heartfelt joy during our exchange of vows which we wrote ourselves, but our relatives can’t stop talking about the ceremony.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We love nature and simple structures, so the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was the perfect setting for the evening ceremony. The venue has so many different experiences in one location—butterfly gardens, a beautiful multi-purpose space with floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking a field of wildflowers, a look-out tower, and more—it suited our needs and our multi-faceted evening “itinerary” just perfectly.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. Shalou’s was a heartfelt promise to Eric to be forever fun-loving and passionate, and Eric talked about their amazing love trajectory and followed that by singing a song he wrote about Shalou shortly after they met.
What was your ceremony music? Our music was so diverse! We had several different live bands—a marching band, Indian drummers and a sitar player, a modern string quartet and an amazing DJ who balanced the perfect amount of 80’s music with some amazing Bollywood hits. On the bus ride back to the hotel, members of my family made their own music—singing and dancing during the half hour commute back to the hotel!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? Personal details were so important to us, so we tried to incorporate many thoughtful touches along with hand-making or designing many of the elements on our own.
“Having attended a few dozen weddings, there were one or two that stood out to me as just feeling special and memorable. I drew inspiration from those celebrations and created a unique template for our day. Music was number one on the list for us—in the morning we had a marching band and Indian drummer for the baraat, sitar player during the lunch reception, a string quartet for our ceremony and cocktail hour and a high-energy DJ for the dance party at night! Food was really important, as well, so selecting talented caterers and working closely with them was key. Finally, our guest list was critical. Indian weddings can be obscenely large and thus impersonal. We went the non-traditional route and limited our invitations to family and only close friends.”
How would you describe your reception? Lively and concluding with a very memorable dance party with nearly everyone on the dance floor busting out some serious dance moves—breakdancing included!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I would have told my mom to change into her third and final outfit—another Indian dress. I forgot to tell her and she likes to remind me of this all to often.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Eric created the graphics for all of the menus, name cards, programs, and various other literature. The table cards were my favorite. Instead of table numbers we had table names, named for each big adventure/trip we took together (i.e. Big Sur, Tokyo, Tamarindo, etc.). The table cards were monochromatic (utilizing colors from our wedding color scheme), the graphic was an aerial shot of the geographic destination and we added some text below the table name—a few words or phrases hinting at highlights or special moments of our trip.
Did you have a signature cocktail? “The Diamond Ring”—French 75. “The Good Karma”—Pimms Cup
Menu: Morning menu: interactive stations with Indian Street food to start; a buffet that offered Traditional Northern Indian dishes and Indian fusion; Traditional Indian desserts, plus coffee & chai // Evening menu: Indian Fusion for the Passed Hors d’oeuvres / Traditional Northern Indian entrees and New American entrees presented buffet style.
Catering for Western Menu by Word of Mouth Catering.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Beautifully presented at the dessert table for the evening reception: Cakeballs, Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Leaves (they looked really cool and we both LOVE dark chocolate), Strawberry Shortcake Parfait.
Cake by Austin Cake Ball.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First Dance song: “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS
Mother/son dance: “Young at Heart” by Frank Sinatra
Reception Music by Johnny Robinson of GrooveLabs.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Eric singing the song he wrote for me, and playing his guitar. Also, our surprise Bollywood dance performed by Eric, me and our entire wedding party. Eric and I took several weeks of Bollywood dance lessons in preparation and then with the help of one of my friends we rounded up all of our friends / wedding party a few times before the wedding and had a blast teaching the dance to everyone and choreographing some solo parts for Eric and me!