THE WEDDING VISION
With friends traveling from far and wide to share the joy of celebrating Ash and Scott’s wedding, the pair wanted to ensure everyone enjoyed the Southern hospitality of the area where they—partners in MLA Design Group, Inc., a Winston-Salem civil engineering, surveying, land planning and landscape architecture service—live and work. O.Henry Hotel provided a chic, rich decor in which the couple’s guests, who traveled from as far as London, Mumbai, Singapore, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Texas, and New York and as near as North Carolina, could relax and enjoy the weekend’s festivities. At the same time, the wedding included a traditional Indian Hindu ceremony with its attendant vibrant colors, sounds, and foods. Blending this variety of elements together was a fun and rewarding process for all involved!
Gold and green bangles symbolize prosperity and new beginnings in the bride’s attire (top left). In the Magi Suite, Ash’s mom helped her drape herself in a traditional red Indian ceremony outfit and jewelry (top right). Hindu brides decorate their hands with henna to ensure a prosperous future (bottom center). Designs and motifs inspired by nature embellished the bridal gown, which was embroidered in the traditional appliqué technique known as Gotta Patti (bottom right).
THE COLOR PALETTE
Ash says that the couple “… purposefully chose a venue like O.Henry that ‘decorates itself,’ thereby allowing us to take a more minimalist decor approach and let the natural beauty and uniqueness of the venue to shine through.” Florals provided by O.Henry’s floral team were in crisp white and green hues, providing a clean backdrop for the intense colors of the traditional Hindu ceremony. In Hindu tradition, red, yellow, and green have special significance for weddings:
- Red is symbolic of power, strength, and valor
- Yellow symbolizes bringing gold into the newlyweds’ lives
- Green stands for new beginnings and new birth
The Cloister Garden was set up theater-style facing the pool with twinkle lights accenting the trees. Gold chiavari chairs were arranged for guests to view the wedding, which was performed with bride and groom seated on pillows under a white-draped trellis.
THE WEDDING DAY
The bride and groom enjoyed a full day of meaningful, beautiful events with their loved ones and friends, beginning with a combination Indian/Continental breakfast and lunch in the Magi Suite. Ash, assisted by her mother, prepared for the ceremony by dressing in a traditional Indian bridal trousseau. (The bride purchased her custom-designed outfit in Mumbai, India, from an Indian designer to the royals, Anita Dongre.) While Ash and Scott had photos taken in the early afternoon, their guests enjoyed pre-ceremony hors d’oeuvres with an Indian flair in the Cloister Garden. Then, the ceremony itself, which began at 3 p.m., was a Hindu wedding celebration; the priest explained the rituals in English for the benefit of the groom and guests.
The wedding program included details about the traditional Hindu ceremony; the priest also explained the rituals in English for guests.
Congratulations from friends and loved ones after the ceremony.
Ash with her first cousins, “Hearing no evil, speaking no evil, seeing no evil.” The three were born few months apart and were close growing up, but had not been together for 20+ years until this wedding (left). Ash with her nephews, her sister’s children (right).
THE RECEPTION: DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!
After the wedding ceremony, Ash says, “I wanted to wear a white bridal gown to blend with American culture, though I wanted the gown to have influence of the artistry from India.” Following a break to relax and change, the newlyweds joined their guests in the Caldwell Room for a dance-filled dinner reception that began with performances by ballroom dancers from Fred Astaire Studio, where Ash has taken lessons for more than six years, and the Bollywood fusion dancers from the Nazaare dance team. Ash described it like this: “The studio is like my family, and the wedding would be incomplete without them performing…and [Nazaare] brought high energy and a stunning performance!”
Ash’s reception gown in white was ordered from Needle & Thread, a London, UK, dressmaker that creates bridal gowns featuring hand embroidery from India. The bride’s “family” at Fred Astaire Studio in Clemmons danced for the couple, who performed a few moves of their own; as did the Nazaare dancers, a Bollywood fusion dance team from NC State University.
Guests toasting to the happy couple during their rehearsal dinner at Print Works Bistro.
- Pasta Salad
- Potato Leek Soup
- Fresh Vegetable Curry, crafted by the Chef from the bride’s own recipe
- Herb-Roasted Red Potatoes
- Rice Pilaf
- Green Beans
- Hand-Rolled Chicken Meatballs
- Thai Shrimp Coconut Curry
- Wood Fired Grilled Salmon with Vintage Sherry-Honey Glaze and Thyme Butter
In addition to the wedding cake, guests enjoyed a seasonal bread pudding with whipped cream and créme Anglaise for dessert.
The four-tier wedding cake, created by Delicious Bakery, consisted of two fresh strawberry and two lemon layers, with two layers decorated in Henna motifs. Simple, elegant florals and white votive candles provided table accents.
The reception continued outside in the Cloister Garden after dinner—into the wee hours of the night—with a blend of American and Indian music provided by DJ Rang from Durham, NC.
THE WEDDING MAGIC MAKERS
- Venue: O.Henry Hotel’s Cloister Garden, Pavilion Room and Caldwell Rom
- Catering: Green Valley Grill
- Getting Ready Suite: Magi Suite
- Officiant: Shastriji
- Wedding Planner: Alma Turner, O.Henry Hotel
- DJ: DJ Rang
- Bakery: Delicious
- Florist: Brenda McLamb, O.Henry Hotel
- Performances: Fred Astaire of Winston-Salem; NCSU’s Nazaare Dance Team
- Photographer: Jordan Tickle
Bridal Outfits: Anita Dongre (Mumbai) and Needle & Thread (London, UK)
Groom’s Outfits: Anita Dongre (Mumbai)
The bride and groom in traditional Indian wedding attire (left) and Indian-influenced American wedding attire (right).