May 17, 2018
An OceanCliff Wedding | Newport, Rhode Island
Shwetha & Andrew’s OceanCliff wedding was one for the books! Newport is a special place for this couple as it’s the first place they went on a weekend trip together and had such an amazing time that they wanted to share that experience with their friends and family, most who have never been!
The bride said it best: “Everything from the music to the decorations is meant to hint at Indian culture while still keeping in mind Newport’s Gilded Age feel. There are elephants incorporated into the décor in pockets as well as little touches, like personalized notes within everyone’s seating cards. We spent a lot of time incorporating details like hand-painted signs, elephant wax seals on the invitations, and handwritten notes to tie everything together and make the whole evening feel personal.”
Shwetha wore a cream and dull gold gown, a non-traditional color of a wedding but it was true to a traditional Indian gown in structure and in it’s elaborate beading and embroidery. Dressing Shwetha was quite the process from the base pieces, to the dupatta and then the many layers of jewels! She looked stunning after everything was in place! The ladies wore saris which were different shades of coral and were adorned with Indian jewelry. Andrew and his groomsmen were looking dapper in their grey Western style tuxes with gold bowties. The groom also had custom cuff links to personalize his look.
The couple had their first look at the Elms mansion which was a nod to Newport’s gilded age, a theme of their wedding, and the perfect outdoor compliment to Oceancliff. After spending some time there with both the couple, bridal party and families we headed back to touch up and get ready for the ceremony.
The ceremony was a true 30-minute blend of cultures. A friend well-versed in both Catholicism and Hinduism officiated the wedding, and the bride’s cousins composed a fusion song, a mix of “What a Wonderful World” and specially written Hindi lyrics, that they performed during the processional. Western traditions included the concept of “walking down the aisle,” the exchange of rings and vows, and meaningful readings by philosophers who have written about love and marriage. From the Indian side, they included the “tying of the Mangalsutra” – a tradition where the groom places a necklace representing two oxen, a symbol of a strong marriage, around the bride’s neck; the Varmala, or garland exchange, to symbolize their acceptance of each other as partners, and Saptapadi, during which the couple takes their first seven steps around a sacred flame, with each step representing a component of a long and happy marriage.
Once introduced the couple broke out into a lively Salsa dance that got the crowd going and this group couldn’t wait to get up on the dance floor!
Shwetha & Andrew, Congratulations!!