As a wedding planner, I’ve been exposed to many different wedding cultures. It’s always exciting to see and be included in such special moments and learn about the sacred traditions. Today’s story is about how we planned and coordinated our very first Hindu wedding for Sravya & Ricardo.
While Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world, we do not host as many Hindu weddings as one may think. The nearest big location is California where you can find lots of Hindu wedding professionals who are well-educated and experienced to handle such a grand event. In Las Vegas, we have vendors who have worked on a handful of Hindu weddings but the majority would not call themselves professionals in that field. So this was quite the task to pull it all together because there is a great level of responsibility and trust that the clients put on you when they choose you to be their wedding planner.
First, we discussed in great detail the venue and all details that come with booking the venue. The couple chose Red Rock Resort as their wedding venue. It was the perfect spot for everything they needed. We’ve done many events with Red Rock Resort before. This was the first one of that scale and they have made the whole experience so smooth and seamless as for the clients as for us. The venue and staff deserve the highest praise for everything they do and have to offer.
We then discussed catering options and the best candidate for this was The Mint Bistro. In fact, this catering team offers the best authentic Indian food in Las Vegas and they are a preferred vendor at many venues when it comes to Hindu wedding catering needs.
Besides the venue and catering, we had the task to find great vendors for photography, cinema, lighting, decor, entertainment, and others. We’ve interviewed plenty of in-state and out-of-state professionals and picked the best match for Sravya & Ricardo. In some cases, we had to get creative to make sure we get the right vendor for each category.
The traditional Hindu wedding ceremony takes place in the Kalyana Mandapam (wedding altar) and is performed in the ancient language of Sanskrit. The couple and their parents had a priest who performed all the rituals. They also had the artists and an announcer who participated in the ceremony.
The pelli (wedding) is said to be the strongest of bonds and spiritually merges two souls, opening the doors to gruhastaashramam (household life). For us, the wedding coordinators, it was an honorable experience to be able to witness all the rituals.
The wedding venue hosted two of the events. The first day was a Sangeet celebration. Traditionally, this event would include only female attendees from both sides of the family, however, modern times allow for men to join in on the fun too. This celebration includes dances performed by relatives and friends, songs, and an open dance floor to commemorate the festivities for the following days.
The second day was the actual wedding day. It started with photo and video sessions of getting ready and family gatherings. Our photography and videography professionals CH Photography and IZZO Pro followed a strict timeline and did a fantastic job. The day proceeded to Gauri Pudja ceremony where prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride prays to Goddess Gauri for an auspicious start to a happy married life. Goddess Gauri is a symbol of motherhood, purity, goodness, and strength. After that, we had Ganesh Pudja where the groom worships Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, for a successful wedding and married life. And then the wedding day proceeded with the next ceremonies until the Kanya Aagamanam when the bride arrives in a woven basket, carried by her maternal uncles, so that her sacred body does not touch the ground. A gift must be delivered in a vessel, so the bride is also carried in a vessel. She holds a coconut which signifies blessings from the Goddess Gauri for a happy and prosperous life. How better can I explain how beautiful and amazing this Hindu wedding ceremony was?!
During the ceremony we had a little break where the guests could come out and get a snack. The Mint Bistro was on top of it as usual. We had Paneer Pakoda, Khaman Dhokla, Vegetable Cocktail Samosa, and Mint and Tamarind Chutney for snacks. Masala Chai and Indian Coffee were served for drinks as well as Rooh-Afza Milkshake and Aam Panna. That rose milkshake was nothing like I ever tried before and it’s now my favorite drink!
The wedding day was completed with a wedding reception. This part of the wedding weekend celebration was more typical of an American-style wedding reception. The couple wanted to be a more black-tie event and it was designed and put together accordingly. The wedding reception was filled with lots of fun and dancing, we had a cake cutting ceremony. The cake was provided by the Las Vegas Custom Cakes, one of our top preferred bakeries in town.
One of the Hindu wedding professionals that I wanted to praise was Neeharika Adapa with Events by Nikky. She traveled with her team from California to put together all the decor for all events. Everything you see on these images was done by them and I was so thankful to work with this team as they have done a remarkable job.
Finally, I wanted to say a special thank you to the parents of the bride who have stepped in and helped us help them to put together this wonderful event. While Vegas Weddings Planner has done many different events in different cultures and styles, this event was a new challenge that we took on and we would not be able to do it without the help of the bride’s parents. I truly wish these families health, joy, and lots of happiness for many years ahead.