Anar and Neal were married at Kunde Winery in Sonoma Valley. This traditional Indian wedding was so much fun to design and plan.
The day started early in the morning with a traditional parade ( or Bharat ) of the Groom, his groomsmen and family to the ceremony site. A traditional Indian ceremony followed accompanied by Sitar and Tabla players. Then a casual luncheon on-site.
The guests then went back to their hotels to rest and change while we flipped the site for a dazzling evening cocktail hour and reception with dancing into the evening.
This wedding was recently published in California Brides, here is the write-up from the magazine, which is incredibly sweet and moving.
Neal and Anar met in 2004 while studying at the University of Michigan. Both involved with the school’s Indian American Student Association, they started spending time together with mutual friends, and before long, were inseparable.
After six years of dating that included cross-country moves, medical school, new jobs and Anar tragically losing her father, Neal—who works in business development at Google, and stood by Anar’s side through it all—proposed in Mexico in May 2011. “I remember going to dinner in downtown San Jose del Cabo, and he was so nervous; he went to the men’s room twice during the meal,” Anar explains.
They planned to marry in August 2012, but Neal was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Throughout it all, Anar offered her love and support, and in September 2012, her husband-to-be entered remission.
One year later—but eternally stronger—the couple pledged their love in a romantic ceremony at Sonoma’s Kunde Family Estate & Winery. The bride dazzled in red and gold Indian wedding attire by Ritu Kumar (her second dress purchased, after not loving a traditional white gown). “My mother went to Mumbai to see family and had the outfit custom-designed without me ever seeing it. It was exactly what I wanted.”
The reception space was decorated with striking window boxes filled with roses, dahlias and other flowers in shades of deep purple, red and magenta. To commemorate her beloved father, Anar offered guests sparklers and matchbooks as wedding favors. She explains, “My sisters and I used to love going into the yard with sparklers in the summer, and this was a fun way to remember him.”
After a mouthwatering meal of Indian fare, the couple treated their guests to a Funfetti cake and Indian sweets, followed by a lively party where they snapped candids in a photo booth and danced the night away.
After honeymooning at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, the newlyweds returned to the United States, ready to start their lives in Connecticut, where Anar is a fellow in pediatric cardiology at Yale. Post-fellowship, they plan to return to California, where they lived from 2007 to 2013.
Theirs has been a long journey, but love endured.
Photographs by one of our favorites, Josh Gruetzmacher.
Location: Kunde Winery
Flowers: Michael Daigian Design
Photographer: Josh Gruetzmacher
Videographer: Reel Eyes Media
Photobooth: Tom Foolery
Sitar Player: Joanna Mack
DJ: bluEDGE Productions