I’ve been sharing many fusion and multicultural Hindu weddings on the blog lately, and this lovely wedding just contributes to it too. Anay is Hindu, from Frankfort, IL and Callie is Catholic, from Madison, WI. They first met at work. Callie started at Huron Consulting Group in 2011 and within her first month was assigned to a new project at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Little did she know that, Anay, one of her colleagues on the project, would become the love of her life!
Both Anay and Callie were based out of Chicago. The first several months of their relationship involved hanging out in Chicago on the weekends and Palo Alto/SF during the week. Anay made the first “moves” by planning social outings and spitting his email game 😉
In the years that followed, Callie & Anay remained in Consulting and thus were on the road and apart from each other Monday – Thursday. They held a weekly tradition of running from their place to the Lincoln Park zoo on the weekend; it was their “together” time without any other friends or family. In September of 2014, after Callie’s first Saturday of her Weekend MBA program at Booth, Anay popped the question upon their arrival to zoo, midway through their run. He was able to sneak his phone to an innocent bystander, who captured beautiful photos of the proposal, with the city skyline as the backdrop.
The Hindu Ceremony, Gujarati lunch, Cocktail hour, and reception all took place a the Monona Terrace, which sits on Lake Monona. The Hindu ceremony took place in their beautiful grand terrace, with sprawling floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. The cocktail hour took place on the rooftop, where guests had views of the lake and the beautiful Capitol building.
In between the lunch and the cocktail hour, guests had a few hour break before heading to Grace Episcopal Church where the Christian Ceremony was held. Grace is on the Capitol Square of Madison and just a short walk to the Monona Terrace.
From Callie: “Which one?! My Lehenga was made in India. The detailing was simply beautiful and the color was vibrant, contrasting with the perfect blue sky we had that day. My wedding gown was Romona Keveza. It was exactly what I dreamed of my whole life, simple yet stunning. I had picked it out the year prior with my mom, stepmom, and 3 of my bridesmaids. I will never stop being thankful for getting to have TWO wedding dresses, each which went so perfectly with their part of the day.”
The groom’s outfit
“The groom’s Sherwani was also made in India. It had a custom design on the back of Lord Ganesha and was cream, gold, and maroon. His custom Tux was made by the Knot Standard in Chicago. It was a 3-piece tux in Navy and black. His initials were embroidered in his shirt cuffs and the date of the wedding was embroidered on the inside collar of the jacket. He looked as handsome as ever in both outfits.”
Groomsmen & bridesmaids outfit and accessory details
“The groomsmen and bridesmaids wore sherwanis and saree’s in the morning; again all from India. We were so lucky to have Anay’s parents go shopping in India for us about 8 months before the wedding.
In the evening the groomsmen wore pants from Bonobos and socks, bowties, and suspenders from The Tiebar
In the evening the girls wore Watters dresses in the color Cashmere. We got all of the dresses through Bella Bridesmaid which worked out wonderfully given they have locations in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and New York (all places where my bridesmaids lived)”.
Wedding theme or colors if any
“For the morning, our color theme was gold and red and for the evening we decided to go with navy and white.”
Food and catering (including drinks)
“All food and drinks were through the Monona Terrace catering. In the year leading up to the wedding, the Monona Catering Chefs worked with Anay’s parents to perfect the Indian food they would be preparing. They did a phenomenal job!! We got tons of compliments on the food and people enjoyed getting to choose between the American, Indian, or Little Bit of Both buffets.”
“Bluewater Kings Band; this band was AMAZING. We chose to go with an 8-piece band and are so happy we did. The dance floor was packed from the second it opened until the very last song. During the band’s set breaks we had them DJ Bollywood music. Again, it was an awesome mix of entertainment and both families danced their hearts out to both.”
“Daffodil Parker. OH MY GOSH they flowers were beautiful. From the Mandap, to the garlands, to our bouquets. I could go on and on. Erin Daffodil, the owner, understood what I wanted from the beginning and made my vision a reality. She was such a delight to work with.”
Favorite part of the day
“As you can imagine, it was a busy and long day! With two “getting ready” sessions, two weddings, and two sets of photos with our wedding party and family, Anay and I had very little time alone together for the majority of the day. When we finished photos of the two of us in our American attire, we had a little bit of time before we would be introduced at the Reception.
Our photographers let us go off on our own and we shared a glass of Champagne at a restaurant nearby! Neither of us even had our phones on us! It was a moment in time for us to pause, look back at the incredible day we had just had and look forward to the reception that was ahead. We’ll never forget that first toast as a married couple.”
Easiest part of wedding planning
“Getting to have TWO Tastings for food and desserts. One day all for American food and another day all for Indian food.”
Hardest part of wedding planning
“Integrating the most meaningful and best parts from each of our families’ different cultures and traditions. I’m incredibly thankful to all of our parents for being so open-minded and for helping us create a perfect 3 days. We did an “American” rehearsal dinner on Thursday, the Vidhi on Friday, and both weddings on Saturday. It was our goal to have ONE wedding day and one true anniversary. It was also our goal to expose all of our families’ to the amazing parts about each other’s traditions and integrate them as much as possible. It was difficult while planning, but it was all totally and completely worth it in hindsight. It couldn’t have gone better.”
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couples are from different faiths/culture etc
“Absolutely it is, because it requires a lot more understanding about the different ways things could be done and having an open mind. That said, it is so rewarding and creates a wedding that is unique and special to you and your spouse. No one will ever have a wedding just like yours. After the wedding weekend, both of our families couldn’t stop expressing how special it was to be a part of a wedding like ours.”
Wedding planner/day of coordinator: Hu Events
Wedding gown: Romona Keveza
Wedding shoes: Kate Spade
Tux: Knot Standard
Band: Blue Water Kings band
Flowers: Daffodil Parker
Photography: Ash and James Photography
Videography: Delack Media Group
Monona Terrace: Monona Terrace
Grace Episcopal Church: Grace Church Madison
Invitations: Divine Designs Invitations
Groomsmen attire: Bonobos, The Tie Bar
Bridesmaid attire: Bella Bridesmaids