A Vibrant Multicultural Wedding at the Chicago Illuminating Company

Chicago, Real Weddings
Bride and Groom Indian Wedding in Chicago

Photo: Okrfoto

Megha and Adam's wedding bucked tradition from the beginning. "We didn't have a proposal or an engagement," reveals Megha. "We decided to get married, talked to our parents about it over dinner one evening, then went to City Hall with our families and did the deed!" But that doesn't mean this couple was going to skip the celebration. They spent the next year planning a wedding that honored their Indian and Jewish heritages, minus the pressure of impending nuptials.

Over the course of two days the weekend of June 21st, 2013, Adam and Megha celebrated with 260 guests, and every detail was captured by Oriana Koren of Okrfoto.

Red and Gold Wedding Saree

Photo: Okrfoto

Megha's red-and-gold saree was purchased in India. "We got lucky and found it on our first day of shopping," says the bride.

Bride's Wedding Henna Beaded Bridal Headpiece

Photo: Okrfoto

She paired her traditional henna with bright red toenail polish and beautifully beaded jewelry, and kept her hair and makeup simple.

Red and Gold Wedding Bangles Bride in a Red and Gold Wedding Saree

Photo: Okrfoto

The bride's red-and-gold bangles, bracelets, and necklaces matched the saturated hues of her saree, accented with touches of green.

Groom at a Hindu Wedding Ceremony Hindu Jewish Wedding Ceremony Hindu Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Okrfoto

The ceremony took place at Megha's family's home near Chicago. Both a rabbi and a Hindu priest officiated over the union.

Hindu Wedding Ceremony Bride and Groom at a Hindu Wedding Ceremony near Chicago Bride and Groom at a Hindu-Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Okrfoto

Traditional Jewish and Hindu rituals, including the taking of seven steps and the sharing of a glass of wine after the Seven Blessings.

Bride in a Colorful Wedding Saree in Chicago Groom in a Blue Suit with a Nehru Collar

Photo: Okrfoto

For the reception the next day, Megha wore a more modern saree, with shades of green, pink, orange, and gold, as well as beaded peacock earrings. Adam wore a custom suit, with a Nehru collar and blue velvet trim.

Bossa Nova Wedding Band in Chicago

Photo: Okrfoto

The reception, at Chicago's Illuminating Company, began with cocktails in the courtyard. "We loved having both indoor and outdoor spaces, and getting to move guests from one space to another for each moment of the evening," says Megha.

Music was incredibly important to the couple, who had Bossa Tres, a Bossa Nova band, play as guests sipped Negronis.

Wedding Reception at Chicago Illuminating Company Wedding Centerpiece with Orchids and Lemons

Photo: Okrfoto

Sleek gray linens and gold chairs were contrasted with tropical centerpieces that mixed orchids and birds of paradise with lots of greenery and fresh fruit. "Our main colors were fuchsia, orange, green, and gold," says the bride, "so using plants and fruits instead of only flowers really helped transform the space.

Colorful Flower and Plant Wedding Centerpiece Black and Gold Escort Card Display

Photo: Okrfoto

The bride and groom's mothers created the black and gold escort card board. "We loved having that handmade element," says Megha.

Wedding Reception at Chicago Illuminating Company Dhol Drummer at an Indian Wedding in Chicago Wedding Reception in Chicago

Photo: Okrfoto

During dinner, guests listened to a mix of reggae music while they visited food stations featuring South Indian and Mexican cuisines, like lamb curry and chicken mole. "We didn't want anyone to be hungry at the end of the night," says Megha, "so we encouraged everyone to try everything!" As a surprise, a drummer playing a traditional dhol led guests from the dining room to the dance floor. "It was amazing to turn around and see all of our guests dancing like crazy. It captured the joy we felt all evening."

Even though they had technically already been married for a year, Megha and Adam were thrilled to be able to decompress in Kauai. "Wedding planning can be overwhelming," says Megha. "The best advice I got was to take care of as much as possible, communicate well with our families and, two or three days before the wedding, let it all go and just have fun. Even the 'mistakes' will be cherished as fun memories!"

Ceremony Venue: The Bride's Home || Reception Venue: Chicago Illuminating Company || Bride's Wedding Dress: Purchased in Bangalore, India || Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti || Jewelry: Family Heirlooms, Vintage || Hair: Smith & Davis Salon || Wedding Bands: Bride - Barneys New York, Groom - Christopher Duquet || Florist: Kehoe Designs || Invitations & Paper Goods: Vik Agadi of Agadi Design || Music: Cocktail Hour - Bossa Tres, Reception - Furious Styles || Catering & Rentals: Entertaining Company || Photography: Okrfoto

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