Though Nilam Trivedi and Rick Desai met as students at Georgetown University in 2002, it took nine years for the pair to start dating. But it was worth the wait when, in December of 2012, Rick popped the question. "For a few week, he kept saying 'will you carry me?' to keep me on my toes," says Nilam. Finally, Rick told her that he'd made plans for dinner and poured her a glass of wine in a mason jar while they got ready to leave. "I finished my wine and saw 'will you carry me?' etched in the bottom of the jar," she remembers. Rick then proposed, giving Nilam a necklace (just like his father did when he proposed to Rick's mother!), and then a ring.
The duo invited 375 guests to Baltimore on October 5th, 2013 for a day-long celebration that combined their Hindu heritage with Western elements and bright, rustic details. Keep reading to see how their planners, Lemon & Lime Event Design, brought it to life, all photographed by Jacqueline Schlossman of Readyluck.
For the ceremony, Nilam wore a traditional silk Panetar. "My mother brought it back from India for me," she says.
She accessorized with mehndi, as well as jewelry borrowed from her grandmothers, mother, aunt, and sister. "The day before the wedding, my father-in-law gave me Rick's late mother's jewelry, including her engagement ring. I couldn't believe something so special had been handed down to me," Nilam says.
The bride carried a textured bouquet of white and yellow lisianthus, dahlias, and lots of greenery.
The ceremony began with a Bharaat, where the groom's family and friends enter the ceremony with dancing and music. "Rick chose to enter on an auto rickshaw with his sister, then danced through the venue to meet my family at the ceremony," says the bride. During the ceremony (officiated by Nilam's brother-in-law), the couple combined elements of a religious Hindu ceremony with vow's they'd written themselves. And Nilam added a surprise to hers: when she was done with her vows, the DJ hit play and she serenaded her groom to the tune of "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. "Rick loves to end nights out in Chicago with his own rendition, so I sang the end of my vows to him!" she laughs.
A costume change was in order for the reception. Nilam changed into a custom-made gown with a lace-edged v-neck and sequined belt. "It was the most personal and rewarding part of the planning process," she says. "It was amazing when she handed me the gown that I'd be wearing to celebrate being a married lady!" Rick swapped his traditional Indian garb for a sleek gray suit.
"We really wanted to highlight the natural beauty of our venue, the Cylburn Arboretum," says the bride. A clear tent gave everyone a view of the property, and rustic touches created a relaxed vibe. Guests found their table assignments on an oversized window frame, then sat at tables decked out in white and blue. Centerpieces featured a mix of locally-grown white and yellow flowers, including sunflowers and daisies.
The bride and groom kicked off the dancing to "Bones" by Michael Kiwanuka, then guests flooded the dance floor. "It was so great to see how much fun everyone had, and how much they enjoyed our take on an Indian wedding," says Nilam. "Our main priority was for our guests to have a fantastic time, and they did!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cylburn Arboretum || Wedding Planner: Lemon & Lime Event Design || Groom's Attire: Trunk Club || Wedding Rings: Silam's Fine Jewelry || Florist: Local Color Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Designed by the bride and groom, printed by Weldonberry || Music: Aditya Desai of Absolute Entertainment || Catering: Linwoods, IndAroma || Rentals: Loane Bros., Rusty Love, Le Rêve || Videography: Adora Films || Photography: Jacqueline Schlossman of Readyluck, Marcella Trey Big