When Nina first started medical school in 2010, she had no idea that the man sitting next to her in her very first class would one day become her husband. "We became study partners, and were best friends by the end of the year," Nina remembers. When CV came to say goodbye to Nina before heading to Minneapolis for an internship, the pair shared their first kiss, and their relationship began. Two years later, at Nina's grandparents' home near New Orleans, the bride arrived at the house to find her nephew waiting for her with dozens of red roses. He told her that CV was waiting for her outside, and Nina headed out the back door. "My family and friends were standing along a path decorated with candles and rose petals, and CV was standing at the far end," she says. On the dock behind her grandparents' house, surrounded by the people they love most, CV got down on one knee and asked Nina to be his wife.
Their wedding planning began when they found a ceremony location: Peristyle in New Orleans City park. "The stone structure has rows and rows of columns, surrounded by beautiful oak trees. CV and I both knew we had to get married there," says Nina. What followed was an Old Hollywood glamour theme, brought to life by Wink Design & Events. They infused the day with both of their cultures, including a Hindu ceremony with attire selected by CV's family in India, and brought 250 guests to New Orleans to celebrate on November 15, 2014. Get an inside look at this multicultural affair, photographed by Mark Eric Photography.
Nina's wedding lehenga, in bright hues of fuchsia, orange, and gold, was selected in India by CV's mother. The ornate gold belt she wore was a gift from CV's parents, one that the bride will pass on to her own daughter one day. CV's traditional attire was also purchased in India, with a hand-sewn turban in deep crimson, edged in gold.
The ceremony followed Hindu tradition, including the exchange of vibrant floral garlands.
Photo: Mark Eric
For the second ceremony, Nina paired bejeweled Badgley Mischka pumps with a custom-made lace gown, complete with a plunging neckline and a five-foot train. "Nothing I tried on in stores came close to what I'd envisioned, so I found an amazing designer who was able to bring my dream gown to life," she says.
CV and his groomsmen wore navy tuxedos with black lapels, a modern twist on the classic style.
Photo: Mark Eric
Nina's all-white bouquet combined phalaenopsis orchids, peonies, mini calla lilies, and Tibet roses, finished with white ribbon and a crystal flower. Her bridesmaids, who wore taupe-hued high neck gowns by Amsale, carried duchess peonies, Tibet roses, and dendrobium orchids accented with green hydrangeas. "We kept their look very '20s-inspired, with soft finger waves and deep plum lipstick," says the bride.
At the ceremony site, gold Chivari chairs flanked an aisle decorated with gold columns and candelabras draped with roses and hydrangeas. Two arrangements of white blooms were set on either side of the altar.
Nina's father walked her down the aisle, and she and CV exchanged traditional vows. "We had both Bible verses and Hindu scripture included in the ceremony to represent both of our faiths," says Nina.
The reception took place at Sugar Mill, where a crystal chandelier draped with orchids and peonies greeted guests as they entered. White linens, accented with gold lace runners, were topped with dozens of candles. Some tables featured tall pillars topped with floating candles and roses, while others had lush arrangements of white roses and soft green hydrangeas in gold vases. "We took a lot of inspiration from the '20s, and used gold throughout to create a luxe feel," says Nina.
The Great Gatsby inspiration shone through in the rentals as well, with a tufted white and gold love seat set beneath an acrylic structure that was a modern spin on the traditional Hindu mandap.
After Nina and CV shared their first dance to "Make it to Me" by Sam Smith, the Tulane Bhangra team took over the dance floor, performing while a mix of contemporary and traditional Indian songs played.
The combination of cultures also extended to the menu, where Creole-style crab cakes and Andouille gumbo were served alongside lamb biryani and Alu Gobi. "CV lived in India until he was ten, so it was initially hard to find a caterer who could prepare Indian dishes that rivaled those of CV's mother. However, when we found Nirvana Indian Cuisine, we knew it was the perfect fit!" says Nina.
The six-tiered cake, with a mixture of hexagonal and round tiers, was decorated in gold and white details and textures, as well as white sugar flowers. Flavors included red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, lemon cake with fresh raspberry filling, vanilla cake with French buttercream, and almond cake with Bavarian buttercream.
"Remember to have fun planning your wedding," says Nina. "Sure, you'll have disagreements, but remember to take a deep breath and focus on what this day is truly all about."
Ceremony Venue: The Peristyle || Reception Venue: The Sugar Mill || Wedding Planner: Wink Design & Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pedram Couture || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair: Ringletts Salon || Makeup: Makeup by Becca || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Blue Nile || Florist: Bella Blooms Floral || Invitations & Paper Goods: Exquisite Events || Music: DJ Diagnosis || Catering: Pigéon Caterers; Nirvana Indian Cuisine || Cake: Royal Cakery || Rentals: Event Rental || Videography: Dyle Films || Photography: Mark Eric Photography
Did you love this wedding? Then check out another couple's multicultural celebration in the video below.