Congrats are in order for Aasif Mandvi and Shaifali Puri! The couple—he's a correspondent for The Daily Show and stars on the TV show Younger; she's the CEO of an anti-poverty nonprofit—married last night in a multicultural ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, the bride's hometown. (In fact, they were the first to exchange vows on the theatre's main stage—ever!) "We really wanted to pull off getting married in this storied space, which is famous for its architecture and design representing an Arabian courtyard," explains the bride.
And they did pull it off! On August 27, 2017, with the help of fire marshall permits and stagehands, Aasif and Shaifali married on the theater's famous stage, in front of 220 of their closest friends and family. The ceremony was a blended Indian interfaith wedding (Shaifali's family is Hindu and Aasif's is Muslim) so the couple worked with designer Jim White of Jim White Designs and planner Sonal Shah of SJS Events to create a space that captured the color, vibrancy, and festive nature of Indian weddings, while paying respect to the traditions as well. Keep reading to see Our Labor of Love's photos of how Aasif and Shaifali transformed the iconic stage and Egyptian ballroom for their big event!
The bride wore a traditional lehenga by Indian designer Anita Dongre, which she selected on a trip to the designer's showroom in New Delhi. "It was love at first sight," she says. With the help of stylist Susmita Patel, Shaifali accessorized the intricately beaded gown with a long, sheer piece of embroidered cloth known as a dupatta, and the tikka (on her forehead) that her mother wore on her wedding day. She also added more bling—a diamond necklace, earrings, and bracelets—from her friend and designer, Zameer Kassam, for the reception.
And the groom looked equally amazing! He wore an embroidered cream sherwani by Anita Dongre for the ceremony and a suit by Sebastian Grey for the reception.
The couple's wedding invitations (by Taylor Crowley of Olive and Violet) set the tone for the colorful, multicultural event.
The main event began at 4:30 p.m., when Aasif hopped on a horse (yes, really!) for the processional parade to the theater, known as the baraat.
And as if a parade through the downtown's busy streets wasn't showy enough, the couple's names were announced on the theatre's marquee for all of Atlanta to see.
For the multicultural ceremony, the couple worked with their officiants—Dr. Bhagirath Majmudar and Rev. Farida Ali—to modify and combine elements of their respective traditions. "We included Indian-Hindu and Muslim cultures in ever single aspect of our wedding, from the ceremony, to the food, to the music, to the clothes," explains the groom.
Following the ceremony, the bride and groom slipped away for portraits at the famous venue, which features Moorish architecture—and, of course, a stage door entrance!
For the reception decor, the couple decided to take advantage of the Egyptian Ballroom's—you guessed it!—Egyptian design. They also played up the circa-1920s architecture with tall arrangements of palm leaves and lots and lots of candles.
Food was a top priority for the couple! Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the grand salon and terrace, where the newlyweds served Indian street food with a station devoted to snack foods (known as chaat) and another devoted to kebabs. They personalized the fun menu by including a recipe from their parents at each station. And the food at the reception was just as important—as Shaifali says she's a "Food lover (maybe even obsessive)." Chefs Hemant Mathur and Surbhi Sahni, a husband-and-wife duo, served a family-style dinner that was arranged in intimate, eight-person groupings to create the feel of one big, wonderful dinner party. Shaifali and Aasaf also added to this environment by mixing tables with their respective family and friends.
The couple's friend Siddhartha Khosla, who fronts the band Goldspot, sang "Foundation" for their first dance. "The really beautiful thing is that Sid wrote that song specially for Aasif’s movie, Today’s Special, almost a decade ago, so it was extra meaningful to have that song eventually be the one we wanted for our first dance and to have Sid actually play it," Shaifali says.
The over-the-top celebration ended with Band X and DJ Raj spinning classic Indian Bhangra and Bollywood songs until 1 a.m., when the hard core partiers headed across the street to the Georgian Terrace for an unofficial after party.
Venue: Fox Theatre || Wedding Planner: SJS Events || Bride's Attire: Anita Dongre || Groom's Attire: Anita Dongre; Sebastian Grey || Bride's Jewelry & Wedding Bands: Zameer Kassam || Bride's Hair, Makeup, & Styling: Susmita Patel of StylebySusmita || Invitations: Taylor Crowley of Olive and Violet || Floral Designer: Jim White of Jim White Designs || Favors: Surbhi Sahni of Bittersweet NYC || Caterer: Hemant Mathur and Surbhi Sahni of Fine Indian Dining, with Affairs to Remember || Ceremony Music: DJ Raj || Reception Music: Band X and DJ Raj || Sound and Lighting: Active Productions and Design || Photography: Our Labor of Love || Videography: Ray Roman