Simi Katragadda and Vinni Trehan met sipping Penicillin cocktails in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, so it was natural to toast with that same drink during their wedding just over two years later—at a venue down the street from where they had their first date! “It was a six-and-a-half-hour magical evening over a few cocktails, lots of banter and a delicious meal,” Simi recalls of their first date. “We never looked back.”
To honor their joint Indian heritage as well as capture their beloved downtown New York vibe, the pair said “I do” in a traditional Hindu ceremony at The Bowery Hotel. They stuck to a moody and romantic color palette that included rich burgundy tones and unique textures like velvet linens. Candles lit both the ceremony and reception space. “The Bowery Hotel is a stone’s throw away from where our relationship blossomed and so many of our favorite places,” Simi says. “We felt like it was emblematic of our relationship. We also loved the venue’s ambiance and character.”
Though Bollywood music played and the coupled donned Indian outfits, Simi and Vinni wove a thread of New York City throughout the celebration, right down to late-night pizza from Champion and favors of classic black-and-white cookies from William Greenberg. They even served a New York-style cheesecake from Eileen’s in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. “We’ve lived in NYC for so long that we were able to leverage our experiences in the city,” adds the bride.
Read on for all the details from Simi and Vinni’s New York City wedding, planned by the couple and photographed by Raquel Reis.
The couple’s timeless invitations included an envelope liner featuring the skyline of New York City.
One of Simi’s favorite memories was “having heart-to-hearts” with her mother and sister as they got ready on the wedding day.
Simi wore a multi-colored silk lehenga with gold embroidery by Indian designer, Rimple and Harpeet. It featured a peacock motif and floral patterns that were echoed on the tulle dupatta.
“It was a difficult decision deciding how traditional vs. modern I wanted my looks to be," Simi says. She also didn’t see the outfits, both her wedding and reception lehengas, before ordering via Whatsapp. “I fell in love with the gowns so I was willing to take the risk,” she adds.
Before the ceremony, the couple opted to do a first look at The Bowery Hotel.
Vinni’s wedding attire coordinated with Simi’s look—and their vibrant-hued venue! He donned a royal blue jacket with mauve accents, and wore a traditional hand-tied turban.
Simi accented her look with very special jewelry. Her mother purchased pieces in India for Simi when she was a young girl and saved the gold jewelry for her wedding day.
Vinni’s baraat began at B Bar then processed down Bowery, with the groom on a white horse. A dholi played as the groom’s side danced down the street to the hotel, where Simi’s family welcomed Vinni’s.
The couple wed under a floral-covered mandap in the hotel’s ballroom.
Per tradition, the couple circled the sacred fire seven times to signify the seven vows they take as husband and wife.
The bride’s reception look was a gold-hued tulle lehenga by the same designer, Rimple and Harpeet. It featured jewel-embroidered peacocks and rosettes on the skirt as well as a matching blouse and sheer dupatta. “I love both of the lehengas so much,” Simi says. “They are so intricate and stunning.” Vinni changed into a Boglioli tuxedo and tuxedo shirt, which he accented with a Tom Ford bow tie and Rolex, which was a gift for his business school graduation. For a sentimental touch, he wore a pair of cufflinks that included a photo of his late father.
“Try to slow down the day as much as you can to enjoy the special moments,” Simi advises. “One way to do this is to find a time during the festivities to step away from the action and soak it all in.”
In a nod to New York City, the newlyweds made their grand entrance to Jay-Z's “Empire State of Mind.”
Jewel-toned floral arrangements and burgundy taper candles dotted the long tables at the reception. “I didn’t want the décor to look too structured,” Simi says. Each place setting featured a menu with a sketch of Positano, the place where Vinni proposed, done by the bride.
Since Vinni proposed in Italy, the couple excitedly served Italian food from The Bowery Hotel’s Gemma restaurant. The menu included a spicy baked eggplant, grilled salmon with beluga lentils, and arancini.
The newlyweds surprised their guests during the first dance. After beginning with a slow song, “Northern Sky” By Nick Drake, the music swapped to upbeat Bollywood jam “Dilliwaali Girlfriend” by Arijit Sinh. In fact, Simi notes it’s one of her favorite memories.
The couple sliced into a three-tiered Eileen’s cheesecake, one of their regular indulgences in the city. Finally, they sent each guest home with a late-night pizza slice to end the night with a taste of NYC!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bowery Hotel || Bride's Ceremony & Reception Outfits: Rimple & Harpeet || Bride's Shoes: Tamara Mellon || Hair: Tina Lenoble || Makeup: Stacie Ford || Mother-of-the-Bride's Outfit: Sabyasachi || Groom's Ceremony Outfit: Rimple & Harpeet, Anita Dongre || Groom's Reception Outfit: Boglioli || Floral Design: Mimulo || Invitations & Paper Goods: Cheree Berry Paper || Guest Book: Shutterfly || Favors: William Greenberg Desserts || Music: DJ Kunal Merchant || Catering: Gemma || Cake: Eileen’s Cheesecake || Late-Night Pizza: Champion || Mehendi: Monita Bijoriya || Videography: Hugh Joyner || Photography: Raquel Reis || Photography Coordinator: Isabel Hittleman