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wedding traditions

Milan + Susan's Kaleidoscopic Indian + Jewish Wedding


Milan + Susan's Kaleidoscopic Indian + Jewish Wedding

You may have seen a glimpse of this wedding in our article about wedding party outfits (hint: it’s the photo of the bridesmaids wearing saris), but Susan and Milan’s colorful Indian wedding deserves a post all its own. Prepare your eyes for a magical ride of color and joy.

With an Indian groom and a Jewish bride, there were many traditions that Susan and Milan could choose from for their celebration. Milan opted to wear a traditional sherwani in a beautiful gold color over ruby red pants, with jutti shoes in gold and ivory (complete with those awesome curls on the toes). He also had a ton of groom swag/jewels/accessories, which we are Here. For. Susan picked a white gown and a chapel-length veil, plus bridal mehendi on her hands, arms, and feet (also omg can we talk about how great her eye makeup is?? Well done, Miriam!) plus a couple gold bangles.

These two had one of the most colorful (and biggest!) wedding parties we’ve ever worked with. Susan’s bridesmaids wore a combo of American-style dresses and saris, ranging in color from apricot to fuchsia; Milan’s groomsmen also wore sherwanis, but with American shoes.

After their first look, there was a raucous Baraat (sorry, no horse though) with drums and singing and shouting through the streets. Matt totally captured the joy and energy of that procession! After they made it over to the venue, the two families signed a ketubah (a traditional Jewish wedding document) and the ceremony began!

They got married under a dreamy, jewel-toned mandap that looked like it was straight out of a royal palace. We were also particularly fond of the candles along the sides of the aisles, which gave the whole room a warm, golden feel. The ceremony incorporated both Indian and Jewish traditions, and culminated with Milan stomping on a glass (Mavel Tov!) and the new couple leaving the ceremony draped in flowers.

Susan entered the reception with her own surprise: she had changed out of her white gown and into a crimson-and-gold sari. She and Milan shared a first dance. Toasts happened. Everyone cried. Dancing started. Everyone cheered. A few bridesmaids surprised Milan with a traditional Indian dance, and then there was the traditional Jewish wedding dance: the Hora!

Weddings are about community. Susan and Milan come from different backgrounds, so their community is a blend of those backgrounds, and so was their wedding. It was a joy to witness the ways they incorporated each of their backgrounds into one giant, opulent, whirlwind of love and celebration. Do you have plans to weave different traditions together? We’d love to hear your ideas!!

PLANNING: Jeannette Tavares, Evoke DC

FLORALS | DESIGN: Sarah Khan Event Styling

VENUE | CATERING: The Westin Annapolis

WHITE DRESS: Francesca’s Bridal

HAIR: Sara Elizabeth, Infinity Artistry

MAKEUP: Miriam Ault

DJ: DJ Ramzy

CEREMONY MUSIC: Iain Forrest, Eyeglasses String Music

LIGHTING | DRAPING | SOUND: Brian Wasser, Electric Entertainment



10 First Dance Songs That Aren't Totally Cliche

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I can't even remember how many times my Google-fu failed me when my partner and I were looking for a good first dance song that hasn't been played to death. Sure, I love At Last as much as any other warm-blooded human, but I wanted something with a little more personality. Searches for "Cool First Dance Songs", "Non-cheesy First Dance Songs" and "First Dance Songs That Are Actually Unique" didn't turn up much. Finally, we settled on a less-coupley, more universally optimistic option: Put A Little Love in Your Heart (by Jackie DeShannon, but performed by our dear friends The Venture Rays/The Significant Others). Key lyrics: Put a little love in your heart / and the world will be a better place. True of many things, including relationships.

Since then (of course), I've thought of SO MANY other great songs that would make for a super unique and fun First Dance. So here's my list, including key lyrics, of the 10 Best First Dance Songs That Aren't Totally Cliche (and yes at least half of them are by lady artists. FEMINISM.)

  1. "The Book of Love" by the Magnetic Fields: The book of love has music in it / In fact that's where music comes from / Some of it is just transcendental / Some of it is just really dumb but / I / I love it when you sing to me and / You / You can sing me anything.

  2. "At My Most Beautiful" by REM: You always listen carefully / to awkward rhymes. / You always say your name / like I wouldn't know it's you / at your most beautiful.

  3. "You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson: So I will help you read those books / If you will soothe my worried looks / And we will put the lonesome on the shelf.

  4. "She Keeps Me Warm" by Mary Lambert: She says I smell like safety and home / I named both of her eyes “Forever” and “Please don’t go".

  5. "Prime Time" by Janelle Monae (featuring Miguel): Cause baby it's a prime time for our love / Ain't nobody peekin' but the stars above / It's a prime time for our love / And heaven is betting on us.

  6. "Songbird" by Fleetwood Mac: To you, I'll give the world / to you, I'll never be cold / 'Cause I feel that when I'm with you, / It's alright, I know it's right.

  7. "Question" by Old 97s: Someday somebody's gonna ask you / A question that you should say yes to / Once in your life.

  8. "I Love How You Love Me" cover by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel: I love the way your kiss is always heavenly / But darling, most of all / I love how you love me.

  9. "You Make Me Smile" by Aloe Blacc: I'm beaming like the sun now how can that be / see the answer to the query is very simple / I'm always grinning from dimple to dimple / because you love me unconditionally.

  10. "Riches and Wonders" by The Mountain Goats: We are filled with riches and wonders / Our loves keeps the things it finds / and we dance like drunken sailors / lost at sea, out of our minds.