The Mendhi and The Sangeet ~ Celebrations Before a Luxe Multi Cultural Indian Wedding at the Mandarin Oriental
After a four and a half year courtship, Doctors Patricia Shay and Sneehal Bhoola wasted no time planning a wedding that celebrated her Chinese heritage, his Indian culture, and their modern American romance. With only 12 weeks to plan four days worth of celebrations for 285 guests, we committed to power planning...And the results were just spectacular.
How do you plan a multi-cultural wedding that honors both of the couple's family, without one being dominant over the other? Patty and Shinz really wanted to make certain that their families felt loved and catered to. They wanted to respect tradition while also forging their own future. The best way to do accomplish this was to layer each experience as we planned. The beginning of our wedding weekend involved some of the most important elements of the Indian Culture; the Menhi Party and a modern Sangeet.
The Indian Culture is so rich in history and tradition, that we couldn't "not" include these two events in out planning. For those of you who love the drama and elegance and beauty of Indian weddings, but perhaps aren't as sure of what the actual elements are:
The Mendi is a ceremony dedicated to beauty and elegance, brought with symbolism and celebration of the Outer and Inner sun. During the ceremony, turmeric paste is applied on a bride’s face, feet and hands. After this, a skilled Mehndi expert applies a henna design to the bride's hands, arms, feet, and legs. The custom is meant to awaken the “inner light” and so gold of the inner Sun has an important symbolic function. Traditional Mehndi designs draw the sun on the palm.Some people believe that the darker the color of the Mehndi, the more the bride’s husband will love her. We made certain to obtain the darkest henna available!
The sisters of both the bride and groom gathered in the Presidential suite, where we served Green Tea Cupcakes and champagne to keep the mood light and joyful.
The word sangeet literally means as sung together. Originally reserved only for the women, today's modern couples celebrate together, giving the bride and groom's family and friends a chance to get to know one another before the actual ceremony. The Sangeet is a time to celebrate! There is a festive, upbeat feeling, with singing, dancing and joking. While traditional snaggiest call for the learning of dancing, traditional drums, and a bit of joking and jest, we opted to modernize the process.
Our Sangeet serves as a Welcome Reception set on the rooftop of the Mandarin Oriental. Designed to look and feel totally different from the wedding, which was scheduled to take place the next day, we worked with Destinations by Design to bring in custom furniture inlaid with the couple's monogram, succulents,which would contract nicely with the lush florals we planned for the next night, and masculine, streamlined floating boxes with candles and light pieces.
We created a bazaar, where ladies could shop for jewels, wraps, and other adornments, while the men were treated to hand rolled cigars.
A full bar, DJ, fire pits, and additional mendhi artists offered entertainment for friends and family.
Guests returned to their rooms in the late hours of the evening, resting for the main event which was to come the next day.
Stay tuned for full coverage of Patricia & Shinz' wedding celebration - Coming soon!