When it comes to interfaith and desi weddings, there are all sorts of traditions that couples can choose to follow. For Anisha and Pranav, their decision to have an interfaith wedding was a very personal one. In this interview, Anisha shares her thoughts on why she chose to have an interfaith wedding, and what the experience was like.
Who would’ve thought that my gym crush would turn into my fiancé? We met while we did our masters at the University of Texas at Dallas, and never looked back. After dating for two years, we were both ready for the next step. He surprised me in San Francisco and got down on one knee in September of 2020. After a year and a half of wedding planning, we had the wedding of our dreams in 2022 with our closest family and friends!
We wanted to be budget-friendly as well as have the glamor and culture of an Indian wedding. My priority was the decor, photography/videography, and makeup artist. This was our big weekend, and we wanted to prioritize the vendors that were nonnegotiable for us. We loved how everything turned out!
We absolutely loved the decor since we both have loved the color blue since we met. We also did a rose petal exit since my husband has brought me roses every single month since we started dating! We also loved our private first dance, it was so intimate and we were really able to soak up the moment together.
Since we both are from different religious backgrounds, it was important for us to incorporate both since they were important to each other. Since Anisha (the bride) was brought up in Dallas, Texas, we wanted our wedding to be here. She always wanted an American Style- white dress wedding, so we held that ceremony first. Our big fat Indian wedding consisted of a mehendi, haldi (turmeric ceremony), sangeet, nikkah, reception and satada (goodbye lunch). We wanted to focus on having a wonderful time with our closest family and friends.
Since Pranav (the groom) is Hindu and from India, we will be doing our Hindu ceremony (pheras) in November in India surrounded by his closest family and friends. We incorporated the Chooda ceremony (Anisha had personalized Chooda's with their names on them).
We are both Indian so the food, decor, and outfits were already in sync. We just added a few details such as:
Anisha wanted to wear black as her reception outfit, but since Pranav is Hindu- we compromised and decided dark blue would be perfect. We wanted to save the culturally acceptable "red" for the phera ceremony in November.
For the reception decor, we wanted a mandap style to incorporate how united we are
We discussed outfit colors for each event prior to shopping, which made it a lot easier to sync up with.
Planning a wedding is extremely stressful, especially for a big fat Indian (3-4 day one!). Pranav and I worked together as a team regarding decision-making, but we had a really good support system with Anisha's sisters helping us every step of the way. We checked off the venue first and then got availability from our top vendors. Then we lined up the dates and picked one that worked with everyone and immediately booked them.
Prior to starting wedding planning, we each ranked our top categories and what was considered a "nonnegotiable". For Anisha, she wanted to pick and finalize the makeup artist, Mehendi vendor, decor, DJ, and photographer /videographer. For Pranav, he wanted to pick the food, cake, and DJ. That helped us divide the categories, but we always took each other to every meeting and worked together on the budget as a team.
Anisha has a twin sister and an older sister. Anisha's older sister, Afsha, got married in Dallas back in 2020. Her whole family planned that wedding from start to finish, so this definitely wasn't their first rodeo. It was definitely easier, now that we had outlined the vendors we wanted to work with.
Pranav's family didn't have any expectations. They wanted the bride and groom to have full autonomy with decision-making (as long as they invited their guests).
Weddings are expensive and vendors book out in advance. It was really helpful that we numbered our individual vendor/priority list so we could try to incorporate both ideas together. I highly recommend talking about finances, budget, and guest list prior to planning so you can proceed forward on the same page. It is also easier if you get the availability of your top vendors and then line them up prior to booking.
Enjoy every single moment!!! It goes by in a blink of an eye. I know wedding planning is stressful, but it is so worth it. You’re getting to spend the rest of your life with your soulmate, and what better way than celebrating with your closest family and friends! Also, don’t get caught up on the little things, things will go wrong- but just focus on the big parts and enjoy every bit of it!
My favorite moment was the private first dance at our reception. It was intimate and we were able to really soak up the moment together in each other’s arms. We were able to really take those few minutes as husband and wife. I also loved the slideshow that my sisters created for my father who passed away a few years ago. I was able to feel his presence on one of the biggest days of our lives.
I would’ve wanted to be a little more relaxed the week of the wedding. The little details feel like it matters a lot at the moment, but trust me, at the end of the day, they are not that big. It went by so fast, it was crazy! I felt like before I was able to really enjoy it, the time slipped away.
It took us a full year to plan our wedding. We ran into a few issues, but we were able to problem-solve together.
Our reception venue didn't have the necessary stage pieces to make our decor dreams come to life with our decorator. We had to outsource the stage and pay an additional amount, which wasn't accounted for but we ended up making it work.
We got married in Dallas, and it NEVER snows here. Guess what, during our wedding weekend- IT SNOWED and the roads were super icy. Some of our family and friends couldn't attend our wedding because of the flight cancellations, and we were extremely frustrated. We did all of this planning, and mother nature wasn't on our side. Thankfully it cleared up right in time for the Sangeet and Reception, so our entire weekend wasn't ruined. Our photographer/videographer and decorator are from Houston, so they had to drive in. We were worried that they would cancel or get stuck. Thankfully none of that happened!
Weddings can be stressful, but take a deep breath, be patient with each other and listen to each other's wants. You two are different, and that's what makes your relationship beautiful and unique in its own way. We went on date nights every two weeks just to spend some 1:1 time together, without talking about wedding planning. This helped remind us how we want to spend the rest of our lives together, and we're teammates. We also talked through any issues we had, prior to signing any contracts. We wanted to both be 100% happy with the outcome, regardless of how much money we were going to spend.
Photo/Video: A&A Photo
DJ: DJ Riz
Reception decor: Blink Decor
Home decor: Weddings by Farah
Sangeet Venue: Luxor Banquet Hall
Henna: Meena's Mehndi
Reception Cake: The London Baker
Reception Venue: The Westin Southlake
Reception Caterer: Al Markaz
Reception Outfit: Seasons Mumbai, Suit Supply
Sangeet Outfit: Kalki Fashion, Manyavar
Our interview with Anisha highlighted many elements of the Indian wedding culture and more importantly, that everyone wants to have a beautiful wedding that honors their families, friends, and everything else that lies at the heart of love and marriage. There's some great advice in this blog that any couple can easily put into action to ensure that their interfaith marriage is a heartfelt, well-planned success. If you're planning an interfaith wedding, these tips should help you out.
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