Emily and Shas’s Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson wedding was an incredibly fun two-day experience.
Blending both traditional Hindu and western events meant packing a lot of excitement into the weekend. The fusion of two entirely different cultures made the wedding that much more special, and is in many ways symbolic of the merging of Emily’s and Shas’s contrasting personalities.
Emily and Shas are a hilarious duo.
Between Emily’s bubbly enthusiasm and Shas’s sarcastic cynicism, the two are able to balance each other out. Despite being so different, they share an admittedly dark sense of humor and have a deep respect for one another. Shas realized that Emily was the one when she was planning to visit him in Chicago and he realized how excited he was to see her. He called her right then and there, at 3am, and told her he loved her. Emily had the same realization when she was taking a cab to the airport from Shas’s apartment. The cab driver looked over at her, smiled, and said, “You love him very much. I can tell.”
Our fun started on Friday night with an energetic Mehndi to get the party started.
Emily came in wearing a beautiful saree with stunning jewelry to match, and her hands were decorated in intricate and gorgeous mehndi. She and Shas made their rounds, joking and laughing with everyone they spoke to. Emily and her husband-to-be then sat at the front of a stage and the performances began. Shas’s father kicked off the evening with a quick welcome speech and the singing of a beautiful ballad for the happy couple. What followed were dances by the children at the event, several songs performed by a guitar-wielding cousin (accompanied by several other family members), and finally two dancers that brought the entire crowd onto the floor to join them.
The Baraat kicked off the following Saturday.
Shas sat upon an elegantly adorned white horse and followed his friends and family as they danced along the water and toward the site of the ceremony. Upbeat music and rhythmic drumming kept the energy high as the crowd progressed. Emily and her bridesmaids could be seen on the rooftop deck watching the procession below and waving to all of the baraatis. Upon reaching their destination, several dance circles opened up and everyone had the chance to shine. Shas dismounted the horse and danced his way to the front where his mother and grandmother stood.
Immediately after, they started the Hindi ceremony.
The mandaap at the front was beautifully decorated in jewels and elegant drapes hanging from the pillars. The officiant was careful to explain every step of the procession, knowing that half of the attendees were unfamiliar. At some point during the ceremony, the bridesmaids were able to steal Shas’s shoes that were left on the side of the mandaap. What followed was a hilarious back-and-forth bargaining for them. After a lot of joking and teasing, Shas gave in and paid the laughing women in exchange for his footwear.
Later in the afternoon, the happy couple readied themselves for the western ceremony.
They shared a special first look together by the water. Despite having already seen each other earlier that day, both Shas and Emily seemed just as in awe as if they hadn’t seen each other in months. Emily’s bubbly nature was obvious from the amount of giggling that occurred as her smirking husband held her close. The couple came back to the hotel and jumped right into their second ceremony. The mood went from sweet and emotional as Emily and Shas read their vows, to raucous laughter as the officiant shared Emily’s true feelings about Shas when they had first met (she found him a tad too arrogant for her taste).
The lovely ceremony led to a very lively reception.
Some of the best food I have ever eaten was served (I no joke had three full plates – thank you Bukhara!). Family and friends made absolutely hilarious speeches that had the whole crowd in stitches. Despite the amount of delicious food that was served, everyone in the room was on their feet and dancing the night away as soon as the opportunity arose. A drummer stayed in the middle of the crowd keeping the beat with the music while several people broke out into solos, including the bride and groom. I have never seen so much energy and fun in my life as I did on that dance floor. People of all ages were bouncing up and down the entire night.
I am so grateful to have been a part of this giant celebration and I wish Shas and Emily all the best moving forward!
Wedding Coordinator/Planner: Shade Coleman
Bride’s Shoes: Adrianna Pappell
Groom’s Tux: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell
Florist: Anjella at Florista Decor
Band: Silver Arrow Band
DJ: Magic Mike
Cake: Carlo’s Bakery
Videographer: Promessa Studios
Photographer: Nicole Chan Photography
Makeup/Hair: Veronica at Beauty By Veronica