MAY 28, 2017
Indian traditions blended with American modernization for this five-day wedding celebration, which also had a charitable twist.
In many ways, the celebration of Anisha Jindal and Ashwin Bhirud had all the elements of a huge, traditional, multi-day Indian wedding. There was the intimate Ganesh Puja ceremony at Anisha’s parents’ home. Then there was the Mehendi ceremony, where Anisha was adorned with henna. Then came the cleansing Haldi ceremonies. Next was the Sangeet at Great American Ball Park, which Anisha describes as “a giant rehearsal dinner on steroids,” where the bride’s and groom’s extended families became acquainted. Finally came the wedding day, with an outdoor marriage ceremony at Drees Pavilion and a reception at the Hyatt Regency attended by about 500 people. It was full, festive, and fabulous, but not everything was done by the proverbial book.
The color palette, for example, emphasized pastels, whites, and golds—far quieter than the reds and oranges of a traditional Indian wedding. Both the bride and groom wore custom-made outfits by a designer in India choosing eco-conscious textiles.
The reception menu, catered by Amar India Restaurant, featured both classic Indian dishes—like samosas, saag, and naan—as well as more unique items so that guests could “expand their Indian palate,” Anisha says. In addition to a small cutting cake, dessert tables featured both Indian and American desserts, including mini cupcakes. The after-party served late-night munchies from Gomez Salsa, one of Ashwin’s favorite restaurants, and earlier in the day, the Mister Softee ice cream truck made an appearance to help guests cool off with a cone after the outdoor ceremony.
Personal touches like custom cocktail napkins with factoids about the couple and personalized hotel gift bags using recycled paper made an impression with guests.
The couple also took a nontraditional approach to gifts. “We are both into charity, so we wanted to spin that into the wedding,” Ashwin says. In lieu of gifts, the couple asked guests to make a donation to one of two charities in the couple’s name: The American Heart Association (in memory of Anisha’s late grandmother) and Pratham, a charitable organization in India that helps provide primary education for underprivileged children. At the reception, guests also voted on which of the two charities the couple would make an additional donation to. In sum, the couple donated more than $20,000 to nonprofit causes through the wedding.
Wedding Planner: Nidhi Bedi, A Bride’s Mafia | Reception: Hyatt Regency Cincinnati | Ceremony: Drees Pavilion | Ceremony Officiant: Pandit Anant Dixit | Catering: Amar India Restaurant, Dayton | Music and Lighting: DJ Ice & Fresh Productions | Flowers: Glendale Florist | Invitations/Stationery: Xylem Papercraft (Rickshaw Recycle) | Videography: Robert G. Films | Cake: DessertWorks Cakery | Gown: Anita Dongre, House of Anita Dongre | Bridesmaid Dresses: Anita Dongre, House of Anita Dongre | Reception Dress: Sabyasachi | Decor Rental: Entertainment Unlimited Events | Sangeet (Rehearsal Dinner): Great American Ball Park | Additional Caterers: Mango Tree, Gomez Salsa | Photo Booth: Framester | Transportation: Queen City Transportation | Ice Cream Truck: Mister Softee