It was one big cultural cocktail. Sylvie and Aaron wanted three unique experiences for each day of their wedding- distinct from each other yet tied together under one grand theme that echoed their personal style, culture and heritage. Presenting, Day One and Two of their beautiful wedding at the Kumarkom Lake Resort and Spa.
Read about the inception and the big idea that became the inspiration for this wedding in Part I.
The All White American Barbeque Night
Rehearsal Dinners are all about families getting to know one another in a close intimate setting. In the west, it is seen as a time of toasts and families having fun together. The first night for Sylvie and Aaron embraced their American heritage with an all-white theme.
Guests were asked to dress in white - there were saris, dresses, bandhgalas, lungis and chic lehengas. The evening was simple and elegant in true American style.
The evening was romantic, almost like a dream. As guests took a cruise on the beautiful backwaters before a formal sit-down dinner. They were welcomed with champagne and local dancers as they watched the sun set against the calm waters.
The sit-down dinner had a very rustic but chic vibe to it. The menu was both eclectic and fun- a three-course seafood-inspired meal. White bibs were handed to guests so that they could “dig” into the crab curry :D
Long tables draped in white were set beneath a canopy of bulbs and lanterns. I wanted to bring in Aaron’s favourite animal, the Indian elephant into the theme in a subtle way- so I created gold mats with laser-cut silhouettes to echo his love for them. These were interspersed with candle holders covers in laser-cut paper and some wrapped in banana leaves (‘cos, Kerala!).
There were paper lanterns in white swaying in the wind, dreamily while as the napkins and cutlery sat comfortably in pink and white. The menu was printed with an Air India-inspired design with a unique logo Sylvie and Aaron created for themselves (a pair of kingfishers). The chairs were unlike any other - strong oak chairs with neat cushions - very old-school and traditional, very Kerala-style. We even had a cute rustic self-service bar. Giant Kerala boat filled with soft drinks and beer while good old American music played along in the background. It was a chilled out night, followed by a night at the movies.
Large pillows were set out in front of a huge projector screen where everyone watched Raam Leela and chilled.
The Bollywood Sangeet Night
Day two started with a local Kerala style lunch called Sadhya (a big lunch with over 14 dishes that everyone ate with their hands on banana leaves) at noon. For the henna ceremony, Sylvie’s friends and cousins sat in a large wooden pagoda with traditional wooden swings. The dress code was casual and the decor minimal with rose petals strewn about, ikat cushions on the benches and brass lanterns sitting prettily in the lawns. It was the perfect warm-up to the Bollywood Sangeet night.
The Sangeet was everything that is quintessentially “Indian” - I was certain I wanted to work with local traditional elements. So we hung rustic Indian lanterns all over the lobby to create a dreamy old-school charm. Gold kerosene lanterns lined all the pathways leading guests into the lawns.
I worked with local wooden Kerala pillars and furniture borrowed from a local antique shop to create sit-outs in the gardens. We even had a wooden jhoola (swing) decorated with loosely-strung marigolds in the backdrop.
The colour palette was all about organic greens and mustards to give it that forest-y backwater vibe. We used vintage Air india prints on tin cans loaded with flowers which dotted the tables. The menus on the dinner tables matched the poster prints.
The centerpieces were vintage pickle jars filled with potted marigold and local flowers.
A huge trunk filled with bangles and Indian stoles made for an adorable giveaway at the corner. Tables were laid out in smaller groups around the backwaters, for guests to bask in the beauty of this enchanting land.
The evening started with a Kathakali performance and slowly moved towards fun dances by the cousins and friends to songs from Telugu, Hindi and soon, hot Bollywood numbers.