This charming wedding in California had interesting twists – from the gulab jamun cutting in lieu of a tiered cake to interesting henna designs. Here, bride Divya takes us through the highlights of the celebrations.

How They Met
Divya shares, “Tejas and I met in Claremont McKenna College in 2007 when I was a freshman and Tejas was a junior. I knew of Tejas as the basketball player who was the RA of one of the loudest dorms on campus, and Tejas knew me as the singer and PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) debater. Our friendship grew in school, and there was an early spark of chemistry. After pursuing our respective careers on different coasts after college, we made a serious commitment to our relationship in 2013 when Tejas moved to San Francisco. We’ve been inseparable since!”

Proposal Story
Divya shares, “One spring weekend in April, Tej and I decided to drive up to our old San Francisco neighborhood, Noe Valley, to Billy Goat Hill, a tucked-away spot we used to visit that overlooks our homes and the whole city skyline. He proposed to me in that magical spot! Afterward, Tej took me to our favorite neighborhood restaurant. When we walked in, both our families, aunts, uncles, nieces and our best friends from college and high school were there to surprise us! In an added twist, we decided to go to the bar next door where we were greeted by a room full of more friends from all walks of life. We finished the evening afterward just us two with a pasta tasting where we had the chance to reflect on that wonderful day. Tej also gave the speech he was planning to when he proposed, but that he’d gotten too nervous to fully say. It was our day that I’ll never forget”

Wedding Venues
Being nature lovers, the couple wanted to be married outside for a natural, fresh feel but also wanted to keep their guests cozy, comfortable, and warm. When they saw the crisp modern barn and the outdoor lawn with the backdrop of a large pond and a surrounding vineyard of Tyge William Cellars in Sonoma, California, they knew they had found their perfect place.

Wedding Planning
The wedding was planned and executed by Cole Drake Events, while gorgeous clicks by Sylvie Gil Photography turned their precious moments into lasting memories. Megan Naik gave the bride flawless looks while her gorgeous locks were styled by Urban Beauty Loft. The intricate customized henna for the couple was done by Henna Traditions.

Wedding Functions

The festivities kicked off with a mehendi party, where an intimate cocktail and appetizer event was hosted at a big home in Sonoma. Divya’s hands were adorned with intricate henna that included the Golden Gate Bridge skyline, Tejas’ initials hidden in leaves, and their eucalyptus logo, and when she put her hands together, the design formed a beautiful peacock design. Tejas had mehndi done as well with the design of a bride and groom, Divya’s initials, and their college mascot. The couple gave their guests presents and handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes for making their weekend so special.

A garden cocktail soiree that turned into a dance party, the sangeet was hosted at Cornerstone, Sonoma. Guests chatted and ate from diverse mini food setups as the music played. After a toast by the best man and the maid of honor, everyone took to the dance floor, swaying and dancing with dandiya sticks

Hosted at the Barn at Tyge William Cellars, the decor theme of the wedding was garden rustic and French country meets modern design. Guests were greeted by a raw, fresh coconut bar. As the drums and music started playing, guests crossed a little bridge and joined Tejas and the families for the baraat, and they danced around the large pond, kicking off the ceremony with happiness and joy. After making it back to the big willow tree, guests were seated. Tejas and his parents walked down the aisle, followed by the wedding party and lastly Divya and her parents.

Reception Dinner
Following the ceremony, the guests moved to the barn for cocktails and appetizers before dinner under a clear, lit tent. Divya and Tejas made their entrance, followed by a delicious Indian dinner and toasts from their siblings and parents, before going into the barn for their first dance. In a charming twist, they switched out the traditional cake cutting for a donut and gulab jamun cutting.

Advice for Couples
Divya shares, “We worked together on each major decision. We are equal partners in life, and that meant in wedding planning too, but we chose areas that we loved to be the “owners” of. That meant that we could be efficient and get things done on our own, but that we still came together to review or decide on things together.” Tejas adds, “One small tip that ended up being great is to give your cell phones to a friend or someone in the wedding party and let them capture moments so that you can enjoy them before you get the professional ones back”.

The Wedding Makers

Venue: The Barn at Tyge William Cellars, The Wedding Garden at Cornerstone Sonoma, California
Wedding Planner: Cole Drake Events
Groom’s Outfits: Benzer (Wedding), Hart Shaffner Marx (Reception), Devotie (Sangeet)
Groom’s Shoes: Ecco (Reception)
Bride’s Outfits: Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Wedding), Shyamal & Bhumika (Sangeet)
Makeup: Megan Naik
Hair: Urban Beauty Loft
Mehndi: Henna Traditions
Catering: Ramekins and Chef Ranjan Dey
Flowers: Meredith Law Designs
Stationery: Aerialist Press
Entertainment: DJ MoMentum
Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography
Videography: Owl and Tree Films