I usually don’t take weddings less than five months out, but when I met Devana and Daniel, we just clicked, and I was blown away by their organization. After postponing their big Indian wedding multiple times, they decided to downsize to a micro wedding. Both project managers in the Bay Area tech industry, Devana and Daniel poured their work skills into their wedding and were able to plan the whole event in just about three weeks. Devana presented a slide show that communicated every detail of their plan at our consultation, from the ceremony site set up to their COVID conscious seating arrangements. Devana and Daniel truly made their wedding day their own.
The wedding day started in Devana’s parent’s home in Palo Alto, where the bride and groom and their attendants got ready. They applied their own makeup and traditional wedding henna. Even Daniel had a unique henna piece on his palm. The dress Devana had initially planned on wearing for her wedding day could not be imported from India due to the pandemic, so she instead wore the same dress that her mother and her sister wore on their wedding days. All of Devana’s bridal jewelry and bangles were borrowed as well. Once they were ready, Devana and Daniel did their first look before heading together to their ceremony.
Devana and Daniel hosted their wedding ceremony at the Elizabeth F Gamble Garden, just a short walk from Devana’s childhood home. The garden that Devana grew up visiting was transformed into the ceremony site with an aisle leading to a simple, airy Mandap, a Hindu wedding altar. The Mandap was adorned with lush florals hung asymmetrically, and a Hindu priest was present via Zoom to conduct the traditional Indian wedding ceremony. Devana and Daniel’s Hindu wedding involved many traditions and rituals steeped in history and meaning; it was a beautiful ceremony to witness and photograph. After their Hindu ceremony, Devana and Daniel also participated in a western ceremony and exchanged vows. Finally, they rounded the whole thing out with a kiss to seal their union!
After the ceremony, we took portraits with family and guests in the garden. Devana and Daniel have family members at high risk for covid complications, so they took all precautions possible, including socially distanced photos for guests outside of their pandemic pod. The guests had fun showing their relationship with the bride and groom even while staying six feet apart. Everyone then headed back to Devana’s parent’s home for a backyard reception. Guests were spaced and seated by their small family groups, where they each toasted with personalized wine bottle glasses and individually boxed charcuterie snack boxes!
Devana and Daniel’s intimate yet socially distanced wedding was proof that so long as you focus on what a wedding day is truly about (Hint: Getting married!), you can overcome almost any obstacle and create a beautiful, personal ceremony and reception full of tradition, meaning, joy, and love.
Elise of Her Urban Herbs
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