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WEDDING BLOG

Gorgeous and Intimate Catskill Mountains Elopement

April 14, 2021 | riley

2020 was a challenging year, to say the least. But if there’s one thing that came from it, it’s the fact that couples didn’t let it stop them from vowing to spend forever together. When Hadley and Andrea’s 150-person wedding was canceled–rather than let it get them down–they opted for a Catskill mountains elopement at the Scandinavian Upstate Barn. And although their special day looked a little different than they envisioned, the two said “I do” in front of their loved ones.

From Andrea’s emerald Bindle & Keep suit to Hadley’s Calvin Klein high-low copper dress that she paired with rainbow glitter boots, the wedding fashion was not only unique, but it also matched the moody color palette perfectly. And that wasn’t the only creative aspect of the day. Andrea wore a pin with a photo of her late father, and the two opted for a broken glass unity ceremony–just to name a few.

We’re so thankful that Junebug member Par La Mer Photography was there to not only capture the beauty of the day but also played a part in planning the whole thing. What can’t our members do?

The Couple:

Hadley and Andrea

The Wedding:

Scandinavian Upstate Barn, Germantown, New York

Wedding Advice From The Couple

If planning a wedding during a pandemic taught us anything, it was to be flexible. We originally planned a large wedding for 150 people, but once it was clear that we couldn’t safely have the ceremony we dreamed of, we had to reassess and figure out what was important to us. Instead of postponing the wedding, we decided to elope, which meant planning a whole new ceremony that looked a lot different from what we initially envisioned. Rarely does anything in life go perfectly according to plan, so be flexible! It’s okay to make changes that might not align completely with your original vision as long as you stay true to who you are as a couple. 

Recommended Reading: The Dreamy Unconventional Colorful Suit Roundup

Recommended Reading: 35 Cute Wedding Boots for Fall and Winter Brides

Remembering Late Loved Ones

My father passed away from cancer not long ago, and I was struggling with the fact that he couldn’t be there to see us get married. Hadley–very thoughtfully–bought me a pin with his picture that we pinned to the boutonniere of my suit. He was with me for the entire ceremony, and it was honestly the best gift she could have given me.

 

Personalizing The Ceremony With Vows And A Unity Ceremony

We chose to do a unity ceremony using broken colored glass. During our ceremony, we blended the glass together to symbolize our union of marriage and two becoming one. We decided to ship the glass out and have an ornament made to commemorate our special day. We also chose to write our own vows. Writing our vows made our ceremony personal to the two of us by allowing us to have a special moment to speak directly to one another and truly celebrate one another.

A Catskill Mountains Elopement Full Of Moody Vibes

We have always been a non-traditional couple, and you can definitely see that in the alternative style of our wedding. We chose a moody color palette, textured florals, and a backdrop that brought our whole vibe together. We both wore darker colors that stood out against the crisp white of the barn and the muted colors of the winter mountains. We wanted our wedding to be bold and dramatic but have some boho elements throughout. We opted for big boho braids and earth tones for our wardrobe while also incorporating more dramatic fun pieces like Hadley’s pair of amazing rainbow glitter boots and leather jacket. We were married outside at sunset, and we decided to incorporate some of the vintage pieces around the barn into our ceremony to help bring the whole vibe together.

 

The Wedding Team:

Photography & Event Planning – Par La Mer Photography
Venue – Scandinavian Upstate Barn
Floral Design – Sea Change Farm and Flower
Cake – Olive Sunflour Bakes
Officiant – Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Invitation Design – TS Calligraphy
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Eye for Beauty
Wedding Dress – Calvin Klein
Bridal Suit – Bindle & Keep
Rings – Kevin Edward Jewelers

 

Congratulations again to Hadley and Andrea on their intimate Catskill mountains elopement. We’re so thankful that Junebug Par La Mer Photography was there to help plan and photograph the special day. To see more of Tonya’s work, check out her profile in our directory of wedding photographers from around the world!

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11 Things To Expect When Attending An Indian Wedding

April 14, 2021 | olivia
attending an indian wedding celebration

Image by Matei Horvath Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

If you’ve received an invitation to attend an Indian wedding, then you might be wondering what to wear, what to bring, and—honestly—what to expect. No two Indian weddings are alike, but they are always filled with lots of tradition and culture. You’re truly in for a unique experience. With all the amazing food, beautiful colors, and incredible music, we know you are going to have an amazing time. 

We want you to focus on having a great time, which is why we’ve put together this guide for you. We’ve got all the information you’ll need as a guest. Keep scrolling to see the eleven things to expect when attending an Indian wedding. 

1. It’s A Long Celebration

Indian weddings can last up anywhere from three days to a full week, depending on the ceremony. There are pre-wedding rituals leading up to the 2 to 3-hour long marriage ceremony. If you’ve been invited to an Indian wedding, make sure you bring enough outfits for all the days—and definitely bring comfortable shoes. You’ll also want to make sure you read which events you’ve been invited to. Some guests are invited to all events over the course of the wedding while others may only be invited to the last day. 

Image by Carlos Elizondo. See more of this real wedding here.

2. You’ll Want To Dress Conservatively and Appropriately

For Indian weddings, it is best to dress both conservatively and appropriately. Before you buy an outfit, check with the couple and ask for their expectations. If they say to wear something traditional, then you’ll want to wear traditional Indian wedding attire. If that’s the case, you can rent these outfits from companies like Riya Collective and Saris and Things.

Some couples are comfortable with traditionally western wedding attire, then aim for color. Indian weddings are filled with color so you’ll want to stay away from bland black and white looks. Plus, white is seen as a mourning color and black is bad luck, so definitely steer clear of these colors. We recommend a colorful suit or a colorful dress.  

Junebug Tip: 

If you’re looking for a colorful suit, check out our colorful suit round-up and our unique suit ideas. These are perfect for Indian weddings.

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want to dress on the conservative side. Avoid showing off too much of your legs, shoulders, or cleavage. Instead, go big and show your personal style through jewelry, colors, and patterns. Keep in mind that you’ll want your most formal outfit to be for the wedding day/reception.

3. The First Two Days of Events

The first day includes a ceremony known as the Ganesha Pooja—an intimate Hindu ceremony that takes place with close family and friends only. The second day is for the sangeet, or Mehendi ceremony, and will often have guest participation. The sangeet is a night of dancing where all the guests will join the bride and groom to celebrate their marriage and the union of two families. This is also traditionally when the bride is adorned with henna tattoos on her hands and feet. 

Image by Nicola Tonolini. See more of this real wedding here.

4. The Hindu Wedding Ceremony Is On The Third Day

After the first two days of wedding events, the third day is reserved for the Hindu wedding ceremony. This ceremony, which is typically held in the morning, can last anywhere between one and a half to two hours long, and then begins the reception. The entire third day can last 16 hours, so make sure you stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes

bright indian wedding

Image by Jenny Collen. See more of this real wedding here.

5. Saptapadi: The Seven Steps

Saptapadi literally translates to seven steps and this part of the ceremony is very important. The couple walks seven full circles clockwise around a fire pit. This represents the seven sacred vows and promises that they are making to one another. Each mantra is then recited to the couple. There isn’t normally an exchange of vows performed at these weddings. Think of the seven steps as like the couple’s ‘vows’ that they will hold during their marriage. 

6. Attending an Indian Wedding: You Should Get Involved

Yes, we do mean dance, laugh, eat, and be merry. Indian weddings are a huge celebration and the last thing you’ll want to be doing is sitting at your table. Don’t be afraid to get up and partake. If you don’t know what is going on, ask! Besides dancing and eating, you’ll also be expected to participate during steps in the ceremony as a show of blessing the couple. Getting involved as a guest shows your love for the couple. 

Image by Studio Rossini. See more of this real wedding here.

7. There Will Be Lots Of Food 

Get ready for lots of food. Indian weddings have a huge feast for everyone to enjoy. When you first enter the wedding venue, you’ll be treated to appetizers and snacks. Don’t be coy—you’ll want that snack so you’re not the person in the audience with the stomach growling. 

Once the wedding is over, the main course will be served. As far as what to expect, there are regional variations for foods. For many West and South Indian weddings, vegetarian food is served. But for many North and East Indian weddings, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is served. 

8. There Might Be No Alcohol

You read that right. Traditionally, alcohol is not served at Hindu weddings, especially if the wedding is held at a temple. More modern Indian weddings sometimes include alcohol during the pre-ceremony festivities and the reception. Alcohol won’t be present during the ceremony, though depending on the couple’s religious beliefs. When in doubt, politely ask them before the wedding. 

9. Give The Gift of Money

After the wedding ceremony, the reception party is where the couple receives blessings and gifts from everyone at their wedding. If you’re wondering what to get the couple, a traditional wedding gift is money. This is the most thoughtful gift as it helps the couple to start their lives together. Find an embroidered bag or lovely pretty envelope, write down some best wishes, and place the money in. Always give money in an amount that ends in one. This is very important as one is a blessing that wishes them prosperity and good fortune. 

Image by Nicola Tonolini. See more of this real wedding here.

10. Red Is A Traditional Color

Indian brides don’t wear white on their wedding day. Instead, they wear red and gold to symbolize fertility and commitment. However, more modern Indian brides are often opting for other rich saturated colors like pastel florals, bright yellow, or even a bold blue.  

11. Don’t Dance With The Bride

Okay, so at many weddings, it’s normal to head to the dance floor and dance with the bride—especially if she is your friend. However, at traditional Indian weddings, men should resist the urge to dance with the bride. In Indian culture, brides shouldn’t dance with other men on their wedding day.

Image by For Love & Light. See more of this real wedding here.

We hope this guide has helped you understand a few customs and traditions and will help you get ready when attending an Indian wedding. We want you to focus on having a wonderful time celebrating the couple, dancing, and eating. And if you want to see some Indian weddings, check out this intimate wedding at the Villa Artimino, this colorful Indian wedding, and this modern Indian wedding.

Image by For Love & Light. See more of this real wedding here.

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Spectacularly Multicultural Brazilian and Puerto Rican Wedding

April 13, 2021 | olivia

From incorporating two different cultures on their wedding day to the bride’s parents singing I’ll Stand By You, this wedding was anything but ordinary. Jennifer and Edmar’s Brazilian and Puerto Rican wedding took multiculturalism to a new level. With help from their wedding planner Truly Yours Coordinator, they were able to incorporate their different cultures in the food, drinks, and yes, even Samba dancers. 

To top off this spectacular ceremony, the wedding day fashion was straight out of a magazine. The bride’s gown gives Bridgerton meets modern-day princess vibes and the colorful teal groomsmen suits were a perfectly coordinated pop of color. But seriously, you’re not going to want to skip past this wedding. Keep scrolling and let pictures from Jessica Jones Photography sweep you off your feet.

The Couple:

Jennifer and Edmar

The Wedding:

Sydonie Mansion, Mt. Dora, Florida

A Brazilian and Puerto Rican Wedding

The one thing we wanted most was to embrace both of our cultures and bring them together. Edmar is Brazilian and I am Puerto Rican so we incorporated a few of our favorite desserts and drinks from each of those places to add a special touch to our wedding. We served traditional beverages such as Coquito and Caipirinha. Guava pastries, quesitos, and brigadeiro were some of our favorite desserts to share with our guests as well.

Advice From The Bride

Stay true to yourself!  It’s so easy to get caught up in beautiful styled shoots or wedding traditions. Although styled shoots are a great way to get inspiration and find vendors, it can sometimes make you feel that your wedding needs to meet a certain expectation. Remembering the true meaning of this big day and making it about what you both love will put your mind at ease, and give a unique touch to your wedding.

First Surprise: Parents Performing

The first surprise at our wedding was one from my Mom, Dad, brother, and Uncle. They dedicated to us the song “I’ll Stand by You,” by The Pretenders, and performed it for us. My mom sang beautifully in English for the first time. My dad held it down with the saxophone along with my brother and uncle, who accompanied on the guitar. They are all musicians and it was such a beautiful and emotional moment. I wasn’t the only one shedding a tear during their performance.

Second Surprise: Samba Dancers

The second surprise was from me. Edmar’s family is from Brazil and I wanted to incorporate a part of their culture into our wedding celebration. So, I hired Samba dancers and stilt walkers as part of the entertainment of the night. After cutting the cake, my coordinators snuck me back into my room to change into my festive gown for this part of the night. On cue, the Dj played Samba music as the Samba dancers and I walked out together into the crowd to start the Hora Loca (which translates to crazy hour). His family was so excited about the surprise and danced the night away reminiscing on popular songs from Brazil. You can see in the pictures how our families and guests were having such a great time celebrating us both.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Jessica Jones Photography
Event Planning – Truly Yours Coordinator
Venue – Sydonie Mansion
Floral Design – Orlando Flower Market
Catering – Premier Catering
Cake – Kenny’s Cakes
DJ – DJ Danny Garcia
Videography – The Artisan Films
Makeup Artist – Richelle Ramon
Hair Styling – Jashua Villatoro
Wedding Dress – Rara Avis
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – ASOS
Groomsmen’s Apparel – ASOS
Rings – David Yurman
Rentals – Premiere Events
Samba Dancers – All-Stars Dance Entertainment

 

Congratulations to Jennifer and Edmar on their spectacular Brazilian and Puerto Rican wedding. Major shout out to Jessica Jones Photography for capturing and sharing this day with us. If you’re looking for more multicultural wedding inspiration, check out this dazzling multicultural Western and Sikh wedding celebration and multicultural fiesta wedding at City Centro Oaxaca

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