Its no question that weddings signify love and commitment, but weddings can also be the perfect opportunity for a couple to weave together their native, cultural or religious traditions to create a blended, customized experience, and this wedding did just that. This wedding beautifully incorporated traditional customs and cultural rituals from both the bride’s Indian culture with the groom’s western roots.
This summer wedding took place at the Redland Family Farm in Oregon City, a family run Christmas tree farm and a wedding and event venue just outside of Portland, Oregon. The wedding venue can accommodate up to 450 guests and offers several serene settings to stage an outdoor wedding ceremony, plus beautiful indoor options for getting ready, cocktail hour, bar, and reception areas. One of my favorite details of this great wedding venue is a majestic and enormous oak tree (my name Alana means oak tree and I just love them!) Under the big oak tree was the perfect choice for this couple’s first look in my opinion!
In Indian weddings, the vibrancy and decadence is not reserved only for the bride. James donned a silk sherwani, a traditional Indian shirt for a groom, in bright, vibrant blue. In Indian weddings, grooms traditionally wear bright colors over the black or white formal attire of western wedding grooms. For an Indian wedding, brides traditionally wear red, a color that symbolizes the rising sun, fertility, and prosperity. Aru wore an exquisitely embroidered, two piece, red Indian bridal gown that consisted of a crop top, a long skirt, and a sari. Another Indian bridal custom is to intricately draw on the the bride’s hands and feet with henna in a Mehndi ceremony the day before the wedding, gifting the bride with blessings of health, luck, and joy on her wedding and marriage journey. Besides henna, Aru also wore several bangles on her wrists, a bridal decorative bindi on her forehead, and other traditional and elaborate bridal jewelry on her ears and neck. She looked absolutely stunning and exquisite, like a royal Indian princess!
This wedding did bring in some of the American traditional wedding aspects, such as having bridesmaids, groomsmen, and a flower girl, which are not traditionally a part of an Indian wedding. The bride’s bouquet was a colorful and classic, cluster bouquet made with pale blue hydrangea, pale blue delphinium, soft peach-toned “juliet” garden roses by David Austin, red roses, blush pink ranunculus and a small amount of seeded eucalyptus. The bridesmaids carried a similar cluster style bouquet in very pale, neutral palette of hydrangea, garden roses, ranunculus, and astilbe. In developing the floral palettes, the couple asked me to bring in all the colors of the bridal party gowns and suits, which included red, pink, peach, and pale blue. The couple and I chose flowers together that had many petals and various textures to complement the intricate and extravagant embroidery on the bridal party dresses and suits.
The wedding ceremony itself took place under a Mandap, a large structure traditionally used in Indian weddings. This Mandap was adorned with white fabric across the top, and I installed floral clusters to the top and sides of the structure, choosing flowers that match the bridal party florals. Being the florist, I did not attend the wedding and cannot explain the traditional rituals that took place during the actual ceremony, but seeing the photos, I can definitely see that Indian ceremonial customs were woven into the ceremony.
The reception was held in the wooden, barn-like structure at the venue. Guest tables were a mix of round tables covered in pale blue linen and a long, wooden banquet style head table. The reception table centerpieces were made with different pastel shades of garden roses, spray roses, pale blue delphinium, and Italian ruscus in beautiful, glass, compote urns, which gave the reception event the feel of luxury and elegance without being too over the top.
The wedding vendor team of this gorgeous, cross cultural wedding at Redland Family Farm included photos by Photography by Ajay, planning and coordinating by Krystle Clear Events, hair and makeup by Coreene Collins, catering by Pearl Catering, rentals by Bridgewood Events, and florals by yours truly, Flowers by Alana!
I’m so honored and grateful to get to be a part of such a special and unique wedding! I wish Aru and James a lifetime of love and blessings on their marriage! Thank you for hiring me to be your wedding florist! Its a pleasure to be a part of your love story by providing gorgeous flowers at your wedding!