Maya Sharma and Darian Neel’s Indian-fusion wedding was not only filled with pops of color and gold accents, but also featured a variety of cultural traditions. The couple hosted a weekend-long celebration in Northern Virginia with an intimate Hindu wedding on Friday and an American ceremony at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial on Saturday. “We wanted our wedding to be representative of our backgrounds and love for one another,” says the couple. So, they found unique ways to showcase both of their heritages throughout their wedding, including a diverse menu of Indian and American fare, henna tattoos for their guests, and Maya’s Indian-inspired gown. The festivities ended with a gorgeous reception that had a “bhangra dance performance, wonderful speeches by our friends and family, and lots of dancing,” says Darian. Check out their Indian-fusion wedding below to see more of their fun-filled multicultural celebration.
The Henna Tattoos
As part of an Indian wedding tradition (and a way to wish the couple good luck!), the couple kicked off the festivities with a henna welcoming party for their guests. The party was held at Maya’s parents’ home where guests could have their hands painted while also spending time with both Maya’s and Darian’s families.
How They Got Engaged
The couple, who dated for almost a year and a half, got engaged while vacationing in the French Alps. “We were staying [in the town of Chamonix] for a few days as part of a longer European trip,” Maya recalls. After a long day of hiking, the pair were cooking dinner at their Airbnb when Darian started talking about how great their life was together. “Next thing [I] knew, Darian was on one knee, with Mont Blanc in the background.” Maya says she was able to muster out a “Yes!” to the proposal through lots of tears and laughter.
The Picture-Perfect Cherry Blossom Couple Portraits
Luckily for Maya and Darian, their Indian-fusion wedding took place right during peak Cherry Blossom season, which allowed for some wow-worthy photo ops. Maya’s Nazranaa gown complemented the pink blossoms, since it was covered with dazzling embroidered flowers in the same dusty hue. Her bouquet provided some more pops of color and was composed of ranunculus, garden roses, peonies, and eucalyptus greenery.
The Elegant Indian-Fusion Wedding Reception
For their reception, the couple held a sit-down dinner where guest could choose from a variety of live food stations serving up palak chaat, “like the Rasika-inspired staple,” says Maya, and other Indian street food snacks. Tabletops were decorated with tall gold centerpieces, which displayed lush florals, and temporary tattoos with the couple’s faces were scattered at each place setting. Signature drinks included French 75s as a nod to their engagement in the French Alps, as well as, Old Fashioneds. Along with a night filled with dancing and special toasts, the couple cut and served a three-tiered fondant-frosted cake, which was decorated with hand-piping details and colorful floral icing.
Photographer: Manali Sontakke Photography | Venue: George Washington Masonic Memorial | Planning & Design: Dear Summer Events | Florist: JR Flowers | Invitations: Minted | Catering: IndAroma | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Hair & Makeup Stylist: Asal Studios | Bride’s Attire: Nazranaa (American ceremony); Bridal Lehenga by Sabyasachi (Indian ceremony) | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: JoS A. Bank | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Nordstrom | Music/Entertainment: David Grimm | Videographer: Mari Harsan Studios