Sean + Nikki | Le Méridien and The Blackwell Inn
Thanksgiving is one of two times a year that our mom’s siblings, their spouses, and children come together! With a minimum of 50 people place settings around the dinner table, it also ends up being the “baptism by fire” “sink or swim” “first time meeting the family” for significant others! A few years ago, Nikki swam! Within the first hour of her coming in our grandmother’s house of organized chaos, she was talking to the younger cousins about unicorn fashion, adulting with the older cousins, and getting to know the aunts and uncles – mind you, Sean, our cousin, was catching up with family elsewhere. When Sean proposed we lovingly reminded him that she was way out of his league, and we couldn’t be happier for such a wonderful couple!
Leading up to the wedding we had the privilege of meeting Nikki’s family at Sean and Nikki’s home in Columbus and I’ve gotta say, this is how the week leading up to the wedding should be! The Bagga family welcomed us with big hugs, joyous conversation, and even homemade Chai! Even though we had just met, we felt at home! The West and Bagga families spending a few hours together in the days leading up to the wedding wasn’t just a great way to meet each other, it was an affirmation of how perfectly paired Sean and Nikki are together.
Leading up to Sean and Nikki’s Hindu Wedding Ceremony we were full of lots of excitement and LOTS of questions! We wanted to capture the day perfectly, but we had a lot to learn! It was so amazing that every detail, step, color, etc. represented something that would contribute to their success and happiness as a couple for the rest of their lives.
SANGEET- Friday, May 24 | Le Méridien
The wedding weekend began on Friday at Le Méridien with the Sangeet! The Sangeet is a pre-wedding celebration where the families meet and enjoy a night of eating, henna, dancing, performances, and merrymaking! Sean's cousin (our sister), Nikki's sister, and Nikki's niece performed dances on the night of the Sangeet!
The henna artists from Henna Fashions were amazing!! We had them drawing everything, from avocados, to sports mascots, to even our favorite muppet characters.
Le Méridien planner, Sherri Brock and her food and beverage team worked with Nikki and Sean to create a menu that was a fusion of Indian and American cuisine.
After meeting, mingling, and sharing dinner, Sean and Nikki's parents welcomed us to the Sangeet, and the performances began!
Dhiya, Nikki's niece, performed a Bollywood styled dance. Next, Maria, Sean's cousin, performed a contemporary piece. The performances ended with Dhiya dancing with her mom, Nikki's sister, Nidhi. They performed an Indian classical / fusion style dance.
The Sangeet was an amazing way for the families to meet and celebrate before the wedding day!
WEDDING DAY - Saturday, May 25 | The Blackwell Inn
This is the Groom, Sean's entrance! It was a parade for Sean and his family. At the end, Nikki's family welcomed Sean and his family!
I wish I had video of this moment because Sean wasn’t just riding a massive white horse, he was all out dancing and CAT DADDYing on his way to meet Nikki’s family!
Meanwhile, Nikki and all of her bridesmaids watched the Baraat from the 7th floor of the Blackwell.
Nikki’s mother, Sunita performed the welcome ritual before leading Sean to the Mandap.
WORSHIPPING LORD GANESH – GANESH POOJA
Sean, his parents, and Nikki’s parents spent time in the Mandap presenting offerings to Lord Ganesh in prayer that he may remove all obstacles in their marriage.
EXCHANGE OF GARLANDS - JAIMALA
A beautiful and exchange of flower garlands with a beautiful symbolism, to show acceptance for one another and a pledge of respect for each other as partners in life.
GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE- KANYA DAAN + HASTAMILAP
The Priest, Ramesh, tied sacred thread around Sean and Nikki’s hands to symbolize their linked fates as partners and Nikki is considered part of Sean’s household at this moment.
CIRCLING OF THE HOLY FIRE - MANGAL PHERAS
Before circling the holy fire four times in symbolism of the four basic human goals, Sean’s sister Maria tied together their wedding scarves.
The four basic human goals are:
Dharma - Ethics
Artha -Wealth and prosperity
Karma - Love, fertility, and family
Moksha - Spiritual liberation and salvation
SEVEN STEPS - SAPTAPADI
The seven steps Sean and Nikki took represented vows and promises they made to each other.
The first step is to provide a nourishing and pure diet for our household and avoid the things which are harmful to our healthy living.
The second step is to develop physical, mental, and spiritual strength.
The third step is with the aim of conservation and proper use of wealth.
The fourth step is to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
The fifth step is to be blessed with virtuous children
The sixth step is to accomplish restraint and longevity.
The seventh step is with the vow that we shall always be true to each other, work together and for prosperity and happiness and remain lifelong partners.
FIRST MEAL TOGETHER - KANSAR BHAKSHAN
Offering each other the sweet was a symbolization of their and their family's union.
MANGAL SULTRA, SINDOOR + RING EXCHANGE
Sean was a trooper throughout the ceremony and while neither he nor Nikki understand Sanskrit, Sean didn’t grow up around the traditions. When it was time for Sean to put the sacred necklace (Mangal Sutra) around Nikki’s neck he put it on top of her hair. Whoops! After the Priest laughed he tried to help Sean, who was very sweetly doing his best to not ruin her hair, around her neck.
Sean next applied the powder Sindoor at the part of Nikki’s hair, symbolizing the promise he made to fulfill her every wish.
FIRST BLESSING AS HUSBAND AND WIFE - ASHIRVAAD
Before leaving the mandap, Sean and Nikki spent time touching the feet of the Priest and family elders while they offered blessings for a long and happy marriage.
FAREWELL TO THE BRIDE - VIDAI
Nikki wished her family home happiness and security by throwing flower petals behind her shoulder as she bid her family farewell.
LOVE these families!
After Sean's sister and brother gave their toasts, Nikki's nephew, Rohan, was up! He had practiced his speech for weeks, making sure he paused in between sentences, and made good eye contact with Nikki and Sean. He had the whole place in tears! Great job, Rohan!
We are so thankful to have experienced such a beautiful celebration with two people we love so much! Sean, you are a hard working, loving man who wouldn’t hesitate to do something for the people you love. Nikki, you are a blessing to our family with an infectious laugh that makes all of us smile. We couldn’t be happier to have a new permanent place setting at the Thanksgiving dinner table. We love you both so much!
Thank you also to the amazing vendors that we got to work with that contributed to making this experience so wonderful!
Sangeet Planner | Sheri Brock
Sangeet Venue | Le Méridien Columbus
Sangeet Henna Artists | Ritu and Atul Garg of Hanna Fashions
Entertainment | Samir Thaker
Photographer | Samantha Malizia Films
Wedding Day Coordinator | Jamie Butcher
Wedding Day Venue | The Blackwell Inn
Hair and Makeup | Hey Pretty!
Florist | Heather Waits from Bloomtastic
Baraat Horse | Mary Adkins of Willow Wind Carriage
Wedding Ceremony Mandap | Dahlia Occasions
Priest | Ramesh Punetha
Cake and Dessert | Krista and Kelsey of Sundays Cakery
CONGRATULATIONS, Mr. and Mrs. Sean and Nikki West!