Leah and Swagatam were married in not one, but two ceremonies at The Inn at Erlowest. I had the pleasure of helping them plan and coordinate their Hindu-Jewish blended celebration.
I have planned many blended weddings over the years but putting the details together for Leah and Swag’s day was one that was so much fun for me. They chose the patio ceremony space at Erlowest as the location for their Hindu and their Jewish ceremonies, both of which were celebrated on a brightly decorated stage which functioned as a mandap (Hindu) and as a chuppah (Jewish). The logistics of this kind of wedding were quite delicate – the two ceremonies were separated by an hour of time to change wardrobes and altar details and they were flanked by two cocktail hours to ensure the whole event flowed as smoothly for the couple as it did for their guests. It all moved very fast but it was all so very exciting!
The girls’ morning started with hair and makeup on the second floor landing in the Inn before Leah was dressed in the most beautiful fabrics and jewels to get ready for ceremony #1. After a quick first look she and Swag waited in the wings as Swag’s sisters and family members gathered everyone around to begin the Hindu ceremony. Leah was carried in by the groomsmen on a wooden platform with leaves covering her eyes from seeing Swag. As is traditional with Hindu ceremonies there were prayers, flower garlands were exchanged, and kind words were shared between the couple in front of a small fire. It was a beautiful ceremony that everyone just loved watching, and as soon as it ended the couple recessed out to the sounds of a traditional Klezmer band and everyone knew that the Jewish ceremony was up next!
Luckily for us there are elements of Hindu and Jewish ceremonies that are similar so the stage (mandap) that was set for ceremony #1 was easily flipped to get ready for ceremony #2 (chuppah). Leah had a makeup redo and a dress change, Swag changed into his tuxedo, and after the guests enjoyed cocktail hour we were ready for the second ceremony.
Ceremony #2 was a civil ceremony with nods to Leah’s Jewish heritage. There was a second processional, second set of vows, a second kiss, and the Klezmer band played to recess everyone back out again. After that it was on to cocktail hour #2!
After two ceremonies, two wardrobe changes (ok well three for Swag), two cocktail hours, two officiants, two sets of vows, and two kisses – we were all ready for the reception! Leah and Swag and their families had such a nice time enjoying their wonderful meal, listening to toasts from the bridal party and families, and dancing the night away. The whole day was such a joyous time for everyone and it was so fun to see everyone embrace all of their families’ traditions.
Above everything else – the multiple ceremonies, outfits, vendors, and all the moving parts – though, was the overwhelming love that was felt between Leah and Swag. Looking at these photos it is easy to see how in love with each other these two are. There is nothing greater for anyone who witnesses a wedding ceremony – let alone TWO wedding ceremonies – to truly feel the couple is connected in love and is meant to be together forever. Their wedding was a beautiful thing.
Congrats to you, Leah and Swag. You guys are incredible people. Thank you both so much for including me in your beautiful day!
Wedding Planning and Coordination: Shannon Whitney Anson / Wedding Planning Plus
Venue: Inn at Erlowest
Photography: Clark + Walker Studio
Entertainment: DJ Scott Hemming from SEH Entertainment
Florals and Mandap/Chuppah: Anthology Studio
Beauty: True Grace
Ceremony Musicians: Der Kleiner Klezmer Orchestra
Officiant (Hindu ceremony): Uday Banerjee
Officiant (civil/Jewish ceremony): David Riley