I recently went to an event billed as a “scintillating evening of fun and information, focused on the Bay Area Indian wedding market.” Well, it was all that and more. Afterwards, I wanted throw my own Indian bash. I wanted to be Indian.
The festivities were held at the New Delhi Restaurant in San Francisco, but you might have thought you were in an Indian palace. Owner Ranjan Dey had transformed the place: tables were dressed in vibrantly colored, satiny linens in pink and purple and each one had a gorgeous floral centerpiece. Candles were everywhere, and the tall columns throughout glowed with color thanks to special uplighting. He even had bright orange and hot pink designs projected on the ceiling.
The riot of color was intoxicating, as were the signature Mango and Lychee Martinis. I fell in love with Indian food, enjoying every dish from the Chicken Tikka Masala to the Gulab Jamun (a dessert of milk dumplings in a warm cardamom syrup). I could have eaten a whole pile of naan bread!
Ranjan was the perfect host: he not only filled us up with great food, but filled us in on some Indian wedding facts and traditions. Who knew there were 28 states in India, each with its own language, cuisine and art? That means every Indian wedding must be customized according to the religious and culinary requirements of the families being joined.
I was so into the spirit of things, I simply had to have my hand painted by Renda, an artist from the Henna Garden. When I asked her why women did this before their wedding, she said that when a woman’s hands (and feet) are decorated with henna, she can’t use them for a while and has to be taken care of and pampered—perhaps for the last time before starting her new married life.
If you’re planning an Indian wedding, rehearsal dinner or other event, Ranjan is the man to call. He has a deep knowledge of everything Indian, as well as connections to all the services you’ll need—including an elephant for that spectacular entrance. It’ll run you $5,000–8,000, but who cares?
Here are the other vendors who made this stunning event possible:
Music: Sonny Gallardo of Exquisite DJs
Invitations: Rhonda Steward of Cedar and Rose
Décor: Iffat Khamisha of Palms Party Planner
Photography: Ben Janken of Ben Janken Fine Photography
Florist: Orna Maymon of Ornamento
Linens: Lily Yeung of Wildflower Linens
Catering: Ranjan Dey of New Delhi Restaurant and Stacie Hallinan of Four Seasons
Rosemarie Lion is moving to a workspace that’s almost as cool as her photography. SoCo Depot, an old train depot in Sonoma County, is now a shared workspace for creative individuals. With that kind of billing, we can’t think of a better place for Rosemarie’s inspired work.
To celebrate the grand opening this quirky and fun space, she’s inviting brides and photography buffs alike to eat, drink, and view her stunning portfolio from the comfort of her antique couch. She will also be showing off her unique take on wedding guest books, personalized with documentary-style photos of her clients.
A sneak peak of some guest book pages from a recent wedding (the blank guest book pages are on the right):
Here are the details of the event:
SoCo Depot Grand Opening
Thursday, August 7, 5-9 pm
11790 Main Street, Penngrove
Whenever I want to plan a weekend vacation with my husband Phil, all I have to do is choose a region and then start browsing the wedding locations we feature on the Here Comes The Guide website that also double as fabulous weekend or honeymoon getaways (hint: there are a lot). On a recent trip to California’s Central Coast, I was practically stumbling over one great location after another. Some of the highlights:
Sycamore Mineral Springs has a stellar bike trail that winds alongside a riverbank. I can see why this getaway would be a lovely wedding spot. The secluded surroundings, abundant wildlife, and indulgent spa treatments could easily help a couple ease their minds before the big day.
Inland in Edna Valley there’s a new Wine Trail that leads you through several of the Central Coast’s breathtaking vineyards. While on the trail, I dropped by Edna Valley Vineyards, which is a great place for wine lovers—and lovers in general. I’m sure anyone who visits appreciates Edna Valley Vineyards’ hospitality center, with sweeping views of the vineyards all around. No wonder Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Edna Valley one of the best places in the wine country to be married! I even found some new favorites once I got there: Baileyana Winery (adorable gift shop) and Talley Winery with it’s historic mission adobe.
The stretch of Highway 1 between Avila Beach and Pismo Beach is just 8 short miles long, so these locations can easily be visited in a day. Get started by dropping your surfboard at the front desk and taking a tour of the SeaVenture Resort right on the beach in Pismo. If you go, and you uncover any other fabulous places in your travels, let us know!