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Monica and Jay, being of East Indian descent—her family is from Uthar Pradesh, and his from Gujarat—decided to have a traditional Indian wedding. “Hindu weddings have rituals that have evolved since early times,” Monica says, “and they differ in many ways from the modern Western wedding ceremony.”

Real Wedding at Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate

by Your Wedding Day Magazine

Monica and Jay
Monica Bhatnagar and Jay Vijay Desai

The Location

DUNSMUIR HELLMAN HISTORIC ESTATE, OAKLAND, CA

The First Time They Met
   Monica and Jay met in 1999 when Jay visited California. “At the time, there were no major sparks,” he recalls. But that changed in 2002 when they met at a Boston conference. Monica didn’t recognize Jay with his goatee, but was “checking him out.” When her friend started to introduce them, Jay said, “Monica, you don’t recognize me at all, do you?” She was surprised that this “stranger” knew her name, but soon they were dating.

The Proposal
    When Monica visited Boston on December 31, 2004, Jay popped up there, too. He wined and dined her before taking her to the nightclub where they had danced before. “Right as the countdown to ‘05 began, and the crowd was screaming, ‘10, 9, 8, 7 . . . ,’ Jay took me to the exact spot on the dance floor where it all went down in ‘02,” Monica says. She remembers grabbing the engagement ring, adding, “Neither of us can recall if I even said yes!”

The Wedding
    Monica and Jay, being of East Indian descent—her family is from Uthar Pradesh, and his from Gujarat—decided to have a traditional Indian wedding. “Hindu weddings have rituals that have evolved since early times,” Monica says, “and they differ in many ways from the modern Western wedding ceremony.” There is much emphasis on pre-wedding events, of which the couple had a series.
    One important wedding ritual is the elephant ceremony, as elephants are highly revered by Hindus around the world, who seek the “blessings” of an elephant as representing the revered deity Ganesha. ”Lord Ganesha is always invoked in any Hindu ceremony or festival, since he is known as the Remover of Obstacles and the God of success and domestic harmony,” says Monica. “So, needless to say, we had to have an elephant!” The right elephant had to be located, and then liability insurance procured, along with permission from the venue and the city. Eventually, “Suzy” made her way north from Los Angeles. 
    The couple had visited India for custom-designed wedding and reception attire. The theme colors for the wedding were red, tangerine, white, and gold; and for the reception, fuchsia, tangerine, and gold. The reception featured a Moroccan and East Indian theme, with Indian cuisine, and the entertainment included an Indian dohl drummer.

The Honeymoon
    Jay and Monica spent their first night as husband and wife in their new condo, then spent a week visiting with their families and some of the wedding guests.

The Photographer

ARROWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY


Event Wedding Consultant: Asma’s Designs

Ceremony & Reception Site:
Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, The Pavilion

Photographer: Arrowood Photography

Officiant: Pandit Anand Sharma

Make Up & Hair Artist: Atour

Mehndi: Ravie Kattaura, Henna Artist

Jewelry (Rings):Simayof Jewelers, Union Square in San Francisco

Jewelry (Groom): Ravits Watches & Jewelry, Crocker Galleria, San Francisco

Caterer: Golden Peacock

Cake: Walnut Creek Bakery

Invitations: Parekh Cards

Rentals: Avasar Rentals Canopies & Tents

Elephant: Amazing Animal Productions, Inc.

Lighting: Group 3 Enterprises

Entertainment: Dhol, live Indian drummer

Videography: Razor Byrne Productions

Wedding Website: ewedding.com

Rehearsal Dinner: Orinda Community Center

Honeymoon: Las Vegas

Gift Registry: Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma



Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD

Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD


Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD

Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD
Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD
Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD
Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD
Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD
Arrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWDArrowood Photography, Courtesy of YWD

 



YourWeddingDay.com

Courtesy of YourWeddingDay.com







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