The world is kaleidoscope of religions and cultures, but when love pulls two people together, suddenly we begin to see colors that unite us all.
This was exactly the case for Diksha and Nikhil, two Marquette University graduates whose family and friends came from nearly every corner of the globe to witness the joyful joining of two families and two religions at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee.
Love and tolerance were the themes throughout the three days of celebrating, which started with the traditional mehndi ceremony, which is an ancient Hindu tradition of applying henna to the bride’s hands and feet in intricate and beautiful patterns, symbolizing the strength of the union of the couple. We were amazed at the artwork by Moniza Abbasi, who spent more than six hours creating sophisticated lines and floral patterns that resembled a fine reddish-brown lace adorning the bride.
On Friday, the party began to heat up for real with a jubilant Sangeet ceremony, which gathers both sides of the family and as many friends as can attend for an evening of celebration that includes singing, delicious Indian food and sweets and choreographed dances that entertained all the guests.
But then the big day arrived on Saturday. We joined the couple at the noon ceremony, although bride and groom prep had begun many hours before. Father Michael Bertram of St. Francis conducted the ceremony, which graciously featured several Hindu rituals that made all feel welcome and included. Again, the overall themes of the day — love, tolerance and joy — were heard in the sermon and readings.
Following the wedding Mass, the newlyweds retired to Hotel Metro for rest and wardrobe changes: Nikhil in a stunning tux and Diksha in a resplendent red lehenga from Frontier Raas purchased in Delhi, India. We didn’t think the bride could outdo her Bianca Bridal wedding gown, but when she donned her red lehenga, she seemed to be destined for a Bollywood feature film!
Then, the couple arrived at their reception at the Marcus Center, which had been made even more gorgeous with a luxurious seating area for the couple that gave everyone a perfect view of the newlyweds as well as thousands of gorgeous purple and pink flowers by Impressions by Esther. Of all the lovely toasts, we can’t forget the moving tributes to their children that the father of the bride and father of the groom shared with guests. Each told of their deep love and respect for Diksha and Nikhil, and that together the two could surmount any challenge, including making a successful marriage between Hindu and Christian families.
After an exquisite meal of roasted lamb, chicken kabobs and delicious vegetarian dishes, dancing became the goal of the night. And that’s when the newlyweds really let their smiles showcase their happiness. We don’t think they could have smiled any more brightly!
We couldn’t be more honored to have filmed Diksha and Nihkil’s wedding. Meeting their gracious family and lovely friends was icing on the cake. We know we’ll be keeping in touch with these two for many years to come!
Please enjoy this Sneak Peek as just a taste of the full meal that is to come of their feature films.
Bride and Groom prep location: Hotel Metro
Ceremony venue: St. Francis of Assisi
Officiant: Father Michael Bertram
Reception venue: Marcus Center
Caterer: Sazama’s Fine Catering
DJ: Matt Peer of Double Platinum
Photographer: Erin Calfa Weide of Ari Rosenthal Photography
Florist: Impressions by Ester
Cake: Aggie’s Bakery
Bride’s gown: Bianca Bridal and Frontier Raas (Delhi, India)
Bridesmaids attire: Frontier Bazaar (Delhi, India)
Groom’s attire: Dubois Formalwear
Bride’s hair and makeup: Nadia Tikki
Bride’s Mehndi: Moniza Abbasi
Planner: Karen Hurley, Sazama’s Catering