The Wedding of ...
Meena Ramachandra & Aakash Patel
Ceremony & Reception: The Westin Governor Morris Hotel,
Photographer: Ishan Fotografi
Cinematographer: Ami Video
Makeup & Hair: Arfana Jasar,
Florist: Nirali Decor
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
DJ: DJ Sagar Shah
Caterer: Chand Palace
Classy & Chic
I met Aakash when we were moving into the dorms on our first day of freshman year at Rutgers University. We have known and dated each other almost 10 years now, and I am a pharmacist and Aakash works in marketing.
After graduation, a group of our friends went to visit another friend who had moved to San Francisco. The highlight of the trip was a tour of wineries in Napa Valley. Little did I know, behind the scenes, Aakash was working with Round Pond Estate winery and my girlfriends to plan the perfect proposal. We ventured off a private walk and the next thing I know, Aakash was down on one knee amongst a backdrop of grape vines and flowers, asking me to be his wife!
We had the time of our lives at our friend’s wedding at The Westin Governor Morris a year before our engagement. We loved the gorgeous ballroom with its stunning chandeliers and the professional staff. Meeting Julie Olsen, senior catering manager, sealed the deal. She was clearly committed to making our wedding day perfect. Aakash and I had just moved to Maryland, so we were worried about planning our wedding from a different state, but Julie made it so easy. She was very organized, responsive to emails and inquires, and anticipated our needs even before we did.
Our ceremony began with a procession in The Westin parking lot, traditionally known as a Baraat. We added a modern twist by having Aakash ride in on top of his cousin’s Jeep, rather than a horse. Following the Baraat, we were married in the Governor’s Ballroom, which was decorated with romantic flowers, candles, and hanging crystals. Our priest led the ceremony with many traditional Hindu rituals and customs.
For cocktail hour, The Westin served drinks and an outside caterer provided authentic Indian cuisine. Our guests said the food and drinks were delicious! Our signature drinks were peach sangria and mint mojitos. For food, we served butler-passed hors d’oeuvres like vegetable lollipops and chicken Reshmi kebabs, tabled appetizers like aloo tikki and vegetable Manchurian, and an action station with classic Moroccan dishes.
Our ballroom ambiance was the perfect mix of classy and chic. The subtle blue up-lighting created an intimate and relaxing feeling. Our candlelit wall backdrop was delicately draped with blue fabric and the tables were decorated with gold lanterns and blue and gold floral centerpieces. It was exactly as we envisioned it.
Our parents, siblings, and bridal party started off the night with heartwarming speeches and our bridal party even performed a skit acting out our love story. After our first dance, the dance floor opened up and no one ever left it! Our DJ, who was also a friend from Rutgers, played popular songs from our college days, Bollywood hits, and modern top songs.
To our family and friends, thank you for all your help, love, and support as we begin a new chapter in our lives. To all our vendors, especially our caterer and photographer, thank you for making our day feel like a fairytale. To Julie and the staff at The Westin, thanks for providing a seamless day in a beautiful venue and for ensuring that we and our guests had an amazing experience. As a tribute to Aakash’s father, we are excited to start our life together taking the last name of Savani, his father’s family name dating back generations in India.