Christine and Shivam
There was something about Shivam that made Christine feel that he was the one—her ‘Mr Right’; her partner for life. They met in 2012 when they were both in college. However, it wasn’t until 2016—when both moved to New York City—that they started dating. After dating for three years, Shivam proposed to Christine while walking together on a pier along the Hudson River. They embarked on their new journey together in this romantic place.
Both Christine and Shivam wanted a long engagement. The beautiful thing about their union was that both of them had enormous respect and love for each other’s culture, customs, and religion. That is why they wanted to have both Hindu and Christian wedding rituals followed at their wedding. During their love-filled courtship, they fixed their marriage date on May 21, 2021.
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They organized everything in advance. Since the Hindu ceremony was scheduled for the morning, they booked the hotel Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, New Jersey so that the guests could rest and change for the Christian ceremony followed by a reception in the evening. The venue for the reception was set for Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, just 10 minutes away from the venue for the wedding itself.
The venues had originally been booked for January 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and the wedding had to be postponed for over a year. In March 2020, they had to cut the guest list to half. As responsible citizens, Christine and Shivam insisted that all their guests be vaccinated before the marriage. Their initiative was successful—and more than 90% of the guests were vaccinated before the wedding.
Pre-wedding ceremonies included Mehndi, Vidhi, and Pithi. They had a Mehndi night in the backyard of Shivam’s house. It was an informal and intimate reunion with close friends and family. Christine loved the traditional Indian rituals of Vidhi and Pithi so much that she happily joined in celebrating these rituals.
The Hindu wedding ceremony took place in the morning, in the open air. Nirali Décor created a wonderful Mandap with pink and white flowers. Christine has great admiration for the concept of baraat, and that is why she hired a three-wheel convertible Polaris Slingshot for her groom. Happy and ecstatic, Shivam danced with his parents. And at the end of the baraat, both Christine and Shivam surprised all 170 guests with some ‘flash-mob-style’ dances. Shivam’s sister helped the couple with the dance moves.
The reception, too, was delightfully beautiful and utterly enjoyable. Spring flowers, a fog machine, and colored lights created the perfect ambience for a dreamy reception. “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was their first dance song; and they entered by playing “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, a top favorite of both. Christine displayed framed pictures of her parents and grandparents as a mark of respect.
Christine was mesmerized by the colorful traditions and rituals of the Indian wedding. For her, becoming a part of this rich cultural heritage was literally a dream come true. This respect became the foundation of their bonding for life.