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Sonia & Vivek: A Cultural Wedding in Charlotte, NC

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Sonia & Vivek in Charlotte, NC
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At the sangeet, an event the night before the wedding where the bride's family performs songs and dances, Sonia showed off her mehndi, elaborate henna designs on her hands.
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Gold bangles accessorized the bride's red-and-gold ceremony sari that she had specially made in India.
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Although not part of most Hindu weddings, Sonia chose to include the Western tradition of having bridesmaids. They wore saris from India in a rainbow of colors. The gold accents unified the look.
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Like the rest of the attire, the groom's and groomsmen's kurtas came from overseas. Their scarves matched the colors of the bridesmaids' saris for a cohesive bridal party style.
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The groom rode to the wedding on a white horse dressed in the customary red and gold wedding colors.
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Who says an aisle has to be straight and narrow? The couple walked down a winding one lined with red and white flower petals and pillars topped with gilded statues.
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As a symbol of their mutual acceptance, the couple exchanged garlands of flowers during the ceremony. The garlands' red, white and green colors complemented their attire.
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Even the music was traditional. Indian instruments, tablas and a sitar, provided the soundtrack for the cocktail hour.
Sudha Iyer/Nikhil Tikekar
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A high-energy Bhangra performance, an upbeat, Indian style of music and dance, entertained guests during dinner.
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Specially designed to resemble Sonia's reception outfit, the four-tiered cake featured edible crystal decorations. Scattered candles and an elaborate cake stand amped up the display.
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Mini crystal chandeliers decorated the tables and upped the glam factor at the reception. Star gobo lights around the room added to the sparkle.
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Sonia and Vivek chose a Western song, "Answer," by the bride's favorite artist, Sarah McLachlan, for their first dance.

Sonia & Vivek in Charlotte, NC

It's the tooth: Sonia and Vivek instantly bonded during their dental residency program in New York City. They spent three years there before moving apart. The Bride Sonia Chopra, 30, endodontist The Groom Vivek Kashyap, 31, dentist The Date August 31 While visiting Sonia in Florida one weekend, Vivek secretly booked a sunset cruise in Key West. The day was gloomy and overcast, but as Sonia and Vivek boarded, the clouds cleared. After enjoying wine and cheese, the couple walked to the front of the boat— away from the skipper—for some privacy. The sun was beginning to set when Vivek surprised Sonia with a poem. The last line? A proposal. Over the next year and a half, Vivek (yes, Vivek!) handled most of the planning for their 400-guest wedding in his hometown.
- Tia Albright
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