A Nature-Centric Fusion Wedding at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California
Shivani and Nick Hawkins went for bold and bright for their multicultural bash—a weekend-long event that included a Christian ceremony, a traditional Hindu ceremony and a fusion reception that highlighted their unique backgrounds, as well as their shared love of nature. The couple chose different elements (water, greenery, flowers, dawn and forests) and color schemes for each event, and even asked guests to tailor their attire to match each day’s theme to create a feeling of unity. “We didn’t feel like we had to compromise or cut back on any of our traditions. We made time for both, and both of our families really enjoyed getting to celebrate and learn about the other’s culture,” Shivani says. At the church ceremony, the bridesmaids wore emerald-green dresses, and Shivani carried lots of greenery in her bouquet. For the Hindu ceremony, Shivani’s mehndi designs were floral inspired, and the reception featured tiny air plants suspended above amethyst crystals, a gift for each guest. The couple also had a giant “wedding wall” with wedding photos of their family members over the years. As a romantic touch, Nick recorded their favorite song, “Come What May,” for the first dance. The newlyweds’ family members played an important role in the sangeet, where they joined Shivani and Nick in performing songs and a Bollywood dance that told the story of their relationship. “We were really overwhelmed and moved by how much love and thoughtfulness everyone put into their contributions,” the bride says. With guests coming from lots of different countries, cultures, backgrounds and religious traditions, Shivani and Nick hosted a series of group calls before the event to answer questions and help their relatives understand the different traditions and their responsibilities. “This not only got everyone excited before the wedding, but also made for a much smoother, more joyful event. Most of our guests have told us how seamless everything felt, so that effort definitely paid off,” Shivani says.