A Personalized Cultural Wedding at Ovation Chicago in Illinois

For their wedding, Jacquie Pelusi (31 and a marketing account manager) and Chinar Desai (32 and a marketing VP) struggled with how to respect his parents' Indian traditions while including their American friends and family. The two-hour Hindu ritual wasn't going to fly, so the couple created a hybrid ceremony with their sisters as officiants. "We performed the three most auspicious moments of the Hindu ceremony as well as American vows," Chinar says. "It was only 15 minutes, but we packed in a ton of love and cultural meaning." Gold pendant lights hung behind the ceremony mandap. Jacquie and Chinar served dishes that nodded to their respective Italian and Indian heritages, like samosas, lamb meatballs, Barolo-braised short ribs and chicken tikka masala on tables decorated with Italian ruscus and pillar candles. Jacquie's mom and her friends baked more than 1,000 cookies for dessert, while Chinar's mom provided Indian sweets. The newlyweds shared their first dance to "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.