An Elegant Hindu and Western Wedding at The St. Regis Princeville Resort in Hawaii

An American-born Orthodox Christian, Semhal Araya is the daughter of an Ethiopian father and an Eritrean mother. On the other hand, Devesh Desai was born in Mumbai, India, and practices Hinduism. They chose to celebrate their cultures with separate Hindu and Western ceremonies. Both events used local Hawaiian flowers and elegant touches. “For the Hindu ceremony, the mandap was placed on a riser and had white chiffon covering the sides and the top. In the back of the mandap, we used a mixture of red and pink roses on fish wire to give the illusion of floating flowers,” Semhal says. The sides of the mandap had orchid garlands in shades of pink and purple, which contrasted the natural ocean backdrop. The couple incorporated Hawaiian culture into the traditional Hindu ceremony: Hawaiian dancers accompanied Devesh during his baraat, and they carried the bride during the processional. Both Semhal and Devesh wore traditional Hindu wedding attire, and Semhal accessorized her red lehenga with bangles and henna. Just before sunset, the newlyweds changed into a classic bridal gown and tuxedo for their Western ceremony inside The St. Regis. “The ceremony took place under a simple but elegant four-post arch,” Semhal says. “We kept the same flower theme of orchids, garden roses, peonies, ranunculus and king protea in dusty pinks, whites and pops of eggplant.”
Our favorite #MakeTradition Moment: “It was important for us to share the beauty of Hawaii and the spirit of Aloha,” the bride says. “At the welcome party, we had fire dancers, hula dancers and a conch blower.”