This Colorful Indian Wedding at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, California, Was Steeped In Tradition

Once upon a tune in college, Sveta Mohan and Raghav Paliwal crossed paths harmoniously. "We met in college over a decade ago on an a capella team," Sv

Once upon a tune in college, Sveta Mohan and Raghav Paliwal crossed paths harmoniously. "We met in college over a decade ago on an a capella team," Sveta recalls. Fast forward through the crescendos of courtship, and there they were, in the heart of San Francisco. "I thought we were just going to check out a new dinner spot, but was taken by surprise when Raghav proposed in the middle of the street," she gushes. And why the street performance, you ask? "So that the San Francisco skyline would be captured in the pictures," she explains. "It was very memorable to have it in San Francisco as we've made so many memories there together." Not even the hustle and bustle of the city could disrupt their moment; their photographer made sure of it. "Our photographer bought a traffic cone just for this proposal to make sure no cars would get in the way!"

Sveta Mohan and Raghav Paliwal's wedding was an enchanting affair that melded tradition with modern elegance against the backdrop of Sonoma's sprawling vineyards. The couple envisioned a celebration that was as much about their union as it was an homage to their loved ones. "Our reception felt like one big dinner party," Sveta reflects, detailing the couple's love for intimate gatherings.

Their wedding day began bright and early, as the first rays of sun touched the dew-kissed vines at Cline Cellars, with the traditional baraat ceremony. The couple and their wedding party donned attire that paid tribute to their cultural heritage and personal style. In collaboration with Tanya Vohra, Sveta had meticulously selected timeless yet distinct ensembles for each ceremony, encapsulating her passion for Indian fashion. "It was so fun to be able to customize the outfits!" she says. Her ceremonial rose Sabyasachi lehenga was adorned with delicate gold trimmings, later giving way to the regal drapes of a red Kanjivaram sari, while the groom's attire transitioned from an ivory sherwani to a sharp custom navy suit for the evening revelry.

The wedding's color palette was a delicate balance of muted tones with strategic infusions of vibrant colors, reflecting the couple's nuanced tastes. "Our aesthetic for the weekend was minimal, modern and clean," Sveta describes, ensuring that each event painted a different vision yet was intrinsically connected. The florals, from the ceremony's marigolds — significant in Indian ceremonies — to the reception's modern black accents with white and dried florals, were thoughtfully chosen to enhance the natural beauty of the venues and the symbolism of the occasion.

As the guests assembled on the lawn for the ceremony, they were greeted by a sight of modernity intertwined with tradition. A circular stage, not the usual four-pillared mandap, set amidst a meadow of flowers, awaited the couple. The morning sun, filtering through the trees, cast a radiant glow over the assembly, making for a picturesque setting that was "very memorable," as Sveta put it.

The transition from ceremony to reception was marked by a jubilant lunch, where guests reveled in the joyous union. As the day ebbed into a golden-hued evening, the celebration shifted to the second winery, where the couple was greeted by the awe-inspiring views of the Sonoma Valley at sunset. The reception unfolded with a skit that charmingly narrated the bride and groom's love story, capturing the essence of their journey from college A Capella partners to life partners.

The night came alive with dance performances with their friends and family showcasing their talents, an experience that was new and exhilarating for many. It was a reflection of Sveta and Raghav's Friday night ethos—a blend of adventure and comfort, exploring new experiences yet always circling back to the warmth of familiar company.

The celebration was not just a display of grandeur but also of intimate, personal touches. The bride's creative side shone through the DIY elements like the Bollywood-inspired sketches and meal station puns, adding layers of personality to the décor. The mini pizza box place cards were a nod to the newlyweds' culinary affinities, a gesture that deeply resonated with their guests.

As the festivities reached their pinnacle, with music and laughter filling the air, Sveta and Raghav stood together, united by vows and a profound understanding of each other's personas. The groom's outgoing nature complemented his bride's initial reserve, which gave way to a shared enthusiasm over their expertly blended event in the company of their cherished circle. The couple's parting wisdom to those embarking on their own wedding planning journies is a helpful reminder to all: "Just remember you both are a team, and when things get tough, work together."

Indian-American Bride in Blush Colored Lehenga With Ornate Necklace, Earrings, Head Piece
Bride in Two-Piece Lehenga in Rose Pink With Gold Designs, Earrings, Necklace
Bride With Henna, Bangles Putting on Ornate Gold Earrings for Indian-American Wedding
Groom in Ivory White Sherwani and Turban Being Lifted By Friends and Family
Silver Figurine for Symbolic Agni Fire to Burn During Baraat Indian Ceremony
Family Member Lighting Agni Fire At the Baraat Altar for Traditional Indian Ceremony
Silver Plate Passed During Baraat Ceremony, Gifting for Newlyweds Tradition
Groom Receiving Traditional Tilak Red Dot on Forehead During Baraat Ceremony
Groom in Ivory White Sherwani, Turban With Family and Friends Before Baraat
A circular stage for an Indian baraat ceremony instead of a traditional mandap with chairs, bight flowers in orange and blush, and backdropped by large trees in Sonoma, California.
A traditional wood-frame Oonjal swing set for an Indian-American couple's customary baraat Indian wedding ceremony with bright flowers in Sonoma, California.
Bananas, Coconut and Betel Leaves Offering for Baraat Ceremony, Indian Marriage Agreement
Bride in Pink Lehenga and Groom in Ivory Sherwani, Floral Necklaces, Hold Coconut at Baraat
Indian-American Bride, Groom at Baraat Altar Stage at Ceremony With Guests
Plates of Fruits, Petals and Other Small Food Offerings for Indian Religious Ceremony Baraat
Groom Dries Bride's Feet at Baraat Ceremony With Rose Petals
Bride in Pink Lehenga and Groom in White Sherwani Being Blessed on Stage, Baraat Indian Ceremony
Bride With Henna on Hands, Sleek Nails and Pear-Shaped Engagement Ring, Bangles
Bride in Blush Lehenga With Gold Details, Groom in Ivory White Sherwani With Details
Bride in Blush Pink Lehenga and Groom in White Sherwani, Gold Details, Jewelry
Bride in Pink Lehenga, Groom in White Sherwani With Wedding Party in Pastels
Groom in Deep Navy Suit, Bride in Ivory White Lehenga Embracing at Vineyard
A bride in a non-traditional white ivory lehenga dress and a groom in a deep navy suit for their modern Indian-American wedding reception at a vineyard winery in wine country, California.
Groom in Navy Suit Holding Hand of Bride in White Lehenga Dress at Vineyard Indian Wedding
Acrylic, Painted Table Number on Bright Colored Table, Minimalistic Flower Centerpieces
Winery Wedding Reception With Long, Round Tables With White Linens, Minimal Decor
Black-and-White Place Setting With Gold Details, Name Card, Custom Menu
Dining Table With Black-and-White Place Setting, Gold Details, Candles and Low Centerpieces
Signature Cocktail Painted Menu at Cocktail Hour Bar, Vineyard Wedding
Double-Exposed Photo of Groom in Traditional Indian Attire Dancing, Reception
Viansa Winery in Sonona, California, Northern California Wine Country