This Couple Blended Lutheran and Hindu Traditions Into Their Parrish Art Museum Wedding in New York
Angeli works professionally as a journalist so it was no surprise that she approached her wedding to Robert through the lens of storytelling. The couple's summer wedding at Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, was like a book with each event taking place as a distinct chapter in the overall telling of their love story. "As a journalist with a passion for storytelling, I wanted our guests to feel a part of the narrative… each chapter being different from the next," recalls Angeli. "During our initial meeting with our wedding planner, we told her three words we wanted our wedding to be: sophisticated, romantic and full of glamour. We decided to have a traditional Indian sangeet and mehndi ceremony the Friday night before our wedding so we wanted the day itself to be more western traditional. Cocktail hour welcomed guests with a modern and sophisticated 'dinner party' vibe with private access to all of Parrish Art Museum. They could walk the grounds, visit the exhibits inside or stay in the front."
Although the couple focused on the guest experience throughout the multievent weekend, their choice to have a pre-ceremony cocktail hour was an especially notable choice they made with guests in mind. "I wasn’t part of the cocktail hour which we had BEFORE the ceremony, but it maximized time given traffic in the Hamptons can be super unpredictable in the summer," explains Angeli. "Speaking of, we chose the Hamptons for a number of reasons. I've lived in New York City for more than a decade and it was always my escape. We both really love the water and being outside and the Hamptons became a place we both loved. Most of our family and a lot of friends were coming from the East Coast and given COVID we wanted to keep everything as outdoor as possible while still having a destination vibe." Even prior to the couple's unique cocktail hour they put their guests' needs first—with a yoga session on the morning of the wedding. "On the morning of the wedding, we planned a 'wake up with the bride and groom' yoga class held on the lawn of the Southampton Inn where most of our guests stayed and we also had our goodbye brunch there Sunday. I am very into fitness and I would have worked out anyway so this was a fun way to stretch and work out with a few guests that managed to wake up after Friday night’s festivities!"
"The ceremony was romantic, cultural and colored with pastels," shares Angeli. "Given COVID and the fact that bridesmaids and groomsmen aren't really us, we only had family in the bridal party. We also really wanted the ceremony to be equitable to both our cultures. We had two faith leaders during the ceremony (a Lutheran priest and Hindu representative who also happened to be the my cousin who can also speak Sanskrit). We chose certain elements from each faith and then had rituals based on that element. For example, fire. In Hindu weddings, there is a sacred Indian ritual called saath phere. Then for the Lutheran ritual right after, we had our moms come up and light a unity candle. Alternating these traditions felt very equal and inclusive and something I hadn’t seen done in any other interfaith wedding."
As for the reception, Angeli explains that it "was full of glamour and gold! We both really love Miami so we brought a little Miami to the Hamptons. A lot of candles and some palm leaves decorated the tables. It was perfect! Parrish overlooks a wine vineyard so the green really blended together." Beyond ensuring the reception was visually stunning, Angeli and Robert also spent a lot of time planning out the wine that would be served since Robert is a major wine aficionado. "Robert is an avid wine collector. Wine was a very important part of our wedding for him and so he wanted to supply all the wine and champagne from his collection," explains Angeli. "During our catering tasting, we tried several different wines to go with dinner options. We also decided to have a sommelier during dinner so our guests would know what they are drinking and what their options were. Our guests LOVED this!" Because of the pandemic, Angeli and Robert actually got legally married prior to their Parrish Art Museum wedding and, true to form, wine was central to that event as well. "Robert and I had a Zoom wedding in February of 2021. His good friends who are winemakers in Napa, California, and have a beautiful vineyard—they helped officiate the ceremony with just the four of us and our parents on Zoom. A lot of the wine served during the wedding in June was from their vineyard—Matthiasson Wine. Honestly, already being legally married took a huge weight off our shoulders on the day of the wedding. Our friends that were able to make it kept telling us our wedding was the highlight of their year. By default, our wedding felt bigger than just it being about our wedding and us—it felt like a celebration of vaccinations, which we required."
Looking back on her wedding day at Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, Angeli has two pieces of advice for current to-be-weds in the throes of wedding planning: add ample time to the getting-ready timeline and don't let inclement weather get you down. She emphasizes that it is important to "start hair and make-up and photography early. People said this to me, but I just didn’t think we would need so many hours. We did and could have used more. That’s a big one. But even bigger and something I regret now is I let the weather get me down. After being out east all week since we rented a house there for both our families—it was sunny every day and even on the morning of our wedding, it was sunny and hot. The rain started to come in during cocktail hour and the skies turned dark and I was so upset. I honestly don’t think I looked that great walking down the aisle because I was so mad it was clearly starting to rain. I was worried about our guests, but all in all, nobody cared and we managed to get underneath the roof where the reception was just in time before the real rain started. If you are going to have your wedding outdoors my advice is to really be OK with the rain. Prepare yourself emotionally for it. Robert’s advice is to not forget to have fun!"