A Three-Day Wintry Hindu and Episcopal Wedding in Washington, DC

Emily and Suneel Mudaliar’s romance, marked by shared passions and serendipitous moments, began not within the ivy-covered walls of their shared alma

Emily and Suneel Mudaliar’s romance, marked by shared passions and serendipitous moments, began not within the ivy-covered walls of their shared alma mater, Georgetown University, but in the bustling streets of Washington D.C., years after graduation. It was the allure of winter sports and the zeal for Hoyas basketball that first brought them together, igniting a connection that was as instant as it was profound. “Suneel didn’t want to miss connecting with ‘the cute girl with green eyes,’ so he set a calendar reminder to reach out after his trip,” Emily explains. Their first date, a simple yet memorable affair, saw them sharing $5 happy hour cocktails. Recounting the details of the date to her roommate, Emily was met with an enthusiastic prediction, “This guy is going to be your boyfriend!” She was right!

Amid the festive cheer of December, under the twinkling lights of a beautifully adorned ice skating rink, Suneel orchestrated an idyllic proposal. “Suneel surprised me by dropping to one knee on an ice skating rink in front of a Christmas tree,” Emily shares. Echoing their engagement setting—and considering that the bride had always cherished the Christmas season—the aesthetic of their wedding, as Emily describes, was “classic, timeless and seasonal.” It was a celebration that beautifully intertwined the magic of Christmas with the rich tapestry of Suneel’s Indian heritage.

The Thursday ceremony was a vibrant affair, with the couple surrounded by their closest family in a setting that mirrored the colors and spirit of their connection. “We used floral garlands to transform my parents’ living room into a wedding venue,” notes the bride.

But the festivities were just beginning. Friday brought a sangeet-style welcome party hosted by Suneel’s parents at the Anderson House in Dupont Circle. The venue was adorned with jewel-toned florals and gold-marbled linens while a pianist’s melodies resonated from the antique grand piano. Emily and Suneel matched the grandeur of the evening in traditional Indian attire, a testament to their deep respect for Suneel’s cultural roots.

Then came Saturday. Inspired by Natasha Richardson’s iconic wedding dress in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, Emily donned a custom dress that exuded elegance. “I carried a bouquet of red peonies wrapped in a velvet green ribbon,” she explains, which matched her green velvet Loeffler Randall ballet flats, marrying comfort with style. Suneel, complementing her, wore a classic black suit from Brooks Brothers, embodying the timeless essence of their wedding theme.

Guests gathered for the ceremony at the stunning St. John’s Episcopal in Georgetown. The couple’s entrance in a vintage Rolls Royce was nothing short of cinematic. The ceremony itself was a blend of the couple’s beliefs and values, where the congregation sang some of Emily’s favorite hymns from her church in London—as she had been raised in the United Kingdom by American parents—including “Jerusalem” and” ‘Be thou my vision.”

The cocktail hour was a delightful surprise for the guests, featuring a performance by the Georgetown Chimes. In a unique touch, guests found their dinner seating on a Christmas tree decorated with custom calligraphed ornaments, which they could later take home as mementos of this special day.

The reception embodied the holiday spirit with a green, white and gold palette. Christmas trees and garlands added to the festive ambiance, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Suneel’s trumpet solo. “He surprised everyone by jumping up on stage and joining the band for ‘Sir Duke’ by Stevie Wonder,” Emily reminisces. The crowd’s reaction was electric, their cheers and tears a testament to the moment’s joy. “The crowd truly went wild; they couldn’t believe Suneel had pulled it off!”

As the night progressed, Emily made a stunning appearance in her second look: a chic white mini-dress that signaled the start of the late-night festivities. The dance floor came alive with guests donning Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and the energy was kept high with passed espresso martinis and a build-your-own ice cream sundae station. Reflecting on their wedding, Emily and Suneel advised couples planning their day to “Enjoy every minute; this is a once in a lifetime to celebrate with your friends and family, so don’t miss a second of it!” 

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Bride in Hindu Wedding Attire Watching Guests Throw Colorful Petals During Ceremony
Hindu Wedding Ceremony Tradition, Bride and Groom Placing Ghee Onto Puffed Rice Dish
Hindu Groom Applying Sindoor Powder to Bride's Head During Traditional Ceremony
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A bride in a traditional Hindu Lehenga and a groom in a Sherwani, both in gold and navy colors, posing in an elegant, formal hallway at their Indian-American fusion wedding weekend.
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A bride's deep-red structured bouquet of only peonies and an emerald green velvet ribbon for a Christmas, wintertime wedding.
Bride in Winter Shrug and Wedding Dress on Steps of Episcopal Church
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A bride and groom admire their Christmas tree escort card display, featuring custom ornaments with each guest's name and table numbers for a black-tie Christmas wedding.
Groom in Santa Hat, Bride in White Mini Dress Dancing at Black-Tie Reception