You will be in awe over this beautiful and colorful wedding! Stephanie and Sumeeth’s wedding celebrations tied in many aspects from both of their cultures and even their new city, Nashville, with such wonderful details! Scroll down to see the gorgeous images from Shanell Bledsoe Photography along with Stephanie’s play-by-play of her special day!
How did you meet?
“Sumeeth and I met as medical students in Vanderbilt University’s M.D./Ph.D. program.”
When did you know you were falling in love?
“Our small group of classmates spent a lot of time together. When we all celebrated the Fourth of July, however, ‘fireworks’ set off between Sumeeth and me.
Soon after, we were inseparable, studying together in medical school classes and using what little free time we had to explore Nashville’s restaurants, festivals, and parks. In our first year of dating, we went to over 100 different restaurants together! One evening after taking a dance lesson together in Nashville’s Centennial Park, Sumeeth and I sat on a bench by the pond. We saw two ducks swimming around. I told Sumeeth that we were just like the ducks. When he asked me why, I said because they were in love, swimming around and hanging out like us! This was the first time that I had told him I loved him. A few months later, he surprised me after we finished our first salsa dance performance together by telling me he loved me as well!
During our first grueling clerkships, we were more stressed than we had ever been. This put a strain on the time we could spend on our relationship. However, we survived our first clerkship, and with each additional rotation, we continued to make time for each other, overcome the stresses of medical school, and allowed our love for each other to grow more as we continued to explore Nashville. This was when I knew Sumeeth was the one for me, and that we could conquer any challenges that life would put in our way.”
What is your favorite quality in your husband?
“My favorite quality in Sumeeth is his patience and flexibility. With both of us training to be physicians and scientists, our schedules can be unpredictable, but we always make it a point to spend one meal of the day together. Even if it means waiting until 1 AM in the morning, he is always willing to wait for me (and me for him) so that we can still spend that meal together every night.”
What traditions did you incorporate?
“In addition to the wedding ceremony and wedding reception, we also had two traditional South Indian pre-wedding events. This provided a traditional Indian touch to our contemporary “fusion” American/Indian wedding weekend, all held in Nashville.
Our Haldi turmeric ceremony served as an opportunity for our extended families to meet one another for the first time, and allowed them to celebrate this joyous occasion by providing their blessings to us. The Sangeet was held the night before our wedding reception. Along with our family and friends, a number of traditional Indian dances were choreographed and performed during this pre-wedding day event, to kick off our wedding celebration weekend with all of our guests! During our Sangeet, we exchanged red rose garlands which were imported from India.
In order to still have an intimate moment where the bridal party, family, and friends could all make toasts, we chose to have a traditional American rehearsal brunch the day before the wedding. Fitting with the Nashville theme, we rented out the Bluebird Cafe, where we had private performances by Dean Fields and Emily Earle. At this luncheon, we surprised everyone with custom wedding Hatch Show Prints in hot pink and royal blue for everyone to take home.
Along with our classic wedding cake, we chose to follow the Southern tradition of a ‘groom’s cake’, with a South Indian spin. The groom’s cake was blue and gold and contained the Vanderbilt ‘V’ logo, a peacock, and an elephant, where the peacock and elephant are signs of love and good luck & loyalty, wisdom, and longevity, respectively, which we hope to have in our marriage.”
Did you have a specific theme or design inspiration for your big day?
“As cheesy as it might sound, we chose ‘Nashville’ as our theme. We met here, and the city has enabled our relationship to blossom and try new things together.”
How about your dress or attire?
“With so many different events, we had a lot of different outfits!”
What was the most memorable moment?
“I would like to start by saying that I was not the bride who had dreamed of her wedding since she was a little girl. I had not considered any details prior to getting engaged. However, the one moment I did dream of was my grandfather, or my ‘Papa,’ walking me down the aisle.
More than anything other detail in this wedding, it was important to me that both of my grandparents would be there when I got married. When Sumeeth proposed, both of my grandparents were already 89 years old. On the rehearsal day, Papa and I successfully walked down the aisle.
The next day, Sumeeth and I had planned to have a ‘First Touch’ instead of a ‘First Look’ in which we could talk to each other and exchange day of wedding letters. When I went to take Sumeeth’s hand, the first thing he asked me was, “Did everyone make it? Is Papa here? Is Grandma here?” Being able to say “Yes!” and have a few moments to talk to my soon-to-be husband was by far the most special moment of our wedding day that constantly replays in my mind. The conversation we had during our “First Touch” was a sign of our shared values together. I could not be happier to celebrate this day with Sumeeth, my family, Sumeeth’s family, and all of our friends gathered together in Nashville.”
What was your first dance song, and why did you choose it?
“Our first dance song was ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding. We are looking forward to sharing many married years together, and this was a beautiful song that embodied this sentiment. We also wanted to choreograph a routine for a first dance, and this one wasn’t too long!”
Tell us about your grand exit!
“When we exited the church, we gave the guests little silver bells to ring. But, as the guests moved outside, it had started to rain. When Sumeeth proposed, it was also raining, and he proposed with a beautiful, giant rainbow umbrella. This meant we were able to walk out of the church with our lucky umbrella!
When we left the reception, all of our guests had light-up royal blue and hot pink pom-poms that they waved as we walked out of Country Music Hall of Fame’s entryway. We used our umbrella to walk over to our white-horse drawn carriage, and rode off!”
Best wishes Stephanie & Sumeeth!
Featured in the Summer/Fall 2018 Tennessee Weddings by The Pink Bride Magazine
Ceremony · Scarritt Bennett – Wightman Chapel
Reception & Catering · Country Music Hall of Fame Event Hall
Photographer · Shanell Bledsoe Photography
Day of Coordinator · Weddings by Rachel
Cake · Signature Cakes by Vicki
Catering · Morph Hospitality, Chauhan Ale and Masala House
Flowers · Enchanted Florist
Invitations · Simply Done Invites
Bridal Gown · Natalie M Bridal
Gown Designer · Alfred Angelo
Exit Gown · Sherri Hill from The Spoiled Lady
Indian Dress · Khajana Boutique
Attendants’ Attire · David’s Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen Attire · Street Tuxedo
Officiant · Jefferson Furtado from Belmont United Methodist Church
Transportation · F.A.D.D.S Party Bus
Videography · With This Ring Video
DJ · DJ Connections
Musicians · Wedding Musicians Company, Mockingbird Musicians, and Farewell Angelina