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A Vibrant Indian Fusion Wedding in Austin, Texas

by Staff

When Meredith Ragno attended Eshaan Arora’s birthday party during their first week of business school in 2017, she had never met him. That night, Meredith didn’t even cross paths with Eshaan. It wasn’t until a school ski trip brought them together a few months later that they got to know one another—and instantly hit it off. Two months after their first encounter, they both attended a 3LAU concert and felt the spark once again. Soon after, Meredith and Eshaan were an item.

After graduation, the two moved to Austin, Texas to start their jobs. By that point, things were getting pretty serious for the couple. “We had talked about marriage and had even shopped for engagement rings in early 2020. But once the pandemic started, I assumed a proposal would be postponed,” Meredith admits. When Meredith turned 30 on May 6, 2020, Eshan surprised her with a backyard proposal. 

The duo knew they wanted to host a wedding weekend infused with Indian touches, so they turned to Kate Goddard of Wild Sky Events to plan their big day and navigate the unforeseen challenges that the pandemic presented. “Kate and Wild Sky turned our wildest wedding dreams into a reality, while also remaining calm and confident and keeping us calm through the ups and downs of planning a large event during a pandemic,” the bride reflects. “Our Indian fusion wedding weekend was—to put it simply—a lot, and Kate handled the complexity with aplomb. I love design and had a pretty particular vision for certain parts of the day. It was a lot of fun to work with someone who could transform a few words and some inspirational images into a perfect illustration of what I was envisioning.”

Despite the unpredictability of planning their nuptials during the pandemic, the pair knew they wanted to swap vows at Commodore Perry Estate—a property that caught their eye when they first moved to Austin. “We love the Italy-meets-Austin feel of the property,” the couple expresses. “The huge oak trees, formal gardens, and classical architecture fit perfectly with what we envisioned for our wedding.”

On October 16, 2021, Meredith and Eshaan tied the knot in Austin, Texas surrounded by 180 loved ones. Read on to see how their vision played out, planned by Wild Sky Events and photographed by Caroline Lima Photography.

The bride and groom wanted to host a colorful wedding weekend that integrated nods to India, Italy, and Austin. So, they selected a citrus color palette with touches of blue and green. “Planning an Indian fusion wedding, we knew we had an opportunity to plan an event full of bold and new experiences for all our guests,” the couple explains. “We wanted it to be vibrant without sticking with the typical trends and color schemes associated with either culture.”

The duo kicked off the festivities with a music-filled sangeet. “We had a DJ with an Indian dhol drummer who brought so much energy to the dance floor,” they recall. “When the night ended, the entire party kept dancing—even after the venue turned the lights on.” For the celebration, Meredith donned a gold lehenga with statement-making jewels and a beaded handbag. Eshaan sported a navy look, complete with a patterned shirt and scarf.

Meredith spent the next morning getting ready with her bridesmaids. For the big day, she selected a classic makeup look with a modern twist. “I wanted to look like myself but snatched,” the bride remarks. After contemplating how to style her hair, the bride went with an elegant low bun. “With such a heavy and detailed lehenga, a dupatta, veil, and bold jewelry for my ceremony outfit, I already had a lot going on,” she notes. “I felt that a sleek, pulled-back hairstyle would not only be more comfortable and less of a hassle, but would also make sure I didn’t get lost in the look.”

For the ceremony, Meredith wore a long-sleeve yellow lehenga with white silk embroidery and pearl accents by Falguni Shane Peacock. “I knew I wanted something different than the traditional bridal red, and yellow is one of my favorite colors,” the bride shares. “I always feel confident, positive, and fun when I wear it.”

Meredith paired her show-stopping attire with beaded bangles, a gift from Eshaan’s parents. “They are typically red, but his mom found a set in ivory that was the perfect accent to my yellow lehenga,” she recounts. Her wedding jewelry lineup also featured a statement necklace and earrings covered in pearls and green beads.

The bride’s white Lily of the Valley bouquet was another beautiful complement to her bright outfit. “It’s my birth flower, so it had always been a dream to have it as my wedding bouquet,” she says.

The duo wanted to savor a few moments alone before the day’s events began, so they opted to do a first look in the estate’s tropical courtyard. “We were also just excited to see each other and be together,” the couple mentions. “We had spent so much time planning the wedding and wanted to enjoy as much of the day as possible side by side.”

For the ceremony, Eshaan was clad in a pale pink sherwani by Falguni Shane Peacock, which was made of raw silk and embroidered with flowers and an architectural motif. He accessorized with Manolo Blahnik loafers and a Tom Ford pocket square—a wedding gift from Meredith. The couple’s dog even got in on the photos.

Instead of selecting one uniform look, Meredith wanted her 10 bridesmaids to don lehengas in various shades of sage green, mint, and pale blue. “Since I was wearing yellow—not white—to the ceremony, I wanted colors that accented my lehenga without competing, while also flattering my bridesmaids,” Meredith explains. “Most of my bridesmaids hadn’t worn Indian attire before, so it was really important to me that they felt comfortable and like themselves.”

Since the bride envisioned nontraditional hues for Indian clothing, she ended up working with a tailor in India to customize each piece. Her squad also held bright and textured assortments of yellow and orange blooms with hints of greenery.

Eshaan’s inner circle stood by the groom’s side in neutral kurtas with pale pink silk scarves trimmed in gold.

During the baraat, the groom’s processional, Eshaan arrived at the ceremony site by horse. He then walked down the aisle with both of his parents.

The bride and groom exchanged vows underneath a mandap engulfed in greenery and adorned with strands of yellow and orange marigolds and pink roses. A fountain decorated with more greenery and marigolds sat at the end of the aisle.

Meredith made her way to the mandap with her dad while a string trio played “Canon in D.” The bride put on a pale pink organza veil with a scalloped edge, floral embroidery, and crystal beading for the ceremony. “I worked with a tailor in India to design a veil that was a fusion between an Indian dupatta and a traditional Western veil,” she says.

This was really important to both of us to be able to bring our own voices and thoughts into the ceremony.

The pair held a traditional Hindu ceremony, but they personalized the event by writing their own vows. “This was really important to both of us to be able to bring our own voices and thoughts into the ceremony,” Meredith shares. They also incorporated special readings: “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare and “Love” by Mary Carolyn Davies. 

The bride and groom also exchanged garlands during the jai mala, which is a customary Hindu wedding ritual. “I designed them with an Indian florist in a pattern of orange, white, and pink roses and jasmine with greenery,” Meredith notes. “They were shipped from India the week of our wedding and smelled incredible.”

After recessing to “We Found Love” by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, the newlyweds captured the blissful moment by taking photos.

Guests found their seating assignments on a light pink floral-inspired seating chart, which they had draped in strands of orange and yellow marigolds and affixed with colorful tassels.

A runner of citrus-colored floral arrangements, white candles, and fruit accents dotted eye-catching blue and white tablecloths. The couple honored their love of music by naming each table after a famous singer, from Kid Cudi to Kacey Musgraves.

The duo went with simple place settings to offset the striking flowers and linens. They selected white knotted napkins, plain white chargers, and classic silverware.

Throughout the evening, family and friends sipped on refreshing Aperol spritzes, the pair’s signature cocktail.

Meredith changed into a long-sleeve silk wool trumpet gown with a cold shoulder, a low back, and a long train by Danielle Frankel for the reception. “For my white gown, I tried on over 100 dresses,” the bride remembers. “I never thought I would be that high maintenance, but it was tough to find something that was a reception dress but also still felt bridal and dramatic.”

After attending several appointments with her inner circle, the bride decided to venture to New York City alone to continue her search. Once Meredith set her eyes on this getup at Danielle Frankel’s studio, she knew the hunt was over because the design checked all of the boxes. “The fabrication and construction was gorgeous, and the sleeve detailing and train gave me the unique drama I was looking for,” she describes.

Eshaan also had a wardrobe change. He dressed himself in a navy tuxedo by Knot Standard for the next phase of wedding festivities. For a personal touch, he had his collar embroidered with his wedding date.

After the couple made their grand entrance, they kicked off the celebration with a Champagne tower. “Coming down to the reception just after sunset and seeing our tent lit up and glowing in the gardens was truly magical,” Meredith reminisces.

The bride and groom listened to speeches from their loved ones and enjoyed a delicious dinner with all of their favorites. “We also love to eat, and the food was how we brought a taste of Texas to the event,” Meredith details.

Next up was an epic after-party complete with tropical greenery, disco balls, and mood lighting that brought the atmosphere. It made the ideal setup for the couple’s first dance to “Treat You Better” by Rufus Du Sol. “We both love music, so entertainment throughout the weekend was important to us,” the duo says. “For our reception, we love to dance and wanted a disco and club vibe, so we had a DJ with a live sax player.”

At the end of the night, the couple cut into a three-tier white cake garnished with bright blooms. The flavor? An olive oil confection with orange and chocolate cremeux icing.

After spending the rest of the evening on the dance floor with their loved ones, the newlyweds jetted off to Riviera Maya for a minimoon. To Meredith and Eshaan, their special day exceeded their expectations because it was a true representation of who they are. “Look for inspiration outside of other weddings,” they advise. “You want your wedding to be a reflection of what you love as a couple, not what you love about other people’s big days. Stick to your gut. Don’t overthink every detail. Most of all, have fun with it!”

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