A year ago, I was cozied up in my egg chair in the corner of my bedroom in Avon with the beeps of that iconic FaceTime sound going, eagerly waiting to connect with Hallie and Suketu for our first phone call together. I remember having just seen Suketu's proposal video on YouTube weeks before our phone call meeting. The special thing about the two is that they are a dynamic duo team of creatives; Suketu is a highly skilled videographer, and Hallie is a super talented photographer. We all attended high school together, making it even more special and fun to reconnect in our later years.
The love story of The Patel's began in Suketu's senior year of cross country season at Avon High School. He spotted Hallie practicing with the boy's team, which sparked some curiosity on Suketu's end, enough for him to ask, "Hey, aren't you that weird girl from track?" After talking to each other every day, the two went on their first date to the local Taco Bell, where they became official, and the rest became history. Hallie and Suketu attended and graduated from IUPUI, where they were super involved in the Jagathon, got jobs at the same company, and built their home together before their big wedding day events in September of 2021.
A Friday wedding at Lizton Lodge in Lizton, IN began with Hallie's mom/florist/day-of coordinator, Tammy, turning the already beautiful venue into the dreamiest flower-filled setting. Upstairs in the bridal suite bathroom, Hallie was already in the makeup chair with Ashlee (makeup artist) before returning to the bridal suite for Alex (hair stylist) to do her hair. Suketu and his groomsmen were already dressed and ready for the day, lounging in the groom suite and doing last-minute things to make the day go smoothly.
Before the ceremony, Hallie shared a private moment with her mom as she helped Hallie into her wedding gown and veil. The bridal suite room was cleared to set up a bridesmaid reveal with the dress that Hallie hid for over eight months. Tears were shed during the first look with Hallie's father. And the pre-ceremony events wrapped up with Hallie and Suketu doing a "first look, without the look" in the library, when the two held hands, read their vows, and exchanged gifts.
The outdoor wedding ceremony took place in the Canopy Light Courtyard, under a floral arch with the venue as its backdrop. The processional lined in before Hallie walked down the aisle, arms intertwined with her father. Suketu's reaction to seeing his bride for the first time was so sweet; family and friends were in tears.
The night wrapped up with a performance from a live band featuring Hallie's brother, Presley, in the Canopy Light Courtyard that changed from the ceremony to reception space. Once back inside, dancing in the cocktail court with Iman (DJ) ensured the night was a huge party. The couple said their goodbyes with a flower petal exit, thrown by friends and family.
At 8:00 AM the next morning, the Indian ceremony was held at the Onyx Event Center located off Rockville Road in Indianapolis, IN. The traditional Hindu wedding customs originated centuries ago from the Rig Veda, a highly revered Hindu scripture. The ceremony is performed in Sanskrit and solemnized in the presence of God and the five elements of nature: fire, earth, water, air, and light. The Hindu ceremony represents an eternal bond between the bride and groom.
Barat - Groom's Parade: At the entrance of the venue parking lot, Suketu arrived on horseback as friends and family gathered. A speaker placed on the back of a van played music, and everyone danced on their parade towards the venue. Smoke bombs held by groomsmen added color to the celebrations.
Milni - Families Meet: Hallie and her family waited inside the venue before the barat arrived at the front of the entrance. Hallie's mom did a few rituals with Suketu with the help of his family before Hallie came out to join the festivities.
Jai Mala - Exchanging Garlands: The couple welcomes each other by exchanging flower garlands. The gesture symbolizes the unification of their hearts and the giving of their consent to marry each other.
Ganesh Puja - Recitation of Mantras: A pandit is the marriage officiant for a Hindu wedding. The first prayer in any Hindu ceremony is always to Lord Ganesh - the remover of obstacles.
The Wedding Ceremony: The marriage is performed to unite two souls. Although their bodies remain separate, their souls harmoniously become one. The wedding takes place under the sacred altar known as the Mandapam or the Wedding Mandap. The four pillars of the Mandapam symbolize the mother and father of the bride and groom.
Kayna Daan - Giving Away the Bride: The bride's palm is placed on the groom's palm, usually by the father, to signify her passing to a new family.
Gath Bandhan - The "I Do's": The end of the couples' scarves is tied together to symbolize the joining of their lives. The couple holds and accepts each other as man and wife.
Pheri - First Steps at a Married Couple: The bride and groom circle the fire and take their first steps as a married couple, to jointly ask for prosperity in their marriage and household.
Mangal Sutra - Signs of Marriage: The groom puts the mangalsutra on the bride and sindoor in her hair part as symbols of marriage. The family and guests bless the couple.
The wedding guests all head home for a brief break. Some sneak in a nap before the night's events. The wedding party does a grand entrance and goes straight into the couple's first dance and cake cutting. Dinner is served, and the dance performances begin. Family members, the wedding party, and Hallie and Suketu put on surprise performances for the couple and guests to enjoy. The first dance between the couple included dry ice smoke and a fog machine spilling over the floor, and fireworks in the back to illuminate the couple. The rest of the evening had everyone on the dance floor, with the DJ's music shaking the venue until the night ended.
Venue - Lizton Lodge
Venue Day Two - Onyx
Photographer - Photos By Hiedi // Second - kat.viewfinder
Videographer - curiouswhasian
DJ - Iman Tucker
Live Band featuring Hallie's brother, Presley
Florist - Elsie Maes Bouquets
Food and Dessert - Cochran's Catering and Cakes
Pastor - John Noel
Makeup - Ashlee Rexroth: mrs.bridalartistry
Hair - Wennens Beautique