Indian Fusion Wedding in ThailandWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Andaman Photowork
Working for the same law firm, Naomi and Jigger knew of each other, but they hadn’t met in person yet. As part of a global team, Naomi lived in Atlanta while Jigger called NYC home, but they would occasionally message each other for status updates on projects.
“We finally met in person for a holiday party in NYC and I thought he was very cute but grumpy. The group ended up going out together that weekend, he thought I was really friendly but walked too slow for the city (I’m a southern belle at heart),” the bride says.
Eventually, Naomi decided she’d move to NYC for her career. “...And from apartment hunting to crashing his friend's wedding, he realized the real status update he needed from me was the relationship kind,” the bride says.
After Jigger proposed, the couple faced the challenge of deciding where and how to say “I do.” Being from two different religions and having family spread out all over the world, a destination wedding just made the most sense since at least half their guests would be travelling far anyway.
“South Asian cultural weddings are usually such large events with over four events, and it feels like everyone your family knows is invited. We felt overwhelmed when we heard about the cost and planning associated, and we also wanted to have an intimate wedding to be able to spend time with our guests,” the couple says.
Their family’s expressed concern that those who would not be able to attend financially would be upset. To remedy the situation, Naomi and Jigger had several events in America like an engagement party, a bridal shower and bachelorette/bachelor parties.
“That helped include those that would not be able to make it. But now after COVID-19, our families and friends that did end up attending are so grateful we had a destination wedding because that was their last big vacation,” Naomi says.
Thailand appealed most to the couple because of the close proximity to India and Bangladesh where many of their guests were coming from. Jigger located the J.W. Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa, and he loved the possibility of having the wedding ceremony in the middle of the property’s Lotus Pond.
“We planned our wedding remotely from NYC, and we never went to Thailand or saw our venue in person until a week before our wedding, so planning consisted of having late night conference calls with the decorators and the hotel,” the couple says.
They mostly found vendors through Instagram and Facebook, which the couple admits was a lot of work, but definitely fun. The Marriott helped them find a decorator to ensure everything was set up just as they’d hoped.
“We were so impressed with the quality of food, professionalism, and hospitality from everyone we worked with in Thailand,” Jigger says.
The weekend of the wedding quickly arrived, and the festivities were underway. There were a total of four events in Thailand over the two days. The first was a seaside "Haldi" ceremony, followed by a sunset traditional Thai dinner by the ocean that night. The third event was the wedding ceremonythe following morning, which incorporated both Hindu and Muslim customs.
'We chose to keep the theme clean and white with light colors and orchids, white roses, ferns, and branches decorating the 'mandap' (altar). This was set up in the middle of the Lotus Pond, a stage and walkway, which was absolutely breathtaking overlooking the beach,” the couple says.
Following the ceremony was the reception, full of fun entrances by the bridal party and family, touching speeches, nonstop dancing and the cutting of cake with a sword (a surprise from the hotel). The couple also performed their choreographed first dance, followed by dancing all night while the bartender served New York and New Jersey themed mixed drinks.
Naomi and Jigger’s decision to wed in Thailand and fuse their backgrounds provided a wonderful start to their life-long commitment to one another.
“There are just so many amazing little things that made our wedding weekend so special, we'll treasure it for the rest of our lives,” the couple says.
Vendors: Photography & Videography: Andaman Photowork; Wedding Planner/Florist: Eventage Thailand; Ceremony/Reception Site: J.W. Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa; Stationery: Art by Samrin; Bride’s Clothing: Nishi Mehra Official; Groom’s Clothing: Telon; Cake: Passion Joob Joob; Music and Lighting: DJ Daman Sardar and Phuket Sound & Lighting; Hair & Makeup: Phuket Makeup; Henna: Indy Su Henna; Bridesmaid’s Jewelry & Sangeet Favors: CHARU
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