The smell of perfume and hairspray filled the room on the morning of the first day of her weekend-long wedding. The bride, Jackie had been torn between having a traditional Sikh wedding in honor of her groom’s culture, or the traditional white wedding she had dreamed of since she was little – so naturally, she decided to do both. Jackie was careful with her hands, as she had a traditional Mehendi ceremony, allowing the intricate henna designs on her hands and feet to dry. Her bridal hair and makeup team from The Decorated Bride applied a deep smoky eye and bright pink lipstick to compliment her traditional teal and hot pink Indian sari. She was adorned with accessories fitting a Bollywood production, and she laughed a little at the thought of wearing this heavy garb in the Northern Nevada heat. Johnstone Studios photographers captured the details of the morning while Jackie recounted how she and her groom Amneet met and fell in love.
“Amneet and I met on our final year of grad school – on rotations in San Diego. It makes me feel very lucky because we have gone to the same undergrad and grad school and lived on the same campus, and knew the same friends for 6 years without ever meeting. It was kind of like our last chance to meet. We met on our first day and I asked him to have lunch with me. (I didn’t know too many people in San Diego). After lunch, I remember thinking that he was a total player and that I could never date a guy like that. But we ended up becoming great friends and eventually it grew to more.”
“When we were in our first year out of pharmacy school we went on a trip to Monterey and Carmel. We went to an amazing breakfast place at the Hyatt in Carmel. It was this beautiful restaurant overlooking the ocean. Amneet promised he would bring me back there one day and we would stay at the hotel. Last February he planned a trip for us back to Santa Cruz and to spend the day at the boardwalk. After the day at the boardwalk riding rides and playing games he took me back to the Hyatt in Carmel where we were staying for the night. We arrived a little before sunset and Amneet had set up a reservation at the restaurant in the hotel. While I was getting ready for dinner he set up a seat on our patio at sunset when I came out he had me sit down and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I weighed the pluses and minuses and eventually said yes.”
Fast forward to their weekend wedding plans. Jackie and her family had rented an urban bungalow in midtown Reno for her to get ready, while Amneet and his family met bright and early in the morning at the Sikh Temple of Reno, decked out in traditional dhoti that was adorned with lots of intricate embroidery. A traditional Indian affair was planned, and both sides of the family were adorned in traditional Indian garb; even Jackie’s Vietnamese family joined in the traditional ceremony. Amneet was escorted into the temple under a traditional orange cover, and he took his place near the altar to await his bride. The traditional Indian wedding ceremony included many pujas (prayers) and soon everyone was celebrating with a luncheon at the temple after the hour-long ceremony. Amneet and Jackie wanted their photographers, Johnstone Studios, to capture some great bridal portraits, so they said their goodbyes to family and friends and headed to Rancho San Rafael Park to capture some photos together and have some fun. The embellishments on their traditional Indian outfits sparkled in the mid-day sunlight while their photographers captured beautiful portraits.
The next morning Jackie felt giddy with excitement as her traditional white Justin Alexander gown hung against the dark wood cabinets of the dressing room at the Montreux Golf and Country Club, a private country club nestled in the Reno foothills of Lake Tahoe. The Decorated Bride once again worked their magic with hair and make up, this time opting for a soft and natural look, adorned with an elegant beaded veil, to enhance the bride for her outdoor wedding ceremony. The groom traded in his pink turban for a navy blue tuxedo, while his groomsmen attire looked sharp accented with hot pink ties. The group sported boutonnieres of hot pink roses, while the bridesmaids carried bouquets of hot pink and orange roses. The bridesmaids dresses flattered each one of them individually, while the gold hued sequins united them as a group.
The group headed out on to the golf course for the traditional western ceremony, decorated with details by Mary Lauder Red Carpet Events and Design to match the bouquet of the bride. The guests waited in anticipation as the bride made her way through the forested backdrop, escorted by her father. The couple had the crowd in tears before the ceremony ended as they exchanged vows they had each written. As they danced back up the aisle, the guests popped silver tinsel to shower the newlyweds. Slipping off into the looming pines of Montreux Country Club, Amneet and Jackie reveled in one another’s company as the sun cast the wild purple lupine in a deep gold blush, and Johnstone Studios captured soft and romantic bridal photos against the epic backdrop.
At the tented reception under the tall pine trees, the melodies of the Desi Jammers floated from the party. The tables were beautifully draped with white and blue linens provided by All Occasion Rentals, as India inspired lanterns and colorful arrangements of lilies, roses and daisies sat atop the tables. The deserts and cake provided by Montreux catering, and the gifted Ellen Scully, tempted all who walked by — the brightly colored deserts an alluring mix of class and fun. At the entrance sat a table adorned with navy and gold, dedicated to the couple, where guests could pause and view photos and write the couple well-wishes.
After toasts had been made and dances had been danced, the contentedly tired newlyweds headed out into the fresh Nevada air. The two were exhausted after the months of planning and the two day long celebration, but were so blissfully happy that even that exhaustion couldn’t get them to keep still as they danced under the twilight sky, happy to finally be able to say that they were husband and wife.