Following a month long trip and a very large traditional wedding in India, Jess (writer) and Chintan (engineer) returned home to Portland, Oregon for a low key, small and simple wedding with friends that took place on April Fool’s day. The day began with a civil ceremony at Multnomah County Courthouse where the judge was gifted with a custom cake by Dream Cakes.
Adorning a gorgeous custom made gown by local Portland designer – Embellish Designs, Jessica’s shimmering gold Christian Loubotin’s (and gold sequin converses for the reception) were a beautiful contrast against their relaxed civil ceremony. Jessica also payed homage to her partners ancestry and her own contemporary taste with a nontraditional bouquet completely filled with glimmering peacock jeweled broaches (the national bird of India.)
After taking a romantic pedicab tour around the city where their hearts first met, the couple returned home to their newly built house with their friends and family for a selection of treats from Vodoo donuts and Poplandia popcorn following a dinner of sweet and savory grilled sandwiches from local food trucks, PBJ’s Grilled and Koi Fusion.
We met seven years ago at a nightclub in Portland which no longer exists. Fittingly enough, by chance we had our photo taken the night we met. During the pedicab tour after our American wedding, we re-created the same pose and photo from seven years prior.
A few weeks after returning from India where I met his family, it was nearly Valentine’s Day. He had his brother send the ingredients for my favorite Indian food, street-style pizza. In India, you often have to offer bribes to get what you want. He said the pizza ingredients was my “bribe” if I’d let him be my husband. (Technically, I was proposed to with Amul cheese—although there was a ring, too).
I initially wanted something short and simple. However, in my husband’s community, all-white is reserved for widows. The choice to have a couture gown custom made was a process of elimination. There were no dresses I liked, particularly with accent colors. I’m a big fan of Zuhair Murad’s designs, but nothing was available that was “just right.” Going with a custom gown was the only way to get what I wanted, although “what I wanted” drastically changed in the year-long process.
The style for your wedding day
For our American wedding, just a few weeks following the large Indian wedding, we wanted something small and simple with just friends. Since neither of us are Christian, the idea of a church wedding was already out. There’s always been something sweet and romantic about the notion of getting married at the courthouse. The day was informal, fun, and simple, which is just what we needed after spending a month in India.
I am not a DIYer, but many of the details were from Etsy designers and shops. I also surprised my husband by having a brick placed in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Square. You can purchase a permanent brick in what’s dubbed Portland’s livingroom. It read “J+C 4.1.16.”
Any advice for fellow brides to be?
Prioritize making time to spend with just your husband on your wedding day! After all, that’s what it’s really about.
The favorite moment of the day…
For an hour in between the ceremony and reception, we took a pedicab tour around downtown Portland. It was time where we could just spend it together before hosting the party at home. We also got married again (our third time after India and the courthouse!) at Voodoo Doughnuts where legal ceremonies are performed with blessings from the “Voodoo gods.”
Photographer: Powers Photography Studio || Cake: Dream Cakes || Dress: Custom couture from Embellish Designs || Makeup: Melanie Lindsey of Picasso Artistic Salon || Hair: Melanie Lindsey of Picasso Artistic Salon || Shoes: Christian Louboutin for the ceremony, gold sequin Converse for the reception || Accessories: Custom 24k necklace/earring set from Mumbai, the gold bracelet is “something borrowed and something old” and was lent from her best friend Erin Smith (it was her mother’s, and her mother wore it at her own wedding 40 years ago) || Bridesmaids Dresses: N/A || Grooms Suit: Custom made in Mumbai || Stationery: Adorn Invitations || Food: Display from Voodoo Doughnuts and two food trucks for catering on site (PBJs Grilled and Koi Fusion) || Flowers: Brooch Bouquet custom made from Secret Garden Bouquets || Ceremony Venue: Multnomah County Courthouse (Portland, Ore. USA) || Reception Venue: Our custom built home (they moved in four days prior to the wedding)