August 7, 2019

Amber + Sukhbir’s Sikh Ceremony at The Estate at Cherokee Dock

I’m couldn’t be more excited to share the first half of Amber and Sukhbir’s wedding weekend! Both Sikh and Christian ceremonies were unbelievably beautiful and unique. Here’s a selection from their Sikh Ceremony at The Estate at Cherokee Dock. It was truly an unforgettable day and I couldn’t be more grateful to document these cherished memories. Below this gallery is an excerpt from Amber’s interview with MunaLuchi Bridal Summer 2019 issue!

Thanks to these incredible vendors for making this day possible.

Photographer: Morgan Franklin Creative
Planner: Elizabeth A. Wright Events
Venue: The Estate at Cherokee Dock
Videography: John Myers Photography
Floral Design: Cottonwood Floral
Draping: Nashville Event Draping
Bridal Gown: Sushma Patel
Bridesmaids Attire: Sushma Patel
Makeup: Glam by Kellyanne
Hair: KJ Artistry
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Ladlee Atlanta
Rentals: Please Be Seated
Jewelry: Shane Company
Bartending: Beyond Details
Catering: Sindoore Nashville
DJ/Baraat MC + Drums: VNY Entertainment
Lighting: Nashville Event Lighting
Officiant: Nashville Gurdwara
Parking: Eagle Parking
Security: Covert Results

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal!

After celebrating his beloved University of Tennessee Volunteers defeat the rival University of Florida Gators for the first time in a decade, Sukhbir wanted to continue celebrating the big win. He just moved back to Nashville from Las Vegas after five years of working in Real Estate Development and reached out to his friend Danielle to ask for recommendations on a post-game destination. She suggested heading to the Midtown area of Nashville, and the two arranged a group meet-up on the infamous Demonbreun strip in Nashville.

Danielle (my co-worker and beloved friend) invited me to come along, where she  introduced us. We had an instant connection, but we didn’t exchange numbers that night because Sukhbir’s phone was dead.

Soon after our meeting Sukhbir asked Danielle for my number and then asked me to Sunday brunch. While we still debate whether this was our first official date (Sukhbir argues that our first date was at 5th and Taylor), there is no debate that we hit it off immediately and formed a strong connection.

We decided to make the relationship official on October 19th, 2016 and have been inseparable ever since.

Sukhbir planned a date for us to have a cooking class at Green Door Gourmet, a 350 acre organic farm and agritourism destination in Nashville. After touring the farm, Sukhbir reached out to Danielle to help coordinate the proposal. They formulated a plan that involved having a gazebo decorated with string lights, framed photos, and candles throughout. I was completely surprised and swept off my feet. The proposal was perfect, but nothing could top finding the man of my dreams and starting to plan our future together.

How did you know they were “the one”?

About three months into dating, Sukhbir told me he loved me during a ski trip in Park City, Utah. I had never told a man I loved him, and when he told me, I immediately said it back. At that moment I knew he could be the one, but since it was still early, I was hoping everything wasn’t too good to be true. Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly, so I knew only time would tell.

Our values and beliefs aligned, we both had career aspirations and wanted a family one day, we communicated really well together, made each other laugh, got along with each other friends and families, supported one another, never broke each other’s trust and could be 100% ourselves and feel loved with flaws and all. After one year of dating, he moved in with me and we became closer and closer to the point I knew I couldn’t live without him.

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?

Overall, the single most magical thing that came from planning a multicultural wedding was the outpouring of love, support and open mindedness received from everyone involved in planning and attending both wedding ceremonies. This included friends, family, vendors and officiants. At first, it was quite overwhelming trying to figure out where to start in the planning process and how exactly to blend the two cultures.

Our favorite part of planning was coming together to learn more about each other’s background, religion and culture. This step in the planning process brought us closer together and forced us to be open minded and seek perspective outside of our own. The very first step we took was doing research on Sikh and Christian wedding traditions and making sure we fully understood each tradition. From there, we met with each family and talked through what was most important to them on our special day. This step was critical. When you first hear “fusion wedding,” you think that elements of your traditions will be compromised. Although both our families were fully supportive throughout the entire process, when both families realized they were able to have everything that was important to them, they became ecstatic and jumped in to help plan. We are so blessed with support from both sides of the family, who both contributed to the planning process and fully respected both cultures from the start of planning to the end of the wedding weekend. We also really enjoyed the help and support we received from the religious congregations from both the Christian church and the Sikh Gurudwara, who were both supportive and open minded.

The people from the Sikh Gurudwara were immensely hospitable with their time and walked us through logistics and meaning behind the Sikh wedding ceremony rituals. They also provided a staff of four musicians as well as an officiant to assist with the Friday ceremony. Having my childhood Christian pastor as the Saturday officiant was incredibly meaningful as his congenial spirit made us feel comfortable as our friends and family observed us share our vows.

Describe your wedding style:

For the Sikh ceremony, our inspiration came from Northern India (Punjab region) where they incorporated a vibrant color scheme of fuchsia, orange, aqua blue, gold and ivory. It’s tradition for Sikh brides to wear red for the wedding ceremony, but pink has become an acceptable option for the modern Sikh bride. My favorite color is pink, so I jumped at the option to wear a bright fuchsia lehenga, and the rest of the color palette was decided from there. The Groomsmen wore orange to pay homage to the University of Tennessee, Sukhbir’s favorite college football team. To complement this vivacious color choice, the Bridesmaids wore custom aqua blue, gold and light pink lehengas that were designed and constructed in India by Atlanta designer, Sushma Patel.

Both ceremonies took place at The Estate at Cherokee Dock, which is country singer, Reba McEntire’s, former estate. We chose to go for a soft, romantic color scheme to complement the classic vibe of the venue. The color palette of the Christian ceremony and reception incorporated light gray, white and a soft blush pop of color with lush greenery throughout. I was most excited about the florals for this ceremony and has always dreamed of a fairy tale, garden wedding.

Once the ceremony concluded, the first part of the reception included Christian American traditions such as a first dance, cutting of the cake, speeches and a toast. After dinner concluded, we wanted to make sure both cultures had a memorable experience full of dancing and laughs. The best decision we made in the planning process was to hire VNY Entertainment, who specializes in Indian fusion weddings, for reception music. The music was a perfect blend of current and traditional Indian “bhangra music” mixed with classic and current American billboard hits. From the moment dinner concluded, the majority of wedding guests rushed to the dance floor and didn’t leave until the very end of the event. The DJ completely owned the energy of the reception, and the most vivid memories are watching family members from India dancing the night away with their American friends and family members.

Tell us about your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory!

My Indian dress was custom made Fuchsia/Gold masterpiece and I personally met with the designer. I loved the attention to detail and hand stitching on the entire dress. Since it was hand-stitched, there’s no other dress like it. My American dress was covered in white lace with a statement open back, which I had customized with hand beaded crystal.

My favorite wedding accessory is a charm my Mom made with both sets of my late grandparents on each side tied to my bouquet. I felt their presence there although they weren’t physically there.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?

For me, decompressing with an evening run was really helpful when I was feeling overwhelmed with aspects of the planning process. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with everything that goes into a wedding, but all of the stress slowly fades away if you give yourself time alone with your thoughts and focus your energy on something other than wedding planning. It’s a form of meditation that is absolutely necessary when planning a wedding, especially when planning two separate weddings.

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