March 31, 2018
words by Emily Bailey // photos by Sona Photography
Sejal, a Jacksonville native, and Vinit were paired up via the dating app Hinge, and it proved to be quite the match. The two texted back and forth for a month before setting a first date at Gottino, a bar in the West Village in New York. From there the relationship blossomed.
A year later the couple made plans to see a Broadway play with family, and enjoy a special dinner beforehand. Living in the same building, Vinit suggested Sejal stop by his place on their way out so they could leave together. Upon arriving Sejal found a path from the doorway to the living room lined with delicate flowers, rose petals and flickering candles. In the center of the room stood Vinit, who showered her with sweet words and proceed to get down on one knee.
“After the proposal, I turned around to see that on his dining table he had printed tons of pictures of us and also had mementos from our dates, like the scorecard from going mini-golfing on our third date and the card of the restaurant we went to in Jacksonville on our first Valentine’s Day,” recalls Sejal.
After their excitement settled Sejal wanted to call her parents, but Vinit suggesting telling her sister first, since she lived right upstairs. When they went up to the apartment the surprises continued as both of their families were waiting to celebrate, ready to pop the champagne.
Traditional Indian weddings are comprised of five events, with the celebration taking place over multiple days. The two families begin separated and eventually come together for their union.
“We made the decision to remove a step [in the ceremony] called the Kanyadaan, as I felt it did not align with the values we hold for a women’s role in marriage and life. We replaced it with a step we created in which both of our families came to the altar and we expressed our promises and commitments to them,” says Sejal. “It was great to see how we can evolve our customs to better represent how we think and live today.”
“Due to gusty winds our wedding, which was originally planned to be on the beach, was moved indoors. Our decorators did a fantastic job of a quick switch to an indoor ceremony,” says Sejal.
Wedding Planner: Cyndi Benzel at Signature Wedding Events • Photographer: Sona Photography • Ceremony & Reception: Omni Amelia Island Plantation • Hair: Beyond A Salon, Christina Burns • Makeup: Beyond A Salon, Laura Lee • Wedding Gown & Veil: Seasons (Mumbai, India) • Bride’s Jewelry: Gehna (Mumbai, India) • Shoes: Lily Pulitzer • Bridesmaid Dresses: Custom made saris from India • Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Custom made in India • Rings: Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry • Cake: Publix • Flowers & décor: Nikun Events • Caterer: Rajbhog • Invitations: Purchased in India • Music: DJ Shilpa and Rawal Brothers • Videographer: Riant Films