Palak and Anil are one of the most laid back couples we have ever met. This New York couple decided to host their Hilton Head Indian wedding on the beautiful beaches of South Carolina’s Hilton Head. It is a very peaceful and laid back place; perfect for this couple’s outdoor Gujarati ceremony and reception. Indeed, the country style hotels right on the coast of the Atlantic ocean have a very relaxed vibe. It was the perfect venue for this couple who wanted a fun peaceful wedding with close friends and family.
Our bride and groom knew exactly what they wanted. They were all about positive energy and good vibes. Their vision for this Gujarati wedding was classy yet simple, fun and effortless. They interacted with each of their guests and vendors with so much love and compassion. When you are working with brides and grooms who are respectful, you want to go above and beyond. We will talk about it later in this story.
How Did We Meet our Indian Wedding Couple Around the World
In October 2019, we got a call from Palak & Anil from New York. They were super excited when they found out that we were available for their wedding. Palak & Anil were recommended by Dhara and Parth, a past client of ours from Florida. Most clients we work with now either come for a past client or vendor recommendation. We are glad we are able to meet our clients’ expectations in order to get their future recommendations.
Outdoor Hilton Head Indian Wedding at Westin HHI
Hilton Head is the perfect place to get married as this city is full of beautiful hotels, palm trees and fun beaches. This Hilton Head Indian wedding was supposed to be outdoors. Outdoor weddings have their own challenges. Mandap (basically the altar for Hindu weddings) was made of fresh flowers draped on acrylic structure. A Floral Affair and Spencer Special Events worked together to give that wow factor the wedding couple envisioned. Yes, blue skies, palm trees and beach breezes made this Hilton Head Indian wedding mandap even more special.
Our day started with the bride and groom at about 9:30 am when both of them were getting ready with their families. Palak was getting glammed up by Payal MUA in a beautiful Harleen Kaur red bridal outfit. On the other end, the groom was with his parents at the presidential suite of The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa. We were able to capture the excitement of both the parents of the bride and groom before this outdoor Hilton Head Indian wedding ceremony.
The Perfect Hilton Head Indian Wedding Timeline
This was a transitional Indian ceremony. In other words, wedding and reception were held on the same day. The events were all held on the same beach resort at Hilton Head. If you are planning a timeline similar to this Hilton Head Indian wedding, we can share that with you. The timeline was perfect with breaks for lunch and cocktail hour. There was no time lost in travelling back and forth between venues so guests even had some downtime to enjoy the property.
One of the most important things for Hilton Head Indian weddings is family photos. We did photos with each family member alongside extended family for about 30 minutes before everyone went for lunch.
First Look at the Outdoor Hilton Head Indian Wedding
When you have a beautiful beach like the one at Hilton Head, you don’t need to worry about the first look location much. We had Anil waiting for his bride dressed in a fine red turban. Then, the bride Palak came walking barefoot with beautiful anklets. As soon as they saw each other, you could feel the excitement. You can see for yourself in these images as words can’t express the feeling.
Respecting the time we were given, we had about 30 minutes for portraits. In the next 25 minutes, we wanted to incorporate the ocean waves from the beach and greenery from the palm trees for this couple.
Baraat at this Gujarati Ceremony at Hilton Head Indian Wedding
M4U Entertainment came packed all the way from New York with DJ Rish and Emcee Ashish. This DJ crew knew how to get this crowd going. Groom sat in his Corvette with guests and family partying around the Westin Island Resort & Spa. Baraat lasted about 45 mins and there was nothing stopping this party. Soon, the bride side joined the party and it was double the energy at the entrance of Westin Hilton Head.
Mother-of-the-bride welcomed the groom with customary Gujarati wedding rituals. The mandap was set all the way at the end of the property. The baraat went from the main lobby to the mandap dancing and all hotel guests were super curious to get a glimpse of this beautiful wedding.
Gujarati Outdoor Ceremony at Hilton Head Indian Wedding Begins
Groom and his parents walked in the ceremony to this beautiful floral mandap. Pandit ji performed the prayers and the bride was invited to the ceremony. Everyone turned around anticipating to see the beautiful bride. Groom face was covered as the bride walked down the aisle as per the Gujarati Hilton Head Indian wedding rituals.
As the bride sat next to the groom with a garland of flowers. They saw each other again at the mandap. Couple exchanged the flower garlands known as the Jai Mala ceremony. Pandit ji continued the ceremony with the rituals of Kanyadaan. Gujarati Hindu weddings have special rituals like when the Pandit ji invites the groom’s sister on the stage to tie the knot.
We have Gujarati and Indian Hindu wedding experience. So, we understand what will be happening next and the significance of these rituals.
The couple walked around the holy fire 4 times as their families showered them with fresh rose petals.
Did you know?
Some Hindu wedding ceremonies have 4 and some have 7 pheere around the holy fire. This is usually upon the discretion of Pandit Ji. According to some Panjit Ji’s, traditionally there were always 4 pheere but the 1970’s Bollywood movie Saat Pheere popularized having 7 pheere at weddings.
Next rituals in an Indian Gujarati Hindu wedding are the 7 vows followed by the mangalsutra and sindoor. After which, Palak and Anil were declared married. Everyone got up from their seats to congratulate the couple as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.
Classy Hilton Head Indian Wedding Reception
We had about 2 hours break before the reception. M4U Entertainment and EventWorks Rental had a lot of work before the reception. Westin Island Resort & Spa ballroom was getting transformed with candles like a lot of candles. Once it was all ready, this Hilton Head Indian wedding venue looked like a moody fine dining restaurant. Couple walked in the reception hall looking straight out of a GQ magazine. Bride wore a blue dress from Harleen Kaur and Anil was looking sharp in his black tux.
One thing we forgot to mention was food. Our catering company, District Events Catering came all the way from Stone Mountain, GA. Rajen did a phenomenal job creating South Asian fusion food for the sangeet and traditional Indian cuisine for the reception. We have not yet seen such professionalism from a catering company and food was just out of this world.
Indian weddings can be tricky and so far everything was on time. Spencer’s Special Events made sure everything was on time which is commendable since this was their very first Indian wedding. Vendors as well as the couple were pleased to work with such a professional team of wedding planners.
We had very little time to photograph the cake by Minette Rushing Cakes and the decor before guests were invited to enter the reception ballroom.
Formal Hilton Head Indian Wedding Reception Begins
Emcee Ashish from M4U Events got everyone pumped up for the party. The dashing couple walked in the room full of overwhelming positive energy and cheers.
Couple went right into the cake cutting ceremony and then their first dance. Did we tell you before that these two are professional dancers? Payal was a trained classical dancer and you can only imagine how coordinated their first dance was. Anil can totally pull bollywood moves so he did a full dance to impress his wife alongside his boys.
After Ruby Riot Creatives showed the best of the best videos from the wedding. Couple’s parents came forward for very emotional speeches. Mood was getting a bit emotional but we still had a night full of performances.
Indian receptions are full of dances and we were yet to discover our brides dancing skills. Palak surprised everyone with her dance moves and almost all her family participated with her.
Good Things Happen to Good People
Like we said a little earlier, we love going above and beyond for couples. The couple was so respectful and generous towards all their wedding vendors. Right after the ceremony, we spent 3.5 hours editing to create a same-day photography edit to be played at Palak and Anil’s reception. It was a surprise for the couple so they didn’t expect this at all. Palak and Anil got up from their chairs and hugged us, they were such an adorable couple to work with. We wanted to do something special for these two.
The dance floor at this Hilton Head Indian wedding was now open. M4U DJs Rish is in the top 10 DJs we have worked with in the last 8 years. Bollywood mixed with Hip Hop alongside Techno and Latino music was being played to get everyone glued to the dancefloor.
It was one wild party to the end. To fellow photographers, we always see photographers photographing the dance floor by standing on the edges. If we want our viewers to feel that they are part of the dance floor, we have to jump in.
This is the approach we follow when we are photographing weddings. We want our couples and the viewers of our photographs to feel as if they were actually attending the wedding.
See more from Palak & Anil’s Gujarati Hilton Head Indian Wedding same-day photography edit.
Thanks again to our vendor family who helped us at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa to make this wedding so much fun.
- Venue – Westin HHI
- Florist – A Floral Affair
- Catering – District Events Catering
- Photographer – Alfaaz Photography
- Cake – Minette Rushing Custom Cakes
- DJ and Reception Lighting – M4U Events
- Singers – Samaa Singers
- Henna – Beauty by Ekta
- Bridal Hair and Makeup – Beauty by Payal
- Rentals – Eventworks Rentals
- Dance Floor Vinyl – Hilton Head Signs
- Videography – Ruby Riot Creatives