kristey & harish
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CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION InterContinental Milwaukee
EQUIPMENT RENTALS Canopies Events with Distinction
MANDAP & OTHER FABRIC INSTALLATION Barking Pony Sudios
RECEPTION DJ Sound By Design
WEDDING PLANNING & DESIGN Dynamic Events by David Caruso
DAY OF STATIONERY Sugar River Stationers • FLOWERS Dahlia Blooms • HAIR & MAKEUP Executive Edge Salon • INVITATIONS Hew+Co • LIGHTING Majic Productions • LINEN RENTALS BBJ - Table Fashions • MENS FORMALWEAR Suit Supply • PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOBOOTH RENTALS Valo Photography • VIEDOGRAPHY Don't Shout Films • WEDDING CAKE Cakes by Erin Salerno • WEDDING GOWN Zita Bridal Salon
Beautifully Blended Traditions
by Michelle Drewek
Weddings and traditions often go hand-in-hand. What makes each wedding unique is not only the traditions themselves, but the significance behind them. Harish and Kristey value their family, friendships and the deep roots of their religious backgrounds. Each played a special role in their wedding celebration and made for a beautiful beginning to their lifelong journey together as husband and wife.
About 10 years ago, Harish took a break from his medical school studies to celebrate his birthday. He was initially planning on leaving early to hit the books again, but happened to meet Kristey and they ended up talking until closing time. “We hit it off immediately,” Kristey remembers. “Well, after I teased him for ordering a chocolate martini, that is.” The pair has been inseparable ever since.
Harish and Kristey had taken their first vacation together several years prior to their engagement, making it the perfect place for Harish to plan this special moment. And, Kristey’s mother and stepfather helped him put the surprise proposal together.
“Her stepdad, Bill, and I pretended to go down to the bar before dinner and told Kristey and her mom to meet us in a bit,” Harish describes. “I actually went down to the beachside cabana. When Kristey was brought to me, she saw the cabana and tiki lights and thought I had simply arranged a nice dinner.”
As the sun was setting in Playa del Carmen, Harish got down on one knee and was met with an elated “Yes!” from his bride-to-be. Being in another country, they waited until the next day to call Harish’s parents and brothers, and spent that evening enjoying the moment together.
The couple spent the next year relishing in their engagement before starting to plan. It was then that they enlisted the help of Milwaukee wedding extraordinaire, David Caruso, to prepare for the big day.
“In lieu of sticking to one style, we preferred to incorporate ourselves and our family into the details of the wedding,” Kristey elaborates. “I wanted to keep the look of the wedding clean by using white and gray elements with small pops of varying shades of pink, my favorite color, in the details. Harish’s parents influenced how we setup our mandap, and Harish added a chandelier and pink to the seat covers—both of which were a surprise to me until I walked down the aisle!”
Kristey wore a gorgeous dress created by a local designer in Chicago. Indian designer Anushree Reddy inspired the design, which was a fusion of Indian and western styles. Thanks to some fabulous last minute tailoring by Maria of Zita Bridal Salon, the extraordinary help of her mother and jewelry from Harish’s parents purchased from their hometown of Hyderabad, India, Kristey was absolutely stunning from head to toe.
The ceremony was a beautiful blend of traditional Hindu and Christian rituals. They had an intimate mehndi party the night prior to the wedding, a blessing ceremony for them prior to the wedding ceremony, followed by a post-wedding Hindu ceremony at the Milwaukee temple the morning following their wedding.
“Each ceremony was filled with our closest relatives and embodied our families and love for each other—not to mention three days of amazing Indian food!” Kristey elates.
Incorporating family into the wedding was incredibly important to Harish and Kristey. From their wedding party to the Something Old (a diamond baby ring Kristey’s mom bought when she was born), Something Borrowed (Kristey’s great-grandmother’s pin) and Something Blue (a heart-shaped piece of fabric from one of Kristey’s stepfather’s shirts sewn into her dress on top of her heart), each element represented these important relationships in their lives.
Kristey also designed a family crest for her and Harish, and they combined white and red paint during the ceremony and painted the resulting pink paint onto parts of the crest. It then acted as a guestbook for their loved ones during the reception.
Other unifying aspects included the beautiful paper products Harish helped make a dream come true for Kristey, and the music selection, something that’s always been an integral part of their relationship. They also admire the phenomenal work done by their photographer and videographer. Harish and Kristey are truly grateful for every detail that went into making this moment as meaningful as it was.
For future brides and grooms, Kristey says to follow the advice of Aaron Rodgers and “RELAX! The day will move fast. Enjoy the moment; getting married to your soulmate.”