Ganesh, the lotus flower, bold red accents, and donuts came together at this D.C. art gallery fête.
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Anjana Kadakkal and Trentice Bolar's ring exchange was a moment nine years in the making. Not that the wait was a problem. "We're both extremely determined, committed people who don't mind the long haul," Anjana says, "As you can tell from our careers!" Anjana, a physician, was finishing her medical-school rotations in New York City when she met Trent, now an attorney, on the dance floor in a bar. "We spent every day together for a week, and then I headed to Chicago for my residency," she says. For two years, they dated long distance, until Trent started law school in Chicago. But then, after two years together, Anjana relocated to Washington, D.C., for a medical fellowship, and Trent landed a plum job at a firm in NYC. After another four years apart, Trent finally moved to the capital in May 2014. Within a month, they were engaged. "He got down on one knee in our living room," Anjana recalls. "It was very low-key."
What wasn't low-key? Their bold vision for the wedding. "I didn't want a white dress," says Anjana, who chose red because, she says, "in traditional Indian culture, only widows wear all white." Remembering early dates driving around New York admiring street art, the couple booked Long View Gallery in Washington, D.C., and decorated it with graffiti-like details that also incorporated Anjana's heritage. On May 2, before 106 guests, a friend officiated as they exchanged vows they'd written, standing in front of a graffiti image of Trent's favorite flower, the lotus, which is sacred in Hinduism and signifies new beginnings.
From the crimson gown to the DJ's mix of what Anjana calls "a '90s punk soundtrack," the celebration was upbeat and unconventional. After a meal of shrimp and grits, kale salad, spiced lamb, and curried sea bass, a throng of loved ones, spanning all the states, schools, and jobs in the pair's history, climbed onstage to bust out their moves. The newlyweds soon joined the fun, kicking off their marriage the same way they met: on the dance floor.
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A Breakfast Delivery
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Her Bold Bouquet
Although she carried a lamp down the aisle in keeping with Indian tradition, she held a bouquet for her wedding portraits and the first look. The sheath bouquet by Sidra Forman included banksia, echinops, grevillia, leucadendron, and protea. "I love flowers that are fluffy or interesting," says Anjana.
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In Indian ceremonies, brides often carry lamps. Anjana walked down the aisle with this votive on a porcelain tray lined with moss, succulents, and echinops.
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Bridesmaids in Black
The bride chose different black dresses to fit each bridesmaid's personality and style.
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Anjana found the lotus design online and had it re-created on an 8-by-10-foot canvas. "Now it's displayed in our home," she says.
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The Cocktail Napkins
While they were apart, Anjana sent Trent love quotes. She selected five of them to print on their cocktail napkins.
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The Reception Tables
The couple filled their reception with farm tables, ghost chairs, and glass vessels with lilies, dianthus, banksias, proteas, scabiosa, grevilleas, and bottlebrush.
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The couple has a wooden table and ghost chairs in their home, and wanted the same look at their reception. The centerpieces were alternating cloches filled with string lights and plates with tropical flowers.
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"Three is a lucky number in Indian culture," says Anjana, who chose three buttercream frosted white on white patterned cakes and topped them with Sweet and Saucy Supply cake toppers that spelled out the celebration of the day. Two of the confections were white cake with passionfruit curd and blackberry meringue buttercream, and the third was an almond cake with salted caramel filling.
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And They Danced
The newlyweds join their guests in dancing to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk," during a flash mob performance organized by the bridesmaids.
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Late Night Doughnuts
All of the gifts to guests were edible, from the welcome scones delivered to their doors the morning of the wedding to this parting party favor: donuts from an Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken truck the couple had parked outside. "I thought a donut truck would be a fun urban way to end the night," Anjana says. The graffiti-inspired pouches are just stickers on normal pastry bags.
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Location: Long View Gallery
Event Planning: Pineapple Productions
Catering: Spilled Milk Catering
Flowers: Sidra Forman
Décor and Furniture: Design Foundry
Photography: Kate Headley
Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts
Music: DJ Chris Stiles
Rentals: DC Rental
Bride's Gown: Vera Wang
Hair: Hair by Giselle
Makeup: Carl Ray
Groom's Ensemble: Suitsupply
Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker
Transportation: RMA Worldwide Chauffered Transportation
Valet: MJ Valet
Donut Truck: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Cake Toppers: Sweet and Saucy Supply