Veterinarians James and Sarika’s engagement shoot at the Sanford Zoo was one of my favorite of all time – so I knew their wedding at Oviedo on the Park was going to be a lot fun (check out the bearded dragon cake topper!) There was a perfect mix of cultures, so much beautiful color and amazing friends and family. Thank you Sarika and James for including us xo
Describe your wedding day style in one sentence: I wanted the style to reflect a cultural fusion of both Indian and American elements
Wedding day color scheme: Orange and White
Describe your wedding planning process: The wedding planning started fairly early since I was determined not to be stressed out! It actually all came together quite smoothly and with minimal stress which I love. I don’t have any nightmare stories about anything being messed up or delayed etc…and no bridezilla or family-zilla moments. I pretty much put together a list of the major stuff I needed to get done–dress, hair and makeup, venue, food, decorations, guest list, party favors, cake, music, invitations–and got one item done at a time. The guest list probably was the biggest challenge since we both wanted a small wedding and nothing over the top. Initially we had about 40 guests on our list, but it ended up being about 100 invitees instead! The end head count was around 65 which was perfect so it all worked out beautifully.
What advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day? I think the more time you give yourself to get things done, the less stressed you will be. It may sound crazy to start scouting a venue 8-10 months in advance but if it is a popular location, chances are there are already reservations in place close to the date you want. Also, once you have the venue figured out, everything else will fall in place around it much easier so get that done first (after figuring out the date you want, of course!). I would also recommend sticking to what YOU and your FIANCE want vs. what everyone else wants. Ultimately, this day is about the two of you and you can’t control if everyone around you is happy or not. Chances are, there will always be someone who has a different opinion about what you should’ve done so just expect it and accept it, but do what will make the both of you happy since it is YOUR DAY. Try to soak in the moments of the day as it will likely move at a fast pace and you will be busier than you thought. I never wanted to be the bride who couldn’t enjoy her day because of the million things that were happening–and I wasn’t. I remember every detail and truly enjoyed the entire day.
Anything you would have done differently? Not really; I guess it would’ve been nice to maybe have the venue for a couple more hours just because everyone was having such a good time socializing and catching up with family.
Most memorable moment during the planning process: It was really exciting when we found the wedding invitation we liked–it seemed to make it more real all of a sudden. Also, getting our engagement picture location planned out was fantastic since we were able to incorporate our careers into it. The zoo was a pretty unbelievable location and the pictures were so unique and gorgeous.
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple? I think just the everyday routine knowing that we will waking up together and going to bed together for the rest of our lives! Having each other as that constant in our lives is such a comfort and being able to share all of the moments whether little or large will be wonderful.
Which moment are you the most excited to see in photos? That is such a hard question! I honestly don’t know since I’m excited to see all of them! I am always a fan of candid pics and natural photos because it’s almost like a challenge to see if you can catch that one fleeting moment that is unplanned, and when you do, you feel great! Since we ended up doing some ‘first looks’ I am curious to see how they turned out.
What was your wedding inspiration? I really was just inspired to have a wedding that reflected simple elegance. Culturally, Indian weddings are so extravagant, lavish and over the top (in a good way). But even so, I never really wanted it to be such a huge affair and so I was inspired to keep it small, simple but still beautiful. I liked the idea of a day-time wedding because living in Florida, we get such beautiful light with the sunshine and weather, and it adds to the more casual tone I wanted overall. I can honestly say other than wanting it small, I really didn’t have any other ideas of what I wanted when I started planning. It all seemed to evolve and just come together as I tackled the tasks of getting the venue, food etc…Even finding my dress was an accident since I initially was going to buy it to wear to my brother’s wedding reception, but then found another one so I made the first one my wedding dress by default!
Describe some of your favorite wedding details and how you came up with them: I think the bearded dragon cake topper is a favorite of both mine and my husband. Since we work with animals, we wanted to show that in small detail at our wedding. Initially, we were looking for a cute cat cake topper so we just started googling images of animal cake toppers. We ran across this bearded dragon bride and groom topper which was just ADORABLE!! Turns out this very talented lady in Canada makes them from her own custom mold and can customize them to reflect the wedding colors. The example online actually was exactly what we would be wearing in terms of colors so it was almost a given that that’s the one we settled on. It was also very important to me to have a representation of my grandfather who passed away a number of years ago, so I had my decorator make a special commemorative boutonniere for him and had a reserved seat for him during the ceremony in his memory. I also wanted to have his picture there so I placed one by the card box inside where the reception would take place and that way he had a place both during the ceremony and the reception. The party favors were a tough job to tackle since I hate clutter and usually these tokens are just something else to collect which I didn’t want. My husband and I ended up going with personalized mini mason jars because we figured at least they can be used after the wedding as well as be a memento. They turned out really nice and we filled them with some sweet and salty goodies so I think it was a great idea.