Yamini and Mark met on Valentine’s Day, and knew right away they had the makings of a great team, as the two began spending a lot of time together playing trivia weekly. They were engaged on December 1, 2013 while visiting Lincoln Park’s Zoo Lights. Yamini recalls, “It was one of those take-your-breath-away proposals, with a mystery note that led me to Mark, who was waiting at Lottie’s Pub where we first met. After that we were whisked away to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where “Will You Marry Me?” was illuminated in holiday lights. Following the proposal, we celebrated with friends and family.”
June 20th began as a picture perfect day in Chicago, and as the beautiful bride stepped into her magenta and gold lehenga, the anticipation began to grow. “Mark and I shared our memorable first look atop the Dana Hotel. I was so nervous as I rode the elevator up, mostly because my Indian dress was so heavy, but the minute I saw Mark, all my nerves melted away.”
When we arrived at Greenhouse Loft, it was time for the first of two ceremonies to begin. The Indian ceremony took place in the courtyard, under the mandap and included many rituals, such as Saptapadi, in which the couple takes seven steps together, symbolizing an unspoken vow. “Somehow I was able to recite the ancient Sanskrit language with stunning accuracy,” Mark remembers. Family and friends participated by showering the couple with flowers and providing blessings for the marriage.
Following a cocktail hour and a brief Western-style ceremony officiated by a friend of the groom, guests filled up on fusion Indian/American fare and cupcakes for dessert. From there, the bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance and never left.
“Mark and I were both equally involved in the planning of our wedding and wanted it to be a celebration of culture, as well as our love. We had so much fun creating a wedding that infused both my Indian heritage and the modern wedding we both envisioned.”