I am Sri Lankan and my husband is Indian so we had a wedding filled with lots of culture and tradition but with a modern and unique vibe. We got married in Malibu, California at Saddlerock Ranch on August 30th, 2008. We had both a Buddhist Sri Lankan ceremony and a Hindu Indian ceremony back to back. We then celebrated under the gorgeous trees at Saddlerock until 2 in the morning!
2.) Allowed outside catering
The Semler family owns the entire 1000-acre ranch and have lived on the property for over 27 years. The ranch has 65-acres of vineyards and is home to dozens of horses and many exotic animals (zebras, peacocks, etc). I can't really explain the exotic animals but it fit in with my groom riding in on an elephant so I went with it.
I wanted to keep our ceremony mandap/poruwa mostly white/ivory but I wanted the aisle to have a burst of orange in it. I wanted to save the rich plum color for the reception.
After looking at tons of pictures, I found R. Jack Balthazar. They make some truly breathtaking and unique florals and they served as the bulk of my inspiration for the wedding.
I found these pictures of copper/dark wood bowls filled with rocks and orange spider dahlias in them and fell in love. I thought they would look great lining the aisle.
For the mandap/poruwa, I knew I wanted to have lots of hanging garlands of jasmine or orchids. I was not a fan of the traditional mandaps with large thick pillars and super
intricate/colorful work. I was having such a hard time finding inspiration photos for the structure until I stumbled across Michelle Rago's website. The pictures below are of a chuppah she helped
create at the Breakers hotel. I love the beautiful hand carved structure with its Moroccan vibe. It was too intricate and expensive for us to replicate but it spoke volumes for what I wanted for our vibe. I recommend South Asian brides to look at chuppahs for inspiration - they are usually more modern and streamlined that the mandaps that are available.
I LOVE these orchid trees. We wanted to do some type of archway leading into the aisle but I had to cut the ceremony flower budget down so these beauties didn't make it.
Here is how our mandap/poruwa turned out. Again, these aren't pro pics but these should give you a good idea for now. We rented a simple dark wood canopy and a basic platform that we covered in ivory carpet. I love the florals dripping from the structure. I wish there were more garlands but it still looked very beautiful.
All the manzanita trees and decor surrounding the structure were later moved to serve as a background for our sweetheart table.
I wanted to keep the costs of cocktail hour decor down so I went for something simple and unique. I'm not sure that my Mom was a huge fan of the fruit in a centerpiece but I loved the pyramids of oranges and stephanotis. Again, my inspiration was from R. Jack Balthazar.
Here is where my love for manzanitas enters. When I first started wedding planning, I saw an episode of Platinum Weddings and saw this couple's florals with huge copper tree centerpieces. They copper tree was dripping with flowers - heavier at the base and then hanging off the branches. They also had these hanging candles coming off the branches. Instead of copper (which would cost like $2K a centerpiece) we used manzanita trees. I love their modern yet romantic feel.
Another Tree by Square Root Design
We are going to have some long rectangular tables as well and I am in love with this sort of creeping tree and flower look from R. Jack Balthazar ( I know, I'm obsessed).
Flowers by Fiore Designs
Love this lush piece also from R. Jack Balthazar
My lovely florist Jill from M's Flowers created these beauties for us. The florals are roses, hydrangeas, succint, coxcomb, dahlias, succulents and lotus pods. These are just pictures from friends, but my photographer got some gorgeous pictures that I can't wait to put up.
Closeup of the tree centerpieces:
Closeup of Long Tables
Overview of all tables
Overview of all tables again