John + Reena | A Modern, Traditional Indian-Nigerian Wedding

August 17, 2019

This is a continuation of John + Reena’s 3 day wedding celebration. If you haven’t seen the pre-wedding festivities, check it out here: John + Reena | Mehndhi & Sangeet.

The wedding day was full of energy and beauty. The bride and groom wanted to honor both of their cultural heritages but also stay true to their modern values of equality. The way they thought through every aspect was incredible! Both Indian and Nigerian cultures were represented in the attire, food, music, ceremony traditions, and decor. Here are just a few of the cultural aspects that were infused into the celebration…

The use of coral was woven throughout the aesthetic of the day. In traditional Nigerian weddings, the bride & groom will be adorned in coral beads, because they symbolize wealth and power. You can see it in John’s accessories, but you may not notice that Reena has a coral necklace that John places on her during the ceremony. This was actually in honor of both cultures, because in Indian weddings, the groom gifts the bride a necklace called Mangalsutra, but its traditionally black and gold instead of coral. I love how they blended the symbolism! The coral beads of Reena’s necklace and bracelet were actually found in India and custom made for her.

Reena wore a coral and royal blue lehngha that she picked out when shopping in India, while John wore white, traditional Edo attire that his sister sourced from Lagos.

After all the preparations, there was a baraat – uniquely customized to fit this intercultural marriage. In traditional Indian weddings, the groom will arrive on a horse with his family and guests dancing along, and it’s a very grand processional. Reena didn’t want to miss out on this fun wedding tradition, and since John isn’t Indian, she did a rendition of it. She was the one who processed with family along Nicollet Mall, dancing all around the block to meet John’s family at the top of the steps of Westminster. The energy was incredible.

Immediately following the baraat, the bride and groom walked down the aisle together to begin the two ceremonies. It was most important to John + Reena to have a ceremony in both of their faith practice, so they first had a Hindu ceremony followed by a Christian ceremony. And they created the the mandap that they stood under – the four pillared structure that is tradition to Hindu weddings.

After being showered in flower petals and the blessings of guests, everyone enjoyed mingling and tasting the rich flavors from each culture’s cuisine. The evening carried on with sentimental toasts, dancing, and most importantly, love.

To read the fuller story from the bride’s perspective, check out our feature in Munaluchi Bride’s blog: Vibrant Indian and Nigerian Multicultural Wedding in Minneapolis, MN.

Vendor Love
Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Lounge
Florist: Botany Creative Works
Decor: Kahani Events & Design
Henna: Shakuntala Design, Kahani Events & Design
Cake: Jo Garrison Cakes
Stationary: Kahani Events & Design
Bride’s attire Ceremony + Reception: @aishwariya_designstudio
Groom’s attire – Ceremony: Traditional wear sourced from Edo State, Nigeria / Reception: @savviformalwear
John’s family Aso Ebi attire: @sallyrides_fabrics & @bisoladaramola
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Westminster Church
DJ: SAP Entertainment
Videography: Henry Adewale Films
Cuisine: Indian food – Bay Leaf Indian Cuisine / Nigerian food – JTC Catering + Alice Atern
Bar: Urban Forage Winery

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