The brides walk hand in hand, adorned in their wedding dresses, against the backdrop of an urban landscape.

An Indian-American Lesbian Wedding

Alissa and Aveena decided to inject both their American and Indian cultures into a beautiful and emotional wedding ceremony in Seattle. After a short engagement (you can find their engagement story here), they let their wedding planners take the reins on their modern meets romantic, Indian-American wedding day.

For Aveena, the proposal was the scariest but happiest moment of her life. She calls it “the moment you realize there is someone else in the world who will always love and care for you.”

Photography by Carley Jayne Photography

Planning a Wedding With a Short Engagement

After wanting a short engagement, there was a certain point, we both told our excellent wedding planners that they don’t need to run anything by us. Just do it.

Our amazing wedding planners, Bright Events, did so many DIY projects leading up to the wedding. From designing signs to assembly bridesmaid bouquets. They really did a stellar job in making all our visions come to life.

We wanted our wedding to feel modern and romantic, with touches of Aveena’s Indian culture. The venue is industrial-inspired with wood textures and high, exposed beam ceilings. We added plenty of flowers and candles to ensure the space felt intimate and warm.

Hosting a Mehndi Henna Party as a Lesbian Couple

Two days before the wedding, we held a Mehndi (henna) party and invited all the women. We both wore lehenga, and our guests were so excited to participate in some of the traditional aspects of Indian weddings. Including henna, authentic Indian food, etc.

Finding the Perfect Lehenga  

Alissa fell in love with the third dress she tried on the first time she went shopping. She decided to hold off on making a decision before trying a couple of other shops. But ultimately came back to that first dress at Lovely Bride in Seattle. It helped that Alissa’s mom and sister teared up both times she tried it on.

Aveena originally ordered a lehenga from India, and when it arrived, it was perfectly nice but didn’t make her feel too excited. On a trip home to Minneapolis a few months before the wedding, she randomly found a lehenga in an Indian shop. It really grabbed her eye and brought her to tears. She ended up buying it, and had it shipped out to Seattle. 

The morning of the wedding, when Aveena was getting dressed and putting on her wedding lehenga, Ashley (Aveena’s maid of honor and older sister) found out at that moment that Aveena had not tried her wedding lehenga on, ever. Aveena had it in her possession for months and had never actually tried it on. Ashley, being a good maid of honor, had insisted Aveena try it on before the actual wedding day to make sure it fits. A pretty reasonable request, but it had just never happened. The beautiful pictures that our photographer captured of Ashley helping Aveena in her lehenga were combined feelings of happiness, joy, and loving older sister frustrations.

An Indian American Lesbian Wedding

Our wedding day was beautiful from beginning to end. We were very intentional about how we wanted to spend our time and what we wanted our wedding to look like. It came together better than we could have ever expected.

Alissa’s favorite moment was really the entirety of the ceremony. She was so nervous walking down the aisle and could barely look at Aveena for more than a few seconds at a time because she was worried about crying (and she really can’t talk when she’s crying, which would make the vows hard). All the same, when we locked eyes, it was such an intense, intimate feeling despite being surrounded by so many people.

Our officiant did an incredible job capturing our unique personalities and what brought us together. As well as touching on the fact that marriage equality is still relatively new in the United States, making our wedding even more momentous.

We both wrote wonderful vows, including a bit of humor and a lot of sincerity that reflected how deeply honored we felt to be loved by the other and how excited we were to have a future together.

Aveena’s favorite moment was when our officiant pronounced us married, and we kissed as wives with everyone cheering. She describes it as a moment of resolve following all the oppression she felt growing up as an LGBTQ+ person in a conservative community. As the judgment and homophobia from people in our lives only intensified leading up to our wedding. It was beautiful to feel like that fight was over, and we could celebrate our new family with joy.

Incorporating Christian Traditions into a Queer Wedding

Alissa isn’t religious, and Aveena is Christian, so we wanted the wedding to incorporate some words and rituals that reflected each of our beliefs. For example, our officiant, Chris, led the two of us through communion during the ceremony. Chris provided some context of this ritual for people who weren’t familiar with it. He encouraged attendees to use that time to do whatever felt meaningful to them. Whether praying, sending us good energy, or simply being mindful. We stepped aside to take a moment to take communion, which was a lovely break and allowed Chris to check in with us. Let us know we were doing great, and then the three of us took part in communion and prayed together.

Stand Out Vendor

Our photographer, Carley Jayne Photography, was amazing from the start! We took engagement photos with her, and she put us at ease. Having those engagement photos helped us feel more relaxed on the day, we’re really glad we did those.

Expressing excitement for our wedding and giving us ideas for other vendors who ended up being awesome and affirming, too.

Photography by Carley Jayne Photography

Bridal Boutique Lovely Bride
Cake Topper Happily Ever Etched Inc
Catering Purple Wine Bar & Café
Event Planner & Stylist Bright Events
Florist Colibri Blooms
Gown Designer Emmy Mae
H&MU LiSun Goh Beauty
Photo Booth The Snap Bar
Rings La More Design, Ben Bridge, Mejuri
Venue Cast Iron Studios

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