What happens when two wedding cultures mix? You get one big beautiful colourful wedding! Palak and Bill mixed both Hindu and Asian cultures to create this visually stunning wedding at the Grand Empire Banquet Hall in Ontario. It’s not every day you see Chinese dragon dancers straight after a Hindu ceremony!
Fusion weddings are possibly one of our absolute favourites here at UWM. We love seeing all the cultures mix together and creating an amazing day for the couple and guests. Palak and Bill’s special day was captured by HRM Photography. Huge thank you for sharing this beautiful wedding with us! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! If you’re planning a fusion wedding, let us know in the comments below.
Your love story
Palak: “Bill and I both did our undergraduate degrees at Western University. Him in Engineering, and me in Genetics; but, we didn’t “officially” meet until Bill was in his last year of Medical School, and I was in my 2nd year of Dental School. One of my close friends was in the same medical class as Billy, and she would go on about this super nice guy named “Billy”, who was smart and nice and did million-and-one different things. I didn’t really think much of it or of him because he was Chinese, and I was Indian, and I was certain I was destined to meet and marry a nice Indian guy. And then I met Billy.
My friend had invited me to one of their Med class events, but before going to the venue we had to go pick up Billy. Billy and I immediately clicked! It was as if we’d been best friends forever. We could talk about anything, there was an immediate chemistry and I think we both knew right from the beginning that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other. The proposal was in October. Billy took me to Tobermory (I’d never been). We went on a hike, and Billy proposed to me at the top of the Grotto, overlooking Lake Huron. I was sweaty, in my running shoes and active wear, makeup-less, hair up; but, it was the perfect place, the perfect time, the perfect location and so us!”
How did you arrange your wedding?
“The planning of our Wedding was a communal event. Since I was the first in my family to get married, I prepared Billy for having one Big Fat Indian Wedding! Although Billy is Chinese, he does not have much family in Canada, and his parents are quite liberal. So, we knew that the Wedding would be a traditional Hindu wedding, and the Reception was where I wanted to incorporate more of Billy’s culture. The planning of our fusion wedding was a collaborative effort from my parents, my siblings, Billy’s parents, and us. We all worked together tirelessly to arrange a fabulous fusion wedding. The execution of all the events leading up the wedding, and of the wedding and reception itself – could not have been done without the help from our immediate family, our extended family and all of our “family-friends” – whom to me are more like family. We’re lucky to be surrounded by such amazing family and friends, who helped make our Wedding perfect.”
What did you both wear?
“For the Wedding, I wore a traditional Gujarati wedding Sari, and Billy wore a traditional Indian wedding Sherwani.
For the Reception, I started off wearing an Indian Lengha, and then changed into a traditional Chinese dress; while, Billy wore a classic/preppy Dark Blue Suit with Bow-tie.”
What venue did you choose?
“Our venue was the Grand Empire Banquet hall in Brampton. We decided on this venue mainly because it could house all 500 of our guests! But also because when we got married, Grand Empire was brand new and very grandeur, we loved the large welcoming entrance to the banquet hall and loved their aquarium wall.
Our wedding ceremony was a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony. Lots of traditions and customs were incorporated into the ceremony, and Billy even came in on a horse for the Baraat!”
Was the day how you imagined?
“The Wedding/Reception day was everything and more than I imagined! I didn’t even mind waking up at 5am for my hair and makeup – and I absolutely love to sleep in, so that’s saying a lot! There were a few emotional/teary moments for me: when I put on my wedding sari and while I was waiting to make my entrance – it all suddenly hit me, that this was real and about to happen. Walking down the aisle and seeing my family and friends, realizing how blessed I was to have all these people in my life. And of course, the Vidaii, the “farewell” portion of the Hindu wedding, when the Bride and groom leave, is always an emotional event!
My favourite moment was when Billy saw me for the first time. In a Hindu wedding, when the bride walks down the aisle, the groom’s view is blocked by a white cloth held across his face by my brother and Billy’s cousin. The cloth is taken away, only once the Bride is seated at the Mandap. That moment the cloth was taken away was very special, Billy’s reaction was priceless, and our wonderful photographers caught it on camera!”
What advice would you give to other couples?
“The one piece of advice I would give to other couples is enjoy every moment. Both Billy and I are very easy-going, and we knew that we did everything in our power in the days leading up to the wedding and reception, to make it perfect. So, when the special day came, we left our stresses at home, let our friends and family help out, weren’t worried about what went right/wrong and just enjoyed every moment!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“On our honeymoon, we went to Belize. Billy is an avid scuba diver. He has his Dive Masters, and he encouraged me to get my scuba diving on our trip to Hawaii. So it only seemed fitting, that for our honeymoon we would go to one of the best known scuba-diving locations, Belize. We went for 4 days, did 1-2 dives a day, and Billy did the world famous Blue Hole dive. A memorable, adventure-filled trip!”
Ceremony and Reception: Grand Empire Banquet Hall grandempirebanquet.ca / Decorations: Diya Decor diyadecor.com / Hair and make-up: Tuhina Paul / Music: Empire Entertainment empireentertainment.ca / Photography: HRM Photography hrmphotography.com