Real Wedding: Puja & Michel

APRIL 16, 2011: Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel
Photographs by Critsey Rowe Photography
The couple described their wedding as “two cultures coming together” for an elegant but fun affair.

It was an event-packed weekend for teacher Puja Bhalla, detective Michel Sumner, and their 130 guests, who traveled to SouthPark to celebrate their marriage. The wedding fun kicked off two days before the big event, when Puja invited her bridesmaids to have henna designs painted on their hands and feet in a nod to her Hindu heritage. And on the next night, friends and family members danced and told jokes during a traditional sangeet party. When the wedding day arrived, Michel and Puja served a light Mexican-themed lunch to guests, followed by the first ceremony—a traditional ninety-minute Hindu ceremony. About two hours later was the Christian service, where Puja swapped her handmade saree for a strapless gown from Mecklenburg Bridal. Afterward, she changed into another saree (a lavish purple and gold one) for the grand reception. While Split Second Sound DJ played American and Indian songs, guests grazed over stations of Indian food, plus Italian cuisine like lobster and mushroom ravioli. The lavish spread was topped off with a three-tier (and multiflavored) wedding cake from Concord’s Chocolatier Baccurand.



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