Ravali Parsa & Arpan Parikh
May 26, 2019. Cleveland, Ohio
Ravali Parsa and Arpan Parikh’s story began in New York City after an introduction from Ravali’s sister. Ravali had lived in New York for five years and was working as an investment banker, and Arpan had just moved to the city to begin his residency training.
Fast forward a few months, and Arpan planned the perfect date at a wine bar called Gottino. However, he forgot to make a reservation, the venue was packed, and it was pouring rain outside. Ravali quickly ushered him next door to a grungy Irish Bar, where they spent the night chatting and immediately clicked. As Ravali recalled, “The first time I met Arpan, I knew he was the real deal. He wanted to know about my dreams, goals, and was so attentive of my every need.”
Arpan noted as soon as he met Ravali, “That first night flew by; hours passed as if they were just minutes, and I couldn’t wait to ask Ravali out on a second date.” That weekend commenced years of dating, laughter, and joy.
On March 25, 2017, Arpan proposed to Ravali at the same wine bar he tried to take Ravali on their first date. Arpan recalls, “I wanted to take Ravali back to the first day we met and show her how much we have grown.” He rented the whole venue and organized a brunch in the garden backyard. He popped the question and had a photographer capture every moment. Afterward, Arpan led Ravali to Wallflower, which he rented out for lunch with their closest NYC friends. Following brunch, he asked Ravali to pack a weekend bag, and they flew off in a private jet to Ohio (where they grew up) to see their families and celebrate the rest of the weekend.
Since Ravali and Arpan are both from Ohio, they knew they wanted to get married there, where so many of their friends and family are. After numerous site visits, they found the Cleveland Museum of Art. The couple noted, “The museum was the perfect blend of our Indian heritage and roots in Ohio, with its beaming glass atrium and rich art collection – we knew we had found our venue!” They also asked permission to open the Southeast Asian exhibit during the reception for their guests to explore, which was granted for the first time.
The wedding was a five-day-long celebration with the Mendhi, Haldi, and Pelli Kuthuru (a traditional Telugu making of the bride ceremony) taking place Ravali’s house in Lima, Ohio, and Arpan’s respective Mendhi and Haldi celebrations in Akron. After months of planning, and a two-week-long shopping spree in India where the bride and groom selected custom Anushree Reddy, Anita Dongre, Sulakshana Mongna, and Sabyasachi pieces for their wedding outfits, the couple was beyond excited for the big day.
They began the weekend with an action-packed Sangeet filled with dance performances, a custom flower wall, and food catered by New Jersey’s Mogul catering, incorporating Telugu, Gujurati, and East Asian flavors. The wedding day started with the groom entering in a Rolls Royce. Despite the rainy weather, his groomsmen and family danced the morning away. A Hindu wedding ceremony was held in the Hilton’s grand ballroom with a custom, completely floral mandap designed by Elegance Décor. The bride selected vivid blues, purples, and reds for the mandap, which carried throughout the reception décor as well. The couple’s favorite moment of the day was seeing each other at the mandap and circling the sacred fire. As Ravali remembered, “The ceremony itself was so peaceful and meant so much to the both of us. We were both in another world, celebrating our love for one another.”
The couple recalls, “Everything came together beautifully, and we will be forever grateful for our family and friends who celebrated with us. Immediately after the wedding had a mini-moon at the 1 Hotel in South Beach. Later in the summer, we had a full two-week honeymoon in Greece, where we island-hopped between Santorini, Ios, and Mykonos. We felt Greece was the perfect mix of beach, relaxation, and exploration; and the food is incredible! We hope every vacation we take together will be like our honeymoon – pure bliss.”