Jennifer Parker & Sunny Kakwani
April 28, 2017. Huntington, New York
“Like many great twenty-first century love story, this one began on the Internet. Jennifer Parker and Sunny Kakwani matched online back in 2014. Though their virtual connection was immediate and strong, Jen and Sunny waited a couple weeks before meeting in person.
“By the time we actually met face-to-face, there was a lot of anticipation and internal excitement,” Jen says.
After meeting for a cocktail at a speakeasy, that initial online connection was confirmed.
“I knew there was magic there,” Jen says.
The magic continued while visiting Jen’s family in Portland. On a perfect morning, the couple headed over to the city’s famed Rose Garden, one of Jen’s favorite spots. At the garden, Sunny led her down a path to a breathtaking vista looking out at Mt. Hood. In that stunning setting, he dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him.
“Time froze. I burst into a smile-cry and nodded ‘Yes,’” she says. “I soon noticed all of my loved ones emerge from their hiding spots with cheers, tears and hugs. It was so thoughtfully planned—an incredibly special moment he gave me.”
Coming from very different backgrounds—Sunny is of Sindhi heritage and was born in New Delhi and grew up in New York, while Jen was raised by a Christian family in Oregon—Jen worked hard to plan an Indian wedding that was authentic to both her and her future husband.
Having only attended a few South Asian wedding celebrations, she researched ceremony, décor, dress, food, dance and all of the other elements of a traditional Hindu wedding. Family members and mixed cultural couple friends—along with an incredible team of vendors—helped them put together a personal and unforgettable celebration.
They held their Sangeet, a pre-wedding party full of color and dance, at the Diamond Horseshoe. The space was positively glowing with spectacular lights and vivid flowers, and the couple’s outfits matched the colorful charm of the venue.
“It was so New York,” Jen says. “Just like a speakeasy, and so creative to work in. The décor created by our vendors enhanced the existing décor and was truly one-of-a-kind.”
As incredible as the Sangeet was, the color-drenched ceremony at Long Island’s Oheka Castle may have topped it. The sheer volume, intensity and beauty of the hanging flowers created an extraordinary setting for the couple to wed.
“On the wedding day, we were both overjoyed to become husband and wife, excited to see all of the details bring our dreams to life, and eager to celebrate our love with our friends and family,” Jen says.
The bride’s love of art and creativity inspired the ceremony’s bursts of vibrant color, which also stayed true to Hindu wedding traditions. The bright hues contrasted perfectly against the deep greens of Oheka’s gardens.
The stunning ceremony was made even more so by Sunny’s Baraat. (The Baraat is a traditional wedding procession where the groom travels
160to the wedding on a horse accompanied by his family members.)
“For both of us, one of the most magical moments was seeing each other as the groom’s Baraat entered the courtyard of the castle,” Jen says. “I was perched atop the balcony of the bridal suite, waving to Sunny below on his horse, surrounded by the love and energy of our whole wedding party. I could see his huge beaming smile from all the way up there as he screamed, ‘I’m coming for you, Jen!’”
For the reception, they moved the party indoors. Jen and Sunny toned down the colors for this leg of the celebration to create a clean, sophisticated, super-chic affair. Loads of white flowers, mirrored accessories and romantic touches played into the glamorous vibe.
“It was the perfect scene for a formal celebration of love and romance,” Jen says.
Because this couple never runs out of ideas or energy, their honeymoon features an extended, multi-destination adventure. Immediately following their New York wedding, they headed to Punta Cana for a quick getaway. Then, after a second wedding reception in Portland in July, they road tripped through Oregon and Northern California. Next up, they’re planning a romantic trip to Italy.
> Written by Allyson Reedy