When I first met with Joanna and Jay to talk about their big Catholic and East Indian Wedding day, it was clear right away that this was going to be an epic and very unique wedding day. One interesting fact about this couple is that a few years ago, they had a small and very intimate legal wedding ceremony with just their families. So although Jay and Joanna were already married, they thought it was very important to honour both of their families' culture and traditions with a religious wedding day and of course a big party to follow! Joanna & Jay's day started with a morning Catholic wedding service at St. Thomas More Parish in NE Calgary. After the service, everyone enjoyed a delicious Japanese food truck lunch in the parking lot. One of my favourite moments of the day was walking out of the church and seeing so many beautiful, colourful saris as everyone waited in line for their lunch.
Since the day was jam-packed with events, we all head straight back to the hotel to prepare for the afternoon Hindu ceremony. Jay and Joanna changed out of their suit and white dress and into beautiful, traditional red outfits. Many of their guests also changed to match the event.
One of the most exciting parts of their wedding day was the Groom's Barat. This is a procession that takes place before the Hindu ceremony. All of the guest wait outside for the groom to arrive (Jay arrived in an awesome black Camaro) and then greet him with cheering, a drummer and lots of dancing. Although a bridal party is not a traditional part of a Hindu ceremony, Jay wanted his groomsmen to be an integral part of the Barat procession, so they all wore matching Flames Jerseys.
A Hindu wedding ceremony takes place in Sanskrit. Since most of Jay and Joanna's guests do not understand Sanskrit, their priest did a great job of stopping between each ritual to explain in English what was about to happen and why they would be doing each part. I especially loved his updates on their marital status "Now they are 60% married!"
Of course, after two beautiful ceremonies, everyone was ready to party! From a choreographed bridal party entrance, to a delicious curry dinner and a packed dance floor, Jay and Joanna's reception did not disappoint.
One thing to note is that when you are planning a wedding day like this, there are so many places for things to go wrong. Joanna is a meticulous planner, but she knew she would need help to pull everything off. She hired Anna and Sherwin from Beso Event Designs to help her design all three, big events and execute everything on the day and they did an amazing job.
Congratulations Jay and Joanna!
To see more images from Joanna and Jay's multicultural wedding day, check out their slideshow here.
Catholic Ceremony: St. Thomas More Catholic Parish Hindu Ceremony and Reception: Executive Royal Inn Event Planner and Designer: Beso Event Designs DJ: House of Bounce Hair Stylist: Chic Effectz Hair Wedding Dress: Bragging Bride Boutique