Vendors Warm Up to Hybrid Wedding Scene


The business of tying the knot.

How do you keep a ballroom’s fire sprinkler system from disrupting a wedding when the ceremony features a sacred fire (and the electric havan is presumably not an option)? Foxchase Manor manager Antonio Cecchi, whose staff assists with an average of 80 South Asian weddings a year, has perfected a technique. “The key is to keep the fire in a portable container, and then when you’re done, you carry it outside and close all the doors before blowing it out.”

The Washington Post’s “Two Cultures, Slowly Uniting In Matrimony” explores how, like Cecchi, photographers, dress designers and horse handlers have responded to the “rise of a hybrid wedding scene.” The story suggests that attempts to accommodate go in both directions, and have mixed results.

Virginia-based Harmon’s Hayrides started getting calls five years ago from Indian and Pakistani families looking to hire a white mare for the baraat. “Intrigued, Harmon decided to buy Sadie, a Virginia-bred draft horse. Within two years, Sadie was so heavily booked that Harmon purchased a second white mare named Cindy and went online to order traditional wedding attire for both horses from India.” Today Harmon’s has a “Southern Asia Weddings” page on its web site.

While the white coats of Sadie and Cindy make them some of the most sought after four-legged wedding participants, Arlington County dressmaker Priti Loungani-Malhotra is not finding many takers for her “white version of the classic Indian wedding gown, with a mermaid-shaped lengha, or skirt, that would do Vera Wang proud.” The customer interviewed went with the dress’s mermaid shape, but in gold out of respect for her fiancé’s family. White and ivory are making more headway in decorations. Aradhana Luthra of decorating company As U Wish mentions that “in Indian culture, white signifies mourning.” “It used to be such a taboo for weddings. But now so many brides are demanding it.”

The story also covered considerations taken into account by wedding vendors who worked Filipino, Chinese and Nigerian weddings.

Update: “It’s a nice day for a white (brown) wedding”

July 20, 2007
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