An Indian-Italian Hybrid Wedding in Sonoma
Culture, color, and charm came together at this Santa Rosa summer soirée.
Rosie and Ambi
Ambi Sidhu and Rosie D'Argenzio met in the San Francisco offices of One Kings Lane in the winter of 2012. They were watching a football game when Rosie randomly sat down next to Ambi on the couch and wondered who the charming nerd was. Three months later, they were dating, and about a year after that, the Brooklyn-based social media manager and software engineer were engaged.
They spent as much time engaged as they had dated, and set out to plan a beautiful destination wedding that was a full week of fun and merged their two cultures—Italian for her and Indian for him. The festivities kicked off with three days of Punjabi festivities, continuing with a rehearsal dinner with Indian and Italian cuisine, and concluding with a pool party at the bride's father's house. Annadel Estate Winery, a working winery and flower farm not too far from Santa Rosa, California, where Rosie grew up, was the setting for the colorful May 23, 2015, celebration, anchored with indigo and pops of crimson and peach.
Rosie tried on about a half dozen dresses, but her Rue de Seine dress was the winner. "I loved that it was structured in a way that I felt sexy but also loose in a way I knew I could have fun," she recalls of the gown, which also featured lace detailing and slits up the skirt. She paired it with a Twigs & Honey headpiece, vintage earrings and a necklace from Ambi's mom that matched the ring Ambi's dad had given her on her own wedding day, and red Valentino shoes with studs (though she later swapped out the heels for white Converse sneakers).
Rosie's bridesmaids wore floral-print Reformation dresses and fresh flower crowns of jasmine vine.
The Bridal Bouquet
Twiggs Floral Studio created the bridal bouquet using peonies, foxglove, vintage hydrangeas, jasmine, garden roses, passion vine, chocolate cosmos, and pieris japonica. As with all of the floral elements, it was important to the couple that there be some blooms that you'd see in a traditional Indian wedding as well as full garden blooms, which the bride loves.
Cutting the Ribbon
Rosie first witnessed a ribbon cutting ceremony at Ambi's cousin's wedding in India. "It's a beautiful (and loud) procession where the groomsmen walk into the wedding making noise and playing musical instruments," she explains. "They are met by the bridesmaids holding a ribbon and refusing to let them in—until a bit of bribing happens, showing generosity.
"As a playful prank, the bride's sisters will usually block the entrance to the Sikh Temple with a giant ribbon so the groom cannot enter," Ambi explains. "In order to pass, he must offer them a gift, usually a large sum of money. Sometimes this happens after the wedding when the groom's party arrives at the bride's house after the wedding. In our case, the bridesmaids, led by Rosie's sister Mia, blocked my groomsmen and I from entering the wedding site with a red ribbon. I put a $1 bill on the tray Mia held out as a joke. Of course, she motioned for something a little more enticing. I followed that bill with quite a few more of a much larger denomination. She kept motioning for more and finally after some joking around my best man passed me a jewelry box containing earrings I got for Rosie in New York City. Mia then passed me the scissors and I cut the red ribbon and we all were able to enter."
The couple got dhurries on a trip to India, which they stood on during their ceremony, which took place in front of a magnolia tree decorated with fresh garlands of two to four dozen flowers each. The pair read their own vows, and once declared husband and wife, they walked up the aisle to "Ritual Union" by Little Dragon. "Standing under the tree waiting for Rosie, and looking out to see my friends and family, was a memorable moment," Ambi recalls. "My nieces and nephews were running up and hugging my knees and then my best friend walked down the aisle to marry us. I just felt really loved, peaceful, and ready."
Rosie shares a similar sentiment. Recalling seeing Ambi at the end of the lawn and as a beloved part of the day. "Everyone looked so happy, I felt so loved, and Ambi looked so handsome," she notes.
The kids puled the cushions from the wood benches at the ceremony and made a fort—jumping around with whomever would join them. Most of the groomsmen got in on action, playing on the lawn and cracking up.
Rugs purchased in India, rattan seating, and brass trays with bud vases of colorful florals provided casual spots for guests to hang out and take in the surroundings. During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed the lounges on the lawn, sipped on a custom IPA and wine from the bride's uncle's winery, and noshed on passed appetizers.
The Newlyweds' Entrance
The newly-married twosome entered the reception to "When A Fire Starts to Burn" by Disclosure. They made a playlist of songs for their DJ, Austin Hendrix, to give him an idea of the music they like and might want to hear at the party—it included electro indie rock, blues, Italian American classics, and bhangra.
The Reception Decor
The dinner took place in the venue's stone ruins, where guests sat at long farm tables made by Rosie's dad, who used to be a cabinet maker and whipped out his old woodworking skills for the occasion. Quartz and gemstones were scattered around the bases of the floral centerpieces and crimson taper candles.
"I wanted it to feel like a dinner at my parent's house—with a little Indian thrown in," Rosie says of the family-style Italian feast. The menu included a salad of shaved fennel, watermelon radishes, orange segments, wild arugula, roasted walnuts, and barrel-aged red wine vinaigrette; grilled vegetables with Sicilian oregano-lemon vinaigrette; tandoori-style chicken with yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, and roasted garlic; meatballs stuffed with mozzarella and pesto on soft polenta; cavatelli with peas, mint, roasted garlic, and shaved parmesan cheese; and housemade focaccia with olive oil.
When it came time for dessert, everyone enjoyed blood orange sorbet served with sparkling wine in coupe glasses, as well as small biscotti dipped in dark chocolate.
An Oversized Canvas
The couple commissioned their favorite street artist, I Still Love You, to create a canvas for friends and family to sign, instead of a traditional guest book. The design featured two cacti in the shape of hearts, and the couple's first initials at the base of each pot.
Dancing with Dad
Rosie and her father, Dino, shared a dance to Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight." Earlier, at the ceremony, they'd walked up the aisle to "You're The One" by The Black Keys.
A Conga Line
At every wedding (or basically any party) that Rosie has gone to with her family she remembers there being a conga line. Her own nuptials were no exception.
Honoring the Italian tradition, five almonds (or "bomboniere" as they're known") were placed in a bag, signifying health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity. Though typically a tulle bag is used, Rosie opted for a muslin option stamped with "grazie" as a token of thanks for all of the guests.
Event design and coordination, Bustle Events
Catering, La Forchetta Catering
Flowers, Twiggs Floral Studio
Stationery, Paperless Post
Calligraphy, Curlicue Designs
Music, Austin Hendrix
Rentals, Encore Event Rentals
Bride's gown, Rue de Seine
Bride's accessories, Twigs & Honey headpiece; Valentino shoes
Hair and Makeup, The Glamourist
Bridesmaids' dresses, Reformation
Groom's suit, Indochino
Groom's accessories, Armani tie; Dr. Martens shoes
Lighting, Twilight Design
Transportation, Pure Luxury
Vases, Gerhard Ceramics
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