This Sikh and Buddhist Wedding Weekend Took Place Amid Pacific Northwest Evergreens


Indrajith Premachandra was introduced to Amrit Sidhu by his younger brother Nuwan. “We casually chatted on the phone for several months, and coincidently, we both moved to New York shortly thereafter,” Amrit says. “Since we were new to the city and away from our families and friends on the West Coast, we spent practically every weekend together.” They each describe the summer of 2015 as pure magic. “It was as if we were in a romantic movie about a couple joyously in love exploring the Big Apple,” Amrit, a doctor, says. “Our hours together cultivated an understanding and deep love which continues to serve as the foundation of our relationship.”

Paris has long been one of Indrajith’s favorite places in the world, and because of this, the City of Light was where he wanted to propose. The engagement took place in September 2019 during an intimate dinner at Pavillon Ledoyen. There, Indrajith presented Amrit with a sapphire engagement ring and asked her to be his wife.

Shortly thereafter, the two set a date and began planning their three-day wedding celebration for Labor Day weekend 2021. “We scouted several locations from Santa Barbara, California to Savannah, Georgia prior to ultimately hosting our wedding at Amrit’s childhood home in Washington state,” Indrajith, who works in risk management, says.

Three years prior, Amrit unexpectedly lost her beloved mother. “I felt that the best way to honor and include her would be to have the ceremony in the home where her feet touched the ground thousands of times,” Amrit explains. “Even though her physical presence was painfully missed, we felt so connected to her on a spiritual and metaphysical level during the events.” Having the wedding in Amrit’s backyard ultimately served as the foundation for the entire weekend since it served as the perfect stage to celebrate the bride’s mother’s memory as the couple took their first steps into a new future together.

But of course, even though the location was home, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the couple’s wedding planning process. Amrit and Indrajith quickly found themselves pivoting on practically everything due to vendor restrictions, staffing shortages, supply-chain issues, and the limited availability of goods and services. “Luckily, we had an amazing support system consisting of family and trusted vendors who helped us with every stage of the process and provided us with numerous solutions to circumvent problems and host a magical weekend with our loved ones,” Amrit says.

South Asian weddings are known to be large affairs, and limiting the guest list was a challenge for both families. “Given the circumstances, attendance at such events can feel especially fraught,” Amrit says. “Therefore, in an effort to keep our guests safe we made the difficult decision to hold smaller gatherings. We also put several other controls in place, including hosting all events outdoors and requiring that guests be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test for each day they attended.”

“And, even though we’ve both woven ourselves into the fabric of America, we wanted to utilize this special day to symbolize that our stories began in lands far away,” Amrit says. “Celebrating our cultural and religious heritage therefore took center stage at all our events. We incorporated historical elements in all our outfits and jewelry that we hoped would serve as a portrait into our ancestral past.”

For the Sangeet on Friday, Amrit decided to celebrate modern Indian garments with a custom pistachio lehenga by Mayyur Girhotra, adorned with sequins and embellished with vibrant jewel-toned florals. She completed her outfit by wearing her mother’s Rani Haar, an antique gold wedding jewelry set from the Punjab state of India. The bride also wanted to wear something blue and opted for powder blue Givenchy heels.

Indrajith wore an olive-green kurta pajama set that was adorned with the same bright pops of color found on Amrit’s lehenga. He paired the kurta with a peacock blue silk vest along with custom brown Ferragamo loafers and his favorite Omega wristwatch.

Later that night, as part of the Mehndi ceremony, both Amrit and Indrajith switched to more informal Indian outfits. Amrit opted for a midnight blue salwar kameez with gold embroidery, and Indrajith selected a crisp white cotton kurta pajama adorned with embroidered cutouts.

Both the Sikh and Buddhist faiths were celebrated as part of Amrit and Indrajith’s wedding weekend. The Sikh ceremony took place in Amrit’s childhood backyard, which showcases the beautiful, natural landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

“[For the Sikh wedding ceremony], we wanted to wear traditional Indian garments and pieces by a designer that evokes old-world charm,” Amrit explains. “So, it came without question for us to pick Rimple & Harpreet.” The designers created a mustard-gold lehenga for Amrit, featuring floral motifs and birds of paradise derived from vintage archival brocade fragments and jamawar shawls (one of the oldest forms of woven art). The bride accessorized with a Rajasthani bridal jewelry set inlaid with polki diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, gifted to Amrit by her late mother.

Indrajith wore an ivory gold silk sherwani.The embroidered motif was derived from 17th century Mughal artworks and archival Chintz textiles, rendered with complex patterns using silk thread work, sequins, and pearls. A traditional Sikh turban in crimson red—a color symbolizing a new beginning—completed the look.

Later that evening, as part of the reception, the couple applied a western influence to their Indian attire. Amrit wore a couture crimson Lehenga by Shyamal & Bhumika, paying homage to the traditional red shades worn by an Indian bride. Meanwhile, Indrajith wore a classic ivory Tom Ford tuxedo, Ferragamo loafers, and a Tag Huer Carrera watch with a black leather wristband.

The weekend wrapped up with the traditional wedding ceremony of the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka, also known as the Poruwa. The Buddhist ceremony took place in a section of the garden underneath a rotunda of evergreens. “We utilized two of the trees as part of the mandap, draping them in sheer silk fabric and placing a wooden platform adorned with lentils—grains formed in traditional geometric design patterns that are part of the ceremony,” Indrajith says. The wedding procession took place with both the groom and bride being escorted separately on to the Mandap by a group of Kandyan dancers and drummers. The ceremony was officiated by a Sinhalese master of ceremonies who incorporated the customs of one of the oldest marriage ceremonies with a blend of Buddhist chants and prayers. The ceremony focused on paying homage to mothers, who the Sinhalese often revere as the “goddess of the home” and served as an emotional tribute to Indrajith’s mother and Amrit’s late mother.

For this special ceremony, Amrit wore a nude lace saree with all-over sequin embroidery by Seema Gujral. Her jewelry was designed and gifted by Indrajith who sought out the help of Kandyan jewelry makers Viswakula Sons. Amrit wore a set of five chains adored with Ceylon stones, paired with a gold and agate choker and a diamond and agate necklace set constituting the seven chains a traditional Kandyan bride wears. She also wore a traditional silver and pearl hand ornament with matching head jewelry, agate drop earrings, and a Ceylon stone bracelet. Indrajith was in a white silk sarong—the traditional wedding outfit of the Sinhalese people that was designed by Lovi Sarongs.

Reflecting back on the weekend, Amrit’s main feeling is one of gratitude. “We recognize that the past two years have been and continue to be remarkably difficult for many,” she says. “It has forced countless celebrations and holiday gatherings either onto Zoom or even completely out of existence. Given these circumstances, we felt a tremendous sense of gratitude to be able to share this joyous union with our loved ones.”

After a weekend of non-stop ceremonies and celebrations, the newlyweds jetted off to the Greek Cyclades, where they caught up on sleep for an unforgettable three weeks.



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