A Hindu-Jewish Wedding That Shut Down Broad Street

The couple’s “big fat HinJew wedding” can be summed up by the welcome sign they created themselves: “We waited an extra year for this. Party accordingly.”

Hindu-Jewish kimmel center wedding

Sanjana Luther and Andrew Phillips’s Kimmel Cultural Campus wedding fused Hindu and Jewish traditions. / Photography by M2 Photography

Multicultural weddings are a beautiful testament to a couple’s — and their families’ — dedication to each other. It’s a blending of old and new traditions, a willingness to compromise, and a coming together to celebrate in a unique, personalized way. Such is the case of this Kimmel Cultural Campus wedding, which combined Hindu and Jewish cultures. M2 Photography was on hand to snap all of the festivities, seen below.

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A happy marriage is based on compromise, and in the case of Sanjana Luther and Andrew Phillips, that’s certainly true. The duo grew up in different places — she in Buffalo, New York, and he in Dallas — but they fell in love while attending med school at Temple University. 

They dated for four years (including a long-distance stint between L.A. and NYC) before Andrew proposed on the Art Museum steps in April 2018. 

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baraat baraat

When their Big Day, initially set for August 2020, became a COVID reschedule, the pair pivoted and held a backyard ceremony with close family. It proved to be a meaningful reprieve from working as frontline physicians during the pandemic.

One year later, the couple threw their “big fat HinJew wedding,” which can be summed up by the welcome sign they created themselves: “We waited an extra year for this. Party accordingly.” 

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The festivities started the night before with a sangeet — a welcome dance party with traditional decor and accessories as well as Indian and Jewish desserts. On Saturday morning, the pair shut down Broad Street for the baraat. Though it’s typically only attended by the groom’s side, Sanjana and her family and friends broke from tradition and joined the procession.

“I always knew I wanted to be a part of the baraat,” says the bride. “Dancing our way together down Broad Street with our family and friends was so much fun.”

getting-ready getting ready first look first look Hindu-Jewish kimmel center wedding

Jewish ceremony jewish ceremony

The day continued with both Indian and Jewish ceremonies in the Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Cultural Campus and concluded with a reception in the plaza. Fruits, sweets and other items were used throughout the traditional Hindu celebration.

The bride and groom and their families drank wine from kiddush cups to sanctify the Jewish ceremony.

reception reception reception reception reception

reception reception

Eucalyptus vines, fairy lights, and cylinder vases with ivory pillar candles accented the reception tables. Sanjana and Andrew chose to keep their decor minimal, with greenery, limited florals and candles; they wanted the focus to be on the bar and dance floor.

For the couple, the long-awaited celebration was epic. Says Sanjana: “It was so amazing to see the merging of the cultures and our families together!” 

A final surprise: Custom hand-painted jean jackets for the bride and groom, courtesy of one of Andrew’s friends who works for Madewell as a stylist and is a freelance artist.

Photographer: M2 Photography | Venue: Kimmel Cultural Campus | Event Design & Coordination: Kaleidoscope Weddings | Florals: Kirk’s Flowers | Catering: Garces Events | Cake: The Master’s Baker | Bride’s Lehenga: Kamal Bhai Saree Sangam | Bride’s Gown: Custom Galia Lahav gown from Stanley Korshak | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Herwani: Ethnic India | Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss | Hair & Makeup: Elegance Artistry | Videographer: Stagger Films | Entertainment: DJ Shilpa (reception); Rana Ranbir and Nihal Singh (dhol players) | Officiants: Panditji Prabhakar Sharma and Howard Cove (rabbi) | Rings: Jack’s Jewelers and Klim Jewelry | Mandap/Chuppah: Shipley Enterprises (base structure) | Photo Booth: Poser Photobooth Co. | Smoke Bombs: Smoke Effect

Originally published as “Sanjana & Andrew” in the summer/fall 2022 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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