A Pride-Themed Indian American Wedding Weekend
The couple’s double baraat shut down Market Street.
It’s Pride month here in Philly, and this Loews Hotel wedding is one of the most touching, vibrant celebrations of love we’ve seen. The couple wanted their Big Day to honor their Indian American culture and their story — and it did just that with Pride-colored florals, a double baraat, and memorable moments. Erum Rizvi Photography snapped all the details. Check them out below.
When it came to planning their wedding festivities, Sundeep Katepalli, a physician, and Sanjay Kataria, a dentist, had a specific vision. “We wanted it to combine elements of our North and South Indian heritages as well as our Pride culture, in food, dance and music,” says Sundeep. And their two-day celebration in June 2022 at the Loews Hotel, housed in a landmark bank building in Midtown Village, did just that.
But let’s back up to the start. The South Philly residents met and became friends in 2009. They struck a love match in 2014 after connecting on OkCupid. And in October 2020, on the weekend of their sixth anniversary, Sundeep proposed to Sanjay on the South Street Bridge.
Their ensuing 450-person wedding extravaganza kicked off with a sangeet, a welcome party brought to life with Pride colors and lots of dancing.
The next day, the pair had a double baraat that shut down Market Street before they exchanged vows during a Hindu ceremony accented by blush and white florals.
The traditional Hindu ceremony featured an open mandap on a raised white acrylic stage. The florals included hydrangeas and roses in white and blush hues and pampas grass.
The festivities continued into the evening with a reception designed to feel like a nightclub. The DJ played house and Bollywood music in front of a massive LED screen. A custom dance floor, laser lighting, carbon-dioxide cannons and sparklers took the atmosphere to the next level.
The celebration was playful and filled with joy. But it also reminded all attendees about the power of this couple’s love story. “Not only did we make promises to each other; we shared our struggles of coming out and being accepted into our South Asian community,” Sundeep says. “You could just feel the love among all our guests.”
Photographer: Erum Rizvi Photography | Venue: Loews Hotel | Event Design & Coordination: Rose Events | Florals: Partyland Sajawat | Catering: Moghul Caterers by Arora Hospitality Group | Cake: Classic Cake | Sangeet Attire: Rivesse | Ceremony Attire: Anita Dongre | Safas: Saffas for Weddings | Reception Attire: Indochino | Rings: Cartier | Hair & Makeup: Make Me Up by Payal Jessica Shah | Invitations & Signage: Ink & Type | Videography: Rare Air Films | Music & Entertainment: DJ Raj Minocha (sangeet); DJ AJ Mumbai (baraats, ceremony and reception) | Sound & Lighting: Encore Entertainment | Geobars: Edge Floral Event Designers | Officiant: Pandita Pratima Kushmani Shridevi Doobay of Shridevi Arts | Floor Wrap: TrustJ Events | Sari Draping: Pleats & Petals
Published as “Sundeep + Sanjay” in the July 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
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