Vani + Shane | Nestldown & Fairmont Wedding

Vani & Shane are amazing couple I was lucky to meet and photograph their beautiful “double” wedding celebration. The Sri Lankan part took place at Fairmont in San Jose and the Lutheran part was at Nestldown in Los Gatos.

Few words from Vani…

Shane and I met through work and mutual interests (rock climbing) – we first met when I was an intern at the company he worked at and we harbored little crushes on each other. When I moved to California from Canada after college, we started dating and it was evident early on that this was it for both of us.

After Shane proposed a couple years down the road, we knew that it would be important to celebrate both our heritages so we decided to have a Sri Lankan Hindu wedding ceremony on Friday followed by a Lutheran ceremony and reception on Sunday.

One of the things that made wedding planning a lot less stressful was working with excellent vendors. From the venue staff at Nestldown and Fairmont and our caterer, Le Papillon and Silver Spoon and florist, Eventscapes and Florals by Nasreen, our month of co-ordinator Ambiance by Tejel, videographer (REB6Studios) and OF COURSE Joseph, who did such a great job on both of our ceremonies. It was fantastic to work with him from the initial meeting to the engagement shoot to the wedding itself.

The Hindu ceremony was bright and colorful, as Indian ceremonies usually are. We choose bright oranges and pinks for the flowers, tableclothes and invitations. The mandap, by Florals by Nasreen, looked absolutely amazing decorated with hanging carnations in our color scheme. While the ceremony was very traditional, we added modern touches by having a real-time slideshow explaing the meaning of all the different rites that were being performed so that our family and friends from California and Montana would gain a deeper understanding of Sri Lankan culture. We also replaced the traditional thank you gift (statues or decorative containers) with giftcards to Starbucks in an envelope with a lotus motif.

Natural beauty was the idea behind the Lutheran ceremony and reception. Nestldown located in Los Gatos was such a stunning location that we were able to go with a neutral (burlap, white, natural greens) color scheme to compliment the amazing surroundings. Eventscapes lit up the barn where dinner and dancing was held with white and tan lanterns to great effect – it really set the mood! We tried to add in fun elements (like having a video flip booth – an idea stolen from a Girl Geek Dinner event held by Yahoo) for our guests. Other things we loved about our wedding, was the pre-ceremony champagne table set up on the walk down to the Redwood Grove for the ceremony, the wonderful job done by Le Papillon by going above and beyond in the hor d’oeuvre department during cocktail hour (we picked out 5 but they brought 12 types – people are still talking about the food!), the fantastic group photo of all our guests that Joseph took on Nestldown’s lawn while we waited for the barn to be set up for dancing and the great job DJ Henry of Big Fun DJ did in keeping everyone out on the dance floor till the end of the night.

Most of all though, what made our wedding was the amount of love present that weekend. All our families and friends coming to together to help us celebrate – it was evident in the amount of tears shed during the beautiful speeches (in particular by Vani’s dad and brother and Shane and his best man), the nonstop laughter during cocktail hour and dancing and look of joy on our mothers’ faces.

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