Warm, golden sunsets and the festival of fall provided the perfect backdrop for a lavish ceremony for Maneesha Kumar and Arpit Bitta. The couple pulled out all the stops for a fairytale Hindu wedding that far exceeded all expectations. Maneesha and Arpit’s near two-week nuptials trumped traditional celebrations in grand style. Both families saw to it that no expense was spared.
“It was just the two of us growing up,” Dr. Anvita “Ani” Saini said of Arpit. “My brother was all I had so we wanted to do this for him.” Their family left north India seeking opportunity and has prospered through hard work and dedication.
Coming to the US over 20 years ago with only a $100 in his pocket, their father Swantantra instilled a love for culture and tradition in his beloved children. The wedding in his eyes was a testament of what it means, as an immigrant, to achieve the American Dream.
“From where he was then to where we are now, it made my dad proud to be able to put on such a grand event,” said the groom. “He’s worked hard over the years; I only hope I can do as much for my own children.”
Equally important, the children in the Indian community experienced the opportunity of a larger-than life Hindu ceremony. As testament to the Kumar and Bitta families coming together, the time-honored tradition is equally important. It all comes down to the details. Each garment was custom-made entirely in India, taking seven months to complete the delicacy of hand-sewn silk and intricate beading. Handcrafted invitations were embossed with Sanskrit, evoking a blessing for the happy couple, their families and the event. Each invitation contained summons for the other events hosted in Metro Detroit (Westland, Dearborn and Livonia) in Michigan and the bride’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Their ceremony spanned some 11 days, across 4 cities and between 2 states, welcoming over 1200 guests. Each guest received mementos from every event. Gold and bejeweled bobbles draped the bride - this was a wedding fit for royalty. Each venue was exceptionally designed with décor and floral arrangements bursting with color, and surprise custom touches like swans hand carved from bamboo wood. To pay homage to the groom’s beliefs, an ice sculpture complete with a waterfall of Shiva, the god of water, took center stage.
The fête began with a religious rite of passage, the mata ki chowki, which was the first of 9 separate events culminating in a grand ceremony and a larger-than-life reception. Next was the sangeet at the Dearborn Hyatt. This party is all about bright colors and having fun. It’s the perfect chance for the bride’s family to mingle with the groom’s side and break the ice before the big day. At the close of the groom’s tel cleansing ceremony, a charter coach made the trip from Detroit to Pittsburgh to fetch his bride, where the Kumar family calls home.
The ceremony and first of two receptions were held at the luxurious Sheraton Riverside in downtown Pittsburgh. The even bigger reception on September 4 was an event to remember at Dearborn’s hotel The Henry (formerly Ritz-Carlton) located on the grounds at Fairlane. With the couple’s whirlwind wedding complete, it was time to turn attention to the most exciting part, the honeymoon. The destination of choice was the cool white sands of Barcelona, Spain, to cull some rays and feast on their future.
Maneesha and Arpit’s wedding paid homage to the couple’s heritage without compromising elegance and fun! Eleven days of singing, dancing and partying culminated in a beautiful ceremony and a grand reception. Tres chic!
Story by F. Carlton Peeples
Event Coordinator: Event Stars
Ceremony: Sheraton Riverside, Pittsburgh
Receptions: Sheraton Riverside, Pittsburgh; The Henry, Sheraton Dearborn
Photography: Everlasting Moments
Catering: Rangoli Events, Pabla Kuljett, Sweetie Auntie
Decorations: Weddings in Style