Ritu + Darian: Napa, California

“First and foremost, we always remember that this day is about celebrating our love, commitment to each other and spending our lives together,” says Ritu Sharma, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Social Media for Nonprofits. 

She and her husband, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, former Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation, created a once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience for their entire family.

“Planning your wedding is a small reflection of what life is going to be like. It involves a lot of give and take just as it takes give and take in life and in relationships,” they say. “In our wedding we really worked hard to make everything a reflection of who we are from colors, china, ceremony, vows, to everyone that played a role. We had a beautiful representation fusion of our tastes, cultures and heritage.”

They had two wedding ceremonies on two different continents. As they describe it: “Our India vows and ceremony were very traditional. In our California wedding, we included things that were important to each of us and things we valued in marriage.”

For the Indian event, they really took care of their friends and family. A week before the wedding, many of their wedding guests spent the time exploring India seeing cities such as Agra, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. It was a way for their guests to get to know India and to know each other – also helping the families to bond.

Sabine Gysens, a friend and wedding guest, describes the experience this way: “After spending time with both the families, we had such a deep appreciation for the entire ceremony.” 

Ritu had even picked out customized Indian outfits for the wedding guests. “I felt like a princess getting all dressed up in the beautiful clothes, and it made the ceremony, which was so well explained, even more meaningful for all of us,” explained Sabine.

After such a whirlwind event, what words of wisdom do they have for others contemplating such an organizational and logistical feat? “More than anything, make a commitment to have fun at your wedding,” says Darian. “While things seemed chaotic in the planning stages, it all came together in the end, and was so beautiful and so professionally done.”

The result? “At our wedding, we had the time of our lives, we enjoyed the food, the cake, and we danced from the first to the last song. No matter what happens, who is happy or unhappy, if you focus on enjoying and celebrating your big day of committing your lives to each other, everything else will sort itself out.” 

Good advice for all of us to take to heart. 

Flowers: Heather Hendrickson
Venue: Trentadue Winery

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