Modern Indian wedding in Monterey

Every couple wants a unique, memorable wedding. No one wants boring and vanilla! However, it can be difficult to break from convention when planning a wedding, as taking chances can be intimidating.  

If you want to have a fun, memorable wedding, use your unique personality, ideas, and background and for inspiration. This is a great way to make your wedding truly your own, which makes it that much more fun and memorable for you and your guests. 

There are so many different ways to make your wedding your own; don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. 

This post highlights Maulin and Hima’s Indian destination wedding that mixed both modern wedding ideas with the perfect amount of traditional indian wedding elements. The fun and dynamic couple did a fantastic job of combining their Indian heritage, sense of humor, and personality into their wedding.  Their wedding and their stunning images by Shannon Cronin, are still some of my favorites that will always be in my heart. Hopefully you can find some inspiration of your own as you are planning your own wedding!

First, a little background on Maulin and Hima. While we were planning their wedding, both Maulin and Hima were in their final year of medical school, so as you would expect they had a demanding and hectic schedule. Since they wanted a destination wedding, set here in beautiful Monterey,  we started planning for their big day 12 months in advance (which I can’t recommend enough to all couples considering a destination wedding). Maulin and Hima wanted to blend their unique Indian heritage into their wedding, but also keep certain aspects of a modern western style wedding. We found the ideal blend was a traditional Indian wedding ceremony with a few modern decor elements followed by a very personalized  western style reception with a delicious India feast.

Indian groom being carried in the baraat to the indian wedding ceremony in Monterey

Baraat on Cannery Row at the Intercontinental Clement Monterey. Photography by Shannon Cronin.

They had a fun and informal sangeet the night before the wedding where guests danced, performed and celebrated the happy couple in a lively and colorful setting. While the bride’s Mehendi was done in the morning (it’s a time consuming process) guest could get mehendi done at the Sangeet. 

Their Baraat was on the famous and atmospheric Monterey Cannery Row.The bright and colorful elements that make up a traditional Indian wedding really paid off. They were able to start their Baraat just down at Cannery Row Plaza with fun and lively music by the dohl drummers. While traditionally in a baraat, a traditional Indian groom’s processional, the groom would ride in on an elephant or a horse, that was not possible on Cannery row so the groomsmen banned together to carry Maulin part of the way to the ceremony. Unique twists like this are a great way to add your own personal touch to traditional ceremonies. It’s also memorable and a ton of fun for your guests!



Being in Monterey, Maulin and Hima wanted to hold their ceremony and reception on the water, and the Intercontinental Hotel in Monterey was an ideal choice. The ceremony was traditional in the sense of the rituals and the fire that burned throughout the ceremony. Since the brides family was from the south of India, she came to the ceremony in a beautiful gold sari and as a part of the ceremony the groom’s parents gifted her a traditional north Indian sari. We whisked her away to change in to 

Indian bride and groom dressed in traditional north indian desi wedding clothing and exchanging rings

Ring Exchange during the wedding ceremony. Photography by Shannon Cronin.

the sari and she reappeared in wedding outfit number 2. It was something I had never encountered but loved and guests seemed to love. Since many of their guests were not indian they did make a fun and lighthearted program that explained all the different rituals and significance, this is something I highly recommend for any ceremony with a number of special rituals that not everyone will understand. 

 After the ceremony and lunch we had some down time for guests and the couple to relax, the bride got time to change her Hair and make up look as well as put on her third outfit of the day, a gorgeous green lehenga, she got her exercise in wearing it because it was so heavy I am pretty sure it weighed more than her! 


 Since it was a larger wedding, with around 250 guests, we decided to move the reception outside to the courtyard. Being outside after a traditional Indian ceremony really gave the couple and the guests a one-of-a-kind, picture perfect experience!  The setting right above the water with the waves rolling in and out with the warm late summer nights was the perfect setting that everyone loved. 

Colorful outdoor Indian wedding reception with florals and lanterns in Monterey CA

Florals by Seascape Flowers, Linens from La Tavola, Photography by Shannon Cronin


Maulin and Hima decided to feature pinks, magentas, and navy blues in their reception,This provided a nice, balanced contrast to the bright and colorful elements of the traditional Indian weddings. This had the effect of making both the ceremony and reception distinct and interesting in their own way.


Being huge fans of the long time animated series, Maulin and Hima wanted incorporate The Simpsons into their wedding. So we had a donut maker on-site, providing guests with fresh donuts all night. It was a cute and delicious way to add some light hearted fun to the reception, not to mention the smell of fresh donuts filled the air all evening. 

Small individual choices like this go a long way in making your wedding more memorable for your guests. Find ways to make your wedding uniquely yours. Check out more of their stunning day below as captured by Shannon Cronin and Grover Films (two incredible vendors in the Monterey Wedding industry!)


Photo: Shannon cronin

Video: Grover Films 

Venue: Intercontinental Monterey The Clement

Florals: Seascape Florals

Hair and Make Up:  Blush Monterey 

Dessert: Harvey’s donuts, Cheesecake Dreamations, and Baked sweetly by Lizzy Rae

DJ: Elite Entertainment

Baraat drummer and Music:  Kukoo G Singh

Linens: La Tavola

Rentals & Lighting:  Chic Event Rentals & View Point Rentals

Invites & Stationary:

Planning and design:  Pocketful Of Plans


Indian Groom looking out window with red turban Indian Bride getting in Sari for her wedding ceremony Indian groom in traditional north indian turban getting dressed for ceremony Wedding Henna or mendhi with glass bangles on brides hands with her engagement ring Indian bride in wedding sari holding a large bouquet of colorful flowers Indian groom dancing at the Baraat with friend and family Indian wedding lanterns Indian wedding mandap with modern and traditional elements for an indian wedding set in front of the ocean in Monterey Baraat Drumming for an indian wedding processional traditional indian wedding ceremony ritual items Modern indian wedding with mandap set in front of a ocean view in Monterey CA Indian bride and groom in front of fire pot for indian pooja at wedding Bright Navy blue and pink wedding reception out doors on the ocean front cannery row in Monterey outdoor wedding reception at the Intercontinental in Monterey on Cannery Row  

Here is a link to their beautiful wedding video prepared by one of my favorite video teams Grover Films!


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