There’s nothing we love more than seeing Our Lovelies’ love through their wedding photos. When we received Alissa and Aveena’s gallery we were in awe of their beautifully blended Indian-American wedding. Alissa’s Emmy Mae ‘Bec’ gown from Lovely Bride Seattle perfectly complimented Aveena’s intricate gold lehenga. Keep scrolling to learn more about Alissa and Aveena’s love story, how their wedding celebrated both cultures and see their first look that will definitely cause more than a few happy tears.

Meet Alissa + Aveena

Tell us about you two as a couple. How did you meet?

We met on Bumble in October 2017. Alissa took great care in writing her profile description; Aveena wrote literally nothing and later revealed she didn’t even read Alissa’s profile. Luckily we were both intrigued by each other’s pictures. Aveena wasted no time asking Alissa out as soon as we matched. Our first date was a dinner that lasted 3.5 hours. We were amazed by how easily the conversation flowed and that our interests, values, and humor aligned so effortlessly.

In helping our officiant write the ceremony, Alissa wrote this about that evening: “There are things we can only know for sure in retrospect, but I swear that on our first date a little part of me breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Ah, there she is. You found her.” That first date was unlike anything I’d experienced before. I was outrageously nervous beforehand and continued to be shaky throughout the dinner, but somehow also felt totally at ease in Aveena’s presence.

I’m sure we were done eating within the first hour, and I bet the restaurant staff was ready to kick out the couple who wasn’t ordering or drinking anything, just talking for hours. Like so many good things in life, it’s hard to put words exactly what made our connection so different and significant. It just…was. After that date, and certainly the following few dates, I could tell Aveena had raised the bar. I realized that even if we didn’t work out, I’d never again settle for someone who didn’t spark a light in my soul like she did.”

How did Aveena propose?

Our relationship grew closer despite a handful of stressors over the first year of dating. From Aveena learning she had to leave her church after she was outed as gay to Alissa leaving her full-time job to start her own business. Aveena proposed to Alissa on January 18th, 2019 in Tacoma, Washington at Chamber’s Bay Park- a scenic date spot from earlier in their relationship. Aveena’s friends had set up a circle of tea lights. Then, in the pouring rain Aveena read Alissa a book she made about their relationship before getting down on knee to ask Alissa to marry her.

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Alissa, how did you know Emmy Mae’s Bec was THE one?

Alissa’s mom and sister had tears in their eyes when she came out wearing this dress. It fit her perfectly and she felt beautiful and she could imagine herself getting married in it.

Any dress shopping advice for future Lovelies?

The staff at Lovely Bride Seattle were very knowledgeable about the wedding pieces and it’s worth using them and asking for their opinions. It also helped to show them in advance Alissa’s Pinterest board to narrow down the selections

 

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Describe each other in 3 words

Alissa describes Aveena as: loyal, hilarious, kind

Aveena describes Alissa as: insightful, thoughtful, HOT

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Aveena, how did you know your Lehenga was THE one?

It’s funny because I had bought a wedding lehenga via online rather early on in the wedding planning process. I loved it, but I wasn’t sure if I was ‘in love’ with it. But for the sake of timing (being shipped from India along with custom tailoring), I didn’t want to risk it by lamenting. Truthfully, I was more into what sneakers I would be wearing for the reception (I’m a huge sneakerhead). I had travelled back to my home in MN for a weekend and I was walking around with my sister at a local mall and in the window was this gorgeous gold lehenga. It was unstitched so it was just cloth, but it was drop dead gorgeous. I had to have it. Without even thinking, I bought it right then and there. Only realizing that oh gosh, I need to get it custom fitted for me. Who is going to do that? I need to find an Indian tailor, etc etc. We immediately searched for Indian tailors and with the newly purchased fabric in MN and I got measured / fitted within hours. The lehenga was custom tailored within a few months and it was shipped to me in Seattle a month or so before the actual wedding. Fun fact, my sister had to keep reminding me to try on my new lehenga to make sure the measurements were correct and that it fit me well. I of course did not do that so the pics that were taken from our wedding day of my sister helping me put it on was actually my first time I had ever put it on. I revealed that to my sister as she was putting it on me and so the emotions of joy and also loving sister annoyance were captured so perfectly in those pics.

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Describe your wedding vision.

Since the wedding was in the fall, we wanted earth tones for our main colors. We chose gold, maroon, and navy. It blended really nicely with the look of the venue (industrial-inspired with wood textures and high, exposed beam ceilings). Fun fact about our wedding venue: it’s where we had our first date! There were beautiful flower arrangements and greenery on the tables thanks to our wonderful florist Colibri Blooms (IG: @colibri.blooms) along with candles throughout the entire venue. It felt very warm and Inviting yet Intimate.

In terms of incorporating our cultures, two days before the wedding, we held a Mehndi [henna] party and invited all the women. We both wore lehengas, and our guests were so excited to participate in some of the traditional aspects of Indian weddings, including henna, authentic Indian food, Bollywood music, etc.

Aveena wore a traditional wedding lehenga for the wedding and she had her bridesmaids wear maroon & gold sarees to match the fall theme. Our flower girls also wore lehengas as they walked down the aisle throwing flowers. After dinner we had dancing and the music was a good mixture of American & Bollywood music!

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We love the beautiful mix of Indian and Western traditions at your wedding. What is your advice for couples wanting to celebrate each of their cultures on their wedding day?

Two days before the wedding, we held a Mehndi [henna] party and invited all the women. We both wore lehengas, and our guests were so excited to participate in some of the traditional aspects of Indian weddings, including henna, authentic Indian food, Bollywood music, etc.

Aveena wore a traditional wedding lehenga for the wedding and she had her bridesmaids wear maroon & gold sarees to match the fall theme. Our flower girls also wore lehengas as they walked down the aisle throwing flowers. After dinner we had dancing and the music was a good mixture of American & Bollywood music!

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What are you favorite moments from your wedding day?

Alissa’s favorite moment was really the entirety of the ceremony. She was so nervous walking down the aisle and could barely look at Aveena for more than a few seconds at a time because she was worried about crying [and she really can’t talk when she’s crying, which would make the vows hard]. All the same, when we did lock eyes, it was such an intense, intimate feeling despite being surrounded by so many people.

Aveena’s favorite moment was when our officiant pronounced us married, and we kissed as wives with everyone cheering. She describes it as a moment of resolve following all the oppression she felt growing up as an LGBTQ+ person in a conservative community. As the judgment and homophobia from people in our lives only intensified leading up to our wedding, it was wonderful to feel like that fight was over, and we could celebrate our new family with joy.

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Any advice for those planning now?

Make the wedding your own! This day is about you and your partner. Yes, outside advice and influences may come in and that’s ok, but really take stock in the vision that you and your partner want for that day.

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Wedding Playlist

Processional: Alissa walked down the aisle with her father to the song “Simply The Best” by Noah Reid (from Schitt’s Creek) & Aveena walked down the aisle with her sister to the song “Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last

Recessional: “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers

First Dance: “Touched by An Angel” by Charlie Wilson