Vincent Venincasa spent months meticulously planning an unforgettable proposal for his beloved, Kiran Sethi. He had told her that they were meeting his brother for dinner at a seaside restaurant in Miami, Florida. When they arrived, Vincent excused himself while a waiter said he would lead her to their table. However, Kiran found it strange that they walked past the seating area to a bench by the shore. He then handed her a Bible with “Kiran Venincasa” engraved on the cover. “Special passages about love and marriage were bookmarked with a note and date – the first time we kissed, the first time we said ‘I love you,’ and the last passage was marked with the date ‘May 31st, 2014: do we have a new special date?’” Kiran fondly recalls. “When I looked up, Vincent walked out, got down on one knee, and proposed.”

The couple was fortunate to have so many friends and family members excited to be involved in organizing the big day. Kiran’s parents provided invaluable assistance in planning the nuptials, since the bride and groom were busy with their doctoral residency interviews and graduating from medical school. “My dad constantly looked for ways to make the wedding unique and special,” shares Kiran. “Mom helped us incorporate traditional Indian customs into our wedding in a way that was modern and meaningful to Vincent and me.”

It was important for the couple to honor their faiths and cultures in their union. Since Vincent comes from an Italian Catholic family, the day began with a traditional Mass. The father of the bride and the father of the groom participated by doing the Bible readings, while Kiran and Vincent’s respective siblings lead the intentions.

The bride was gorgeous in a strapless fit-and-flare champagne gown covered in exquisite embroidery and beading. Her hands were adorned with intricate henna designs and customary Indian red bangles. After reciting their vows, the couple also shared personal spiritual sentiments. “Reading aloud the prayer that we wrote to God after becoming husband and wife, in front of all our family and friends, was one of the most special moments of the day” confides Vincent.

The newlyweds took a moment to have lunch, just the two of them, before getting ready for the Hindu ceremony at the hotel, where the reception would also take place. “I had to hold back tears both times!” shares the groom of seeing his bride make an entrance at each service.

Though Kiran initially dreamed of an alfresco wedding, it didn’t seem practical with the Dallas, Texas heat. So instead, she requested for an “enchanted forest” to be created indoors. As guests entered the reception, they passed a lush canopy of verdant branches. The names of attendees were elegantly written on escort cards in the form of leaves affixed to ribbons that were suspended from a towering tree decorated with ruby-toned blooms.

In the expansive ballroom, boxed trees were adorned with twinkle lights. Overhead arrangements featured greenery, cascading hot pink roses, fuchsia orchid garlands, and geometric terrariums filled with votives nestled in petals. Round tables were covered in either amethyst linens with gold embroidered overlays or garnet tablecloths. Centerpieces were composed of metal lanterns encircled with crimson, coral, and magenta flowers. Sophisticated place settings consisted of clear chargers with brushed gilt rims and golden flatware. “Everyone involved with the wedding planning did such a good job with the details,” declares the groom.

The newlyweds put on quite a show with a lively choreographed first dance featuring pyrotechnics highlighting the finale. It was important for the bride and groom to also include the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. To celebrate the union of their respective families, Kiran also danced with her father-in-law during the last few minutes of “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. A band and DJ kept the revelry going throughout the night. “[DJ Riz] plays incredible mixes of Punjabi, Hindi, and English songs,” notes the bride.

The wedding cake featured round and hexagonal layers swathed in burgundy frosting accented with gilt lace, as well as white sugar peonies and bullion roses. Set on a stunning stand showcasing draped crystals, from a distance, the confection appeared to float. In honor of their alma mater where the couple met, the emblem of the University of Miami graced the groom’s cake. “While cutting [it], we [broke out in] an impromptu Miami Hurricanes cheer with all of our friends,” recalls Kiran. Further expressing their school spirit, the bride’s garter was wrapped around a University of Miami Hurricanes football for the toss.

Kiran appreciated Vincent’s support and assistance throughout the wedding-planning process. He offers the secret to his approach to grooms-to-be. “The key is to show as much interest as you can, knowing that, in the end, every decision is really hers,” quips Vincent.