Though both Anisha Kumar and Aditya Ashok spent their formative college years less than five miles from each other in Boston – she at Harvard University and he at Boston College – fate didn’t bring them together until they were both in residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. They met each other where they least expected: a gathering of hospital workers to celebrate Diwali. 

As the couple served as frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, they kept their distance from friends and family in order to keep them safe by reducing potential exposure. With most of their time spent working on the frontlines at all hours of the day and night, it was during that challenging time that Aditya knew Anisha was The One. On a picturesque day in Washington, DC, without a cloud in the sky, he proposed as they walked up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and she, of course, said yes. 

Inspired by the Bollywood movies she watched as a child, Anisha always dreamed of having a romantic relationship worthy of the movies – which she found with Aditya – along with the ultimate fairy-tale wedding. A beautiful castle in her hometown served as the perfect wedding site to bring her dreams to reality. “Our wedding combined the regal roots of our Indian heritage with the modern elegance of New York in autumn,” confirms the bride. 

While their sangeet – the pre-wedding celebration of music and dance – incorporated the vibrance of Bollywood glamour in jewel tones of purple, teal, and forest green accented with golden details and brass lanterns, their outdoor wedding ceremony showcased more muted, whimsical décor influenced by the verdant landscape and backdrop of the Hudson River. 

Friends and family found their seats in the alfresco space facing an incredible structure highlighting a canopy of birch branches adorned with fresh greenery, white and blush roses, and romantic wisteria vines. At the start of the traditional Hindu ceremony, Aditya and his family entered to the rhythmic beat of live drums, and Anisha’s parents and siblings welcomed him with a floral garland that popped against his elegant cream-toned sherwani. 

“Our wedding combined the regal roots of our Indian heritage with the modern elegance of New York in autumn.”

Immediately after, an unexpected rain shower forced loved ones to take shelter for several minutes; however, the clouds cleared and the sun came out just in time for Anisha’s grand entrance out of the castle for her processional with her mother and father. She was gorgeous in a custom red silk lehenga adorned with gold threadwork that she beautifully paired with teal jewelry with golden accents. 

After the “I dos,” a sunset cocktail hour was held on the castle’s veranda overlooking the river. Guests were encouraged to tour the historic castle venue as well as indulge in delectable fare – including miniature New England lobster rolls and Maryland crab balls in honor of the couple’s shared experiences in Boston and Baltimore, plus grilled veggie burgers and vegetable paella served in individually sized cast-iron pans to celebrate the bride’s vegetarianism. For an additional custom detail, signature cocktails were presented with personalized napkins featuring fun facts about the bride and groom. 

Loved ones then made their way to the brick courtyard for the reception, which took place in a large open tent strung with fairy lights and filled with candles. Dark wooden tables were adorned with centerpieces that varied in height and featured blush grandiflora roses, white roses, and greenery, adding a dramatic flair to the space, and tablescapes were further accented with bullion-toned elements and custom menus nestled in napkins along with a stem of wisteria leaves for a delightful delicate touch of whimsy. 

Prior to her memorable father-daughter dance and first-dance with her groom, the bride changed into a dramatic aubergine tulle ball gown accessorized with blush pink-and-silver heels to complement the floral décor, and Aditya donned a dark blue tuxedo. Beneath twinkling lights, the newlyweds danced to “Falling Like the Stars” by James Arthur, wowing guests with a ballroom dance routine they self-choreographed. The rest of the night was spent celebrating with their nearest and dearest on a night they’ll always cherish.

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