A Tale of Two Weddings

By Jennifer Wells
In Feature, Style

An elaborate all-day affair unites two peopleand two culturesfor life.

 

The Couple Mini Tandon, 36, Physician & Zachary Robert Pancoast, 36, Attorney

Where culture was concerned, compromise was never an option for Mini and Zach Pancoast. The couple decided early on that watering down an Indian wedding for Christian consumption was not an option. Instead, the cross-cultural couple decided
to properly honor both sides of the family with an elaborate day of unions, which included two wedding ceremonies—one Christian and one Hindu. Open communication about the impending nuptials was never an issue for Mini and Zach, who are both known for their talkative personalities. Even on their first date, there was never an awkward silence as the chatty pair dined on Pan Asian cuisine and spent the rest of the warm summer night strolling the Central West End. Even now, as a married couple, the two rarely run out of topics of conversation.

GRAND PLANS
Both weddings were celebrated Downtown in separate ballrooms at the Renaissance Grand. The first, a traditional Christian ceremony, was held in the extravagant Crystal Ballroom. The couple wowed guests with an impressive 20-person bridal party, plus a flower girl and ring bearer. The second ceremony took place in the Landmark Ballroom and was truly a visual treat for the 300 guests. The beginning of the ceremony started with the Baraat, which celebrates the entrance of the groom and is symbolic of the groom’s introduction to his future in-laws. As planned, Zach arrived in dramatic fashion by
horse and carriage to the beat of an Indian drummer. Traditionally, Hindu weddings are
boisterous affairs with a celebratory tone, and Zach and Mini’s followed suit. After Zach’s entrance, the couple and their families converged under the mandap (a canopy ornamented with an exotic mix of flowers and banana plants) to make it official.

BEAUTY RITUALS
Mini prepared for her wedding by hosting a mehndi at her house, a traditional Indian hand-painting ceremony. It took a little over an hour for the bride-to-be to have both her hands and feet painted with henna. The result was a beautiful and intricate artistic display for Mini and her female family members.

WARDROBE CHANGE
One of the benefits of having two weddings is choosing two dresses—and Mini was lucky enough to have three! The first was a traditional ivory gown in an elegant mermaid cut with a halter top and detailed beading. For the Hindu ceremony, she changed into a vibrant red lengha, filled with ornate brocade detailing. North Indian custom also dictates that the bride don an outfit gifted from her new in-laws. Mini happily obliged, as her in-laws couldn’t have chosen something more to her liking. She was thrilled with the royal-blue jewel-toned skirt and blouse they purchased for her final wedding ensemble.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Peacocks, the national bird of India, were a recurrent theme of the wedding. The vibrant, exotic plumage was a natural complement to fall’s rich palette, and the symbolism was hard for Mini and Zach to resist. In many cultures, the peacock represents fidelity—indeed a worthy theme for any new union. The feathers were incorporated into the invitations as well as multiple decorative backdrops; an ice sculpture was created in the form of the regal bird and one peacock feather glamorously adorned each jewel-toned place setting.

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES
As major music aficionados, Mini and Zach couldn’t choose just one song for their first dance, so they chose instead to create a personalized five-song remix. To get the party started, the couple included both American and Indian selections for their repertoire. The party mix was indeed a success, as it kept guests dancing from the beginning of the reception until the staff turned the lights back on at the end of the night.

 

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Mini Tandon, 36 & Zachary Robert Pancoast, 36

Mini Tando, 36 & Zachary Robert Pancoast, 36

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Photo credit: Tracey Bartmann-Leek/ Love and Life Photography

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