The Love Gurus

By Kate Allen
In Feature, Style

East meets West in an extraordinary two-day, three-venue celebration of one amazing couple.

 

BRIDE: Kelly Hummert, 31, Event Producter
GROOM: Amit Dhawan, 35, Owner of SYNERGY Productions, LLC and Medical Director at Kantar Health

Their story

In March 2009, Kelly Hummert was working as an event producer in New York City, but toying with the idea of moving back to the Midwest to be closer to her friends and family. She had caught wind of St. Louis’ SYNERGY Productions and the man behind it all, Amit Dhawan. Intrigued by SYNERGY’s development of the St. Louis nightlife scene, Kelly reached out. Amit was thrilled that Kelly had taken an interest in his work, and the two agreed to meet for some “strictly business” cocktails at one of Amit’s favorite spots, Scape. Kelly headed back east later that weekend, but the two kept in contact for nearly two years, speaking almost daily about events they were producing in their respective cities. Kelly finally made the move back to St. Louis in November 2010, and she and Amit became a couple shortly thereafter.

Less than seven months after making their relationship official, Amit was down on one knee asking Kelly for forever. He presented her with two slushies and a ring box on the
rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel, and the speechless Kelly managed to choke out an enthusiastic “yes!” The newly engaged couple made their way to Mike Shannon’s, where
Amit had 30 friends and family members, including Kelly’s bi-coastal besties from New York and LA, waiting to toast the engagement.

Mehndi Bender

Amit and Kelly kickstarted their wedding weekend with a traditional mehndi party. The parents of the groom welcomed 250 friends and family members to Lumen Private Event Space, where henna artist Suman Chandel was on hand to outfit female guests with intricate ink designs on their hands and feet. Following the inking, guests dined on traditional Indian cuisine and sipped lassi, a sweet yogurt-based drink flavored with mango and spices. Kelly and Amit captivated guests with traditional bridal rituals and dance, while a DJ spun Indian hits.

Worldly Wedding

As an interfaith couple, it was important to Kelly and Amit that the wedding pay homage to their respective upbringings. In order to incorporate all that was holy to both sides of the family, the couple decided to have two separate ceremonies. The first, a traditional Catholic mass, took place before 350 guests at Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. The couple was lucky enough to have a close friend, Father Benjamin Stern, perform the ceremony and deliver a genuine and energetic sermon that was perfectly representative of the couple and their diverse guest list.

Grand Entrance

After the church service, Kelly changed out of her stunning Vera Wang gown, had fresh mehndi applied and slipped into a breathtaking sari. Meanwhile, Amit donned his finest sherwani and took to the streets. He rode on horseback to the Hindu ceremony at the Contemporary Art Museum with his extended family and friends walking alongside him, dancing and playing drums along the way.

House Party

Throughout the planning process, the couple always came back to “exotic house party” as the theme for their reception. Using the various rooms the Contemporary Art Museum had to offer, the pair of professional event producers put their own unique spin on the space.

With catering by India Palace and Lumen at a variety of food stations, there was something for everyone at the reception. Multiple bars hosted by Mandarin served up signature cocktails all night long—Pearl Wedding Cake Vodka and mini Moet champagnes were among guests’ favorites.

To make the most of the museum’s courtyard during the St. Louis winter, The Exclusive Events team tented the outdoor space and turned it into the couple’s vision of “Little India.” Draped pink and orange fabrics formed the tent’s pitched roof, and lanterns provided ambient lighting. The museum’s largest open space, splashed with colorful lighting by Logic Systems, housed the couple’s dance floor, which DJ Greasy kept packed well after closing time. It was here, amidst the energy and chaos, that Kelly and Amit found solace. As they shared their first married dance to U2’s “All I Want is You,” they experienced some much-needed peace and quiet in each other’s arms. For the first time in days, they were able to relax, reflect and take in their greatest work of all.

 

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Kelly Hummert and Amit Dhawan

Kelly Hummert & Amit Dhawan

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Kelly Hummert and Amit Dhawan

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Kelly Hummert and Amit Dhawan

Kelly Hummert & Amit Dhawan

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Photo credit: Greg Lappin Photography

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