Darshy and Nick hosted 200 of their closest friends and family for a beautiful two-day Caribbean- Hindu wedding at Wallenpaupack Creek Farm in Wallenpaupack, PA.
Darshy shares, “We had no concept of a dream wedding but felt really inundated by the commercialization of weddings earlier in our planning. We threw away the ole rule book when planning our wedding and instead wanted to celebrate our love by showcasing sustainability, culture inclusivity, and our admiration for small businesses, concepts we lived daily.”
They executed their wedding with the help of local, small businesses from the Wallenpaupack area, with an emphasis on reducing, reusing, and recyclability. They had no plastic and served their guests’ food on banana leaves and drinks in coconut shells for their pre-wedding event. Fruit was used as decor, which was donated to the local shelter after the festivities!
Their families helped create all of the decor for their wedding, including flower walls, a whimsical dance floor decorated with Chinese paper umbrellas, and the mandap (ceremony platform) on which they got married.
After the wedding, they rode off on used cruiser bikes they purchased on Craigslist since Nick loves biking. Darshy reminisces, “We also wanted to celebrate what it meant to be American, and that meant the comfort of celebrating all of the cultures that touched our lives. Darshy is from Guyana, a culturally Caribbean but South American country. We incorporated a lot of Indian, African, Chinese, Irish, and good ole, Caribbean carnival fun at our wedding. Our guests were encouraged to wear their heritage outfits. We bonded over our love for food and music, specifically, food trucks and the ways in which they democratize food to the masses. It seemed like a great way for our guests to mix and mingle and try a few of our favorite dishes while listening to some of our favorite tunes.”
Darshy and Nick’s wedding is the perfect example of how to blend your culture and personality into your wedding. See their beautiful wedding photos below!
- Couple: Dhanishry Narine & Nicholas Leonard
- Occupations: Dhanishry – Vice President of Product at Olivela, a luxury fashion tech company, and Nick is Lead technical product manager at Lifion, a division of ADP.
- Wedding date: June 29th, 2019
- Wedding location: Wallenpaupack Creek Farm; Wallenpaupack, Pa
- What gifts did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen: I gifted my bridesmaids items that completed their look for the day; jewelry sets, and trendy embroidery Indian purse. Nick gifted his groomsmen socks, ties, and tie clip as well as a hiking day pack since he loves hiking with Digby and thought his friends should be prepared for the great outdoors.
- Ceremony entrance song: Our wedding was near a creek, so I walked in silence with my parents, listening to the water fall. We rode out on bikes to “Guantanamera” by The Sandpipers.
- First dance song: “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges
How did you meet?
Darshy and Nick both worked at big data tech company in Chicago; though it was a young company, it was huge, about 1000 people! So even though they sat relatively next to each other (Nick was 3 rows away from Darshy) it was only when they had a joint project that they had really gotten to know each other. (Also note- Darshy has tunnel vision, so it was mostly her that didn’t notice Nick; Nick is very aware of everything.) They dated briefly while in Chicago, less than 3 months before Darshy returned to New York.
Darshy thought things would be doom by moving to New York, after all – she dabbled in data science and knew that the success of a relationship was directly correlated to the proximately of how close you lived to each other. Darshy and Nick lived less than 1 mile from each other while in Chicago. Nevertheless,(she persisted, j/k) they decided to continue dating long distance and after 6 months of doing so, Nick decided to follow Darshy to New York. It has been a whirlwind and we definitely had our share of growing pains, but we have found the love of our lives.
Tell us about the proposal
In December 2018, Darshy and Nick traveled to Vermont for a quick weekend getaway to celebrate the start of Hygge season. Their cabin was rustic, cozy, and remote and was reminiscent of their first trip together, a cabin weekend in snowy Wisconsin. It was picturesque.
While Darshy was still sleeping (she isn’t a morning person), Nick went out and set up the decor, food, and champagne he purchased a week prior in preparation for the trip. He hid and stored most of these items in the trunk of the car. Darshy was none the wiser. When she awoke, she followed a path of candles and flowers from the bedroom that led to Nick who was standing next to Digby, their black lab in the dining room.
Nick dropped to one knee and started tearing up. The only words he could get out was, “I love you so much.” Darshy swept in like a true knight in shining armor that she is, all on her knees and started to cry with him as well, “All of these feelings just came washing over me. Is this really happening?” She agreed on the condition that they would get a Vespa with a sidecar to drive Digby around.
“It was the perfect proposal,” she said.
Our Wedding style was chic, practical Indian attire with floral influences.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
Chaotic. We ended up finding a vendor online and customed ordered our clothing from them.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
We had a two day Caribbean Hindu wedding on a farm in Pennsylvania. We incorporated Darshy’s Guyanese culture by having an African Queh-Queh to kick off the festivities at the pre-wedding mixer. Indian- Guyanese ceremonies such as a beautification ceremony, Haldi where the couple’s family rubs turmeric on their skin and prays for their good fortune), and had steelpan and live Indian drumming for entertainment. We incorporated both of our religions into our ceremony, we had a Hindu wedding and ended the ceremony with an Irish knot tying ceremony orchestrated by Nick’s grandfather.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Putting the Jai-Mala (a garland of flowers made by my aunties) around Nick’s neck. It symbolizes that we had accepted each other as partners.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Don’t be afraid to throw out the rule book and plan your wedding and make it what you want it to be. We had a difficult time managing our families’ expectations for traditions (for example, they couldn’t understand riding off on bikes in a wedding dress) but ultimately incorporating pieces of “Us” into our wedding were some of my most memorial moments.