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zz Nikki & Sam: A Multicultural Wedding at Highpointe Estate by an Indian Wedding Photographer

Since we are an Indian wedding photographer and videographer and have a soft spot for weddings, we understand that a wedding is just the first chapter in your adventure book. We know that a wedding doesn’t symbolize a destination, but rather, a mile marker, denoting the start of the next leg of your journey together as a couple. The beginning of your marriage is certainly worthy of all the pomp and circumstance you dream of because your nuptials symbolize the union of two people and two families. In some cases, a new marriage also represents the blending of two cultures, like it did for Nikki and Sam’s multicultural wedding at Highpointe Estate.

Their two-day Southeast Asian wedding linked Nikki and Sam in matrimony, but it also blended Nikki’s Indian heritage with Sam’s Western culture. The result was an awe-inspiring, multicultural wedding celebration filled with traditions both old and new. The love Nikki and Sam have for each other and their family, was evident from the haldi to the sangeet to the wedding day itself. Together with their seasoned Indian wedding planner, Cheryl with Glitzzy Events, they ensured that their guests were well taken care of and that they also had a blast!

In this post, you’ll step into the shoes of one of Nikki and Sam’s guests, as you discover the beauty and joy of their multicultural wedding at Highpointe Estate. You’ll smile at their delightful wedding color palette, marvel at the grandeur of their ceremony mandap, and dance alongside them from the baraat all the way until the end of their epic reception.

Without further ado, we present Nikki and Sam’s multicultural wedding!

The Haldi & Pelikutru (Pre-Wedding Tradition)

The day before Nikki and Sam’s multicultural wedding at Highpointe Estate, they held their haldi and pelikutru! These are very auspicious Indian wedding traditions that involve the bride and groom’s family members smearing turmeric on their faces. Its bright yellow hue symbolizes the cleansing and purification of the mind, body, and soul before the wedding.

Nikki and Sam’s haldi and pelikutru took place at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel . Sam donned a lovely shade of buttercup while Nikki was draped in tangerine and goldenrod for the occasion. During this ceremony, their closest family members and friends prayed over them and daubed their faces and feet with the haldi turmeric mixture. The backdrop for this ritual consisted of yellow and white fabric draping and hanging floral garlands. The combination of bright yellows and oranges was sunny enough to make anyone smile and complemented the haldi perfectly.

Everyone’s joy in this ceremony was infectious! Loved ones, young and old, got to partake in the fun, creating an atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm. This energy came across in a beautifully authentic way in the final photos! Here at The Bird & The Bear , capturing every aspect of the day while blending into the background is our specialty. While we step forward to assist and guide you as needed, we never interfere with the special moments with your closest people.

The Sangeet (Music Night)

Later that night, Nikki and Sam held their sangeet, which is a high-energy night of traditional dances, upbeat music, and unadulterated fun! This sweet couple both wore peach attire with gold accents and this was the first time that Nikki really got to showcase her henna! As is tradition for Indian weddings, Nikki and her closest female family members and friends got henna done on their hands and arms in the most gorgeous and intricate patterns imaginable the night before. Henna by Neeti’s design work was simply stunning and we love how the henna truly popped in photos and on film!

The sangeet took place in one of the Sheraton’s ballrooms. Yara with Unique Design & Events completely transformed the space with an exquisite backdrop of orange, turquoise, and gold fabric draping. She then set an ivory couch with orange throw pillows and gold lanterns in varying heights in front of the backdrop, setting the perfect stage for Nikki and Sam to take the spotlight.

When the sangeet began, the caterer Biryani Pot served guests a delicious dinner of traditional Indian fare. Nikki and Sam themselves then kickstarted the party with a performance of their own to open the dance floor. Their amazing rhythm and choreography were second to none! It was particularly striking to see Nikki’s orange and peach dress twirl against their backdrop. It showed that they truly planned every last detail, from the hues of the backdrop to the same shades in Nikki and Sam’s attire.

The nearlyweds’ family and friends then took turns performing for them. As an experienced Indian wedding photographer and videographer, we have worked many sangeets and they always make us feel like we have the best jobs in the world! They are incredibly lighthearted, energetic, and entertaining, and that kind of vibe is contagious! We have just as good a time at sangeets as the guests do, and we like to think that shows in the way we photograph and video the event!

Setting the Stage at Highpointe Estate

Then, on a beautiful, sunny day at Highpointe Estate, it was Nikki and Sam’s wedding day! When our Indian wedding photography and videography team arrived that morning, we started capturing detail shots, including Nikki’s magnificent lavender and gold wedding sari, the ganesh, and of course, the mandap.

Monarch Event Rentals brought this couple’s wedding ceremony dreams to life by setting a glossy white stage with a golden, open-frame arch. They fastened the most beautiful, fluffy floral to the arch, so that the bright pink and orange blooms added an instant dose of happiness to the overall aesthetic. Their team also hung small, delicate florals as a backdrop, cascading down from the back of the arch. To complete the look, intricate gold ceremony chairs were set atop the stage, ready for Nikki, Sam, and the proceedings of the day.

Before the ceremony began, Nikki and Sam did a first look. As a more modern wedding event, a first look is not only a fun and private way to see one another for the first time that day, but it also greatly helps with logistics. Doing a first look allows us to get portraits done before the ceremony, so that you can spend more quality time with your loved ones post-ceremony. As a bonus, a first look is always so romantic! We’ve seen both brides and grooms tear up, read private vows, exchange gifts, share sweet nothings, and just generally revel in the emotional anticipation of their marriage. This certainly was the case for Nikki and Sam, as they wore the brightest smiles and shared the biggest hug when Sam turned around that morning.

Wedding day bliss was all over their faces and it was our pleasure getting to capture this authentic moment for this special couple.

The Baraat (Groom’s Entrance)

One of our favorite parts of being an Indian wedding photographer is getting to be part of the baraat! If you thought the sangeet was a fun dance party, just wait until you see Sam’s baraat, or his entrance to the wedding ceremony. A dhol player and Nachle DJ Entertainment made sure to crank up the Nadaswaram music for this extravaganza, filled with lively dancing, marching, and cheering. Sam’s friends hoisted him up on their shoulders, and colorful smoke bombs blew through the air as the parade made their way through the parking lot and up to the chapel’s entrance.

When they arrived, Nikki’s parents greeted Sam and formally welcomed him into their family. This signified that the wedding ceremony could officially commence!

A Multicultural Wedding Ceremony at Highpointe Estate

Every wedding ceremony is beautiful and special, but there is something especially sacred about a Southeast Asian wedding. The traditions within the ceremony are typically different from couple to couple, depending on which part of India they’re from. Nikki and Sam’s ceremony included a sanctified series of rituals, from the Kanyadaanam (giving away of the bride by her parents) to the Mangalya Dharanam (tying of the sacred thread and exchange of garlands) to the Talambralu (showering of rice). It was touching to see their family involved in the ceremony as well. Towards the end of the ceremony, Nikki and Sam accepted blessings from their parents and grandparents before the priest declared them husband and wife!

A Multicultural Wedding Reception at Highpointe Estate

After lunch served by Biryani Pot, Nikki had her hair and makeup touched up by Tansia Beauty & Bridal, and then she and her new husband both changed into their reception attire. For Nikki, that meant an ivory sari with aqua accents and for Sam, that meant a Western, navy blue suit. Before the evening reception began, we took sunset portraits around Highpointe Estate, and the light could not have been dreamier! It worked perfectly to enhance the beauty of the property and the newlyweds.

The night began with the guests arriving via chartered buses from Austin Charter Services for the cocktail hour, where Biryani Pot fried fresh appetizers onsite for everyone. Then, all the guests were invited into Highpointe Estate’s Gathering Room for the wedding reception. There, they found the dinner tables dressed in blush linens, turquoise napkins, gold chargers, and pink and orange floral centerpieces. Chandeliers and white fabric draping hung from the ceiling’s wooden beams, and pink uplights set the room aglow. Next to the sweetheart table stood the newlyweds’ 3-tiered wedding cake, complete with fresh pastel florals and a mini replica of their cat!

The reception kicked off with the introduction of the new Mr. and Mrs. and their closest family members. They shared their first dance together as well as with each of their parents. Speeches from both sets of parents, Sam’s best friends, and the newlyweds themselves were given before the dinner buffet opened. As Cheryl with Glitzzy Events and Nachle DJ Entertainment released each table, the guests would take pictures with Nikki and Sam, ensuring that they got to say hello to everyone.

The rest of the night was marked by open dancing and general merriment! Everyone enjoyed getting to let loose and celebrate, making the most of their time together. At the end of the night, everyone lined up outside with sparklers and Nikki and Sam made their grand exit by walking through the lights and their loved ones. It was so special to see them lock eyes with their people and each other, as they shared one last amazing moment together before their wedding came to a beautiful and perfect end.

Congratulations Nikki and Sam! We’re so glad to know you both and were honored to be your Indian wedding photographer and videographer. Thank you for entrusting us to capture the magic of your wedding weekend! Cheers to a lifetime of happiness!

Let’s Work Together!

The Bird & The Bear is a boutique, award-winning studio that offers Indian wedding photography and videography! We are a one-stop full-service studio that loves to create beautiful photos and films of our couples – all with our signature, playful style.

We would love to capture all the candid, intimate, and fun moments of your special day, just as we did for Nikki and Sam. If you’re ready to check off both photo and video from your to-do list, reach out today and let’s make it happen!

gg Gita & Soham: A Multiday, Southeast Asian Mae’s Ridge Wedding

We believe that the design and vibe of a wedding is undeniably reflective of the couple’s personalities and dynamic, so it’s no wonder that Gita and Soham’s multiday Mae’s Ridge wedding was high energy, joyous, and a true party! These two are nothing but fun, naturals in front of the camera, and have the most infectious smiles. Even though we were working the celebration as their Austin Indian wedding photographer and videographer, we felt like we were taking part in all the fun right alongside everyone!

We had the honor of forming a great relationship with Gita and Soham from the start when we shot their engagement photos. When they told us they wanted to capture their funny, goofy, authentic selves in the heart of downtown Austin, we knew this was the right couple for us. Not every couple would want to order pizza or shoot with a cupcake truck in the background as part of their engagement shoot, but Gita and Soham were nothing but themselves from the very beginning. They carried this spirit of authenticity throughout their entire wedding celebration from that point forward, from the mehndi to sangeet to ceremony to reception.

That’s what sets this Mae’s Ridge wedding apart for us. It wasn’t just the vibrant florals, amazing outfits or even the cool cars, but the personal details weaved throughout that made this multiday, Indian wedding truly one for the books.

Mehndi (Henna Party)

As an Austin Indian wedding photographer, we’ve seen a lot of incredible henna work, but we don’t always get to photograph the intricacies of the mehndi. We were thrilled when Gita asked us to capture hers and we were completely fascinated to watch Henna Arts work, as they applied the delicate and exquisite henna on Gita and her guests’ hands and feet.

For those unfamiliar with a mehndi, it is a henna party that takes place before the wedding festivities begin. It is usually a casual affair held at the bride or a family member’s house, and the bride and all the women closest to her come to get their henna done. The groom doesn’t typically participate in the mehndi, but Soham briefly did by getting Gita’s name inside a heart drawn on the back of one of his hands. A very sweet and special touch!


The next day, Gita and Soham officially kicked off their wedding weekend with a sangeet. It was everything a sangeet should be and more with upbeat music, good food, and extraordinary dance performances by Gita and Soham’s friends and family.

We started the evening by getting great couple’s portraits around property. Gita and Soham wore royal blue outfits with metallic accents that reminded us of stars in the night sky. These colors contrasted nicely with the vivid colors they used in their event design. They hung green and yellow pompom strands over the dance floor, creating a sort of canopy, and some of the desserts they served were equally as bright, but no less delicious!

The dancing that night did not disappoint! Hands were in the air, skirts swished from left to right, and cheers and laughter echoed throughout the space. Gita and Soham had front row seats for the performances in the form of a hanging bench with turquoise pillows and a white, billowy canopy cover. We loved watching their faces light up with every dance number, as they watched their closest people dance for them to celebrate their new marriage.

Before the night was out, they also enjoyed some incredible food, including fried chicken sliders, mango lassi cheesecake, and even hand scooped ice cream. Between the food and the dancing, it was a perfect night, made only more perfect by the fact that Gita and Soham were getting married the next morning!

A Mae’s Ridge Wedding: Pre-Ceremony

Mae’s Ridge is a modern, farmhouse-style event venue in the hill country of Austin, Texas. They offer a few different ceremony sites and while Gita and Soham chose to have their ceremony at the Pavilion, we definitely took advantage of the rest of the sites by getting photos all around property.

Every Austin Indian wedding photographer knows that an Indian wedding day starts with a baraat (groom’s processional into the ceremony). Not only did Soham have a dhol player and mobile DJ provided by Desi Junction DJs for his, but he also rode in a cherry red convertible, which was decked out in sunny yellow garlands. Soham was the essence of cool in his sunglasses and hot rod, and he certainly had a good time dancing and partying up the path with his family and friends. He knew it was his moment and he completely rocked it!

A Mae’s Ridge Wedding: The Ceremony

Cheryl with Glitzzy Events was Gita and Soham’s wedding planner and her eye for design is truly unparalleled! The color palette for this Mae’s Ridge wedding was hot pink, red, blush, white, and gold, which was reflected in the wedding party’s colorful outfits and the striking floral that framed the mandap. These floral sprays by Merveile Events were works of art, as they cascaded down the sides of the wooden arch onto the white stage, where little gold thrones sat, waiting for the bride and groom. The only thing that made the mandap better was the sweeping view of Austin’s hill country in the background.  

After the baraat, Gita’s mom greeted Soham as is tradition, and then he walked down the aisle to the ceremony. Gita and Soham wore Indian attire for the ceremony and they had a first look right at the mandap. Their family members held a tapestry in front of Soham and the mandap, and they only dropped it when it was time to reveal Gita in her stunning red and gold sari. The sparkle in their eyes and smiles said it all! Gita and Soham were actually one of our couples whose original wedding was affected by the pandemic, so while they had to wait a little longer than usual for their big day, getting to have a full celebration surrounded by their loved ones was absolutely worth the wait.

The ceremony was made that much sweeter by the journey this couple went on to get down the aisle, and in between each tradition, we caught them sneaking each other a quick smile or loving glance. We could tell that all their guests felt the love too since they wore smiles that were almost as joyful as the bride and groom’s!

A Mae’s Ridge Wedding: Cocktail Hour & Reception Details

Gita and Soham’s cocktail hour was held out on the lawn at Mae’s Ridge, where they brought in a pink and gold lounge furniture setup, tall cocktail tables, and a mobile champagne truck by Champagne Supply Co. The couple also sprinkled in many personal touches throughout the entire wedding’s design. A sign that said, “It’s worth the wait” greeted guests upon arrival, another sign outlining the couple’s relationship timeline was placed at the bar, and guests got to enjoy the bride and groom’s signature drinks from “Buddy’s Bar,” named after the couple’s furry friend.  

Inside the Mae’s Ridge wedding reception space, there were a mix of round and rectangular tables, all dressed in white linens with gold chargers, red napkins, gold flatware, and floral arrangements in gold vases. Greenery hung from the chandeliers and the four-tier cake by Michelle’s Patisserie was a simple cream and light gold with the most beautiful of floral accents flowing down one side. But the sweetheart table was definitely the focal point! The table itself had a light pink linen and a magnificent floral arrangement sitting right in front of it. Behind the table was a hedge wall backdrop, complete with a matching floral spray along the top and a neon light sign that said, “I love you so much,” emulating Austin’s famous mural.

A Mae’s Ridge Wedding: The Party

For this Mae’s Ridge wedding reception, Gita and Soham changed into Western attire. Gita’s gown was white and flowy with little beads all over it and Soham’s tux was classic, black, and accented with a bow tie. Once they were all dolled up, we did a first look at a different ceremony site on property, right underneath a simple, golden archway. We then shot some amazing images of them and the wedding party in the hilly landscape of Mae’s Ridge.

Mr. and Mrs. Manari were then ready to take to the dance floor for their first dance! This was followed by toasts, parent dances, a speech given by the newlyweds, a delicious dinner, and the cake cutting. To compliment the cake, Gita and Soham also served their guests donuts by Little Lucy’s, which was an extra sweet treat for everyone!

At one point before the dance floor opened, we snuck away with the couple to get sunset and night portraits. Austin’s Best DJs had installed specialty marquee letter lights that spelled out “Soham & Gita,” so we definitely weren’t going to miss getting shots with that! We also shot some of the best photos of the wedding weekend that night with Mae’s Ridge’s gold, geometric backdrop illuminated by floating candles.

By far though, our favorite part of the reception was when Gita changed into her fun, second dress and everyone hit the dance floor! Her dress was a short, white number with fringe hanging off it, so that with every turn she made, the dress swished right along with her! She even threw on a custom, pearl studded jean jacket with her name on the back. Along with her cream colored Keds, we would definitely say she was party-ready!

As an Austin Indian wedding photographer, we see a lot of good parties, but Gita and Soham’s certainly had the best dance moves! Nobody was shy about having a good time, as they danced all night, even busting out ribbon wands for everyone at one point.

When it was time for the grand exit, everyone took their wands and lined the outdoor path to the couple’s classic black getaway car, supplied by Austin Classic Limo. The cold sparklers were lit and Gita and Soham left the building, framed by these shooting stars. They were still jumping and dancing as they made their way to the car and with smiles as bright as the cold sparklers, they drove off into the night in each other’s arms.

Congratulations on a fun and beautiful wedding, Gita and Soham! If you couldn’t tell in this post, we had a blast as your Austin Indian wedding photographer and videographer. It was truly an honor to walk on your journey with you and we wish you all the love and happiness in the world!

Let’s Work Together!

The Bird & The Bear is a boutique, award-winning studio that offers both Austin wedding photography and videography! We are a one-stop full-service studio that loves to create beautiful photos and films of our couples – all with our signature, playful style.

We would love to capture all the candid, intimate, and fun moments of your special day, just as we did for Gita and Soham. If you’re ready to check off both photo and video from your to-do list, reach out today and let’s make it happen!

tt Tara & Kirk: A Southeast Asian Lakeway Resort Wedding

There is nothing quite like a Southeast Asian wedding. Every time we have the honor of capturing one, we are in awe of the vibrant colors, upbeat dances, and the all-encompassing love that only comes by being surrounded by a true community of family and friends. Tara and Kirk chose to have a Lakeway Resort wedding and as soon as we heard about their plans for a dusty rose, blush, and mauve wedding right on the lake, we knew we wanted to be their Austin Indian wedding photographer and videographer! We were absolutely thrilled when they decided to book with us!

Tara and Kirk are as sweet as can be and they had the brightest smiles on their faces from the start of their sangeet to the end of the wedding reception. The two-day celebration consisted of the most wondrous décor, lakeside sunsets, delicious catering, and lots of dancing! This was quite possibly the most gorgeous wedding we’ve had the pleasure of capturing, so make sure to watch the videos and read to the end to soak up every detail!

A Lakeway Resort Wedding

Tara and Kirk’s wedding weekend was held at Lakeway Resort and Spa in Lakeway, Texas, which is situated about thirty minutes from downtown Austin. It is nestled right on the edge of Lake Travis and is famous for their panoramic lake views from every corner of property. The Vistas Ballroom is their main wedding space with its floor-to-ceiling glass window walls that offer a perfect view of the water for miles.

It’s always a treat for us to work here, especially in the summer, because we get to shoot a lakeside wedding while still being indoors in the air conditioning. Our brides love it too because they get to have a lake backdrop for the ceremony, but they don’t have to worry about the wind messing up their hair, bugs pestering them, or the Texas heat melting their makeup!

As if all that weren’t enough, the Lakeway Resort wedding space has an outdoor, wrap-around terrace, where they hold cocktail hours, and the end of that terrace is THE spot on property for sunset photos. Every time we work here, we just have to build in time for sunset shots with the couple on the terrace, and they always turn out to be the bride and groom’s favorite shots of the day!

An Austin Indian Wedding Photographer’s Dream

Throughout the celebration, we could tell that every décor detail was carefully and purposefully planned out to be both functional and visually striking. The name “Tara” in Hindi translates to “star,” so Tara and Kirk incorporated a star motif in the décor for all their events. Their wedding planner, Cheryl from Glitzzy Events, did a wonderful job subtly and elegantly infusing these stars in the event design, from the sangeet backdrop and welcome signs to the wedding cake and personalized dance floor. She is also a logistics queen, as every event throughout the weekend ran on time to the minute. If you’re looking for an Indian wedding planner, we highly recommend Cheryl and her team!

Yara with Unique Design and Events blew us all away with her handiwork as well. She completely draped the ceiling of the Vistas Ballroom in white, flowy fabric and installed crystal chandeliers for touches of sparkle. Bouquets of Austin completed the design by setting tall floral arrangements along the back of the mandap and short arrangements on both sides of the aisle that would all be later repurposed for the wedding reception.

The mandap itself was truly breathtaking with its white stage, gold seats, and fabric draping in various shades of pink. We loved how the fabric was gathered to create windows, so guests could still marvel at the lake behind the mandap. This also allowed plenty of natural light to illuminate the ceremony space, which made our job as an Austin Indian wedding photographer easy!


Tara and Kirk’s sangeet took place the night before the wedding in Lakeway Resort’s Rio Grande Ballroom. The color scheme for this event included deep purple and peacock blue with touches of gold and silver. The guest tables were dressed in multicolored linens and adorned with floating candles in wine glasses and fun pompom and bead strands. Tara wore an exquisite turquoise and silver sari that shimmered when it caught the light, and Kirk’s sherwani was yellow gold, truly making the pair the stars of the evening.

The sangeet kicked off with dinner provided by Biryani Pot and toasts from the couple’s family. If you’re not familiar with Indian weddings, think of a sangeet like an American rehearsal dinner, except with high energy music and tons of dancing! Our favorite part of any sangeet is when the dancing commences because that is truly when the party starts, and it doesn’t end until the next night after the wedding reception!

Tara and Kirk’s family and friends absolutely killed it on the dance floor, as they took turns performing traditional dances for the couple. DJ Nish kept the music pumping, and it was clear that everyone was overjoyed to be there to celebrate the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.

The sangeet was made that much sweeter by Amy’s Ice Cream, who brought in their signature ice cream in a mobile cart for dessert. Henna Arts also set up a mehndi table for those who wanted to get henna on their hands in preparation for the wedding the next day. Overall, the sangeet was a hit with everyone jumping on the dance floor before the night was through. Talk about a great way to start your wedding weekend!