Reena and Ian met during their internal medicine residencies at Kaiser in Oakland. From residency to relationship, the couple got engaged during a romantic trip to Hawaii in 2011. “I didn’t even know the destination until we got to the airport,” Reena shares. “After two days of relaxation, massages and fine dining at the Four Seasons Maui, Ian set up a private dinner overlooking the beach with a menu made just for me with all of my favorite foods and proposed to me before the appetizer course came out. Of course I said yes!”
Both Reena and Ian knew they wanted their guests to be comfortable and feel like it was worth it to make the trip out for their wedding. The bride also made the decision to not see Ian before the walk down the aisle. “I wanted him to be surprised,” she says.
The road to that aisle proved fairly smooth thanks to the help of wedding planner Catrina Maria of Catrina Maria Designs. “We were on the same page the entire time,” the bride says. “I got a whole bunch of wedding magazines and hunkered down to create a vision. We came up with dainty French elegance for a theme.”
Though some of the finer details took until the very end to come together—just when the couple looked forward to relaxing and spending time with out-of-town guests—everything really went off without a hitch. Even Reena’s second wedding dress came in just a few short weeks before the wedding, but luckily it fit perfectly and didn’t have to be altered a bit.
The pastor from Reena’s father’s church officiated their ceremony, making the vows extra special. “We chose some Bible verses that were important to us and definitely wanted to honor our parents during the ceremony,” she says.
“A funny moment occurred when I said ‘I do’ a bit early. I guess the guests weren’t going to be in for any surprises.”
At the reception, guests enjoyed the beautiful venue and toasted the newlywed couple in style. “The most memorable moments were the speeches given by my brothers-in-law, Banks and Josh, and my sister, Shahana,” Reena says. “I cried and laughed a lot during the speeches. Also, my cousin, Priya, did a special Indian dance that was absolutely amazing. I was awestruck by all of the work she put into it and how beautiful it was.”
They hired MR DJ Event Services for the rest of the wedding, choosing ska tunes for the cocktail reception, and then moving onto ’60s and ’70s soul and a mixture of R&B and dance music, as well as Indian music, for the reception.
The most priceless moment of the day? “Walking down the aisle and exchanging vows with Ian,” beams the bride. “It was magical.”