How did you meet?
We met on eHarmony in June of 2015. Navit and I only lived one mile apart, but we probably would never have met if it hadn’t been for eHarmony. We had our first date at Chicago Fire in Historic Folsom on June 16, 2015.
And the engagement?
We became engaged in March of 2019. Navit is an airline pilot, and I am a third grade teacher. One afternoon during my class, my principal unexpectedly came in to conduct an observation on me. My class was getting ready to go outside and have an extra recess, and I thought, “This does not look good!” So, I had my students sit back down, as I started to sweat. Then, Navit strolled in to my classroom wearing his uniform. I said, “Why are you here?” I was baffled, since he was supposed to be at work. He started talking to my students, and said to them, “Isn’t Miss Patel great? Raise your hands if you think Miss Patel is awesome!” All the kids raised their hands, and he added, “I think so, too!” Then, before I knew what was going on, he got down on one knee and proposed! A few of my co-workers were in on the surprise and lead the class in cheers!
How did COVID affect your wedding?
We had guests who were not comfortable coming to the wedding due to safety concerns. That was understandable. We provided hand sanitizer bottles and masks as favors! We were in limbo for months, trying to figure out alternate dates for our wedding. Christina at Catta Verdera was great at keeping us informed of changing guidelines and mandates. In the end, we were able to have our wedding on our planned date!
How was wedding planning?
The planning went great. I enjoyed it all! There were so many choices for all the vendors, so sometimes it was hard to make a decision. The hardest part for me was deciding on a dress. My mom and sister-in-law went dress shopping with me. I tried on so many, and finally decided on one. I still wasn’t sure about it, until the alterations were done, and then I knew it was the perfect dress for me. That ended up being the best moment for me. I was also very happy with our venue. Christina helped me through all of the planning and was so easy to work with.
I had a vision of a simple outdoor, rustic wedding ceremony. I love flowers, and wanted to have pretty bouquets for me and my bridesmaids. I also knew I wanted an indoor reception since it is so hot in June. It was really important that I have good pictures, too. I wanted to be stress-free on my wedding day.
How would you describe the ceremony?
The ceremony was simple and beautiful. Catta Verdera has a lovely outdoor wedding spot, overlooking the golf course. We decided to forgo a traditional Indian wedding and have a non-denominational ceremony. Erin Summ was our officiant, and she made the ceremony so meaningful and joyful. It was everything I had hoped for. Our wedding party consisted of my two daughters and Navit’s son and daughter. It was very special to have them as part of our wedding. My dad walked me down the aisle, and I will always remember that. I loved having my friend, Jennifer Yen, and her daughter (and also my former student), Kara, play the keyboards during the ceremony.
Any memorable moments?
Navit enjoyed posing with his sword after the ceremony, which was really funny! His son, Mason, gave a funny toast referring to his appropriate duties as the best man. It was also fun to see everyone cheering as we entered the reception. Navit and I were confident that we could learn to dance and have a Bollywood first dance. We soon discovered that we were not the most coordinated couple out there! We managed to learn one or two moves, and even asked the DJ to cut our first dance short since it seemed like the song was going on forever! The Bollywood dance performance by my nieces, Saveena and Jayna, was amazing! The crowd loved the upbeat music and choreography! Saveena played her guitar and sang for us. Navit’s daughter, Sydney, also sang “Sunrise” by Norah Jones, which was very meaningful to us.
What was the best part of the day?
Swati: I loved every part of our wedding. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say my best part of the day was taking pictures after the ceremony. Eugene at Lixxim knew all the great picture-taking spots around Catta Verdera. He also has a talent for making everyone comfortable. I love all the pictures of us and our family enjoying the day.
Navit: My best part of the day was seeing our kids involved in our wedding and seeing how much fun they had.