A Colorful Celebration

Untermyer Gardens and Castle Royale, Yonkers

Anu Mitter & Shawn Nagpal

August 26, 2016

Anu and Shawn kept running into each other — first, at events (both of their parents ran local restaurants) and college orientation, then again when Shawn transferred to Iona College, where Anu was already enrolled. “From there, we just started becoming friends,” says Anu. Soon after, the two began to date. Eight years later, Shawn popped the question. 

It was a carefully planned proposal: A childhood friend escorted Anu to the places where she and Shawn met and had their first date. Finally, the couple reunited at Iona.“It was so nerve-racking,” she recalls.“We walk over to this bridge, and I see Shawn and all of my friends and extended family behind him on this tiny bridge.” 

Wedding-planning was another elaborate endeavor.“I come from a huge family,” says Anu, “so one of the things for me was accommodating all these people. And although we’re from the same part of India, we have a lot of different traditions. We wanted to make sure we were sensitive to that.” The couple chose to hold their 500-guest reception at her father’s venue, Castle Royale in Yonkers, but wanted to have the ceremony outdoors at Untermyer Gardens.“It’s such a beautiful park, and it felt like India,” Anu  recalls.“The greenery, statues, pathways, and long stairs – it was just so perfect.” 

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Anu and Shawn’s wedding was a multi-day affair incorporating modern and traditional elements, including an exuberant entrance.

Finding the right mix of traditional and modern was also important. Shawn made a grand entrance on a white horse, wearing a red turban (the color associated with weddings in India), and Anu wore tall stacks of bangles on each arm. But she took a little modern liberty with her dress: “Not many brides wear that color pink,” she says. “I was the first one in my entire family.” They also broke tradition with the food, serving lobster and other seafood. “That’s a huge deal because [guests] want traditional food, but we were born and raised in America and love seafood.” 

Anu’s favorite moment? “When I finally got to walk down the aisle to Shawn,” she says. “I saw him dressed like this handsome groom, and I just died. When you’ve been with someone for nine years, you’re looking across an altar, [thinking], Oh my God — our life is about to change.”

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Anu broke with tradition by wearing pink (red is the typical color for Indian brides) but still incorportated important elements, like an elaborate henna design and stacks of bracelets.


The Details: 

Photographer: MaxPhoto NY, Bellerose, NY (516) 358-9888; www.maxphotony.com Ceremony Venue: Untermyer Gardens, Yonkers (914) 377-6427; www.yonkersny.gov/departments/parks-recreation-conservation Reception Venue & Catering: Castle Royale, Yonkers (914) 965-2559; www.castleroyale.com Additional Catering: Royal Palace, White Plains (914) 289-1988; www.royalpalacecuisines.net Entertainment & Event Design: Kaotic Soundz DJs & Design (917) 517-5454 Cake: Palermo’s Customs Cakes & Bakery, multiple NJ locations; www.palermobakery.com Bridal Gown: Sabyasachi (www.sabyasachi.com) purchased at Chandan Fashion, Toronto, ON (416) 462-0277; www.chandanfashion.ca Bridal Hair & Makeup: Maliha Khan, Iselin, NJ (732) 983-7089; www.malihakhanmakeup.com Henna: Henna for All, Plainview, NY (516) 351-4828; www.hennaforall.com 

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