GSS Featured Wedding :: Akata & Avaneesh’s Lavish Indian Wedding :: Sassani Photography :: Part 2

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!! Today’s featured wedding comes from Ben Sassani of Sassani Photography. He is a Houston, Texas based wedding photographer. Ben has been so accommodating to GSS on this feature. Thank you! We also want to give a shout out to the AH-Mazing Amber Strickler of Zasey Photography for second shooting on this gorgeous wedding! This wedding is so awesome and so full of details that we decided to break this feature up into two posts. Last week, we covered all of the pre-ceremony images. (Click here to see Part 1!) Today, we’ll cover all of the ceremony and the reception images.

Akata and Avaneesh were married at The Hilton Post Oak in Houston, Texas on May 28, 2011. Akata and Avanessh were kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

What sold you on your wedding venue? We needed a place that could fit 600 people, a nice location, and guest accomodations. We found it at the Hilton Post Oak in Houston, TX!

What was your favorite part of your big day?

Akata: At the end of the reception, when I finally danced with Avaneesh, as my husband, to a song that describes everything he is to me. “The Truth” by India.Arie.

Avaneesh: Akata’s wedding entrance. In traditional Indian wedding custom, the groom is shielded (by way of holding a drape in front of him) from watching the bride’s entrance to the mandap where he is waiting. This is done so that everyone except the groom can watch her graceful entrance while he sits in anticipation (yes, it’s very mean). So while this was happening, my sister (who was holding the drape) was giving me a play-by-play so that I could have some idea of what was going on. Then all of a sudden my sister gasps and says “she’s crying, it’s so cute!” and then starts crying herself. Then I hear of a chorus of guests break out into sniffles as they join Akata in her tears of joy. I almost started crying as I was overwhelmed with joy myself…but luckily I was able to hold it back and saved myself from being laughed at by my groomsmen! I understood where Akata was coming from at that moment as I too had been waiting more than two years from the day I fell in love with her for this very day and it was finally here.

What song did you dance to for your first dance? Our first dance was to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz & Colbie Calliat

How did you choose your wedding color palette? Many traditional Indian weddings have gold, white and maroon or red as wedding colors so that was the easy part. For our reception, I wanted colors that represented Avaneesh and I. I love the color plum pink! I had always imagined that plum pink and snow white would somehow be incorporated into my reception colors. When Avaneesh and I went to India to do our wedding shopping, we both found the perfect reception outfits–mine was a dark plum pink and his was a royal blue. So, our color palette included different hues of pink and blue with snow white and silver accents to give an icy white look. (I wanted us to look like a prince and princess celebrating our wedding in a winter wonderland :))

Do you have any advice for bride and grooms that are in the planning process? Plan ahead!  Regardless of how much time you have (or don’t have), it’s important to move quickly on the decisions you have made and make a timely, sound decisions on those you haven’t.  In a city the size of Houston, there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of weddings year-round, so if you have a particular venue, photographer, make-up artist, etc. in-mind, then book them quickly because if you wait too long, you’re most likely going to be searching for the next-best option.  Also, most vendors require non-refundable deposits, so make sure you are completely sold on the vendor before signing any contract or paying any deposit because that money is not coming back.  I feel that some couples make decisions too quickly without having done the proper research and end up regretting it.  Some even take the loss (which can be in the thousands) and sign with another vendor they liked better.  Take your time in making decisions but make sure they are YOUR decisions.  It is okay to include family members and/or friends in the process but keep in mind that this is your wedding and you make the decisions!  Also, be as organized as possible.  We used Google applications (email, calendar, documents) to stay organized and to collaborate with our family members who were helping us.  If you have a large family, use them :)  Assign roles and responsibilities early on so everyone knows what’s expected of them on the Big Day.


Venue: Hilton Post Oak in Houston, TX

Dress: Bawree in Santacruz, Mumbai, India

Cake: We opted out of a cake and used that money to make our wedding even more special to us.

Floral: I ordered them from Sam’s Club and my sisters and cousins made my and my bridesmaids bouquets.

Linens: Mandap Creations for ALL of our decorations

Catering: Bombay Brasserie

DJ/Band: DJ Yogi Goyal

Videographer: A&A Video

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: I bought them from a small invitation shop in Mumbai. I cannot remember the name!

Event Planner: Avaneesh and I were the only planners for our wedding. He was amazing throughout the process!

Thank you so much, Ben, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by his website and blog and show him some love! And thank you, Akata & Avaneesh, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you both a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at We HEART submissions!

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